Sunday, February 20, 2011

Detoxing with the Juju Cleanse

The idea for a major detox started a few weekends ago at the Mercato Centrale in Fort Bonifacio, when I met a nice girl named Kat who was manning a table set up with bottles of colorful juices in a pail and lots of literature about juice cleansing.

Chiva Som for perfect health

This encounter took place at the most perfect time, when I was thinking about my health (and my almost daily round of delicious lunches and dinners) and looking for something concrete and productive to do about it. In a perfect world with no magazine deadlines and commitments, I'd be on a plane immediately for Bangkok to spend a week or two at the Chiva Som Health Resort in Hua Hin --which is just about my favorite place in the world.

It's a holistic paradise not only for good health but also for de-stressing; and I can literally feel my stress melt away within minutes of stepping out of the car at Chiva-Som and getting into a golf cart for the main resort area. There was a time I used to go several times a year, but this was about ten years ago and way before a magazine got in the way.

The Farm at San Benito close by

In a pinch, my next option, usually, is to spend a weekend at The Farm at San Benito, which is another great detox place. It has an even more purist approach to good health compared to Chiva Som, since the food at The Farm is much more radical.

Chiva Som still has three-course meals that are comparable to restaurant food, albeit with far fewer calories and close to zero fat; while The Farm takes things one step further by serving low-calorie, zero-fat unheated food. Unfortunately, I've not even managed to secure three days to myself to escape to The Farm in the past months.

Juju juice detox as an alternative

So the idea of a juice detox -- the next best thing if you can't actually seclude yourself in a total detox place -- sounded very appealing; especially combined with an ayurveda semi-detox program at Arogya in Makati, which is Manila's most authentic ayurveda center.

JuJu's detox juice system is perfect for me because it's completely no-fuss and no-stress. The day before every detox day, JuJu delivers six large bottles of juices in a cooler pack which are numbered to correspond to a time schedule and which go straight into the fridge for the next day. This eliminates the hassles of buying your own vegetables and preparing the juices yourself, which is heaven-sent for people like me.

"What's the minimum time for your juice detox?" I asked Kat. She replied: "We usually recommend about three days, but one day is fine as well if you just want to recharge. And there are several reasons why cleansing is important, but it all boils down to one common point: Every once in a while we need to take out the trash. The toxins and other junk accumulate and these block the body's ability to absorb nutrients and expel waste."

Juicing before the main courses

That was a couple of weekends ago, on a Saturday. Kat and I were talking at Mercato Centrale and I really wanted to do the full-round; but when I looked at my Blackberry, there was one straight week of dinners beginning with a over-the-top wagyu dinner with J at his favorite Japanese restaurant on the following Tuesday. So I opted for a two-day cleanse just to try it out before my round of dinners began.

As Kat promised, the juices arrived and looked very attractive indeed. And the next day I began my two-day juice fast which was surprisingly easier than I expected. I thought I would be hungry and craving for food all day, but somehow the juices kept me going without any energy fluctuations and I actually didn't even have the urge to eat in those two days. Perhaps I was just lucky, but I was really busy in the two days that I did my fast, so that I actually, literally, didn't have time to eat. How convenient then it was to just take a juice out of my fridge or portable cooler and drink this up instead of a meal. It was perfect for my busy schedule at that particular time.

Eating with a vengeance

Last Friday, I actually had two large dinners in one evening. Talk about making up for lost time after a juice detox and eating with a vengeance! But as I slid into my seat at the second dinner -- a six-course gourmet meal at Enderun 101 -- my sister-in-law stared at me and said: "You look so much younger than the last time I saw you (which was about two weeks before). What did you to do yourself?"

I thought back at my week. It had really been a busy, slightly stressful but fun week of too much work, too many texts, too little sleep and a couple of truly memorable meals. But there had been my juice detox at the very beginning. This was the only answer I could think of.

"I went on a two-day juice detox," I told her, and explained the mechanics of it all. Her comment made my day, and that was all I needed to prompt me onto the next stage of juice detoxing. The very next morning I was on the phone to Kat at Juju, to book myself for the radical seven-day juice cleanse. I'm on Day 3 of that now (with a little bit of cheating yesterday, since I had champagne brunch at the Peninsula and a just a little bit of a kare-kare dinner) but I've never felt better. More on this in a future entry.



By giving your body time away from eating, you are freeing up energy and enzymes which would otherwise be spent on digesting and processing of food, and channeling these towards much needed absorption of nutrients and elimination of toxins instead. Think of it as a full body tune-up.


Each Juju Cleanse Kit contains a day's worth of freshly-pressed, nutrient-rich drinks to keep you nourished while you put aside your spoon and fork for the day and give your digestive system a much-needed break.

Benefits of juice cleansing:
1) Provides rest for the digestive organs
2) Boosts the immune system
3) Replenishes vitamins and mineral resources
4) Improves oxygenation of cells
5) Helps in the growth and repair of body tissues
6) Promotes regular bowel movements
7) Promotes pH balance
8) Flushes toxins out of the body
9) Promotes clearer skin
10) Reverses signs of aging
11) Encourages loss of excess weight
12) Increases energy

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