For the Love of Veggies

Maria at Clorofila: For the Love of Veggies

Maria at Clorofila: For the Love of Veggies

For the Love of Veggies

Maria at Clorofila knows what she’s doing when it comes to the kitchen! She may not be a vegetarian but she loves to make vegan and vegetarian dishes full of spice and flavour to show everyone that, just because there’s no meat in a dish it can still be delicious and healthy!  She loves her veggies and want to show people how incredible and versatile cooking with them can be.

Maria has a very relaxed, go with the flow style of cooking.  She uses local sustainable vegetables and a lot of instinctual and spontaneous recipes.  Measurements are slightly unsystematic, a casual pinch of salt here, pepper to taste there, nothing too fancy, just plain old delicious!

Here are a few of her dishes for you to get an idea of what goes into her dish, or even try as you like!  All the dishes have the basics down so feel free to add more of less of the seasoning/ ingredients that you love (or dislike) to accommodate the meal to your own tastes.

  • Sweet Potato, Onion & Rosemary Cream Soup
  • Eggplant Ceviche
  • Broccoli Salad
  • Honey Glazed Carrot Sticks

Sweet Potato, Onion & Rosemary Cream Soup 

1 sweet potato per person
½ onion per person
salt, pepper, turmeric, rosemary, garlic

Dice the sweet potatoes (finely)
Chop onion into small slices
Diced mushrooms (finely)

taste sweetpotato soupIn a large pot heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil, add onions and turmeric and sauté for a few minutes (until onions become translucent).  Add garlic and rosemary to the mixture, stir and wait 30 seconds, then add sweet potatoes.  Pour in enough water to cover the mixture, ½ inch above the sweet potatoes. Let the pot boil, reduce to simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft.  Remove from the stove, blend and add finely diced mushrooms (you can always add before you blend if you don’t want the chunks), and a pinch of salt & pepper to taste and enjoy!

Some variations on the soup ~
– use coconut water or coconut milk instead of water;
– exchange the rosemary for lemongrass and ginger;
– add miso or blue cheese and parmesan at the end.

Eggplant Ceviche 

½ eggplant per person
1 roma tomato per person
basil, parsley, honey, apple cider vinegar, oil, salt and pepper
Finely slice eggplant

Chop parsley and basil
Cube tomatoes

Mix eggplant with the basil and parsley in a large bowl (you can also add cilantro, dill or mint).

Blend tomatoes, lots of honey, garlic, curry, a little apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper together and pour the sauce over the eggplant mixture.  Leave marinating for 30 minutes before serving!

zen cooking class

Broccoli Salad

1 head of broccoli serves 3 people
½ purple cabbage per person
lettuce, carrot, bok choy, sesame seeds, sesame oil, honey, chili, salt, pepper, lemon juice

Finally chop cabbage and broccoli, grate carrots and cut lettuce and bok choy, put all the veggies in a bowl.  Toast sesame seeds and add them to the vegetables, drizzle sesame oil and honey over everything.  Add chili, salt, pepper and lemon juice and mix it all together.

Some variations on the salad ~
– use any type of cabbage instead of purple cabbage
– use cauliflower instead of broccoli
– add apple or pear
– use any seeds/nuts you want

Honey Glazed Carrot Sticks

Carrots

honey, lime/lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper, olive oil

Cut carrots into thin sticks and heat olive oil in a frying pan.  Fry the carrots for a few minutes, add honey, lime/lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper into the pan and cook until carrots are softened.

Some variations for the carrot sticks ~
– use apple cider vinegar instead of lime/lemon juice
– substitute oregano instead of thyme
– try maple syrup instead of honey
– use pumpkin or beetroot instead of carrots

veggies taste even better on a big table full of new friends

boot camp retreat

Weight-loss Retreat Kickstart Your Fitness

BootCamp, Fitness Holiday, Detox Vacation, Yoga Camp, Weight-loss retreat…..

For many people researching this type of holiday, these might all sound super scary. The truth is that none of them are half as scary as they sound. And in fact they all have one thing in common; they will all be the kick-start to a new healthier you.

The aim of any fitness holiday is not to be a punishing regime but to be an educational fun experience where you will not only kickstart your fitness but also leave you inspired, refreshed and ready to embrace all the challenges of continuing when you get home.

