The Life Co is a Turkish based detox and wellness center, with several outposts and retreats now being offered as far as Phuket. For my visit I opted for a 5 day Master Cleanse in the Bodrum facility as a ‘starvation-vacation’ birthday treat for my mother. I use that term lightly, as not once throughout the week did I experience any symptoms of hunger, despite embarking on a low calorie ketogenic detoxification juice cleanse. We were fortunate to have arrived after the new Life Co Beach club had opened, meaning our days could be spent either in the facility or on our own private beach where the juices would be delivered and there is alkaline water on tap.A recent partnering with Saf Restaurants meant Vegan cuisine on offer for those opting to eat or to assist in the transitional phases. The coastal town Türkbükü where the retreat is set is a beautiful location with great hikes and shopping.
THE MASTER CLEANSE
This is the staple cleanse on offer and the one my mother and I opted for. The cleanse is recommended for 4-21 days and consists of 5 shakes a day, separated by three hour intervals. You are given probiotics and supplements with every juice and there inbetween. There are wheat grass] and lemon shots as well as a Himalayan salt one. As aforementioned, the total calorific intake per day equates to 400 calories so as to promote ketosis and aid the detoxification process. This may sound like a high deficit, but The Life Co is overseen by an army of doctors and nurses so you are provided with the best medical care around the clock. The Juices themselves are made up of fruit juice for flavour, PH 10 antioxidant alkalize ionized water, Bentonite and Psyllium Husk. Within the Master cleanse they provide Colex, a natural supplement to support the colon to release toxic wastes and plaques as well as Kelp & Nettle forumals for metabolic purposes. Their D Forumala is a multivitamin containing Vit A, E, Zinc, Selenium, Niacin, Thiamin, B6,B2,Q10, Folic Acid and B12. I feel that the above all came together to create a sustainable detox program where I can honestly say I never felt tired or lethargic at any point. I was astounded at the energy I had as in past detox retreats I would be burrowed in my room with headaches and exhaustion… convincing myself that it was good and part of the process! This cleanse has completely revolutionized the way I approach detoxes.
Each day starts with a sunrise hike should you wish to challenge yourself or a gentler one to the beach an hour later. Juices are brought to your room or wherever you are, I was continuously amazed at the staffs ability to find you at any time. After herbs and wheatgrass there is a hour and a half yoga practice which I very much enjoyed. There are 3 yoga or fitness classes on offer per day, with the morning one being more challenging and a bit more of a power flow. After that were the daily colemas. delightfully called the angel of water.The Colemas were an essential part of the detoxification program and it is for this purpose the juices are mixed with the aforementioned bentonite; a volcanic clay. The active ingredient in bentonite is montmorillonite, a substance with powerful adsorportion skills with an ability to physically bind toxic substances about 40 times its own weight. The Angel of water is self administered and the pressure is controlled via gravity as the 6 liters of water used in a 20 minute session exits from an elevated tank. I would like to note that I do not recommend introducing bentonite to any home detox programmes unless you have access to a colemic system. You then have a myriad of shakes and yoga/fitness classes on offer as well as informative talks and a great selection of movies in the theater.. even my old boss Joe Cross got some air time when his movie Fat,Sick and Nearly Dead screened.
There are so many treatments on offer, the ones I opted for were restorative and aimed towards the detoxification process. The Life Co is insistant that all guests use the infared sauna for 30 minutes a day, a dry heat in which I spent my time reading Daniel Reids’ The Tao Detox [hyperlink]. I also used the ozone sauna for 30 minutes which reached 43.C and burnt up to 600 kcal.
I recommend that all visitors have a Hammam the first day they arrive. This traditional Turkish bath exfoliated and cleaned every part of my body and was a true highlight. Having water and bubbles thrown at me certainly appealed to my inner child and created a fantastic foundation for tanning. The Balinese massages were exceptional, with a pinched nerve in my lower back finally stretched out meaning a happier ‘upward dog’ in yoga that eve. When it came to the final day, my mother and I couldn’t believe how fast it had gone. I felt no hunger pangs and could very happily have done another 5! This is, you can imagine, quite a novel feeling versus the constant day dreaming about food I experienced in other retreats. We were lucky to have our 8 am and 11am juices pre flight, and The Life Co packaged up a wonderful raw salad by Saf for us to eat on the plane.
For a 5 day detox I lost 4kg and 1% body fat; with no loss of muscle mass. My objectives were never weight focused but I do notice a much flatter tummy, arms and legs. But most key is I feel fantastic and my energy levels are higher than ever. The real test comes when you return home. I have been eating alkaline, vegan meals to ease my digestive processes. For maintenance I am continuing to juice once a week and making sure I chew 25 times before swallowing to break down all food to a more digestible state.