Juice cleanses have sprouted up everywhere. People are noticing the benefits of resetting their bodies (and livers) after the overindulgences of the cold winter months.
While anyone that has been around me long enough knows that I love my juice, one year I wanted to try something different. I didn’t want to spend loads of money buying custom juices or the time making the juice myself. And juice cleansing for an extended period of time has often made me hungry, grumpy and on a blood sugar roller coaster!
I discovered a new way to detox that doesn’t leave you with cravings and cleanses the body at the same time. It’s with a time tested, 5000-year-old Vedic tradition from India called Ayurvedic Cleansing.
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘wisdom of life’. It’s built on the premise that to reach wellbeing you need a unique balance of mind, body, and spirit. This balance is achieved through harmonizing the 3 constitutional principles (dosha’s) of Vatta, Pitta and Kapha in the body.
Each person has a unique combination of these 3 dosha’s although one dosha is usually dominant. You can determine your constitution by taking a simple online questionnaire (I recommend the Prakriti Quiz on the Banyan Botanicals website).
No matter your constitutional combination, an Ayurvedic cleanse is good for all types. The cleanse will:
– reset your metabolism
– release toxin build up in the body
– reduce general aches in the body
– increase energy and vitality
– increase clarity of thinking and memory
– balance and harmonize the dosha’s
The cleanse consists primarily of kitchari, a mix of organic basmati rice, moong (mung bean) dal and Indian spices. When combined together, these ingredients form the perfect protein and are easily digestible (no gas!). Kitchari can be eaten three times a day and either sweetened with an Indian jam for breakfast, or made into a delicious savory bowl by adding steamed or lightly sautéed vegetables and fresh herbs. The meal is also supplemented with herbal teas and Triphala, a mix of Indian verbs (in capsule form) that aid digestion and cleansing.
Starting any cleanse can be a little daunting, so I’ve broken down the steps below to maximize your cleansing experience:
1) Schedule your cleanse time:
You can do an easy one day cleanse, 3 day digestive reset, or a more traditional 5 day program depending on your goals and schedule. I picked 5 days, and enjoyed it so much ended up extending to 7. You’ll want to give yourself at least a day before and after to ease in and out of the cleanse. This means minimizing any heavy, salty and sugary, unhealthy foods. So pick a time when you can lighten your schedule and take it easier than you normally would.
2) Your Shopping list:
Food (you can purchase the ingredients below through Amazon, Banyan Botanicals or your local Indian store):
– Organic brown basmati rice, moong (mung) dal, kitchari spice mix, ghee, Chyawanprash Jam, Triphala capsules, detox tea and any other herbal teas.
– fresh herbs like parsley, coriander, ginger and veggies (kale, spinach, broccoli and celery work well).
Other cleansing products:
– dry brush, tongue scraper and sesame oil (for massage)
3) Your Daily Routine:
– Make a pot of kitchari in the morning. It takes no more than an hour from start to finish including prep time and you can get other things done while you wait. I recommend making only enough for one day. You’ll find a recipe here.
– Ideally leave 5 hours in between each meal. Between meals, sip on herbal teas. Add fresh ginger, cilantro, parsley, veggies and a squeeze of lemon or lime to your lunch and dinner kitchari. On day 5 and 6 I added a green juice in between meals for some variety.
4) Beauty treatments to boost your cleanse experience:
– Before you shower, massage sesame oil over your body starting from your feet up. Then in the shower, use the oil on your body like soap and massage it in further. Rinse off the excess with a towel (I recommend you keep a special towel for this purpose). Every second day, dry brush your body instead of administering the sesame oil massage.
– try using a tongue scraper after you brush your teeth. This will aid in the elimination of toxins.
During the cleanse my dreams were more vivid, sleep was deeper and I had an increase in clarity of thinking and memory. Decisions became easier because I could see a clear path. The elimination of toxins also helped increase my energy significantly and improved the appearance of my skin.
Ayurveda pairs well with its sister practices of meditation and Yoga. Light yoga boosts your cleanse through the therapeutic nature of yoga poses, breathing and self awareness. Click here to view our restorative video sequence DVD or discover our class schedule here.
Do you have some spring detox tips to share with our community? Leave a comment for us below. We’d love to hear from you.