What one does to keep in-shape; fight the ageing process; go to the gym ‘most days’ and sometimes opt out of the ‘rat race’ to rejuvenate.
A short while ago a good friend, after a couple of glasses of Pinot Noir suggested ‘what about a juice retreat in Turkey’? In for a penny, in for a pound ‘the retreat mantra is 7 lbs in seven days’ – why not, so bookings were hastily made before I had time to give it serious thought.
Anyway I am a bit of a health retreat fanatic, having been to a number of destination spas over the years that included: Rancho La Puerta just outside San Diego in Mexico, Bagni di Pisa Palace & Spa outside of Pisa, Chiva Som in Thailand, Golden Door and Eden Health Retreat in Australia. I still have a number on my bucket list, in particular Canyon Ranch in Arizona, USA, Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa Resort in Koh Samui, Thailand and Sha Wellness Clinic in Alicante Spain.
Well of course who goes to Turkey without visiting Istanbul – not me! If I had to ‘juice only for 7 days’ I could play in Istanbul for a couple of days before we became juice fanatics.
Istanbul population is 14 million (Turkey is 74million) – loads of taxis and little English spoken. City is very clean and people very nice and helpful. We stayed in the W Hotel (the hip boutique brand of Sheraton opened in 2008 – all very night-clubish) and located in an area with designer shops and great restaurants.
Our sightseeing included sights in the old part Sultanahmet – Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar with the obligatory visit to the Cagaloglu Haman for a steam bath and Turkish massage. We secured tickets to the Whirling Dervishes that were performing at the Rail Station (where the Orient Express trains used to depart in the ‘old days’) – I get giddy twirling a couple of times let alone the hundreds of times they do it.
A one-hour flight to Dalaman in Southern Turkey on the Mediterranean we were driven to our ‘juicy mountain retreat’ 45 minutes drive from the airport. Whilst the accommodation was moderate, the views were wonderful out over the mountains and the valley, particularly watching the sunrise early each morning during our meditation sessions.
Food was not a temptation as the resort kitchen never had a delicious smell wafting from it; upon closer inspection it was set up with fridges filled with fruits, green vegetables and juice machines!
Our four juices a day routine started – no solids!!!! Our day went like this; 0630 up for meditation, yoga and morning walk down the mountain then up again (nearly killed me!), then our first juice at 1030.
We then had a choice of a motivational talk, rest/reading or massage (I opted for the massage & reading) before another juice at 1330. Afternoon exercise included Tai Chi, circuit, rebounding and yoga with another two juices one at 1630 and the last at 2000. So by 2030 it was my bedtime. Well there was nothing else to do!
The retreat is run by Jason Vale the ‘Juice Master’ a guru on juicing for health in the UK: (he has written loads of books on the subject, ‘7Lbs in 7 Days’ et al).
The week was yet another interesting health focused experience; it was fun, I felt great and met my goal of losing 4kgs!!!
Rancho La Puerta
73/4 Petchkasem Road,
Hua Hin?Prachuab Khirikhan,
Bagni di Pisa Palace & Spa
18-56017 San Giuliano Terme (PI)
Tuscany – Italy
Sha Wellness Clinic
Verderol 5 El Albir 03581
Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa Resort
102/9 Moo 3, Laem Set Road,
Na-Muang ?Koh Samui,
Suratthani 84140 Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 77 429 800
400 Raffles Road
Willow Vale QLD 4209
Eden Health Retreat (formerly know as Camp Eden)
1815 Currumbin Creek Road
Currumbin Valley, QLD 4223