Who is Nourish & Flourish?
Nourish & Flourish is run by me, Sam Ford, a Personal Trainer and MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) Therapist, from the UK. Together with a team of fully qualified Yoga teachers we provide you with all the support, instruction and guidance you may need during your stay.

Why a holistic health retreat?
The retreat has been a long held vision since I first started personal training in 2006. The goal is to create a warm, caring and nurturing environment where you come and stay, and we work together to help you improve your holistic health through gentle exercise, great nutrition, mindfulness and relaxation.

Why a health retreat specialising in cancer rehabilitation?
I don’t have personal experience of cancer, but the lives of some of my family and my close friends have been directly impacted by cancer. It’s virtually impossible for it not to touch almost all of us, in one way, shape or form. And it’s an incredibly traumatic time for everyone involved. We all need support, nurturing and guidance. And I want to provide a place where you can gain all of this.

I’m a very passionate and motivated person about many things, but helping people and giving you my support is what drives me the most. I want to share support, knowledge and tools to help you put your lives back on track, to build your confidence and to help you create a positive image for your future.

What are our qualifications?
I have held a Diploma in Personal Training and Sports Massage Therapy from Premier Training International, a leading health and fitness Industry training provider, for over 6 years.

In 2014 I qualified (Therapy 1) with the Vodder School of MLD and am currently working towards their final qualification stages (Therapies 2 & 3) in June 2015.

My training has covered all aspects of health and fitness including: client assessment and recommendations, nutritional advice and guidance, programme writing, sports massage, exercise care and instruction.

I am also a qualified Nordic Walking instructor and I’m currently training for a Mountain Leader and International Mountain Leader qualification.

What is the nutritional advice and guidance based on?
I am a really enthusiastic cook and a firm believer in a well-balanced and nutritious diet. My nutritional knowledge has been gathered over many years and is based on my own personal training and studies, and extensive research of scientifically proven nutritional studies and journals.

My desire is to assist in your healing process using a holistic approach to your health. To this end, I have created and written the ‘Nourish & Flourish: Recipes & Nutrition to challenge cancer’ recipe book. The book is full of healthy and nutritious recipes, inspiring you with great tasting culinary and nutritional ideas. The book is the link between the ingredients we know we need to eat to stay healthy (and why) and the recipes which help you put them into practice.

The recipe book is also available from iTunes as an ‘app’ for iPhones.

What did Sam do before becoming a Personal Trainer?
Before I became a personal trainer I spent almost 10 years working in the financial and banking industry in the City of London. It was an incredible life experience, providing many valuable lessons, but by 2005 I knew that I needed something more. I wanted to help people make a difference to their lives and their wellbeing. So I retrained as a Personal Trainer and Sports Massage Therapist and established my freelance PT business in London, which I ran for 4 years.

Outside Nourish & Flourish.
I have always been interested in sport and the great outdoors. Activities I’ve taken part in include: rowing, trail running, skiing and cross-country skiing, cycling, hiking and sea-kayaking. For me healthy exercise isn’t about extremes. Certainly it’s important to set goals and I’m a great believer in goals, but instead my idea of health is about balance.

Learning to balance your aerobic activity with strengthening and flexibility work. Essentially I like to avoid extremes. And I really enjoy showing you the energy and boost you can gain from even the smallest and simplest forms of exercise, but also giving you the confidence that you can do it.

I also love to travel and take photographs. Over the past few years I have been lucky enough to travel all over the world, enjoying and photographically capturing some amazing experiences; living and travelling in New Zealand and Sri Lanka, travelling in Australia and South America and trekking in Nepal.

Sam’s qualifications and degrees:
• June 2015 - Combined Decongestive Therapy & Manual Lymphatic Drainage from Vödder School;
• July 2007 – qualified as a Nordic Walking Instructor, qualified with Nordic Walking UK;
• September 2006 – graduated with a ‘Diploma in Personal Training and Sports Massage Therapy’, obtained from Premier International (Level 3 REPS registered R0041147);
• June 1996 – graduated with a BA Hons (2.1) degree in ‘Economics with Industrial Studies’, from The University of Leeds.