Here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about attending one of Dr. Fuhrman’s retreats!
Because for a long time I was on the outside looking in…
Following Dr. Fuhrman and being a member of his site for over 4 years, you better believe I’d been wanting to attend one of these retreats–badly!
When I discovered that his next destination was going to be Newport Beach, CA, just down-the-road from my sister-in-law’s place, I knew it was my big chance.
And after an absolutely epic launch of my premium prep program I could finally justify the financial splurge and happily make my journey to nutritarian mecca.
And I’m so excited to finally be sharing this experience with you…
This One Was Different
Dr. Fuhrman’s Culinary Getaway was not like his previous retreats.
For the first time ever, participants would be schooled in cooking nutritarian meals by world-class professional chefs!
The 7-day retreat was centered around over 15 hours of cooking demonstrations and 5 hours of Q&A sessions with Dr. Fuhrman and the presenting chefs.
The amount of knowledge transfer going on, even for an experienced nutritarian like me, was staggering.
Nobody explains the uniqueness of this retreat better than Dr. Fuhrman himself during his June 28th, 2017, interview with Pete Holmes:
“So, next week I’m going to California and I’m running a culinary getaway. Which I have four world-class chefs coming and we’re going to teach people and give them a chef certification as nutritarian chefs. So, I have regular people that want good health coming but I also have people coming who run health spas and who have restaurants and who want to cater and cook for other people. And we’re running this event in California where we’re going to show them how to make all these exotic sauces and recipes and desserts and chocolate mouses and how to make healthy versions.”
After spending the last three years developing recipes for Hello Nutritarian and my prep program, there was nothing more motivating than to learn from the experts…
After attending Dr. Fuhrman’s Culinary Getaway, it’s safe to say that you can expect four things from one of his retreats.
You can expect lots of:
- Dr. Fuhrman
- fabulous food
- friends & community
The retreat greatly-surpassed my expectations, and trust me, my expectations were already ridiculously high.
Oh my goodness, THE. FOOD. And we’re going to get into all of that goodness, I promise (I literally took pictures of every single meal)!
But, beyond a doubt, the chance to meet Dr. Fuhrman in person is what completely sent my excitement over the edge…
This man cares.
And it’s not a facade or just “good business.”
It’s a genuine passion for sharing the science of how we can all lead our best lives.
He’s passionate, involved and a remarkably-engaging presenter.
As a doctor he’s a problem-solver, a critical thinker and definitely brusk when it comes to letting you know if you’re not living up to your full potential! After all, when a man dedicates his life to health excellence, that’s going to be a man with serious expectations.
Our Personal Meeting
The first 100 people to register for the Culinary Getaway got to have a 15-minute one-on-one session with Dr. Fuhrman.
You better believe that was a huge reason why I registered to attend.
These meetings were meant to be about discussing your specific health issues but I only had one mission heading into that meeting: To tell Dr. Fuhrman how his work had changed my life, inspired my passion and that I was someone who was out there actively supporting his work.
Our appointment was set for the first day of the retreat.
We talked about his daughters, I showed him my weight and blood numbers through the years and how they had improved over time, and I let him know that his work inspired me to create Hello Nutritarian and thanked him for recently posting one of my fridge pics on his Instagram account.
He told me I still had work to do to reach my ideal weight (which for Dr. Fuhrman is a BMI under 23) and he gave me personalized advice for my supplement strategy.
Dr. Fuhrman Throughout the Retreat
Dr. Fuhrman makes himself incredibly available to getaway participants.
He led two 7:00 AM workouts and he seemed to be at every presentation (even when he wasn’t the one presenting). He would personally announce our meals, talk to people throughout his meals, and sign books and talk to participants at every turn.
In fact, the only times he wasn’t around was when he had one-on-one appointments. And he ended up accommodating personal meetings for all the retreat participants not just the first 100 of us who registered to attend!
I couldn’t help but be impressed by a man who could have delegated-out many of these responsibilities during a week-long event. To be so ever-present was truly a testament to his sincere passion for changing people’s lives.
