WHY we cleanse and WHEN.
Let’s consider the following scenario. Imagine what it’s like to be the kitchen sink that you use daily. Constantly draining the waste of leftovers and dirty water from cleaning your dishes. Eventually, over time, the drain will become clogged and the water will not flow as easily. Imagine the buildup of sludge from leftover vegetables, rice, meats, and oils and then imagine further the fetid odor of the rotting, sour food that has been sitting there for three months. This scenario does not only occur in your kitchen sink but also within your body. Think of all the BBQ’s, parties and get together’s and without judgment, recognize the accumulation of the summer fun that is ready to be cleared out of the body so you can transition into the fall and winter months more easily.
Take a look around and see what is happening in nature right now.
The leaves are turning into vibrant colors as the chlorophyll starts to leave the trees due to the shortage of the sun and they go into hibernation mode of sorts, isn’t nature amazing? The seasons represent change, not only a change in the weather but also the foods that are available and the changes you will begin to feel happening within your own body. Which makes it a perfect opportunity to reset and rejuvenate and allow for the change not be so drastic.
WHERE and HOW.
You can do your detox in the comfort of your own home. You can also be in charge of the length of your detox, which can be from 4 days to 14 days. I recommend a gentle 4 day cleanse if you are a beginner to Ayurvedic cleanse. This is not a starvation cleanse, you will eat nourishing foods that are fresh and seasonal . However, there is a protocol to follow and the elimination of certain foods for the duration of your cleanse. We eliminate the foods that we have strong emotional ties to such as, caffeine, dairy, alcohol, wheat/flour, meat and the big one sugar.
I know what you’re thinking, “WHAT? No coffee!!” That was my initial panic when I first learned about this cleanse. I immediately thought to myself, “This is crazy! I NEED my coffee every morning?!” The truth is, the mind thinks it “needs” the coffee. Also, we have to acknowledge that some of us create rituals about our coffee every morning so that tells us that it is the habit that is hard to break but not impossible. A cleanse will help you release yourself of old habits, and hey, maybe you decide that you choose to have coffee or not…I still do. The point is to also eliminate foods and substances to give our bodies a little hiatus which gives the digestive system time to repair and our organs and tissues to restore and rejuvenate.
We eliminate common allergens and introduce whole, seasonal fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and get our fat from avocados, seeds, nuts and we eat three meals a day with no snacking. Another habit that is hard to tame is snacking. The reason for this is that you have to let the food you consume be completely digested in order to go into fat burning mode and this is typically about 4-6 hours. So we space our meals evenly to get our three meals. The duration of the cleanse is low fat and eating clean. We eat lots apples and beets with our meals to get the liver going to push bile and stimulate the lymphatic system by keeping hydrated with warm/hot water throughout the day.
This cleanse is very nourishing and can be difficult at first, when detoxing you can experience symptoms of withdrawal, possibly from caffeine and sugar. Thankfully, the symptoms dissipate and by the end of your detox you will feel energized, clear, and calm. Your skin will be especially vibrant, and you will shed a few unwanted pounds. I have been leading seasonal cleanses locally in Boston for the last five years and I am excited to announce that beginning next year for spring, I will be implementing an online platform. This platform that will create an online community with FAQs, Recipes, How To Videos, daily emails from me that will provide daily support and love.
Stay tuned for next blog post on what happens to the digestive system during and after the cleanse…