August 16, 2017

Balanced Living Cooking School

This is especially relevant for those of you in Australia, but I am sure some of you will be scheduling vacations Down Under once you read this! I’m very happy to announce that Jo Rushton, one of our C.H.E.K Institute Faculty Members, has opened a new cooking school to teach people how to cook and eat healthy, the CHEK Way!

Jo is a multi-talented person. Not only is she a very skilled C.H.E.K Practitioner and CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach, she also teaches our CHEK HLC Level 1 and 2 courses. She is also the author of an Amazon #1 Bestseller in two categories with her book, Rocket Fuel on a Budget: How to Get Healthy Without Going Broke (which is also available from the C.H.E.K Institute). In addition, she is a qualified chef whose meals I have enjoyed several times over the years I have known her, and they are world-class!

Her new venture is Bhavana Organic Farm and Cooking School. It is located in the Byron Bay hinterland, on 125 acres of magnificent farmland and only minutes drive from the historic villages of Newrybar and Bangalow. Bhavana (Bhaa-vuh-naa) means “spiritual cultivation” and is at the heart of every experience offered there.

The team behind Bhavana farm and cooking school


From our organic gardens grown in harmony with Mother Nature, we cultivate seasonal vegetables, herbs and fruit and harvest them with love. Our Isa Brown Chickens are a big part of the family, they wander the property and deliver delicious free-range eggs to us daily. A herd of Black Angus graze the pastures of the farm and play their part in maintaining this beautiful property.

We respect our location, our natural environment and our community. We support many local producers, artisans, farmers and our neighbours.

Our living philosophy, is the simple and authentic understanding of food and its significance to our wellbeing and health. Whole foods provide not only our living energy, but are the healing source for so many facets of our life.

We believe there is a natural pharmacy in every nurtured garden, and a little knowledge and willingness to learn, are the ingredients for creating physical health, emotional wellbeing and longevity of life.

– from

Jo has three new cooking classes coming up in late August so if you want to take a vacation to beautiful Australia (or if you live in Australia) and attend one or all of her classes, here are the dates and some links to learn more:

Nourish Your Gut

August 25
Click here for info and to register.
Winter is the ideal time for learning how to make nutrient-rich gelatinous stocks, broths and soups that play an important roll in healing the gut. Also known as the “second brain,” your gut is a very complex ecosystem, influencing not only your digestion but also your well-being. Nourish Your Gut is about attending to your inner garden. Discover the fundamentals behind the concept of “weed, seed and feed” and its importance in healing your gut through cleansing, nurturing and nourishing your digestive and immune systems. You will learn how to fight those winter lurgies (bugs) with your newfound knowledge around fermenting and elixirs as well as foods that build a robust immune system. Your day will be filled with harvesting produce from our organic garden, preparing and enjoying a delicious sit-down lunch and sampling some organic and biodynamic wines. Our team looks forward to a relaxing afternoon of great conversation, as well as answering any questions you may have. Our mission is to have you leave feeling renewed, inspired and filled with new knowledge.

Slow Cooking for Fast People

August 26
Click here for more info and to register.
If laboring over a hot stove after getting the kids off to school, putting in an eight-hour work day, shuttling the kids to various after-school activities, squeezing in the laundry, cleaning the house and trying not to look like a frump doesn’t sound like much fun to you, then Slow Cooking for Fast People will change your world! It’s a popular class for those who are keen to learn how the traditional methods of winter braising can support the demands of modern living and our health needs. With some simple techniques and the right cuts of meat, slow cooking not only supports the health of the whole family nutritionally but also saves you time and money. The joy of slow cooking is your newfound freedom to go to the gym, hike, nap, go to work or catch up with your girlfriends and arrive back home to the wonderful aromas of dinner ready and waiting. Together we will harvest fresh seasonal produce from our gardens, and teach you the skills you need to cook a variety of healthy recipes to add to your repertoire. Then, we will sit down to a beautiful lunch with wine in hand, and relish in the flavours and textures whilst mingling and musing over the day’s events, during which it will be our pleasure to answer any questions you may have. Our gift is to have you leave feeling blissful and filled with new knowledge.

A Taste of Bhavana

August 27
Click here for more info and to register.
A Taste of Bhavana is our signature cooking class, a hands-on exploration into organic whole foods, nutrition and cooking, celebrating the best of the season’s harvest. Our team looks forward to welcoming and settling you into a relaxing day with a selection of fragrant herbal teas. Your day will begin with a leisurely tour of the vegetable garden, where we will discuss our living philosophy for organic and ethical farming practices. You will learn about the joy of kitchen gardens and how to get started if that is for you, or just the pleasure of harvesting and cooking produce straight from the garden, the true paddock to plate experience. With our seasonal menu planned, we will forage and harvest produce together, before heading back to the kitchen to prepare our nutritional feast. A Taste of Bhavana promises to be an afternoon of delicious food, great conversation and sampling Australia’s best organic and biodynamic wines, whilst our team answers any questions you may have. Our mission is to have you leave feeling blissfully inspired and filled with new knowledge.

If you can’t get to her upcoming classes and want to learn how to effectively create healthy meals easily and affordably right at home, purchase her book, Rocket Fuel on a Budget, and invite her right into your house with you!

Thank you Jo, for all the love you share with the world.

Love and chi,