Dr. Fuhrman’s Presentations:
Along with numerous Q&A session throughout the retreat (where I was furiously scribbling down every word he said), Dr. Fhurman led us through 4 presentations and demonstrations.
Highlights from Dr. Fuhrman’s Presentations:
- Why A Nutritarian Diet: This was an overview of the lifestyle that incorporated ideas and studies from his books along with a few newer insights.
- Secrets of Nutritarian Cooking: A presentation where Dr. Fuhrman explained how to put the nutritarian guidelines into practice in your daily life. Focused on his favorite simple recipes and routines for success.
- Trending Nutritarian Ingredients and Techniques: A cooking demonstration where Dr. Fuhrman showed us how to use specialty ingredients and techniques including: tempeh, aquafaba, chia seeds, agar agar and dehydrating.
But the spectacular knowledge transfer didn’t stop with Dr. Fuhrman. He assembled the ultimate panel of nutritarian chefs to teach and inspire us even more…
Long before Dr. Fuhrman’s Culinary Getaway began these four experts came together to create an absolutely epic retreat menu and flesh out massively-helpful presentations and cooking demonstrations.
The beauty was we would learn and watch each chef in action during their presentations and then we’d get to eat many of those same recipes in our daily meals.
Each chef/presenter brought their own unique brand of nutritarian living, sharing both casual and refined cooking styles.
Chef James Rohrbacher
Chef James Rohrbacher was the head chef for our entire event.
He’s worked with Dr. Fuhrman for years, creating recipes for his books and handling the cooking for many of his past retreats.
Chef James guided the kitchen staff at our venue, the Island Hotel, Newport Beach, in cooking all our nutritarian meals–seriously, a monumental task by itself, since most of these chefs had never even heard of cooking without oil and restricted salt.
He also led some of the most thorough and in-depth presentations throughout the week! I had the pleasure of eating dinner with him one of the last nights at the getaway where he shared his passion for tennis and cooking for his nutritarian clients in Chicago.
Highlights from Chef James’ presentations:
- Setting Up For Success: In this presentation Chef James lays out everything you’d need in your pantry and all recommended kitchen equipment to start living this lifestyle. It was exceptionally thorough.
- Flavor Development: In one of the best presentations of the entire immersion, Chef James took SAD (Standard American Diet) favorites, broke down their elements and taught us the tools to “nutritarianize” any recipe!
- Culinary Inspirations: Chef James introduced us to some of the chefs that have inspired him in his work. He demonstrated his favorite fine-dining recipes that he’s “nutritarianized.” But the best part was when he called his mother on speaker phone to tell her she was one of his biggest inspirations (serious cuteness overload!).
- Favorite quote: “We don’t need to adjust to make SAD people happy.”
Chef Robin Jeep
After 10 minutes of seeing Chef Robin Jeep on the stage I thought to myself, “Now, that’s who I want to be when I grow up!”
Beautiful, vibrant and absolutely-dedicated to teaching others about high-nutrient living.
Chef Robin is an artist (literally, she paints!) who sees food as another creative medium. Confessing that she uses fruits and veggies just as she would the colors on her palette!
(Insert heart-eyed smiley-face emojii here!)
Chef Robin worked as a personal chef (most notably for the Emmitt Smith family), opened plant-based restaurants and conducts plant-based and foraging seminars for businesses seminars and in her local community.
Highlights from Chef Robin’s presentations:
- Her personal healing story: After a debilitating horse riding accident, Chef Robin worked with Dr. Fuhrman to slowly regain her health (especially focusing on gut health).
- Engage All Your Senses with Simple Plans for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner: This presentation focused on Chef Robin’s everyday-style cooking. She showed us how to use bacteria capsules to culture bases like tofu or nut-based milks into beautifully flavorful cheeses and yogurts! Chef Robin’s favorite way to sustain through the day is with large bowls of cooked and raw veggies, beans and greens, that she calls “whole meal bowls.”
