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Just Juicing - The Obsidian Retreat

juicingLike so many do, we had slouched on the sofa while munching on one too many mince pies over Christmas and then finished off the holiday season with a booze (sugar) bonanza at New Year. But unlike other years, this time I had decided to take action. On the 2nd of January I zipped to The Obsidian Retreat with a skip in my step. I was to begin JUICING.

I was a juicing virgin. Could I survive without solid food?

Some visitors at The Obsidian Retreat (NOW CLOSED), on a hideaway near the Costa Blanca coast, come because they need to change their lifestyle. They may have diabetes, cancer or be prohibitively overweight. But actually if you can find your way here without any grave medical issue you will still reap enormous benefits. There are loungers poolside for that year-round sunshine, beauty treatments and an exercise regime all accompanied by a diet of fresh fruit and veg juices and a moderate gala dinner feast at the end of the week where your achievements will be applauded. You should come away with a new view of eating and exercise, some recipes and feel a whole lot better than when you arrived.

I didn't need to check myself in as I live locally, and to be honest I am reasonably slim, eat pretty healthily and would hope to give you a good fight on the tennis court - but my avoidance of meat had slipped over the holidays and I can be known to sling back one too many vinos so I wanted a positive start to the year. A detox. A kick-start for a healthy obsidian2014. Energy to get my exercise routine back on track. I have been taking slow but decisive steps towards health eating for the last few years. Having been a lazy advocate of processed food, thinking for some years that I was somehow 'getting away with it', that stopped when I read The China Study which, quite simply, woke me up. Of course we need to take care of our bodies like the fine-tuned machines that they are (or should be.)

I collected a 3 day Juice pack and began with the first of the 4 colourful concoptions for that day. My juicy meals were to be supplemented with plenty of water. I was immediately impressed by how it tasted. This didn't feel like a medicine I needed to force-feed myself - it was delicious! Accompanied by drinks named Green Fairy, Calm and Spa I felt I positively glided through the day. My concern that green would mean bitter or disagreeable in some way were totally unfounded. Ginger and celery and spinach and apple and berries...all blended into juices, tried and tested flavours I'm sure, that slipped down. And I didn't feel hungry. Sometimes I caught myself as I went to grab an olive or a chip as I put together meals for the children - but not out of necessity, simply habit.

Some people may experience some tiredness, nausea or headaches (mainly from caffeine withdrawal) but I didn't have any negative impact at all. In fact I was buzzing with energy, even after exercise. The only moments when I was challenged were when I opened the fridge or was faced with supermarket food isles. But it never seemed long until the next tasty juice so there was nothing to fear. Others report immediate weight loss but I haven't weighed myself so I can't tell you about that. I would say that my stomach felt less bloated, more comfortable - like I was doing the right thing by it.

The last day was perhaps the hardest. Probably because I was thinking about what I would be eating next day and I have also heard from hardcore juicers that the 3rd day is the trickiest. If you can pass that, you can go on and on. I don't want or need to do that. But I definately wish to incorporate juicing into my regular diet. I'm just lucky I have The Obsidian Retreat up the road and can pick them up ready-made!

If you want a total lifestyle change or need help with health issues contact The Obsidian Retreat (NOW CLOSED) for more information. You and your body get a holiday!

If you are near Loughborough in the UK, visit the Obsidian Cafe. As well as nutritious plant-based meals you can collect juices there too.  THIS WEBSITE HAS ALSO DISAPPEARED SO I AM ASSUMING THEY HAVE ALSO CLOSED FOR BUSINESS. (16/9/16)