Generally, I favour a more holistic approach to healthy eating. Multiple food intolerances cause me to avoid gluten, dairy and sugar in my diet but despite the health implications, I often give way to my cravings and find myself devouring some sort of devilish treat. Finally fed up of feeling rotten, I reached the point where I kept trying to rein in my greed, but so frequently failed that I decided to reach for external help.
The most successful detox I have seen to date (holistic, nutritious and well researched) was at Kamalaya… but without the funds or free time to whip off to Koh Samui, I decided to seek out the most similar offering here in the 852 – which is when I stumbled upon i-Detox. Drawn in by their slogan “Nurture a new you”, I was intrigued by their more rounded approach. Not only do they not advocate fasting, but they also understand that a detox is more than just a diet, but a whole process involving mind and body. Most of all though, their diet plan is actually sensible! Based on increasing your intake of superfoods (which are high in nutrients and healing properties) and minimising your consumption of toxins, the aim is that you end your nine-day meal plan restored and revived.
Nevertheless, their more “nurturing” approach did initially have my cynical side on edge. I like science and facts – not spiritual waffle! However my first private consultation with Anita, i-Detox’s figurehead, put me at ease. She led me through the programme’s principles and more importantly, the science behind them. She also demonstrated another benefit of their detox – that its adaptability is based on your needs. I grimaced as she analysed my hand to understand my body, but she managed to successfully pick up on my gut problems and tendency to be cold, thus suggesting I integrate beef broths into the otherwise meat-free programme… providing perfect proof of the detox’s adaptability!
The cost of the programme includes your initial consultation (either private or group), support throughout, a final debrief and your detox kit, which contains most of what you’ll need to get through the nine days. For the first and last day, you have two meals (sticking to their food guidelines of what to avoid… think nourishing grains and fresh veggies) and one of their superfood smoothies. The kit contains most of the smoothie ingredients, so all you really need to buy is your fruit and veg. Snacks are also provided in the form of a spirulina trailmix and multiple nutritional supplements. For five days the pace is upped a bit, with the smoothie accounting for two of your meals a day, and then there are two fast-track days where you have three smoothies. The days can be taken in any order to suit your working week, making this detox more than possible to do while living life at full pace.
I personally loved the smoothies. Filled with green powder, protein powder, flax seed and oil, cacao powder, goji berries and scrumptious fruit, I positively looked forward to feasting on mine (although I didn’t acquire such a taste for vegetable-based ones, deciding to stick instead to the fruity varieties). They were exceptionally filling and contained a lot more nutrition than juices, so I felt no energy lows or hunger pangs. I opted, on my two-a-day days, to have smoothies for breakfast and lunch (they can be pre-mixed and taken on the go) as I favoured a hot dinner. The spirulina snacks (plus an occasional rice cake if peckish!) kept me going in-between and I found that even on the two fast-track days, I was full of energy and oomph, even surviving a drinks party, resisting alcohol and forbidden food and powering on until 2am!
Despite the increased energy, I also felt the detox working in other ways; intense headaches for the first two days and breakouts on my forehead proved that toxins were being expelled! I also began to understood i-Detox’s advice to take time to relax; despite bouncing around full of energy all day, my body literally stopped and craved sleep by 9pm! My stomach, for the first time in months, felt nurtured with no aches or bloating, and a regularity of my bowels contributed further to that. I opted out of the colonic irrigations and liver flushes you can sign up to or self-administer respectively (I’m a bit too wimpish!), but apparently they only further enhance the cleansing process.
Instead, I became addicted to infra red saunas. With discounts on offer at Natural Path in Central, i-Detox recommend taking a few as the deep infra-red rays plunge deep into your skin, helping you burn 300 calories in half an hour and purging toxins from deep within your system. These thirty minute sessions became a therapeutic part of my routine; sweating it out and feeling truly invigorated afterwards has made me sure that these saunas will continue long after the detox.
Determined to aid the detox in as many ways as possible I indulged in i-Detox’s in-house masseuse, Luisa, who expertly merged lymphatic drainage and deep tissue technique to fix my many aches and pains. I also opened my mind to Anita’s emotional detox consultation. I started hesitantly (and still think the service is more suited to the more open-minded among us rather than stiff upper lippers like myself!) but nonetheless ended the 90 minutes feeling like I had emerged from an incredibly relaxing state of meditation and equipped with new ways of calming my overactive brain.
Weight loss wasn’t my main aim (although a few pounds were nonetheless shed and those less prone to snacking than myself achieved greater losses); for me, the main benefit was the increase in my health. No longer did I feel constantly run down, drained and bloated, but instead had a spring in my step and litheness to my physique.
In my opinion, i-Detox provides the most comprehensive, sustainable type of detox in Hong Kong, which can be done easily, without sacrificing work performance or socialising. It equips you with knowledge about food that will stay with you long after and a deeper respect for your body. It’s also exceptionally good value given the quantity of products you are given and level of support received. The public option is good if you’re looking to save some dollars, but the private version is fab if you have any individual health needs. So for those looking for a kick start to getting back in full health in 2014, i-Detox may just be the place to go…
Private consultation detoxes at i-Detox cost $3980 but the group option is $2,980 and still involves an element of personal consultation
i-Detox Suite 12A, Carfield Commercial Building, 77 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
3904 1072 www.integrative-living.com