Picture the scene. There are no children, spouses, friends, bosses or distractions. You are in a serene retreat center surrounded by nature and taking time to connect with yourself and to discover a new relationship with food. Now, imagine that you don’t have to travel far to enjoy this experience. It’s happening right in your own backyard on March 5 and 6, 2017!

Searching for a chance to turn inward, meditation retreats have become popular for everyone from young millennials to grandparents. I am often asked what all the buzz is all about and if meditation and mindful eating are a passing fad.

Mindfulness practices can be found in almost every faith-based tradition, but it is only in the last several years that secular meditation has become popular in the mainstream. From hospitals to the military, we now have scientific proof that spending time slowing down with meditation can benefit all of us.

Combining mindfulness meditation practices with eating awareness provides a fresh approach after years of conventional dieting. The idea that we can eat without being governed by a set of rules, points and powders is liberating. It gives us a chance to heal our relationships with our bodies and to adopt a non-diet mentality.

Now, back to that serene retreat. Cultivating True Nourishment at the Pearlstone Retreat Center, just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, will offer women who are new to meditation and mindful eating and others who hope to enhance their current practice a chance to share two days to learn and grow together.

Retreat speaker Andrea Lieberstein has led meditation and mindful eating programs at Kripalu and Spirit Rock Centers and the Omega Institute. A registered dietitian and meditation teacher for over 25 years, she also leads a certification in the Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness Training Program.

Participants will learn meditation and mindful eating techniques to jump-start their own practice and to bring home to their family and community. Learn how to eat mindfully at a buffet, holiday or Shabbat meal. Taste your food without guilt and baggage. Experience what is means to be hungry, full and satiated. Send the food police on a permanent vacation!

In partnership with the Soul Center and the Jewish Food Experience®, this retreat is just the beginning. Other events throughout the year will support the learning and sense of community built at Pearlstone. The Soul Center’s focus on mindfulness, healing and rejuvenation will offer programs for everyone from meditation sittings to cooking classes, and the Jewish Food Experience® offers recipes and helpful tips for foodies everywhere.

Learn more and register for Cultivating True Nourishment on March 5 and 6, 2017 at the Pearlstone Retreat Center here. The early-bird discounted registration deadline is December 4th.