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'Detox the body and strike a balance between nutrition and taste'

Deanne Panday | 11 Jan 2014, Vol 5 Issue 2

Pick up celebrity trainer and fitness expert Deanne Panday’s latest book, Shut Up and Train-A Complete Fitness Guide For Men and Women, published by Random House, and find out how to get into shape without falling for fad diets or strenuous workout routines.

In this excerpt, Panday talks about body toxins and maps out the essentials of striking the right balance between nutrition and taste:

The book talks about getting into shape (Photo: Indian Photo Agency – picture used for representation purpose only)

Is There Toxicity in Your Body?

There was a time in my life when I was struggling with weight loss (yes, me!). On most days, I would feel extremely bloated and shedding the kilos seemed like a Herculean task even though I was eating healthy and working out.

So what was causing the bloating, the gas, and the mild acidity? Why was I having difficulty losing the last three inches? My sister suggested I give this particular ayurvedic spa in Kerala named Somatheeram a try. Now my knowledge of Ayurveda was very basic, so I accepted her advice rather reluctantly. And boy was I pleasantly surprised.

According to Ayurveda, the body functions normally only when its doshas, dhatus, malas, and agni are in a state of equilibrium. When either of these factors are not functioning optimally, one falls sick.

Their diagnosis revealed that I was a Pitha–Vatha and my doshas were not balanced. To get my doshas back on track, I was put on a specific diet for a week to help cleanse my stomach lining.

By just the second day of the diet, I noticed that I had started sweating a lot. This was a sure sign that all the unwanted toxins in my body were being flushed out. I came back home to be greeted by compliments from my near and dear ones. They all wanted to know how I had managed to lose so many inches in just a week!

My experience shows that if I can knock off the inches in just one week by cleansing my internal organs, so can each one of you. Won’t you agree that with age, our digestive system too is ageing and needs an occasional cleansing?

It’s not just about muscles and weight loss anymore. It’s about making changes at the cellular level because only when we break the toxic link do big changes occur in our bodies. It’s about removing toxins bit by bit from your environment and diet to adopt a truly healthy lifestyle. …

If you want to lose weight or bulk up, you have to reduce the toxic levels in your body. The reality is many of you have high levels of toxicity and may not even know it. Answer the questions below with a Yes or a No.

* Do you have trouble losing weight?
* Are you stuck at losing the last few kilos?
* Do you have food cravings most of the time?
* Do you feel fatigued or listless without any particular reason?
* Do you suffer from muscle aches and pains frequently (once a week)?
* Do you suffer from joint pains?
* Do you suffer from bloating, gas, or irritable bowel syndrome?
* Do you suffer from water retention?
* Do you suffer from problems in bowel movement, constipation, or diarrhoea?
* Do you have foul-smelling stools?
* Do you suffer from frequent acidity attacks or heartburn?
* Do you have foul body odour or bad breath problem?
* Do you have a coating on your tongue when you get up in the morning?
* Do you have difficulty sleeping or insomnia?
* Do you lack focus or have trouble concentrating on work? …

If it’s a yes to more than three questions, you have a high level of toxicity in your body.

OK, I’M READY TO SIGN UP! BUT HOW DO I BEGIN?

Now that you are convinced, you do not need to sell off your city apartment and buy a house in the village or turn vegetarian or give up fast food in a day.

When you start the ‘Clean Eating and Living’ programme, you need to go slow and steady. If you are a meat-eater, replace one meal a day with vegetarian dishes and salads.

If you drink a lot of coffee, substitute one cup with a juice or decaf. If you are addicted to junk food, try eating only fresh produce for one entire week in a month. Once you build confidence and start seeing the changes in your body, you will be able to make many more changes to your lifestyle.

Drastic measures don’t really work. You have to basically prepare your body to remove the toxins. …

PRE-DETOX

Since your brain and body is used to a certain lifestyle, begin slowly—make one change in a month. A detox journal can be used to make notes of the changes that you have made.

It could range from the foods you eat to the products you apply on your skin. If you prefer your laptop to a diary, create an excel sheet or you can make notes on your mobile phone, whatever is easiest for you. If you have more serious issues like obesity, do it slowly and under the supervision of a doctor.

You can start with eliminating sugar or white bread. This is called pre-detox. Then you can try adding a lot of vegetarian, vegan, or organic food to your diet for better health.

Clean eating and living involves taking time to know what your food is made of and choosing to eat it in its most natural state. It’s not about eating boring food, it’s not about just sipping on detox juices—it’s about feeling like every bite of food that you put in your mouth is good, healthy, and nutritious for your body. The closer the foods are to the soil, the purer and healthier they are.

NOTE THE CHANGES

Once you are well underway with the pre-detox process and have got down to eating healthy meals, start noting down changes that you feel in your energy levels and physical appearance in your detox journal.

Are your inflammations disappearing? Do you still experience coughs, colds, migraines, or headaches? These signs are important to look out for since they tell you that you are well on track. …

ADOPTING THE CLEAN EATING AND LIVING LIFESTYLE

Once you’re in a pre-detox mode, you will find yourself automatically reaching for a healthy lifestyle. You will make sure that your sleeping patterns are right. Instead of going for a 3-day detox plan, try and do it for life. Nobody’s telling you not to have cheat meals; it’s all about striking a balance.

DO IT FOR YOURSELF

Last but not the least, don’t let others bully you into doing something that is not right for you. I recently went for a christening ceremony and they had a lavish spread with all kinds of meat and pastas and curries.

But I chose to pile my plate with salads and took two pieces of chicken. I could hear people whispering, ‘Oh, there she is, dieting again’ or ‘Come on, Deanne. Eat just this once’. But I didn’t care. Once you get into the fit lifestyle, this becomes second nature to you. Remember to be light-hearted and laugh, but don’t change yourself.

(Excerpts from Shut Up and Train-A Complete Fitness Guide For Men and Women by Deanne Panday; Published by Random House; Pp: 381; Price: Rs 200.) - Women's Feature Service

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