Would you also like to try the Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse that I did last week? I am happy to share the details and recipes with you here:
This cleanse is quite gentle for most. Now through early May is an ideal time to do it.
Take 3 days to slow down and commit to clearing excesses from your life. Reduce the accumulated Kapha (“sluggishness”) from the winter. Eat simply, drink a lot of warm water throughout the day and/or CCF tea (see below). Do your Dinacharya (daily routine, see below. Is optional, but recommended!). Find ways to unplug from cells phones, media and outside stimulation. If possible include a day of silence. Triphala (an herbal digestive aid. You can find it in the health food store) can be taken in the evening with warm water. The cleanse stimulates your body to remove toxins, burn fat and purify the deep tissues. Refrain from consuming fat. Your diet should consist of steamed or cooked veggies, hot cereal, warmed fruit, rice and beans. Make sure the majority of your food is warm or hot, not cold. No snacking between meals.
On day 4 start back slowly into your normal diet, while keeping in mind a low fat diet, which helps detox and support your liver. You can also support your liver by adding 1 tsp ground milk thistle (capsules are OK) to morning smoothies or added to your hot cereal. Benefits of the cleanse continue for many days after. It isn’t uncommon to have feelings of frustration or anger to occur, but remember this is a process and our organs and tissues store a lot of our emotions. A cleanse is removing these blockages. Be kind to yourself. Take it easy and honor your body and mind during this time.
If you like how you feel, you can eat kitcheri once a week to support your organs/tissues. Kitcheri is a complete protein of rice and beans and is a short chain polysaccharide that the body can break down easily. It’s great for building and nourishing during/after an illness, during pregnancy and nursing or anytime you want to give your body a digestive break.
Example of your day – customize as necessary:
1) Wake before sunrise – evacuate your bladder, drink a large glass of warm water, brush teeth and scrape tongue, neti pot and follow with oiling your nasal passages. Do some simple yoga stretches and pranayama for 30 minutes. Take extra time to do a thorough abhyanga (self massage with sesame oil), follow with a warm shower. (This practice is called Dinacharya. If you have questions about that, let me know. You can choose to skip the neti pot and oiling of nose and body. I highly recommend to use a tongue scraper to remove toxins from the tongue that have been building over night.)
2) Make your Kitcheri for the day (see recipe below) or the night before.
3) Breakfast – prepare your CCF tea for the day. You can eat the kitcheri, which is recommended or steel cut or oat groats. Make a hearty, warm cereal for breakfast and top with raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, raisins, dates, honey or maple syrup and cinnamon, cardamom and/or nutmeg and almond or soy milk. Eat a large bowl so you feel very satisfied, almost full.
4) Lunch – Eat a large bowl of kitcheri or soup, but remember no oils other than the ghee that is used to make the kitcheri.
5) Dinner – Kitcheri with steamed veggies of your choice. Remember: eat lightly. Walk away from the table before you are super filled. Stay awake for the first little “burp”. This is the biological way to know when to stop eating.
It is important to drink warm water or CCF tea throughout the day. To further stimulate digestion you can take 1 oz of the lemon honey ginger nectar before meals.
CCF tea or Digestive Tea (cleanses our toxins and is hormone balancing):
For each cup of water: add 1/3- 1/2 tsp each of cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. Simmer until seeds sink to bottom. Strain and drink throughout day. For simplicity, make several cups at once. To make for a whole day: simmer 9-10 cups of water with 4 TBL each of the herbs (or to taste ).
Combine equal portions of fresh, grated and squeezed ginger, fresh lemon juice and raw honey. Take one ounce before meals to enliven the digestion. If you wish you can prepare a batch, freeze it in ice cube trays, thaw and drink when you wish. (I like to add this to hot water and make it into a warming drink. I have also made this with fresh turmeric, which is cleansing for the liver, and tastes great too.)
Kitcheri for Spring:
Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings):
* 1/2 cup split mung beans * 1 cup basmati rice * 1 tbsp ghee * 1 inch piece of fresh ginger * 1 tsp turmeric * 1 tsp each of powdered fennel, cumin and coriander * 1 bunch kale, chopped * 6 cups water
Wash mung beans and rice thoroughly. Heat the ghee, add the spices and cook for a minute, taking care not to burn the spices. Add rice, beans and water, then bring to boil. Turn down to simmer for 45 minutes or until mung beans are very soft in pot on stove (or make in crock pot cooking overnight–be sure there’s plenty of water if you’re making a much larger batch to activate the heating elements in the crock pot). After about 20 minutes, add the chopped kale. After cooking, add salt to taste. (Amount of water and cooking time may vary, depending on the rice and the beans you are using.)
It’s best to eat fresh, but if time is an issue and you have leftovers… freshen it up the next day by adding water and more spices or bit more vegetable when heating. This brings more Prana back into the Kitcheri.
(With thanks to my teacher Sudha Carolyn Lundeen)