3 Reasons Why a Detox Retreat is Vital if you Want to Lose Weight

If you are an avid weight loss or health fitness junkie, you may have heard the recent buzz about detox retreats. I can almost guarantee you haven’t heard everything. In fact, if you watch this video from leading health expert Barbara O’Neill, you’ll discover 3 reasons why a detox retreat is vital if you want to lose weight.

Barbara is a qualified naturopath and nutritionist and is also health director at Misty Mountain Health Retreat. It is not uncommon for people who continue on with the Misty Mountain program at home to lose 10 kilos or more every six weeks by implementing what they have learnt during their time away.

If you are keen to experience these benefits personally, with the added bonus of getting the best price on your stay, visit Misty Mountain Health Retreat or phone today on (02) 6567 2221.


Become Your Own Doctor: Learn About Poultices at a Health Retreat

We all know that an onion has many layers, but did you know that it also has many uses? An onion can relieve a congested head, calluses and even get rid of bronchitis, colds, flues and asthmas! At Misty Mountain Health Retreat we like to show our guests how to become their very own doctor. At Misty Mountain you can learn about poultices at our health retreat and heal your body naturally.

In this video Barbara O’Neill talks us through what is a poultice and shows you how to make one.

At Misty Mountain Health Retreat we have a one off special lecture on poultices, where you get to take home a sheet with lots of different poultice ideas and recipes to help heal any ailments you have. To find out more and to book your next ultimate healthy holiday, visit Misty Mountain Health Retreat or phone us today on (02) 6567 2221.

12 Questions for Naturopath and Nutritionist Barbara O’Neill

Barbara O’Neill, a qualified naturopath and nutritionist, is also an international speaker on natural self-healing. She has raised eight children and is a specialist in women’s and children’s health.
She is also the health director of the successful Misty Mountain Health Retreat, located in the Macleay Valley west of Kempsey, between Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie. In this blog, we drill Barbara on 12 questions about being a naturopath and nutritionist and learn a few things along the way…

Barbara O'Neill, qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist, Misty Mountain Health Retreat

Barbara O’Neill, qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist, Misty Mountain Health Retreat

1. What was the key turning point that led you into a career in natural health?

I was trained in psych nursing and some friends and I wanted to do a ‘back to nature’ experience and so we went up into the rainforest. I had children and my daughter got sick and I didn’t know what to do. So I went to the doctor and over six weeks and four courses of antibiotics I became very frustrated. Eventually she recovered, so when my next child got sick, I didn’t go to the doctor, instead I started to seek out alternatives. I asked older people what their mothers did when they were sick, I got books, there wasn’t a lot around, but there were a few ancients. My daughter is now 36 and little by little, I started to use them and I was very happy with the results and I started to realize that it is actually not that hard.

2. What do you think the most common cause of disease is today and how can it be prevented?

The body is not given the right conditions to function properly and giving the body the right conditions, I have seen profound results and I have seen real turnarounds. The turnaround depends on a couple of things – how long the body has been given the wrong conditions and how diligent the person is in doing what they must do in order to get a turnaround.

3. Why is a detox important for our health and wellbeing?

The main reason why our body requires a detox is because we are exposed to a lot of environmental poisons and some are obviously dangerous, and some are not obviously dangerous. It’s quite alarming how toxic some of the things are that people use, like what people clean their bathrooms with, even more scary is what people are washing their clothes with, cleaning their teeth with, putting on their face etc etc. Another very hidden environmental poison comes through the food we eat, the pesticides and herbicides that are sprayed on the plants, seeds and grains we are eating. Australia eats a lot of wheat; it is grown in huge amounts, usually with herbicides and insecticides. There are many hidden ways on how environmental poisons are coming into our bodies.

