February 17, 2015

Letter From a Wellness Coach

Every morning, I wake up and look forward to seeing my turkeys (that’s what I call my clients) improve their muscular systems. But there’s one muscle they have a habit of leaving at home and away from the gym. Their brains.

Liquid detox plans are enjoying raging popularity and have become an integral part of every fitness regime. These regimes wrongly believe that detox means to rid you of one macro-nutrient or another. Or to put you on a meal plan made up of ‘green’ juices – which range from all shades of red, orange and purples. Oh yes, and the 50 shades of greens.

I’m not saying that juicing is bad for you. It isn’t. But, for starters, ask yourself,  was your body made to live on a diet of liquids? If you answered correctly, then you already know that there is no happily ever after in liquid diets. They have a way of  nutritionally drowning you.

Your nervous system will fail to function without B6, B12 and other B vitamins that are vital for your mental well-being. They are natural IQ-makers and boosters. Sadly, these vitamins are not amply available in liquid diets. But they are substantially present in whole grains, whole wheat pastas, multi-grains and unrefined carbs. When you drink yourself into a state of vegetation, you deprive your body of all the nutrients that need to be active in your system in the first place.

Think of it this way. Enamel is a composite of calcium and all the minerals that are sourced from chewing fruits, vegetables and hardy foods. Digestion starts from the mouth. By depriving yourself of these edibles, you are weakening your internal organs (that includes your brain); not to mention your gorgeous smile. So even if you are an enviable size zero, your attitude, personality and well-being will also score zero if these vital nutrients are missing. That’s  a no-sum game.


Now I don’t’ want to bore you with facts and figures, but I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to think through the decisions you make with respect to your lifestyle. Liquid diets are not only a deprivation but are also traumatic for your digestive and nervous systems.

Here’s why:

  • By telling your brain that there’s nothing to eat (i.e. foods you can chew on with your teeth), you are forcing your body to wring every nano-ounce of nutrition, as fast as possible, from liquids – which, as we now know, carry insubstantial amounts of vital nutrients.
  • What happens next is a horror-story in the making. Your brain surrenders. It gives up on itself, on its natural instinct for survival, for as long as your liquid detox is in use – which is normally for a week to ten days. But then, once your liquid diet is over, and your body is artificially nutrient-deprived, the enzymes in your digestive system begin attacking the organs around it including the walls of the stomach. That’s how ulcers are born. And ulcers are the first indication of deeper, psychological wounds which can range anywhere from issues of self-esteem to depression.
  • Moreover, when you return to eating normally, you send mixed signals to your brain through your digestive system. And  your brain, like any CPU, asks EAT or DELETE? Sadly, both occur leading to a system malfunction. The body will eat more because it’s been deprived of real food for so long. But it will also not digest the food its eaten because it will automatically store it as fat. Saving it for another spell of potential deprivation.

Now is the time to wake-up and listen to your body. It will tell you to keep it simple and avoid these fat-gaining liquid diets – which look so appealing on the outside  yet wash you out on the inside.  We get fat because we ignore the needs of our stomach, loading and unloading it with unforgivable trends, fads, and dietary conveniences. The truth is that if over-eating is a crime, then deprivation is punishment.

Whenever you’re tempted to choose a convenience diet , consult a qualified nutritionist. I, for instance, detox my turkeys through real food – without depriving them of the macro-nutrients which are vital for their well-being. A diet ought to be a long term way of thinking. It should be sustainable and transformative for your mind, body and soul.

Mantahaa Maqsood is Chief Wellness Officer at The Wellness Company (TWCo.) For enquires, please email [email protected]