I went to Geneva really early morning and arrive at the Golf Hotel in Brides-les-Bains in the French Alps around 1 p.m. I feel exhausted. A light quick meal on a tray in my room, with a tasty salad Nicoise (above, photo 1) and two slices of (canned – I guess) pineapple (photo 2).
Then I have a rendezvous with a dietitian. After asking me several questions about my lifestyle, diet and relationship with food, he explains the mistakes I make and how to stop them. I will spend the next few days with 1300 calories per day. During the consultation is also planned a bioelectrical impedance analysis (“fat body mass/lean body mass/energy requirements“). As time flies, we reschedule another appointment to do it.
Next: I go to Grand Spa Thermal for my slimming treatments (above, photo 3). I start with the jet shower: a strong pressure water directed all over the body for 8 minutes. Then the Hydroxeur whirlpool bath for 15 minutes (above, photo 4): immersed in the thermal water of Brides-le-Bains, jets massages work all over your body (it’s really relaxing). And finally, the excellent Brides anti-cellulite massage (a kind of Swedish massage) from a qualified physiotherapist for 30 minutes.
The view from my balcony!
Back to the hotel, where I finally enjoy the beautiful view! I’m in the Alps my dear! The air is crisp and invigorating. I haven’t slept for 24 hours and I feel in an amazing shape (LOL). I have to change myself for dinner …
At 8 p.m., I join my girlfriends to dinner at the hotel restaurant. Surprise: the dishes are as beautiful as good! An asparagus starter followed by a local trout with fennel and ink pasta and for the dessert, a super light fruit mousse. Excellent menu, without any sensation of hunger or lack of quantity!
All hotels in Brides-les-Bains offer diet menus. At the Golf Hotel, the menus were developed by Chef Sébastien Roux and Nathalie Negro, Dietician and Head of the Nutritional Center of the Thermes de Brides-les-Bains.
The wake up at 6:30 a.m.
after a really good night sleep. Do I need to say I am absolutely not a morning person? But at 7 am, I join the group to go tasting my first big glass of the Brides-les-Bains thermal water. Cheers! The taste is not wow, but soon you get used to. Mostly due to the motivating virtues: depurative and appetite suppressing properties (and also laxative for me)! I add a second glass of cold spring water before returning at the hotel for my dietary breakfast.
8 a.m.: departure for a nice (and sporting) walk (all uphill!) to La Saulce hamlet and its pretty chapel (photos above and below). We don’t hang around: at 9:10 we have a collective course of Swiss Ball in the Espace d’activités physiques des Thermes de Brides-les-Bains. I had never tried the Swiss Ball before. And at the end of the course – where I sweated a river (I hardly exaggerating!) – I love it! Playful and physical.
Then I head to the Grand Spa Thermal (the entrance is at the same floor). After a shower and the excellent anti-cellulite herbal tea (licorice taste), I stay in the hydromassage bath for 15 minutes. It looks like the Hydroxeur whirlpool bath: a slightly heated bath with the Brides thermal water. But instead of an automated program, a therapist manually directs the jet depending on body parts to treat.
Next treatment: an affusion sculpting massage for 20 minutes. In france, the term “massage” is used when the massage is from a qualified physiotherapist. And sculpting massage (“modelage” in French) when it’s from a masseuse. “Affusion” means under a light rain of thermal water. My advice: between oil and thermal water, wear an old swimsuit :)) I finished my care today by the famous jet shower, for 8 minutes. Tonic!
Lunch at The Golf Hotel
We meet at the hotel for a lunch on the terrace under a beautiful blue sky. The menu: delicious “green and cora lentil salad with ginger. Chicken breast, broccoli and a marble verrine with lychees and blueberries and liquorice juice.” (photos below). Everything is just delicious!
Hiking in The Forest
The Pace Is Accelerating
2 p.m., in front of the City Hall: departure for a hike organized by the Tourist Office of Brides-les-Bains. I took my big camera and hallucinate watching the group of fifteen walkers “pros” super equipped with jackets, backpacks, sticks and appropriate footwear! Nobody warned me that this 2 hour hike is difficult level (welcome back Mademoiselle Le K!).
It begins with a climb (an – endless – climb for over an hour), with a super steep terrain. Intensive cardio training! Very narrow path (about 30 cm width) and a fear of slipping with my trendy sneakers (a real tourist)! Do forget this if you have vertigo! Pace of hell like a small stride! Really?!
Fortunately, this walking group was fantastic! A gentleman brought my heavy camera in his bag and closed the hike behind me. With another gentlewoman, they each lent me a stick. All along the climb, I have only thought of the descent back that I imagined far worse than the climb! Fortunately we go down through a forest road much larger and easier leading to a lovely casquade.
Now I admit, I am proud and pleased to have done this hike (below photos)! I forgot 4 p.m., I have a meeting with a coach for a cardio session on bike and treadmill at the Espace d’activités physiques des Thermes de Brides-les-Bains. Is this a joke? Nooope! Who said a mountain stay was restful ?! I did an amazing cycling and treadmill session! Short break at the spa’s jacuzzi, to relax my muscles! I do not feel tired, weird …
Dinner at The Golf Hotel
The last meal of a 1300 calorie day could be a depressing concept (lol), except with such a festin! Thank you to the gifted Chef Sébastien Roux.
Walk to Salins-les-Thermes
New early morning walk at a pace of hell: I specialized myself in the small stride, lol! After our ritual largest thermal water glass and a spring water glass, followed by breakfast at the Golf Hotel, we are ready for a short 1 or 1:30 hour walk to Salins (the path in pictures above and below)!
We go back hitchhiking to Brides-les-Bains (first time in my life, completely insane!). Cause we didn’t have enough time to go back by walking. Next: I am a jury member of the amateur cooking competition of Nourrir sa santé festival. Hurry up Mademoiselle!
Lunch at The Grand Hotel des Thermes
Sat at the sunny terrace of the Cedars restaurant, I discover the dietary cuisine of the Chef Thierry Giannini.
After The Effort
First, I do my first CTA (Alternating Circuit Training) session at the Espace d’activités physiques that alternately works endurance and muscle building (believe me, you s-w-e-a-t my dear!). Then I go to the Grand Spa Thermal for my last afternoon of slimming treaments (photo below).
The Hydroxeur whirlpool bath for 15 minutes, then the affusion sculpting massage for 20 minutes: the routine, lol! And I end with something new in my program, the slimming seaweed body wrap for 20 minutes … I fall asleep.
When I leave the Grand Spa Thermal, I barely have time to go to the Golf Hotel to get ready and go for dinner outside. But I did not like the food. Okay, I’m tired tonight!
I haven’t demonstrated great originality. Every day the same breakfast, prepared according to the recommendations of the dietitian: green tea, 60 grams of black bread or baguette, I chose the baguette in France! 60 grams equal two pieces of bread (but it was not pretty for the photo!). A mini jar of jam, thin slice of cheese and fruit. An orgy!
On my way back home, I extend this large green bowl at the Geneva airport … green vertigo: green trim from head to toe, LOL (photo below)! I even lost a kilo between the first and second day of my slimming treatment! Then, I didn’t weight me. Useless:
I feel good : healthy, toned and in better shape. Happy!
Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.
Grand Spa Thermal de Brides-les-Bains, Office du tourisme de Brides-les-Bains
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Many Thanks to the Thermes de Brides-les-Bains and the Office du tourisme de Brides-les-Bains for this invigorating invitation :)) As always, these opinions are my own.