Sunday, 30 January 2011

Health, happiness and other heavenly gifts

Whatever your views on the ethics and aesthetics of fashion model and celebrity images (as discussed in my post at The Dabbler), I believe that true beauty comes from within. I refuse to be told how I should look and I don’t believe in dieting. However, I do aim to maintain a healthy lifestyle, with good food and plenty of exercise. With this in mind, I decided to do something a little bit crazy – I took a few days out to attend a juice fasting and detox retreat.

It was here that I discovered how the likes of Kate Moss get their flat stomachs: Curiously, by sticking plastic tubes up their bums and flushing out their insides with twice daily enemas. This was the least pleasant part of my visit to picturesque Littleton Mill in Wiltshire.

Jiva Healing runs rejuvenating retreats all over the world, and if you’re somewhat pressed for time, they’ll help you relax, unwind and clean up your eating act in as little as four to five days.

Environmentally aware Melissa Kendall, who runs the courses is a mine of information on all things eco-friendly as far as far as sustainable living is concerned. She’s also brilliant at whipping up fabulously tasty juice shakes from an amazing variety of fresh organic fruits and vegetables in her impressively equipped farmhouse style kitchen.

Melissa, formerly an investment analyst for socially responsible funds, is totally passionate in her commitment to environmental responsibility, and instinctively takes each of the participants under her wing. What’s more, she not only grows her own wheatgrass, but magnificently exudes the benefits of a healthy lifestyle too… she certainly has style with brains.

The retreat offers a holistic approach to wellbeing that includes healthy eating and nutrition lessons, along with cookery sessions - and some surprisingly creative ways of using natural, commonly available ingredients to make deliciously wholesome meals. These include a uniquely simple recipe for mouthwatering banana ice cream (containing nothing but bananas). Plus, there’s a chance to concoct your own fruit and veg smoothie. Mine was curiously green.

There’s also guidance on the psychology of eating, ‘the science of happiness’, gentle daily yoga - and therapists on hand to provide relaxing massages and other treatments to help transport your mind as far away from food as possible.

I was heartened that from my window I could see chickens feeding, potentially within reach, on the other side of the mill stream…Though, fortunately, as the juices are supplemented by detoxifying herbs and nutritional powders, I didn’t once feel hungry.

Anyway, I’m feeling rather angelic, having not yet raided the fridge on my return. I might even reward myself with an upcycled Rococo style cherub brooch from ShopCurious for Valentine’s Day.

Will you?


Profoundly Superficial said...

That curiously green smoothie... Are you sure it wasn't a frog milkshake???

Susan said...

I'm afraid no meat or dairy was allowed, Annie, but I agree it does look a little like pond water. Tasted delicious though - and was curiously energising too.

Jill said... are a stronger woman than I!
I don't even admit to having bodily fluids!!

Susan said...

Jill, I feel so much better after getting rid of mine! All part of my efforts to embrace a healthily slow lifestyle...