by bellab

As of last Saturday The beautyhaul entered a new chapter which I shall  refer to from here on in as my health kick period. No, it’s not the new year, nor am I getting hitched. In actual fact I’ve just got back from the most amazing 7 day juice retreat in Mallorca with a company called Breakfree Retreats. Right now I can’t divulge as much as I’d like about the experience since I’m reviewing it for one of my regular health & beauty clients. All I can say is a week of raw liquid nutrition, increased activity and balaeric sunshine has been the ultimate tonic for body, soul, skin, hair, nails….

Aside from the obvious, visible benefits – I lost 5lbs and 5cms from my waist – I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the less obvious side effects. Stacks of energy and a new resolve to eat cleaner being two of them. This last week back to my usual routine working in an office in central London and I just haven’t had those usual wading-through-sand-style energy slumps and have been waking naturally and not unpleasantly about 6.15am. This means I’ve had time to eat a healthy fruit-based breakfast and even make a smoothie (while I wait for the new juicer to arrive) and then I’ve been walking the 20 minute journey from the station to the office to try and sandwich some movement into my predominantly sedentary day. This morning I even managed to bust out a dynamic yoga class before work. I know, me? an early riser! Who’d have thought it.

It was  a total detox so we’re talking no sugar, caffeine, meat, alcohol and dairy. I’ve eased myself back in with one cup of early grey a day but have switched to a dash of soya milk as eating no dairy really seems to suit me. I’ve had a little fish too, but can’t say I’ve been craving ‘flesh’ of any kind terribly. After a week off digesting those really dense foodstuffs you get a much clearer sense of how energy sapping it is for your system to break down certain heavy foods. And, when you spend most of the day sat on your arse like I do, you just don’t need all that food, you really don’t. Of course I fell off the Green & Blacks wagon almost immediately but I am trying to wean myself onto raw. Conscious (from Wholefoods) being my current bar of choice.

Earlier I was reading an interview with Dr Pauline Hili on the wonderful Content Beauty blog (she’s launched a lovely new range of a advanced organic skincare called Nourish) and she was talking about the principle of Harca Haci Bu practised by the world’s oldest population, the Okinawans (google them, they’re bionic!). Apparently it translates to eating only until you are 80% full. It’s something we talked a lot about last week on retreat. Think of the oldest people you know. They’re all pretty lean right? We need a certain amount of fat to protect our vital organs from dangerous toxins which we either ingest through bad diet or pollution or generate with stress, but ultimately, we were just not designed to be fatties.

Which leads me swiftly onto my next recommended reading matter for you this weekend. The marvellous Hemsley sisters have been wooing me with their delicious yet health-driven recipies on Vogue.com for some time but yesterday I suddenly realised when I saw a picture of them yesterday that Jasmine, one of the said sisters, is actually a (very beautiful) model I know through friends of friends. I can therefore vouch for the old adage that you are what you eat. Ooh I was excited. Their blog is currently making huge waves with the London fooderatti (& all nutrition-obsessed beauty eds) and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s a riot of colour, pretty pics and mouth watering recipies where you never, ever hear the word diet or calorie or, gasp, processed. I for one have designs on this sugar and egg-free chestnut cake this weekend…

*This image comes courtesy of the lovely lacylike blog which I found via Pinterest. Check out her inspirational post on cleansing here.