4. Many people still talk about the benefits of meat and dairy in a diet. Can you talk about your views on this?

I think the main reason people say that meat and dairy is important is because it is well acknowledged that protein and fats are from the meats and calcium’s from the dairy are essential for the body to function well. I have met a lot of sick vegetarians, who have stopped the meat and the dairy, but they are not replacing it. They are eating huge amounts of carbohydrates (pasta, bread, cereal), so the question is then posed, how do we replace the meat and dairy? There are some excellent alternatives for providing your calcium; proteins and fats in legumes, nuts and seeds and the most accessible form of calcium is found in your greens. A lot of Aussies aren’t real good on their raws and their vegetables. It is basically a balanced diet and then one would ask well what is wrong with meat and dairy? Number one, I think an animal has to be killed and if we were to kill all our own meat, it would stop a lot of people from eating meat. But of course we don’t do that now, we have butcher shops, but then you have a look at the state of the animals, you have a look at their exposure to the environmental poisons, it has to be handled quickly and effectively or the meat putrefies. Our gastro intestinal tract is 7 meters long and by that time the meat is starting to rot, so by that time only people with very good digestive tracts and high hydrochloric acid can really handle it well and coli-rectal cancer is in its highest amount in the meat eating countries because of the slow transit that the meat causes. I don’t have time to talk through all the dangers of meat and dairy products, but that’s just touching on it. Cow’s milk is very good for baby calves and we are the only creatures that drink milk past baby hood, there I rest my case briefly.

5. Do you think it is possible to live a truly healthy lifestyle in the city or do you need to move to the country?

I think it is very difficult to live a completely healthy lifestyle in the city because of the air pollution being one of the main factors. I must say it is a lot easier to buy organic food in the city than in the country, because the cream of organics does go to the city markets. But of course living in the country, you can grow your own and that is one of the best sources, although not everyone is able to or prepared to do that. I think if you live in the city, it is very important to be mindful of the dangers and what one has to do to counteract the dangers. I think one can live quite well if you are able to do that. Weekend trips to the country help a lot and if the city is near the sea, then you are getting the fresh air of the sea. I think it is possible as long as the person is very mindful of what they must do. The beauty of living in the country is that you don’t even have to think about the air that you are breathing.

6. What is the biggest issue you face with clients as a naturopath?

Inspiring people to live the life. People often say ‘Barbara, it is easy for you, look where you live’ and I understand that, but the fact is that a lot of my friends and relatives don’t live this life. I visit my friends and relatives, because of the nature of my work, because I travel quite a bit doing lectures, I know what it is like out there and I believe we can do it.  My biggest issue is convincing people that they can live this life, that it is a superior life, that if they live like this they will prevent much illness and that it is very attainable for them.

7. What are the most common health problems you treat in your clients?
Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease. I find one of the main causes for these problems is the high sugar, high carbohydrate diet, which is why a lot of writers these days are saying we should be eating meat and dairy and lots of vegetables. I don’t totally agree with that, I agree with their science, that we have to drop those carbs, but I think you can do it incredibly more effectively and efficiently doing it vegetarian. What comes not far behind these is depression and panic attacks. Even though these are mental problems or problems that happen in the mind, they too benefit from the changes in the diet.

8. What are your favourite foods?

I am a green lover, the salad is my most favourite part of the meal. Especially when it is from the garden, when the cucumber is crisp and the tomatoes are sweet, and I enjoy making nice dressings for those. The greens, the raws, the second would be legumes. I take great joy in showing people how fantastic they can taste because I think for too long legumes have been made boring. With good quality olive oils, fresh herbs, good quality salts and cooked in a way to bring the flavors out they can be an incredible taste.

9. You have talked in your DVDs a lot about balancing hormones for both women and men, do you have any advice regarding this for our readers?

I enjoy giving a two-hour lecture on this one where I can touch every subject, but in a nutshell, what is throwing the hormones out more than anything is the contraceptive pill, because of the synthetic hormones. We are seeing that the daughters of the women who are on the pill are having a lot of trouble now, they’re the daughters of the baby boomers who are in their 30s. That’s the generation where we are really seeing it. Definitely stopping the synthetic hormones and being very mindful of plastic, because plastics have estrogen mimickers in them. You can get healthy plastics today, again keeping away from environmental poisons. You’ve got to stop what is causing the imbalance. One of the easiest way’s to get the hormone balance back and I take great joy in promoting, is the Australian cream; Anna’s Wild Yam Cream, made by a local couple who live near Taree. I have seen so many women and men’s lives turn around when they start applying this cream. This is a cream that stimulates the body to balance the hormones naturally, which is what I like to do in bringing about a healing condition, rather than putting a healer in, I stimulate the great healer, which really is the human body.

