Active Detox Holidays With Phuket Cleanse


Back in November when I went to Phuket with a bunch of friends I randomly stumbled across Phuket Cleanse, a raw vegan 'active' detox retreat. Unfortunately our stay on the island was short and I didn't get the opportunity to check out the resort then. But after taking a closer look at their offer, I left the island with a burning desire to come back one day and experience Phuket Cleanse for myself. I had never been on a detox holiday before and it was one of those things I had been meaning to tick off my bucket list.

That wish finally came true last week; my boyfriend and I spent five amazing days detoxing, working out and getting our asses kicked by Phuket Cleanse's lovely but torturous trainers. But let me take it from the top and explain a little bit more:

Phuket Cleanse is a health retreat located in Rawai, Phuket that offers what they call an 'active cleanse.' It is a common misconception that energy levels are low when on a cleanse, and you will definitely be proven wrong if you think that way. Unlike other wellness retreats where the focus is on yoga and meditation, the schedule at Phuket Cleanse is jam packed with up to nine workouts a day to choose from, herbal baths and infrared sauna sessions, ice bathing, raw food cooking classes, trips to the beach and educational workshops about nutrition and wellness. Oh, did I mention (almost) daily recovery massages? Jackpot!

The retreat was founded by two spectacular individuals, Stanton and Melanie Proctor. Mel has a bubbly personality bursting of energy and Stanton is literally the best host you could imagine. With his welcoming, warm and humorous personality he made sure that we were feeling good at all times and he always had an open ear to my daily morning inquiries about ketosis, metabolism and the benefits of a low carb diet (more about that topic in a later blog post). Guest numbers are restricted to a maximum of around 20 guests at a time which means the service and program is highly personalised and you get to know everyone by name, both guests and staff. Despite having only been open for a couple of years, many of the guests are repeat visitors that come for several weeks at a time. The record holder is Sarah, ex-customer and now head of guest relations who stayed at Phuket Cleanse for three months, decided to quite her well-paying lawyer job, give up her old life back home and join Phuket Cleanse. Phil, the managing director, has a similar story to share. He also came as a guest and had such a transformative experience that he decided to ditch his old job and move to Phuket. It seems to me, Phuket Cleanse can be a life changing experience.


Guests come for many reasons and everyone has their own unique story to share - from weight loss goals to cancer survivors or burnt-out managers. And even if you don't have any major health concern and consider yourself fit and healthy, this program will still kick your butt. No matter what your reason is, I am sure that Phuket Cleanse will change your life ever so slightly and make you a better person. In the short five days that I have spent there, I feel that not only my body has started an inner and outer transformation but that I have progressed on my emotional journey as well. It is a great place to step outside your comfort zone and push yourself to the limit, physically and emotionally.

As said, the schedule is pretty busy. We woke up around 6:30 AM for early morning juices at 7AM (we love to cheers and take our immune booster and wheatgrass shots all together to make it more fun) and then we were usually straight off to our first workout of the day. Even though it's not mandatory, it's encouraged to take an ice bath after training for recovery. If you haven't already seen this, check out my epic first failed attempt down below. I lasted about 10 seconds...I did the rookie mistake of putting my feet into the ice old water, and was only told later that you can last longer if you leave your extremities out. I don't mean to brag, but by the end of the trip I managed to stay in the water over 10 minutes. Just saying.

A video posted by steffejung (@steffejung) on Aug 26, 2015 at 8:10am PDT

Anyways, after the ice bath we normally headed back to the lounge where Nich, Nemo or someone else from the team was already waiting for us with plant based protein shakes made of such things as hemp, brown rice or pea protein. Depending on our mood & energy levels, we usually opted for another workout session or two before lunch.

Lunch. FOOD. Where do I even begin? Meals are taken around a large communal dining table in the main villa and everything is raw vegan and low carb - think dehydrated pizza, kale salad, cauliflower sushi, coconut ravioli and luminous green juices and hydrating elixirs. Juice fasting is also an option, but I didn't want to forego the opportunity to experience the raw cuisine that everyone had been raving about to me. I can honestly say I have never eaten raw vegan food that was this delicious! I also have never been on a low carb raw vegan diet for five days straight, a way of eating that is meant to put the body into ketosis. Ketosis is the body's fat burning state that is reached when it is depleted of glycogen (sugar) and has to start using the body's fat storage as fuel (as mentioned, I'll cover this topic in a later blog post).

What's amazing and most likely surprising to many is the fact that you feel 100% full and satisfied after the meals. Nutrient-dense and full of fibre, they keep you satiated for a long time and provide enough fuel for the strenuous workouts we do here. The low carb thing was a massive change for me. Back home, I love my carbs and really feel like my body thrives on a high-carb diet. The good ones, obviously. Fresh fruits, brown rice, sweet potatoes, buckwheat noodles...Surprisingly I didn't miss these at all and felt stronger and more powerful than ever during my workouts. I'll leave you with these images of some of the meals we had, and you shall worry not, I will make sure to post several recipes soon.

