NOT TOO long ago, I wrote about fruit juices in their new avatar, the one which eschews sugar and abhors the fruit of any plant that casts a shadow on a fellow tree. Okay, maybe I am stretching that a bit, but you get the idea. After convincing myself that I don’t need expensive juice yet (mostly because I can’t afford expensive anything really!), I recently, post the Diwali bingeing, decided to go in for a detox plan. Also, and ironically enough, given how most Indians eat during their nine days of fasting (voraciously!) they could use some too.
But before I dived into this three-day juice plan, I read up a bit about detox. “Don’t do it”, it mostly said. So I read up some more: “Nonsense!” was the general sum-up. And so, in light of evidence strong and contrary, I undertook two separate programmes.
Antidote would have me have seven juices a day—I could ‘cheat’ a bit with raw veggies and nuts—and a light protein-rich meal post 7.30 pm. For someone who thinks of dinner while luncheoning, this would be tough. To make it tougher, I enlisted the lady, too, to undergo the programme and she reminded me to recheck that all was insured around the house, including me. Vikram, a friend, also joined in for one day.
Day one was perhaps the toughest and day three the most boring. After a while, you don’t miss food, but you miss chewing on something warm. Also, the bowel felt clogged, but I peed profusely (sorry, sharing in the interest of proper experimentation). Day one was sedentary, but days two and three involved heavy exercise. Also, by day three, there were so many empty bottles lying around my house I reminded myself of the little girl from M Night Shyamalan’s Signs who left half-drunk glasses of water everywhere. That said, I do like Antidote’s amber glass bottles: they feel more stolid even though the screw cap was jammed shut on some.
Each juice—creative names all around—is a smorgasbord of ingredients, some more hipster than others. Despite Antidote’s no-added-sugar claim, they tasted super-sweet. Raw Pressery, the first on the cold-press scene and the other cleanse that I tried, seemed much more balanced. Antidote’s seven 250 ml bottles had me consuming just under two litres a day! Raw Pressery did me a pack of six phials of 410 ml (with precise timings for ingestion), totalling almost 2.5 litres (there was supposed to be a 125 ml booster too) and no solid food all day. I don’t drink that much juice in a week, so more than hunger, it was all this liquid making me feel queasy. But on the whole, I felt hungrier on the Raw Pressery plan than Antidote’s.
On a side note, I wasn’t drowsy all day, so my active hours were definitely enhanced. Also, my resting heart rate dipped. But for someone who skips a beat at the mention of butter chicken, I wasn’t sure if this was the juices’ calming effect or just a silent Punjabi sulk.
Anuj Rakyan of Raw Pressery used the word ‘cleanse’ over detox (unless it has activated charcoal). Also, more than a one- to three-day light/deep cleanse, he stressed on what one intakes the day before and after. But whichever treatment one chooses, there are no quick-fixes for gravy-soaked lives. Inches may shrink (water-retentive bodies buckle a bit under such conditions), but no more. It’s a lifestyle habit, not a clinical cure.
So to detox or not to detox? Well, try it if only to sate your curiosity, as also to test your limits of self-control. The lady complained of belly rumblings unprecedented and Vikram said it felt similar to going off carbs. Hunger? Though a looming sensation, it was solid food they craved.
If you wish to work on early New Year resolves, learn to eliminate salt and sugar, increase fibre, and, most importantly, cheat every once in a while! I may repeat but, regardless of the brand, it shall be less detox and more periodic vigilant consumption. A lot of it is mind over matter and while these trials may or may not have added life (or obliterated inches), it certainly made me take cognisance and control of my quotidian diet. And these little victories are the most satisfying in the long run.
The writer is a sommelier