Joni Won! The Story of Two Pals, the Jubilee Adventure and How That Led Them to the Paleo Reset Retreat!

 Stephanie on the left and Joni on the right

Stephanie on the left and Joni on the right

Congratulations to Joni! She's the winner of the free week at the Paleo Reset retreat at Mayacamas Ranch! I love the story of how these two decided to sign up for the retreat and wanted to share!

Joni and Stephanie have been friends for over ten years. They met in Nebraska where Stephanie still lives. Joni has since headed out to live in California but the two have remained close friends and both follow Chris Kresser and listen to his podcasts regularly. Now here's the really fun part. Stephanie is currently in the middle of what she calls her "Jubilee Adventures". I had looked forward to hearing from Stephanie what exactly that meant and was hoping to talk to her about it either at the Paleo Reset or the Joshua Tree Retreat (which may also be a part of her jubilee) but then decided it would be fun to do a blog post about these friends: Joni winning the free week and what exactly a "jubilee" is! 

So here's the story. Stephanie lost her dad in 2013, her mom in 2014 and then turned 50 in 2015. In the many hours she was at her mom's bedside in the hospital, she began to let her mind drift to dreaming of being on a spa vacation (I think many of us would do the same in such despair). Although Stephanie has managed to live with a healthy diet and fit lifestyle in the middle of Nebraska (believe me, being a fellow midwesterner, I know how challenging that can be!) and eventually even became certified to be a personal trainer, she longed to immerse herself in healthy eating and healing with like-minded people in a peaceful setting. Someplace she could unplug, eat well, have time to hear her own thoughts and not be overwhelmed with activity or anything intense. And even though she's at a place in her life where she could afford to spend a little money on herself, she admits to being a bit frugal. After her parent's deaths she began looking for that perfect spa or retreat experience and none of them really fit the bill. She found it was exasperating. They were either too expensive, too intense, all vegetarian and so on and so on. The perfect place in her mind simply didn't exist so she put the idea on hold.

In walks the big 5-0 birthday! As it approached, she sat in her living room one Sunday afternoon with her husband and two college and high school-aged kids and suddenly exclaimed that she "needed more adventure in her life!". Her family looked at her like she had lost her mind but she knew deep down she was being called to do something special in her 50th year. She knew in the depth of her being that she was always more "alive" when she was doing something outside of her norm. She knew that women default to always thinking and doing for others and especially felt that way as a mother and knew it was time to find something that would feed who she is. She realized asking herself what made her "feel alive" was a really tough question.

She began to come up with a plan for the "Jubilee Adventure". Every month in her 50th year she committed to doing something adventurous. Some things she'd done before but also trying some things she'd never experienced. She became aware that this was where the spa or retreat experience was going to fit in. Next thing she knew, her good friend Joni sent her a link to the Paleo Reset retreat and she knew right away this was what she was looking for. An immersion into healthy eating with like-minded individuals. A place she could go and unplug and listen to her own thoughts. It was reasonably priced, plus Chris Kresser was going to speak! It really fit the bill!

As someone who also found a missing link in the spa and retreat industry, I was enthralled by Stephanie's story and thrilled she recognized that what I was attempting to do was truly unique. How encouraging and exciting and I'm more than thrilled to have Stephanie and Joni join me (and us!) at the Paleo Reset Retreat in April. Welcome Joni and Stephanie!