Two Sarnia high school teachers with a penchant for healthy living have pooled their skills and opened Zen Beach Wellness Centre on Lake Huron.
Laura Cicchini, 38, teaches science at St. Pat’s and is a certified nutritional coach. At her centre, she offers services focused on overall wellness, vitality and healthy eating. She is helping clients lose weight, solve longstanding digestion problems and increase their energy levels through better lifestyle choices.
Zen Beach Wellness clients can take six-week sessions with Cicchini and learn to eat better, when to eat and how to be organized so they can cook healthy meals for themselves and their families.
“Most of us are putting the wrong foods together when we eat and it’s playing havoc with our digestive systems,” she said. “Eating the wrong foods in the wrong order can create a lot of toxins in our bodies and stop people from losing weight.”
Zen Beach Wellness Centre opened in early 2016 and the first group of clients just finished Cicchini’s program.
On average, they each lost eight to 10 pounds, learned how to cook healthier meals, and identified their bad habits.
“This may ruffle a few feathers, but having a bigger meal at the end of the day is actually better for you,” Cicchini said. “If you eat a huge breakfast, all your energy is going to digest that food rather than be used for what you need to do that day.”
She offers tips on healthier living such as eating a salad prior to the main meal to ensure more enzymes and vitamins are absorbed.
“I teach my clients how to stay away from fad diets and make real change with real food,” Cicchini said.
Her husband, Bill Reid, 47, is a phys ed teacher at St. Pat’s and is also a certified fitness trainer and yoga instructor.
At Zen Beach he provides individualized training programs especially for those who are tired of going to the gym.
“I teach movement through play using scientifically proven formulas that have lasting results,” Reid said.
Clients do the “Beach Burn,” working out in the natural beach setting at the centre, jogging and walking on the sand, running up and down staircases and lifting rocks and driftwood.
Reid also teaches yoga incorporating asanas postures and poses with Kriya yoga, which focuses on the breath and re-energization.
New sessions of beach and sunset yoga for couples and individuals begin in May.
Classes are held outside whenever possible but there is also an indoor gym onsite.
Cicchini and Reid live at the centre and open up their home for daytime or weekend wellness retreats.
Each retreat is custom designed to suit a particular group, said Cicchini.
Recently, a group of Toronto artists attended a daylong retreat, for instance. They started off with morning smoothies, took a yoga class, a walk on the beach, ate lunch, then spent the afternoon using the hot tub and sauna before dinner. A bonfire followed with the day ending at 10:30 p.m. Each paid $200 for the retreat.
An overnight retreat is also available at $500 per person.
“Our property is very private and people love the natural setting,” said Cicchini. “It doesn’t feel like work to us. We’re enjoying it that much.”
The Zen Beach Wellness Centre is located in 3840 Ferne Ave. in Camlachie.
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