06 February 2012

Day One - Ugh


I forgot how hard detoxing feels.

Despite my heavenly bed and entirely flexible schedule, I could not sleep last night.  I tossed and turned and found myself wide awake at 4 am.  This NEVER happens at home.  I could easily sleep until 9 am any given day if my kids and early school schedule would allow it.  I'm a night owl, not a morning lark.  I had every intention of doing morning yoga at 7 but with my head already pounding and no sleep, I opted for a few more zzzs.

I wrapped myself in a very cute Lululemon wrap sweater and headed over to the common room in the main building.  The air was crisp.  The bunnies hopped around the garden along the path.  They are so darn adorable.  They are sheltered here from the coyotes and hawks by the fences and trees.

Inside the large living area is a big comfy sofa, four facing chairs, a large island and a long counter where all the "food" is set up.  Each client has a list of supplements and juices to prepare throughout the day, a little bag full of the labeled pills and teas and some basic condiments to add to the various concoctions meant to help nourish and detox.

Probably the least favorite "drink" is cod liver oil.  Thankfully, I haven't been ordered to take that.  I believe it's prescribed when clients need some extra help in the elimination department.  My least favorite is the detox drink which is basically a foamy fiber porridge.  One fellow camper suggested adding cinnamon and apple juice so that it tastes like soggy apple pie.  We also take probiotics after the colonics {more on that in a minute}, food enzymes with the carrot or green juices and our dinner "soup"du jour.  There are lots of green drinks and pills which are basically all your green veggies on steroids and freeze dried.  Not actually on steroids since everything here is natural, organic and holistic.

I am skipping all the food and health classes this week even though that's where you get "real" food in exchange for learning healthier habits.  Fresh kefir, almond milk, smoothies, rice with different delicious dressings.  Or maybe I will take those classes after all.  I'm definitely feeling hungry.  I was having a grand old time picking out design ideas on Pinterest until I noticed all the incredible food pictures intermingled.  I was even eyeing the Body Deli "Living Shampoo and Conditioner" in our guest rooms.  The ingredients are. wheat grass, oat grass, kale juice and dandelion.  {yes, you can eat dandelion.}

I'm not really hungry.  What I am is tired.  My head hurts.  I know very well how this fog clears in just a few days but right now the heavy clouds are closing in.  I've been wanting to get to my book all day but I also know that the first few days of a detox are slow so I'm going slow.  This is a type of healing crisis.  My body is in a bit of shock.  I don't think it's the lower calories because I'm getting tons of nutrition.

What this detox retreat does is interrupt the toxic daily habits we all fall into.  I hear one person after the next talk about how hard it was to stop drinking coffee or wine or eating meat the few days before arriving.  Only a few days.  Here those things are simply not available.  How often do we think we should quit or scale back on something unhealthy only to continue with excuses?  Generally it's a losing battle unless someone really takes the option off the table.

And as our bodies begin to withdraw from the daily input of tough chemicals, sugars, caffeine, processed foods, our minds struggle to adjust to this new experience of self.  Self in pain?  Self in doubt?  Self wondering if this was such a good idea.

So smart spa that this is offers classes to help everyone work through these tough days with new and healing information.  Classes with nutritionists, gardeners, cooks, naturopaths, healers and life coaches.  Everyone is invited to free classes and may schedule private sessions with anyone they wish.  No one leaves here without fresh, new ideas and tools they can take home with them.

I promised I would get back to the colonic part of the experience.  This is a tough subject to talk about to anyone who hasn't experienced it because there is alot of misinformation and fear surrounding it.  All I can say is if you allow a proctologist to stick an enormous camera and laser up your colon (and beyond), you can certainly allow fresh filtered water and the direction of a professional working for well over a decade with thousands of people to help dislodge stuff that really has no business being stuck.  Most people have so abused their digestive tract that it no longer functions well.  Most people are some degree of gluten and casein intolerant (up to 80% of Americans) which is known to flatten and scar the filia in the intestines.  How the heck can it do it's job if you've been doing that for a lifetime?  It's essential during detox because while you're giving your digestion a break, your cells are working over time to expel all the toxins they socked away to protect you for all these years.  Do you really want to let that stuff get reabsorbed just as you've finally released it?

The answer is no, you don't.

I was skeptical the first time I came here.  And afraid.  I'll admit it.  But frankly, any medical exam is humiliating to some degree.  Speculum anyone?  Colonics are way more dignified.  I swear.

And the proof is in the pudding.  I know from experience that in two more days I will begin to feel like a shiny brand new person.  The head ache and fog will lift.  I will sleep like a baby.  My energy will return despite the juice fasting (or because of it!).  And my restored organs and cells will be ready for another year of healthy, active life.  That is the amazing pay off.  That's why I keep coming back.  That's why most of the guests are return visitors or people whose friend or family member sold them on the experience.

There is much more to share about this retreat but I need to rest my eyes and brain now.  Next time, I will share the spirit work that is so integral to health and healing.  It is even more important than the juice fasting and detox.

If you have any questions about fasting or this retreat please feel free to leave a comment or shoot me a private email.

Good night,


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