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Back 2 Earth Review

When was the last time you did something for yourself that allowed you to reconnect and recharge? If waking up among majestic mountains, being nourished by nutrient dense foods and being able to spend time connecting with nature sounds like your idea of bliss, then Back 2 Earth should be on your bucket list! 
 
Back in November, I was fortunate enough to spend a lovely weekend at Back 2 Earth Raw, Vegan Farm Stay in Berry, NSW. I went with my sister and a good friend and we drove the 2.5 hours from Sydney whilst experiencing the beautiful scenery along the way. Once we arrived at the health retreat, the owners, Marc and Jenny provided us with such a wonderful weekend away that I felt I just had to share it with you all.  
 
The location: 
Let me tell you a little more about why this was one of the most relaxing weekends I’ve had all year! Back 2 Earth is a five acre property surrounded by the majestic hills of Berry and the sparkling, unspoiled Seven Mile beach. It is only a five minute drive to the Berry Village, a town famous for its shopping and café culture. Actually, the Shoalhaven region is the perfect place to find great food, delightful villages, stylish shops and award winning restaurants. You truly must come for a whole weekend (or longer) in order to explore the whole area as well as the farm stay! The cute little shops in the town centre are not to be missed! 
 
Things to do: 
Back 2 Earth is so much more than just a farm stay. I mean, sure there are gorgeous farm animals, think miniature horses, rabbits, alpacas, goats, sheep, dogs, ducks, chickens and geese (which are rescued animals that now get to enjoy a safe, peaceful, forever home) but it is also a health retreat offering a float tank experience, massage therapy, psychotherapy, animal feeding and patting, cooking classes and catering from raw vegan cuisine. I must admit that feeding the animals each afternoon was one of the highlights closely followed by the long walks we did each morning of the beautiful area (there's nothing like fresh air to clear your mind).  
 
The farm: 
One of my favourite things about the farm were the sustainability policies, environmental awareness, zero waste policy and self-sufficiency. The farm produces organic fruit and veggies which of course contribute to the delicious raw, vegan cuisine. Locals can even purchase a seasonal box of fruit and veggie from the Back 2 Earth organic fruit and veggie co-op, as a way of extending their visit. 
 
The accommodation: 
Our accommodation was self contained and had such a warm and homely feel to it. We even started a fire one night, played board games and drank red wine (pure bliss!). Sitting on the balcony each day, we had superb, uninterrupted views of the sun setting behind Berry Mountains. 
 
The food: 
Oh boy, I’m drooling just thinking about it! A few highlights from our culinary experience included: 
• Dehydrated sweet potato cakes topped with cashew crème, fresh basil, tomato and olive oil.  
• The creamiest berry cheezecake you have ever eaten 
• Raw vegan pizzas (with dehydrated nut and seed bases) topped with every delicious ingredient you could imagine including edible flowers!  
• Layered chia/smoothie breaky cups topped with avocado chocolate mousse (seriously amazing!)
• Banana bread with cinnamutter & fresh fruit accompanied by freshly blended berry smoothies 
 
For the recipes, see http://back2earth.net.au/ or their Instagram page.  
 
If you're wondering how you'll go with raw, vegan cuisine then you might actually surprise yourself. I eat a few vegan meals each week but I have never eaten exclusively raw vegan food for a few days in a row. Not only was every meal delicious, I also felt completely full, satisfied and nourished after each meal. I was never hungry between meals and didn't have cravings for any other food whilst I was there. If you're someone that has never eaten vegan food before, Marc and Jenny give you complete flexibility in terms of catering. You can choose to come purely for the farm stay and bring your own food (to cook in the self contained apartments), or you can choose just to try one meal or a day's worth or for your entire stay to be catered with raw, vegan food.  The options are completely up to you but I recommend giving at least one meal a try as the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle are so well documented and offer nothing but positives in terms of chronic diseases and lifestyle risk factor reductions. You might even surprise yourself and find vegan food is something you would like to incorporate into your lifestyle more often! 
 
Overall: 
Back 2 Earth is the perfect place for those seeking peace and serenity or those that want to relax, rejuvenate and unwind. Sometimes we get so caught up in our busy lives, we forget about the simple things like nature, wholesome food and catching up with friends and family.  
 
At the retreat, I found the countryside helped me to breath, slow down and focus on the more meaningful things in life. Marc and Jenny were the perfect hosts, always so welcoming, helpful and friendly and I know we will definitely be back to visit in the future!