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Healthy micro biome, healthy you

Evidence now shows that around 70 per cent of your immune system depends on having a healthy micro biome in your gut. That means the good bacteria are in balance and they help protect the body against infection and disease. Unfortunately, due to widespread use of antibiotics, and unhealthy diets that do not support the micro biome, many people suffer from a general feeling of malaise and being under the weather.

For this reason, our 5-night retreats at Champneys are popular with everyone, from a wide variety of ages and backgrounds. We do cater for people who have IBS, Crohn’s and other bowel complains , but we also appeal to those who want to boost their wellness with a robust immune system and a healthy gut.

Even before guests arrive, we have a telephone consultation with them , they fill out a health questionnaire and we ensure that we know ahead of any particular food intolerances or dietary requirements we need to cater for. When people arrive at the Champneys Tring resort, once they have checked in and settled, they will have a welcome meeting with the Nutritional Therapist. She will  run through the details of the break with them to help them feel comfortable and at ease about the week ahead ,  start them on their supplement programme and introduce them to the tailored menu they will be receiving during the course of their stay aimed at restoring and boosting the microbiome. They also have a 55-minute consultation with a Nutritional Therapist during the week to discuss their current diet and ways they can make improvements.

Our special menu plans include foods that are rich in pre- and probiotics that allow good gut bacteria to grow and flourish. Typically, breakfast may include kefir – a live yoghurt drink, and spinach and avocado egg white omelette. We don’t serve wheat or gluten-based foods because these can aggravate inflammation in the gut, even for people who do not have IBS or a food intolerance. Leafy greens are alkaline and offset acidity in the stomach and intestines.

Guests can also snack on smoothies made from colourful fruit and vegetables with coconut water. Main meals include protein and essential fats and popular choices include Teriyaki salmon or grilled mackerel in a chilli citrus marinade. Oily fish is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which have strong anti-inflammatory effects and are good for the whole body. We also serve sweet puddings like fresh nectarines served with chopped basil leaves and lemon juice drizzle. Fermented foods like saukerkraut, miso and soya sauce  encourage good bacteria to flourish and can be used in delicious meals.

Throughout the 5-night retreat, guests can enjoy treatments like thalassotherapy and vibrotherapy as part of the package and take part in fitness classes of their choice. There is a very structured programmes of events and talks throughout the week which they may wish to attend, but they also have free time to relax and meet other guests.

From guest feedback, they do feel improvements over the course of the retreat although this is only the start of a long process that they need to continue at home and we also give them the supplements to take home as part of the package to continue their good work. What we hope to do is educate, inform and inspire people to make changes which will be lifelong.

Dates for Healthy Gut Healthy Body Retreats:


Katie OConnell
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