As the Azulfit resident nutritionist, author and busy working mom, Jo Dombernowsky has developed a vibrant, holistic approach to the food here at the retreat. Jo has carefully designed our menus to reflect her simple, yet effective nutritional principles and genuinely believes in the power of food to improve health, energy and general wellbeing.
Alongside her kitchen team, she helps to create an energetic and fun kitchen atmosphere, which is reflected in the delicious, and eagerly anticipated meals prepared on site; all of which can of course be enjoyed without self deprivation or guilt! Through her workshops, dedicated nutritionally focused retreats, blog and recipe book, ‘Truly Healthy, Truly Delicious’, this inspirational passion and knowledge is passed on to our guests.
Using only the best ingredients, each meal is not only a chance to enjoy good food and good company, it’s a chance to learn about the benefits of nutritious eating. Below is some background information on Jo’s nutrition philosophy.
The principles for Jo’s cooking
All meals are vegetarian
Why? I believe that we eat way too much meat in the western world. On Fuerteventura it is impossible to find organic meat, another reason to avoid it. Furthermore it is a myth that vegetable protein is not good quality protein. It is true that if you eat only lentils, the quality is not good. But if you know how to combine foods, vegetable protein can be superior to animal protein.
All meals contain a balanced proportion of carbohydrates, protein and fat
This is the essential building block for a healthy meal.
I use only whole grains
In refined grains approximately 90% of all vitamins, minerals and fibre have been removed. What remains are empty calories. The body can’t cope with all the fast absorbable sugar, blood sugar becomes unstable and our energy level drops. Refined grains steal nutrients from the body. Whole grains contain many important vitamins, minerals, and also important fibres. I use a wide variety of grains and flours, including spelt, buckwheat, millet, etc.
I sweeten cakes and desserts with the most natural sweeteners such as sweet fruits (banana, papaya, etc), or dried fruits like dates, figs and apricots
If more sweetener is necessary I add a bit of honey, agave syrup or brown sugar. In cakes I use whole grain flours and vegetable oils (very rarely butter).
I use many seeds and vegetable oils (not refined)
This is to incorporate healthy fats (omega 3 and 6) and adds taste and texture.
I use many ingredients and spices from Asian and Moroccan kitchen
Ginger, garlic, soy sauce, coconut milk, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, curry, chili, cilantro, mint, basil, tofu and all nuts and seeds – all of these create taste and interest, as well as having health and healing properties.
“I sincerely hope you will enjoy my dinners as they are prepared with a lot of thought and love. Here is to a healthier you!”
Jo Dombernowsky, Nutrition Advisor
Please note, although we try to accommodate for the most common allergies, we cannot guarantee a nut free kitchen. This is because the meals are vegetarian and pulses and nuts are often used as healthy protein sources. Therefore if your allergy is extreme, we will do our best to provide you with meals, but will not be held responsible for cross contamination.
“Through appropriate nutrition you can add years to your life and life to your years. Giving the body the right proportions of nutrients, we can gain health, energy, vitality and live longer and healthier lives. Nutrition is fundamental for physical and mental health.”
For more info on Jo, her recipes and workshops, you can visit her website: jodombernowksy.com
Retreat food reviews
Dear Azul Team,
In 2014 I was really sick – and I had to make big decisions – and I went to spend one week with you guys in Fuerteventura and this week has helped me so much – you would not believe. I absolutely recommend AzulFit to everybody in my life because I just loved it.
Everything is fine now and I have completely changed my life. I became a Yoga Teacher myself, finally opened up my own Nutrition Business which I had planned for over 10 year and live a happy and positive life with my husband and little daughter.
Absolutely wonderful food, amazing tastes and flavours
Thank you so much for the absolutely wonderful food, amazing tastes and flavours. I feel quite cleansed and healthy and will endeavor to continue this regimen when I return home.
Amazing food, healthy and nutritious. And it has inspired me to be more creative at home.
Every meal was energizing, satisfying and made with love
It was wonderful to have such well-made, healthy meals to complement the Azul classes and lifestyle. Every meal was energizing, satisfying and made with love.
A real revelation
What a joy to be served with the tastiest freshest food every time – a real revelation in terms of vegetarian meals.
A culinary joy
Always fresh, always delicious, always healthy! Thank you for making my week a culinary joy as well!
The food was simply amazing
The food was simply amazing and prepared with so much love and attention to detail. I’ll miss being so well fed.
Be nourished physically, emotionally and spiritually
If you are looking for an holistic retreat where you can be nourished physically, emotionally and spiritually, this is the place for you. The meals are locally and ethically sourced and prepared by Jo and her dedicated team. Meals are vegetarian and on our retreat, because lots of us were vegan, the centre catered for this with great ease. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff and the whole retreat is ably run by Lisa and Frauke.
I’m fussy – and this was fabulous
I’m fussy – and this was fabulous. Clean, fresh, nutritious… Please can we have it every day?!? Organic homemade bread, delicious dips. All food lovingly prepared by our beautiful gentle hostess. Well done Jo!