July is a great time for an early summer reboot at Sura Detox in Devon. This was our third time there and we were pleased to find that the energy, warmth and enthusiasm from the team has only increased over time.

The core programme is hard core but the team is always there and you can easily scale it and make your own adjustments. There are daily colonics (of course it’s your choice how many you do). I generally get sick of the juice and psyllium (this time I managed three days) and then spent the second half on water (so no colonics in part two). My energy levels certainly dropped, but it always amazes me that I can cope quite well on just water (for a short time). Lots of dreams about food!

The core programme also includes early morning and very gentle pre-Thai Chi exercises with Amida and more gentle yoga classes with Nikki at midday. Another aspect of the core programme is an hour with either Kate or Heather – an opportunity to reflect on what’s going on for you in your life generally or at the retreat itself.

There’s a lovely pool and sauna for those inclined and plenty of beautiful Devon fields to walk in if you’ve got the energy – it is a fast so energy levels will drop. The detox effects everyone differently but there is always someone from the team available to be your empathetic guide.

Therapies cost extra but Benita and her talented team of therapists definitely make these worth it if your budget will stretch. I had a dynamic massage with Claudia, a la stone treatment with Benita and a Shiatsu treatment with Kirsty. All fabulous.

Reintroducing food: There are five days of fasting followed by a 6th day of being reintroduced to simple but explosively delicious raw organic foods. Definitely my favourite day! The food preparation class (demonstrated by Nikki) is also fun, and shows those not familiar with raw food diets how to make delicious meals from organic fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. The focus is on recipes that can can easily become staples at home, helping people to incorporate more raw foods into their diet.

Bonobo photo (Science Now Magazine)

Dao’s talks about our biological evolution are easy to understand and incredibly enlightening. He talks about a wide range of topics and you get the key points in the handbook (in case you’re drifting off from a lack of massive meals). Apparently we are very closely related to Bonobos (they share 99.6% of their DNA with us) and are actually genetically closer to us than they are to gorillas. Dao’s point is that Bonobo’s eat mostly (not completely) fruit and leaves and biologically that is what our bodies are still expecting, though culturally we’ve learned all sorts of (delicious) ways to eat.

There were 19 other people on the retreat, a mixture of returners and people there for the first time. All lovely. Because of the structure of the programme here, there is always a sense of a community on a shared journey but you can be as involved with the group as much or as little as you like.

If your curious about doing this sort of thing but am not sure about flying off to Portugal or Turkey to do it, Sura Detox is a great choice in the UK.