FP Escapes: To Sardinia & Corsica, With Love

FP Escapes: To Sardinia & Corsica, With Love

Our resident waterborne chef Sandy Ho recalls with magic and humility the emotion found on July’s sailing retreat…

Being a chef holds with it a good deal of responsibility — in essence, you’re looking out for those people who’ve chosen to sit at your table. Nourishing the bodies of seventeen beautiful souls on last month’s Escape through Sardinia and Corsica proved no less a challenge, but more so, an absolute dream.

We met on a hot day in the coastal town of Olbia, eager to immerse our spirits into the intentions set early in the week — To be present. To know your mind. With sails full of wind, water beside, behind and beneath us, I prepared lunch in the galley — clams in organic rose and marinated tomatoes with burrata and bottarga. Everyone was in the water, glistening under the sun. Time lost its rigidity.

Food never tasted better. We soaked up its last juices with fluffy quinoa and wiped up oozing burrata with fragrant leaves of basil picked from our boat garden. Forks and spoons were put aside, because we had our hands. We were full and joyful from this land, from this sea, and we ate like an Italian family.

I watched my fellow sailors practice yoga from atop an ancient fortress we found along the way. A place we would call home for the night. And now with the sun setting over these warriors, I prepared vegetables for dinner feeling the full presence of my purpose for the week. Every day, as our guests studied yoga and meditation, I practised my own meditation through cooking — not knowing what dish would come next, but intuitively healing and understanding what our bodies were craving through conversation.

Some nights we stayed up like children, giggling and dancing out all of our energy. Then we would swim under the stars. floating on our backs. I’m present again with those memories forged, and so thankful to have shared my meditation with new family.

+ Looking to travel? Learn more about our FP Escapes here

Photos by Stefan Wigand.

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FP Escapes: Montana in Review

FP Escapes: Montana in Review

A look inside our last FP Escape of the summer…

This post comes from retreat guide and yogi, Maria Margolies

Every retreat we take opens up a whole new world of opportunity. The opportunity to step out of our comfort zones. The opportunity to be adventurous and bold. To experience something fresh. Meet new people and learn from them. Connect with Mother Nature in ways we normally wouldn’t. Most importantly, it gives us the opportunity to slow down so we can pay more attention to what’s around us and inside us. To listen and feel, so we can drop deeper and become more intimate not only with ourselves but with one another. Ultimately, isn’t this what we are all searching for?

Glacier National Park blew me away in every way imaginable. From the striking contours of the landscape with its soaring mountain peaks and sharp edges to the never-ending stretches of evergreens and golden fields carpeting its valleys.  Even the colors and texture of the earth and its stones commanded my attention and touch every step of the way. And of course the water… It was everywhere: frozen in time in the ancient but powerful glaciers, cascading powerfully in creeks and streams, floating above us silently in massive clouds or falling rhythmically as rain on the meadows and forests.

This Escape managed to combine all elements of awakening mind and spirit in a breathtaking setting to create a uniquely incredible and inspiring experience. A seamless immersion with nature incorporating beautifully prepared and delicious plant-based foods to nourish us, yoga to start our days, meditation to end them, hiking to discover hidden lakes, horseback riding to take in the scenery, DIY beauty by crystal blue water and paddleboarding to test our balance.  All of this filled with many laughs and truly wonderful connections at every turn.

Thank you to the beautiful tribe of women that came.  I feel so grateful and honored to have held space for you to grow, open up, and plant a little seed of change. There will be many more journeys to come! Stay tuned.

A big thank-you to Maria, Under Canvas Glacier, The Cyclists Menu and Sorel for making this trip happen, we can’t wait for the next!

+ Want to learn more about our FP Escapes? Click here! 

Follow April on Instagram

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For Maria Margolies, It’s All About Breath and Body

For Maria Margolies, It’s All About Breath and Body

What motivates the instructor of our upcoming Glacier National Park FP Escape? Come on and find out…

“[Glacier] is so vast, untouched and sacred. It appears as if no one has ever walked its grounds. I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the wild, connecting with the land and its creatures, and sharing guidance and energy with a beautiful tribe of women.”