10. What are the principles you live by and was it easy or hard to adjust your life to live by them?

The 8 Laws of Health. These laws of life have been giving many names over the centuries. They include fresh air; I take great delight in fresh air, I go to the point of making sure my bedding, mattress, the place where I am sleeping has pure air. I live in a house that has lots of windows and they are rarely shut. Sunshine; whenever I am outside I have as little on as possible so I can access myself to vitamin D. I try not to take anything to the body that harms it – I don’t drink coffee. People say to me ‘why don’t you drink coffee’ and I say;  ‘I just watch the people suffer on the first day of the detox’. It is a highly addictive substance. I don’t eat refined sugar, I don’t have alcohol, I don’t smoke, I don’t take drugs. There are some things that must not go into the body. The fourth law is rest. I try to be in bed by 9 – 10pm every night, 9pm in winter, 10pm in summer, so I get my hours of power so my body rejuvenates. That enables me to get up very early in the morning where I exercise every morning. I do about a 3km walk, I do high intensity and recovery exercise and then I dive in the creek. Then I have a breakfast that is high in fibre, with substantial amount of protein and fat. I usually drink about 1 litre of water before breakfast. I wake at 5am and usually eat by 7am. The next law is proper diet. A diet high in fibre (veges, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds), they all have fibre. Protein; I have legumes every day, sometimes every meal. I have nuts with every meal, some seeds, I have a very low carb diet, I do that because it keeps my weight at 50kg and I have lots and lots of energy. So there’s the proper diet. The seventh law is use of water. I drink two litres of water every day, between meals as I don’t want to dilute my hydrochloric acid. The eighth law is trust in divine power. One of joys in my life is knowing God as my personal savior and so very early in the morning I always pray. I pray for my children, my guests, the staff, I pray for wisdom in each and I ask for God’s wisdom through the day and I read the bible which gives me food for my mind and guidance for the day. They weren’t hard to implement. At the age of 25 I became a Christian and I stopped marijuana and alcohol and I believe my life went to an almost higher level, I found peace in my soul and I found it a lot easier to implement these lifestyle changes in my life. I raised six children of my own, I married Michael 15 years ago, he had two children, and it is easy to implement them in my life because the results are so good.

11. Do you have any favourite success stories from Misty Mountain that you would like to share?

One of our most remarkable stories, was a lady named Emily who came to Misty Mountain Health Retreat. She was nearly dead, she was only 48, she’d had cancer four or five times, strong chemo therapy, her nails had fallen out, she’d had lock jaw and had lost the ability to sweat. She sat in front of me and said ‘I have waited a long time to come here, whatever you say I will do’. Now I knew at that time that we were going to go places with this lady, because everything I said she did and she did it with great gusto. She also said to me; ‘I know that God bought me here’, so she believed that she would get a turnaround at our retreat. She didn’t tell me till the second week, that her pain levels were nine out of ten, she had liver cancer and bone cancer, which are basically death sentences. Now I always say at our health retreat, ‘I am not sure what will happen but I am going to give it all we’ve got’ and so we did with Emily. By the second week her pain levels had gone to one out of ten, and she was overtaking all our other guests on our morning walk whereas on the first day she could hardly walk up the hill. She began to perspire again, her lockjaw released. We basically gave her body some dramatic conditions; we do some special wraps, drinks and herbs and hydrotherapy treatments. She went home a different lady and the man who drove her home, is a man that does a lot of maintenance work here for us. And when he came back from driving her to the plane, he came into the kitchen and sat down and said ‘I have just heard the most unbelievable story. I never realized that anyone could get such a turnaround in two weeks’. He looked at me and said ‘I will work for you for the rest of my life’. He was so amazed. Emily rang me three months later and told me she had a scan and that the tumour on her liver had gone.

12. If you could have one health wish for the world what would it be?

That every single person could experience what our guests experience here at Misty Mountain Health Retreat and get a taste of a healthier, better life.

