This is a time to give your body, mind and general being a break of sorts from the routine to take some time to slow down, rejuvenate, relax and recharge your batteries!
If detox is too strong a word for some of you out there who have never experienced the benefits of this and have apprehensions, it is best to start slow and for smaller durations (1 day is great!).
Any working system needs regularly scheduled breaks to function optimally.
The cleanse should not be too drastic and hence turn out to be depleting or detrimental to the body.
Balance is the key.
Goals of Detox:
- Remove toxin build-up in the body.
- Balance digestive fire (in Ayurveda Agni).
- Improve energy levels.
- Increase immunity.
- Stop premature aging.
- Bring lightness and clarity to the body and mind.
Duration of Detox can range anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks, in general – but my take is that even one day for starters should be beneficial.
If you have any health problems like diabetes, anemia, kidney problems, blood pressure problems etc. It is important to consult your health professional before undertaking any form of rigorous diet or routine change program.
How to Detox:
- Avoid packaged, canned, processed and preservative laden foods, white refined flour, white sugar, restaurant food, heavy foods like cheese, butter, deep-fried foods, leftovers, and frozen foods.
- Avoid soda, alcohol and caffeine.
- Avoid dairy for at least a day (depending on the duration of your detox regimen). Exception to this is buttermilk from homemade yogurt. You may use other non-dairy drinks like almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk etc.
- Drink a LOT of water! Hot water with lemon is great. Aim at drinking at least 8-10 cups of water, not counting teas and juices etc.
- You may include seeds (toasted is better) like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds etc. in your diet. Dried fruits like dates, figs, prunes, raisins, all soaked in water are also a great addition to your diet at this time.
- Include a variety of digestive spices in your diet – coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, curry leaves, cinnamon, saffron, turmeric, Himalayan pink salt etc. Spices help to stimulate digestion, open up body channels, flush out toxins, and add flavor to foods among their numerous benefits.
- When re-introducing grains into your diet, small quantities of rice (Basmati) is great – easy on the digestion. Other grains that are great are brown rice, barley, quinoa. Avoid heavy grains like wheat and oats and all kinds of breads.
- When re-introducing lentils and pulses, choose small lentils like moong (split green gram) – it is highly digestible.
- Try to eat at the same time everyday, don’t skip meals, make lunch your biggest meal, and don’t overeat in general.
If you want to clean your blood and help your kidneys , you can boil some chopped parsley for 10 minutes max. ( Do not boil it longer because parsley becomes toxic ) . Drink a glass of this water a day for maximum one week .
Attention: If you are pregnant parsley in high doses can be abortifacient , so you better forget about this point.
Do some moderate amount of aerobic exercise that allows you to sweat (removes toxins) to an extent. Walking is great, just be careful to not overdo and overtire yourself during this time.
- Yoga is a great way to strengthen, stretch, relax and rejuvenate all at once. Twists are useful for flushing the toxins from the body. These practices of yoga and pranayama also help the mind to relax and the breathing to slow down, thereby helping the body’s ability to heal itself.
- Rest. During a Detox our body is working hard to eliminate accumulated toxins and it is important to have the necessary time for rest
- Start your mornings writing down on a note book the day as a countdown adding a positive message:
Day 21 Countdown: Cleaning my body
Day 20 Countdown: oxygenating my blood
Day 19 Countdown: detoxing my organs...
This simple exercise will keep you focus. Remember that the intention is as important as the process itself.
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