Researching a purchase before you buy can save you a bundle.
The freshly-juiced vegetable was wheatgrass, which is really, really yummy—if you're a cow. And the all-veggie diet? Raw veggies--bland greens like celery, lettuce, and seaweed. Blended, in a blender, until the pieces are so small your digestive system doesn't have to work at all to absorb the nutrients. They call it "energy soup." I call it nature's version of industrial runoff. This was not a retreat. Much to my horror, I discovered this was a "cleanse."
The next ten days were ... an experience. In the most beautiful setting imagined by human consciousness, I learned to make peace with my body in a way I've just never done before. Of course it was easy, since a calorie-deficient diet of nothing but parsley leaves you so weak and disoriented you'd make peace with a sabre-tooth tiger if you thought he'd give you chocolate afterwards.
In my few lucid moments, I kept asking where I went wrong. The answer: I didn't do my homework. Don't make my mistake. The astute listener will recall an episode where I suggested some decisions are best made by coin flip. That's when the decision cost is more than what you're deciding about. For me, decisions about what goes into, out-of, around, or through my body are worth the research cost. My body's worth the effort. Especially if the decision is permanent, and especially if the involved body part will sag, stretch, or fade after a decade or two.
Next time you're planning a decision with long-term or highly risky consequences, do your homework.
First, talk to people who have experience. First-hand experience. My college friend had never been to this retreat before.
Also, get several opinions. Spend some time on the Web looking for reviews--both good and bad reviews.
Plan your questions in advance. If you think you’re going to Club Med, ask about the experiences you expect from a fantastic vacation. For me, it’s the food, exercise options, beauty of the surroundings, and flexibility of schedule. Make a little list and research each category for each option.