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Wellness: fasting and hiking, a method of our times?

The experience of a clientele that has tested a "Fasting and Hiking" program


The method of a fasting diet created in Germany by Dr. Buchinger has been emulated in France. Under the name "Fast and Hike" twenty organizers spread across different regions of France have formed a federation in the name of this new concept



"Fast and Hike" offers week-long workshops on a fasting diet conceived by Buchinger (water, herbal teas, filtered broths and diluted fruit juice) associated with walking in sites chosen for their beauty and tranquility - © pjdespa - Fotolia.com
"Fast and Hike" offers week-long workshops on a fasting diet conceived by Buchinger (water, herbal teas, filtered broths and diluted fruit juice) associated with walking in sites chosen for their beauty and tranquility - © pjdespa - Fotolia.com
"Fast and Hike" offers week-long workshops on a fasting diet conceived by Buchinger (water, herbal teas, filtered broths and diluted fruit juice) associated with walking in sites chosen for their beauty and tranquility.

Their charter provides qualified support for both fasting and walking. The products used are natural, organic and local. And of course, the program exclude alcohol, tobacco and drug use.

Interview with Catherine S. who recently participated for the first time in a "Fast and hike" program. She shares with us her motivations, thoughts, and feelings.

TourMaG.com – Why choose this program?

CS: I wanted a fresh start and to find balance in a healthy diet. I felt the need to detoxify, and clean myself from inside.

I also wanted to take a break by treating myself well and, I confess, to lose a few kilos!

TourMaG.com - Who were your fellow fasting companions?

CS: We were twelve in total ranging between 32 to 71 years old, ten women and two men. My husband and I were on the “older” side of the spectrum.

There was a doctor, a director of a retirement home, a financial consultant, an employee of Canal +, a young mother, two retirees…

The group of people was mostly already aware of organic foods and alternative medicine.

We were greeted by Sebastian, our mediator, who was in his forties, slim and athletic, not a guru nor cultist.

His first words: "I will tell you about my practice, but you are free to do what you want, you're on vacation. Here, we take our time, nothing is imposed."

TourMaG.com - What type of accommodation did you have?

CS: While it was nothing luxurious, the rooms were well heated and comfortable. There was a pool and sauna, and a lounge with the possibility of watching DVDs.

TourMaG.com - How can you walk ten kilometers a day without food! It seems impossible and close to unreasonable!

CS: Don’t be fooled, this experience has shown me that it was quite possible. The important thing is preparation, the so-called "descent.”

It is strongly recommended to gradually remove certain foods during the week before the workshop. This helps to accustom the body to a complete fast and avoid some inconveniences such as headaches, cramps, upset stomach, nervousness.

I seriously prepared by removing meat, industrial products and ate only vegetables and fruits the two days preceding the program.

TourMaG.com - What was a standard day like?

C.S: Sleeping in until 9:00 am. We start the day with herbal tea. Those who feel a bit woozy might have an apple juice.

During the first two or three days some do not sleep very well but then the inconveniences disappear.

10:00: For the stretching and relaxation we do a series of exercises attainable to all.

11:30: Departure for a 10 kilometers hike on the coastal paths of the beautiful Gulf of the Morbihan or on the Ile aux Moines.

The group walks very well. A intern sets the pace at high speed. This does not prevent discussions and exchanges that revolve around healthy foods and recipes.

It was my big challenge and question. Would I be able to keep going? My response is a big yes! It is as if my brain disconnected from my stomach, amazing, I was not even hungry!

These three or four hours of walking were paused by a beautiful nap in the sun overlooking the sea where the only sound was that of the ocean. These were moments of great peace.

Back at the center I felt a bit woozy, and filled with good fatigue. I enjoyed the sauna and swimming pool. Complete relaxation and lightness of body and mind. Total zen. There are few amateurs of this and it is too bad for them!

17:30: Sebastian gives a conference as an aperitif. Throughout the week he develops topics related to alternative medicine, nutrition, to practices coming from Chinese philosophy etc.

19:00 Dinner. On the menu: tea and vegetable broth. The greediest take two servings. At the end of the program the smell sickened me a little. I did not take more.

I also removed the tea. I prefered pure water. The last night we had a kind of mishmash of vegetables and "housemade” bread of spelled flour. I could not finish the plate.

20:30 in bed with a good book or a movie in the living room.

TourMaG.com - You returned two weeks ago from the course. What is the verdict?

CS: My husband and I were rather so-called “big eaters.”

For the last two weeks we have been paying attention to what we eat. At the 11:00 am munchies we have an apple or an orange. We learned to eat healthy, in tranquility, by taking our time.

My husband and I went to see our doctor. After examination he found us physically healthy. My osteopath finds me more flexible. We also did blood tests and the results are good.

TourMaG.com - You lost how many kilos?

CS: My husband lost 3 kilos during the "descent" and 8 kilos during the course and I lost 2 and then 4 kilos. There are other methods to lose weight.

I mostly did this training to get into shape and find energy, to reconcile my body with my mind. I have no regrets, on the contrary, I intend to do this type of course at least every two years.

Written by Michèle SANI translated by Joséphine Foucher the 22/03/2014
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