- TNP PICTURE: SIMON KER
GUZZLE: Lemon in juice #2 made Natalie's hunger pangs worse.
A three-day detox programme with plenty of organic veggie and fruit juices. Benefits touted: Better skin, better sleep and gasp, the holy grail of my existence at the moment - weight loss.
Oh. The hitch: No food except for said juices. And no coffee, nicotine or alcohol.
It's recommended that for one to three days before the actual detox, one eats certain types of food (nuts, quinoa) and cut down the heavy duty stuff (alcohol, red meats) - I suppose it's to reduce the shock on the body.
I confess I let out a whimper as I munched on my "last" fried chicken dinner, wondering what in the world I had signed myself up for.
My one day of nuts and water was fairly miserable, but there was excitement as well.
The regimen calls for the first juice 30 minutes after waking up, with a two- to three-hour break between each of the six bottles for the entire day.
Since I was eagerly anticipating the first juice, which had ingredients like spinach and kale (yummy), it went down like a dream and I was feeling pretty confident.
Three hours on and my regular lunch hour hit. Crisis. I was on my second juice which just wasn't doing it for me. The acid tang of the lemonsjust made me hungrier.
"I am officially sick of this!" I yelled out. Not that my colleagues paid me any mind, or bothered with any sympathy. Sniff.
Over the day, I learnt very humbling lessons: For one thing, hunger is extremely mental and the olfactory senses can be cruel and extra sharp. How my nose managed to detect the mouth watering scents of a colleague's lunch from half a newsroom away is a mystery.
Don't get me wrong. The juices were enough to keep me full and technically had enough nutrients too. I was in no way starving but I DID want a bite of that char siew. And that popiah. And a gulp of that awesome coffee I was smelling.
Only a sense of professionalism kept me going that day.
But by evening, the juices were also triggering a cleansing effect (ahem) and it became a question of willpower and momentum. Indeed, the detox supplier (see report on right) recommends using body scrubs and tongue scrapers as the body starts shedding toxins.
Day two and three were much simpler. I was getting used to the regimen, and by the third day, I was just focused on the great food to come at the end of it.
I wasn't sleeping any earlier, perhaps because I've been a perennial insomniac for the longest time; I'd also developed a massive ulcer on my gum (I like to think of that as my body getting rid of toxins); my skin was also less dry and flaky - but that could be because I was ultra obsessed with skin cleansing and buffing off all the toxins.
But I lost 3.5kg over the three days and the stomach was flatter than it's been in about two years.
I surprised even myself. Especially with the willpower I never thought I possessed.
I'll take the juices as meal replacements any day. (They taste really good, especially Green Machine) But a full-on detox takes energy and willpower.
I'd recommend it if you're pretty serious about the whole thing and will not falter at the slightest whiff of fried chicken.
Fried chicken, I'm afraid to report, remains a big weakness. And yes, I will be eating some of that tonight, and maybe tomorrow.
And erh, the day after too probably.
I might need another round of detox soon.