You might have guessed by now, but I work for the biggest "natural" grocery store chain in the country. It isn't my dream job, but it is a good job and the company rules for the most part. They make these health immersion trips available to interested team members a few times a year and I decided to apply this fall. I wasn't sure I would learn anything but I knew at least I would be in a beautiful warm place, all expenses paid, for part of the hectic holiday retail season. Also as I'm getting older I'm realizing I'm not invincible (duh). I've had some health problems come up this year, nothing serious, but enough to make me open to making some changes. And this is kind of embarrassing, but for the last 3 years we've been vegetarians who rarely ate vegetables.
Don't these work vehicles look weird on the beach?Each day consisted of a few parts. We started each day working out on the beach. You could pick yoga, tai chi, or fitness. I did yoga the first two days then spent the rest of the week doing tai chi. I loved it so much! It was so relaxing and fun and the instructor was really great. There were different lectures throughout the day, on all kinds of health topics. I was afraid they would be boring because I do lots of trainings for my job but they were all interesting and engaging. We had an afternoon break where you could do fitness again or just hang out. Most days I took a walk down the beach or swam in the heated salt water pool.
The focus of the food was eating all real, whole foods. So nothing processed and it was all vegan except for a few nights when they had chicken so the meat eaters wouldn't revolt. There was no caffeine, no salt, no oil. The idea wasn't to put you on a diet, and there were people there of all sizes, some with health problems, some with none. The idea was to learn about what you put into your body and how it effects you. The first couple days were a little miserable because everyone was detoxing. I had it pretty easy because I don't do caffeine or meat anyway, but I did break out pretty bad because I'm the queen of fried food. I also had a killer sweet tooth and one night the sugar cravings made me crazy and I ate all three of the bars I had brought to eat at the airport! Haha!
It was amazing the changes some people saw it just a week. For me the biggest thing was learning about toxic hunger and the way that certain things can be as addictive. They can affect your brain in the same way a drug can, releasing dopamine and suppressing serotonin. Not having access (well, you could have left the resort or gotten room service or something, they weren't watching you or anyting) to things like cheese and sugary drinks and fried stuff for a just a week gave me a chance to see how those things aren't necessary for me. I've stuck to it since I've been back, and I really can't believe how easy it has been. I feel really good about it, if a little weird. The point they made that really stuck with me was that you spend so much of your time in this life working to make money. Why spend your money on things that won't prolong your life so you can enjoy more of it once you get to retire?