A Well-Being Trip to Bodrum, Turkey- and why everyone should detox

Take some time to slow down and appreciate your body, food and LIFE.

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you may remember a post I wrote back in October about a trip to Phuket, Thailand where my friend Jennifer and I had our first detox retreat experience.  If you haven’t read it, here’s the link, Detoxing in Thailand.  Well as my last trip for the summer vacation, I went back to The LifeCo and took my husband along with me.  However this time, we went to the Bodrum, Turkey location. 

Bodrum is a port city, that sits on the southern Aegean coast of Turkey.  I’d never been to Turkey before and I felt like I needed to restart this engine especially after all the good food I ate and beer I drank during summer vacation.  Also, my husband had never detoxed before and I figured we’d be good support for one another. 

A Panoramic view of Bodrum port

The Bodrum LifeCo is a bigger facility with more to offer than the one in Thailand.  They actually have two sights in Bodrum within 5 minutes walking distance from each other.  One is at the beach.  We opted to stay at the other since that is where all the services and treatments are.  If you stay at the beach resort, you have to walk to the sister resort every day for treatments.  From my experience, during detoxing, your body has a lot of weak moments and you can spend a significant amount of time in your room so it’s best to be close to services.  The Bodrum facility has a fitness center and two yoga studios.  Phuket only had 1 yoga studio which also served as the gym.  Besides that, the Bodrum facility also has more equipment and the kitchen eating area for those whom are eating food is separate from the other areas where guest that are doing juice and water cleanses don’t have to see the food.  Also, two yoga sessions a day are offered for guest, as well as other classes like Bootcamp fitness and Chi-Gong.  There is a biophoton machine that you are encouraged to use daily along with Luminette Light Therapy and Oxygen Therapy.  The other services are the same, daily sauna and steam room usage, pool, Angel of Water, etc…  The Thailand facility does have two pools, is lakeside and the rooms are bigger but it is not as well maintained as this one.

Darryl and I went for 7 days.  We pre-detoxed for 3 days prior.  They say pre-detox makes the transition smoother and I have to agree now that I’ve done both detoxing without pre-detox and with.   For those 3 days we had a raw juice drink in the morning, raw green salad at 12:30, another raw drink in between as well as vegetable soup broth, another salad at 6:30 and more soup broth if we felt the need and nothing else. Within those 3 days, my weight dropped by 5 lbs and Darryl’s dropped by 8lbs.  Of course, men lose so much faster than women.  We flew direct to Bodrum from Qatar on Qatar Airways.  The flight was a short 3.5 hours. 

Upon arrival we met with our program manager and selected our program.  She then gave us a tour, our salad, and our schedule.  We chose to do one more day of green salad and then switch to master detox program.  The Green Salad program is very similar to what we had done at home but with added supplements.  On the master detox you get a shake at 8:00am that is mostly water with some fruit or vegetables in it with Bentonite clay and Psyllium Husk.  Bentonite clay sucks toxins like a sponge and puts it in your colon.  Psyllium husk is the fiber to brush out the colon and helps curb hunger somewhat.  At home I use Psyllium husk for a good bowel movement alone with Cascara Sagrada.  Both are really good herbs that my mom taught me about years ago.  At 9:30am you get herbs, a Wheat grass shot and lemon water shot.  You get another shake at 11:00 and it rotates every 1.5 hours, shake then herbs wheat grass and lemon water shot or Himalayan sea salt and water shot.  You get your last shake at 8:00pm with 2 probiotics to take at 9:30pm.  In between you must drink lots of room temperature water.  At the facility the water is pH 10 antioxidant alkalized and ionized.  In between you are also encouraged to drink 3-4 cups of the broth/soup which is basically made up of red cabbage, red onion, celery and some other stuff.  No chunks no frills, not good but you are allowed to add seasonings like red pepper, cumin, sumac, oregano, salt and pepper.   It’s supposed to keep electrolytes in your system and help with hunger.  We did the master detox program for 5 full days and on the 7th day, we switched back to the green salad program to get us ready to go home.  We also purchased a raw vegan box to go which included breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner, 800 calories.

