As most of you know from following my blog the past few months, my life has been in a very transitional state. Probably more so than ever before in my life. We sold our house in Buffalo at the end of 2012, after living there nearly 10 years and we closed on it right after the New Year. We went from the hustle and bustle of a ton of events and travel, and all the rest of the holidays – right into packing our house up and putting most of it in a moving truck to go into storage in California awaiting our arrival two months later. From mid-January until mid-February we temporarily moved ourselves to my parent’s house in Buffalo, so we could wrap up all loose ends on the business and in our personal lives, we sold our second car and flew out to California for a week to find a place to live. We got lucky and found a place on day 1 of looking and we got to rest for a bit to take in what would soon be our new home. We flew back to Buffalo and had less than two weeks to finish packing up, see everyone we wanted to see, have one last big sale of our silkscreened posters and other products to what was home to our business for nearly 10 years. Then, we packed up what was left plus ourselves and the pooch into a moving truck and headed west on a week-long drive. We arrived just over a week ago and we have been getting settled and acquainted with our new home ever since.
Needless to say, life has been a whirlwind and I have felt quite floaty and ungrounded for quite some time. Coming from the cold hibernation of Buffalo as well as the hectic transitional state my life has been in for over 3 months, my body is looking to align with the lightness of spring and I am ready to get back to reality of what is my new life here in California. With the Spring Equinox beginning on Wednesday, March 20, I want to prepare my body and mind for a new season and a new life journey. I love celebrating new beginnings with a cleansed mind and body and this is the perfect time to do it. The spring and fall equinoxes are the only dates with equal daylight and dark as the sun crosses the celestial equator. As the earth comes into a time and energetic change, I am seeking to shift my mood and emotions away from the darkness of winter into the brilliant renewing energy of the Spring.
Now is the time to get things moving again and clear out our systems ready for a summer of activity. It is the perfect time to focus on cleansing and rejuvenation to rid the body and mind of toxins. Beginning this Wednesday, March 13 and ending on the Spring equinox, one week later March 20, I am embarking on a 7-day Spring cleanse and I wanted to share my plan with all of you, since I know there was some interest on Facebook.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor nor a health professional, coach or expert in any way, shape or form. This cleanse is what I have to created based on what I have found to work for me, my body and my energy. Do NOT do anything that isn’t healthy for you and if you have any medical conditions at all, please do not enter a cleanse or a detox without the care or guidance of a physician. I am simply sharing my plan and experiences for anyone that is interested in what I am personally following.
The Tasty Yummies 7-Day Spring Cleanse
Spring is a time of transition, the change from Winter to Spring is one of the most stressful and challenging shifts we go through all year. In many places, Winter, with its cold weather, gradually gives way to the increasing heat of Summer, so we go from a time of excess kapha (water and earth) energy to the increasing heat of the pitta (fire element) season.
As with the cleanses I have done in the past, I am loosely following the Ayurvedic traditions, along with the items I tend to have issues with, personally. Ayurvedic wisdom recommends working with the body’s natural shifts that occur at the juncture of seasons. In addition to this cleanse, I will be continuing my daily yoga practice, focusing a bit more on detoxifying and cleansing asanas. Plus, I will be making time each morning for meditation and self reflection. I would like to someday soon visit a proper Ayurvedic doctor and learn more about my dosha(s) and what is right for me, so I won’t be getting too dosha specific, this time around, as even with many online quizzes, I am still not 100% on which dosha(s) I am. I plan to just focus my food on what is right for the season and the transition from kapha to pitta.
Ashtanga Hrdayam, one of the classical texts of Ayurveda, reminds us that “foods which are hard to digest and cold, sleeping at day time, foods which are fatty, sour, and sweet should [all] be avoided.” Focus instead on foods and activities that are dry, heating, light, and energizing. Enjoy hot water to help flush and rehydrate the system, and eat light, well-cooked foods that will be easy for your body to digest. Each morning, I plan to, as I always do, wake up and enjoy a warm glass of lemon water. The Institute for Integrative Nutrition says “The simple combination of warm water with fresh lemon can boost your immune system, alkalize and kickstart your digestion, improve skin health, and hydrate you. Just make sure to drink the lemon water after you brush your teeth because the citric acid could wear down your tooth enamel if followed by brushing.”
