I arrived in Portugal feeling pretty rubbish. I was aching all over, not sleeping, feeling dizzy and generally out of sorts. I wondered if it was menopause finally getting snarky with me and had gone as far as to buy some herbal remedies (which I promptly forgot to take with me) but swiftly realised it was simply that I had been putting crap in my body and in my mind.
By the time I left my aches had all gone. I was sleeping like a kitten (early to bed, early to rise). The dizziness had vanished too. I felt bright, alert and clear-headed. Also - praise be! - my rotator cuff decided to sort itself out (or nearly sort itself out). What else? Oh yes, now I'm back in a room where I can actually see my face in the mirror (my room there was VERY dark) my skin is clearer and softer and my eyes are brighter. I've shed about five kilos of very much unwanted weight and I'm standing taller and sitting easier. My mood is improved about 500 percent too.
It's not just the juice fasting, of course. The yoga played a large part - all three teachers were great but I learned tons about bringing yoga into everyday life with Drew. Then, of course, I had two mind and body-blowing sessions with Anita that really rummaged around in the murky depths of my psyche, untangling a lot of messy knots and activating a shedload of suppressed energy. She is an extraordinary therapist and a big high five to Moinhos Velhos for having the guts to employ someone who works so deeply. I've been on a lot of detoxes and they've all been pretty good but it's people like Anita and Drew who make the difference here. Of course, it won't suit everyone - the Moinhos experience runs on Om and dances to Shiva - if you like to keep it all more...clinical...then there are plenty of other detoxes to choose - see the selection on Queen of Retreats (where I'll be filing my report on MV).
Of course, you don't have to go to a dedicated retreat centre to detox. I wrote my book The Detox Plan
to help people do a gentle detox at home. It includes a very sensible month-long cleanse that can fit around the average working week. Ouch, that looks like a sell, doesn't it?
Do you have to do a twelve-day juice fast? Of course not. But if you want to feel a shedload better, I'd heartily advise looking at how you treat your body and mind.
Now, of course, the big challenge is to stay in balance. As I've found, time and time again, it's easy-peasy to do this stuff when you're away from home and work with all its stresses and temptations. Once you come back, it's all too easy to slide back into crappy habits. We shall see...