For the last few months, joggers, laughter therapy loyalists and gym regimen followers along Mumbai’s Marine Drive promenade have kept a 7am date with Anthony Devarajan, who stands near a car parked under a flyover, doling out vibrant coloured drinks from steel canisters. Each one holds a different pureed vegetable mix minus frills. While an elderly gentleman downs a Beetroot-adrak (ginger) shot to help his sluggish liver, the Neem-karela-louki (Margosa leaves, bitter gourd, bottle gourd) is a hit with diabetics.
Anthony Devarajan, a retired naval serviceman, w wakes up at 4am to make natural elixirs before driving across the city to do what he calls “morning seva”.
Television anchor and actress Mandira Bedi, a daily jogger at Bandra’s Carter Road, grabs her Kesarvariyali (saffron and fennel seeds) juice shot every day. On some days, she has an additional wheat grass shot, that experts claim, is the equivalent of five helpings of green veggies.
At Ahmedabad’s Parimal Garden and Law Garden stretch, and Pune’s Kalyani Nagar Jogger’s Park, fitness enthusiasts sit on benches, sipping on veggie shots. Badminton champion Saina Nehwal is also a fan of tulsi, karela and neem.
Nutritionist and weight loss consultant Naini Setalvad sees it as a way of returning to nature. Raw vegetable juices, she says, play an active role in aiding weight loss, since vegetables are zero-fat, and keep you satiated longer.
Vegetable juices contain fibre, not sugar. Make the juice in a blender by adding a bit of water, rather than a juicer that takes away the pulp of the vegetable. Drink without running through a sieve.