The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

Spring Clean Your Health This Weekend

After those long dark winter months, when we survived the “beast from the east 1 & 2” when we feel that we have forgotten what it feels like to enjoy the warm glow of sunshine …the clock spring forward, British Summertime starts and suddenly the days seem lighter and brighter. Its time for a Spring clean.

The days are finally beginning to stretch out giving us light mornings and dare I say it even light evenings too.  There are rashes of pretty spring flowers in gardens, parks and hedgerows and the sun is just beginning to warm up the middle of the day.  It’s little wonder that we think of springtime as the perfect time for a fresh start, everything around us brings us hope for the warmer days to come.

So this weekend why not shake off winter and embrace a new regime for springtime and a healthier year.  It is a great time to start a health spring clean …

5 Easy Steps to Spring Clean Your Body & Mind

1. Restock Your Cupboards

Ensure that you have a good selection of nutritious staples in the cupboards so that you have the component parts to make healthy meals and snacks. Over the next couple of weeks add a few additional items to your basket each time you shop and you will soon have a larder to enable you to rustle up healthy nutrias meals easily.  So pick up cans of pulses and beans, whole grains such as oats, rye flakes and spelt. quinoa flakes, dried herbs and spices. At the same time get label savvy… begin to look at the labels of the foods you eat most often, how many ingredients do they contain?  Are there lots of ingredients with unpronounceable names?  Remember that the closer you stay to nature the closer you stay to health so the fewer added ingredients and simpler the ingredients the better for your health, so you may find a few shopping swaps in order too.

2. Catch Some Sunshine

Get as much natural light during the day to help boost your Vit D levels, aiming to catch at least 15 mins of daylight.  March sees us enjoy up to 12 hours of daylight now and even on these dull early spring days the warmest part of the day is between 11.00am – 2 pm to its the perfect excuse to get out for a short walk at lunchtime.

3. Boost Your Vitamins & Minerals

Not getting enough key minerals and vitamins can leave you feeling low and lacklustre. It really is time to spring into action if you are feeling sluggish.  So make an effort to get a well balanced diet.  In particular for women magnesium and chromium are good to help boost your energy levels by supporting your bodies ability to extract the energy from the foods you are eating.  So have a small handful of seed and nuts( include 3 brazil nuts) every day for magnesium and include broccoli and organic chicken in your weekly meal plan for chromium.  These two simple diets swaps will not only increase your energy levels but can also be very helpful in staving off the sugar and carb cravings that are often associated with low energy.

4. Make time to Relax

Here’s the thing with relaxation, you will hardly every FIND the time to relax, sure you might grab a couple of minutes here and there to sit with a cup of tea or watch your favourite programme,  But when was the last time you really switched off and recharged?  This weekend, MAKE time to really relax and calm your body and mind.  For a mini mindful relaxation session, all you need to do is find yourself somewhere that you have reasonable chance to not be disturbed for about 10-15 minutes.  Sit or lie and make yourself comfortable, allow your eyes to gently close and take 3 long slow deep breaths.  Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Follow your breath in and out.  Allow your attention to just focus on your breath, the rise and fall of your chest and your heartbeat.  This simple exercise is so soothing that after just a few minutes you will feel as though you have had an hours rest.

5. Get Writing

Do you have a health goal?  Perhaps you want to shed the weight you feel is unnecessary for you, perhaps you want to take part in a charity sporting event or perhaps you want to feel less stressed?  The key to success can lie in keeping a journal.  I know it sounds like another job to do in what I’ll bet is an already busy workload, but research suggests that those of us who write down our goals and track our progress have a vastly increased success rate.  So making time every day, just 5 minutes will do the trick will help you to keep on track.

So there you have our top 5 tips for a spring clean for your body and mind.

What spring changes do you make to your diet and lifestyle for a healthier mind and body?

Please leave us a comment in the box below as we’d love to hear from you.


You Should Be Planning Your Spring Clean Detox Now

Spring cleaning is often a term that applies to the big house clean we like to do around this time of year, but the technique can also be so easily applied to spring cleaning our own bodies.

Traditionally this is the time of year when my thoughts turn to spring cleaning.  Its a time to get rid of the heavy feeling of winter, clear away the cobwebs and prepare for the hope of warmer weather… that will show its face (eventually!!)

I love a good spring clean, it feels so good to clean out from top to bottom, you feel in control, and really quite virtuous. In fact I just spent the weekend spring cleaning my office in preparation for the new year.

Over the winter months you may have started to hibernate, stocked up on heavy rich foods, indulged in a little more treats than usual.  Winter may literally be weighing you down.  Don’t wait until its summer time and you find yourself “suddenly” faced with an uphill struggle to regain your body, health and fitness.. Act Now and you will breeze thorough spring


The body already is detoxing all the time, it has to.

Your inbuilt cleaning system is dealing with toxins every day.

Toxins are everywhere, our bodies are bombarded by them, in the air you breath, the food and drink you consume the products you use around the home and even on your body.

Under natural circumstances, the body is able to eliminate many of these toxic substances, however if your system is out of balance then the bodies ability to do this can become compromised.

Signs You Need to Detox Now:

  • Dry, botchy skin
  • Outbreaks of spots
  • Headaches
  • Fungal infections
  • IBS symptoms (eg bloating, constipation, flatulence)
  • Lack of energy, but poor quality sleep at night
  • General feeling of heaviness
  • Super cravings for sugar or carbs
  • Super strong cravings for sugar or carbs

How to Detox Safely

Detoxing is safe, effective way of supporting your bodes ability to heal itself.

But… and there is a big BUT… we are not advocating quick fix juice only detox plans, those which suggest you eat nothing at all, but drink juices. In our opinion this is not a way to support your system and can actually decrease your energy levels.  Any detox plan you choose to follow should not be too low in calories, it should be nutrient rich and have a varied meal plan.

Detoxing is a way of giving your body a new start. A safe detox combined with a gentle exercise programme and tools to support a positive attitude towards life gives a fabulous boost to everyone.

At The Body Retreat our Sugar Detox Retreat is designed to provide the tools, resources and environment to make detoxing not only, simple and safe but also a real pleasure.

Our Detox Programme incorporates healthy nutritious but light meals. The purpose of the plan is to reduce the load on your digestive system while at the same time flood your system with enzymes, vitamins and minerals in an easily digestible form. While at the same time its an opportunity to rid yourself of the sugar habit you may have been struggling with, whether that be bread, soft drinks, wine, ketchup or even fruit.

When you are detoxing you do not want to redirect your bodies energy into high intensity exercise, that just makes you feel wrung out but increasing your activity levels will support the detox process as well as provide you with a mental lift.  So it is a great time to explore low intensity exercise, Pilates, yoga, nordic walking, swimming are all great options.

The body detox is only half of the equation.  This is also a fantastic opportunity to detox your mind, to lose the internal negative chatter or toxic emotions that may be keeping you stuck in situations that are not healthy for you.

On our Sugar Detox Retreat we use NLP along with relaxation techniques and guided visualisations to help overcome any mental obstacles that may have held you back in the past and help you to refocus on new positive goals.

When body and mind are detoxed you feel lighter, brighter, clearer ad re-energised ready to embrace life. At our Sugar Detox Retreat there is the added benefit of around 6lbs weight loss which gives a great confidence boost as you start to look forward to first signs of spring and the opportunity to shed your winter layers.

Want to try a detox plan at home?

Top Tips  For Spring Clean Detox.

  • It will come as no surprise that increasing your water intake is No1 on the list.  Aim to drink at least 1.5 litres per day
  • Start your day with the juice of half a lemon with hot water to give your liver a boost.
  • Get into the habit of dry skin brushing daily, it will take a bit of time to begin with but you will soon find a rhythm and you will be amazed at the difference in your skin tone.
  • Cut out Caffeine, Dairy, Meat, Carbs from your diet.  Your meal plans should be 80% veggie based, go organic and local where possible.
  • Go Green… green veggies are packed with  chlorophyll helps flush out environmental toxins.
  • Garlic in almost everything, it activates liver enzymes that help filter out wastes. Counteract the garlic by eating lost of parsley, which also happens to be a great detoxifier 😉
  • Keep the good fats in, Avocado, rapeseed oil, seeds and nuts all in small quantities
  • Get into the fresh air for at least 15 mins every day and breath fully and deeply
  • Spend at least 5 mins every day in quite contemplation or practice mindfulness
  • Get your hands on The Detox Plan by Jane Alexander, this great book will take you through a weekend or month long safe detox programme


Get Back On Track 3 Day Plan

If you have a few pounds to shed after the  excesses of the festive season then don’t panic, it really only takes a few days to get back on track.

Our Get Back on Track 3 Day Plan is designed to help you to over come those sugar and carb induced cravings that lead you to want more and more sugar and carbs, it will balance your blood sugar levels meaning your energy levels will stabilise and you will loose the bloat and an inch or two from your tummy.

If you have really over indulged over the festive period then you might find that you do feel a little hungry on day one of this plan, but the key to be consistent with the timing of your meals and to keep your water levels up.  that way by day 2 or 3 you will have gone over the hunger hump and be feeling great again.

This plan is not devised to be followed long term, it really is a short kick start.



The Rules for the Three Days.


  • NO added sugar for three days
  • NO added salt to cooking or any meal
  • NO salad dressing apart from freshly squeezed lemon juice and black pepper
  • No Fruit other than the apple and avocado
  • Start each morning with a mug of hot water with the juice of 1 lemon.
  • Unlimited salad veggies but no prepared salad, coleslaw or beetroot etc
  • Keep starchy veg to a minimum at night (carrots, parsnips etc)
  • Choose mainly green veg and salad items, eg spinach, celery, cabbage, spring onion, cucumber, peas, broad beans, broccoli, cauliflower, courgette etc
  • You Must eat every 3 to 4 hours
  • Nut Butter should be 100% whole nut, with no added oil, sugar or salt etc
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water through the day.
  • Only herbal teas for rest of day
  • No carbonated drinks, no diet drinks.
  • 8 Min HiiT workout Every morning before Breakfast.
  • Walk for at least 30 mins every day to a rate where you can not hold a conversation


Let me know how you get on if you follow the Get Back on Track 3 day plan, I’d love to have your feedback.

If you know anyone who might find our 3 Day Plan useful then why not share using the social media buttons


Why our Detox Retreat Isn’t Really a Detox!!

We are currently on the last day of our Sugar Detox Retreat and in conversation around the breakfast table we were chatting about the retreat and one lady said that our detox retreat isn’t really a detox retreat. Come Again?? I nearly fell of my chair!

The Oxford English dictionary defines “Detox” as Abstain from or rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.

Isn’t that what we are doing here at The Body Retreat’s Detox??????

Then conversation became clearer… Having spent some time looking for a retreat many of the ladies had seen the same old detox blurb time and time again. Eat little, move less, have a few treatments then home.

What Makes a Detox Retreat a Detox Retreat?

When you think of a detox retreat what comes to mind?

Well probably a few things, depending on whether you have ever been on a detox retreat or not, but there may well be a few common threads…

Juice fasting, raw foods, herbs & supplements, yoga, mediation, lounging around in fluffy robes and perhaps even colonic irrigation or other holistic detox treatments.

On the whole this is a pretty fair overview of many detox retreats at the moment. Based on the principle that the body needs to be cleaned from the inside out, purging the body of toxic overloads that have built up from your sloppy modern lifestyle, detox retreats promise your leaving with your insides squeaky clean and everything working just as its should do.

Here’s the thing, your body comes fully prepared to detox itself …without outside intervention. Your kidneys, liver, lungs and skin are all part of your body’s waste management system, ensuring that you don’t end up in need of serious medical attention

So why do so many people claim to feel better after a detox? It may be due in part to the fact that a detox diet eliminates highly processed foods. Avoiding these high-calorie low-nutrition foods for a few days may be part of why people feel better.

Aren’t you simply making the case NOT to go to a Detox Retreat at all?

Yes and No.

Don’t go to a detox retreat expecting to be some how fixed in a few short days. It’s not the days on retreat that make the improvement in your health, but rather what you do when you return home.

Really think about what you want to achieve from your time at retreat, weight loss, kick start a new healthy eating programme or perhaps you are just looking for a break away from a hectic lifestyle?

Make sure your retreat will suit your goal.

Why Our Detox Retreat is different.

Thinking back to the common threads of detox retreats what about The Body Retreat?

Well at The Body Retreat we do have juices…but only once a day. Every afternoon we have a greens juice as it’s a great way to really blast your system with vitamins, mineral and antioxidants in a format that is really easy to digest. Juices never take the place of real clean whole foods. Yes, we agree that it can be useful to lighten the digestive load from time to time, allow your body to play catch up without overloading it with rubbish or hard to digest foods. To that end there are also some raw food dishes during the week long retreat, but as part of balanced meal plan and not the main staple of the retreat.

We also have yoga during the week, but as part of a varied exercise and activity programme. A very important part of supporting your body’s natural waste management system is movement. Movement increases circulation and lymph drainage. If you are existing on a very low calorie diet of juices then the chances are you don’t have the energy to move very much or very far. In fact to do so would be counter productive to your health as you could find yourself cannibalising muscle to give you the energy you need. At The Body Retreat we have a programme that includes walking, swimming, yoga and toning classes.

There are no colonics or enemas at The Body Retreat. We are not anti-colonic ourselves, but we feel that the decision to have a colonic is one that should not be taken lightly and should be undertaken with the support of a professional. Hosepipes and buckets and a “give it a go” approach are not for us.

Our Detox has a pretty specific purpose…its all about Sugar. Or rather it’s all about getting free from the clutches of sugar. Sugar is endemic in our food these days, hidden in the most obscure places from sausages to hummus, combine this with the over availability of sweet treats, soft drinks and processed foods and you really do have a health time bomb. Of course not all sugar is in the crap we know we should be eating less of, you can over consume sugar in an attempt to be healthy, eating too many high sugar fruits, dried fruits, smoothies even starchy veggies can all add up to a high sugar intake. Quitting sugar is hard, so our retreat is an opportunity to begin the process of detoxing the sugar from your body while at the same time detoxing your mind of the cravings, triggers and self sabotaging thoughts that can lead to over consumption of the sweet stuff.

Oh and course there are robes to lounge in, if lounging is your thing. R&R is an important part of every Body Retreat not just the Detox Retreat, so there is time every day to sleep, curl up on the sofa and read, hit the hot tub or pool, whatever your R&R is.

But the real difference with The Body Retreat’s detox is that it is not designed to be a quick fix. Yes, you will lose pounds and inches on the week, but that is only the start of the real result. You leave us with a four week at home programme that helps you to maximise your result. Having felt for yourself how your body feels eating clean whole foods, how your energy levels rebalance, how your skin tone and hair condition can have improved, you may even see improvement in some chronic conditions like reflux, eczema, IBS etc So it feels natural to want to carry on choosing to eat, move and behaviour in much the same way at home.

So there you have it…The Body Retreat’s Detox Retreat. Are we a Detox Retreat? Or might we be something more……

Beauty….It Is More Than Skin Deep

We have all heard the quote “Beauty is only skin deep” and with the average British woman spending £2,500 on beauty products every year it would seem to confirm this.

But the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.  Beauty is a lot more than just skin deep.

Confession of a Beauty Product Junkie

Now, let me start this article with an admission…I used to be a beauty product junkie.  Having previously spent 5 years working for a french beauty company I learnt a lot about how the skins works, how certain product ingredients work and what techniques and process make products work better.  Combined with an almost pathological fear of developing jowls (my maternal grandmother had them…so they are on their way!!!) I bought into every new firming beauty product developed.  In my 20’s I was using products marketed at 40 year olds, now I’m in my 40’s my skin care habit had become very expensive.  No off the supermarket shelf products for me by now my beauty habit needs a bigger fix than that.

Every day we are bombard by marketing messages urging us to part with our hard earned cash and buy the latest anti-aging beauty products to help us conform to the current vision of what a beautiful woman looks like.  Don’t you want to look like Cheryl, Isabella, Julia?? Perhaps this is little pot of cream could be just the answer.

