R&R for your digestion
The treatments are stern and the portions bijoux, but Viva Mayr, the Austrian super-clinic (www.vivamayr.com/en), has a waiting list of clients from all around the world. I know several people who save up for an annual dose of gut rehabilitation to keep their body slim, complexion glowing and brain clear. The first Viva Mayr clinic opened in a modern five-star hotel on the southern shores of Lake Maria Wörth. Now a second resort has launched in the Alpine region of Styria in Austria. Holistic health writer Jane Alexander (www.exmoorjane.com) visited for YOU. Here is her report and the tips she took away…
Viva Mayr is much more than a weight-loss spa: it bridges conventional and alternative medicine with sophisticated and subtle diagnostics and a blend of naturopathic and high-tech treatments. It was Dr Harald Stossier, medical director of Viva Mayr, who first diagnosed me with fructose malabsorption [a digestive disorder with symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome]. I recommend Viva Mayr to anyone with a raft of tricky symptoms who needs joined-up thinking and an integrated approach to their healthcare.
The location of this new clinic, headed by medical director Dr Sepp Fegerl, is stunning, on the shore of Lake Altaussee (where the latest Bond movie was filmed), surrounded by mountains. The new building is a super-chalet of fragrant wood and sweeps of glass, which embrace jaw-dropping views.
If you can’t afford the cost of around £450 a day (minimum stay a week), you can still follow many ofthe principles at home – perfect to give your system a post-Christmas rest – with gentle exercise such as walking and yoga. The cookbook Eat Alkaline: The Viva Mayr Principle by Harald Stossier and Emanuela Fischer (Brandstätter Verlag, £36.89*) explains alkaline eating and provides tempting recipes.
• Make breakfast your main meal. At Viva Mayr you’d usually have two protein portions (eggs, fish, cheese, avocado mousse, yoghurt) plus a roll (spelt, buckwheat, soya bread) or a bowl of oat porridge.
• For lunch, combine small portions of protein (meat, fish, eggs, cheese, pulses) with generous amounts of vegetables and cold-pressed oils. For example, chicken breast with braised vegetables or Mediterranean vegetables with mozzarella.
• Eat a light supper as early as possible, eg, vegetable soup or a small bowl of potatoes drizzled with linseed oil. Avoid raw food in the evening – it’s hard to digest and can result in fermentation and gas.
• Digestion begins in the mouth. Chew every mouthful around 30-40 times.
• Don’t mix liquid and food – drinking water with meals dilutes your digestive juices.
• Instead of snacking mid-morning and afternoon, drink plenty of water
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