Zodiac sign: Gemini

Birthplace: Bogota, Colombia

Your website says that you are a: Mystical Gypsy Traveler. Mother. Spirit Surfer. Plant Obsessed. Healer. Yogini. Teacher. Consciousness Awakener. Cosmic Dancer. Creative cook. Eternal Student. Sacred Activist. How did you come to embrace all of these wonderful qualities? This is the story of my life. Since I can remember I’ve been using my body, this vessel in which I travel the physical world as a tool to heal and access the world, it drives my curiosity. I passionately believe in movement as medicine. Movement is another form of nourishment, just as important as food and one of the most healing practices we can do for ourselves.

My interest for healing and wellness sparked at a very young age — dancer since the age of 5, vegetarian at 15. And as the closet nerd that I am, I read and study as much as I can about all of the things that interest me. I like to dive deep and not swim in shallow waters. Because of my air nature and gypsy spirit, I was called to move: to travel, to leave my native country to explore and experience the world firsthand. It was on this journey where I learned about myself and my path. My passion for health and wellness deepened and evolved: I developed an interest in cooking and experimenting with flavors, spices and medicinal herbs, understanding their benefits and how these affected not only my practice but my whole energetic and physical being… and of course, my love affair with riding waves began.

I weave all these teachings, passions, experiences, travel and studies into my daily practice and rituals. They are part of who I am and they inform my teaching as well as my holistic approach to wellness and life. But I never stop being a student. I continue to study and explore as much as I can with my teachers and on my own. I am very curious!

You will be guiding our next Escapes trip through Glacier National Park. What can our guests anticipate learning from you? Our highest intention will be to connect to our cosmic centre — that constant place of awareness within. We will be placing a great deal of emphasis on breath. I believe there is a direct connection between the breath and mind. If we work with our breath we can heal our minds, while yoga asanas heal our body. Breath provides us with our ebb and flow — it unifies, sustains and informs us in every level. It’s our life force. It communicates with our body, heals and stops the fluctuations of the mind and even increases our longevity.

Being on a retreat provides an ideal opportunity to venture within. To stop, contemplate and learn about ourselves. Through unified flows of asana and synchronicity with the breath, our experience with the internal and external worlds will deepen, tone our systems and rebalance our entire body. There will also be plenty of playtime! Plus, I’ll be sharing a hands-on Radical Radiance workshop with herbal alchemy and recipes to glow inside and out.

For those of us who can’t accompany you, what lesson/s can you impart on us to integrate into our daily exploration? I think that the biggest, most important message in these very difficult, busy times is to find quiet and go within. Disconnect. Listen. Witness. Observe your mind. Find time to connect to our cosmic center. The divine.

Nowadays we are always connected, constantly moving, with so many distractions and spending way too much time in front of a screen. So, consciously trading some of that time to mere contemplating, observing and cultivating a meditation practice is very important. A moment of meditation can refresh you on every level, give you the tools to cope with whatever life brings you, and ultimately guide you to happiness.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got? Be you.

Worst advice? I can’t remember, it was that bad!

Spirit animal: Butterfly.

What does the word free mean to you? Free means to be me. Authentic. To be awake and keep consciousness alive. To Give. To Love myself. And to be attached to nothing, yet connected to everything.

Photos by Enrique Aviles.

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Beauty Vacation Packing: What a Yoga Master Brings to the Mountains

Beauty Vacation Packing: What a Yoga Master Brings to the Mountains

Reach a higher elevation with an antioxidant-charged serum, natural bug spray, crystal-infused water and more…

In anticipation of doing yoga among the mountains — surrounded by epic peaks and crisp, fresh air — we’re counting down the days to our upcoming Glacier National Park retreat in Montana. The 5-night excursion will be led by yoga master and health coach Maria Margolies, who combines her understanding of Ayurveda, macrobiotics and mediation, among other studies, into her grounding practice. Here, we asked the wellness guru to teach us about her beauty routine and what she’s packing in her suitcase to keep her skin, hair and spirit in harmony with the mountain setting.

Photo by Enrique Aviles.

Raw Coconut Oil

I don’t go anywhere without it! It’s great for inner and outer beauty. I use the raw kind externally on my skin and hair to moisturize and cleanse. And I combine it with essential oils, such as lavender or frankincense as bug repellent, deodorant or just for pure relaxation. Internally, I put a bit of the oil in my coffee or smoothies for extra fats and to slow down the absorption of sugar. It’s also wonderful for oral health in toothpaste or for oil pulling, which is an ancient Ayurvedic practice of swishing oil on an empty stomach for 20 minutes to draw out toxins.

DIY Superherb Blend.

