Can a wine and pizza addict survive a juice detox?
I’ve always wanted to do a juice detox at a spa but considering my wine and pizza addiction I’ve always been a bit scared to do it. I like my food and get very very hangry when I don’t eat. Having worked for so long in the spa industry I know all about detoxing the body and the benefits it brings but I’ve never been very good at having the willpower to doing it myself. I’d always start off well then fall at the first hurdle So on a recent trip to Portugal to check out Longevity Wellness Worldwide for my spa and wellness travel packages, I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to try out their 3-day juice detox.
Longevity Wellness has two locations in Portugal, the one I was staying in was Longevity Cegonha Country Club, Vilamoura, an idyllic four-star hotel. With only 32 rooms and all of the guests being similar wellness programmes, the place has a wonderfully relaxing and peaceful atmosphere. The grounds include a stunning outdoor pool, tennis courts and various green areas dotted with giant bean bags to relax on.
Having stuffed myself full of wine and pizza the previous 2 days, I arrived feeling bloated but motivated to get this detox going! I was due to start the detox the day after I arrived so I was allowed have solid food for dinner, which was delicious grilled fish and vegetables, I almost didn’t miss the carbs.
Juice Detox Day 1.
I rolled out of bed starving as always and down to breakfast, where I tried to talk the waitress into giving me the regular breakfast saying I would start the detox at lunchtime (I can not be trusted!). She was having none of it and gave me a shot of apple cider vinegar and some other lovely tasting stuff as you can see from my face. I then had to wait 30 mins for my detox tea while I watched my friend enjoy her breakfast, of fruit, granola and a drool-inducing croissant, which said she wouldn’t eat in solidarity with me (she lied). After my detox tea, which was surprisingly good. I had another 30 mins to wait for my shake, a blend of fruits and veg with protein powder which was delicious and actually filled me up!
After my long breakfast, it was time for my wellness and nutritional consultation. Which involved a biophysical evaluation, measuring different areas of my body and a chat about my diet. I know what I should be eating but I’m very bold about sticking to my diet. I LOVE my carbs and they are always the first thing I reach for.
The nutritionist was great, she went through all the information from weigh in, which measures your inner and outer fat, muscles and water content. In general, I am healthy but I could lose some of the fat around my stomach (I’m a typical apple). There wasn’t much she said to me that I didn’t know myself, but she didn’t make me feel bad about my poor choices and gave me some different option to try instead. Just looking at the figures and chatting to her gave me a big motivational kick and the optimism to get through the next few days.
Lunch came around very quickly and I found I wasn’t even that hungry, a cold soup was the dish of the day and I got to see the other lunch options as my friend got to order off the menu. Though I was starting to feel like, pah solid food, don’t need that. I can totally do this!
The day was broken into when I would get my next juices, which was every 3 hours. They were delicious, so refreshing, especially drinking them beside the pool. This is the type of detoxing I can get into! After a strenuous few hours of sunbathing (and doing a bit of work, unfortunately, there’s no rest for me) and drinking my afternoon juices (so yummy!) it was time for dinner.
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Dinner was a delicious vegetable soup and I was even allowed second helpings, I (almost) didn’t feel jealous of my friend’s dinner. The place is so peaceful and relaxed. The sun was starting to go down but it was still warm enough to sit outside, just a gentle breeze and looking out into the surrounding nature. It was very tranquil. Nothing felt rushed and the servers already knew what diet everyone was on, it was really interesting to see what the other guests were eating. The other guests wandered down for dinner throughout the evening, quite a few were staying on their own but you wouldn’t know it as it was such a friendly atmosphere, with everyone was chatting to each other, it didn’t matter what language, everyone can speak the language of wellness.
After our relaxation tea and good chats. It had been so long since I’d been away with my friend, felt so good to have a proper catch-up. It was time for bed. Unfortunately, I still had one more thing to do for my detox and apologies for the honesty but I had to do a self-administered enema which fully flushes out all the toxins. don’t worry I won’t go into details but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
Juice Detox Day 2.
Woke up feeling better than I expected. Day 2 is meant to be the worst as the toxins are leaving your body, you’re meant to feel grumpy and tired but I was feeling pretty good. I had to delay my detox body scrub as ahem I was very bold the day before and had burnt my back. Sunburn + scrub is not pleasant. I was still able to have my detox treatment, although it was a bit uncomfortable on my back. Generally, it is always best to start with the scrub as it gets rid of all the dead skin cells and means the products can penetrate the skin better and have more of an effect. The detox treatment is a body wrap with seaweed. Seaweed is excellent for detoxing as it stimulates the kidneys to remove more toxins (ie makes you pee more! Really important to drink a lot of water when having a seaweed treatment). The treatment started off with being slathered in sexy green gunk, then wrapped in foil to “cook” (the heat helps the product get into the system quicker) as I had a blissful head massage. 20 minutes later I rinsed it off and had a light lotion applied to my body.
