Expert nutritionist Kate Chaytor-Norris gives us the lowdown on the highs a juicing retreat can deliver…

For a complete foodie like me, the thought of drinking fruit and vegetable juices for a week was to say the least a little alarming. I don’t do hunger well at the best of times but the opportunity presented itself for me to take a group of girls on a juicing retreat to Amchara Retreat in Gozo, Malta and I couldn’t say no.

The week is all about giving the body and mind, time and space to detox. By removing the food element and flooding the body with nutrients from the juices, it then does not have to expend energy and resources on digestion. It can concentrate on cleaning up the toxins that have been accumulated in the body over time. Our 21st century world has become a very toxic place and it is almost impossible to avoid them despite being diligent and aware.

Amchara provides the perfect toxin free world where you can start the day with an early morning walk along the coast watching the sun rise, then follow this with some gentle yoga before your first juice. If at this point you are thinking no way Jose, I will say that you don’t have to do just juice, you can have smoothies, soups and also raw food if it all seems too much, but surprisingly most people seem to manage the juices quite easily and not feel hungry.

You have four juices a day 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 6pm inbetween aqua aerobics, massages, visits to the infra-red sauna or steamroom, swimming and of course colonics. The latter is not compulsory but I would highly recommend it, as colonics are exceptional for super-charging your detox.

So what are the downsides of detoxing ? The symptoms can range from a mild headache to a full blown super strength hangover, depending upon how many toxins you have to offload and how efficiently your system can cope with them. One lady who arrived from a high-velocity job which involved 15 cups of coffee, 20 cigarettes and high levels of alchohol each day to keep going, understandably had quite a tough time but that is the extreme. Most people feel a bit groggy and maybe brain fog as the brain starts to have a clear out. But this is a small price to pay for the shining eyes, glowing skin and extra energy that result.

Amchara is also a place to detox the mind. It is very tranquil, giving you time to unpackage emotional baggage and get your life in order. If this process proves challenging and you need some help, the staff are fully trained to support you. The other benefit includes learning lots about how your body works and the symptoms that might occur if things are out of balance. There are daily talks on different subjects, like the gut, liver and thyroid function, or detoxing body and mind.

All in all this is a win-win type of experience, one that I cannot recommend highly enough if you are interested in nurturing your body and maintaining optimum health.

If you are interested in a trip to Amchara please mention this article which will qualify you for a free massage whilst you are there. They also have a retreat in Somerset.


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