This article belongs to Joe is Fine, Are you? column.

I had to do this project for my stress management class last semester and I decided to plan a weekend a retreat which I modeled after a kit created by Susan Piver titled Bliss in a Box: A weekend Contemplative Retreat at Home.

In the kit are a list of suggested foods, but I chose some modifications. The kit also uses yoga for the exercise portion of this retreat but due to the way my hand injury has complicated my range of motion in my right hand yoga is too painful for me to do. So I decided to substitute the stretching exercises found in another book I have here at home title the Easy Stretching Workbook A Complete Stretching Class in a Book by Karen Smith The following list is what is required to begin preparing for the retreat, what to buy to prepare for your retreat and what foods I decided to purchase.

In my next installment I will give you the retreat schedule I mocked planned and yes someday plan to execute. One Week Before 1. Cut down on caffeine 2. Cut down on processed foods 3. Cut down on sugar and white flour 4. Alert friends, family and colleagues that you'll be unavailable during your retreat Supplies to gather or purchase 1. Meditation Cushion, king sized pillow or soft malleable large blanket 2. CD Player or CD Rom on your pc 3. Alter materials- lavender candles-you can buy these anywhere I choose to buy mine at Yankee Candle Company, a bowel of water,2 long stem red roses ,two bud vases, incense-vanilla(you can buy this cheaply too at most any place incense is sold), grandmothers photo a.

Note: These are materials I chose for my alter you can choose something else that is meaningful to you. 4. Journal-you can pick up one cheap at any place office supplies are sold 5. Essential Oils-relatively inexpensive I buy mine at places like The Third Planet 6. Easy stretching workbook Food to buy 1. Brown rice 2. Fish(Salmon, canned tuna In water) 3. Whole grain bread 4. Peanut butter 5. Lean beef, and chicken breast 6. Green tea 7. Bottled water 8. Bananas 9. Green beans 10. Tomatoes 11. Eggs 12. Lemons 13. Onions 14. Low fat Mayo