Vicky our instructor at Yoga Loft Cabarete loves it when we she hears back from her retreat clients. Previous guest Fiona sent a lovely message which she wanted to share as it sums up what our fitness holidays are about.

Vicky says ‘Fiona is no different to many of you – a full time working mum who hadn’t exercised for years. But she made up her mind to get healthy and fit and she took action.   Making time for herself, joining a ‘boot camp’ and learning new ways of eating was a massive scary step. So read her story and be inspired….”

Weight-loss retreat
“I’ve had a good week but more importantly I had a lapse that has caused a revelation.

Yesterday was pretty dire not enough hours in the day, to much to do, the usual so I didn’t go for a walk at lunch time as too busy, didn’t really drink enough water (not good on detox) as too busy, worked late and ate too much tea too late (about 10pm).

Eight weeks ago I’d have had a bar of galaxy for my breakfast and moaned about how much of a failure I was after a day like that, but not today.

I don’t feel like I have failed, just that I had all my 20% treats in one day, back on detox this morning and eating veg for breakfast. I am taking 2 bottles to work today so I always have water and have changed my diary so I can walk to a meeting this morning, already done tea, its in the fridge and lunch is in the car ready for my day.

The revelation is I CAN DO THIS, I still have a face like a baboons bum after class and I can’t do as much as I think I should be able to BUT I can do more than I could 8 weeks ago. 5 sit up and press ups seems a silly number now and although it is still difficult I get out of bed to do 20 of each every morning and one morning I know 20 will be too easy as a warm up.  I may never run a marathon but I can run for a bus……….not that I ever get a bus but one day who knows?

The value of the learning experience on a retreat is huge. Whatever challenges you are facing, wherever you are on your fitness journey, taking a week out of your life for a kick-start will be life changing.”

We would love you to come and join us at the Yoga Loft Cabarete for the vacation of a lifetime.

You can find out more about our yoga retreats at www.yogacabarete.com/yoga-retreats

detox retreat

Detox Retreats – What Are The Benefits?

A home detox or detox retreat is a great idea to help you achieve a healthy body.

Detox Retreats

In the world that we live in we are constantly exposed to toxins which impact upon our health and physique. The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, our toiletries and our cleaning products contain high levels of toxic chemicals. These toxins get into our blood stream causing stress to the body which recognises them as a poison. In order to protect itself the body created a system to safely store the toxins. It wraps them in a layer of fat and guess where the main site for these fat cells is? Around the waist and hips.

Some examples of toxins we come into contact with daily include: pesticides on our fruit and veg, chemical sweeteners in our tea, E Numbers in processed foods, chlorine in our tap water and thousands more from our toiletries and the packaging on everything we touch.

Given that the body stores toxins in fat sites around the waist and hips it figures that the more toxic we are the more fat will be stored. Worse than that the more toxic we are the less likely the body is to burn fat as energy.

To break the cycle you need to eliminate toxic foods from your diet whilst at the same time using a specific plan to draw the toxins out of the fatty tissue and support the elimination of them through the body. On our detox programme the majority of our food is supplied direct from our organic farm .

Once toxins have been removed from the body and you are
following a clean eating plan you will have less need to store body fat. This makes weight-loss much more sustainable.

If you would like more information about our detox vacations check out our upcoming retreats here

 

The Importance of Variety

Like anything too much of one thing can be counter productive and the same goes for exercise, yoga and a fitness holiday. Even if you don’t mentally get bored of the same old workout your body does, and will eventually start to plateau as it gets used to what you are doing.

Here at the Extreme Hotel variety is the key to our success in daily exercise and on our fitness retreats and yoga holidays.

We have some amazing instructors who teach a variety of disciplines such as 3D movement, yoga, pilates, dance, circus skills, kiting, surfing, Cross-fit and weight training. Each instructor is an expert in their field and it’s hilarious when we do each other’s workouts. No matter how good we are in our own field without fail we always struggle in each others training sessions.

It doesn’t matter how fit you think you are, varying your routine will always offer up a new challenge to your body. For most people who do exercise already you are probably guilty of falling into a routine and the body quickly conditions itself and adapts.

Wherever you are on your fitness journey you will find a fun new challenge at the Yoga Loft Cabarete

women's yoga surf camp

The New Yoga Retreat Adventure Vacations

The Old Days Of Yoga Retreats

In my early days as a newly qualified teacher, yoga retreats were few and far between. Enthusiasts could travel to India to seek out the mystic teachings of the yoga masters and with a lot of searching it was possible to find ashram experiences closer to home.

