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Well Q&A: Why Diana Stobo Creates Time and Space to Heal at The Retreat Costa Rica

When I visited The Retreat Costa Rica in June 2019, I was immediately transported by the sweeping views and energy that surrounds the property because of its location in the middle of crystal mountain in Costa Rica. There were so many things I loved about my time at The Retreat. But my most unusual memory is practicing yoga while a peacock—affectionately known as Tarzan—strutted around the studio!  That’s one image that will stay with me forever.

In this Well Q&A, we meet the owner of The Retreat Costa Rica, Diana Stobo. I feel like I’ve known Diana for much longer than the three years it’s actually been. Through traveling together on Global Wellness Summit industry trips to Mexico, Thailand and China plus numerous meals in Manhattan, I’ve gotten to know Diana, watching as she’s created and expanded The Retreat Costa Rica. Her story is a good one and I think you’ll see why this founder/owner is a wellness innovator with spectacular taste and superpowers as a chef.

Sallie: What motivates you to do what you do? What is your “Why?”  

Diana: I spent over a decade immersing myself in healing my emotional well-being and my confused body. It was through food, love, spirit work, emotional release and movement that I found myself and my health thriving. As an innate teacher of life, I desperately want to provide a safe haven for others to thrive as well. My greatest joy that keeps my passions alive is when I hear the healing stories and transformations that come from the guests who have visited The Retreat.

Tell us what makes The Retreat Costa Rica different from other Immersive Wellness Resorts?  

D: I have been so fortunate to have traveled the world and to some of the best healing centers. I have taken from each place my favorite and most effective parts of the experience and built The Retreat around them. 

Providing time and space to heal is part of my philosophy. The Retreat creates a soothing blank canvas for each guest to engineer their own healing experience with the right ambiance, coziness and a safe feeling of home. For cultural and familial intimacy, the vibration of our crystal mountain is a perfect setting. The food is thoughtfully and lovingly prepared to soothe and heal the body. We work close to nature on all our spa and healing treatments, providing holistic medicine, herbal remedies and ancient philosophies. Once our guests visit, they express their profound transformations and vow to return again and again.

During a visit to The Retreat what are some “not-to-be-missed” experiences?  

D: There are so many fun things that inspire and make you feel young and alive. The crystal mountain nature hike with the river swings is a fun endorphin release. Cooking classes with our chef not only inspire but show you the simplicity of good food. And a consultation with our Ayurveda doctor who prescribes a balancing program on the spot that can quickly shift and change your body, mind and soul into alignment. Our traditional Ayurveda program is as real as it gets (outside of Kerala, the birthplace of Ayurveda). Which brings me to the “not to be missed” queen bee, The Vida Mia Healing Center and Spa which is a masterpiece of aesthetics and relaxation. Everything is designed to maximize your healing potential.

Tell us about your cuisine philosophy?  

D: The cuisine is based on my healing remedy of anti-inflammatory foods. Get Naked Fast is my best-selling book, which includes the “know the no’s” list. These have healed many gastrointestinal issues, balanced hormones and helped with weight loss and management, all while exciting and pleasing the palate. Our food is our magic, filled with life force energy and the “Pura Vida” love from the Costa Rican culture.

What is your “wellness routine?” (food, skincare, fitness equipment, etc)? Please name three to five.

D: Sleep – sweat – green juice – sex

Tell us something that very few people know about you!  

D: I am an open book, so I think it would be hard-pressed to find something that is hidden – although assumptions are always made about me and the ones that take the time to dig deeper and get to know me will find there are many layers. I am a deep pool of emotion, a plethora of knowledge, I have many faces and wear many hats.  I am a woman of substance.

We know you are a very talented chef! Please share a recipe with our readers?

D: Many say our Dark Chocolate Quinoa Cake is the Best Cake in the World.” We serve it for Birthday Celebrations here at The Retreat’s Boca Dulce Restaurant.

Dark Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Cake:

  • 8 ounces dark chocolate
  • ¾ cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/3 cup almond flour/meal
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 6 oz coconut yogurt (vanilla)
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ tsp salt

Ganache:

  • 10 oz dark chocolate
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup raspberries for garnish

Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan with cooking spray.
  3. Simmer 2 1/3 cups water in a medium pot. Place a medium bowl on top of pot and add the 8 ounces dark chocolate and the coconut oil. Stir until fully melted (8-10 minutes). (Keep the medium pot and water on the stove to use later for ganache).
  4. In a large bowl mix almond flour, quinoa, coconut sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. 
  5. In a small bowl, mix coconut yogurt, vanilla, and eggs.
  6. Add the melted chocolate/coconut oil mixture and coconut yogurt mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.
  7. Pour cake batter into the greased pan and bake for 50-55 minutes.
  8. Let cool slightly.

Ganache:

  1. Reheat the water to a simmer in the pot on the stove.
  2. Place medium bowl over the water and add chocolate and coconut milk.
  3. Stir until completely melted and add coconut milk.
  4. Drizzle the ganache over the cake, top with raspberries and serve!

About Diana Stobo

Diana Stobo knows the challenging journey to optimum wellness and has found a way to share her wisdom with others on a similar path. Celebrity chef, best-selling author, health and wellness life coach and founder/owner of The Retreat Costa Rica, she is an innovator in the global wellness industry and self-proclaimed “spa junkie and detox diva.” Diana’s passion for helping people heal themselves is rooted in her past struggles. Battling multiple conditions while raising three children, she decided to take control of her health. Through a combination of nutrition, detoxification, exercise, and meditation, she lost 100 pounds and became a passionate advocate for helping people. 

While Diana’s specialty has always been food as a modality for change, her education and expertise lie in life transformation and spirit coaching through quantum physics and the Law of Attraction. Her goal at The Retreat Costa Rica is to offer a transformational healing center where guests can escape their daily stresses and reset their internal sense of balance in a nurturing and gentle environment. Her signature wellness programs and gastronomic concepts are offered in a peaceful setting that stills the mind and inspires the soul.

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