- International Cuisine: In this cooking demonstration Chef Robin made an Indian-flavored drinkable meal (smoothie), a GBOMBS Thai Curry and the pièce de résistance a GBOMBS Skillet Lasagna garnished with fresh herbs and edible flowers (eek!).
- Decadent Desserts: Chef Robin shined in this demonstration with her Ginger Poached Pears with Matcha Green Tea Sauce and Pistachio Avocado Gelato recipes.
- Nutritarian Cultured Dairy Alternatives: Chef Robin showed us how to use bacteria capsules to culture bases like tofu or nut-based milks into beautifully flavorful cheeses and yogurts!
- Favorite quote: “Beautiful food tastes better.” And you can take a look at her words in action on her site Vibrant Cuisine.
Chef Martin Oswald
Of all the chefs presenting at Dr. Fuhrman’s Culinary Getaway, Austrian-native, Chef Martin Oswald, certainly had the most experience with fine dining.
He worked under Wolfgang Puck and has opened several restaurants over the course of his career. His most-recent restaurant, the Pyramid Bistro in Aspen, is the first-ever nutritarian restaurant in the US!
This past April, Dr. Fuhrman held his third-annual Aspen Ski Getaway at Chef Martin’s Pyramid Bistro. And Chef Martin has worked with Dr. Fuhrman developing recipes for several of his books.
Before the getaway, I was lucky enough to have connected with Chef Martin on Instagram where I was drawn to his gourmet approach to nutritarian cooking and he was “very impressed” with my weekly fridge pics!
It was wonderful meeting him in person and he was gracious enough to call me out at the end of one of his presentations and let all the retreat participants know about what I do here at Hello Nutritarian.
Highlights from Chef Martin’s presentations:
- Salad Basics: You all know the depth of my love of oil-free, nutritarian salad dressings by now! Well, imagine making 5 amazingly-tasty dressings, with completely different flavor profiles, using only a whisk, in mere minutes! This demonstration was riveting to say the least. Chef Martin ended up making 5 dressings and 5 corresponding salads in less than 90 minutes!
- Stir It, Cream It, Roast It!: This demonstration was all about creating simple meals with intense flavors and textures. Chef Martin gave us such sage advice about cooking temperatures, methods and techniques.
- Think Like a Chef: This was an amazing hands-on presentation where we all got to sample 3 types of gazpachos and identify flavors. We then rated each gazpacho for salt, sweet, sour, spicy, umami, texture, color and freshness.
- Favorite Advice: “The softer the veggies the shorter and higher you cook them.”
Michael Manz, M.D.
Our final presenter was psychiatrist Dr. Michael Mantz. He’s worked with and received training from Dr. Fuhrman for the past 15 years.
Although he wasn’t a chef, he did an everyday cooking-style demonstration called Intelligent Cooking: Using Your Mind and Your Fork to Create a Stronger Brain.
I most enjoyed hearing about his own personal transformation. Before going nutritarian, Dr. Manz, who is 6’4″, weighed 267 pounds and had daily cheeseburgers from age 17 to 19 which resulted in a 42″ waist.
He now considers himself a “master herbalist” and links the foods you eat directly to your emotional well being.
Certification in Nutritarian Cooking
If you want to know my favorite piece of paper in my office, this is one of them!
And it runs a very close second only to my law degree.
Four years after discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s work and implementing it my life and my work, nothing meant more than to attend Dr. Fuhrman’s Culinary Getaway.
Receiving the quality coaching and recipe-development experience in this immersion has absolutely made me a better chef!
Some of my recipes that were inspired by the getaway:
But the exceptional learning wasn’t the only highlight of this retreat…
The Best 17 Meals I Ever Had
17 gourmet, I-didn’t-have-to-cook-a-darn-thing, nutritarian meals.
For a mother of two young kiddos, in a household of non-nutritarians, this was some supreme pampering and indulgence my friends!
Tasting and sampling dishes I’d seen demonstrated in presentations along with top-rated recipes from D.r Fuhrman’s own library was simply a dream-come-true.
