Cleanses aren’t just for health nuts or people that have the will power of a raging bull. Unless you’re pregnant, convalescing or very young/old, you can benefit from the awesome reset that a cleanse brings. AND it doesn’t need to feel self-deprivating.
Here’s the DL (down low):
Cleanses get the gunk out of your body and mind so that you have more energy and mental clarity. They:
- Reduce brain fog
- Improve energy levels
- Help you get deep rest
- Reset your digestive fire so your digestion runs more efficiently
- Clean out congestion & ama (build-up) that contribute to allergies
- Improve bowel movements
How do you cleanse?
Google “how to cleanse” and you’ll get an overwhelming number of results, many of which tell you to buy hundreds of dollars of extra stuff. Go for it if you want but you don’t need all the accessories to get a great cleanse.
Here’s how to do a simple cleanse:
- Eat a simple diet of easy to digest, organic foods
- Do less/consume less (this means less input via your eyes, ears, mouth and brain)
- Practice more self-care
You can take these 3 basic principles and adapt them to your own life to make your own cleanse.
Yep, that’s all you need.
Here are some additional guidelines on how to implement your cleanse:
How long should I cleanse for?
Start small. Try one day the first time. Then 3. From there, build up to 7, 10 or 14 days.
For longer cleanses, include time on either end to “ease in” and “ease out”. During these periods you don’t need to be in peak cleanse mode but gradually make changes so that your body doesn’t freak out and revolt on you. When you make changes gradually, you give your body’s natural wisdom (& motivation) an opportunity to emerge and help you in your cleanse.
When is the best time to cleanse?
You’ll get the most out of your cleanse when you sync it with the change in seasons, making spring and fall the ideal times. According to Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, spring has a natural energy of purification and fall a natural energy of regrounding after the hectic summer months. For similar reasons, mid winter (i.e. January 1st) and midsummer aren’t good times for cleanses.
Those are the basics to doing a simple cleanse. I’ve created a Quick Guide to (Ayurvedic) Cleansing that you can print and put on your fridge for easy reference.
In case you have more questions…
What exactly do I eat?
That depends on what you usually eat. If you eat a lot of packaged or restaurant food, then eating more freshly prepared, organic food is an awesome cleanse.
If you already eat more than 50% organic, fresh food, then you can aim to eat soups, cooked veggies, warm smoothies and Ayurveda’s famous kitchari for most meals (Google “kitchari” recipe for a plethora of ideas).
For more advanced folks, eating kitchari for every meal works wonders.
Drink lots of water throughout the day. Room temperature or warmer. Add lemon juice, as desired.
And if you regularly indulge in alcohol, coffee, sugar, soft drinks, tobacco or other recreational consumables, then reducing your intake of these things is also great to include in your cleanse.
What can I do less of?
- Work (take time off, if you can)
- Physically demanding exercise
- Watching tv/ using screens
- Listening to loud music or noises
- Reading news, magazines or (junk food) books
What can I do more of?
- Slow movement like gentle yoga or qigong
- Stare out the window at nature
- Be outside in nature
- Read spiritual or inspiring texts
- Take baths with candles and essential oils
- Listen to soothing music
- Color an adult coloring book
- Meditate or just sit in silence
How do I keep my elimination moving during a cleanse?
First thing in the morning, drink 8-24oz of warm water to flush out the body. Continue drinking water generously throughout the day.
If that doesn’t do it, consider taking the Ayurvedic herb triphala. It’s very gentle and helps the muscles of the intestine to do their job in elimination. Start by taking 500mg before bed and increase the dose nightly until you’re able to go to #2 in the morning.
How do I keep my motivation up?
- Write down your reason for doing a cleanse (better energy, lose weight, feel more centered) and put it where you can see it every day. Using a reminder in your phone is a great alternative.
- Cleanse with a friend and commit to checking in with each other daily.
Have more questions? Just let me know, I’m happy to help.