Secret Conversations with Carol Singh, Founder of Antidote

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know how Antidote rocked the city with its ace menu of cold-pressed juices – eyeball worthy packaging, great tasting and packed with antioxidants. We caught up with the uber stylish co-founder, Carol Singh about the genesis of the product, the industry and the brand’s future plans.

Sisters, Carol Singh and Nadia Singh Bahl, started Antidote in New Delhi in 2013 after their nutritionist mother introduced them to the idea of juicing fruits and vegetables. Having studied styling and worked with Harper’s Bazaar, visual communication and catchy copywriting led Carol to develop a keen understanding for visual linguistics which worked in the brand’s language and communication. As founders, these power-dressing ladies have been an intrinsic part every step of the way in how ANTIDOTE looks, speaks, feels & tastes.

the-ladies

Nadia and Carol, like most of us, worked long hours, witnessed erratic schedules, wore stress like an accessory and indulged in mindless binge eating. “Our mother is a nutritionist, so growing up we have always been aware. But the consciousness in the healing power of food only came to us much later when we went through our own personal health battles that we were able to overcome through certain diet & lifestyle changes, minus medicines.” They soon discovered that with juicing they were able to counteract the ill effects of a quick-fix diet with minimal effort & time. These functional beverages proved to be a simple-on-the-go solution that not only tastes good but also helps give the digestive system a break to reboot and heal.

 

Cold-pressing refers to the process of applying pressure in order to extract the nectar from the raw produce. No contact with heat or air means that the juice that is 45-50% more nutrient-rich, has less oxidation & is full of live enzymes (essential for a good digestive system) which get killed the moment heat is applied to raw produce. Cold pressed juice also packs in 4 times the amount of produce that goes into regular juice, almost 1.5 kgs of produce goes into a 250 ml bottle of Antidote. With more live enzymes and culture, these juices are free from any preservatives and additives.

When not indulging in middle-eastern or coastal food, Nadia’s often seen with a bottle of Almond Mylk (with coconut water) before a workout, the DSSC-fave Polisher (with pineapple, pear, green tea, cinnamon, ginger, peppermint, arugula and ashwagandha extract) to combat the 4 pm tummy-tremors or the newly launched Beauty Shot (with lotus stem juice and bamboo extract) when she’s feeling lethargic. She gently prods us to work around our 14-hour workday with simple advice around the power of instant nutrition. “Simple snacks & drinks that will keep you powering through the day- be it makhanas, baked sweet potatoes, nuts & seeds, avo salads or toasts & all the Antidote functional beverages will help you get that boost of energy & nutrition without much effort.”

She is known in the capital for being a party-starter and her social calendar competes well with ours, yet she looks like a vision the day after. We ask her how she does it and she responds with a smile, “It’s very hard to abstain or not indulge during this time of the year, but it’s all about finding a balance. If you know you are going to have a heavy night of alcohol and rich dinner, then the morning after you need to replenish with things that will counteract the effects of the previous night. Liquids always work better than solid foods in order to flush out and replenish the system.” Think fresh lemonade, coconut water, juice, healthy fats via coconut oil, ghee, avocado or steamed greens to help fix the pH of the blood after an indulgent night.

Image: passionateaboutbaking.com
Image: passionateaboutbaking.com

The health and wellness industry in India was poised to touch Rs. 1 trillion* in 2016 with a compounded annual growth rate of 15-17% and brands like Antidote seem to be spearheading this march towards accessible and well-priced nutrition. Often promoted as a snack replacement, Carol suggests that most 4 pm hunger pangs can be beaten with ANTIDOTE juices as these give you 70-80% of your fruit, veggie & green daily intake. Alongside physical training, she talks keenly about stress management, which is something most of this generation carries like their security blanket. “I would say hormone and stress related illnesses are some of the most rampant these days because of hectic schedules, chemicals in our foods, everything being packaged in plastic which disrupts our endocrine system. So herbs like turmeric, licorice, ashwagndha, shilajit, tulsi, ginseng play a very positive impact on our lifestyle & diet. These adaptogens, which are mainly herbs, help the body adapt to stress better and reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol which creates havoc in the body.”

The DSSC team took up the all-day liquid cleanse where from dawn to dusk, we were staying clear of any food tastings or browse through food pictures on Instagram. “With juices, you’re giving your digestive system a much needed break. Since the juices are digested within 15 minutes, your system is not working in overdrive breaking down the fiber. It’s resting, recuperating and healing. The vitamins and minerals are getting absorbed directly into your bloodstream” explains Singh.

As per tradition, we play a customary DSSC rapid fire with the delightful Carol:

Q. Things to stay away from this festive period?

Carol: I would advise against eating Milk-based desserts. Drink our delicious almond mylks instead!

Q. Your go-to home remedy when you’re feeling:

  • Hungover: Apple Cider Vinegar shot followed by Coconut Water & Lemon
  • Tired: Almond Mylk or a Green Avocado-based smoothie or a Wheatgrass shot
  • Bloated: Turmeric, Parsley, Celery & Amla- work wonders
  • Stressed: Ashwagandha & Aloe Vera- separately.

Q. Tips when eating out?

Carol: I usually try to avoid egg & chicken as they have some of the highest allergens & injected hormones. I would say you would be better off eating mutton or seafood.

Q. Sitting is the new smoking and a sedentary lifestyle is deleterious to your health. How can we minimise the damage from sitting too much at work?

Carol: Usually I just hover over my chair like a squat for about a minute every hour, or do chair dips. Walk around and fetch yourself that glass of water or just a do a quick stair jaunt every 30 minutes.

Q. Your go-to Antidote cleanse after a series of sinful binging days?

Carol: I usually do the SKINNY DOWN or NINE LIVES program for about 5 days, Monday to Friday.

Q. Can you tell us more about the new product line launching this season?

Carol: It’s a fun, refreshing drink that is high on the flavour & nutrition quotient. Fortified with Superfoods like all our other beverages and is mainly catered to the Kids, Teenagers and a younger audience.

Q. 3 tips for DSSC readers?

Carol: Drink a lot of water. Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake. Exercise everyday.

You can browse through the different cleanses here and place your order by calling + 91 9717412218.

This conversation is a part of the DSSC Secret Conversation Series, where we get candid with the ace of base industry disrupters.

 

* Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/indian-wellness-industry-to-touch-rs-1-lakh-crore-by-2015-study-113080500653_1.html