Designer Louise Kennedy is a devotee of the Buchinger Wilhelmi Clinic in Marbella, where she completed a medically supervised two-week therapeutic fasting programme …
“Maria Buchinger opened her first clinic in Germany in 1953 and 20 years later, opened a second in Marbella. Over the past 20 years, the Buchinger regime has taught me so much about physical and mental health and how our relationship with food is key to our wellbeing. I have come to understand the benefits of a medically supervised fasting regime, not only for weight loss, but to relax the mind and body and to allow organs to heal, rest and reboot. The programme follows the science and is individual to each patient.
“I opted for the 14-day programme, therefore my fast was for nine days. The programme begins with a round of blood tests which allow the doctors to uncover any health issues and to select a diet to suit you. You see the same medical team twice a week and your nurse at least twice a day. Your nurse checks blood pressure, heart rate and temperature, and you are weighed every morning. As well as planning your diet and exercise, the team is there to support you on the difficult days too.
Designer Louise Kennedy
“You commence the fast with a laxative day of Epsom salt which cleanses the gut and prepares the system to rest and sleep. Thereafter you consume approximately 250 calories per day. Breakfast is an herbal tea, and lunch and dinner consists of either a small bowl of soup or a juice. Yes, it is a shock to the system and early into the fast can be tough, particularly when caffeine deprivation kicks in. But I can honestly say that after Day 3, the sense of wellbeing, physical and emotional, is so powerful. My energy levels got stronger each day. I easily achieved 25,000 steps each day, walking to the beach or enjoying the beautiful mountain trails. I felt my stress levels decrease and felt myself growing mentally stronger and calmer.
“The clinic overlooks the Mediterranean, and grounds are beautifully maintained, with bougainvillea and palm trees. The facilities are five-star, with a wonderful gym, and a beautiful outdoor pool. I enjoyed kinesiotherapy, Japanese facials and one of my favourite treatments, underwater massage, a game-changer for any aches and pains. The nine days are so full and varied, the time slips by. You are encouraged to put away your computer and phones are banned in public spaces. But it is very social: everyone chats about their stay and there are visitors from many different cultures. The highlight was breaking the fast and experiencing the phenomenal quality and flavours of the “readaptation food”, all sustainably and locally produced. The food is delicious, the presentation exquisite. I returned to Dublin with renewed vitality and a commitment to embrace a diet based on locally produced food where possible.
“While I lost 3kg in two weeks, on this trip my focus was on wellbeing and rest. I’m so happy the fast has restored a healthy sleeping pattern as I have I really struggled for the past number of years. Will I return? Yes, but more importantly I now embrace the Buchinger regime into my daily routine too.”
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