Sofra

Post

2 comments   |   Travel

We have been resident in a Health Spa on the Polish Baltic coast at Mielno for a week. We are having the 1,000 calorie or 4,200 Kilo Joule diet supported by exercise programs and “treatments”. It is clearly working as we have both lost weight and girth. Our clothes are not nearly so close fitting.

Aqua aerobics

Aqua aerobics

Our day starts with aqua aerobics in a lovely heated pool. The exercises start at 0750 and continue for 30 minutes. Each day we use a new piece of equipment and the exercises, while basically similar, are varied to suite the kit. Today we used rubber barbells. We have also used a ball, a kick board, a cylinder and a rod. The instructions are all in Polish but thankfully the leader demonstrates them and frowns when I get it wrong. It can be surprisingly challenging to retain balance while moving objects through water up to my chest.

Breakfast

Breakfast

After aqua aerobics we have 10 minutes to dry off and change and head to breakfast. Let me assure you that when you are on ½ rations breakfast is keenly awaited and we are highly motivated to get there on time.

Believe it or not, the food here is very good despite the calorie limit. Breakfast is the second largest meal of the day. It usually has two courses and sometimes includes a fruit juice. This morning we were really treated as we were given  tuna mixed with onion, celery and herbs and some cottage cheese. We also received two slices of bread and two crisp breads. You cannot imagine how I lust after bread. We also did well on the meat front, receiving two slices of ham and two slices of pressed chicken as well as a wide range of vegies. This was washed down with a fresh glass of home-made tomato juice.

Another new thing for me is herbal tea. They do not provide black tea or coffee but they have maybe 15 different herbal teas, most of which I have no idea about as they are described in Polish. Obviously Anna is able to read the names but this is also not too helpful. Through trial and error we have settled on a favourite, green mint. The only downside is that it seems to be the favourite of most others and often runs out. We have learnt to get in quickly.

Breathing and Back Exercises

Breathing and Back Exercises

After breakfast we have half an hour to get ready for breathing and back exercises. These are a serious step up from aqua aerobics. We all have a high density foam mat over the wooden floor. We start by lying flat on our backs and breathing. Even this has proven a challenge. My back does not like being prone. The leader then takes us through warm up and stretching exercises on our back. Of course the instructions are in Polish. I can count all right but the intricacy of the moves is still a bit confusing, even after doing them for 5 days in a row. I try to watch the demos but this is difficult so Anna whispers in my ear when I am lost. After the prone exercises we move to hands and knees. The foam is about 1cm thick and this is hard on the knees although it is getting easier. The exercises are hard and my mat is usually fairly wet from sweat. It is  remarkable to me that what are ostensibly simply movements are so hard to achieve.  This program runs for 30 minutes and it is such a relief when it is over.

Two times this week we also did exercises with an inflatable ball of about 75cm in diameter. These were seriously hard as they involved stretching, strength and balance. On one occasion when we had our backs curved over the ball I fell off much to the amusement of the bloke beside me.

On two other days we have had Swedish therapeutic massage. This is much nicer than ball exercise. To my disappointment the therapists are not winsome young blonde women. They are in fact blind men. It took me quite a while to realise the first time. I nearly commented on the lovely photographs of the Arches National Park on the wall.

Water massage

Water massage

At 1215 I have a water massage. This is just 15 minutes after the Swedish massage so I have to race back and shower to remove the massage oil. The water massage is unlike anything I have had before. I lie in a large tub of warm water about 30cm deep while a therapist runs over me with fiercely strong jets of water. Anna tells me it breaks up the fat deposits so it can be digested more easily. I don’t mind. It feels good … mostly. When the jets are on the beefier parts it is very pleasant but Marta also massages the hands, feet, ankles and shins. This can be a little painful. This treatment only lasts 20 minutes.

Entree

Entree

Lunch is at 1330 and it is the high point of the day. Lunch is the main meal and usually consists of 3 or more courses. When we arrive there is usually a salad waiting for us. Today was dry slaw and some radish and carrot. Then we are delivered soup. Today was home-made tomato. No two days have been the same so far. This is followed by a main course. We have had trout, herring, white fish or cold meat. Today we had a

Main course

Main course

smallish serve because breakfast was big. It was buckwheat and cabbage leaves filled with chicken in a cottage cheesy and garlic sauce. Dessert was a piece of toast and fresh mushrooms.

Normally the afternoon is free time and Anna and I go for a walk and hunt out a black coffee or two and watch German tourists eat the most incredible concoctions of fruit and cream and ice cream washed down with a beer or a glass of schnapps.

Scottish whipper

Scottish whipper

 

 

 

Today was different. Anna had heard that “Scottish Whips” were another good way to lose a few love handles. I went along as a spectator. This treatment was incredible. Anna stood at the back of the room, about 1.5 metres from the control console where a therapist fired two jets of high pressure water at her. One jet was pleasantly warm but the other was cold. Anna rotated as she was directed and was whipped all over. She claimed she enjoyed it.

 

Anna being whipped

Anna being whipped

 

          Scottish Whips (Click to play movie)

 

 

Dinner is served at 1800. This a bit early for me but I have adapted. It is a snack

Dinner

Dinner

rather than a meal. Tonight was a plate of mixed bean salad and a second plate with one lettuce leaf under a piece of fish under a layer of minced carrot salad. We have eaten so much carrot I won’t need to go to the beach to get a sun tan, I will just be naturally orange. We thought it was all over when a lady delivered two slices of crisp bread. Woo hoo.

Tomorrow is Saturday and we are treatment free until Monday. We are quite tired and we will benefit from a chance to sleep in and relax.

 

  1. Trev06-30-13

    You are so brave. The food actually looks interesting to me. Could you get a copy of their recipe book in polish of course? The sun is really shining today in Canberra. Looks like Summer but I know it is only 10 C outside. Glad that you are both having some fun on your holidays. Tomorrow is the first day of mine. We leave on the train for Currumbin Qld next Tuesday.
    Have you sighted any sausage dogs yet?

    • David07-10-13

      Consider it done Trev. I will even translate it for you.

      Regards

      D