My daughter told me two weeks ago with great authority that January was a terrible month for detoxing. The consensus amongst her friends is that the depression is so great that the holidays are over and real life has to begin, that a sudden jolt into sobriety and a strict diet would make them suicidal.
I have to say that I was quietly relieved when the endless festive season came to an end. I lost count at 39 of how many people laid their heads on our beds? But what to do? I can’t diet/detox at home, I am too stressed by work, I tried the 5.2 diet, I don’t think it works for women, I have seen George Osborne proudly showing his slim waistline on newspaper covers but which woman is belting from the hills, the miraculous effects- also its recipe for a divorce as the two starving days bring rage and foul temper. So no to that and in fact for me, no to any of those’ paprika ‘or ‘high protein’ ‘Paleo’ or’ ‘eat right for your type’ diets.
I am very aware having read Deepak Chopra’s books endlessly that mind, body and soul are all connected and there’s no point just fixing one part. There is a bewildering array of detoxes recommended by friends and bombarding one at this time of year and its probably the only time you are going to do a detox all year, so there’s anxiety that one is going to pick the right one and get the max out of it.
So where to go? I don’t want to fly all the way to Thailand for a detox, I would rather explore and I am not suited to Chiva Som or any type of boot camp, although I would make an exception for the amazing ’Kamalaya’ institute that we represent there- a gentle, perceptive program that helps all, it’s the perfect balance of west/east medicine under the watchful care of the wonderful Karina Stuart.
My brother Charlie introduced cryotherapy to the UK, not a therapy of sobbing your way to health but anyone brave enough to go in a freezing chamber, like a butcher’s refrigerator of minus 120 for three minutes, will see huge benefits, in sleep, energy and miraculous accelerating of injuries. Needless to say I am a fan. The machine is now at Champneys.
Talking of extreme measures, I would be very wary of taking of taking the tree vine, ayahuasca, unless you are with a shaman in the jungle in the Amazon, something could go very wrong. Similarly I would avoid nerve therapy and the new craze of kambo- the toxic secretions from an Amazonian tree frog which literally race through your system supposedly realigning it, its not illegal but proceed with care.
If you want to try cupping, another detox method, don’t wear a backless dress for a week as you will have livid red circles and bruises on your back and people will flee, thinking you have an infectious disease.
I haven’t tried the detox clinic in Bodrum that a lot of my friends go to, although I do hear that you lose weight fast. SHA is very luxurious and pampering and I have heard good things about the Wellness Sanctuary in Alicante. I personally don’t want to go to a luxury hotel with a spa, as that’s confuses me, I like to be fully immersed in my treatment.
The detox that went most pear shaped for me was in Spain with Detox International, it was my fault, not theirs, I didn’t read the pre- detox and went to a wedding in Marseille the day before and lost count of the tequila shots I drank, thought; I had better keep this information to myself and plunged into their broth/juice (which is basically sugar) only diet. I skipped the yoga bit. I find yoga so boring which is why I need to do it. It was boiling hot and I went certifiably insane-whilst my friend hid in her room with her box sets- I thought I had found the meaning of life, bombarded her with readings and every time she gingerly asked me if I was Ok and pleaded that we should meet on a middle ground. I was not interested and raced to my chakra appointment- with ease I left my body and soared around space, it got to the point that the teacher stopped the treatments saying I was using space travel like a drug and I had control of his “being” I felt smug. I did come back with glowing skin, clear eyes and a radiant sense of well being that people noticed. It didn’t last long.
I am not going to bore you with my trip to India to meet the guru Sai Baba where basically the same thing happened, I went mad practicing” diksha” and as I was being driven through the night from one state to another state, by an unknown monk to meet basically ‘Jesus’, I have never been more terrified in my life. He was like a jolly Father Christmas as it turned out, but I came back very shaken, not with the meaning of life. So gurus are out for me, although a lot of my friends swear by Sat Guru- I am not risking it again.
The benefits of meditation are indisputable but I still find it impossible, I have tried so many different ways but they never last, the only thing I can stick to is Headspace which does help, in dire moments of stress.
Right now I am at the Viva Mayr clinic, staring at a sublime lake which changes colour every hour and I am going to have a sauna tonight and jump into that freezing lake. At meals, which are delicious but meager I am chewing every mouthful 40 times and spend most of the day hooked up to an IV.
But for me its heaven, its like being in a very lovely school/hospital, doctors in white coats and all responsibility is taken away, one is given an individual program and every issue on every level is addressed and I always feel truly restored on a deep level. In the summer one can swim in the lake and I am sure all the electrolytes in the water wipe out any magnetic damage done by mobiles and laptops, one merges tingling with vitality.
I know its not for everyone and it is quite possible if you have a less extreme personality to mine, to go on a healthy holiday.
Several of the properties on our website do this:
- Our Seville Villa set in breathtaking landscape makes their hill walking courses and iyengar (in my opinion the best type of yoga ) painless.
- La Scuola offers a detox menu, if wanted and a wonderful spa next door, so you can holiday and detox at the same time.
- Lagoon Lodge for regular weeks of yoga, healthy eating and mindfullness on the coast.
- Launton House holds ‘mindfulness through movement courses regularly.
- Don’t eat raw food after 4pm, you don’t want a festering lettuce rotting in your stomach.
- You just cannot eat too many green vegetables- the best fruit to eat are berries or seasonal local fruit.
- Only eat meat and fish, three times a week, eat tofu (boring I know) or pulses to get enough protein the rest of the week.
- Avoid gluten, apparently there is 70% more gluten stuffed into wheat than when I was a child, by 2050, half the world will be allergic to gluten.
- Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a king and dinner like a pauper – it’s annoying but true.
- Drink 2 litres of water a day. Tea counts, wine doesn’t!
- Don’t drink anything with meals, not even water, drink before or after meals.
- Chew each mouthful as many times as you can, unobtrusively or your friends will declare you too boring to go out with-a lot of your digestive enzymes are in your mouth.
- Don’t eat between meals as it interferes with the digestive process.
- Take up ‘oil pulling’- first thing in the morning, swirl coconut oil around your teeth and gargle for ten minutes, it whitens your teeth and gets rid of toxins, do something else while you are doing this-as its tedious, the first time I did it, I swallowed it, spit it out!
- Every food is acid or alkaline, you need both but 2/3 alkaline and 1/3 acid- as disease can spread more in a predominantly acid body.
- Nobody cares how hard you work, so there’s no point being a martyr and working like a maniac all hours of the day and night, your health will suffer. I am guilty of this. Balance.
- One needs eight hours sleep a night.
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