Barbara is happy to communicate via email should you seek her advice in health matters. If you would like a phone consultation with Barbara, you can arrange this by contacting the office at Misty Mountain on (02) 6567 2221.To find out more about Misty Mountain, where Barbara works, please visit Misty Mountain Health Retreat

Inside Misty Mountain Health Retreat

This week we interviewed Donna Lyon, who recently stayed at Misty Mountain Health Retreat. We asked Donna a series of questions to find out what her time was like at Misty Mountain. Read on to find out what it’s like inside Misty Mountain Health Retreat.

1.    What were you like before you came to Misty Mountain and what prompted your stay?

I thought that I was quite fit, I went to the gym about four times a week and ate pretty lean and healthy. I wasn’t a vegetarian, but didn’t eat that much meat. I did eat chocolate everyday and loved drinking coffee (up to 3 a day), plus I smoked 7 cigarettes daily. I butted out my last cigarette two days prior to coming and had my last coffee at a café on the morning of the retreat. Besides that, even though I thought I was fit and ate quite healthily, in general I felt fatigued and knew I wasn’t really eating the right balance of foods to give me the nutrients I needed. I just didn’t really know what the right foods were however. A friend recommended Misty Mountain to me and I knew it was the perfect excuse to not only stop smoking, but detox, get fitter and healthier. I thought a week away with a structured program would be the best and easiest way to do it.

2.    Had you ever done a detox before and how did you find this program?

I had done detox’s before, however nothing like this. I thought the whole program was incredible. From the initial two-day juice detox, to the consultation with Barbara, massage treatments, daily steam baths and lectures. I think learning about what was happening to my body at the time of the detox really helped. I was able to give up coffee easily and surprisingly didn’t have many effects, other than the obvious lethargy. When food was introduced back into our diet on the third day, it was amazing. I have never tasted vegetarian/vegan food like this and honestly have never eaten so much in my life – and I lost weight!

3.    Did you learn anything new about yourself in the consultation with Barbara O’Neill?

I was happy to hear that my blood cells were looking pretty good and that there were no major surprises. My partner found out he was gluten free through the blood cell test, which was illuminating. It just felt good to get a check up from a qualified naturopath and nutritionist and discuss a few things with her – like some digestive problems that I have had.

4.    What was the worst part about the retreat?

No worst part thankfully. I guess the first couple of days without coffee was a bit rough. I don’t really like feeling tired and lethargic, but the good thing about it was that I could just sleep during the day and rest my body as the whole trip was about relaxing and taking time off too.

5.    What was the best part?

Mmh… that’s a tough one as there was so many good things! I think definitely the steam bath and swim in the mountain pool creek was the highlight, but I have to mention the food and lectures again. The meals were so delicious and nutritious and I finally learnt what I should and shouldn’t be eating, plus we got to take home a recipe book so I can actually make these dishes. Oh, the massage treatments were excellent too. See, don’t get me started!

6.    What parts of the program will you take home with you and implement?

I would like to implement the entire program at home. Exercise in the morning; alkalise the body, big breakfast with plenty of fibre, protein and fat. A big lunch with plenty of fibre, protein and fat. No snacks during the day and heaps of water between meals. Early to bed and get 20 minutes of sun a day when possible, plus eliminate coffee, sugar and of course no smoking! I never really ate much carbs before the program, however I really don’t want to start eating them at all now I know how bad they are for the body.

7.    Would you recommend the program to others and why?

100%. Misty Mountain is not only a great holiday where you can relax and rejuvenate, but you get the added bonus of learning about diet and nutrition in a pristine setting and get to come home revitalized and with a new way to live. It was truly a life changing experience.

To book your life changing experience, visit Misty Mountain Health Retreat today or call now on (02) 6567 2221.

