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RESET 10 Day Detox
The Nutrition Clinic, #04-07 Camden Medical Centre
Tel: 6735 2350
IF you had the money and the time, there's nothing like checking into some ultra-expensive detox spa where attendants see to your every diet need, be it morning smoothies on tap, doling out supplements or counting calories on your behalf. But do it yourself at home? That's a whole new ballgame - involving a weak mind and a lazy body.
The Nutrition Clinic's 10-Day RESET Detox programme does two things. First, it measures everything out for you and tells you what to eat and how to prepare it, making it the next best thing to having someone of pleasant Thai demeanour doing it for you. Second, it lets you eat real food while you clean out your system.
With food, you're better able to change your mindset towards eating healthily, compared to liquid or juice diets, says nutritionist Pooja Vig who designed the RESET detox.
"With juice cleanses, three or five days are dedicated to a restricted juice programme - and it doesn't lead to any long term shift. When only juice is consumed, blood sugar levels tend to go through skips and lows, leaving you craving sugar and junk food more then when you started. People may lose weight, but most of it is regained once you start eating.
"Detoxification is a complex, intricate process. The body stores toxins in fat tissue as a protection mechanism for your body. Once you detoxify, these are released and processed through the liver. Our liver detoxifies in two stages - Phase 1 and Phase 2. Phase 1 converts toxic substances into intermediary substances - many of which are more damaging than the original toxin. Phase 2 finishes the processes to converting this intermediary into a substance that the body can excrete easily.
"Juice detox - which is rich in vitamins and minerals - supports the first phase but not the second. For Phase 2, our bodies require specific amino-acids (found in protein) amongst other nutrients which are missing in juice cleanses. This leaves the toxic build up to be re-absorbed back in our blood stream."
The RESET programme, on the other hand, "floods your body with the nutrients it needs, removing the toxins that slow you down and filling in the gaps to allow your body to thrive".
Under the programme, you're required to take a protein shake both morning and evening for 10 days, with supplements in between, and a normal lunch (usually lean protein, salads and whole grains) prepared according to recipe guides provided. While you're allowed to switch your evening shake with lunch so that you can say, go out for dinner with friends, you're advised to do it only rarely.
There are helpful lunch and snack recipes on colourful cards to help you design your meals, but the challenge is really in arranging your daily schedules to fit this new routine. Expect the first few days to be tough as you adjust to just one solid meal a day. You might feel lethargic and peckish, if not actually famished. A handful of nuts and dark chocolate, surprisingly, really does quell cravings. It gets easier as you go along, plus there is ongoing support provided by The Nutrition Clinic whenever you have questions or concerns.
Barring a couple of setbacks, it's not that hard to follow the programme unless you're very active socially. Because you're still eating each day, you're less likely to want to 'reward' yourself with junk food after 10 days. Depending on what you eat, you can expect to drop a kilo or more. Once the 10 days is over, it's good to continue with the smoothies at least once a day and try to eat healthily for your other two meals, or at least practise restraint. It's not been easy, but the good part of this programme is that it does 'reset' the way you eat. And even if you do fall off the wagon, you can always get right back on it again.
By Jaime Ee
Punch Detox Level 3 Juice Cleanse
S$330 for 3 day cleanse (available July)
WHILE some juice cleanses can be high in sugar from the amount of fruits used, not all juices are created equal. If you're already juicing regularly and able to tolerate all-vegetable juices without getting all squeamish or nauseous about it, Punch Detox is offering the mother of all alkaline greens - the Chlorophyll punch.
It's part of its new hardcore juice cleanse after offering two levels of juicing aimed at newbies and the moderate juicer. Level 3 is its most alkaline cleanse and helps the body to get into a more balanced acid/alkaline state. The highlight of this cleanse is a mix of liquid chlorophyll and filtered water - which is just about tolerable for the seasoned wheatgrass shot drinker but may be considered illegal torture by everyone else.
The coloured green water tastes like apprehension and algae, but you swallow it for the goodness it promises: blood cleansing properties; ability to remove heavy metals such as mercury from the body; neutralize toxins; eliminate body odour and bad breath.
The other juices are much more palatable in comparison, even though they're mostly vegetable-based. Dark leafy greens, carrots and coconut water feature in various combinations. For bulk there's the really satisfying cashew nut milk thickened with slippery chia seeds.
Many of the juice bars you see in town tend to appeal to the hipster crowd with their easy-to-drink fruit-based combinations, but Punch Detox leans towards more 'healing' regimes. Their chlorophyll cleanse is not for the faint-hearted, but if everything good for us tasted like candy we'd be a nation of amazons by now.
By Jaime Ee
HICJUICE 5:2 Juice Plan
S$218 for two weeks, S$418 for four weeks, S$618 for six weeks
IF you think that cutting back on calories every day is a misery, then the 5:2 fast diet could be the easier alternative.
Here's how it works: you eat normally for five days, and limit calorie intake for two non-consecutive days in a week.
Intermittent fasting supposedly triggers the body's processes that protect and repair. It's said to be a safe and alternative approach to weight loss without causing muscle loss, compared to daily dieting or crash dieting. This is based on the theory that the body is able to burn fat at a higher rate after a period of fasting for 12 hours or more when the insulin level is reduced.
But it can be a hassle wondering how many or little calories you should be consuming on fast days. Local cold pressed juice company HICJUICE takes the guesswork out of that, with its 5:2 Juice plan. On each fasting day, you consume three 500 ml bottles of cold juices, and protein-rich nut milks or shakes. You get six bottles a week.
Each order also comes with a detailed plan, down to a time schedule and whether to have a juice or a shake. The plan comes with four juices, and two non-dairy shakes. You consume about 670 calories in liquids. The selected juices and nut milks have a low glycaemic index and soluble fibre to ensure that blood glucose level is balanced without starvation. The juices also have the added benefit of boosting metabolism so that there will not be too much overcompensating on the diet for the other five days.
Some of the juices do come in a scary shade of green, such as the Clean Greens, a blend of cucumber, celery, apple, Romaine lettuce, fennel and parsley; and Green Lemonade, made from kale, apple, cucumber, Romaine lettuce, parsley and lemon. But they don't have that raw vegetable taste that some find nauseating. The nut milks - almond and cashew flavoured with medjool dates or banana and cacao have bits of nuts and fruit to add some texture to your liquid meal.
While the juices aren't hard to drink, be prepared to feel a little hungry throughout the day. HICJUICE recommends drinking plenty of water or herbal tea. You'll go to the loo more often - it's normal.
At the end of the first fasting day, you do feel a little tired but not faint. By the end of the second fasting day, your body does feel better, and you definitely wake up feeling lighter the next day.
By Tay Suan Chiang
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