Food is everything to us. It’s what we know, what we do and what we’re passionate about. It’s also an integral part of health and wellbeing and having a good diet, and the time to enjoy meals with friends and family, can dramatically boost happiness, reduce anxiety and improve your overall mental and physical strength. After buying my first business at the age of 26, I spent 24 years working in the restaurant industry. During this time, I put my heart and soul into every new business I took on. Although this helped me to build a thriving career, it also caused considerable stress and anxiety, something that became more and more difficult to cope with as the years went on.
When the stress and anxiety finally became too much, I found there was little help and support available. The stigma of how I was feeling made it hard for me to communicate. I felt embaressed and it made me feel emasculated. One of the few things that really made a difference was cooking. When you’re in the kitchen, all your focus is on the food and the task at hand. This gave my mind a break and allowed me to unwind, relax and de-stress.
When suffering from stress and anxiety, I also found it difficult to find like-minded people to talk to. One of the aims of our retreats is to give men the chance to make friends and build up an effective support network. A dedicated whatsapp support group with the members of your group where you can freely express yourself without the fear of judgement
In today’s hectic world, the importance of good food, communal meals and high-quality ingredients is often overlooked. All too often, we sacrifice flavour for convenience and quality for quantity, ending up with a poorer food experience in the process.
Our retreats aim to reconnect you with the pleasures of cooking, eating and getting back to basics. Stay in luxury at Liberty house against the backdrop of the stunning Suffolk countryside or Puglia, Italy and enjoy the chance to learn new cooking techniques, try new recipes and meet new people.
During your stay, you’ll indulge in delicious meals based on the Mediterranean diet. Rich in fresh fruit and veg, olive oil, nuts, cereals and fish, this mouth-watering diet has been shown to be beneficial for both your mind and body. Proven health benefits include a lower risk of cancer, cognitive disease, metabolic disease, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Using food as a tool to control anxiety
Trained by the Roux-brothers, our in-house chef, Nigel will lead you through a choice of recipes and give you professional tips on cooking and food preparation. Meals are cooked eaten and enjoyed together, giving you the chance to get the most out of the experience and really enjoy your food.
In the future, you’ll be able to use your new-found culinary skills and relaxation techniques to relax, unwind and boost the quality of your diet.
As well as benefiting your body, eating well and taking the time to really enjoy cooking, eating and socialising is great for your mind. A fantastic way to reduce anxiety and relieve stress, putting the pleasure back into food will help to give body and soul a real boost.
Throughout your retreat, you’ll have the chance to take part in regular yoga sessions, led by renowned wellness and yoga coach, Sue Bayllis. Like good food, yoga is beneficial for both your body and your mind and can help to reduce anxiety, boost your endorphins and get your blood pumping.
After a week, or even just a few days, of good food, yoga and tranquillity you’re guaranteed to feel relaxed, energised and ready to return to everyday life with extra tools if anxiety strikes.
Book now to make a change in your life.
About Nigel Raffles
It is difficult to imagine outgoing chef Nigel Raffles would be tortured by self-doubt and anxiety.
On meeting him most people would not ever imagine he would wake up in the middle of the night with irrational fears that his restaurant was burning down or that no staff would turn up for the next day’s shift.
But now Nigel – a well-known chef who until recently ran The Library restaurant in Guildhall Hill with his wife Jayne – has spoken publicly for the first time about his battle with his inner demons.
You can read more about Nigel in the EDP article below: