“How hard can it be?”, I thought to myself when I was asked to try out a nine-day yoga and detox programme at Updog Studio.
Since I already practice yoga on a weekly basis and have a mild aversion to oily food, I figured I would breeze through the nine days and emerge looking like Blake Lively ‒ flawless, toned, and hopefully with Ryan Reynolds on my arm.
The concept was simple: I would be provided with three organic, meatless meals and two healthy snacks each day from Brussels Sprouts; all I had to do was show up for a hot yoga class at Updog Studio for nine consecutive days. The only catch was that I had to cut out caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol from my lifestyle as well.
Celebrity chef and co-owner of Updog Studio, Emmanuel Stroobant, explained that the combination of daily hot yoga and a healthy eating plan would stimulate your organs to eliminate toxins from the body and improve blood circulation and immunity at the same time.
In turn, some people might see some weight loss from a changed diet and lifestyle, although it should be mentioned that weight loss is not and should not be the primary goal of joining a detox programme.
If I was worried about going hungry, I was soon put at ease when I saw the amount of food I was given, even if it was mostly various forms of fruit and vegetables. While they may not have looked very appetising, they actually tasted delicious and were very convenient to heat up in the microwave whether I was at home or in the office.
Breakfast and lunch came in the form of organic porridge, a salad, spinach soup and vegetarian pasta. But it was dinner I was looking forward to because I spotted a flourless chocolate cake for dessert. Yes, healthy (and delicious) chocolate cake does exist!
At the hot yoga class however, I found myself exhausted and slick with sweat within the first 15 minutes. How I managed to last all 90 minutes of it could only have been due to the patience and encouragement of the instructor.
The good thing was that I had a really good sleep afterwards, and woke up feeling incredibly refreshed the next day.
A day’s typical detox menu. (L-R): Breakfast: organic oat porridge with cinnamon, fresh fruit and nuts; lunch: red cabbage salad, spinach soup and wholemeal pasta with basil, olive oil and pine nuts; dinner: home made flat bread with dips, and 90% cocoa flourless chocolate cake.
(L-R): Rapee weave place mat, $5.50; Bacci Milano bamboo cutlery, $12.50; small white bowl, $10.90; big white bowl, $13.90; small white dish, $9.90, all from TANGS.
By now I felt lighter and more energised even though I hadn’t actually lost any weight. I found myself growing accustomed to the intensity of the hot yoga classes and could last an entire class without feeling like I was going to pass out.
I also found myself eating a lot less, because I felt fuller for longer with my new diet. But days 4 through 6 were supposed to be entirely fruit-based and I wasn’t sure if I would have the energy to do anything within those three days, much less attend yoga class after work.
By 2pm, I was starving, and suddenly everything deep-fried started looking real good. But I stuck to my guns (with tremendous determination) and made it through the day.
However, eating less also meant I felt lighter during my yoga class, and was actually able to keep up better. I also felt less sore and sluggish at the end of every session.
After putting up with my grumpy demeanour for three days, I’m sure my boyfriend and family were relieved that the fruit fast was over and I was back to eating regular portions of food; even if I still would have given my right arm for a thick, juicy steak.
Discovering that I had lost slightly under 1kg also served as encouragement to complete the last three days.
I made it! While I must admit it was difficult at times ‒ especially when I had to attend work events and had to turn down a glass of wine or pass on the smoked salmon ‒ it was definitely a rewarding experience.
I must say that my flexibility has improved tremendously, thanks to the hot yoga classes, and I definitely feel lighter inside and more energetic throughout the day, even if it did not translate to much weight loss.
Would I do it again? Maybe in another six months or so. But to anyone looking to kickstart a healthy lifestyle and not knowing where to begin, I’d say try starting with Updog Studio’s d’tox programme. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but it will be worth your while.
Updog Studio’s d’tox package is available at $999.00 excluding GST. Updog Studio is located at East Coast Parkway, Block B, #02-05A, Playground @ Big Splash, and is open from 8.30am to 9.30pm on Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 9pm on Friday and 7.30am to 5.30pm on weekends. For more information visit www.updog-studio.com or call 6440 0282.