I combine powerful adaptogenic superherbs to help boost my immune system, balance hormones and mood, combat the effects of stress and fuel me. I go for a mix of medicinal mushrooms, maca, ashwagandha, he shou wu, cacao and cinnamon. I add this to coffee, hot water, teas, smoothies, milks or juice.

Bug Spray

It’s important to me to find something that’s natural, great for the outdoors, moisturizing and smells divine.

Electrolyte Supplement.

This helps keep me hydrated after yoga, teaching, hiking, surfing or when ever I am very active. A supplement improves hydration, muscle recovery and performance and helps me burn energy efficiently.

Beauty Chef Dream Repair Serum

I love this oil. I usually make my own beauty products, but this one feels so incredibly rejuvenating after a long day outdoors in the sun.

Palo Santo and Cinnamon.

I always travel with some sticks for smudging and clearing space. Our ancestors used spices and common herbs found in gardens to clear space, cleanse, protection and increase vibration. Palo Santo is also used to repel mosquitos in Ecuador!

Water Bottle.

It’s a must! I carry one in my bag wherever I go, always. This way I make sure I keep hydrated at all times. Often when we feel tired, and in need of a pick-me-up, we are mostly dehydrated so instead of reaching for a coffee next time, drink a big glass of water! I’m obsessed with this crystal water bottle. The water feels so charged, energizing and purifying from the raw crystal that lives inside.

+ Put your packing list to the test! Join us on our last FP Escape of the summer — book here today

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FP Escapes: What to Pack for Montana

FP Escapes: What to Pack for Montana

Adventure awaits in the great outdoors…

In two weeks we set a course for Glacier National Park, ready to embrace Mother Earth in all her glory. We head west to nourish mind, body and soul with yoga by Maria Margolies, and dance under the stars to later rest our heads at Under Canvas Glacier. For this great adventure, and perhaps your next spirit quest, check out a few of our favorite Montana must-haves.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
+ Join us on our last FP Escape of the summer — book here today

Photos by Jana Kirn

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FP Escapes: Chloe Kernaghan on Sardinia

FP Escapes: Chloe Kernaghan on Sardinia

As we take to the the Mediterranean seas this Saturday, yoga guru Chloe Kernaghan sheds some insight on the trip ahead…

Tell us a little about yourself — who is Chloe Kernaghan?

BIG Q! I’m first and foremost a mover. I joke that I speak in movement better than I do English. I’ve always been pulled towards movement: as a kid through dance, and now this world of yoga. I was born and raised on the island of Guam, a tiny slice of paradise in the middle of the Pacific. I was surrounded by an incredible community and was pretty much always dancing and performing. Upon moving to NYC, I started practicing yoga at studios around the village area as a way to complement all the dance and theater work I was doing at NYU, eventually leading to my first 200 hr certification. Two years ago, we started SKY TING YOGA…. So I guess if I were to compile all of that into a tag: I am a yoga teacher, a student, a small business owner and, most importantly, someone who lives to MOVE! 

Of all the paths within the wellness community, why yoga? 

I guess I didn’t even consider other paths as I began my yoga studies. I came to it because of the heavy emphasis on the physical (the asana practice) in group classes, which felt relatable with my movement background. But upon more in-depth studies, the greater questions and explorations that the practice brought up for me kept me wanting to go further, dig deeper. The braiding together and studying of the body, breath and mind continues to teach me on a daily basis. 

You’re about to embark on a seven-day sailing retreat with FP. What are you looking forward to most? 

Oh! So much!!!! What I am super looking forward to is just being on the water for 7 days. From getting up early to meditate and just taking in the expansive view, to falling asleep to the gentle rocking of the sea, it’s a real reset for me — a true break from city life! I also LOVE going to new places, and this trip is going to bring us to some incredible spots that most travelers don’t even have access to… small islands, secluded beaches, tiny Mom & Pop seafood restaurants… heaven!!!!! 

What are you most nervous about? 

It’s a funny thing to admit but, before every retreat, I always am a little anxious about meeting everyone! Basically we’ve all signed up for spending a week together on small boats traveling around foreign lands… and you have to wonder — will everyone like me?!? It always ends up great, but even as a teacher I want to make a good first impression! 😉 

How do you transition from teaching in the hustle of NYC to the open seas of the Mediterranean? 

The yoga locations on this retreat are way less formal than my studio in NYC, with some of the formality and maybe rigidity of a NYC class being taken away. We’ll still be practicing quality yoga, but there will be more room for playtime, workshopping a pose, asking questions, and gaining a greater sense of understanding for the practice. With this retreat revolving around water, I’m planning to incorporate how water can support a practice: in quality of movement, where the element of water is in the body, etc. 