Post-lunch we usually attended a cooking class (think yummy salad dressings, raw vegan cheesecakes or cashew cheese courses) or an educational workshop on matters like how to be more grateful, balancing your hormones or regulating your sleep. I love the fact that Phuket Cleanse is not about providing a quick fix, but that they truly care about teaching you the tools to live a healthier and happier life back home in the "real world".

Whatever you are doing in life, you can't expect major results without major changes. If you really want to change your lifestyle, you need to commit and make it a part of who you are - only then will you see the long-lasting changes you want to take shape. I know that many people go through major life transformations here and it overwhelms me with a feeling of happiness that warms my heart to see Phuket Cleanse impact so many people's lives. I have come a long way on my journey of recovery from an eating disorder, but in those five days I retouched on those dark moments I had and suddenly felt a deep gratitude for the new life that I have built for myself. Everyone needs a bit of an emotional tune-up once in a while, and my stay here really allowed me to go within myself and look at how far I have come.

After on average three workouts per day (read: 3 hours of intense sweating), we all got together in the evening for an early dinner involving more mouth-watering, new and exciting dishes. We often went for another workshops after that or let the day come to an end with a guided mediation. Most nights we got a massage at 8PM and fell asleep exhausted and contempt with all the hard work of the day shorty after . Talk about getting your zzz in.

One more thing that I want to point out is the diversity of their fitness offer. I'm a big believer in mixing up your workouts, and at Phuket Cleanse you can enjoy a variety of cardio, strength and flexibility classes. I had been doing too much weight training at home for my taste, so I knew I wanted to spend my month in Thailand and in Phuket particularly focusing on cardio and yoga. I have never been as flexible as I currently am (note to self: keep the yoga sessions up back home). I'm also a big nature girl, and so many of the workouts are outside and allow you to reconnect with nature. The lifeguard workout has you gulping gallons of water with every wave crashing onto the shore, the HIIT the stair workout has you running uphill like a madman just to be rewarded by a spectacular ocean view at the top and then there are the relaxing yoga sessions by the beach that allow you to dig your toes into the sand while in downward dog.

This is roughly how our schedule looked like (click here for their full current weekly schedule):

Day 1 (we arrived after lunch time)

  • Late lunch
  • Straight off to Box Fit - Kick Boxing Cardio
  • Hatha Yoga
  • Ice bath & herbal steam
  • 18:15 PM dinner
  • 'Meet the Positive You' workshop

Day 2

  • 7 AM breakfast juices
  • 1 hour morning hike
  • Induction + initial nutrition consultation & physiotherapy
  • 11:30 AM lunch
  • 'Hormones 101: Healing Your Hormones for Peak Performance' workshop
  • TRX Body Blast
  • Ice bath & herbal steam
  • 18:15 PM dinner
  • Crystal Singing Bowl Meditation
  • Evening massage

Day 3

  • 7 AM breakfast juices
  • Lifeguard Workout by the beach
  • Hike up Big Buddha
  • 11:30 lunch
  • 'Salad Dressing 101' cooking class
  • Yin Yoga Class
  • Ice bath & herbal steam
  • 'Attract Your Soulmate/Identify Your Karmic Mate' workshop

Day 4

  • 7 AM breakfast juices
  • Aerial Suspension Yoga
  • 11:30 AM lunch
  • 'Raw Healthy Desserts' cooking class
  • HIIT in the Pool Workout
  • Yin Restorative Yoga
  • Ice bath & herbal steam
  • 18:15 dinner
  • Game night with everyone
  • Evening massage

Day 5

  • 7 AM breakfast juices
  • Morning warm up stroll to the gym
  • Hot Bikram Yoga
  • 11:30 lunch
  • Boat trip to Coral Island
  • Ice bath & herbal steam
  • 17:15 early dinner
  • 'Making Natural Beauty Products' workshop
  • Evening massage

Day 6

  • 7 AM breakfast juices
  • HIIT the Stairs workout
  • Ice bath & herbal steam
  • 11:30 lunch
  • Time to say good bye to everyone

It's hard to believe we did all of this in four and a half days. Puh, what a busy schedule! I leave Phuket Cleanse not only fitter and leaner, but also with a whole bunch of tips and tricks in tow on how to live a healthier life back home. Even more important than the physical transformation are the new friendships I have made here. I have met so many lovely people and appreciate them for the inspiring and eye-opening lives they lead and the little nuggets of wisdom they have passed along to me. It was so easy to connect with everyone here; I guess that's what happens when you put a bunch of like-minded people in a room that all share one common goal: to keep improving and be the best possible version of themselves.

Thank you Mel, Stanton, Phil, Sarah, Darren, Stas, Craig, Lauralee, Silvana, Toni, Andrew and everyone else that made our stay unforgettable!

Give Phuket Cleanse a follow on their Instagram and Facebook, and feel free to contact them here if you're thinking of planning your next holidays there. Let me know when you go & I'll join you ;)

Who's up for active detox holidays with Phuket Cleanse? Have you ever been on a low carb raw vegan diet before?