The Luxury Channel reviews four of the best detox treatments, giving you a first hand glimpse of the highs and lows of a healthy lifestyle….
I have a relatively healthy diet: there’s cake involved, but there’s also a lot of vegetables. So I was surprised at how hard I found Nosh’s weekend detox – the harmless chocolate cravings that I normally experience took over my thoughts, and it was all I could do to convince myself that yes, just one small bite of a toasted teacake would be cheating.
I restrained – I forced down the ayurvedic cleanse and bee pollen, and yes, even the cold, slimy globule of castor oil – and I felt all the more virtuous for it. The Nosh three-day detox comprises of a day of freshly prepared raw food (delivered to your door the night before) and then two days of juices, with four juices each day, all labelled clearly so you know which one to drink when. There are also herbal teas, natural supplements and a selection of naturally-scented sea salts for baths. However, there is a lot of liquid and by my fourth smoothie of the day, even after only 2 litres of water (Nosh recommend 3), I was struggling to drink it all. Which was a shame, because most of the juices were very tasty (although we won’t mention the celery, tomato, cucumber and chilli concoction!).
I didn’t really lose any weight – but for Nosh, that is a secondary effect of the detox, the primary one being digestive health. Although it was tough going for a detox newbie like me, the programme has allowed me to re-evaluate my relationship with food and how much I rely on it to structure my day. I’ll start thinking about whether I am actually hungry, or simply succumbing to cravings, and my days will definitely start with the delicious hot water, ginger and lemon combo that Nosh recommend to kick start the digestive system. I’m also going to try to reduce my sugar intake, and the percentage of my diet that relies on processed foods.
However, tomorrow is another day and right now, all I want is that teacake….
The process of having food delivered by Raw Fairies was like a lovely hug: calming, restorative and nurturing. Freed from the soul-destroying process of shopping in the supermarket – where advertising, bright colours and over-indulgent parents clog the lanes and the brain – Raw Fairies liberates its customer and really takes care of you.
Throughout the five day cleanse, there was not one moment of hunger, craving or boredom. The imaginative nutritionist behind Raw Fairies has done an excellent job at creating a balanced and exciting menu – for example, pizza Mexicana on two seed onion crust with courgette ribbons and balsamic dressing, or rocket, red pepper and tomato salad with pine nut, parmesan and avocado dressing for lunch or supper.
The menu consists of lots of juices and smoothies throughout, such as the raspberry, mango and maca smoothie (maca powder is extremely rich in minerals). Raw food can put the digestion system under pressure; however, the order of the meals follow smoothly.
Energy levels soar and by day four, my skin is glowing. Raw Food retains the water that normally evaporates during the cooking process so your body is constantly hydrated. Vitamin levels are high and the enzymes responsible for the metabolic process are live and active. It is a good idea to have a massage during your detox. I went to the Zen Clinic in Notting Hill. They created a bespoke deep tissue massage that helped quell any excess emotions that a detox (and the self awareness it inspires) inevitably evokes. Raw Fairies is a powerful cleansing detox that will change the way you fuel yourself forever.
This is a three or five-day detox plan, comprising of five fresh juices a day along with cleansing herbal supplements.
I start the detox on a Friday and the juices are delivered to my door before 9am. The first juice is the famous ‘‘Master Cleanse’’ water, lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper combo – I’m dreading it, to be honest, but it’s actually really nice – just like homemade lemonade. I add to this an alarmingly yellow-coloured liver support supplement (don’t spill it; it will stain!) and wash down some cleansing supplements (you take about 20 of these a day – it’s a wonder I don’t rattle as I walk!).
Mid-morning and it’s time for the Lean & Green juice – a celery and apple juice, which is also really good. However, at lunchtime it’s time for the one I’ve been really dreading, the Cashew Nut Milk, which, I have to say, is just as I feared. Apparently, other clients love this drink so much they call up asking for the recipe so perhaps it’s just down to personal taste, but it’s not for me!
Now for the Ginger Zinger – a carrot juice with ginger. It smells wonderful, incredibly fresh and, well, carroty. Supper is the tasty ‘‘Squeaky Clean’’ cucumber, apple and lime juice, but I’m so full that I only manage about three quarters of it.
I gave up caffeine a week ago in preparation and yet I am still plagued by a constant, dull headache – I had no idea that caffeine withdrawal could be so painful! Despite this, I’m sleeping really well and I wake early each morning feeling refreshed and energetic. Oddly, over the three days, I didn’t have any really bad hunger pangs – the sheer amount of juice keeps you feeling very full. Saying this, I’m not sure if I could have coped with the stress of a working week on a tummy full of juice!
Cutting out caffeine (which I’m going to try to keep up from now on) has really made a difference to my sleep patterns and the amount of energy and focus I now have and, if the scales are to be believed, I lost about 4 lbs over the three days – my tummy is very flat and my skinny jeans definitely fit a little better. My skin feels really soft and I swear my nails have become harder (they usually peel and break). Overall, I have to say that I’m really impressed with the results.
When after-work drinks are calling louder than the gym or yoga studio, you need a break from the city and time to focus on you! Founder Natasha Corrett tells us about the ethos behind these holistic weekend breaks.
“The reason I started Ganesh Retreats is because I was looking for someone to show me how to integrate a holistic life into my daily routine. It is all very easy to say that we would like to practise yoga every day, eat healthily and not drink, but we live in the western world and there are a lot of fun distractions,” she says.
“I feel that it is important to live a balanced life….everything in moderation! If we suddenly change something in our lives very drastically, for example our diets, we are acting on will power to keep it going. This is not sustainable and therefore will most likely break at some point. To stop this from happening, we can do something I like to call ‘upgrading.’ Offer yourself an alternative to the things you want to cut out by upgrading them to a healthier option. So instead of having sweets and chocolates, try upgrading to raw chocolate, protein balls, dried fruit or nuts.”
“If you do slip back into old habits, it is important not to beat yourself up about it. This is a very common attitude we have with ourselves and is completely self-destructive. Like everything in life, we respond well to love and affection. It is not the end of the world if you break a diet or go for a big night out. If at the time you enjoyed yourself and you don’t regret it, then isn’t that the most important thing? It is all about being in the present moment and being happy right now.”
“Be kind to yourself. Try just giving yourself 10 or 15 minutes every morning to either do some exercise, yoga or meditation. It doesn’t have to be a chore or difficult – these gifts and lessons are here to give us balance and make our daily life easier.”