Misty Mountain's very own mountainside pool creek

Misty Mountain’s very own mountainside pool creek

8 Health Laws Discovered, Proved and Promoted by Misty Mountain Health Retreat

Since the time of Florence Nightingale the eight laws of health have been used. These laws of life have been given many different names over the years, however the basic principles are all the same. These are the principles that leading nutritionist and naturopath Barbara O’Neill lives by. At 59 years of age, she is a testament to a healthy body, mind and spirit; a mother of eight children, international speaker and health director at Misty Mountain Health Retreat.
Read on to find out the 8 Health Laws discovered, proved and promoted by Misty Mountain Health Retreat….
1. Breathe Pure Air:
Fresh Air for the lungs and skin
Fresh Air for the lungs and skin
Oxygen invigorates, vitalizes, electrifies and soothes the nerves. Lack of oxygen (known as hypoxia) results in fatigue, lethargy, nausea, headaches, dehydration – all symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Our body craves pure air. This is not only the air we breathe outside, but the air in our house, our bedrooms, our workspaces; if there is dust under the bed, we need to get rid of it. Need I say more!
2. Soak up Sunshine:
Sun is now hailed as the enemy, however at Misty Mountain Health Retreat we believe the sun is actually a healer in the sky. Why? Because Vitamin D is an anti Cancer vitamin and is essential for the absorption of calcium. Sunscreen stops the burning rays, but these are the healing rays. Whilst we are not advocating that you go bake in the sun hours on end, 15 – 20 minutes in the sun every day (making sure both sides of your body are warmed) is ideal to get the vitamin D that your body desires.
3. Try Temperance:


The dictionary defines temperance as: “Moderation or self-restraint, esp. in eating and drinking”. At Misty Mountain Health Retreat, we advocate moderation on all good things, including work and play and self -restraint on all other things – meaning ‘no’ sugar, caffeine, mercury, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, msg and chemicals. If you come to our health retreat we will explain to you exactly the dangers associated with these vices and we are confident you will understand why we believe temperance is important for maintaining a healthy and joyous lifestyle. Did you know that seven cups of coffee a day causes mental illness?

4. Rest:

Sleep 6 to 8 hours every night

Sleep 6 to 8 hours every night

Rest? In this busy modern digital age?! I hate to sound like a nag, but you’ve probably heard before that your body requires 6 – 8 hours sleep every night. Well, this is true. Lack of sleep can contribute to mood alterations, including depression. It is really quite simple, sleep is our healer and reviver – both emotionally and mentally.

5. Exercise Daily:

Exercise makes you feel alive

Exercise makes you feel alive

Half an hour of exercise a day keeps the body in good working order. One hour a day will reserve major problems in the body (from depression to panic attacks and more). At Misty Mountain we wake you up at 6am and after gentle stretching exercises to warm the body, we head off on a beautiful hour long walk in the lush mountainside country. You will be completely invigorated by the time we sit down for breakfast. If you don’t have time to join us at our health retreat, then head down to your local gym, but remember, exercise has to contain frequency and intensity. Do it right and you can get it down to 20 minutes a day. Even the biggest gym junkies have been blown away by our lecture on exercise.

6. Enjoy a Proper Diet:

Fibre, Fat and Protein
Fibre, Fat and Protein

There are so many views on what constitutes a proper diet – meat, no meat, fat, no fat, salt, no salt. Many people who come to our health retreat feel overwhelmed and confused about what to eat, what not to eat and why. We make it pretty simple here: eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and tea like a pauper. Enjoy with each meal plenty of fibre (e.g. fruit and vegetables), sufficient protein (e.g. legumes, chickpeas, nuts, seeds) and sufficient fat (e.g. avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, macadamia, coconut cream). Your body will be very happy with you, we promise.

7. Drink Plenty of Water:

Drink at least 2Litres of water everyday

Drink at least 2Litres of water everyday

Drinking 2 litres of water every day ain’t no myth. No-one ever died from drinking too much water (well, okay there was one girl, but she didn’t actually urinate for over 30 hours). If you drink coffee, alcohol or tea, you should be drinking more than 2 litres per day. Much, much more. Remember to hydrate first thing in the morning to alkalise the body (about 1 litre before breakfast), then drink water between meals, at least one to two hours after each meal and stop half hour before a meal.
8. Trust in Divine Power:
No. 8 Trust in Divine Power

No. 8 Trust in Divine Power

Why should you have to trust in Divine Power to achieve good health? We believe that faith influences positively on your health, attitude and character. Trust in a divine power will help you live a healthier, happier life where you will experience peace and contentment. Prayer and meditation form part of this. If you don’t believe us, why not try it out for  a year and see what happens in your life. We would love to hear your results 🙂
So there you have it, the 8 Health Laws discovered, proved and promoted by Misty Mountain Health Retreat. We would love to hear from you as to how you go incorporating these into your lives and what results you have had. Please feel free to leave your comments below.
To find out more about Barbara O’Neill and Misty Mountain Health retreat visit http://www.mmh.com.au or phone us today on (02) 6567 2221.

