EDEN HEALTH RETREAT | Currumbin Valley est. 1984
Photography & WORDS by Portia Large 

Imagine a world where the grass really is greener. A place where social status is irrelevant and deadlines don’t dictate our lives. Last week I found myself at Eden Health Retreat, without Wi-Fi or phone range, for the first time, in a long time.


The retreat’s daily program is designed to start the day with energy and vitality, while afternoons are devoted to relaxation, education and self development choices. At the beginning of your stay, a personal consultation will assist in creating your daily schedule to reflect your ideal participation level and relaxation time. (Eden Health Retreat, 2016)


 “Nestled in an ancient valley known for its healing energy, Eden is a very special place. A place to nurture your mind, body and spirit and find absolute seclusion from an increasingly busy world. @eden_health_retreat



At Eden, I learnt a new word: “biophilia”; meaning, “love of life” or living systems. As humans we have a deep affiliation with other lifeforms. Although we unconsciously crave connection with green spaces and natural places; many of us struggle to find the time to ground ourselves. We must enjoy the little things in life, for one day we’ll look back and realise they were the big things… Biophilia = Happiness.


“This planet came with a set of instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison water, soil or air, don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat, have been broken”.  – Paul Hawken


If you’re feeling fatigued, it may be time to re-connect with mother earth. How? Remove your shoes. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, the practice of “earthing”, also known as “barefoot healing”, could change your quality of life. Physiology professor, Jim McFarlane, believes our bodies are charged by our environment. And as modern lifestyles continually build barriers, between our bodies and the earth’s surface, we have lost touch with human nature and the planet. Buildings, carpet and shoes, are just some of the culprits, preventing us from physical grounding, optimum sleep and wellness. Wander barefoot on the beach or across dew-moistened grass as I did at Eden below. Live large and feel the vibration!


Leggings by Physiq Apparel


Harnessing healthy habits is easy at Eden. Surrounded by like-minded guests and staff, you too, can reach wellness goals and banish self-limiting thoughts. Oh, and you won’t go hungry! Eden’s Head Chef and Naturopath, Blair, sources seasonal produce to nourishing meals and reduce cravings. To maximise the benefits of eating delicious whole foods, alcohol and caffeine were not available. Often organic and always local, the array of food at Eden is impressive.





The Eden Philosophy: Our society has more leisure time than any before, so take time to develop yourself.

  1. Giving opens the way to receiving.
  2. It’s never too late, in fiction or in life, to revise.
  3. He who limps still walks.



1. I manifest magic in my life…
2. My head and my heart are aligned in making decisions…
3. I am grounded and connected with the earth…
4. I move forward in life with confidence and humour…
5. My energy is constantly replenished…
6. My heart is open…
7. I embody joy and self-love…
8. I speak my truth with love…
9. I courageously release the past…
10. I am full of vitality, endurance and stamina…
11. I enjoy abundance in my life…
12. I celebrate the cycles of my life…
13. I transform my limitations into gifts…
14. I am aware of life’s gifts…
15. I am open to higher consciousness…




“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple. The philosophy of kindness.” – Dali Lama


‘Labyrintha: a complex structure in the inner ear which contains the organs of hearing and balance.’



Gold Coast Airport Marathon Ambassador

My first Marathon… In the past, running never appealed to me. I had heard of the peaceful meditation found when pacing the pavement and I’ll admit, I didn’t expect to share in this experience. In the pursuit of health and fitness goals, I signed up for my first half-marathon. But it wasn’t until crossing the finish line in a blissful ecstasy of exhaustion that I truly understood the joy of running.

Tears gathered as I searched the crowd for support. Overwhelmed, I made contact with loved ones. Despite months of training, doubt and disbelief lingered as I was concerned I couldn’t conquer the challenge. Although the Gold Coast Airport Marathon was my first physical marathon, I now realise I’ve overcome many marathons in the past.


Define Marathon: a long-lasting or difficult task or activity. We all face them right? Testing trials which stand in the way of success and seem insurmountable at the time are, in hindsight defining moments. Just as deciding to step out of the front door is the most challenging part of my run, more often than not; making the first step is the biggest barrier to your success.