What would you like our guests to take away from this retreat experience? 

I think every person comes on a retreat with a unique set of wants/needs/expectations. And generally, a retreat leaves you in a place you would never have anticipated. For this trip especially, I would love for everyone to leave with a greater sense of connection, maybe to the group of new friends they spend the week with, maybe with nature and our role in that system, maybe with the yoga practice itself, learning tools and techniques to bring home. This retreat will be intimate, so there will be lots of opportunity for exploring, sharing and relating — definitely some potent work to be done! 

What does free mean to you? 

I think, in some ways, we’re all part of systems and on paths that at times can feel inhibiting or limiting. One of the greatest lessons of the yoga practice has been understanding how to use the confines of a boundary to create more space and find more freedom. My teacher always quotes “paradise is a walled-in garden”, and I think there is power in using that to your advantage. When we surpass our own definitions of who we are and why we are and how we are, there is a one-ness that is unmistakable and liberating. However, we still have to exist on this Earth. So, to harness an inner sense of power over yourself, unlock any sort of limitation to use to your advantage! 

Be sure to stay up to date with Chloe and follow her on Instagram!

+ Looking to Escape? Join us on our next adventure in Glacier National Park this August! Book here today. 

Photo by Jana Kirn

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FP Escapes: Inside Glacier Under Canvas

FP Escapes: Inside Glacier Under Canvas

Get a glimpse inside the breathtaking campground, home to our August FP Escapes retreat

Where peaks touch sky, glaciers move earth, waterfalls carve rock, and wildlife roam free… Welcome to Glacier Under Canvas, and home to our August FP Escapes retreat. Glacier Under Canvas takes camping to a whole new level, with luxury tents and endless mountain views giving you the opportunity to camp without ditching the comforts of home. Still not convinced to join us this August? Read below our conversation with Crystal McDonald from the Under Canvas team to help make the trip to Montana that much more desirable. 

We love your mission statement, “To enrich lives by enabling people to share experiences in the outdoors in comfort and style.” Could you tell us a little more on how Under Canvas continues bring this mission to life. 

Being outdoors definitely inspires, restores and connects people!  Adventuring in the wild doesn’t come easy for everyone, but experiencing the outdoors also doesn’t have to mean “roughing it.” We provide unforgettable experiences and believe that immersing yourself in nature strengthens relationships and fosters environmental consciousness. Not to mention it allows you to decompress from the daily demands of being so connected!

Can you share with us some of the things that Glacier Under Canvas guests would be privy to: tours/activities/etc.?

We offer many fun activities that our guests can enjoy, like whitewater rafting and canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, horseback riding, guided backcountry tours to Glacier Lake, even cowboy cookouts. Did I also mention Llama Trekking?  How cool is that!?  The park is nearly one million acres in size, so the list is virtually endless. You might even spot some cute bear cubs!

Under Canvas has a few other locations. Where are they located?

It’s so hard to pick a favorite because they’re all so fabulous!  Next month we are opening Under Canvas Zion, and our team has some really special things in the works!  I hear there’s going to be an amazing lobby tent with a fire pit and trees inside, a campfire-inspired restaurant AND a huge yoga platform with a meditation area! Each location is totally unique and incredible in its own way — but you guys already know that because you’ve visited our camps in Yellowstone and Moab!  Here’s some other exciting news too — we have more new locations rolling out in 2018, including Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

5 words that capture the essence of Glacier Under Canvas?

Adventure, relax, escape, inspire, discover.

Giving back is a huge part of who Under Canvas is. The months of May & June are blocked off specifically for hosting charitable camps. Could you tell us more about this? 

Yes, giving back is at the core of who we are!  We love sharing the gift of nature and we support organizations who work in partnership to offer that experience to children, youth and the disadvantaged.  Before our Glacier location opens each season, we host charitable camps and help provide the ultimate experience in the great outdoors — and when it comes to sleeping in a safari tent there is never a lack of excitement (or late-night laughter)!

Our mission to bridge society to the great outdoors is a priority. Organizations can always contact us for more information!

If Glacier Under Canvas had (or has) a spirit animal, what would it be?

A bear! They are wild and powerful creatures, yet beautiful and graceful.  And nothing says adventure like a bear!

What does the word free mean to you?

