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Let’s get one thing straight: I hate all-inclusive resorts.

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Maybe someone’s idea of a good time includes prolonged inactivity, greasy food, and endless booze, but that’s certainly not what makes me come alive. I went to an all-inclusive resort once in my life and after about three days, the novelty of swim-up bars and suntanning had worn off and I was ready to come home.

It felt like we were all turning into those sad, futuristic humans in Wall-E, whose gluttony, laziness, and screen addiction had rendered them grossly obese and incapable of ever leaving their chairs. My limbs were just screaming to be used for something, anything, and my stomach was in a constant state of revolt.

Travelling when I can prepare my meals already throws my digestive system out of wack; travelling while eating salty junk and too little vegetables, all while loading up on alcohol, is a recipe for disaster. It’s also a poor choice economically if you have any sort of dietary restriction or just don’t like to drink a lot.

And so when Rythmia invited the Collection Evolution team to stay at their facility, I nearly said no.

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I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and had no desire to be unhealthy and bored for a week. Not only that, I had just come back from an expensive and food-filled trip to Italy and wanted to let both my body and bank account recover before the holiday season set me back again.

I will be forever grateful that I said yes.

Imagine a place where massages, colon hydrotherapy, organic food, fresh juice, life changing workshops, volcanic mud baths, and yoga were all included in your stay, at no extra costs. This is Rythmia!

I could spend hours talking about the beautiful facilities, attentive staff, and uplifting vibe. I could spend days sharing the personal insights I gained and the healing in mind, body, and spirit that took place. But since that’s clearly too much to tackle in one article, and because food is always my main concern when travelling, that’s all I’m going to focus on. And let me tell you, it was incredible.

The Food!

For everyone who thinks all-inclusive vacations can’t meet their dietary and health needs, Rythmia is for you. For everyone who’s had to suffer through bland buffets and sad “vegan” options that don’t reflect the vibrancy and excitement real vegan food represents, Rythmia is for you. And for everyone who wants help resetting their diet in the most painless and effortless way possible, well… Rythmia is definitely for you.

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Everything is prepared in-house, and it’s all local, clean, healthy, and crazy delicious. It’s also almost exclusively vegan and gluten free, though they do offer ethically sourced eggs, fish, and chicken. (And I should warn you, they ruined fish for me. I can never go back to the fish in Toronto after discovering what real fresh fish — soft and buttery and cooked to perfection — actually tastes like.)

Every meal includes a variety of raw and cooked options to accommodate any diet, and if you get hungry throughout the day, there is always plenty of fresh local fruit (which tastes better than candy) and fruit juices, coconut water, and dried fruit and nuts. And the staff are so eager to please, I’m sure if you were starving they would do everything in their power to get you a meal, too.

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If you’ve never had to travel with a dietary restriction, you may not realize how stressful it can be. You’re constantly worried about when and if you’re going to find your next meal, and you often find yourself settling for unhealthy foods because you’re too hungry or tired to keep looking for something good.

To go to a resort and not have to worry about the food is a gift beyond compare. At every meal, I knew all I had to do was show up and there would be an endless array of healthy options for me, all clearly labelled and with the ingredients listed. I can’t stress enough how unusual and how pleasurable that experience was for me; I felt spoiled in the best way possible, and could truly relax in a way that I haven’t done in years.

Breakfast

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For breakfast, there were always fresh juices, fruits, and smoothies, as well as chia pudding and the best oatmeal I’ve ever had, with every topping you could imagine waiting on the side. Hot options changed daily, but generally consisted of eggs, gallo pinto (a delicious traditional Costa Rican dish of rice and red beans), stewed beans, and some kind of pastry, like coconut pancakes or banana muffins — all vegan and gluten free, of course.

For the record, their banana muffins were life-changing. Flavourful, not too sweet, and impossibly moist, they blew every one of us away and we begged for more each day. (I should mention, the staff really take comments and requests to heart, so if you love a particular dish, let them know! You will definitely see it on the menu again.)

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Lunch

As with every meal, there are plenty of hot and cold options for lunch. Cold options include a full salad bar with various toppings and dressings, as well as things like pickled vegetables, marinated mushrooms, and grain salads.

Hot options include some kind of rice and beans, cooked vegetables, and kitchari, a healing Ayurvedic dish of rice, lentils, and spices, plus other dishes particular to that day. There is also a section for those following stricter diets, which includes plainly cooked grains, beans, and vegetables — though all it takes is a spoonful of the Rythmia Yum sauce, the mysterious and incredibly flavourful dressing they offer at every meal that makes literally everything taste good, to turn even that humble fare into a fantastic feast.

Did I mention dessert? Lunch and dinner always come with some kind of raw vegan dessert, like chocolate avocado pudding or coconut date balls, that tastes sinful but leaves you feeling great.

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Dinner

Dinner is structured like lunch, with a raw salad bar and other choices and then a selection of hot foods — various grains, beans, and vegetables, plus a meat or fish option for anyone who wishes to partake. Dinner also includes soup, and you’ll be endlessly amazed by how good each one is.

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If you’re even considering going to a resort in the near future, do yourself a favour and consider Rythmia. You won’t regret it once you realize the amazing benefits you will receive from attending. Massages, yoga, colon hydrotherapy, and organic food are only the beginning. The spiritual and life transformation possible here is incredible.

Try something different this year, and treat your body like the beautiful temple it is. I promise, you will come away feeling like the best version of yourself, so give yourself the opportunity to recharge, reset, and rejuvenate.


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