I challenge myself regularly as setting professional, mental and physical goals is what helps me grow. Yet, I believe, it’s our commitment to which determines completion. I love sharing experiences, which is why blogging is a big part of my life. Here is a blog to share motivation and training tips.



Online support, websites, networking groups, meet ups.


Wear training gear you feel great in. The Run Stop Shop has you covered



Baby steps. Walk your marathon first. Then start at running 5km regularly before working your way up to 10km. Once you reach 10km and feel comfortable running that distance 2-3 times a week you should be ready for the day.


Make running part of your routine.



Eat nutrient rich foods and research refueling with carbs.



Working in radio, I love a good beat so unplugging the headphones wasn’t easy. Listening to only my thoughts and breathe I became free of anxiety and self-doubt.



Okay, this is just my personal opinion. But I’ve experimented with quite a few group fitness classes, and never found one had the raw energy that indoor cycling has.

8. How much you give is up to you…

The instructor guides you but its your ride. You control your bike so no matter what you can set the pace that works for your body, age and mood.​

7. It’s weatherproof

You can count on this one for your workout schedule year round. Hot or cold – no excuses anymore. ​

6. Badass beats

When you lose yourself to the music time flys. If you love R&B Fridays and throwbacks as much as me you won’t be disappointed.

5. The variety

There’s a variety of routines that you’ll grow to love – jumps, sprints, surges, climbs, and more, in three different positions on your bike. Each spin follows an interval program that will challenge you in different ways.

4. It’s low impact

One of the best parts of spin is that it is low impact, meaning you can give yourself an intense workout without placing any stress on your joints.

3. Team spirit

When you try spinning on its own, you can feel like you’re missing something. That’s because you are. Each spin is tackled as a tribe, so you know you’re not busting your butt alone. Sure, you might feel like you’re dying halfway through, but once it’s over the euphoria that follows makes it worth it.

2. It’s only one hour of your day

Each class is usually a 45 minute high-intensity workout, with a warm-up before and cool-down after. One second you will be wondering how much time is left on the insane mountain climb and next it will be cool down!​

1. Calorie burner

I left this for last. Spin has the potential to burn over 600 calories in a 45-minute session, need I say more? The combination of cardio and strength in each class, depending on how steep your “hill” is. Not to mention, keeping your core tight and body positioned just right will increase leg definition. But trust me, with all of the above, burning calories will be the last reason you show up week in week out. It’s just the icing on the cake.




Time to spring into spring, shed the winter layers and get outdoors! To kick-start my spring shedding I did two things. Firstly, I cleared the pantry of comfort foods and wardrobe of old items – felt so good! And secondly, with a few critical questions in mind, I attended the Australian Health and Wellness Summit:

  1. Why did I chose to be here today? 
  2. What do I want to get out of today? 
  3. Where do I want to be in 1 month / 3 months / 6 months? 

These questions you should ask yourself everyday.

As you probably know, Let’s Live Large was founded to inspire optimum living; to encourage readers to be the best version of themselves and dream big. With this in mind, I constantly seek to learn and share.


Gone are the days of visiting libraries for information alone. With infinite information at fingertips, thanks to the internet and smart phones, is there really an excuse to be uneducated when it comes to what we put in and on our bodies?

People laugh when I say my “body is my temple”, but why not be the best you can be?

Listed below are some of the AHWS speakers, their profession and talk focus:

  1. Dr. Helena Popovic ~ Physician – Boost Your Brain
  2. Lee Holmes ~ Nutritionist and Author – Gut Health
  3. Andrew Chadwick ~ Trainer – Play & Thrive
  4. Georgia Harding ~ Naturopath – Keeping It Real
  5. Alexx Stuart ~ Health Researcher – Low Tox Life
  6. David Gillespie ~ Health Journalist – Understanding Sugar


Most people work on building up and boosting their financial assets. But how many people work on building and boosting their greatest asset: Their brain?

Dr. Helena Popovic brings the latest discoveries in brain science to weight management. The best-selling author raised the points below:

  • Education is more powerful than medication
  • Your decisions are more powerful than your DNA
  • Friend-power is stronger than will power
  • Physical exercise builds new brain cells
  • Thirty minutes of exercise a day will halve your risk of dementia

Which will you action this week?

For a brain to stay healthy and operate at its best we need nutrition, rest, stimulation, challenge and reward.


