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Detox Super Series: Fasting in Thailand (& why my sister cried)

So, a few years ago in September 2009 my sister and I decided to go to Thailand for two weeks which would include a 7 day detox on Koh Phi Phi (yes, ironically the full moon party island! talk about controversial!) We went to the fabulous Sanctuary Thailand and booked ourselves into the 7 day / 9 nights Detox program which included:

  • 7 Yoga sessions
  • 7 Spa therapies ( massages etc.)
  • 7 ½ day detox program Daily steam pass
  • Daily support
  • Free meditations
  • 9 nights accommodation in a Thai style grass hut.

We arrived on a long boat from the main port on Koh Phi Phi around midday and immediately Moon (whom my sister and I nicknamed Daddy Schmoon) our detox centre guide and go-to person had us take an alkaline test test which involved spitting on a special paper stick and watching what colour it went. Ideally it had to be at least green to blue, if it was yellow or orange we wouldn’t be allowed to start the detox as our bodies wouldn’t be ready yet. We were supposed to eat raw for the few days prior but being rebellious young girls we didn’t quite manage to stick to that rule, however since we are both generally quite healthy anyway our alkaline levels were ready.

Next, Moon sent us to the restaurant for our last meal. Let me just add here that this restaurant is amazing!!! We were allowed to have anything we wanted as long as it was from the Detox Menu which contained astoundingly amazingly delicious raw meals. I can’t remember exactly what we had but I think it was something along the lines of the a hot and raw soup, pumpkin and sweet potato mash and salad. All of a sudden we were wishing we wouldn’t have to give up food for the next week!

Then we settled into our new abode and sat down and went through our welcome pack which contained the schedule. Yes, a schedule! And a shocking one at that! Who would have thought that detoxing could be so busy and time consuming! Here it is:

  • 5.30am – Take herbal intestinal cleansers and nutritional supplements
  • 7am – Psyllium husk and bentonite clay purification “shakes”
  • 8am – Yoga
  • 8.30am – Take herbal intestinal cleansers and nutritional supplements
  • 10am – Psyllium husk and bentonite clay purification “shakes”
  • 10.30am – Visit to the Spa for a daily treatment of our choice.
  • 11.30am – Take herbal intestinal cleansers and nutritional supplements
  • 1pm – Psyllium husk and bentonite clay purification “shakes”
  • 2.30pm – Take herbal intestinal cleansers and nutritional supplements
  • 4pm – Psyllium husk and bentonite clay purification “shakes”
  • 4.30pm – organic coffee “colema board” colonic flush
  • 5.30pm – Take herbal intestinal cleansers and nutritional supplements
  • 6pm – A herbal steam in the sauna
  • 7pm – Psyllium husk and bentonite clay purification “shakes”
  • 8pm – Vegetable “broth”
  • 8.30pm – Movie or group discussion
  • 9.30pm – Take herbal intestinal cleansers and nutritional supplements plus probiotics

We were both a little rattled by the psyllium husk and bentonite clay purification “shakes” as well as the organic coffee “colema board” colonic flush as neither of us had experienced anything like this previously. And we both naively looked forward to the vegetable broth which turned out to be much less exciting than we had imagined: watery, tasteless, greenish to which we given lemon juice and cayenne pepper to add. Yes, very adventurous indeed!

That evening we were sent  to bed early with a little cup with a lid and our names written on them, 2 packets of psyllium husks and bentonite clay and 12 little green pills to take before sleep and again when we wake. I followed the instructions and mixed the clay and husks together in some water and tried to drink this strange mixture to find that it was absolutely putrid! Not so much the taste, but the texture was horrifying! Ok, and the taste wasn’t so pleasant either! Euck!! My sister tried to do the same and we both had trouble swallowing more than a mouthful and there we decided to leave the rest until the next day…….. Until in the morning we awoke to find that out drink had grown into a wild monster and overflown from our cups and had become a thick, gooey substance. Yuck!

So off we went to the detox centre to find out what was in store for us. More shakes it seems! At the detox centre cafe, the staff were preparing the official psyllium husk and bentonite clay purification “shakes” with watermelon juice to make them more palatable. I watched as our fellow detoxers picked their shakes up as soon as they were made and swallowed them down in a few gulps so that the content couldn’t grow and thicken too much before it reached their mouths. I understood the system and followed suit. My sweet sister however recalled our shock from the evening before……..

A few tears rolled down her cheeks and she seriously debated whether this was the right thing for her. Very kindly, a lovely girl from Switzerland whom we are still friends with to this day, coaxed and guided my sister through and she managed to drink her first detox shake. Off we went to yoga and followed our scheduled day without too much drama. Until it was time for the colon cleanse which we were instructed on how to administer ourselves. I really rather not go into detail here but I have to admit that this part was quite a challenge for me and I even panicked a little until I finally worked it all out! But after a couple of days I loved it. What a crazy process and intense way to get to know your body!

The most challenging part, once we got used to the shake drinking, pill popping and colema board colonic flushes was the hunger. We were hungry ALL the time (so much so that by day three my sister asked for seconds at shake time, much to everyone’s surprise and delight!) We spoke about food non-stop, make shopping lists, designed recipes, day-dreamed about menus that we would create and discussed the foods we wanted the most. It came clear to me that food is much more in the head than in the body. We love food for the sensations and tastes more than for the nutrition it gives us. Even though we understand food to be fuel, we are psychologically designed to love and adore food in our heads. Our bodies were full of the shakes which expanded in our stomachs but our minds had not been fulfilled with the sensational experience of eating a variety of foods.

About half way through the detox plan we started to weaken a little, we would become breathless and light-headed when walking up the hill to yoga and every now and then one of us would become a little cranky as toxins were being released. We read books and watched films in between our busy detoxing schedule, as well as comparing notes and lurid details with fellow detoxers (I shall not share those details here, you can find out when you do it yourself!).

Towards the end of the detox we started to feel great. My eyes shown white, my skin was shiny, silky and clear, I felt slim and healthy and even my teeth appeared whiter! I even felt like I could actually go on detoxing for longer! The fast was broken on the 9th morning with a small bowl of papaya following a final wheatgrass colon cleanse and we were to keep eating raw fruit and vegetables for a few days as our bodies became accustomed to food again.

Would I do it again? Yes, absolutely! In fact I did go again the following year at another centre in Thailand on Koh Samui, but it wasn’t as good as this one. I love the way that detoxing like this gives your body an entire clean. It makes you feel amazing afterwards and I always am much more conscious of what I am putting in my body after a deep cleanse like this. We clean our homes and gardens so why not clean our bodies on the inside too?

 

The related articles from the Detox Super Series can be found here and here.

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