Top 7 Reasons Why You Should Stay At Misty Mountain Health Retreat

Let’s face it, in our busy modern western lifestyle it is increasingly hard to get the right balance between work, rest and play. In fact, sometimes it feels like we need to channel superman or woman in order to get everything done. On top of it all, we must squeeze in time to go to the gym regularly, sleep 6 – 8 hours every night and eat healthily. The problem is that the less time we have for the good stuff, the more our stress levels rise and the greater the chance our health will decline. If you desire to get your health life back on track, then read the rest of this blog and you’ll discover the top 7 reasons why you should stay at Misty Mountain Health Retreat.

Detox at Misty Mountain health retreat

Detox at Misty Mountain Health Retreat.

1. Detox

In order to increase our health and vitality, we first need to detox and get the gunk out of our system that has been weighing us down. At Misty Mountain Health Retreat we kickstart your program with a 2-day organic juice fast. For some people, the idea of downing shots of barley green and probiotics can sound less than appealing, but once you find out the benefits of these super charged liquid foods, you will be surprised how quickly your palate changes.

2. Lose Weight

Guests at our Health Retreat always lose weight and are often surprised as they certainly don’t go home hungry! The programme we have designed has your ultimate health in mind and includes a wide range of vegetarian foods packed full of fibre, protein and healthy fat to keep your body lean and strong. Guests will walk away with a yummy healthy recipe book with heaps of ideas to cook at home. It is not uncommon for us to hear that the participants who have continued on with the Misty Mountain program have lost  10 kilos or more every six weeks.

3. Get a Private Consultation with Leading Naturopath and Nutritionist Barbara O’Neill

Our resident health director Barbara O’Neill is a qualified nutritionist and naturopath. Barbara travels nationally and internationally lecturing on health. Barbara will sit down with you and provide an assessment of your health and devise a personal program for you during the week and moving forward.

4. Exercise

One of the best ways to help detoxify the body and lose weight is to start the day with an exercise routine. At Misty Mountain Health Retreat, we wake you up with a gentle knock on the door at 6am. In the dining area you are treated to a warm lemon drink to help alkalise the body and rehydrate. Then at 630am we head off for a one hour bush walk in the beautiful lush mountainside of  the Nulla Nulla Valley in NSW. Getting back or increasing your fitness levels will be easy as you enjoy the peaceful natural scenery and fresh mountain air. You can go at your own pace or charge full steam ahead. The choice is yours. No matter which one you choose, your energy levels will be restored.

5. Learn What to Eat, What Not to Eat and Why

At Misty Mountain Health Retreat, health director Barbara O’Neill will present daily exciting and up to date lectures on health and nutrition. This is the stuff we should have learnt at school. These highly informative and educative sessions are vital to understanding the causes of disease and other health related problems.

6. Relax and Unwind

Misty Mountain Health Retreat is designed of course with plenty of rest and relaxation in mind. In between getting massages and various treatments, you can kick back, read a book, sleep or sunbathe, enjoy a game of tennis, or a walk along the trail amongst Grey Kangaroos and Australian native birds. Sounds rather lovely doesn’t it?

7. Take a Steam Bath and Then Jump in the Virgin Water Pool

Every day at Misty Mountain Health Retreat, guests will enjoy the benefits of sweating out toxins in a steam bath. Steam baths get the blood moving as though doing an exercise workout. Our guests always look forward to their steam bath and the invigorating swim in the mountain creek rock pools each day.

Misty Mountains very own virgin water creek

Misty Mountains very own virgin water pools

If you’re interested in experiencing these benefits personally, with the added bonus of getting the best price on your stay, visit us at Misty Mountain Health Retreat or phone today on (02) 6567 2221.