• Laura

The Hardest Part of a Detox Retreat?

Given the opportunity to experience a detox retreat, you might focus on the pain of not eating solid food for several days, rather than the end result (glowing skin, reduced body fat, better digestion, a well-functioning liver etc) and I have to admit I had my concerns too!

On approach to the beautiful island of Gozo, I felt the toasty warm sun on my face (so much lovelier than usual when it’s only 6 degrees back home!) and I could also feel a rather powerful reluctance to give up my food for 4 days creeping over me! After all, food is at the centre of what I do and never too far from my mind (as my partner will testify). What if I was starving all the time, dizzy and faint? Would I have an emotional crash? What if the hunger made me moody and unbearable?

I was surprised at how quickly I forgot my fears on arrival at the stunningly beautiful Amchara Retreat centre. Once I’d had my first juice, a consultation with their Naturopath and seen the programme of yoga classes, meditation, educational talks, walks, food demos and spa treatments I was more concerned with how I’d fit everything in than when I’d next eat! The welcoming feeling of calm and positivity from the people who were already partway through their retreats was motivating and reassuring, this would be a breeze, right?

On my first full day I do remember the hunger kicking in and one slightly emotional wobble, but it wasn’t difficult and there were no feelings of weakness! Getting stuck in with a self-administered green coffee enema took my mind off food and very much onto squeezing my abdominal muscles like my life depended on it! If you’ve never experienced an enema, I will say the first time can be a little tricky, and I’ll leave it at that (but by the end I was a pro!)

After a sublime massage and 2 hours of restorative yoga on day 2 I felt simply euphoric! There’s no better way to describe it, having never felt quite so lifted and elated before. I was warned every retreat is different and emotions can run in either direction, however mine were soaring way, way above the palm trees and I felt so excited about life! Reason alone to push on with the detox fast.

My body was doing pretty fantastically too! I walked around like I was floating, no feelings of tension, joint stiffness, digestive discomfort or any heaviness at all. The best way to describe it was like my head was attached to a 5ft 5 female-shaped balloon!

On the final day I broke my fast with a divine cashew cream tart and courgette salad, never had food tasted so good! And the smell of the cacao balls was so intoxicating that I couldn’t take my first bite until I’d savoured the aroma for what seemed like an excessively long time!

I couldn’t tell you the best thing about Amchara, only that there were many, many great things. The support and the knowledge of the staff was amazing and inspiring and the whole experience surpassed my expectations.

My last evening infrared sauna and moonlight swim, alone in the pool, blanketed by the stars was one of those moments that make you feel very lucky and remember for years to come.

So the hardest thing about a detox retreat? Leaving Amchara! The pain of bursting my bubble and going back into the real world was tougher than not eating. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat, and next time you're invited to come with me - watch this space!!

Oh and did I forget to mention, I lost an incredible 3% body fat in just 4 days, leaving me with a waistline more akin to my early 20's than my early 40's, Miracles can happen if you believe!! Lxx

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