As yoga has grown in popularity thousands of new teachers qualified and set up classes and studios around the world. It was a natural next step for us teachers to create immersive retreat experiences for our students, we had a built in community who we wanted to share our love of yoga with.

The Boom of Yoga Holidays.

I was lucky enough to travel all around the world and have worked in many of the top yoga destinations creating retreat experiences. When I started the retreats were new and exciting, many people were experiencing wellness travel for the first time.

Something Exciting & New For The Yoga Vacation Market

But fifteen years later I feel it is time for something new. The yoga holiday format needed a shake up for those who have ‘been there and done that’. When I discovered the Extreme Hotel in the Dominican Republic, I knew I had found my Caribbean Mecca.

A collective of small businesses the Extreme Hotel is a sustainable, eco hotel situated right on the beach at the quiet end of Cabarete, a kiters paradise. With year round sunshine and a permanent island breeze, the weather is close to perfect.

 The Extreme Hotel – My New Caribbean Yoga Retreat Mecca

Amongst its residents at the Extreme Hotel are the Yoga Loft with its beachfront deck, an onsite Circus School, Kite Academy and Cross-fit gym. The collective have everything you could possibly need for an action packed but rejuvenating holiday.

If that wasn’t enough the hotel also own an organic eco farm and the restaurant is supplied with amazing ingredients fresh from the farm. The food is outstanding, healthy and delivered in an incredible beachfront setting.

We can create a bespoke retreat experience for every guest. Whether you want to yoga and relax, join a detox retreat, a weight-loss holiday or try your hand at circus or adventure sports, we have the perfect package for you.

And best of all because it is an eco hotel all of this comes without the normal giant price tag. 7 night vacations start from just USD $700.

Find out more about our retreats at www.yogacabarete.com

short trips from cabarete
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Best Short Trips From Cabarete

Best Day and Weekend Trips near Cabarete

With so many beautiful locations and amazing activities there is really never a dull moment in Cabarete. Here is just a sample of some of the amazing places you can check out while you’re visiting us.

Caving in El Choco

Just behind Cabarete by the lagoon sits numerous caves to explore. You can go on your own, with a rappelling guide, or go just for a nice dip in the lagoon. This is one of the closest trips to Cabarete and a very worthwhile place to escape a hot afternoon or spend a lovely Sunday morning!

Playas Grande & Preciosa

These beaches are considered to be some of the best in the Caribbean, and are only about an hour and a half from Cabarete. The sand is soft and white, and the water is a magnificently clear turquoise color – postcard perfect. Open-air Dominican restaurants line the beach and paths where you can feast on delicious fresh seafood. Playa Grande is much more touristic than Playa Preciosa, however the two are right next to each other so it’s easy to check out both. They have parking as well as bathroom and shower structures. If you’re here during the right time of the year, surfers might even catch some really world class waves!

The Blue Lagoon

Just east of Rio San Juan, past Playas Preciosa & Grande, is the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon (also called Laguna Dudu) a freshwater sinkhole used as a local swimming hole. Surrounded by dense vegetation and only accessible by a series of rough steps in the rock face, it has the feel of a Tarzan movie set. Have a refreshing swim in the cool water or just watch the death-defying feats of the local children as they dive into the lake from the surrounding cliffs and trees.

Location GPS: 19.5647278, -69.9075623. Located 1.5 hours east of Cabarete, behind the town of Rio San Juan, Blue and Dudu Lagoon are a clear blue freshwater water holes. There are big signs for the area on the right side of the main road. You’ll have to pay an entrance fee to enter, and the park closes as 16:30 so arrive early

Bahía de Samaná

Samaná Bay is where the action takes place for this exciting nature excursion. Depending on your location, some tours depart very early in the morning to ensure you get to Samaná in plenty of time to enjoy a great day, although we would really recommend spending the night so you can really enjoy the bay and the peninsula. Both are full of amazingly beautiful natural sites, such as the El Límon waterfall and Playa Rincon, but the Bahía de Samaná is really famous for the more than 10,000 Humpback Whales return to the Dominican Republic from their North American locations to breed and mate in February and March. Marine guides narrate your boat excursion, explaining mating and breeding information about the whales and their behavior. Witnessing these magnificent creatures, the most active of all whales, is definitely an experience of a lifetime.

