No animal product, refined sugar, white carbs (including oats) and processed food. For the past few days, I have intermittent fasted. I survived on veg, fruit and legumes, meditated, walked and spent Sunday on a 20-hour water fast. My home wellness retreat brought pain, discomfort and overall healing. Here are my detox results and how I’m still achieving them.
Why I created a home wellness retreat
I always believed myself ‘healthy’. I avoid a lot of ‘bad’ food, I exercise regularly, sleep adequately and enjoy meditation. For the past few weeks, I’ve felt exhausted. Sometimes I’ve drank two cups of coffee and stared at my screen physically unable to type. Maybe my vegan diet caused iron deficiency? I stocked up on high iron foods – spirulina, dried fruits… I increased my nutrition intake. Low energy and bloating remained.
With my birthday approaching, I felt spiritually, I needed to improve. I want to reach 27 happy within myself. After researching the top wellness retreats, I put together a plan – read: Home Wellness Retreat: 9 Step Plan. I spent an hour saving plant-based recipes, watching YouTube clips and writing a new grocery list. Then I calorie counted what I typically ate. The truth unravelled. My ‘healthy’ life involved high carbs and constant snacking.
From crackers with vegan butter and Marmite in the afternoon, to bread and oats in the morning and rice with stews and curries for dinner. I had a need to always nibble on something, like a mouse following a breadcrumb trail. Dried apricots and pistachio nuts glued themselves to my laptop table. For years, I’ve strongly disputed diets and extreme measures. But I had to take action because my version of healthy wasn’t working.
Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting or recommending you follow this – it’s something my untrained-self put together and made work. Everyone’s bodies are different and strong research is advised before cutting food groups.
I usually eat first thing in the morning. My intermittent fasting permitted me to only eat between 12 – 8pm. Waiting midday made me fixate on food. In fact, diet overtook my schedule. All I could think was my grumbling stomach and donuts clotted in jam. Surprisingly, not eating gave me bouts of energy but on the first day I felt dizziness. By the third day, my hunger pangs decreased and concentration picked up.
At 12pm, I’d create a chocolate smoothie – cacao powder, banana, dates, natural peanut butter and Maca powder with rice milk. This was followed by olives, edamame beans, homemade soup, a green smoothie and dinner. Options include sweet potato jacket with chickpeas and salad, sweet potato chips with salad, and a bean, tomato stew. Not eating my usual carbs made me hungry and I did suffer from some headaches.
My detox results made me realise bread bloats my stomach. Though the diet was strict and forced cooking from scratch, it’s slowly become normal. I have added oats and some spelt flour to my weekly shop again, but I’ve mainly stuck to the regime I created. I will still occasionally eat crackers and vegan burgers etc, yet shockingly my cravings for such food has decreased. When experiencing my 20-hr water fast, I felt weak and fatigued. I followed a guided meditation which made me feel better – breaking my fast made me feel incredible. I cannot say I’d want to try water fasting again.
Time away from technology
Cutting down on technology gave me time to pamper myself, read outside and practice different meditation. I’ve put myself through a technology break before; this time I replaced the digital world for self-healing. Since heading back to tech, I’ve noticed stressful butterflies flutter my system. Finding the balance is now what I’m working on.
I forgot how good it feels to spend hours exfoliating, masking and manicuring. I also forgot how beneficial it is to overall health. It lifted my spirits and boosted my confidence. I know I’m a procrastinator – I’m trying to figure out why I procrastinate self-indulgence. My detox results proved I ought to improve my organisation skills and not get lazy with beauty TLC.
Slightly hypocritical – my wellness retreat included exercise by watching YouTube videos. I came across new accounts which helped me tone up – especially my legs. I use to persist on taking lots of progress images and posting daily to Instagram. I’m actually happier not 24/7 selfie taking. Analysing my body through photos, encourages me to hunt negative traits and list my flaws.
My detox results prove my experiment paid off. I have shredded weight, toned up, destressed and found guidance in how I want to live. Setting daily intentions inspired me to stay focused and that’s something I’m continuing. Although it was difficult and uncomfortable, it was nowhere near as bad as I imagined. I now appreciate everything I eat and don’t take for granted the moments I have to myself.
Admittedly, my retreat elevated harmful food behaviour. Perfectionist me became obsessed with ‘clean’. I started wondering how to consume even less to lose more weight – how do I completely shrink my stomach? I’m not sure if I’m avoiding rice and pasta because I think it’s not the best for my body, or whether I’m fearful I’ll go back to my figure before. I think it’s always unhealthy to fixate on food – regardless of what you eat. I’m trying to remove the pressure I placed on myself during this period.
Overall however, I have no regrets. Sometimes I think people just need to reset and switch up their routines to figure whether they’re at their optimum. I didn’t expect such strong results and I’ve surprised myself by how well I adapted. My tiredness hasn’t fully gone away, and I can’t say I’m 100% healed and happy. I’m grateful however with the benefits I have gained.
Tips on creating
My detox results are making me want to take a real retreat in Spain or somewhere. If you’re not ready for that, you can feel great results from home. It doesn’t mean banishing particular food groups – it’s about looking at yourself and your own goals. One thing I’ve learnt from copying other people’s diets – it doesn’t always work. I’m not promoting the plan I put myself on due to my lack of health knowledge and knowing people’s bodies work different.
Detox results can also be found from the simple things like dedicating more time to the outdoors, reducing technology and taking on new challenges. I told myself daily, not to feel guilty if I broke any of my plan. There was one thing – oil. I cannot eat dinner without olive oil.
Would you consider creating a home wellness retreat?