So, I can tell you that going to one of Dr. Fuhrman’s retreats is “worth it” just based on the food alone!
Cause, let’s face it, finding a plant-based, oil-free, low-sodium, 5-star restaurant is just plain impossible in SAD-land.
In true blogger fashion I took pics of everything I ate at each of these 17 meals. I was tempted to share them all (and let me know in the comments if that’s something you’d like me to do).
For now, I’m going to focus on bringing you my highlights.
And I have some very exciting news! If you’re a member of Dr. Fuhrman’s Site you can find the entire Culinary Getaway recipe collection here!
Let’s start our tour with the first meal of the day.
- Sneaky Pink Smoothie: I’m not going to lie, I was pretty scared when I saw the ingredients for Chef Robin’s recipe on our menu. Cauliflower and navy beans–say whaaa??? Surprisingly it was delicious and completely changed my notion of what a breakfast smoothie could be! Plus it’s pink–’nuff said!
- Apricot Oat Bars: What’s not to love? These were filled with oats, nuts, seeds, cinnamon and dried apricots.
- Romain Lettuce: It took me till our very last breakfast to finally conjure up the strength to try this first thing in the morning. When I reported to my hubby that there was always crispy Romain out on the breakfast spreads, he said, “Really? It’s not enough that you guys eat salad at every other meal of the day?” Lol, it’s never enough! And let me relay to you that Romain with some chia jam, nutritarian yogurt and a few raw nuts is delicious!
The Salad is the
Main Best Course
Nothing was more awe-inspiring than seeing our daily salad bars!
A buffet line filled with oil-free salad dressings, fresh organic salad greens and all kind and manner of nutritarian toppings.
My first few meals, I loaded up especially-giant salads. I mean even more epic and giant than I’m used to (which is pretty darn big).
In the beginning I’d sample a bit of every dressing along with some of Dr. Fuhrman’s flavored balsamic vinegar.
Then as the week went on, and after a little group-reprimanding from Chef James, I focused on constructing “themed” salads. Where I’d choose one dressing and focus on finding ingredients that would compliment said dressing in flavor and texture.
What can I say? It’s hard to take the kitchen sink out of the kitchen-sink-salad girl.
Salad Bar Highlights:
- Bing Cherry Walnut Vinaigrette: This dressing by Chef James, was bright, tart, slightly-sweet mouth-magic!
- Cruciferous Crunch Full-Meal Salad with Ranch Dressing: I couldn’t get enough of this recipe by Chef Robin! It’s loaded with cruciferous veggies with tons of texture and crunch contrasted with a savory and creamy ranch dressing.
- Smashed Raspberry Dressing: This super-simple-to-make dressing from Chef Martin only requires 4 ingredients and a whisk. The flavor is bright, balanced, creamy and pour-it-on-all-the-things delicious!
The Not-So “Main,” Main Event
So, just like kindergartners know 1 plus 1 equals 2, nutritarians know that the salad is the main dish.
And don’t get me wrong, the salads I experienced during Dr. Fuhrman’s Culinary Getaway were spectacular.
But getting the opportunity to eat some rather-complicated-to-make cooked recipes (that I would never even dare to attempt in my own kitchen) was the stuff of legend.
I have over 40 pictures with every single thing I ate during the week.
And every time I though I had surely eaten the best nutritarian dish I had ever tasted, another recipe would bump that one out of the running!
Cooked Dishes Highlights:
- Portobello Steaks with Pecan Herb Gravy: This savory, rich and flavorful dish was served for Monday’s dinner. I could have eaten it every. single. day.
- Curried Egg-Less Salad with Cashews and Dried Apricots: This lunch recipe from Chef James is a tofu salad with a tofu-and-cashew-based mayo that had an amazing harmony and balance of flavors.
- GBOMBS Thai Vegetable Curry: This curry by Chef Robin made our Tuesday lunch extra-special when paired with Wild Rice with Apricots and Sesame Seeds.
