Feeling exhausted, irritable and generally in a bit of a funk, I headed off to Mauritius to experience the Harmonia well-being programme at the One&Only Le Saint Géran. Here are the key detox lessons I learned...
Do you have trouble sleeping? Are you feeling a bit down or irritable? Have you put on or lost weight? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, you’re probably in need of a detox. Our busy lives – work commitments, hectic social schedules and the pressure of constantly having to be at the top of our game – mean that most of us don’t take the time to properly look after ourselves.
Feeling a major need for a detox, I tried out the new Harmonia programme at the 5* One&Only Le Saint Géran on the paradise island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. The seven-day wellbeing ‘journey’ aims not only to re-balance you physically and mentally, but to arm you with the key detox basics so you can keep up a healthy lifestyle when you get home. Harmonia’s wellness expert, Francesc Miralles, says: ‘Our aim is to help guests set a foundation for long-lasting wellbeing.’
So, with that in mind, I’ve picked the brains of Francesc so you can try out the 5* detox in your very home. Here are the 8 things Iearned:
You should detox twice a year.
The best thing to do, according to Francesc, is an initial deep detox (lasting up to seven days) followed by a lighter detox six months later. But, of course, it will all be pointless unless you keep up a healthy lifestyle in between detox sessions, he says: ‘Detox should not be the main goal but just a means of achieving that goal.’
Which foods are a strict no-no?
Sugar, butter, diary products, alcohol, raw food and saturated fats are all to be avoided. Rich proteins, like red meat, should be kept to a mimimum.
You had better like vegetables.
The foods crucial for a detox are: celery, onion, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, rockets, beetroot, leafy greens such as kale and spinach. Also on your detox menu should be: ginger, cinnamon and garlic, along with pineapple, apple, papaya and guava.
So, what does a typical detox day look like?
Breakfast – wholegrain toast with organic ham, an omlette and fruit
Lunch – Asparagus & broccoli soup, steamed chicken with a white bean stew, herbal tea
Dinner – Barley broth, stir fried vegetables with rice, fruit, herbal tea
Supplements are the way forward.
At Harmonia they specialise in Chinese herbal medicine (Francesc was taught at the Yunnan Provincial Hospital in China), the correct herbs are hard to get hold of in the UK and we wouldn’t reccomend you go to just any old Chinese doctor, so the best thing to do is stock up on natural herbal blends consisting of dandelion, burdock, milk thistle, artichoke and Boldo.
Take it easy at the gym.
Many of us probably think that a detox is synonymous with hitting the gym hard, but that’s not the case. In fact, during a detox you should lay off the treadmill-pounding and take it easy. ‘Harmonia is the perfect time to try and stop or slow down, not to run,’ says Francesc. ‘An appropriate excercise programme can resume once the detox phase is complete.’
Take up Tai Chi or yoga.
To really get the most out of your detox, you’ll want to balance your mind as well as your body. An easy way to do this is to try out Tai Chi or Qi Gong for just 10 – 20 minutes a day. Franesc says: ‘Just a few minites of Tai Chi or Qi Gong in the morning can help to reduce the use of stimulants like coffee or tea, making our body feel awake, fresh and ready naturally.’ If the idea of learning Tai Chi is too daunting, yoga, meditation, a short walk or even reading a book can be just as effective.
Book yourself in for a massage.
If you can, treat yourself to a massage. Over in Mauritius, they’ve developed the Harmonia Organic Balance Massage, which uses to acupressure and lymphatic drainage, but any massage will do as the main aim of the game is to relax.
If you fancy trying the real deal, get more information about Harmonia.