Nutritionist Lee Holmes believes a healthy, happy gut is the cornerstone to health and well-being.

What you need to know:

  • Research skills to improve gut health – for YOU personally online
  • The gut is directly linked to your brain and immune system
  • Preparation is key

What does food mean to you, and have you considered where your food comes from, how it’s grown, sourced and cared for? We should source natural, organic produce, skin care, wholefoods, vitimins and supplements  where possible.

Here’s a shopping list to get you started: 

And a free weekly planner!


Andrew ‘Chaddy’ Chadwick redefined “exercise” for me! It seems we have forgotten how to PLAY!

Movement = longevity

  • Your goal should be MOVEMENT not EXERCISE
  • Remember the excitement of play and feel how play can change your mood
  • Be mindful of your posture

SHOCKINGLY – in Australia the average distance walked a day is just over 300m!!! We definitely need to lead more active lives, yet gym may not be the answer. Chadwick agreed, the last thing you probably want to do after work is repetitively pump weights etc. Chaddy recommends play, as we did once upon a time, before the iPhone and computers ruled our lives. Play is vital to reaching your health and wellness goals as it can change your mood, posture and bring your attention to the present.


Naturopath, Georgia Harding doesn’t believe in dieting. She hopes to inspire you to take simple steps to streamline your routine.

  • A well stocked pantry – to prepare nourishing meals
  • Shop for the best quality local & in season, whole food ingredients
  • Eliminate guilt
  • Balanced meals = palm of protein, essential fats and lots of veggies
  • Leftovers are the key to being prepared, so always cook more than you need and freeze portions if necessary
  • Buy in bulk
  • ALWAYS eat breakfast and DRINK plenty of water EVERY day


Are you aware of harmful pesticides, chemicals and genetically modified organisms? Health researcher, Alexx Stuart, highlights the common hormone disrupting chemicals throughout personal care and home: BPA, Parabens, BPS, Phthalates and Phenoxyethnol. Please become a label reader and be aware of chemicals in day to day life.

Phthalates: Chemicals you won’t see on the label. These often hide in cheap sticky feeling plastic toys, PVC and in synthetic fragrances. Ask yourself – “Does an APPLE really smell like that candle”. Sun and air are your best friends for reducing chemical load. Regular airing and sunning are helpful in decreasing chemical load – eg. new furniture outside before being placed indoors.


David Gillespie, author of ‘Why Sugar Makes Us Fat’, ‘Big Fat Lies’, ‘Toxic Oil’ and ‘Eat Real Foods’ was once overweight. Now David is a health journalist on a mission to help the next generation avoid “poison”.

  • We are eating a lot less fat now but we are all a lot fatter
  • Sugar assists greatly in the development of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, gallbladder, infertility, several cancers and liver diseases etc etc etc.
  • Sugar HIJACKS your appetite control so you want to eat more
  • Sugar is ADDICTIVE

The key to getting yourself and your family off sugar is to educate yourself on sugar and what food items it is found in and then create a sugar free environment.

See what you can implement into your life – live large and achieve optimum health and wellness!

Thank you to the team at Australian Health & Wellness Summit for inspiring me, see you next year!



It’s called the 1 percent rule and in 14.4 minutes a day it could change your life for good.

Does it ever feel as if life is just speeding by and you’re running from one thing to the next without time to pause and regroup? Well, here’s some good news! I’m going to help you fast track the most important goals into action – and more importantly, show you how you can make 100 percent change in just 100 days.

Despite all the technology we have in our lives that are supposed to save time, it seems like people are more stressed and time poor than ever before.

So how can we get our mojo back without turning our life upside down?

The 1 per cent rule – 14.4 minutes of your day dedicated to your most important goal. I coach my clients that consistently and conviction for what you do is the key to success. Here are four simple ways you can use 1 percent of your day to achieve your goals and bring happy back.

1. Make a list of five key things that really make your heart sing and you have had on your goal list for longer than you can remember. Take a moment and choose one thing that is THE most important to you right now.

2. Then take your agenda and block out 14.4 minutes every day to dedicate towards something to do with this one goal or subject. It could be more cooking, spending time with your kids, doing yoga, reading or just being outside in the fresh air.

