Mindful Eating: Rediscovering a Joyful Relationship with Food

with Teresa Ranieri, 14-16 April 2023


The relationship we develop with food reflects our attitudes towards ourselves as well as our environment and life in general. The contemplative practice of Mindful Eating leads to an awareness of our habits, thoughts, emotions, and motivations related to the act of eating. It also influences the many other ways we behave and show up in the world.

Mindful Eating does not focus on restrictions or weight. Neither does it impose rules. Instead, it offers you exploratory processes to develop awareness about food consumption through respecting and listening deeply to our inner wisdom.

Like all mindfulness-based approaches, the intention is to help us find balance in our lives, and as such, become more kind and compassionate with ourselves and others.

Retreat Highlights

  • Learn simple practices to identify and trust the internal cues that can allow healthy eating
  • Identify “the nine hungers” and how they influence our eating patterns
  • Promote understanding of our true needs, beyond what we try to feed with food 
  • Become aware of our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations related to food 
  • Rediscover our innate wisdom related to hunger and satiety, and learn to eliminate external control models or unhealthy reactive patterns
  • Allow healthier choices which are not promoting feelings of deprivation or restriction
  • Experience the difference between physical hunger and automatic mental patterns related to eating
  • Develop skills for cultivating a more compassionate and kinder attitude toward our body and our relationship with food
  • Nourish not only the body, but also the heart

Retreat Details

The retreat starts on the evening of Friday, 14th April 2023, and ends on the afternoon of Sunday, 16th April 2023 (2-NIGHT OPTION). A 4 night option is also available.

The retreat will be held at our secluded property in the mountains of the Serra da Estrela natural park, a certified UNESCO geopark and an important conservation and biodiversity site in Portugal.

You’ll stay in the comfort and privacy of an ensuite room in one of our beautifully remodelled quintas. For an even more unique experience, opt for a premium room with a terrace and breathtaking mountain and valley views.

Unwind in our brand new facilities including a sauna, heated pool, gym, dining hall, and lounge with library and fireplace. You’ll also feel nourished with balanced Portuguese and Mediterranean meals based on whole foods, lovingly prepared by our team of chefs.

Participants who would like to take more time to relax and make use of our wellness facilities, explore our stunning property or the surrounding area, or add on options from our Wellness Menu, can choose to arrive on Thursday, 13th of April and stay until the morning of Monday, 17th April (4-NIGHT OPTION).

The language of the retreat is English.

Retreat Instructor

Teresa has been a meditation practitioner since 1988. She has extensive training and experience in mindfulness, and holds a Master’s degree in Teaching Mindfulness-Based Interventions (with a focus on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) from Bangor University, UK. Her background is in Transcendental Meditation and she studied the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Sanskrit, and Ayurveda before training in the Theravadin tradition. Additionally, Teresa practices and teaches Insight Dialogue, an interpersonal practice created by Gregory Kramer that brings together meditative awareness, Buddhist teachings, and dialogue to support understanding of the nature and release of human suffering.

Learn more about Teresa and her work here.

Teresa Ranieri

Retreat Schedule

Day 1 (Friday, April 14, 2023)

14:00 Check- In

17:00 Orientation tour and community guidelines

19:30 Welcome and Introduction to the theory and practice of mindful eating

21:30 Rest and Noble silence until 8:30 AM next morning

Day 2 (Saturday, April 15, 2023)

7:00-7:30 Meditation in Contemplative Hall

7:30-8:30 Breakfast in noble silence

8:30-9:00 Morning meeting with community

9:30-12:30 Identify the nine hungers: Discover the difference between fullness, satiety and satisfaction mouth hunger

12:30-13:30 Lunch

14:00-17:00 Emotion and body awareness: Identifying our true needs and how unmet needs can induce unskillful behaviors, including compulsive eating. Looking at food with gratitude.

18:00-19:15 Dinner

19.30-20.30 Body Scan with gratitude

21:30 Rest and noble silence until 8:30 next morning

Day 3  (Sunday April 16, 2023)

7:30- 8:30 Breakfast in noble silence

9:30-12:00 Understanding the cycle of craving. Looking at our body with loving eyes. Harvesting and closing the practice.

12:00-13:30 Lunch

Retreat Pricing

Course instruction, private ensuite accommodation at our beautiful Serra da Estrela retreat centre, 3 balanced meals per day, and access to our wellness facilities are included with the fee.

Option 1: 2-NIGHT STAY

ARRIVAL: Friday, 14 April (afternoon, before 4.00 pm)

DEPARTURE: Sunday, 16 April (afternoon)

Standard room: €730
Premium room: €790

Discount of €248 for double occupancy in a shared room

Not included: Shuttle transfer between Porto Airport and New Life Portugal (€70 each way), extras from our Wellness Menu, any other transport costs.

Option 2: 4-NIGHT STAY

ARRIVAL: Thursday, 13th April (afternoon)

On Thursday you have the option of joining our afternoon mindfulness workshop, the late afternoon yoga, and the Thursday evening activity. On Friday you can join our meditation class, the morning meeting and the afternoon workshop and yoga class. On Sunday you can join our dinner and evening activity, and on Monday our breakfast.

DEPARTURE: Monday, 17th April (morning)

Standard room: €1460
Premium room: €1580

Discount of €496 for double occupancy in a shared room

Not included: Shuttle transfer between Porto Airport and New Life Portugal (€70 each way), extras from our Wellness Menu, any other transport costs.

