Following a crack of dawn start travelling to Heathrow airport, before flying to Zurich then followed by a four hour incredibly scenic train journey to St Moritz, I was looking forward to a hearty dinner. So when a small plate of fresh vegetables with rice arrived, I naturally thought courses two and three were to follow. It was only when the waiter cleared the plates and said he had hoped I enjoyed the meal, did I realise the detox had officially begun.
I was after all on the newly launched detox program at the Kempinski Hotel in the Upper Engadine Valley. But I must confess I had banked on having a blow out meal before I started the next day. Still, I had signed up for the three day detox and there was no way out. Not even any nuts in the mini bar. In fact the usual contents of one were replaced by six cold pressed juices of varied colours.
The normal programme consists of six overnight stays consisting of breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared from raw, vegan ingredients and the aforementioned six Fit ‘n’ Tasty Juices to be drunk throughout the day. The activities included gentle hikes, cycling, yoga and pilates, And the bonus? Three detox treatments at the spa including a wrap, scrub and massage.
Day one began with an almighty wake up with my first detox juice of the day. It was a citrus lemon flavour and oh my it really did have a sharp taste. But hungry from the night before it really wasn’t a time be fussy. Juice down and it was off for a yoga session at 8am in the studio. Our instructor Ivonne Mazzel was kind to us as she gently eased us in before moving on to complicated poses. The shivasna at the end was very much welcomed.
Breakfast was interesting – over a litre bottle of suspiciously looking green juice and a small bowl of fruit with coconut shavings. The latter was lovely but the juice not much so. I’m used to having some protein and fruit in my green smoothies. This was rather bland but beggars can’t be choosers. I had made sure I also sat well away from the normal gourmet offerings of this five star place.
As detox is all about measuring our success, we had our body analysis taken including our height, weight, fat, water body via a machine. Day four would be d-day when we found out how well we had done.
There’s nothing quite like a hike in the beautiful mountains to get your mind off food and we were also in good company. Wolfgang Hoffmann is a specially appointed activity concierge who knows the valley like no other. He can arrange numerous activities including boulder climbing, flow trail downhill biking, climbing, miniature golf, paragliding, horse riding, swimming, windsurfing, stand up paddling to name a few. So our three hour hike was just blissful and incorporated several stops to admire views – and drink juice number two. It was a carrot juice and not at all unpleasant.
Lunch was tiny but beautifully presented. Spinach, avocado, strawberries formed the meal and despite being deflated at the paltry portion I realised I wasn’t even hungry. Besides, with a wrap and scrub scheduled for the afternoon I certainly didn’t need a food coma of a belly.
The wrap and scrub was lovely – exactly what you need after a morning full of activities. As the masseuse scrubbed and exfoliated I visualised stress leaving my body. The rest of the afternoon and early evening was spent dozing in the chill out lounge. A gentle stretch class and dinner ensued. Again beautiful raw food adorned the plate and I gulped it. I realised I wasn’t actually even hungry and that our eyes really are bigger than our belly. The six juices had kept me full. I slept peacefully through the whole night.
Day two began with a fasted hike before breakfast. The juice was a lot nicer made of carrot and oranges. It went down rather well and I was excited to get out on my bike around the lakes. St Mortiz has some of the most beautiful lakes that you can’t help wanting to be by them in any weather. The afternoon followed by lunch was spent on my back again as I enjoyed an hour long massage. I felt like I really was giving my body the best treatment ever through nourishment, exercise and treatments. If people think detoxifying is depriving themselves, they should rethink. You’re actually doing yourself a huge favour and giving it the best you can to kick start healthy long term goals.
As each day went by I felt more and more relaxed and the exercises did not feel strenuous at all. I even enjoyed the HIIT training with Francesco because I had the energy to do it. During our stay we covered a number of walks including the MTB Tour which takes you along Champfer to Lake Silvaplana, pass castle Silvaplana, close to Sils. On another day we took in the views along a pass through the Olympiaschanze pass Lej Nair viewing point Crastatscha (view to Silvaplana) and Lake Champfer.
And surprisingly I started to really enjoy the juices and looked forward to the foods. In three days I felt like my taste buds were changing and I was developing a keen interest in raw food. The final day’s smoothie of strawberries, nuts and almond milk was just divine.
So how did I do come judgement day? I lost TWO pounds of fat in three days. I was chuffed to bits to say the least and felt great. In fact so much so I vowed to keep it off and continue having at least a couple of raw food days a week. It’s been three weeks since my return and I have lost 4kg as I’ve kept up with eating healthy.
Again life is about balance and about making sustainable healthy choices. The detox program here at the Kempinski Hotel gives you a much needed boost to start that journey. Even the General Manager Reto Stockenius embarked on his healthy journey by doing the programme and has lost several kilos so far. And did I feel like I was on a luxury holiday at the same time? How could I not with the beautiful surroundings I found myself in – both in and out of the hotel.
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