Food for thought - Wave Holiday - 56 - 2002


juice detox on the beach

 My enjoyment of the beauty of the surroundings was a little tempered by the first meeting with some of the other guests to arrive that evening. In a conversation with four of the party of the eventual ten that usually make up a program, I found myself talking to a New York cop from the Bronx, a homeopath from Chichester and two computer programmers. They were fun but not my types. In a telephone call home my husband gave me the perfect solution. If it's as bad as all that - get out of there and book into the five star hotel down the road.

We started the fast the next morning and for the next four days my body and mind rebelled. There were times when I found myself arguing the benefits of a good red meat diet with a group of people mainly committed to vegetarianism and there were times when I couldn't be bothered to even talk to anyone.

Until now my life had been a hectic one. I have never coped with a quiet lifestyle. I'm always in search of something new to keep me entertained. On my first day I wondered how I was going to cope with all this peace and quiet and healthy attitudes.Then, here's the interesting thing, by day five I began to feel a change in me. In a phone call to my husband I heard myself answering his question of "how's the weight loss going?" with "Oh I've no idea, but it's not really about that - it's about detoxing your system and allowing yourself the chance to develop spiritual side.

I had realized how nice the people were and spent hours trying to learn more about the rubbish I'd put into my body. I took to going on solitary walks around the beautiful lake close by. I would find myself trying to meditate to gain more of the peace I had found inside.

Each day we began with meditation and yoga and my body began to respond more easily to the postures asked of it. The holistic treatments given were bringing forward all my past emotions and negative thoughts. I found myself crying and laughing - sometimes together! All the while I was growing spiritually and mentally.

The team of staff at the retreat were a wonderfully rounded group of people who gave their time to us whenever required. Their knowledge was immense and there didn't seem to be a question I couldn't get an answer to.

In the evenings, we made our own entertainment, sometimes set in the tipi in the grounds. I vaguely remember doing a party piece to entertain the others, as we all did. It was a nice feeling to be able to give some pleasure by making a fool of myself. Not something I'd done in the past.

The weeks passed too quickly, all of the sudden we were on day twelve and expected to begin eating again. Oh yes, the fasting - apart from the odd initial hunger pang in the first few days, no one had a problem at all with the fasting. The organic fruit and vegetable juices during the day, together with the broth in the evening left us feeling quite happy. We did, however, wind each other up on regular intervals with what food we could have eaten given the choice.

On the day we left Moinhos Velhos, I went round hugging everybody as if my life depended on it. These friends I made, both guests and therapists, are now an important part of my life. I felt and looked better than I had in years and it showed.

I hadn't thought about the weight side much, but putting on my old clothes I realized that I had indeed lost several kilos. This was a turning point for me, after innumerable problems with digestion and a build up of old toxins and steroids given for back problems years ago.

I left Moinhos Velhos on June 16th nine pounds lighter than the 12stone 9lbs when I had arrived. Today, as I write this, on October 7th, without dieting but with an eye to healthier eating habits and a digestive system that works perfectly - my weight is 9 stone 11lbs.

I don't eat red meat anymore, I choose not to eat dairy and avoid many of the intolerance foods that came to light. More importantly my diet is vegetarian 99% of the time! I didn't believe that was possible!

In truth it isn't about weight loss. What I found there was an understanding about nutrition, a chance to cleanse my body and allow it to help itself heal and for me a new opportunity to gain spiritual growth.

The retreats have up to 10 people at a time and last a fortnight each.


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