A place to diet for

DUBAI IS the best place for those wishing to adopt healthy eating habits. As well as the worst place for dieters, I find out this week as I embark on my first Gulf detox plan. After three years of what can only be described as an extremely unhealthy lifestyle -

By Ambica Sachin (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Sat 28 Jul 2007, 10:41 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:43 PM

what with gorging on the wrong kind of food at odd times of the day and night, not to forget the chocolates without which I thought I couldn't get past the day - I realised it was time to take charge of my body instead of letting it lead me along. Which was inevitably to the nearest grocery or ENOC station to pick up a bar of chocolate or a deli sandwich...

Armed with an old issue of Emirates Woman that detailed a 12-day Gulf detox programme, I hit the supermarket with a vengeance. Fruits and vegetables of all colours and shapes made it to my trolley along with boxes of prunes, pistas, dates, and almonds. And that was when it hit me that Dubai was probably the best place to go on a diet.

Where else would you come across such a wide selection of fruit juices ranging from the exotic kiwi and pomegranate to cranberry, avocado and green apple? Mind you, it did take a lot of fine reading and reaching behind the shelves to get to the sugarless ones. At least that is what the labels say, though after the first sip, I did have my doubts about the 'no sugar added' bit. But since I wasn't the kind to chop up fruits and extract the juices before heading off for work, I figured the ready-made variety is good enough for me!

Lettuce from Holland, carrots from USA, apples from Chile, oranges from South Africa, bananas from the Philippines - if this is not a vegan's paradise, tell me what is? And for those with an exotic palate, there are the starfruits, durians, blueberries, asparagus and fruits in shapes and colours you could never have imagined existed on this planet.

Now for the downside. The article had thoughtfully suggested that the detox be started during a weekend when you have ample time to rest and probably resist grabbing a bite from your colleague's tiffin! But how long can you sit home, especially on a Friday? So to the mall it was. The wafting aroma from the food court hit me as soon as I entered one, followed by the sight of families chomping on burgers and ice creams and dahi vadas and what have you. Even the Gestapo's worst torture methods could not compare to what I went through that evening. And why do supermarkets have to keep chocolates near the check out counters? Even if you have made it past the confectionery aisle, the check out line inevitably does you in.

But despite all this I am glad to say I am on my eighth day of fruit and veg diet and so far I haven't grabbed my colleague's lunch or been tempted to eat from outside.

We human beings, I realise, have much more resistance than we give ourselves credit for. So how about testing your self-control this weekend?

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