- Roasted Cashew Mushroom Loaf with Home-Style Ketchup: This loaf had a lovely texture, was firm yet moist and loaded with layers of flavors. It was served with Rustic Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic and Spinach and Slow-Simmered Collard Greens. And it made my Wednesday night feel like a Christmas Eve feast!
- Carrot Cupcakes with Cinnamon Raisin Frosting: This was hands-down the best dessert I ate at the entire event. In my SAD days, nothing got me more hot-and-bothered than carrot cake. This nutritarian version filled with zucchini, apples, pineapple, banana, and nuts just took it to a whole other good-for-you level!
- Pistachio Avocado Gelato: Made with tofu, dates, fruits, nuts, spinach and avocado this dessert by Chef Robin was absolutely out-of-this-world delicious and easy to make!
- Peanut Butter Cookies: This was a recipe from Dr. Fuhrman’s latest cookbook Eat to Live Quick & Easy Recipes (which all the getaway participants received). Made from lentils and peanut butter, this was one of the first recipes I made when I got home from the retreat. The kids weren’t quite sure of what to think, but hubby and I adore them.
This What I Ate on Monday
I put this collage together to show you my favorite motto in action:
EAT BIG OR GO HOME.
The beauty, magic and effectiveness of the nutritarian diet is that you eat more to lose weight and gain health excellence.
But to put it all in perspective: I lost 5 pounds during my week at the retreat! I didn’t get to workout once and I enjoyed dessert with both my lunch and dinner, daily.
And. I. Still. Lost. Weight.
I mean look at all the food in that pic! I ate all of it and I did that again and again for 5 1/2 more days.
Even as an experienced nutritarian, I have to tell you, I was shocked and surprised.
So, we’ve covered Dr. Fuhrman, we’ve covered the chefs and presenters and what we learned, and we’ve covered the food.
I hope I’ve been able to convey to you just how amazing this experience was.
But if you really want to know what made Dr. Fuhrman’s Culinary Getaway exceptional it was the people I met…
Connecting With a Community
I can’t tell you how absolutely refreshing it is to hang, talk and eat with fellow nutritarians.
Feeling for the first time like you completely belong.
Not having to tiresomely explain your “weird and radical” eating style. Not being questioned or schooled by SAD people.
That feeling was something I never experienced before and I can’t adequately describe to you how powerfully uplifting it feels!
I made it my practice to sit with as many new people as possible during our meals. I loved hearing and sharing our nutritarian experiences and healing stories. I loved laughing about the things only fellow nutritarians understand. And I loved swapping recipe ideas, tips and tricks!
But I was particularly in awe of the black-belts.
Those people who have been practicing this lifestyle for a decade or more. The ones who completely crushed our antioxidant screenings. Like Michele Comeau, who nailed a perfect 90,000 (I came in at a respectable 57,000).
And I was so happy to meet a fellow nutritarian YouTuber and Instagrammer, Katie Reines! Katie and I had a lot to bond over and even took food pics together. Definitely another heart-eyed-smiley-face emoji moment!
Just as it happens in all parts of life, there are certain people who you just click with.
And by the end of our retreat I had ended the week with a life-long friend, who almost feels like a sister to me now.
We make it our practice to call each other every month (or as close as we can get) and check-in about our lives and nutritarian journeys.
We are each-others’ biggest cheerleaders and I’m forever grateful to have made such a friendship from my time at Dr. Fuhrman’s Culinary Getaway.
It was like the biggest take-home gift I could have ever received and I never even expected would happen heading into the immersion.
We’ve already decided that we absolutely MUST attend Dr. Fuhrman’s next US-based retreat in 2019, and you better believe I’ll be reporting all about it for you here! (And hopefully it won’t take me quite so long to get it done next time!)
I hope you enjoyed learning more about what to expect at one of Dr. Fuhrman’s retreats! Make sure to check his current scheduled retreats here!
It can really be one of the best investments you can make to solidify your dedication to your nutritarian path.
Did you find this post to be a helpful resource for you? Is there anything else you’d like to know about the getaway? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think or what you want to know more about!