What to expect from your detox holiday

One of our most popular wellbeing holidays that guests return to again and again is the yoga holiday near Alicante, which comes with an optional detox included in the price.

The word ‘detox’ can either fill you with hope or terror and most of us still aren’t entirely sure what it all means. Can you eat any solid food at all? Is it all just juice? Won’t we just feel hungry all the time?!

As the term ‘detox’ can be quite broad in today’s day and age, we sat down with Lisa Brant, owner and founder of this amazing wellness holiday in Spain, to get the lowdown on what exactly their detox entails.

Lisa answers all your common first time detox questions, including what to expect, how you’ll feel, and how to decide if a detox holiday is right for you.

What is a detox?

According to the internet, the definition of ‘detox’ is ‘cleaning the blood’, i.e. removing toxins and/or unhealthy substances from the blood that circulates around our body. It normally takes place over a certain amount of time – maybe three days, one week or longer.

Here we take a holistic view to detox, not just cleansing the blood, but including our whole body, mind and spirit in the process. We think about detox as simply letting go – giving the body optimum foods to enable it to let go of things that are no longer wanted or needed.

Toxins come into the body through the things that we eat, breathe, drink and come into contact with. Some are a result of natural processes (for example, when we breathe our body takes in oxygen and the lungs gently release one of the by-products, namely carbon dioxide). Other toxins are introduced from the outside when we consume processed foods, fast food, farmed meat and fish, alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes or cigars and tap water. Medicinal drugs, perfume, cleaning and washing products and environmental pollution can also contribute to a toxic body.

There are so many detoxes advertised these days, are they all the same?

A ‘detox’ offered by one centre can be completely different to one offered by another, so you are best to check what the centre offers before booking and make sure you are happy with it. Some centres might only offer juicing or juices plus broths. Some will be more pampering based whilst others might be a boot-camp!

At our retreat, we like to offer you choice, so you can choose if you want to eat or juice for every meal. You can tailor your holiday around you and your needs, whilst we are here to support you all the way. Our activities complement the detox: walking, rebounding, yoga, meditation
and workshops to help clear your headspace.

There is also an element of a digital detox – get away from your emails, social media and phone. There is a TV in your room with a DVD player, but you can choose not to switch it on for a complete digital detox.

How can someone prepare for a detox holiday?

In the week before you come on a detox holiday, we recommend that you cut down (or start to cut out completely) caffeine, chocolate, sugar, tobacco and alcohol. This will help to smooth the detox process.

We also suggest you drink lots of water in the days running up to your retreat, to make sure you are fully hydrated. If you can, get some regular sleep so that you arrive feeling ready.

Can you explain what a detox entails? What is omitted from the diet, and what is taken in?

Our body is amazing and it works naturally, all the time, to create vitality and well-being by removing or neutralising unhealthy substances from our blood and our body. Many of our organs have specific roles in this natural process including the liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs and the lymph system.

The things that we eat, breathe, drink and come into contact with, can include substances that are challenging for the body to deal with. Over time, these can build up and put pressure on the organs and natural bodily processes involved in keeping our body in tiptop health. The way many people live in the modern world (stress, always ‘doing’) means our bodies can find it hard to keep up with this natural detox process.

For a period of time (3 days, a week or longer), we stop adding new toxins into the body and instead feed it nutritious food or juices. This allows our natural bodily processes and organs to recover and start to get rid of those toxic substances. In effect, we are cleaning ourselves from the inside.

What detox do you offer?

Quite simply, we offer two options: juicing and food.

For the juice detox, we give you pure fresh fruit and vegetables served in a glass. We suggest a minimum of three days to give your body a good start. Some of our guests choose to juice for a week and some of our guests have done longer. By juicing the fruit and vegetables we can deliver lots of vitamins and minerals in an easily digested form – this takes the body less energy to digest and the extra energy is used for cleansing.

You can also choose to detox through food. Here we use a plant-based diet, which means that we serve lots of vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts and seeds. We do not serve meat, dairy, eggs or fish. We also cut out processed sugars, salt and use very few processed products (and no bread!). We cook using locally sourced raw ingredients, fresh homemade food everyday, so the food is also full of vitamins and minerals. We serve a minimal amount of gluten or wheat products – we can also cater for coeliacs or people who are wheat or gluten intolerant. This is a natural diet that one can follow for your whole life, it’s not a special detox diet, however, for many people a plant-based diet can represent a big departure from their normal diet, which allows them to experience a detox.

Is a detox for everyone?

I think everyone can choose to detox, but I think best results are obtained when you actually want to do it! I would recommend that pregnant women do not juice during pregnancy – they need to keep their calorie intake higher – but they can of course follow a plant-based diet as it is really nutritious.

If you experience some or all of the following, your body may be crying out for a detox:
Frequent sluggishness or tiredness
Headaches or unclear thinking
Slow and infrequent bowel movements
Bags under the eyes or puffy eyes
Irritated skin
Frequent low-grade infections or generally feeling unwell
Women: menstrual problems

How will I feel while doing it?

During the first 24 to 48 hours you might experience things like headaches, nausea, be very tired or restless, get spots, experience body aches or just feel plain grumpy. Not everyone will experience any or all of these symptoms as we are all individuals.

We suggest that you participate in the activities – rebounding and walking are great to get the lymphatic system moving and can help you to feel better. Yoga is great for helping to relax and stretch your body in other ways, which can also help to reduce the headaches.

Also, we recommend that you get plenty of rest. Many of our guests arrive feeling very tired and stressed out, so sleep is an important part of our activity programme! Our team are here to help you through this.

Once you pass the 72-hour mark most people notice a distinct change in energy and start to glow from the inside out.

How will I feel after it?

At the end of your detox you will feel great! There are many benefits of a detox including:
An increase in your energy levels – you will feel lighter from the inside
Improvements in your skin tone
Bright, clear eyes
Some guests tell us that they have a reduction in pain
More focus and clarity of thought
Calmer and more centred
Reduced sugar cravings

An added bonus of a detox is that if you are carrying excess weight, you might also lose some pounds or kilos.

Many guests tell us that also feel really proud of themselves, particularly if they choose to juice for a few days or a week.

Our yoga and detox retreat is based on the stunning Costa Blanca in Spain. We are open all year around and our programme runs every day, so you can come whenever you want – there is no set day of arrival or departure. We offer a full programme of activities that you can take part in – guided walks, rebounding, meditation, yoga, workshops and more. Come try a detox and experience the benefits for yourself.

If you are feeling inspired and would love to join Lisa and her team for a boost of energy, some timeout, a chance to unwind, or even to begin a lifestyle change, they would love to see you there!

Feel free to contact us with any questions, or just to chat about what this experience can do for you.

Read more about their yoga holiday with optional detox here.

Or feel free to browse our full range of wellbeing holidays and fitness and detox holidays here.