I know this comes a bit late but I my birthday giveaway has some winners!!
** Quick note for the next giveaway: NON BLOGGERS can take part too!! Don’t be shy guys!
So now, on to my post today……..
Fall has officially begun and as it is a time of transition a lot of people are searching for a way to let go of the previous season by committing to a kind of detox. For some it may mean cutting out on any alcohol (oh yes, even I had a far amound of wine in the past couple of weeks) or sweets, for some it may mean enganging in more physical activity, and for some others it may mean getting rid of stress by doing more meditation and things that silence your busy mind. While I do not particularly like the word “detox”, since it is connotated with something negative, I do believe that certain short-term programmes that combine nutrition, exercise, meditation and body care, do help increasing awareness to be able to listen to your OWN body’s signals. This is also the first step of integrating an overall healthier lifestyle.
The toxins our body cannot process have a name in Ayurveda: Ama (Sanskrit for “that which harms or weakens”). Ayurvedic physician Robert Svoboda characterizes ama not only as a kind of physical sludge, but also as a psychosomatic sludge that pollutes the mind. Accumulated ama is the basis for much disease and even emotional disease—and from a physical standpoint, it creates an appealing host environment for cold and flu viruses. So, the best of getting rid of the Ama in your body or not even accumulate toxins is sticking to a whole foods diet (no GMO or processed foods, nothing aritificial whatsoever, fruit & veg in season etc) combined with some mind&body work.
There are lots of detoxes that focus on nutrition, but if you are looking for a combo that focuses on exercise, body care and meditation too, an Ayurvedic detox would be a good option. Yoga Journal offers a 7 day Ayurvedic detox including Yoga videos and cleansing tips for skin care too. To prepare for it, you simply take a dosha quiz to find out more about your body constitution (takes 5mins), buy the ingredients on the given shopping list and prepare some recipes for the week ahead. It is not very time consuming since you basically live on Kitchari (an Indian rice & mung bean dish) and lots of herbal teas for a week.
I have not tried the full cleanse so far, but when I lived in India I often stuck to a couple of days of eating Kitchari to give my digestive system a bit of an easier time. In India it is usually eaten when you are sick and it truly is a very comforing and soothing dish. Similar to a risotto, you can adjust its “creaminess” by adding more or less water and, in this case, cooking the mung beans and rice mish mash a bit longer. For a yummy Kitchari recipe, have a look at one of my previous posts HERE.
Guidelines of the Ayurvedic detox include:
- Every day (for 1 whole week) eat 3 small servings of Kitchari (add steamed veggies or optional chutneys according to your dosha type) and drink plenty of herbal teas and pottasium broth.
- Reduce caffeine intake before the cleanse and stick to herbal only on the cleanse
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep. According to Ayurvedic principles, the ideal time to go to bed would be before 10pm. Wake up around 6 to start with your daily routine.
- Reduce amount of stress and stimulation in your life and learn to say “no” to some activities.
- Start each day with Abhyanga, a warm-oil self-massage technique, followed by a 30mins Yoga class (videos are provided every day).
Overall, I think this cleanse is a good way to let go and destress. It allows you to give your whole system a break and cleanses from the inside (nutrition and yoga) as well as from the outside (massage and yoga). Another positive aspect is that it is gluten free (specific-diet friendly), hence adjustable for ANYBODY without starving your body or lacking in nutrition. You will probably have less energy but mood swings are part of cleansing processes in your body.
What do you think of Fall Detoxes? Do you ever detox or stick with a plan to eat healthier /exercise more when a new season arrives? Any tips for a healthy cleanse?