Find out if my relaxing health retreat changed my usual lifestyle of going to bars, restaurants and kebab shops. Did it really work? hmmm let’s see what happened!
Very first day
Upon arrival Kris the owner of a juice/raw food bar ‘The Core’ in Swindon & also owner of this retreat picked us up from the airport & dropped us to Organic – a healthy restaurant near the villa.
This was where I had my last supper, and me being me I had EGGS of course! Haha! It was a delicious meal of healthy eggs benedict on whole grain bread with lots of truffle mushrooms with a lean green juice (in hind sight I’m not sure why I had a green juice when I was about to be living off the stuff for a week ) I also had a turmeric, coconut & almond latte with a raw/vegan slice of cake that was incredible!!
We arrived at the beautiful villa at 5pm where we all settled into our room. At around 7pm we had our evening juice & fruit snacks followed by a welcome chat. Kris introduced himself & explained a little about what we could expect from the week to come. Then we all openly explained our reasons for attending the retreat. Mine was to get away from temptation. Even though I eat a balanced diet & live flexibly by the 80/20 rule and stay away from processed food and dairy, I have been getting into bad eating & drinking habits lately. So, I needed a way to break the cycle! I also wanted to relax, unwind, get lots of organic fruit and veg goodness in me. I basically wanted to feel refreshed and energised but the ultimate goal was to hopefully fall in love with yoga & learn how to chill the F*** out .
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that only a couple of the group were there to lose weight. The main goals of the group were to relax and escape their hectic lifestyle including; stressful jobs; getting away from busy parenting; making themselves feel better; educating themselves more on nutrition; distancing themselves away from temptation; but ultimately just having some healthy ‘Me Time’.
But to be honest, even the ladies attending in order to lose weight had long term realistic goals. They were already on their journey so they weren’t using this retreat as a “quick fix” to shift the excess weight they wanted to lose. I loved that there was no weigh in & Kris’s main focus of the retreat was to educate his guests about nutrition and improve as many people’s health by nourishing the body with lots of fruit & veg goodness. He did this by showing us educational videos that open your eyes to the food industry, how to understand the functions of the body and how it works and many other practices.
An example of my daily routine
The days were structured so that we start with some beautiful sunrise Yoga on the terrace at 7am. Followed by a jog to the beach a few minutes away as the sun hits the beach around 8.30am. Then we were back for a sweet detox juice at 10am and by 11am we had a group chat on anything from boosting our immune systems, to a workshop on which raw foods can heal the body.
By 12pm we could choose to go off for an afternoon activity or sit back and relax in the sun by the pool with our afternoon juices or meals.
I obviously chose to do a 3-4 hour mountain trek because the weather was beautiful. The mountain trek wasn’t as tough as climbing Kilimanjaro thankfully but still a great 3-4 hour hike with breath taking views of Marbella at the top.
One of the activities was the Gorge walk. I wasn’t sure about this as I hate heights – which is odd, I know considering I have climbed one of the highest mountains in the world & cycled one of the hardest stretches of the Tour de France with sheer drops next to me haha! So me being me, I was like sod it I’m going to do it I love a challenge! And I’m soooo glad I did. The Gorge walk was around a 90mins drive away from the villa. It was seriously high up and the wooden path that they had made recently had big gaps so you could see the insane and quite frightening drop beneath you
But your body and mind relax after a few minutes. It was one of the most stunning views I had ever seen in my life and I highly recommend it! This is if you want to experience a different side to Marbs!! I would then use other afternoons to relax and sunbathe around the pool.
Then I’d come back for an amber passion smoothie followed by a mint madness juice. Later in the afternoon after the trek there was more yoga, usually by the pool. Then by 7pm I would have my green goddess smoothie and watch an inspirational movie at night to feed the mind.
Overall, I was extremely impressed with the retreat considering it was the first one. Everything ran very smoothly (pun fully intended ), the accommodation was perfect! It was modern but cosy, and in a great location. The owner of the Marbella hideaway villa, Simon, popped in most days to check everything was ok which was a nice personal touch.
Even though I won’t be having 4 juices a day with no solid food, I feel incredible! My skin has completely cleared and I have learnt a lot that I have taken away with me. When I left I decided to up my usual 2-3 juices/smoothies a week to 1-2 a day if possible. I am even going to add yoga into my weekly fitness regime. I still find yoga quite a slow pace compared to my usual favourite HIIT training sessions, but I now realise the importance of stretching every part of your body. It’s a fantastic way for improving strength and flexibility but mainly it’s a great way to switch off from the world for an hour which is something a lot of us struggle with. I am now continuing Yoga on a regular basis!
I did think Kris was slightly bonkers setting up a relaxing health retreat so close to temptation but it was kind of a metaphor of what actually happens in real life! We are around temptation every day and in order to live a healthy lifestyle we have to learn how to make good positive choices, eat and drink things that make us feel good and educate ourselves as to what is good for our bodies.
Poolside Juice with Kris on my last day at the re-treat
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