On the morning of our flight home, we weighed in again.  I lost 3.5 kgs or about 7 lbs and Darryl lost 6 kgs or about 13 lbs.  But what we gained was more important: relaxed bodies, more flexibility, cleansed colons, peace of mind, a sense of accomplishment, flatter bellies, a reboot to a healthy lifestyle and probably a few more years added to our lives- at least health wise. 

enjoying the view after a sunset walk
Zen atmosphere
Totally relaxed. No clothes necessary when you’re detoxing

I’m not going to lie and say it’s easy because it is not, so why detox at all…

  1. Boost your healing process.  By ridding your body of toxins and giving your digestive system a break, it can have time to do other things like heal you from within, boost your immune system and help you feel better.
  2. Regenerate.  Flush your system so that it can restart.  If you’ve hit a plateau with your ability to lose weight, detox can give you that needed push.  Detoxing helps regenerate our biggest organ, our skin.  Your skin will look better after a detox.
  3. Clear your mind.  At a detox retreat, you are only required to relax, follow your program and listen to your body.  This way you can think clearer and return home with a sound mind and clear head space. Studies have shown that stress takes years off of your life, so take back those years.
  4. Learn.  You can learn a lot about yourself when there aren’t distractions.  At a retreat you can also learn a lot about health through lectures and demonstrations.
  5. Because you deserve a break.  We all need a break mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Our bodies need one too.  Take some time to slow down and appreciate your body, food and LIFE. 
Stretching on the beach after an early morning walk
TAKE SOME TIME AND JUST BE

Whether you choose to go to a retreat or not, you should detox at least twice a year, at the beginning of each season is ideal.  There is no set amount of days you have to detox, but 1 is better than 0 and 5 is better than 2.  So what are you waiting for because your body is your temple, if you take care of it, it will take care of you!

GO DETOX, WE DID!

The other Side of Thailand- 7 days of Detoxing in Phuket

I was relaxed and at peace and 10 lbs lighter …

When you think of Thailand, you probably think of Bangkok, partying, Lady-Boys, prostitution, eating Thai food, The Hangover or maybe you think of the many islands around it, beaches and James Bond.  Well I just returned from my trip to Thailand but not for any of those reasons.  I went because this year is about Self-Care.  My girlfriend Jennifer saw an advertisement on Facebook for a wellness retreat BOGO deal, that means buy 1 get 1 free and we hopped on it.  We made our reservations without hesitation and paid half.  So for our Fall break, we flew to Phuket, Thailand.

We left on a Thursday night on a straight flight and 7 hours later we arrived on Friday morning.  Phuket is 4 hours ahead of Qatar.  We were met by our taxi driver sent from our resort- The Life Co Phuket Well-Being (you can see my review of the resort on viator titled: ).  By the time we arrived I was really hungry because I slept through the second meal time on the flight.  They couldn’t give us any food because we had not yet chosen our meal plan so they gave us an Energy juice instead.  We received a tour of the grounds and an overview.  Our body compositions were taken and we were taken to our room.  We had a pretty view of the lake from our balcony and a nice rain shower head.  We chose the daily green salad detox for the first two days of our stay so at noon and 6pm we were served large salads.  In between those meals we received detox juices, supplements, alkaline water and all the soup (broth) we wanted.  According to my body composition, I weighed 63.9 kg on arrival day.

IMG_2011
Pretty but hard 

IMG_2013
my relax spot on the balcony overlooking the lake

IMG_2010
The beautiful lake

IMG_2024
daily schedule of events

IMG_2023
eating area 

IMG_2019
Yoga Studio

IMG_2041
Healthy Green salad twice a day

Day 2 began with Yoga with Wa, then we met with the resort Doctor who went over our body composition results with us.  He offered to conduct all of these test on me for a fee, of course, for which I declined.  Afterwards, we had our complimentary 60 minute massage, and it was divine.  Following the massage, we used the Turbo Sonic machine- a vibrating machine that supposedly stimulates every cell in your body, before having an angel wash- a fancy name for a enema on a fancy machine.