The day continued in the same pattern as the first day. My stomach felt empty but not hungry and when I started to feel a bit peckish, it was would be time for another juice. The weather was beautiful, lovely and warm but never getting too hot! There were numerous activities arranged throughout the day from yoga and fitness classes to crystal healing workshops. I fully intended to go to them, I swear! But the indulgence of lying around and doing nothing was too tempting. Unfortunately, it rained in the afternoon so we went to visit the Vilamoura Marina, but the moment we got there we were missing the peacefulness of the spa, so we didn’t even stay for a coffee (well a herbal tea for me). I did have a moment when I went into the shop of feeling “I could buy chocolate and sweets and no one will know!” like I was a bold child. I didn’t but it’s amazing when you’re told you can’t have something, that’s all you want. I felt very holier than thou walking out of the shop feeling like I had resisted the ultimate temptation!
Before dinner, I used the spa facilities. I’m such a nerd about these things, from my years working as a spa manager, and as this is a property I’m organising spa travel programmes for, I need to make sure everything is up to scratch. This means me being on my hands and knees in the sauna, (I was on my own) peering down behind it to check the cleanliness (you don’t want to know about the build-up of body fat that happens…). I am happy to report the facilities are outstanding! Very new and very very clean (no body fat anywhere) they have the most up to date technology. The sauna included areas of infa-red for you to lay against. Infrared is great for getting extra heat into your muscles without the surrounding air getting too hot. It had special buttons to press to get a spray of essential oil in the air to help you relax. The steam had the same, you could choose from orange or eucalyptus. Then there was an ice fountain for use in between the heat (see my guide on how best to use spa facilities), experience showers, with warm tropical rain and freezing arctic mist.
The best thing was the salt room. Salt is naturally anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and really good for our health, especially if you suffer from allergies and asthma. The room is filled with salt on the floor and salt in the air, you can feel it cleansing you with each deep breath. It was really dark with one of the walls lit up in changing colours so you can benefit from colour therapy as well. A little tip, if you bring some extra towels or your robe into the sauna, then use the ice fountain (rubbing ice all over your body), wrap your body in the warm towels then curl up in one of the chairs in the salt room, it’s pure bliss! Outside in the pool area, there were wonderful water jets which you use to massage various part of the body.
The evening again was very chilled, another soup this time, no second helpings but I wasn’t feeling hungry although it didn’t quite satisfy me. One more day, I thought, one more day, I can do this… I was exhausted from doing nothing all day, and fell asleep by 10 (unheard of for me)
Juice Detox Day 3.
This was when the horrors hit. Ok, I’m being dramatic it wasn’t that bad. But I felt dizzy and so so grumpy. I feel so sorry for my friend having to deal with me. I went straight back to bed after breakfast and had her bring my morning shake up to me. After having two naps and lunch I was still feeling pretty grumpy but a bit more alive. I had the rest of my treatments which included my postponed detoxing body scrub followed by a detoxing massage. The scrub wasn’t too bad, the therapist was very gentle on my still slightly sore back, after washing it off, I was back on the bed for the massage. And what a massage! A detox massage is generally lighter pressure and works on stimulating the lymph system so it mostly concentrates on the legs (great for helping with the evil cellulite). I could almost feel the cellulite being rubbed away.
My therapist was incredible, it was the same one that I had for my detox seaweed treatment, but with the massage he really showcased his talents. I’ve had many massages in my life (don’t hate me it’s my job – ok you can hate me a little bit) so I know good massage. A masseuse can be technically excellent, hitting all the correct spots and working out the muscles but to be a truly excellent therapist there needs to be an extra connection, a level of energy that they can connect with you. You can have 50 therapists perform the exact same massage, using the exact same techniques but if they have this certain energy, you can feel it, and this is what sets it apart. These therapists are rare and I hope you find one. Your life will be better for it.
After my treatments, I was feeling a lot more human again. And my friend forgave me for being the grumpiest person ever. I have to confess I cheated at dinner. In my defence, it was my friends last night and we wanted to enjoy a proper meal together. Had the most amazing fish and vegetables, so still super healthy – and no wine!
Once I had finished my cleanse, it was both exciting and daunting to start eating regularly again, it felt strange to suddenly have a whole host of options to choose from come breakfast time. That was definitely one thing that the cleanse allows you to do, be free from the choice and indecision that can come with eating three meals a day. Solid fruit and granola for breakfast the next day never tasted SO GOOD!
That morning I couldn’t help but notice my skin looked clear, my eyes were brighter and well I felt great! I was full of energy, my stomach felt flat for the first time in I don’t know how long. I felt good and I looked good! I didn’t lose a huge amount of weight, think it was two or 3 Ilb, but losing weight isn’t the main reason for doing something like this. It’s about pausing and giving your body a chance to reset. Something we rarely give our body or our brains.
Would I do it again? Yes, although I’ll definitely be more prepared for day 3! And if I can do this – anyone can
If you are interested in organising a spa break with Longevity I would be delighted to go through the different options with you and create the perfect spa break for you. As much as I love visiting spas, I love organising your personalised holiday even more! Just drop me a mail on [email protected] or visit www.fleewinter.com/spa-wellness