A government official answered, transferred her call to the right person (which she concedes was a miracle) and got the ball rolling. Amansala refurbished Casa Magna in 2005 and has been going strong ever since.
What is the difference between Casa Magna and Amansala? The former is no bootcamp. It's lush and luxurious, and there were rumors of brownies. My Bikini Bootcamp cohorts and I checked out Casa Magna – under pretext of taking a yoga class at there – and it was all true. Still, even with grilled pineapple instead of chewy double-fudge, we felt we had the better end of the deal.
On my last day there, our excursion was a 14-mile (roundtrip) bike ride to a nature reserve where we could kayak in the morning. It sounds like an ideal trip and it nearly was, except for the fact I fell off my bike and scraped my knee, elbow and ankle. It wasn't terrible since I still got to kayak. I returned to Amansala by car, cleaned up my wounds and took pictures of the other bootcampers covering themselves with Mayan clay and honey, a.k.a. "the Mayan Clay Treatment."
At "Closing Circle" that night, everyone spoke from their heart. One woman started to cry when she talked eloquently about her experience. When it was my turn, I spoke about how grateful I was for my health and how I should stop beating myself up about yearning for a "perfect bikini body." Pointing at my injuries I said, "These kept me out of yoga today and I missed out on the Mayan Clay treatment, so instead of focusing on losing those five final pounds, I just want to say thank you for my healthy body."
With all the food I had been eating, there was no way I had lost any weight anyway. But I also gained 21 friends and an experience I'll always remember.
Amansala Salad with Ginger Sesame Dressing Makes 1 serving. 1 cup shredded Napa cabbage 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce ½ cup shredded carrots ½ cup diced tomatoes ¼ cup diced avocado 1 5-6 oz. piece grilled fish or chicken, chopped Ginger Sesame dressing 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Combine the cabbage, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes and avocado in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds and serve
Ginger Sesame Dressing Makes about 1 cup. ½ cup extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar 2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Process until smooth.