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Health & Hobies in St. Lucia

The BodyHoliday

Photo courtesy of The BodyHoliday

It was the tail end of winter in Minnesota, and I was in need of a little rejuvenation. An invitation to The BodyScience program at The BodyHoliday resort seemed like a godsend: a week of cleansing, recalibrating and getting on the road to wellness—in St. Lucia.

Five weeks prior to my Caribbean escape, I received a package containing an extensive questionnaire and directions for blood tests to be done—by me, in my kitchen—and sent to a lab in Copenhagen. It almost felt like I was taking up a career in espionage, but in reality I was providing BodyScience doctors with a high-level understanding of my health and well-being.

The program name conjured up images of a rather sterile resort, more hospital than tropical haven. But I arrived to find that it was beautifully lush, with floral arrangements adorning nearly every surface.

The resort’s wellness leader, the charming Dr. Maha Lakshmanan, greeted me and handed me a binder, my bible for the next several days. “Welcome to BodyScience,” he said. “Remember, no drinking on the program.” Wait—I’m on a beach, surrounded by people sipping delicious coconut drinks, and I can’t join them? What had I gotten myself into?

The next morning, I was up with the birds. Donning my best Lululemon, I headed to spin class in a studio overlooking the Caribbean Sea. In the afternoons, I tempered meetings with the wellness staff—discussing my newly prescribed low-FODMAP diet (an acronym that basically means eliminating all my favorite foods)—with Hobie Cat sailing lessons, tree-top meditation and hours of reading. I filled out my days with massages, including the most luxurious Ayurvedic oil massage I’d ever had.

Initially, mealtimes were a bit challenging. I experienced a touch of FOMO after seeing the beautiful spread for the resort’s other guests, but I soon adapted to my diet. It wasn’t just muesli and mush; it was cardamom brûléed grapefruit, a banana-date smoothie, shrimp Romanesco over sautéed zucchini noodles. It was hard to hate eating healthy when it tasted so good.

After a week, I was relaxed and feeling healthier and lighter than ever. Armed with a road map to better health and a new appreciation for cruciferous vegetables, I headed to the airport—but not without a quick stop for a beachside piña colada. I was in St. Lucia, after all.

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