Ubud is a mecca for health and wellness travelers. One of the reasons why we called Ubud home for almost two years was because it was a great place for us to get healthy. I’ve never been as thin as I was living there. One of the experiences that really left a mark, though, was when I attempted a juice cleanse in Ubud, Indonesia.
In this post, I will share my experience with juice cleansing in Ubud when we lived there. I will share some recommendations for a Ubud wellness retreat, with a focus on juicing and detoxing. Also, I will recommend a few places to order juice if you are interested in a do-it-yourself cleanse while traveling in Bali Indonesia.
Why An Ubud Health Retreat?
Decades ago, Ubud became a haven for artists and hippies. Since that time, the wellness industry has taken over. I would venture a guess that there are more vegetarian-friendly restaurants per square kilometer in Ubud than anywhere else in the world. There are healing centers, spas, yoga studios, and more retreats available than you can shake a stick at. As a result, Bali is the perfect place to re-set and detox, whether you have a long weekend, a week, or plan on settling in for a while (like we did).
When we moved to Bali we were in desperate need of a health fix. We had been traveling for almost a year and spent most of that time drinking our way across Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. We created our own sort of Bali diet. We cut out all alcohol for the first month and took 90-minute yoga classes almost every day. I became a certified yoga teacher. And, we ate a lot more healthy, even if we didn’t go full-on vegetarian. It was easier to do all of this in Ubud than anywhere else in the world.
Why Choose to Juice Cleanse
I am not a doctor or a wellness expert, that I will readily admit. But, when living in Bali, I did a lot of research on wellness and yoga. There are benefits to doing a juice cleanse or any sort of detox. Even something as simple as doing “Dry January” gives your body an opportunity to reset. Although it can be a struggle to get through it, by the end, many people feel more energetic and less stressed. Obviously, the main reason why a lot of people do a cleanse is to lose weight. That’s certainly part of it. But, it also helps the digestive system to reset.
That all said, particularly if you do-it-yourself, be careful. Some people might not react well to doing any sort of cleanse or detox. No matter how much you’ve invested in any cleanse if you don’t feel right, stop. Trust me. In the end, it’s not worth it.
How to Organize a Bali Juice Cleanse
There are a few ways to organize a juice cleanse in Ubud. There are a handful of cleansing retreats, where you check into. Now, there are some juice cleanse delivery options, where they deliver juice to your hotel or villa each day. Or, for the do-it-yourself travelers, I will recommend a few places where you can order juices to be delivered or to be picked up, without paying for a full cleanse program.
One of the easiest ways to jumpstart a Bali weight loss program is to sign up for a program like Juice and Shine. They deliver to all of the major tourist spots in Bali, including Ubud. Their juices are raw and cold-pressed, with a focus on low-sugar juice. They offer different kinds of cleanses, depending on your goals and tastes. The cleanse can last for one, three, or five days. Prices range from $35-150 depending on the length of the cleanse. This might not be the cheapest way to cleanse, but it is the easiest and takes all the thought process out. Just order, accept delivery and drink.
Ubud Health Retreat and Detox Pro-Tip
Whether you choose an organized juice cleanse or a retreat, please be careful when driving around Ubud on your motorbike. When I did my juice cleanse in Bali my head became cloudy very quick. It was hard for me to focus even when typing. I quickly realized that driving my motorbike was really not a good idea. Please either stay close to where you are doing your retreat or find someone else to drive you around during any cleanse that lasts more than a day.
Bali Detox and Cleansing Retreat
When we lived in Ubud, the Yoga Bar became our second home. We were there almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day. We knew almost everyone who worked there and they knew us both by name. It’s also where I finished my yoga teacher training. I even taught a few classes there. It was our home away from home. They offer some of the best yoga in Bali and some of the best Bali retreats.
Yoga Barn Wellness Retreats
The Yoga Barn offers both juice cleansing retreats and Bali detox fasting programs. These are all words and phrases I never thought I would type before I lived in Ubud. The Yoga Barn offers a 3-Day Bali Juice Cleanse. This is a self-guided cleanse, which includes 6 juices each day along with one nut milk. The program comes with a few yoga classes, a colon hydrotherapy session, two infra-red sauna sessions, a Kati Basti massage, and an Ayurvedic acupressure foot massage.
