'I did a juice detox in the Algarve... and lost six pounds'
Longevity Cegonha Country Club’s challenging juice detox rewards the motivated, but it's not as easy as it sounds...
Whether it’s undoing the excess of Christmas or getting yourself beach-ready for the summer season, juice detoxes are increasing in popularity amongst the health- and body-conscious.
Eager to kick-start more positive habits and reboot my weary form, I recently signed up for a three-day cleanse in Longevity Cegonha Country Club - the Algarve’s charming and wallet-friendly wellness resort, located a short drive from vibrant Vilamoura.
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After discussing my plans with friends, however, I learned that juices aren't as simple as they sound.
In fact, juice diets can take their toll on the body and, particularly, the mind - something which left me wondering whether I had the self-discipline required to stick it out.
But within minutes of arriving at the wellness centre, I had all the motivation I needed: the on-site dietician revealed that my metabolic age was 43 - embarrassing, considering I’d just turned 37.
Certainly, detoxes aren’t for everyone.
While I found the process difficult, however, I was delighted to learn that my efforts ultimately resulted in a six-pound weight loss - although the real immediate reward was a noticeable improvement on my energy levels and general bonhomie.
I’m also now equipped with simple yet effective tools to improve my daily diet - notably adjusting portion sizes, activating my metabolism and opting for healthier alternatives to those troublesome sugary treats.
How does it work?
Incorporating years of experience, Longevity Cegonha Country Club’s juice detox package combines both guilt-free and guilty pleasures.
On one hand, there were luxurious treatments to enjoy such as detoxifying body scrubs, wraps and massages. In addition to a gym, tennis courts, hydro-jet and outdoor pools, there was a ‘wet circuit’ to explore, which included a Hamman and an infra-red sauna along with a mesmerising Epsom salt room - my personal favourite.
On the other, solid food got short shrift in favour of juices, shots, super-shakes, herbal teas, soups, enemas and Nux Vomica drops - served both as meals and snacks.
Thankfully, the ingredients - such as beetroot, raspberries, pears, carrots and strawberries - were fresh, local produce, and when my hunger pangs pleaded with me for a second helping of soup one evening, I just used my Irish charm and the chef gladly complied!
Throughout the process, it's also worth noting that I experienced some migraines, lethargy, rumbling bellies and funky bowel movements.
Following the end of the cleanse, it took me a couple of days for my appetite to return.
Free of charge, Longevity Cegonha Country Club provides diverse activities to complement its juice detox programme. Old favourites like yoga, Pilates and dance sat - or, rather, moved - alongside introductions to crystal healing and energy medicine.
I found the numerology workshop particularly memorable - the card I drew was the Pope and Rosana, our practitioner, encouraged me to be on my best behaviour over the coming year as it seems all eyes will be on me!
If you want all eyes to be on you, there are also trips to sun-kissed Falesia Beach to enjoy, where you can show off the results of all your disciplined endeavours - or Loulé, where you can undo all your hard work in the famous market...
As Longevity Cegonha Country Club offers numerous wellbeing packages, there were many non-detoxing guests in the resort enjoying good old-fashioned solid food. You’ll need to keep your envy in check, in other words, as you watch them devour their delicious meals beside you.
Dramatic changes to your daily diet such as juicing can prove overwhelming.
Prior to arrival, reach out to the resort for tips about how best to prepare yourself: it’ll make the cleanse more manageable - and, possibly, pleasurable!
Domhnall was a guest of Longevity Cegonha Country Club’s, where three-day juice detox packages start from €621pp excluding accommodation, or €1,015pp including accommodation (longevityvilamoura.com).
This winter, Ryanair flies Dublin to Faro nine times weekly (ryanair.com).
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