Additional Information


Retreat participants will stay in private ensuite rooms in our newly remodelled quintas at our Serra da Estrela property in the central Portuguese countryside. The rooms are modern and cosy. Premium rooms come with terraces and mountain and valley views. All rooms feature a queen-sized bed, private bathroom, shower, reading lamp, sink, and floor heating during the colder months. Towels, soap, shower gel, facial tissues, water pitcher, and bedding are provided. Hair dryers are available upon request. 


At New Life Portugal we serve three buffet-style meals per day. The dishes feature plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. We try our best to cater to a diverse range of dietary preferences. However, due to the large range of ingredients used in our kitchen, we are not able to guarantee that all our dishes are allergen-free. If you have special requirements, please feel free to get in touch to see how we can best meet your needs.

Travel Information

Our address is: Caminho das Regadas 1, Folgosinho, Gouveia 6290-081, Portugal

We are an approximately 2-hour drive from Porto, a 3.5-hour drive from Lisbon, and a 4.5-hour drive from Madrid. The nearest airport is Porto airport and the nearest bus station is in the city of Gouveia, which is a 30-minute drive from us. 

If you have any questions about how to reach us, our team will gladly assist you with your enquiries.

Things to Bring

  1. Casual, comfortable and warm clothes suitable for outdoor activities, meditation, and yoga
  2. A rain jacket, umbrella, and sturdy shoes in case of wet weather
  3. A swimsuit and flip flops for the pool and sauna
  4. A refillable water bottle
  5. Any personal medications you might require, especially if you have a difficult-to-fill prescription (please make sure to check regulations about bringing prescription medications to Portugal)
  6. Sunscreen and insect repellent
  7. Enough cash for transport and basic necessities (there is no ATM onsite)
  8. We provide yoga mats and meditation cushions, but please feel free to bring your own if you wish

For further information on travelling to or staying with us, please see our Practical Information page or get in touch with our friendly team.

Wellness Menu

Feel like indulging in a massage? Want to make the most of your time with us by adding extra sessions? Our custom options are ideal if there are any special areas you’d like to focus on, or if you’d like to fit more activities into your wellness retreat with us. Please enquire about cost and availability.

Small Group Wellness Sessions

A range of Small Group Yoga, Mindful Fitness, Breathwork and Mindfulness Sessions

Meditation Orientation

In a private session with our experienced meditation teacher, you’ll have one-on-one time to ask questions or receive guidance on how to improve your practice. You can also choose a specific exercise to work on, or study topics relating to mindfulness and meditation that you have a particular interest in. It’s an excellent way to enhance your progress and gain the full benefits that mindfulness and meditation can bring to your life.

Mindful Movement

Mindful movement can be excellent for easing tension or pain. It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety. Book private sessions with our body-mind teachers specialising in qigong, yoga therapy, and breathwork. Depending on your needs, choose specific themes and practices to work on for effectively targeted relief.

Massage Sessions

Let your worries melt away. Soothe aches and pains. We work with different specialised professionals who offer full body therapeutic or relaxing massage, Swedish massage, sound massage, and acupuncture. With our skilled massage therapists, you’ll be able to give yourself the permission you need to truly unwind.


We feature regular psycho-educational and body-mind workshops as part of our weekly program. Feel free to add optional workshops to your program path for a more intensive experience of exploration and growth. On weekends we may also have additional workshops with invited teachers. Just share your interests with us and we’ll happily let you know what’s on.


We offer weekend and one-day retreats with our resident and guest teachers based on various themes, including meditation, yoga, dance, coaching, and noble silence. If there’s something specific you’d like to work on, feel free to design your own retreat experience with our Meditation Teacher or Program Manager.

Nature Activities

Nature is a very important healing component of our program. Participate in a forest bath or mindful walk experience, sit on our contemplative benches, and listen to the surrounding sound of birds and streams. It sounds simple but you’ll be amazed at how calm, rested, and at peace you’ll feel by connecting with the natural environment around us.

Outdoor Activities

Our centre is located in the stunning Serra da Estrela natural park, which features hundreds of walking and cycling trails. Ask us about the menu of hikes (with maps in Alltrails) and bike trails (GPS) that you can do on your own. You can also join the weekly scheduled group activity if you feel like some company and good conversation as you explore.

Day Trips and Excursions

Central Portugal offers so many options that it’s sometimes difficult to choose what activity to do. We’re fortunate enough to be situated in a mountain region rich with history. Join a trip guided by local experts and explore fascinating cities and villages located nearby such as Gouveia, Seia, Celorico da Beira, Linhares, and Folgosinho.

Cultural Experiences

Make your visit even fuller by connecting with the local culture. Participate in seasonal activities such as the shepherds’ summer festivities, cheese and chestnut festivals, cherry tree blooming, mushroom hunting, and more. You’ll learn about the region, make friends - and have lots of fun.

Want to Stay for Longer?

It is possible to join this retreat as part of your stay in one of our program pathways (Rest + Rejuvenate Path, Wellness Path, and Resilience Path). If you’re interested in this option, please get in touch.

How To Book

Please book using the buttons below or ask any questions through the form. You can also give us a call on +351 238 249 925 or or send us an email.