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The Merits Of Detox


Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 The Merits Of Detox

Casilda Grigg of the Telegraph (06 02 09) concerns the after effects of detox on an individual level. It is an honest frank account of some soul searching for the benefit of others.

Grigg decided to give up on alcohol for a month, her friends were both somewhat shocked and in a state of disbelief. The immediate response was, ”What, no booze at all? Not even a glass of wine? You’ll never stick to it.”

After just one week of alcohol cessation, Grigg found that her skin was glowing, her waistline had become trimmer. However for Casilda, she had identified that she was not missing the taste of the wine, but the ritual that was associated with her drinking. This may well prove to be a test of character.

It would now be useful to evaluate more closely what she is actually saying. Grigg reports that her evenings became more dull as there was no prospect of ‘pulling a cork from a bottle and watching the wine splash merrily into a long-stemmed wine glass.’

She says of her screwball corkscrew that it ’sat forlornly on the shelf, like a wallflower at a party. And my fridge, once the happy home of Alsace wines and bottles of champagne, metamorphosed into a not very exciting place full of bottles of Evian. It felt as if I was setting up home with Gillian McKeith.’

Form the information given, it would be realistic to comprehend that Casilda was missing what was becoming her habit/relaxation. Moreover, her logic for the detox process was toidentify if she was indeed exceeding the government guidlines on units permitted.

Grigg argues, “some people give up alcohol to lose weight, others because of concerns over their liver. But I embarked on a month-long fast simply to find out if I could. As a daily drinker, whose wine consumption all too often crept over the half-bottle limit, I needed to know quite how dependent I was. Did I have a problem? In my failure to stick to official guidelines (2-3 units a day) should I be signing up with the estimable AA, when often I would race back from work in my eagerness to guzzle my first glass of rioja?”

Alternatively, she asks, “or was I simply an innocent wine lover, one of those law-abiding middle-class drinkers who the Government is determined to persecute?”

Notwithstanding, one week into the process she was feeling somewhat shaky and most certainly not wishing to relent. Sensibly, she turned to Weekend’s wine correspondent Jonathan Ray, who gives up on alcohol every January.

He arranged for a bottle of non-alcohlic wine to be sent to Grigg’s home.

What were Casilda’s expectations? “I was full of hope. The label looked a bit tacky but I’d certainly seen – and drunk – worse. The “wine” was from California, but that could be good or bad. At first it all went well. Yes, I had to wrestle with a synthetic cork but at least it didn’t destroy my corkscrew. A quick whiff of the bottle neck scored a four on a scale of 1-10. As I poured the wine into the glass I noted it was a reassuring deep red.

I felt suffused by a warm glow of anticipation. Suddenly the kitchen seemed cosier, the risotto, bubbling away on the hob, seemed full of promise. Could this be the answer? Wine that looks like wine and tastes like wine – but isn’t?

In short the so-called wine from California did absolutely nothing for Casilda, it was not even fit for as she describes, “to serve to a Prussian infantry battalion. It was like drinking dry Ribena, with a chemical aftertaste. Nigella would have poured it into a plastic ice cube tray, and used it weeks later for making boeuf bourguignon, but that would be insulting one of France’s great dishes.

Worst of all for Grigg was that upon inspection of the label, the wine contained 0.5%, how shattering, Casilda had ineffect broken her fast by default.

The outcome of her little setback, only spurred her on as she got to the end of the month without having another drink and still managed to enjoy herself.

Grigg argues, n future, I resolve to drink less wine, but of better quality, and to kick the habit of reaching for a drink when stressed, nervous, or tired.

The verdict? Weight loss: 1lb; skin improvement: 50 per cent; liver: over the moon; energy levels: sluggish (I blame seasonal gloom); feeling of virtuous achievement: 100 per cent.”

Specifically, the merits of Casilda’s detox programme was that firstly, she had improved health and a better appearance. According to Paul Tapin exercise physiologist who says, “everyone should look at medium to long-term abstinence from drinking if they’re serious about the shape and aesthetics of their body, and their general health and wellbeing.”

Secondly, a clearer, more youthful complexion was establishe after five days. For Grigg, her skin had improved dramatically, and this made her also realise just how dehydrating (and ageing) alcohol can be, especially if you’re over 40. “Alcohol worsens dry skin in those who are susceptible, says Dr Christopher Rowland Payne, consultant dermatologist at the London Clinic. “Cutting it out will stop this effect.”

Inevitably, there is more of a cash flow, There is even some weight loss and finally, healthier brain cells.


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