3. Make the agenda note transparent and truly visible. If you want to support others you then be clear about what’s important to you, and that this time is sacred. You can’t be interrupted, have meetings set or move it for anything other than a natural disaster. Plan ahead and ask for support if you need to shuffle things around.

4. Practice the 1 percent rule daily for 100 days. You are a reflection of your approach to health, mindset and wellbeing. If you want to be fitter, healthier and happier then you alone need to make this happen.

Making a goal a priority daily, and making time in your agenda will change your life and your mindset. Why does this work? Think of the amount of time you spend “negotiating” with yourself and talking your way out of doing what you truly love.

Seventy-five percent of conversations happen in our heads – why not use this time to be actively working on your goal and shut out the noise. Reap the rewards of achieving daily milestones. The biggest gains are often from the smallest steps. Put one foot in front of the other (or 14.4 minutes of your agenda aside) and recognise each day when you cross that time off your list as complete.

The feeling of satisfaction, personal achievement and ability to lead other by example will lift you up. Positivity breeds positivity, endorphins, pride and capability. Your body will reward you for being less stressed and more focused. A sense of achievement can relieve tension and reduce headaches that stem from concern and unresolved issues.

Replace the old habits with new ones 1 percent at a time. If you do this for 100 days you will be 100 percent better off than you are now. Go out there and start making it happen.



My eyes were dry and sore, a disturbing reminder of my technology addiction and lack of productivity that day. It was the 3rd evening of 2015 and in my holiday leisure I found myself mindlessly scrolling through social media from dawn till dusk.

Restless, fatigued and reluctant to let my phone go, I begrudgingly decided to practice some stillness. After thoughtfully arranging scented candles to complement the view of the city skyline and waterway I began to slowly stretch. Impatient, I decided to fast track to relaxation time and attempt meditation. Shortly after noticing the stars and the flickering of the candle at arm’s length my breathing slowed and almost instantly I felt grounded.

Suddenly it occurred to me that we don’t star gaze anymore… Our ancestors looked to the skies for hope, guidance and inspiration. Now we collectively look to our screens for thinspiration, fitspiration and emotional pornography of other forms. Cave men were once lost in the mesmerising fire flames; a meeting place, source of warmth, cooking facility and lifeline. Like the star and fire gazer, I adore watching and thinking or sometimes not thinking at all. Both the star and fire gazers enjoyed the freedom of stillness before we roamed then scrolled… They practiced the art of stillness often. An opportunity to allow the mind to wander, for the clutter and chaos of our thoughts to clear and to feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

Three of my favourite things involve stillness. Watching the waves roll in, watching the fire burn and watching the stars. I believe it’s by design that I find so much joy enjoying all three. Man was made to do more than scroll, text and mind machines.


Everyone is my teacher. Some I seek. Some I subconsciously attract. Often I learn simply by observing others. Some may be completely unaware I’m learning from them, yet I bow deeply in gratitude. Some of my fondest moments were experienced with people I’d never see again. People who gifted me with knowledge or a feeling and carried on about their way. Have you ever heard the saying a stranger is a friend you’ve never met? You may be surprised how approachable and friendly most people are! 

I’ve always been in awe of extreme climbers, reaching new heights, these fearless adventurous spirits seem so carefree. Today I made some new friends! Dan and Matt x2 . These climbers lent me some special shoes and helped me to scale an 18m heritage listed cliff! I unexpectedly conquered a fear with complete strangers and loved it! The best things in life really are free.

Matt 1 let me in on a little secret. If you ever try rock climbing on a natural cliff you’ll naturally want to rely heavily on your arms, but the key is to drive up and lead with your legs. I was really surprised with how comfortable I was after learning this advice. 

So I dare you to do something outside your comfort zone, whether it be speaking to a stranger or scaling a cliff face – break the cycle – stray from the norm. And if it is climbing always do it with a spotter! 

