Guest written: Dr Evelyn Reich

When I first heard about Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat’s five-day ‘Triple S’ package, I have to admit I was sceptical.

The package is called ‘Triple S’ because it targets the three S’s that tend to stand in the way of good health. That is sleep, stress and sugar.

Like a lot of people, these were areas I massively struggled with.

Firstly, I’m a self-confessed sugar addict who unwinds every night by tucking into something sweet (did someone say, Tim Tams?).

I also have terrible sleep habits, where I stay up far too late, have difficulty nodding off, and then struggle to open my eyes in the morning.

And when it comes to stress, I was feeling so worked up, it only took the tiniest thing to tip me into full-blown meltdown mode.

So spending time at a luxurious retreat trying to knock my bad habits on the head seemed like a great idea.

But to be honest, I wasn’t sure it would actually help me get those areas in check…

The first thing I notice when I arrive at Gwinganna is the crisp, wholesome air and the enchanting views. There are trees as far as the eye can see and, for a city chick like me, that sight alone is soothing.


sunrises over Tallebudgera valleyWhat’s less soothing is the discovery that wake-up is around 5.30am.

I don’t think I’ve ever woken up at that time, and now they expect us to get up before dawn every day?

While waking up the first morning isn’t exactly fun, the blow’s quickly softened by practising the ancient art of Qi-gong while watching the brilliant, buttery sunrise.

Soaking in the glory of my surroundings that first morning, I start to feel more alive than I have in who knows how long.

That feeling only grows throughout my five days at Gwinganna.

I begin to relish the rhythm of the days where mornings are spent exercising, followed by seminars and afternoons of what they refer to as ‘strategic rest’ (and what I like to call, ‘heaven’).

I spend those afternoons savouring the incredible spa facilities, floating between an organic balancing facial (FYI, best facial of my life); a Rasayana detox body wrap and an integrated massage therapy. I told you it was heavenly…

I also take time to just read on my balcony, or do absolutely nothing. This is the life, I think to myself, as I lounge around and feel my worries melt away.

And, during my stay, I have an epiphany about those three ’S’s’ (sugar, stress and sleep).

Before coming to the retreat, I’d gotten myself into some pretty shady habits. While I was ‘surviving’, I wasn’t exactly thriving.

Being at Gwinganna was the kick I needed to steer me gently towards a better path.


And, throughout the five days, I notice a massive shift in myself.

I learn so much about the harmful effects of sugar, stress and lack of sleep during the seminars. 

More importantly, I pick up practical skills on how to manage those areas.

Though I never thought it would happen, I actually break my sugar addiction. And it’s surprisingly easy.

That’s because the food at Gwinganna is truly delicious (like, really). Plus, it’s designed to keep your sugar levels balanced, meaning you never suffer sugar cravings.

My sleep patterns improve to the point where I’m actually tired at 9pm and I nod off easily. I even start waking up happily at 5.30am (crazy, but true).

My stress levels also plummet, and I begin to feel more relaxed than I can honestly ever remember feeling.

From a coffee and sleep-in kinda girl, I become a herbal tea-loving, dawn-waking person. I don’t even recognise myself anymore – in the best possible way.

While I didn’t think it would happen, I practically float out of the retreat with my sugar, sleep and stress issues completely in check.


But the real test is yet to come – coping with reality

It’s now been two weeks since I left Gwinganna (*sob*) and I still feel like a changed person - for the better.

Yep, reality has come flooding back in with all its stresses, but using the stuff I learnt at the retreat has made me feel calmer and better able to cope with things.

I no longer feel like I’m on the verge of breaking point, and can handle the stuff on my plate like a boss.

I’ve still pretty much kicked my sugar habit, too (except for some dark chocolate - but that’s a hell of a step up from my Tim Tam addiction) and I’m not craving processed junk anymore.

Look, I’m not saying I’ve given up sugar for good, but I no longer have insatiable cravings.

In fact, after dinner nowadays, I now sip on lemon and ginger tea rather than gorging on chocolate (#goals).

To be honest, the one area I haven’t quite mastered is sleep.

Yep, I’m back to my old ways of staying up too late watching TV, then having difficulty waking in the morning. But hey, no one’s perfect.

Besides, it feels good to know that, if I wanted to, I could get my sleep habits on track again.

All in all, it turns out that - if you choose Gwinganna retreats ‘Triple S’ package - you really can get your sugar, sleep and stress issues in check in five days.

How sweet is that?

‘Triple S’ is an opportunity to break the unhealthy cycle of high sugar foods, stress and insomnia to help you restore balance in your daily routine. Experience our restorative ‘Triple S’ retreat in our idyllic environment here at Gwinganna. Book your stay today.

View the original article here.