The Benefits Of A One Day Cleanse
Ayurveda teaches that spring is the most important year to cleanse the body. We do it at home through our daily lifestyle practices such as following a spring season diet, and intermittent fasting.
I suggest that my clients dedicate one day a week to cleansing the body — at least through the spring season.
It Allows Your Digestive System To Rest.
Digestion has the strongest influence on our health. Keeping digestion healthy is imperative to a lifestyle of vitality. The best way to heal digestion is to simply let it rest. There are numerous ways to do that, but in general we want to refrain from eating difficult to digest or sugary foods and favor a very liquid and high nutrient diet.
It Keeps You Connected To Your Health Regiment
You have a health regiment (or at least you should). A health regiment is a defined way of taking care of your physical and mental body — a plan. But life, to easily detours us from our plan and we find ourselves indulging in foods that aren’t the best for us. We need a way to stay connected to our goals. By spending one day a week reaffirming our health direction we hit the reset button and jump start our health.
It Cultivates Discipline And Confidence
When we commit to a new health regiment most of us start over ambitiously. We swear to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time, or to cross certain food items off our list forever. This mindset lasts about a week and then for various reasons we fail — or at least we feel like we failed. The belief that we failed has a powerful negative impact on our psyche and motivation. It causes us to reserve the efforts of our health for a later date — when we have more time, when this project is over, when we can really clear our schedules, etc.
By dedicating one day a week to a cleanse we start to cultivate a different mindset. After we successfully complete our one day cleanse, we affirm an internal belief that we can do it. This belief gives us the power to extend the cleanse or health regiment past a day and into the week, month, year, and the rest of our lives.
How To Do A One Day Cleanse
1. Drink A Glass of Room Temperature Water
After you brush your teeth and scrape your tongue, start your day off with a glass of room temperature water. This will help to stimulate the bowel while flushing the lymphatic system and re-hydrating you after a night of sleep.
2. Meditate, Breathe or Practice Positive Affirmations
I am an ayurvedic practitioner and so I am partial to the idea that we should all meditate every day. To me that means engaging in a dedicated sitting practice that integrates some movement, pranayama (breathing practice), mantra (sacred sound), and concentration exercises. However, scientific research and personal testimony validates that there are many ways to meditate that have unique benefits. Therefore, I urge you to choose a method of cultivating inner peace that resonates with you and practice it daily.
3. Dry Brushing And Self- Massage
Dry skin brushing for lymph drainage is an effective routine to add to your body cleansing or cleansing program. It will move your lymphatic system, shed more dead skin cells than a loofa in the shower and give an overall healthy glow to your skin. Purchase a natural bristle brush (usually made for skin brushing) from a natural or whole foods market. In the shower use long strokes toward the heart to lightly ‘brush’ your skin. When you brush your arms lift each hand above your head to encourage lymph flow toward the heart. For a more detailed direction on how to dry brush read this article.
In ayurvedic medicine we use medicated oils called thailams. A thailam is an oil (usually black seed sesame) that has been medicated with specific herbs, plants, and minerals in order to induce a specific influence on the body and mind. We use thailams medicinally much like an oral supplement. Just like a nicotine patch or progesterone cream, these medicated oils enter the blood stream and are consumed by our body.
Ayurveda teaches that the application of oil to the body has numerous benefits: it enhances immune function, keeps our bodies young and strong, and regulates digestion. Explore Hamsa’s Doshic thailams here. To use your oil simply apply to your body while your skin is still wet just after your shower.
4. Eat Fruit Only For Breakfast
Now you are ready for breakfast. In the spring and summer season, during your one day cleanse, we suggest eating raw fruit only before noon. Fruit is incredibly easy to digest and nurtures the cleansing process.
As a side note, ayurveda teaches not to mix melon with any other fruit because it requires different digestive enzymes that will inhibit the strength of your digestion.
5. Make Lunch Your Largest Meal Of The Day
Ayurveda teaches that lunch should always be the largest meal of the day, but committing to eating this one day a weak is a great place to start!
By eating our largest meal midday we will lose excess weight or keep ourselves at a balanced weight. We also give our body the opportunity to digest before we sleep, and that enhances the natural detoxification processes that should occur through the night.
6. Eat A Vegan Diet That Is Cooked And Nourishing
Pitta and Pitta/kapha types tend to do best with eating raw plant foods as a primary dietary staple. For the rest of us, excess bitters and astringents in leafy greens become difficult to digest and eventually we find ourselves depleted and gaseous.
Ayurveda teaches that the first stage of digestion actually occurs in the pot when we are cooking our food. Cooked foods are much easier for us to digest physically.
Liquid foods such as soups, curries, dahls, and vegetable stews are nourishing to the digestive system and lighten the load while providing us with many vital nutrients.
Cleansing Vegetable Soup Recipe
1 large head of broccoli
1 fennel bulb
4 carrots, chopped
2 Celery Sticks, chopped
1 T coconut oil or ghee
1⁄2 T fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. fennel seed
1⁄2 tsp. cumin powder
a pinch of salt
a pinch of white pepper
81⁄2 C water
Add the chooped vegetables with the water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the vegetables are tender. Strain half the liquid into a glass jar and set aside. You will drink the vegetable stock during the evening.
In a separate pan sauté the fennel seed, ginger, coriander, and cumin in coconut oil, or in ghee, on low heat until it releases its aroma. Add the fennel, broccoli, and water, and simmer until tender—about 20 minutes. Puree mixture in blender for several minutes until very smooth. Return to stockpot, and add salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
Eat as much of this soup as you like.
7. Smallest Meal For Dinner
Ayurveda teaches that one of the best things we can do is allow our digestive systems to rest. Your dinner meal during your one day cleanse can be more of the soup you made for lunch. You can also drink the vegetable stock you set aside during your lunch preparation, cold pressed green juices, and tea or spiced waters.
To Drink During Your Cleanse
During your cleanse day you can drink: hot water with lemon, vegetable stock, or spiced waters. Spiced waters are made with specific spices that aid digestion. They are simple to make. Here is a tri-doshic spiced water recipe to help you get started.
Detoxifying Spiced Water for All Doshas Serving: 4 c
This spiced water recipe is detoxifying, but gentle enough to use long term by all constitutions. For detox programs, unless pitta is aggravated, this recipe may not be strong enough to support the safe elimination of toxins out of the body.
1/2 tsp. whole coriander 1/2 tsp, whole fennel 1/4 tsp. whole cumin
4 c. hot water
Put spices in a thermos, and top with hot water. No need to strain. Drink throughout the day
Helpful Tips For During Your Cleanse
Let yourself rest. It may be easiest to do this cleanse when you have a day off to lounge around. Read, take a hot bath, do some nurturing yoga. Take a walk.
Detox reactions. Just because this is a one day cleanse doesn’t mean you will avoid ‘detox reactions.’ If you are having a strong elimination of toxins you may feel: nauseous, irritable, tired, emotional, and very hungry. If this is you, take the time to retreat and rest. Do not try to work or go on with your day as normal. This will only make it worse.