[TRAVELOGUE] PHUKET ATMANJAI… MY 3-DAY DETOX RETREAT

It’s almost impossible, if not ridiculous! How do you even go one day without indulging in Thai food when you’re in the country? And instead, opt for a vegan raw food diet 3 days straight!? Well, I did just that, all in the name of cleanse & detox. And it all took place at The Atmanjai.img_3842Atmanjai Health Wellness and Detox Retreat is a getaway for people who wish to experience a change in their lifestyle. Be it diet, fitness or simple physical and mental well being. The resort is very private and serene, away from the usual hustle and bustle of the Phuket we all know. The rooms and facilities are clean and relatively well maintained albeit a little dated. There is no crowd which means quiet pool time; and definitely no touristy activities, so don’t be expecting to get your hair braided or hopping onto a jet ski! Instead, morning walks along the frequently low-tide Friendship Beach shoreline is what you should expect. Otherwise, catch a yoga session before breakfast to clear your mind. Apart from the daily fitness and detox programs, my 3-day regime consists of consuming only raw food, meaning nothing is cooked over 48°C. Refined, pasteurized, or processed food are also not part of a raw food diet. As substitutes, fruits, nuts and vegetables are consumed. I know… it sounds awfully unexciting! However, it isn’t! I promise you won’t even miss your favorite Pad Thai!

So today’s post will be about the raw vegan dishes I never imagined myself to enjoy so much. At the Atmanjai Supernatural Restaurant, a healthy menu is offered alongside a regular one. I have made it a point to try as many items as I could on the healthy menu and believe me when I say, I can’t get enough!

img_3834Zucchini Pasta– Raw Organic zucchini noodles topped with fresh Basil Pesto, raw tomato sauce and raw cheese. This is hearty and delish. I love a Bolognese but would gladly dig into this green version anytime. Mix the crunchy zoodles and pesto sauce well for a refreshing and satisfying meal. The raw cheese, made from raw cashews gives the vegetables a lovely nutty flavor while the fresh tomatoes add tartness. The pesto sauce is creamy and aromatic! And if you think this won’t fill you like a regular pasta, boy are you wrong! And best of all, no guilt gobbling everything down!img_4233Raw Nori Rolls– Maki anyone? Just like your usual Maki roll at a Sushi bar, except this is filled with jicama, sesame rice, carrots and cashew purée. Served up with the usual suspects, pickled ginger, wasabi and shoyu. This is no second fiddle to my all time favorite Tempura Maki. I absolutely love the crunchy juiciness of the jicama. A little dip in the shoyu and a teeny dab of wasabi, the combination of salty shoyu, sweet jicama, crunchy vegetables, creamy cashew and spicy wasabi is happiness in the mouth!img_3827Broccoli, Avocado and Mango Salad– Everyone knows you can’t go wrong with avocado! Top that with mango and duh! Even public enemy broccoli couldn’t dampen the party! Think sweet juicy mangos and creamy avocado dressed in an apple cider vinaigrette sauce; Thinly sliced shallots add zing to every mouthful and the bits of raisins in between for a sweet chew. The sliced broccoli balances out the sweet creamy flavor and adds a crunchy bite in this ANAZING salad.img_3828Japanese Style Salad– This is so simple but so delightful. The freshest and crispiest vegetables tossed in a sesame shoyu dressing and finished with dried figs and a generous sprinkle of black and white sesame seeds. The figs were sweet, the jicama were crunchy and juicy, the salad leaves added a tinge of bitterness and the fragrant sesame shoyu dressing was absolutely remarkable over this combo. Chilled so cold and refreshing before serving. So appetizing, it leaves you fresh and alert when you’re done wiping the plate dry with that last leaf! img_4241Raw Vegetable Lasagna– lightly marinated zucchini sheets replace pasta in this hearty “lasagna”, layered between tomatoes, pesto, marinara sauce and cashew cheese. The texture and flavor is nothing like an actual lasagna but it is just as, if isn’t more, delicious! I can’t get enough of the nutty cashew cheese that gives the dish so much flavor. This is up there on my favorites list!img_4231Humming Along– Perfect for nibbling the afternoon away! Crudités consisting carrots, celery, jicama, capsicums and cucumber served with creamy hummus and guacamole.img_4239Memo– An assortment of tiny diced vegetables mixed in a nutty tahini dressing. Kinda like coleslaw but way healthier and very unique. Tahini is a thick pasty sauce made from sesame seeds. It is extremely rich and nutty.. taking this simple mixed vegetable salad to a different level. Each spoonful is juicy, crunchy and refreshing. img_4230Raw Rice and Veggie Salad– Sesame flavored “Rice” mixed in with fresh veggie strips and crunchy cashews, then doused with a zesty apple cider vinaigrette. This certainly tasted better than it looks! And the idea of rice in the form of white quinoa makes you feel you’re not missing out on carbs!

3 days will fly by and at the end of it, you’ll feel refreshed, recharged and rejuvenated! Some of us, a little lighter even! And speaking of rejuvenation… nothing rejuvenates better than a massage! I enjoy a fantastic massage daily at the Atmanjai (part of the program) but I’d head out for a second rub at possibly the most beautiful spa in Phuket, Phagamast, every chance I get.

Clockwise from top left: The newly opened Phagamast at Rawai Beach Road; Trails leading to private areas for realxing; Large cushy recliners for getting a foot massage; Private body massage beds; A corner loft to grab a quiet breakfast and coofee; Me & Noi chilling out at her spa cafe.

This has been my go-to spa whenever I’m in Phuket. Lady boss, Noi, has done a magnificent job setting up her Garden of Eden spa despite the fact that she is “neither a designer nor decorator”. “I just know what I want the place to look like and I tell the builders!” , she says candidly! The result? A gorgeous, peaceful, nature inspired sanctuary you don’t want to leave. There’s even a cool little cafe for a for a pre-massage tea or post-massage cappuccino! And as if angels were smiling down at me this particular day, Noi was trying out some ice cream by a supplier and guess who got a sampling well! I don’t volunteeringly pick a healthy ice cream on any given day. I mean, how is healthy ice cream real ice cream!? But since I was on a eat well detox program, this gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free ice cream seemed befitting.

Left: Atchara, the enterprising young woman behind Gorilla Ice Cream. Right: The ball of Mango Ice cream I could not put down!

The talented Atchara is the brains behind Gorilla Ice Cream. She makes everything from ice creams to butters to cakes using only natural ingredients and fresh local fruits. I could not stop eating the Mango ice cream Noi shared with me! It’s hard to believe there is no dairy or sugar in there cuz it was creamy and sweet like the real thing! The Strawberry ice cream had bits of strawberry mash amidst a smooth luscious vanilla base. Wonderfully delicious! I’ll never look at healthy ice cream the same again.

So, there you go! Some healthy tips for your time in Phuket! Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!

Tranquility at the Atmanjai Resort.

My top favorites at the Supernatural Restaurant.

Atmanjai Wellness Spa @ 27/1 Soi Mittrapap, Wiset Road,Rawai, Phuket, Thailand 83130. Phone: +66 76 613 580

Phagamast @ Rawai Beach Road Phone: +66 76 613 609

Gorilla Ice Cream @ http://gorilla-icecream.com/ Phone: +66 6 17 89 29 49

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

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