My battle with the pre-holiday bulge

SOUL TRAIN - Katrina A. Holigores () - November 11, 2011 - 12:00am

So how did you spend your last two long weekends? I found myself (not really) against my will indulging in new foodie finds in the colder climes up in Baguio. Piping-hot drinks were also greatly enjoyed while sitting al fresco bundled up in a sweater and boots as the sun settled in to sleep and the temperatures rose up to a blissful 16 degrees. All in all, it would have taken the discipline of a Navy Seal for me to have kept the calories at bay. Being so far away from my usual schedule of work and workout back in the metropolis, Baguio offered me a respite, a little time to disconnect from “DraManila” and to enjoy some quality time with friends and family. This of course (being the Philippines) involved food, drinks, and more food and drinks. Thankfully, I did arm myself with a subtle “weapon” to sip at night after a whole day of indulgence, a natural slimming tea called Slim Detox Forte.

I remember, while growing up, when slimming teas were quite popular among the older set, I would see canisters in the pantry being served up after meals or late at night for my mom and aunts to mix in with their hot water in order for them to purge out whatever they ate when they took a trip to the bathroom. In later years, it was discovered that one popular brand was really more of a laxative and had some damaging side effects if used too much and too often. The result, after a long time, often abusive usage of the tea (combining it with other medication), was damaging gastrointestinal side effects and in more extreme cases irregular heartbeats and electrolyte imbalances in the body. It is worthy to note that taking any kind of slimming tea, even mine, should be under advice from a doctor because there are some ingredients that one may be allergic to.

Senna leaves, for example, is one of the components of Slim Detox and according to my new favorite health-oriented website, www.livestrong.com, senna (also known as Cassia Senna) has been used as a laxative, both cathartic and purgative but should be used modestly and under supervision. It is effective for constipation, but should only be taken in small doses and not for more than two weeks straight or else it can cause lazy bowel syndrome or even chronic diarrhea. To also quote the website: “According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, senna leaf, also called Fan Xie Ye, helps to clear away heat accumulated in the large intestine, helping rid the body of stagnant food that has accumulated in the organs.” In other words, it is a good ingredient for cleansing of the body but again, it should be taken in moderation. The other components of this particular tea is green tea, which is known to help increase metabolism by helping burn more calories throughout the day as well as improving our body’s ability to burn fat through fat oxidation.

Licorice root is also used in the tea and after some research I found that it is has been used in both Eastern and Western medicine to treat a variety of illnesses ranging from the common code to liver disease. This herb (glycyrrhiza glabra) according to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s findings has long been valued as a demulcent (soothing, coating agent) and expectorant (rids phlegm and mucous from the respiratory tract). In one human study (according to the website) there are indications that certain preparations of this herb can help reduce body fat. More studies need to be done and again it is cautioned that too much intake of licorice root (as it is 50 times sweeter than sugar) may raise blood levels. Lastly, there is lemon, which allows for the body’s improved absorption of the nutrients in the tea.

Slim Detox is best used when you know you’re going to have a full-on food fest and you just don’t want to go to bed feeling bloated and miserable. It also helps when you are traveling and are subject to rich foods and a change in timetable that your body may not be used to. It certainly helped me keep the bloating down when I was abroad this year. I was also very happy to note that in spite of my all-out eating in Baguio over the weekend, I didn’t put on weight and my clothes weren’t stretched to any new limits. Although there are no messy “accidents” from taking the tea like one would experience with other over-the-counter oil-eliminating drugs, it would be prudent to take this tea when you have easy access to a bathroom. In other words don’t take it right when you’re about to get into a car; wait until you get home or to your hotel room before you seep the teabag for three to five minutes and enjoy its slightly sweet flavor.

As we welcome the holidays and the flood of invitations to eat out or eat (a lot) in, it’s a relief to know that when too much of a good thing is a bad thing, we can just sit back and enjoy some (slim) tea time.

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SlimDetox Forte Slimming Tea is sold at The Skin and Laser Clinic at P550/box good for two weeks. Call 403-3245 or 0917-52102222 for more info.

For more Soul Train, go to www.thesoultrain.net.

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