IMG_2021
Yoga with WA

I haven’t had an enema since I was a child and I just remember it not being very pleasant.  My mom used to tell me to lie on the bathroom floor on a towel and she would stick this tube in my rear end and run water or something up there until I defecated all over the place.  She often did these when I was constipated so needless to say I was not looking forward to performing one on myself.  But daily angel washes are a part of the program and I intended to follow it to see the results.   What I will say is that it was a very interesting experience and I was not looking forward to doing it again the next day but after seeing what came out of me, I was definitely on board with the angel wash.  We sat in the steam room then the infrared sauna before spending some time in the pool.  In the evening, we went to the Naka Market which was wonderful but torturous.

20181020_191307-2.jpg
Naka Market souvenirs

20181020_183213-2.jpg
loved this market

20181020_191023-2.jpg
Sushi galore

There was food everywhere, all sorts.  I really wanted to try some food from a country I’d never been to but I was on a strict diet and didn’t want to divert, however I did try a small piece of this very green fruit and it was amazing.

20181020_182432.jpg
I wish I could remember the name of this fruit

This market convinced me that Thailand is a country I would revisit, and I rarely do repeat visits.  We purchased some souvenirs before heading back to Life Co.

On day 3, we switched our plans to the master detox, which meant all juice and supplements.  No Food!  We received 5 shakes a day, Herbs and Wheatgrass juice, and as much herbal tea and soup broth that we wanted.

On this day, we followed our routine angel wash, steam room then infrared sauna.  The angel wash was smoother than the day before. We took in some sun for tanning and relaxed.  You are highly advised to relax on a retreat, especially since your calorie intake is much lower.  On the master detox, our daily calorie intake was 500, my usual intake is around 1200-1500.  But in true Jennifer and Kennesha style, we can’t sit still too long, so we participated in the Crossfit class with Wa.  It was great.  In the afternoon we went to a cooking class with the chef of the resort.  He showed us how to make vegan wraps, apricot porridge and some dips, all vegan.  We were able to sample only an edge of a spoons worth unfortunately because of our diet, but at least we left with some recipes.

In the evening we caught a taxi to Phuket Oldtown market.  It was like Odundé in Philadelphia but with regular shops as well.  There was live music, gifts to purchase and so much street food.  Again, I felt some type of way that I couldn’t indulge.  At one point, I just sat down salivating as I watched the people cook right in front of me.  I hadn’t had any food all day and the smells were enticing.  My weakness was all around me, seafood, huge shrimp, lobster, squid, mussels, you name it, it was there.  I was really using will power and I was proud of myself.  Jennifer and I were getting obsessed with weighing ourselves daily and were seeing impressive results, we rooted for each other, we could do it.

On Monday, I had a different kind of Enema, it’s called a HydroColon.  This one is administered by a specialist and is much easier.  You don’t have to do any of the work. The specialist and machine do it for you.  Apparently, I was very full of gas which kept me pretty backed up.  I’m glad they got it out.  I think I was bloated because afterwards I felt super light and refreshed.  My pounds were dropping and fast.  We went down to the Nathon beach and walked around.  There are plenty of little shops and spas across from the beach.  We stopped in one and I got a Thai massage for 400 Thai Bhat, or 12 USD.  The massage was good but the lady’s hands were moving so fast, it definitely wasn’t like the relaxing massages I’m used to getting.  The massage at the resort was better but far too expensive for Thailand.

20181022_182522-2.jpg

Day 3 of the master Detox was rough and we still had one more day on this program to go.  Both Jennifer and I woke up not feeling well.  I felt extremely weak, comparable to waking up with a terrible hangover without the nausea or how it feels when you’ve been sick for days and unable to keep anything down.   I think the lack of food and drinks were taking their toll.  Our sleep was always broken up with bathroom runs to urinate because of the supplements they were giving us and the amount of alkaline water we consumed in each day.  Our bodies were definitely going through a change and I really wanted some food.  We reported how we felt to the kitchen staff and they prepared us a special drink that included lime and ginger and some tea.  We felt better after while.  We participated in another food demo in the evening and a special workshop called Rebirthing or Breath Work (stop back for my post on Rebirthing, you don’t want to miss it).

