Pure and Simple Detox Plans
Detox is possibly the bravest way to go cold turkey from all those naughty foods we become addicted to over the years. And from the greasy toasted sandwiches dripping with cheese for morning after soak-ups to the sugary instant coffees to lift the 3pm lull, or those late night dinners with friends (where we conveniently forget the basic rules of healthy eating and opt for steak and chips with extra sauce and a rich chocolate dessert, just because we love it), we were in dire need of a diet intervention. Not that we’re saying there’s anything wrong with enjoying a little bit of what you fancy, but after a while all the preservatives, hormones, additives, colourings and flavourings that are liberally added to pre-packaged, processed food, as well as the fertilizers sprayed to grow hardy vegetables and the fatteners and fillers added to our food, build up in our bodies and start taking effect. That’s when we probably need to have a good old clean out, get rid of the junk that’s taken up residence in our bodies and start afresh. It’s body housekeeping if you like, taking care of the engine that runs us and keeps us feeling fabulous, or not.
Acting Editor Rue did it DIY
I started spontaneously – not the best advice if you’re wanting to detox. To be effective you need to plan and psych yourself up, making make sure you purge your cupboards of stray chocolate biscuits and full fat cheese and fill it instead with the right stuff. In my case, I wanted to go back to basics, to natural, organic foods, wholemeal grains, vegetables and fish that my body was designed to digest - an approach which made absolute sense to me and worked with my own principles about eating well. The inevitable cravings that come with cutting out sugar and dairy, caused by addictive chemicals in both, were what frightened me. But, determined to adopt a complete lifestyle change, I sought out natural supplements that would help me on my way. The African mango diet supplement, literally made from the stones of crushed African mangoes, seemed like a long shot but with absolutely no chemical stimulants included, it was the healthiest option on the shelf. The tablets come with a diet plan that encourages you to take a long term approach to your detox – over four weeks – and include a daily and weekly meal planner to help you organise your eating. With hot water and lemon each morning, diluted organic cranberry juice in hot water twice daily to flush out your system and a mix of healthy greens, organic chicken, salmon, eggs, brown rice and fruit, as well as organic oats, low fat yoghurt with berries and honey each morning for breakfast, it hardly felt like I was missing out on anything. Enjoying the food is key so spices, herbs and apple vinegar are essential to ensure you don’t get bored. The one thing that will make the biggest difference to your result is cutting out caffeine and drinking two litres of water a day. The extra hydration will do wonders for your skin and hair. I’m now eight weeks down the line and, aside from being 100% more energetic and three kilos lighter, I look and feel like a whole new woman. It’s safe to say, I won’t be looking back.
Art Editor Kerri went gluten free
While I normally eat a balanced diet, I do have lazy moments when I give into cravings for takeaway pizza, sandwiches or pasta for lunch, leaving my stomach bloated like a football and me snoozing at my desk by 4pm. Having started to see a pattern of events forming every time I ate certain foods, I decided to visit nutritionist Lily Mueller at The Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre to investigate.
During my first appointment, Lily weighed me and took my blood pressure before we sat down to discuss my eating habits and the digestive problems I was experiening – namely bloating and constipation. With that information, Lily prepared a seven to 21 day detox plan, eliminating wheat, dairy, yeast, sugar and processed food and replacing them with gluten-free products and organic vegetables, meat and fish to help flush out the toxins in my body and kick-start my digestive system.
Alongside the eating plan, I was prescribed a series of daily supplements: a base powder designed to alkalize the body by neutralising parasites and bad bacteria, magnesium citrate to improve bowel function and a probiotic to replenish the friendly bacteria in my gut, strengthen my immune system and help me to better digest my food. I had been nervous about sticking to my new eating plan but actually found it surprisingly easy. The effects of the supplements were so immediate that after many years of suffering, I was no longer constipated. In fact, my new diet has prompted a massive lifestyle change. Having watched my stomach stay flat after eating, I’ve vowed not to return to eating wheat or dairy - particularly as I’ve discovered gluten-free bread and dairy substitutes are just as tasty! I’ve been exercising every morning, find I have so much more energy and can slowly see the excess weight dropping from my stomach and thighs. I feel as though I could do this plan for as long as I choose, because it hasn’t been hard at all. In fact, it’s given me much greater knowledge about how my food choices affect my wellbeing. There’s absolutely no going back now!
Detox plan supplied by Nutritionist Lily Mueller at The Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre (04)3351200 for details
Colon Hydrotherapy involves a gentle washing of the entire colon with purified and filtered, body temperature water, helping to hydrate the large intestine and flush out undesirable toxins which build up over time. The process, which lasts around 45 minutes and is totally painless, is super-effective for digestive problems, bloating and constipation.
Cost Dhs600 per session at The Dubai Treatment Centre. To book, call (04) 335 1200 or visit www.dubaihtc.com
Body Bliss Wrap
The B/attitude Spa is one of the city’s newest and most fabulous relaxation retreats, fusing eastern and western styles in treatments including the detoxifying wrap, designed to boost eating plans. Once your body is covered with a nourishing and stimulating red mud mask, you are mummified in a plastic heated body wrap to release deep toxins in the skin. After a shower, a moisturising treatment leaves skin soft and nourished.
