By Grace Bennett
Prior to a grand, Grand Opening in October, Elyce Jacobson and Shaka Davidson, co-owners of the new Skinny Buddha fitness center in Mount Kisco, acquainted me with their new and original concept: “food and fitness under one roof.” Shaka, an experienced trainer, and Elyce, an organic chef, created Skinny Buddha. The two realized Elyce wasn’t attaining the results she desired, by simply training. Thus,they developed carefully calculated meals, to complement and enhance her strategically developed workout regimen. The results had them astounded. “The Skinny Buddha” concept was born.
I went in to visit the facility, and to meet with Shaka and Elyce. After sharing their concept and story with me, we decided that I would experience, and write about their five-day “Buddha Detox.“ At first, I didn’t really consider a detox to be the right fit for me. The word itself, brought to mind recovery from serious drug or alcohol addictions. That’s not me, and did I really have the time? Typically, I don’t write much beyond my letter column, Just Between Us. On top of that, the next few weeks promised to be one of my busiest times of the year, producing this issue of the magazine.
I was wrong on both counts. Elyce and Shaka explained to me that “detox” is about “wiping a slate clean,” and that it can make many health goals attainable. It is a great way to jump start a program that will help you achieve a goal such as fat loss or curbing carb cravings. They reassured me that it was possible for me to kick my coffee habit and to no longer crave sugar and fatty foods. As for the time factor, a half hour workout with delicious organic meals, packed and ready to go, turned out to be an actual time saver for me.
I showed up for my daily 11:30am thirty minute workout. Over the course of the week, the workouts are constantly changing, the goal being, they explain, to “stimulate the muscular system, by using different techniques to aid in the detoxification process.” Following each workout, I grabbed my next five meals to go, in my handy new Skinny Buddha tote. They emphasized that a vital meal of the day, was a whey protein powdered shake. This was the meal that I had the toughest time with. As per Elyce’s suggestion, I blended the protein powder with water and ice, and a touch of vanilla. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t going over too great. Ah well. Maybe I was still dreaming about my tall Vanilla Latte. I cheated a little. One time I didn’t finish my shake. OK, two times.
Another challenge was drinking a gallon of water a day around the meals. My busy schedule made that the hardest part of all. Perhaps I hit the half- 3⁄4 gallon mark. Sometimes I fessed up about my lapses, and I was duly admonished. The two take the five-day commitment very seriously. And rightfully so. If you’re going to cheat, well, there’s only one person you’re cheating.
Alas. The sixth day, I was treated to a soothing, therapeutic massage by Shaka, who is also a licensed massage therapist. The massage is incorporated into the detox program to relax sore muscles and increase circulation. When I left Skinny Buddha, I was given an environmentally friendly water bottle and another delicious meal to go and told: “99 percent of those who do our detox continue to come back for different offerings.” Not hard to see why.
While I didn’t do the detox “perfectly,” I still feel better having “cleansed” my body of a long time caffeine habit. In doing so, my daily headaches have dissipated considerably, I’m sleeping better and yes, I feel “skinnier” too, a few pounds lighter for the experience! Also, I’m drinking more water than ever before. While old habits die hard,the new, smarter ones are always worth it. For more info, visit myskinnybuddha.com