Good Morning! I hope you all had a chance to take a look at Part I, which highlighted the 5 day cleanse. The first couple of days I felt a bit tired & headachy, but that soon subsided. After about day 3 I started to feel wonderful. I began to feel more rested, with more mental clarity, more vibrant energy, & my digestion issues had calmed.
As we entered into the weekend, an “Integration Plan” was introduced. Where as for most of the week, we consumed a “mono diet,” the weekend was about gently adding some variety back in, while still avoiding common allergens, stimulants, etc.
~ Lunch choices were: roasted root vegetables, quinoa, “Tuscan Kale Salad,” or “Morrocan Beans”. Saturday, I made steamed beets, baked sweet potato stuffed with Laura’s detox tabbouleh, & kale salad topped with my “raw pepita parm.” Sunday was similar, but I was missing my daily kitchari, so I put that on the side. It was one of the most delicious & satisfying lunches I’ve ever had!
~ Dinner options: “Tofu Miso Soup”, “Curried Ragout,” or “Soba, Tofu & Veggie Stir Fry.” For Saturday night, I chose the optional “Liver Flush” which included drinking this powerful “Intestinal Apple Cleanse” drink, followed by a soothing mineral salt bath to further draw out toxins. On Sunday night, I took inspiration from the Stir Fry with Soba recipe & made a variation with what I had on hand. The result was a lovely “Garlicky Ginger Soba Salad with Broccolini & Cabbage.” I promise to share that recipe soon!
And with that, our cleanse was complete. To reward my efforts, I celebrated with a bowl of “Coconut-Cacao Chia Pudding,” a favorite recipe from Katie’s Healing Kitchen. This recipe seemed to fit the cleanse guidelines as it is dairy free, gluten free & refined sugar free. And it’s full of super foods! I really enjoyed getting back in the kitchen, preparing mindful meals, & taking care of myself with the daily practices of yoga, meditation, dry brushing, mineral salt soaks, & more. My hope was to continue to integrate many of these recipes & practices into a regular routine, moving forward. Patience & persistence shall prevail!
I also want to note an important awakening. Taking a break from alcohol was a welcome retreat! I’ll admit that I often rely on a nightly glass of two (or lets be honest, three) of wine to help me “unwind.” I know that can be a dangerous crutch & its a relationship I often contemplate. For me, it often becomes a “negative habituation” in times of stress, & it’s something I am fully cognizant of, as alcoholism runs in my family. Quite frankly, for a while now I’ve been thinking about giving up alcohol completely – or at least, not keeping it in the house, & reserving it for a special occasion only. After taking a week off, I realized there are so many other more mindful things I can to to take the edge off ~ go for an evening walk with the dog, savor a mug of warm spiced almond milk, take a hot bath, do an evening yoga sequence, read an inspiring book. The best part of “being off alcohol” was being able to sleep through the night & wake up refreshed & ready to begin my morning routine.
As I began to wrap up my cleanse the first thing I thought about, before reintroducing certain foods back into my diet, was alcohol. I was curious about it from an Ayurvedic perspective. What I learned was, in contrast to the widely spread opinion that alcohol consumption is forbidden in Ayurveda, Ayurvedic doctors believe that good red wine in moderate doses can be positive as it “stimulates digestion, increases zest & encourages a good night’s sleep.” However, Ayurvedic texts point out that alcohol is a toxin & strict rules apply for when or how it is taken. The Chakara Samhita, an authoritative Ayurvedic text, declares that “a medicine properly used becomes nectar & improperly used becomes poison,” & describes a number of important rules that should be observed for taking alcohol ~ if one takes alcohol, it must be in due regard to food, drink, age, disease, strength, season, & nature of the mind & dosha. Without the application of these rules, it is best to avoid alcohol.
Also from the Ayurvedic perspective, the abuse of alcohol affects the tranquility or the settled state of the mind, which is essential for life & attainment of enlightenment:
“Those who are unwise & ignorant, who are imbalanced, consider the taking of alcohol to be a creator of happiness; these people lose happiness & purity of mind. The wrong use of alcohol will cause illusion, fear, grief, anger, death & disease. If the memory of our true unbounded nature is impaired, then misery will follow. The wise acquainted with these adverse affects avoid alcohol”. *** (source)
Powerful food for thought. I also realized that alcohol is “Vata Aggravating,” & for me, Vata being my primary dosha, it can lead to further imbalance, dis-ease & depression. Note to self….the very nature of this cleanse was to restore balance, so why would I want to reverse all of that work? It became very clear that if I wished to continue to consume moderately & mindfully.
Well friends, that wraps up my cleanse review. I will be honest, it didn’t take long for me to throw myself back out of balance by succumbing to stress & returning to some of my “unhealthy habitual comforts.” However, I am conscious & aware of my triggers, & now can clearly feel the distinction between my balanced & imbalanced states. When in balance, everything feels so much better. I know this. Why I chose the path back to imbalance? I am not quite sure. But at least I have the blueprint, the foundation has been laid, & the seed has been planted. Today is a new day, & a new opportunity to start fresh. As Bhava’s “I AM” mantra encourages, when you set an “Intention” & give it “Attention,” the universe will rise to support it’s “Manifestation.” My mantra for the cleanse “I AM REJUVENATED,” & I was. Time to get it back!
Why cleanse in Spring?
This is the time of year when it is most important to clear Ama (toxic build-up) from the system. As Spring begins, the warmer weather melts the winter freeze. The same thing is happening within you. After putting on your winter coat ~ adding warm layers, strengthening immunity, & tonifying to the bone ~ your system is now ready to lighten up. If this is done effectively, you have optimal health for Spring & Summer. If not, the system gets clogged, sluggish, rundown & worn out.That is why Ayurveda places great importance on detoxification in early Spring. And that is why I am offering an easy, do it yourself, in the comfort of your own home, detox program, to help you release winter’s accumulation & blossom into your best Spring yet.
You need not be local to San Diego to participate as it is guided online & through group conference calls. Click here to learn more & register. I hope you’ll join me for this healing Ayurvedic experience.