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What Happened in Türkbükü – Matt’s Healthy Hunting Backstory

Over the course of the stay I found that most of the other retreat guests were there to turn their lives around, some to kick their booze, caffeine or sugar dependency, others to lose weight. I met a lovely guy with type 2 diabetes that wanted to reverse the cause, stop the symptoms and avoid having to chug loads of pills every day.

I hadn’t initially planned to detox. The plan was to attend yoga and mindfulness classes, eat large salads and in the evening, take a leisurely stroll down to the harbour and enjoy a chicken shish with rice whilst my companion @therapyproject would enjoy the freshly made smoothies, broths and colonic irrigation’s that she had signed up for.

In truth, I wasn’t worried about my health, apart from being short and a bit bald, I looked good, trained 5 times a week and ate protein, loads of protein.

The Ayurvedic doctor (who was always on hand) convinced me that I could safely do a 500 calorie a day detox, still get all the nutrients I need, feel great and even get rid of the irritated stomach I refused to acknowledge; so, I decided to join in.

Honestly, I didn’t find it too hard, I enjoyed the discipline, made much easier by lazing around in the sunshine, and at the end of the week I felt amazing, I learnt that I wasn’t eating enough fibre and should chill on the protein obsession. I looked trim, tanned (Vitamin D boost!) and perhaps due to the meditation and yoga had a new-found calm.

However, it was the other retreaters who blew my mind, there were tears everyday as they broke addictions, experienced significant weight loss and realised overall improvements in well-being. On our return, I sat at the airport thinking about the joy I witnessed and couldn’t help but wonder how we as humans often fail to look after the bodies we’ve been blessed with.

I got back home and started to chat to people, was balance a key problem with being healthy? If balance is important – could part of better balance be leaning favourably to more nutritious choices? Even for my aesthetically fit posse of gym goers, is it possible that they could they feel healthier as I had experienced?

I found that there are 4 clear common barriers for everyone to eating healthy.

– Location
– Time
– Eating Socially
– Information

It makes sense, it is hard finding quality places to eat, everyone is time short – busy with work, family or parties, the social aspect of eating out, and a lack of understanding and information about food. No pork crackling isn’t healthy.

As well as my chats, I would watch busy city workers in Pret choosing lunch or making their way through a smoothie board in healthy cafes. The indecision, uncertainty and then the inevitable familiarity of going back to the same old sandwich is striking.

Everyone who I asked who felt healthy wanted to be healthier, it’s a blessing and a curse but one thing that sets us aside from other mammals is the need for progression.

I decided that there had to be a better way, we must fight and create a future generation of healthy humans. Yes, eating is social, comforting, rewarding but most of all it should be nutritious.

I want us to make a stand, be accountable for our own health and do the best we can with what we’ve got. I opened my MacBook and started doodling the concept for Healthy Hunting. I then procrastinated for some time, met Pamela and together we started to get the Healthy Hunting ball rolling.