If you’re feeling the “weight” of the winter, it may be time to do a little gentle cleansing in preparation for the coming months of sun. Gentle cleansing is recommended over a quick “down & dirty” cleanse, unless you are under the care of a practitioner and take the appropriate measures to ensure the proper outcome. Otherwise, doing a quick and intense cleanse can be stressful on the body, causing the body to actually hold on to the weight and toxins more…quite counter-productive. Here are some guidelines for gentle yet effective cleansing, which won’t leave you starving or stressed.
1. First thing in the morning, make a Spice Water and keep in a thermos, sipping from it every half hour(just a few sips at a time will do). Per quart of boiling water, use a tea infuser with 1 tsp Fennel, 1/2 tsp Cumin and a 1/4 tsp Coriander. Always boil water on the stove (not microwave) and make this tea fresh daily. Carry the thermos with you all day, sip from it hot or warm, don’t keep it cold. This will strengthen agni (digestion) and facilitate digestion and elimination of toxins. Plan on taking the spice water for several weeks or even a few months, as it will continue to gently remove toxins which accumulate throughout every day.
2. Eat till about 75% full, and have a regular routine for your meals. The body will always assimilate and eliminate best when it has a routine.
3. Favor warm foods over cold foods. (so no, do not eat all raw or all salads…just eat a lighter but mostly warm diet)
4. Reduce the amount of meat in your diet (it’s hardest to digest and most ama-full). Do not remove altogether if you typically eat meat, just reduce the amount you take. Favor fish and fowl over other meats.
5. Reduce dairy, especially hard cheeses and some yogurt. These are heavier to digest. Fresh cheeses (cottage cheese, ricotta and fresh mozzerella are better). Take 2% milk, and always buy organic dairy products. Milk is best assimilated with cardamom and cinnamon, preferably heated on stove with these spices.
6. Favor olive and sunflower oils (organic, cold pressed when available) over coconut oil or butter.
7. Start your day with stewed apples to aid in eliminating the digested ama: Core and apple and cut into bite size pieces. Put in pot on stove with 1/4+ water and 5-6 whole cloves. Heat for about 5 minutes, until soft. Eat alone (after they cool) or add to a light grain or protein for breakfast.
8. Once a week, take liquids in replace of two of your three meals. Substitute the two typically-largest meals with anything in liquid form. It can be heavy and full of food, as long as it’s blended. This will help to give your digestion a rest without losing agni (fire of digestion…important for purifying and staying strong)
Contact First Light Ayurveda for further direction or questions. Enjoy!