The weather this time of year in Thailand is wonderful.  The temperature each day was in the high 80’s with a cool breeze.  It usually rained in the morning but cleared up by afternoon.  On Wednesday it rained all day but we woke up feeling much better.  It was the last day our master detox and we were proud of ourselves but honestly, we really wanted something to eat.   The snacks that I purchased to take home were tempting me.  But after stepping on that scale, I knew there would be no way I was cheating.  I had lost a whopping 9 lbs.  So instead of eating, we went to meditation and did yoga.  Jenn had her Hydrocolon therapy and I another angel wash.  She wanted me to be the guinea pig with the Hydro Colon therapy first.  After I reported back she signed up to get hers done as well.  We spent the day reading, and relaxing and it was amazing.

 

IMG_2065

Thursday was our last full day and we were smiling from ear to ear because at noon, we would get food.  Well sort of, okay technically salad is food but not the kind of food I wanted, but it was better than juice and water and by Wednesday I had decided I had had enough of broth and seasoning.  I woke up early and caught the shuttle for a morning walk on the beach leaving Jenn in bed to rest because she was feeling dizzy.  The beach was serene and the water cool.  I took a short walk on the beach and in the water, then laid out a towel and read a few pages of Malala.  I only read a few pages because I was too busy just being and watching families play with their little ones on the beach, and dogs walking up and down enjoying the morning sun, even a man prancing his horse back and forth.  I wanted to soak it all in before it came to a pause.  I was relaxed and at peace and 10 lbs lighter according to my new body composition report.

20181025_082856-2.jpg

20181025_082914.jpg

IMG_2056

IMG_2050

When I returned to the resort we enjoyed our last angel wash, and trip to the steam room and sauna.  I swam a few laps in the pool after enjoying my salad which I only ate half because I wanted to save the rest to finish when I got hungry again, maybe I just wanted to savor it.  Jenn and I took the beach shuttle early so that we could get another massage at a different place.  This time this masseuses hands moved a little slower but boy was she heavy handed and apparently I needed this.  She bent me and snapped me and gave me the deepest tissue massage of my life and afterwards I wasn’t even sore.  We gave them a nice tip.  To end our vacation we watched the sunset on the beach and a monkey playing in the tree before heading back.

IMG_2115
Can you spot the monkey in the tree?

IMG_2105

IMG_2103

IMG_2089

IMG_2119

20181022_183208-2.jpg

We ordered meals for the plane ride home to ease our way into regular eating again because our body had not worked hard in a week and it is not a good idea to put regular food back in right away.  We satisfied our bill and packed up.  On Friday morning we flew home and it sure felt good to eat that low calorie vegan food that the resort had prepared for us and to pick over the vegan airplane food.

20181020_162244-2.jpg

This was the first vacation I had taken where I didn’t feel like I needed a vacation from my vacation.  I don’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed and unstressed.  Not worrying about if the food would be good or if the resort could cater to my vegan eating preferences was a relief.  I’ll admit it wasn’t easy going 4 days with no food but I am proof that it’s possible with the right supplements and program.  Within 7 days, we had only consumed 6 salads total and no other food.  Jennifer lost 6 kilos and I lost almost 5.  We met some wonderful people and had uncomfortable conversations (colonics lol) with them.  What I wish to take from this- not my weight that I lost of course, but patience and self-confidence, peace of mind and tools to assist me with mindfulness and positivity.  This entire experience was Amazing and I look forward to doing another retreat, perhaps with my hubby.  I also look forward to returning to Thailand to island hop, party in Bangkok, and EAT!  Would I go back to the Life Co Phuket well-being resort? NO, I would not, for several reasons, that you can read about in my review on Viator. However, I would try one of their other two resort in other places.  I had a wonderful time there but some things are unacceptable by my standards.

I wonder how long I will keep the weight off.  My goal was to be at 135 and I crushed that goal by 4 pounds.  If I gain weight, which more than likely I will because as soon as I get back I’m back to working with my personal trainer weight lifting and resistance training, I hope that it’s muscle and I hope to only go back up to 135.  I plan to be more conscientious of my carbs and timing of my evening meals.  I don’t plan on being a health food fanatic but after this jump start to my body and cleanse I’m optimistic that I can maintain a healthy body, soul and mind.

Have you ever been to a health retreat?