Happy New Year everyone!! Super excited to start off 2017 with a bang and hope to keep your loyal and continued support!
I don’t know about you, but right now everyone around me is talking about detoxing and cleansing. That’s me included, given I had one extremely food-filled christmas and new years celebrations! I headed back to the UK for Christmas, and after a lovely ski trip to the Chedi resort in Andermatt, I hopped on another plane to visit somewhere that has been on my bucket list for a long time – Ti Sana detox resort and spa.
If you’ve been thinking about doing a detox retreat sometime in the near future, allow me to shed a little light on the different approaches and what you can expect.
I’ve been wanting to visit Ti Sana for a few years because of their approach and ethos to health. Detox retreats vary massively in the routine and set-up; it could be a pure juice detox, a relaxing one, one where they encourage healthy eating but you can still order a glass of vino if you want it, or ones like Ti Sana – who take a scientific and holistic approach to health with all temptations being left at the door!
The Hotel & Spa
Based in the Northern part of Italy, just 4o minutes drive from Milano Linate, Ti Sana is a beautiful restored 18th century residence. Nestled within idyllic surroundings of cobbled streets, lakes and hills – it makes for the ultimate luxury retreat. With 22 rooms, a weights gym, award-winning relaxation and treatment spa, medical spa and fitness room, your time can become pretty scarce! In fact, their spa has won the ‘World luxury spa awards’ for 4 recent years.
The best place in the world for an afternoon nap – I’m not sure why everywhere doesn’t have beds in the sauna!
The rooms vary in design and luxuries, request for one with a bath so you can really relax in the evenings. My room was simple but it had everything I needed and I actually spent very little time in my room. There are activities and treatments throughout the day so the room is only really there to be slept in!
The guests eats together in the living room, which can be a little scary at first being put out of your comfort zone – we’re not really used to eating with strangers. However, 2 minutes into sitting down, all uncomfortableness is cast aside; people are so incredibly friendly and welcoming, and as you progress through activities together and feel changes in the body, one group becomes quite the family.
AM: When I arrived at Ti Sana, I was presented with a schedule for my 3 night stay. Each day follows a similar pattern but the individual activities and treatments change. The morning kicks off with a high intensity workout (or on Sundays an extra long walk), followed by an energy-packed breakfast and then a mid-morning walk.
Midday: After, it’s ‘snack time’ (and amazing ones at that), then either a treatment or an hour to use the spa facilities, followed by lunch which can be taken wherever you please.
PM: As the evening approaches, it’s more treatments and relaxation time with a class around 5pm of either meditation, stretching, yoga or similar. All non-stressful, mind-clearing activities. Dinner is then served and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be happy to have the lights off and be asleep by 9pm. Best hours of sleep I’ve had in a very long time!
Walking is something I do very little of in Dubai and having an hour or so a day to breathe in crisp, fresh air was absolutely amazing. Who knew walking could be so therapeutic!
Everyone at Ti Sana is there for different reasons. Me? A chance to give my body a rest, clear my mind and detoxify. Others – curing type II diabetes, weight loss, cutting out smoking or caffeine from their lives, getting fitter and healthier, or just simply understanding the body and what one may need more of.
With views like this, what couldn’t be healed! I went in late December so it was pretty darn chilly! However, it was the perfect time of the year to feel the maximum benefits from their workouts for fat loss and bring a little colour to the cheeks; I actually quite liked the cold in the end.
Each day is structured with high levels of activities in the morning and low levels of activities in the afternoon / evening, but this doesn’t just relate to exercise. The food is also representative of this: morning meals are full of complex carbohydrates and protein that the body works to break down and uses as fuel. Evening meals are very gentle on the stomach; no meat and no carbohydrates in order to reduce inflammation and settle it for a good night’s sleep.
I fully expected to come to a detox retreat and eat foods that (let’s be honest) weren’t too tasty. I knew Ti Sana was a scientific, effective, world-class detox so they wouldn’t be dressing food up as healthy when it wasn’t just so people enjoyed it.
Here’s how the food goes:
Breakfast: INSANELY delicious, far yummier than what I eat at home. Also very large portions! I thought they were actually too big so the in house doctor brought me in to see the clinical dietary notes, all portions and macronutrient contents were measured exactly. Meals such as baked apple hot cake, chia seed pudding, buckwheat clusters and oats with nuts and dried berries. All paired with a fruit or vegetable smoothie to alkalise the body. Here’s a few of the breakfasts you could expect; definitely my favourite meal of the day!
Lunches: Surprisingly more carbohydrate heavy than what I’m used to, but it’s there to fuel the body into the evening as there are no carbs in the afternoon snacks or dinner. You wouldn’t think you were on a detox retreat over lunch, unless maybe you have a real liking for salt – all meals are void of salt in order to give the body a break. Starting with a big bowl of vegetables to alkalize the body each lunchtime, and then moving onto a hot meal. Really yummy and exactly what you want after a few hours outside!
Morning and afternoon snacks: The snack time, bringing me back to kindergarten school! After an intense long (and chilly) walk, you’re welcomed back into the living room for a small guilt-free snack, normally fruit related. From natural fruit ice-cream, to banana pancakes and baked fruits. These were a highlight of the day!
The afternoon snacks are a little less appetising, but that’s probably my natural sweet tooth talking. They consist of a protein shake and something vegetable based, be it crudités, a kale mix or small spinach salad. The menu changes every day so it’s never the same.
Dinners: There’s no denying this is the toughest meal of the day, especially as I always want to reach for something sweet after dinner. Very ‘light on the stomach’ meals with little seasoning, but all with the intention of giving the stomach a rest. I really appreciated not actually having the opportunity to go and grab a piece of fruit or something sweet, as I would usually do.
There is seasoning on the table (minus salt and sugar) if you need to add a bit of a kick to the meal. I tried to stay away from it as much as possible because they make it like this for a reason and it’s important to maximise the experience!
Overall, the foodie part of the retreat was really interesting and not what I expected. I certainly wasn’t left hungry and actually ate more carbohydrates each day than I normally do, which was an eye opener for energy and muscle growth. I felt clean, healthy, and never bloated – which I can get quite a bit.
The Tests & What You’ll Learn
Coming here isn’t just about giving everyone the same treatments and ‘remedies’. It’s very personalised, and all based upon your integrated diagnostics which are tests performed when you first arrive. I was on the ‘Healtheatarian’ package which is one of the most popular, but within that meals were adjusted to suit what I needed.
Below are example results (not mine!) to show you the detail of the tests. Everything is tested from skeletal muscle mass, body fat percentage, heart power, breathing, ability to burn fat during exercise, inflammation, vitamins and mineral levels and so much more.
I had inflammation especially in the stomach area, suggesting there was something I was eating (or incorrect times of eating) that was upsetting the body. Wheat was a possible reason, so throughout my 4 days all of my meals were tailored to be wheat free.
I absolutely loved being able to give my body a rest and reset just before Christmas. I came home feeling fresh, light and full of energy and it has only cemented my belief that detox retreats are an amazing thing to do at least once a year. We do live in relatively stressful environments and times – going out for late dinners, not getting enough sleep and having long days at work – sometimes you need to give the body something back.
You can have a look at Ti Sana’s website here for more details on their packages.
What are your thoughts on detox retreats? Have you been to one and if so, where?
Comment below if you have any questions about detox retreats in general or Ti Sana specifically. Hope you enjoyed this post!