Apologies for the silence around here these days...it's been a busy couple of weeks with visitors and work, including a quick trip to India (Delhi for meetings, then a visit to Bangalore to see family). As always when in India, I totally indulged in the delicious food. The hotel I was staying in had a fabulous breakfast buffet which in addition to the usual items, had a masala dosa station as well as other South Indian breakfast favorites like idli, uttapam, vada and North Indian staples like parathas. Not to mention that there was a full, free, all-you-can-eat buffet for both lunch and dinner at the meetings that I was attending. Just imagine...a week of getting to indulge in all your favorite food, to your heart's content. Paneer dishes galore, koftas, naan, Indo-Chinese favorites like vegetable manchurian and honey chili potatoes, biryanis...it was just endless.
The deliciousness continued in Bangalore, where I had many great meals - some prepared by my cousin Priya, some in restaurants. Check out this fabulous Rajasthani/Gujarati thali from a place called Rajdhani.
Needless to say, I paid for all of this indulgence...as confirmed by the extra kilos showing up on the scale. Considering that it was high time for me to lose some weight anyway even before this trip, I came back to Bangkok determined to work out regularly and eat less and also in need of some kind of a kick start. Very conveniently, Luis had just seen a documentary called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" which chronicles one man's amazing weight loss in following a juice diet, and he was determined to do the same. Now, both of us love eating and cooking too much (not to mention blogging in my case) to ever subsist on juice. But Joe Cross, the "juice guru" behind the film had also worked with nutritionists to come up with shorter juice cleanses and "reboots", all of which are described in great detail (with tips and recipes) on his website Reboot Your Life. We both decided to do the 3-day long weekend reboot, which means nothing but fresh vegetable and fruit juice for 3 days. After stocking up on a ton of produce, we were ready to go (luckily, we already had a juicer)!
Three days later, we're done...and we survived! Though let me tell you...it was damn hard!!! When you adore food and have a healthy appetite, it's really, really hard to subsist on juice. The first two days were particularly tough, when all we could do was daydream of food and everything that we would eat after the reboot was over (for some reason, I was fixated on the idea of rice, grilled cheese & jalapeno sandwiches and Doritos!). By the last day though, we were doing much better and not so hungry anymore. The other tough thing is that fruit juices are only allowed in the morning...for the rest of the day you have to do a 80/20 vegetable/fruit combination. Fresh fruit juices are delicious, but I don't think I'd say the same for juices consisting mostly of kale, mustard greens, celery and the like (though the Reboot Your Life website as well as this one from Williams Sonoma has lots of interesting recipes).
In the end, I lost about 2.5 kilos (about 5.5 pounds) and Luis even more considering that he was a bit sick during the first two days. Keeping it off will of course be the challenging bit, so we have to ease in with 5 days of eating only fruits and vegetables (no problem I think, considering that we love soup and salad), and then step up the exercise and healthy eating. We've decided that we might substitute one meal a day with fresh juice on a regular basis. This blend that we had for breakfast on the third day was particularly delicious...I could have this anytime! If you have a juicer, be sure to leave the peels on everything and leave them whole for the most benefit. If you're going to use a blender, peel and chop as appropriate (and consider investing in a juicer - it gives you pure juice, which is easier to digest and absorb the nutrients from). And go for ORGANIC fruit and vegetables if possible when making fresh juices, so that you can avoid pesticides and all the other bad stuff.
MANGO-PINEAPPLE-CUCUMBER-BASIL MORNING BLEND
1 mango, chopped into big chunks (leave the skin off if you want, the juicer will take care of it)
2 cups of (fresh) pineapple chunks
1 small cucumber (unpeeled)
1 big stalk fresh basil leaves (stems and all)
1/2 lime (whole)
1. Push all of the ingredients through a juicer and capture into a large glass. Stir well and enjoy immediately.
Note: Though we didn't do so, it is highly recommended that you see your doctor before beginning a juice cleanse or diet. You should also ease into it gradually by spending some days cutting out protein, carbs, fats, alcohol, etc..not go cold turkey like we did :-)