Beyond the Baguette: How to Detox in Paris
From exercise classes to juice cleanses and exfoliating body treatments, it is possible to purify the system in the land of bread, cheese, and chocolate.
Whether you're easily lulled by a creamy Camembert cheese, a flaky, buttery croissant, or a dark chocolate cherry ganache, temptation is everywhere in Paris. It's near impossible to walk a block without succumbing to a "gouter" (a taste) of something special. That said, contrary to what many people think of the French, some do worry about their physique. The proof can be found in the various yoga studios, public pools, and juice bars filled with Parisians stretching, swimming, and cleansing to their heart (and future appetite's) content. Whether you're visiting for a few days or settling in for a while, here are three ways to combat calories and flex your mind, body, and esprit in Paris come 2016.
Get Moving with a Class Pass
For starters, short-term visitors should focus on walking everywhere or using Velib, the city's bike share system, to get around. Additionally, tourists will get a real taste of local culture by dropping in for a yoga or pilates class at a central studio like Omm in the Marais and Paris Yoga Shala near Champs-Élysées. For anyone staying longer, sign up for one of the popular programs like Try&Do, So Much More and Zippy, which allow participants to inject some variety into their workout routine by trying classes at a range of citywide studios for a reduced monthly rate. Whether you're hot for Zumba, kickboxing, or aqua-biking—pedaling a bike in a pool—there's plenty to choose, and each pass allows up to three visits per studio, per month. Some passes also include well-being or spa appointments such as a 20-minute massage, reiki session, or even a pedicure.
Drink Your Fruits and Vegetables
Until Bob's Juice Bar opened in 2006, offering California-loving Parisians the chance to sip their fruits and veggies with a popular detox program, it was surprisingly hard to find blended juices in the city, beyond your basic OJ and pamplemousse (grapefruit). Today, while Bob's only offers his famous green juice at his three veggie-friendly locations—Bob's Juice Bar, Bob's Bake Shop, and Bob's Kitchen—there's a range of new spots like Detox Delight, Nubio, and Juice It in the 11th and 1st arrondissements, respectively, that provide full cleanse programs, some of which also incorporate organic meals and snacks. Additionally, Bojus and Yumi provide delivery services of seasonally conscience beverages that have been developed with nutritionists.
Rejuvenate and Relax with Holistic Treatments
The mind needs a refresher course, too—be it through meditation, a massage, or a spa treatment meant to relax you, or even just make your hair shiny. If you're in town January 21 through 24, Les Thermalies will set up shop at the Carousel du Louvre, offering free seminars and hands-on workshops in the areas of French Thalassotherapy, French thermal springs, beauty, and more. O'Kari Hammam and Spa in the 2nd arrondissement, which offers seasonal packages throughout the year, will offer a winter treatment meant to "restore radiance and vitality" through body exfoliations with black eucalyptus soap and a hair shampoo with sweet almond oil.
Finally, there's all-around holistic programs like Just a Better Me, which create theme-based online retreats that include daily mantras, mind coaching, recipes, and fitness routine videos from coaches and experts. The next one—New Year New Me—runs from January 11 to 24, with an objective of making long-lasting New Year's resolutions, one of which might include the concept of energizing before work with the new Morning Gloryville-esque program called She Is Morning.
Sara Lieberman lives in Paris and writes regularly for Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @saraglieberman.