Sosua Beach

Only 15 minutes west of Cabarete is Sosua, a local and tourist town. You can find most of the dive companies on the North Coast located there, and Sosua Beach is the main attraction. Sousa Beach is lined with food stands, restaurants, bars and a variety of shops selling tourist souvenirs, and enjoying the crystal clear waters can be the perfect way to spend the day. It’s best to avoid Sosua at night however, unless you’re looking to explore it’s infamous red light district.

La Boca de Yasica

La Boca is 20 minutes east of Cabarete, off a dirt road, and it’s where the Yasica River meets the ocean. There are few tourists and an exceptionally beautiful beach, as well as a small restaurant sells fresh fish. This area is popular with wakeboarders and kiteboarders as the start of a downwinder into Cabarete. Turn left off the main road at the Camino/Paraiso del Sol Hotels entrance, follow this road and turn right. After passing the hotels stay left until you reach a dirt road that eventually follows the ocean.

Read more about Outdoor Activities in Cabarete and our Cabarete Travel Guide on our blog.

adventure sports in cabarete

Outdoor Activities in Cabarete

cabarete travel guide

Cabarete Travel Guide

Our Guide to Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Here’s some tips and tricks to getting the most out of your Caribbean holiday in our little slice of paradise.

Food & Drink

Buying Food
All of our rooms have a mini-fridge so you can keep fruits or snacks to keep you energized between your meals at our delicious organic restaurant.

One of the best parts about being on a tropical island for example, is the wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available year round. The best places to buy are at the small fruit and veg stands along the road (the closest to the eXtreme Hotel is less than 250 meters from our front door), as buying from the small shops instead of the markets supports local growers and families. Tropical fruits are relatively cheap when they are in season. For instance, you can get an entire delicious pineapple for only $40 RD (about $1.10 USD).

For other snacks and packaged goods, the are a few supermarkets in town. Janet’s is the biggest, but most have comparable pricing. There are also smaller mini mart style places with snacks, alcohol and other items you might want. If you need any help just ask our friendly front guest staff.

Eating Out
Cabarete is full of great restaurants with both local and international dishes to suit all budgets. Click here to read our Cabarete Restaurant Guide and learn our favorite places to go when we hit the town.

Water
It’s advisable to drink bottled water during your stay in the Dominican Republic. All rooms have a five gallon water dispenser – the first bottle is free and each five gallon bottle after is $100 RD (about $2.50 USD), which is exactly how much we pay for it. Just let the staff know if yours needs to be refilled.

Getting Around

Moto Taxis
One of the most typical modes of transportation in Cabarete is the moto-concho, aka motorcycle taxi. It’s one of the easiest ways to get around Cabarete and the surrounding areas, and the drivers usually know the area quite well. The cost is usually between 30 and 50 pesos per person (typically they’re more expensive at night), however make sure you confirm the price with the driver before you get on (haggling is often required).

Gua-Guas
Guaguas are mini-vans that operate as unofficial busses. There is no formal schedule, however they pass frequently during the day and all you need to do is wave one down when you see it coming and it will stop for you. Near and around Cabarete it’s 25 pesos per ride. When you are ready to get off, you just bang on the side of the vehicle or ask to ‘parar aqui’.

Taxis
There are normal taxis that you can hire to run errands, go further distances or travel at night. Be sure to agree on your destination and price with the driver before getting in.

Rental Cars
There are many options for rental cars in Cabarete starting at around $30 USD per day, which is a great way to get around if you want to do some further reaching tourism. Driving in the Dominican Republic is not for the weak of heart however – the quality of driving skill is very low on the island, so we recommend that only confident, alert drivers take this option.

Walking
Walking is a fantastic way to get to and from town, the market or even for going out. We are located only 2 km from the center of Cabarete, which is about 15- 30 minutes walking, depending how often you stop to take photos. If you’re heading there during the day, we highly recommend taking a gorgeous walk along the sand, however in the evening its best to walk along the road to avoid running into pick-pockets on the un-light beach at night.

Money & Banks

If you need to take money out, there are two main banks in Cabarete that we recommend. There is a Scotia Bank and a Banco Popular. Both are safe, and work great. It is worth checking with your bank to see if one offers better rates for you.