Since, I have had quite a few people ask me about how I cleanse, I thought I would put together a post with a very loose description of what I will personally be doing for this cleanse. If you have any additional questions about what I am doing, please post them below and I will do my best to help. Again, please keep in mind, this isn’t a professional program, it is simply what I have created to work for me, my body and my health. Do what is right for you and please listen to your own body and it’s needs!
I am avoiding the following things:
Excess Salt (I will use a very small amount when cooking)
Meat (chicken, beef, pork, etc)
Fish and Shellfish (shrimp, scallops, mussels, etc)
Gluten (wheat, barley, oats, rye, etc)**
Foods with preservatives, additives or chemicals, and foods grown in an environment laced with chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and canned, frozen or processed foods.**
I am limited all grains and starches, hoping to avoid them through the entire cleanse, if possible.
†Ayurveda doesn’t restrict dairy, but I personally seem to have issues with it and I typically avoid cow’s milk dairy all of the time. On this cleanse, besides ghee, I am avoiding ALL dairy during my cleanse.
** these are all things that I personally avoid on a regular basis, but are very important to a cleanse
So you are probably wondering what exactly I am eating, then…
What I am eating:
Fresh organic fruit. I am going light on the fruit because of the sugar and I am focusing on suggested fruits that are best for digestion such as apples, pears, figs, prunes, papaya, cranberries etc.
Fresh organic veggies. Some of the best for digestion are leafy greens, cabbage, celery, brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc
Whole organic grains such as brown rice, quinoa, amarynth, buckwheat, millet – I plan to limit my grains to VERY little during this cleanse, one serving a day or less
Beans like lentil, split peas, mung beans, etc
Vegetable juice and broth
Soups and stews made with vegetables, legumes and grains.
I am cooking with a small amount of olive oil and/or ghee (indian clarified butter that is GREAT for detox)
Raw honey and maple syrup (extremely sparingly)
lots of luke warm water with lemon and/or ginger
detox tea (I like Yogi brand Detox tea)
I am also taking probiotics in the morning after breakfast (I use a basic Probiotic from just Walgreens, which I am already taking daily)
I will continue to take my variety of daily supplements that I have discovered benefit me and my body’s need, through working with a professional.
I plan to get as many recipes on this blog throughout the cleanse as I possibly can, so you can see a good example of how I eat when I am cleansing. During cleanses I like to give my mind the break and not get too crazy with my creations and stressing about my recipes and measuring foods, etc – so many times I will be cooking very, simple and humble dishes, that require little measuring and recipe specific instructions. For this reason, since recipes may not be as abundant on here as you may be looking for, I plan to share, throughout the day each day of the cleanse, what I am eating throughout the day on my Facebook page.
Here are some additional tips that I have learned along the way:
Some of the differences with an Ayurvedic cleanse vs a regular cleanse is that it teaches you to avoid or focus on foods specific to you and your body-mind type (or your dosha) and it’s needs. Also, although you should be eating TONS of fresh fruits and veggies, you shouldn’t eat them raw during this cleanse. Raw foods are harder on your digestive tract, so you should be heating and/or boiling your veggies and eating them warm.
Eat whole, fresh, natural foods, organic if you can get it. Buy your produce fresh, and consume it quickly.
Also avoid ICE cold water and beverages, it can disrupt the “fire” needed in your digestive tract.
Cook with digestion-enhancing, detoxifying spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, clove, ajwain, fenugreek, dried ginger, Chinese cinnamon and fennel. Add the turmeric to foods as they are cooking, and sauté other spices in ghee or olive oil and pour over prepared dishes for the best therapeutic benefit.
According to Ayurveda, each meal should be a feast for all of your senses. When your plate reflects an appealing variety of colors, textures, flavors and aromas, your digestive juices start freely flowing in anticipation and your body, mind and heart are all fulfilled by the eating experience.
As I mention above, normally I avoid consuming raw vegetables and fruit since it can disrupt your digestive tract and it is harder to digest, however this time around, I am including juices that I am making from fresh, organic vegetables and fruit.
Look for posts throughout the week with tips on cleansing as well as some recipes and suggestions.
Will you join me on this Spring Cleanse? Let me know if you will be and feel free to share your thoughts, suggestions, tips or favorite recipes either here in the comments below or on the Tasty Yummies Facebook page. Thanks for following along and namaste!
(tulip image above from Wallpaper Shock)
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