Cost Dhs595. To book, call (04) 399 8888 or visit www.grosvenorhouse-dubai.com
Picture Editor Christina got liquidized
When my fiancé revealed, “I can always tell when you’re hungry. You turn into a cranky old woman,” I realised that my love hate relationship with food might just be affecting my mood. So, determined to make a real change and give my body a fresh, new start, I turned to the hottest new weapon of choice for detoxers in Dubai.
Detox Delight, the first juice detox delivery service in the UAE, seemed to offer the perfect solution to give my body a well deserved break from all those yucky toxins I knew I was feeding my body – caffeine, nicotine, sugar, dairy (the list goes on!). The service offers a range of tasty, natural juices which are delivered to your doorstep in five or 12-day packages. At every delivery, your survival kit is stocked with juices, a menu of the day (detailing the order the juices are to be sipped), snack tips for cravings, specific straws for consumption, some detox tea and even a little note of support from the owners. You can also choose to add some warm soups to your plan if the thought of stomaching juice alone for five days is daunting.
When it comes to diets and detoxes, I am pretty sure I have tried them all, but I was massively impressed by the organization of the whole process. Amid the daily chaos that constitutes life in Dubai, I found it a huge relief to have a break from thinking, even just for a week - especially knowing it was helping me regain control of my health.
While I was excited about the whole process, I was nervous about how the detox, and perhaps my old food cravings, would effect my productivity and mood. How could I get through a week of not eating solid food and still be a normal person?
Contrary to my fears, things turned around very quickly. While I did experience the expected headache and bloating on the first couple of days, by day three my motivation had skyrocketed, my alertness increased and as my physical appearance began to change, I’m pretty sure that each day, I walked into work a little bit more confident than the day before. I secretly grinned as I stepped on the scale to find myself one pound lighter every day and loved that my skin was clearer too. The big perk to this detox is that the juices actually tasted good, meaning I didn’t crave junk food during or after. As I gradually removed the toxins from my body, I felt incredibly clean. So clean, in fact, that I didn’t want to contaminate myself again. It became a no-brainer when deciding between a croissant or a fresh fruit cup for breakfast, knowing it wasn’t worth the bloating and tiredness.
Those five days force you to feel an active change whether you like it or not, and while I will NOT be saying goodbye to my glorious morning latte, I have stayed away from dairy, sugar and meat and I don’t plan on going back. Plus, my eating schedule has officially changed. I eat dinner earlier and snack healthily throughout the day. This in turn helps me sleep better, ready to take on the day! Finally, the real test. If you ask my fiancé, he will tell you that I am officially not a cranky old woman anymore - or at least not because I am hungry!
Five day plan costs Dhs2650; 12 days, Dhs6270. www.detox-delight.ae
Christina’s tips for a delightful detox
● The Detox Delight plan is work friendly – but make it an easy week and don’t plan dinners, events or vacations which could prove a temptation too far.
● Get the recommended colon hydrotheraphy session, priced at around Dhs600 to Dhs800 in Dubai, as it helps you to feel less hungry. We recommend Kay Vosloo Certified MedPro in Colon Hydrotherapy, call 050 658 7333.
● Choose the juice/soup combo. Though it still gives you the benefits of juicing, with a warm treat at night, it also helps inject a bit of variety which is particularly welcome on the longer plans.
It all adds up
Eating healthily can be as easy as (gluten and dairy free) pie, especially if you pair your foods correctly to double your immune-boosting power. VIVA does the food-math, so you don’t have to.
Tomatoes + Olive Oil = Cancer protection
One of the key ingredients in tomatoes is lycopene, which can help protect against stomach and lung cancer. Adding a few drops of olive oil to your yummy slow-roasted tomatoes will not only boost their taste, but also your immunity.
Carrots + Pine Nuts = Immunity booster
Carrots and pine nuts work hand in hand when it comes to keeping your immune system strong. Since carrots are a source of Vitamin A, which helps your body fight viruses, combining with zinc-filled pine nuts will make sure your body uses that Vitamin A faster.
Hummus + Lemon Juice = Anaemia prevention
Not only are they delicious, but the chickpeas found in hummus are an amazing source of iron, which gives you an energy injection and helps prevent anaemia. Squeezing over some tangy lemon juice not only gives you a taste kick, but the Vitamin C helps you to absorb all the iron-goodness.
Red Grapes + Almonds = Glowing skin and hair
When you combine an ounce of Vitamin A rich almonds with the phytochemical and plant compounds found in red grapes, you’ll also get a double-dose of Vitamin E, which helps to keep skin and hair healthy and shiny.
Poached Egg + Spinach = Healthy bones
Combat a common female problem by combining poached eggs with nutrient-rich spinach for a healthy way to strengthen your skeleton. Eggs are packed with vital Vitamin D, which helps your bones to absorb the calcium found in the spinach.