Not having a care in the world.  But more importantly, being confident and truly comfortable with yourself!

+ Join us in Glacier National Park this August! Book here today!! 

Want to learn more about our Glacier National Park Escape? Meet and stay up to date with our yoga teacher and holistic health coach, Maria, who will be joining us in Glacier NP!

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FP Escapes: Health In a Hurry with Mikaela Reuben

FP Escapes: Health In a Hurry with Mikaela Reuben

Eating healthy doesn’t always have to mean hours of prep work and clean up…

For those of you who couldn’t join us on our FP Escapes to Nicaragua this month, take a minute and bring some of the experience back into your life! In the first of a short series, our onsite chef, Mikaela Reuben, takes us through what it means to stay healthy without the hassle of clearing the schedule.

Stocking your kitchen with key toppings and condiments empowers you to create a nutrient dense salad, smoothie or side dish in a flash. The key is to learn how to use health-promoting ingredients to introduce different flavors and textures into combinations that you like!

The amount of unnecessary sugars, artificial colours/dyes, preservatives and harmful additives that hide within toppings and dressings that you would normally find in store-bought “healthy” ingredients, salads or pre-made smoothies can be quite shocking.  

Preparing your own dressings, smoothies, meals and snacks using nutrient dense toppings helps you naturally eliminate unhealthy elements from your diet and take more control of what goes into your body. Not only will one’s overall health increase, but the flavor will too! The first step is to make sure that you’ve got the right tools to make your toppings their best!

Equipment to consider keeping in your kitchen:

Lemon press: use for quick juicing without the hassle of seeds

Small cutting board

Small mason jars: Very useful for shaking quick salad dressings together

Grater

Garlic press: Doesn’t necessarily eliminate the garlic smell from your fingertips but saves you a ton of time!

Food processor: Very handy to have in the kitchen if one is transitioning to a healthier diet. Mantra: blend together!

Lemon zester: Can be used for garlic and ginger, too!

+ Stay tuned for part two of a three-part series from Mikaela Reuben coming next week. Find out what ingredients are a must in your kitchen, not to mention their benefits!! 

Join us on our next FP Escape!! We can’t wait to adventure with you — book your spot today!

Photos by Emily Sellers

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FP Escapes: Protein Banana Pancakes from Mikaela Reuben

FP Escapes: Protein Banana Pancakes from Mikaela Reuben

Get a taste of our current FP Escapes retreat, courtesy of resident chef Mikaela…

For those of us not free to partake in the glory of this week’s Escape in San Juan del Sur, here’s an opportunity to share in part of the culinary experience. Adhering to our Gather philosophy of seasonal, vegetarian and wholesome fare, these pancakes are a definite must-try!

Protein Banana Pancakes

Makes 30 medium pancakes.

Ingredients

10 bananas (approximately 4 cups)

15 large brown eggs

1 + 1/2 tsp lemon juice

3/4 tsp lemon zest

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 + 1/4 cups fine almond flour

2 + 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 + 1/4 tsp sea salt

1 + 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Olive oil, butter or coconut oil for frying

Method

Peel and mash the bananas into a very chunky paste with a fork. Mix all the wet ingredients into this banana bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry little by little mixing in between batches, until all the wet has been poured through the dry and mixed thoroughly.  Use 1/8 cup to scoop batter onto a hot pan to fry through.

Photos by Julie O’Boyle.

+ Join us on our next FP Escape!! We can’t wait to adventure with you — book your spot today!  

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FP Escapes: Cashew Thyme Dip from Mikaela Reuben

FP Escapes: Cashew Thyme Dip from Mikaela Reuben

From the MC (master chef) of our upcoming Escapes retreat in Nicaragua, a simple and delicious picnic staple…

What could be easier? If you’re in the market for a throw-together dish that’ll make your friends and fam question how many hours you toiled away in the kitchen, stop right here.

Cashew Thyme Dip

Makes 9 cups.

Ingredients

6 cups raw cashews OR 8 cups soaked cashews

1/2 + 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme

1 1/2 cup olive oil

1/8 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp pressed garlic

1/4 + 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup filtered water

1 + 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/8 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp tamari

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp ground pepper

2 cups raw spinach

4 teaspoons lemon zest

Method

Soak cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight. Strain and rinse cashews. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve over raw vegetables, use as a spread, or eat like a dip!

+ Join us on our next FP Escape!! We can’t wait to adventure with you — book your spot today!  

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