Because this is a self-guided cleanse, it does not come with accommodations, but you can add a room at the Yoga Barn guesthouse. The cost for the Yoga Barn Bali Cleansing Retreat is $289. They recommend that you book at least one week in advance to arrange all of the healing and treatment options.
They also offer a 7-Day Detox Retreat, which is a lot more intense and hands-on. The Yoga Barn offers a detox or cleansing retreat on average about once a month. The retreat is in a group format, so it involves a lot more interaction and even some day trips around Bali, to some of the famous healing temples. The retreat costs around $1400 and does not include accommodations.
DIY Bali Juice Options
If you are not interested in doing a proper cleanse and instead want to do-it-yourself, there are a few places I would recommend to buy juices in Ubud. One of the most popular places is Alchemy Bali. It’s a cafe that is a little outside the center of Ubud, but they sell fresh juices in large one-liter sizes. Another option more in the center of town is Down To Earth Cafe. Both of these Ubud cafes offer all sorts of vegetarian and vegan products and have a wide variety of juices on offer. I focused mostly on green juices and coconut water, but it’s important to vary the ingredients. That’s why many juice cleanse programs offer a wide variety of juice with a variety of colors. Be sure to try some with carrot and beetroot as well.
When we lived in Ubud, I only made it through one brief juice cleanse. But, that doesn’t mean I stopped “juicing.” We ordered several bottles of juice every couple of days. Our go-to-juice bar became Abe-Do Organic Warung, run by our friends Nyoman and Sri. Nyoman delivered to our house every few days and picked up our empty glass bottles to recycle. The cafe is located in Kutuh Kaja, just up Jalan Tirta Tawar from the center of Ubud. We loved this place when we lived in the neighborhood. They are a good, Balinese small business to support. Nyoman also makes a fabulous jamu, a traditional turmeric-based Balinese juice that is great for curing the inevitable Bali belly.
My Experience With a Juice Cleanse in Bali
I started my own DIY juice cleanse with a lot of skepticism. I added juicing and juice cleansing onto my Bali resolutions while living there. I wanted to test juicing, as a concept, and start with just a one day cleanse, which in the end would be about 36 hours. The first morning, I woke up and took a shower, before drinking anything. I was not even hungry for breakfast so I figured I had some time. Then, I opened up my 1 liter of green juice, with apple and lime, and drank some. I was not sure how much to drink at a sitting. I was not even sure how many bottles to drink a day. I bought two the night before from Alchemy, a hippie haven outside of the center of Ubud. I drank about a quarter of the bottle, followed it with a glass of water. Off to a good start.
Throughout the day I continued to drink juice and Bali coconut water, as my mind continued to scream that it was starving. My mind felt soft. I was very conscious of the fact that I had not eaten any solid foods. I am the type of person who needs to eat regularly, preferably 4 or 5 times a day.
And, I have always had issues with low blood sugar, where I become faint if I have not eaten. Wait, why was I subjecting myself to this again? Frankly, I did not know the answer. It just seemed like something that people do in Ubud. People do yoga, eat organic, and juice cleanse.
After what would normally be considered “lunch” I took a nap. I was exhausted. I woke from my nap famished. I was shaky. I swear a tomato on the fridge door said: “eat me.” I quickly downed the rest of my one-liter bottle of green juice and some water. I had a headache. I pondered again why I was doing this. My answer: I just don’t know. To get healthier, as a way to slim down, to feel lighter. To detoxify my bowels, which by the way, work pretty well as it is.
I added some hot lemon water to my diet, and along with water and the green juice, it got me through until bed. I was entirely unproductive and spent the afternoon watching TV on my computer. I left a little juice in the second, and final, one-liter bottle for the overnight, in case there was a hunger emergency. I slept okay, despite going to bed somewhat hungry.
I woke the second morning and finished my green juice, had a cup of tea and ate a few bites of papaya before heading off to 90 minutes of yoga. In the end, I lasted about 40 hours on my first juice cleanse, and how did I feel? I felt good enough to spend the following several days in a gluttonous manner I have not seen for months. Probably not what I should have done, and probably not the goal of a cleanse. Probably not the Ubudian thing to do. I passed the mental hurdle of my first cleanse, though, and I will try it again, probably right after several days of eating and drinking way too much…
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Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new food and drink destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together they have traveled to over 70 countries.