In the Dominican, both pesos and US dollars are accepted, however you’ll get slightly better rates using pesos. There are several money exchange places that will accept most major currencies. When you exchange money, you’ll need to bring your passport with you.

Health & Safety

Medical Information
Due to the large expat population, we have access to high quality medical care in Cabarete. ServiMed is the local Medical Service Center in the center of Cabarete, which is open 24 hours/day and is very good in emergency situations. We also have a local laboratory, which will run most tests for about $10 USD. If you need to visit a doctor for any reason, there is a very good Medical Center in Sosoua (the next town over), with both European and American doctors, as well as a well equipped private hospital in Puerto Plata (45 minutes away), which also has qualified European and America staff.

Safety & Security
Cabarete is home to many families, friendly locals and expats. It is a relatively safe place, but like anywhere you might travel to, it’s important to use common sense and keep your wits about you.

For example, the beach is a lovely walk during the day, however we recommend avoiding it at night as it is un-lit and a hangout for pick-pockets. It’s a good idea to leave your valuables in your room (expensive looking watches, electronics,etc.) and leave your passport at home unless you’re heading to change money. We recommended taking money out during the day and doing your best not walk around with more cash than you’d be willing to lose.

We consider the hotel very safe, however please remember to lock your doors behind you. We have both security guards and surveillance cameras, however it’s important to be careful as sometimes there are opportunists.

No Guest Policy
The property is open to outside guests, however we have a strict ‘no visits’ policy for the rooms. This means no matter how cute that boy is that you met in town, you can’t invite him upstairs with you. We do this to maintain security for you and all other guests – so enjoy your friends in the bar or at the pool, but when you see a “guests only” sign it means it’s a ‘guests only’ area.

Other Tips

Laundry
There are a few laundry mats in town, which cost about $400 pesos for up to five pounds or two and a half kilos of wash. The service is wash and fold, and should take anywhere from 24 – 48 hours. Please ask the front desk if you need any help.

Cell Phones
If you like having 3G while you’re out and about, you can pick up a cheap SIM card from Claro or Orange in town. Both have inexpensive pre-paid options and solid coverage.

Power
The town of Cabarete does have periodical power outages – it’s one of the lovely things about living on an island. As a solar powered hotel, we’re usually back online much faster, however we ask that you bear with us when some of these island things happen. As the Dominicans say, todo se resuelve, or, everything always works itself out!

Read more about Best Short Trips from Cabarete and Outdoor Adventures in Cabarete on our blog.

Our Organic Farm Tour
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Taino Organic Farm Tour

organic farm

Taino Organic Farm

Taino Farm is a permaculture inspired, agro-tourism demonstration and education center inspiring sustainable, nutritious food, hidden away on a tropical river outside the surf town of Cabarete, on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.

The Taino Organic farm is very cutting edge for the region, with modern aquaponics and water management systems, vermiculture, animal husbandry practices, as well as apiculture and aquaculture. The systems are so advanced for the Dominican Republic that some of the country’s best Universities take field trips out to visit the farm to learn more about it’s systems.

Currently the Taino Organic Farm also supplies about half of the ingredients for our beachfront farm-to-table restaurant at The eXtreme Hotel, meaning many of the organic veggies and free range poultry that may find their way onto your plate during your yoga retreat with The Yoga Loft come from the finca.

Organic Farm Tour

So of course, included in all of our retreats is a tour of the Taino Organic Farm. This half day experience will teach you about aquaponics and sustainable agriculture, as well as get you into the local culture of rural Dominican Republic.

The Taino Organc farm grows a variety of fruit, vegetables and super foods which you’ll be able to taste fresh off the trees during your tour – and even take home with you!

After the farm tour, you’ll grab your inner tube and your sunscreen and head down to the beautiful Yasica River. The cooling fresh waters will be your guide as you float peacefully downstream. About half way down the float, adventurists are invited to scramble up a jungle side cliff and jump from an overhanging tree into the crystal waters below.

The whole float takes between 1 to 2 hours, and It’s amazing how a relaxing river float will really build up your appetite, so afterwards you’ll enjoy a homemade lunch prepared from fresh organic produce. Farm Meals are typically vegetarian, and more importantly incredibly nutritious and delicious!

If you’re not coming on a yoga retreat but would like to book a tour anyways, please contact us for more information.