I am sure you have heard about all the cleanses that you can do around spring time. But are you ready? Does the cleanse sound right for you? Do you have a week to dedicate to your cleanse?
In America we tend to think that we should be on a constant cleanse. That juicing is the only way to clean the body and that if you feel lightheaded and grouchy, the cleanse is working. But that is the way we as Americans think, the more the better. Not so much in Ayurveda. Cleansing is a big deal and can help release toxic buildup from the body, but it also strips the body and provides little to no nourishment, so cleanses are done only a few times a year at the change of the season, not every other month.
Kichari: A safe way to cleanse is going on a mono diet of kichari (recipe below), a very safe, healing and nourishing recipe that can be eaten for all three meals of the day for 3-5 days. This will allow your body to take a break from heavy, sugary, protein heavy, processed foods and will allow it to clean as well as nourish. This is a recipe that can be used if you have splurged on vacation or over the weekend and need to kick your week off right. Make kitchery and eat it for your three meals for one day, giving your system a gentle cleaning and re-boot.
Vegetables: You can also opt for a vegetable only day ....or 3. Allowing your body to just eat fresh vegetables good fat like olive oil, coconut oil, ghee or avocado. No nuts, dairy, starches, sugars, meat or protein other than oils. This type of eating can give your body the fiber and vitamins and minerals it needs for a few days, while scraping out the sludge that may have accumulated in the intestines. It also gives your liver a break by giving your body simpler foods that are easily digestible and that can be easily assimilated. Note: if you absolutely have to be more active, add a hard boiled or poached egg to either your lunch or dinner.
Juice: For those of you who want to do a juice cleanse, it's ok but while doing it notice how you feel and don't kid yourself. If you feel awful, then maybe juicing is not the right cleanse for you, try something else. If you want to go ahead, don't juice for more than 3 days and try to stay clear of most fruit juices. They pack in the sugars and defeat the purpose. If you make the juice at home, add back some of the pulp for fiber so that you can make sure to keep your bowels moving.
In any cleanse, making sure that you are having regular bowl movements, once to twice per day, is very important. Stool carries away the the toxins from the body. I also recommend taking a hot bath or sauna to open the pours and allow your body to sweat, which also releases toxins. Drink lots of water, room temperature or hot. Lemon or lime added will give an extra boost to the cleaning properties of the water and hot water in the morning with lemon will get the 'system' moving.
Before you start a cleanse, make sure you check with your health provider first. And limit the amount of activity you do for the days that you are on the cleanse. Be gentle to yourself. Your body will be working hard to clean itself so it is important to support it by reserving your energy and resting.
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this blog are based upon the opinion of Staraya McKinstry. They are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, and they are not intended as medical advice.