Thank you @adrenalineshots for capturing this moment. Wearing @runstopshop

Portia x


Often fueled by marketing, societies unhealthy obsession and pursuit of materialistic goods has proven environmentally detrimental and unsustainable. It would appear there is sufficiency in the world for man’s need, but not for man’s compulsive greed. Society has slowly escalated in its violence, from singular trees, to the environment, to our fellow man. Whilst there are several inspiring individuals and organisations passionate in their quest to protect the environment; I feel it is important to relay my personal concern in current global consumption trends. The future holds extraordinary and unprecedented challenges for both the environment and society, as demand for resources exceeds supply. Global hyper-consumption and environmentally unaware consumers shorten product life span, as people rapidly replace material possessions. While in many ways consumerism has become a defining characteristic of modern societies; sustainability has moved higher up political agendas globally.


In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in the awareness and concern for environmental sustainability, particularly on a corporate level. According to Forrester Research titled Environmental And Social Responsibility In Consumer Product Strategies, ‘84 % of organisations have environmentally conscious or socially responsible products in development or in the marketplace’. As with most markets, it is the consumer who has governed this shift in mentality. Millions of consumers worldwide were touched by best-selling, thought provoking books: The green consumer and 50 Simple things you can do to save the earth by the 20th anniversary of Earth Day. Consumers are beginning to lean towards products and companies that assure they are doing their utmost to prevent, minimise and control their contribution to our ecological footprint. Dianna Berde Nieto suggests in her book The long journey to sustainability starts with a single step that societies sustainability awareness has finally reached a tipping point. Staying ahead of environmental regulation, lower operation costs, innovation opportunity, differentiation and an improved workforce who reflect company mission statement are all benefits for business embracing the green movement. With few risks associated, green marketing is gradually recognized as a logical path for businesses to pursue.


A challenge of green marketing professionals is to foster environmental awareness and passion in consumers for green products. Confusion amongst consumers on the topic of green marketing is a significant barrier to the successful adoption of green products. Therefore, social and economic systems underpin businesses ability to innovate, create and maintain sustainable solutions. Consumer beliefs, values and willingness to support the green movement establish the foundation for business to strive and adhere to Corporate Social Responsibility and ethical production. So try your best to support brands which promote environmentally sustainable practices and be mindful of your own consumption habits. Together we can create a more sustainable society, prolong the longevity and prosperity of earth and all its creatures.


With trips booked out in minutes and countless repeat guests, Active Escapes fitness retreats continue to exceed expectations. Melbourne based founder, Zanna Conlan is spreading his vision of a network of exciting retreat locations across the world, and in doing so is firmly establishing Active Escapes as an industry leader. Last month, I boarded a plane to Bali to see for myself what Active Escapes had to offer and I have to say they more than lived up to the hype.

Bali is the original Active Escapes destination, and it is not hard to see why. With lush landscapes, world class surf breaks and rich culture, the famed ‘Island of the Gods’ is the perfect playground for the self-confessed fitness fanatic. Luxury villas and accommodating staff will make this resort become your home away from home, showcasing the very best hospitality beautiful Bali has to offer.

Whether you bring your own friends, or make new ones along the way, by the end of your stay you will find you have made bonds that last. Despite the many different walks of life Active Escape’s guest come from, you find yourself united and connected as you grow and reach your goals, in a truly unique experience of a lifetime.

Relaxation, new experiences and enjoyment are common holiday hopes; however I’ll let you in on a little secret, you don’t have to sit by the pool all day and gorge on naughty treats to get the most out of your break. Active Escapes allows you to fulfil all your holiday hopes and much more, and it is all about overindulging yourself on the actual good stuff. Swap cocktails for exercise endorphins, blurry benders for crystal clear scenery, and greasy guilt foods for delicious and nutritious meals. Active Escapes is sure to satisfy your senses and sends you away with the souvenir of your dreams, a rejuvenated and reinvigorated you.

All retreat activities are optional and guests are able choose their participation levels, trainers then tailor work out sessions to meet individual needs. Surfing, high ropes, blissful yoga sessions and the stair challenge were among the week’s highlights. Every morning I chose to explore local surf spots with coach Zanna.

Additional activities include horse riding, golf, cooking classes inspired by local cuisine, and Aquatonic Seawater pool experiences. In my opinion the key to a fantastic trip is balance. The beauty of Active Escapes is that the planning and preparation is taken care of, so all you have to focus on is your own mind, body and spirit.



My first presenting gig for Ocean Road TV certainly set the standard high. The Neon was a 5km night time spectacular decked out with popular DJ’s, LED robots and thousands of excited runners.