Then I met our lead therapist Pippa and I got a beauty wake up call. Pippa had been working with us at The Body Retreat for almost a year when chatting together one day she revealed that she was in fact older than me.  I was shocked, because I had always assumed that Pippa was in her late 20’s….maybe early 30’s at a push.  As I looked very very very closely at her face I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing. She looked radiant, glowing, her skin all firm and plump, her hair was glossy and her eyes sparkled and she didn’t have a pick of make up on.  My next thought was..I need what ever product she is using and I need it now!

But there was no magic product.  There was just ….and I use the term “just” ironically…. there was just a healthy lifestyle. Pippa was careful to eat clean foods, was active, got a good amount of sleep, she also liked to do yoga outside if possible every day, she naturally had a great skincare routine but rather than buy expensive products she used home made treatments for her skin.  My first thought was it sounded a little hippy for a product junkie like myself.  Or does it!

 The Inside is more Important that the Outside

For me it was a light bulb moment.  Here I was spending the price of a decent pair of shoes on a face cream to apply on the outside when the inside wasn’t in tip top condition.  Its a bit like buying expensive wall paper and papering over a cracked wall.  Its only going to look good for a short while, but the cracks will make themselves known very quickly.  The same is true of lotions and potions, they cannot undo the impact of an unhealthy body.

How we look is more affected by what we eat and how we think than any amount of expensive creams and serums.  Think about it, you know the pained face of someone who is ill, the weathered expression of someone who is a heavy smoker, the pale and drawn complexion of someone who is very stressed.  You can recognise the signs of compromised health in yourself, dry skin, breakouts, course hair, dark circles under the eyes, flaking or weak nails.

There are a multitude of aggressors that make us feel and look years older than we really are, poor digestion, crash diets, high stress levels, food allergies, hormone imbalances to name but a few all contribute to compromised health and can actually increased inflammation with in turn speeds up the ageing process.

Beauty starts not with a wrinkle or in my case jowl free face but with a healthy digestive system and a calm mind.

If you want to improve the condition of your skin you need to start by improving the condition of your digestion.  Right now you can literally begin to eat yourself beautiful.  Begin to decrease the toxic load that processed and fast foods have on your system while at the same time increase the amount of antioxidant , vitamins and minerals you do eat on a daily basis.  Learn to rebalance your stress levels and make time every day to be calm, even if it is only a for a couple of minutes. You skin will thank you.

I will admit that I haven’t thrown out all the creams and potions from my dressing table, but in researching the programme for our Beauty Detox Retreat I have become convinced that we should be spending more of our hard earn cash in the fruit and veg aisle of the supermarket rather than the cosmetic aisle. I feel genuienly excited to learn more from our therapist and experts on retreat about how to create fitter and firmer skin from the inside out rather than try to apply it from the outside in.


Joining us at our women only retreats to learn more about how create beauty from the inside out may not be right for you right now, but you can start to make small changes at home.  Begin with small changes like adding the 7 Beauty Boosting Foods below and you will be surprised how in just a short while you will feel and see a difference in your skin, hair and nails.

The Body Retreats 7 Beauty Boosting Foods to add to your diet today.

Avocados: Enzyme and mineral rich, these little green fruit are the best fat to improve your skin texture and elasticity.

Salmon: Full of Omgea 3 Salmon will boost your skins glow and radiance.

Almonds: Contain Vit E these nuts can also help to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Chia Seeds: Another great source of Omega 3 and also a great source of protein a great addition to your daily diet.

Eggs: A good source of iron and can help to recent dark circles under your eyes.

Blueberries: Full of antioxidants which help to fight the free radicals than can cause premature ageing.

Water:  Hydration is essential for good skin and good digestion.  So aim to drink about 1-1.5 litres of still water every day.

True Beauty starts with Healthy Eating.  

Great skin is 70% what you put into your body and only 30% is what you put on your skin.  Creating a healthy lifestyle where you are concisely choosing to respect and protect your body, eating healthy clean food, taking exercise to keep your blood flow boosted, making time to reduce your stress levels and investing in the best quality skin care you can are all part of the beauty puzzle.

At the end of the day no cream is really going to put a smile on your face , but being in great health and the best shape  is really what makes the difference.

Id love to hear from you, what is your beauty secret?  Are you a beauty product junkie or do you favour a more holistic natural approach?

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