What will you do when travel restrictions end, and life returns to a semblance of normality? A common question on many video calls, though I suspect my answer is less typical than the average 30-something year old male.
A little under one year ago I committed to a health retreat at D-Toxd in southern Spain to give my mind and body a chance to recharge and replenish following a challenging couple of years.
I was not too sure what to expect and my imagination would conjure images of a remote retreat up a mountain, with yoga enthusiasts and nothing but green smoothies. While this was not, in fact, a million miles from reality, I failed to predict the long-term impact that week away would have on me.
As such, during this period of lockdowns, I find myself longing for a return to the D-Toxd retreat run by Jeroen and Gareth. Here are three reasons why I’d strongly recommend such a health retreat to anyone:
1. Intimate & Personalised
Having never done anything like this before, one thing I appreciated was receiving a long phone call from Jeroen after I initially expressed interest in attending. I had a million questions and even more doubts if this was the right thing for me. Being able to talk it through with one of the owners without any hard sell was hugely reassuring.
The fact that I could pick and choose the activities and go at my own pace without judgement was exactly what I needed.
This relaxed and personal approach was matched by the other attendees at the retreat. There were 10 of us, including one volunteer, which seemed a perfect number for having meals together whilst also allowing people to split into smaller groups when doing walks or activities.
By the end of the week, I felt I really knew the 10 other participants and that I was vested in their personal goals. I found that in the environment D-Toxd created, I ended up opening up more to those people who were complete strangers than I’ve likely done with many friends and colleagues.
One thing that anyone would appreciate about D-Toxd is the quality and inventiveness of the food. For one week, I was practically gluten, dairy, caffeine and sugar free and it was some of the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted. I won’t be able to do justice to describing the food – best to get the recipe book to see some of Gareth’s mouth-watering creations.
Having live cooking demonstrations was particularly helpful so that we could put into practice some of the great dishes that we were treated to. The homemade granola mix has now become a staple of mine and is incomparable to store-bought cereal bars
3. Body & Mind
Movement was a key component of the stay with classes to suit all abilities. For me, the morning stretches, yoga and classes in the pool were the perfect low impact routines I needed at the time. For others, there were more high intensity or explosive sessions. Every class appeared well thought out, tailored for the participants and, most importantly, fun.
Being away from home, with limited phone signal and all your meals cooked for you means you have plenty of time to contemplate. That head space to slow down and think was priceless. It may sound terribly contrite, but getting away from London and disconnecting in the Spanish hills, with picturesque sunsets every evening, does ignite something inside you. For me it recharged me with a sense of optimism, accepting that there will be harder moments, but that there is always blue sky above the dark clouds.
I cannot recommend D-Toxd highly enough to anyone looking to adopt some healthy practices in their life and re-charge from their professional or personal lives.
If there was only one place I could go to recover from the stresses of lockdown and forget about the challenges of the world, it would be in those Spanish hills, with the delicious food and relaxed atmosphere that Jeroen, Gareth and team instill for all guests.