Spring Cleaning for the Body
- This month - Include your body along with your house in that wonderful ritual of Spring Cleaning!
Spring is right around the corner and people everywhere are making plans to clean out the cupboards, pantries and closets in that wonderful ritual called“Spring Cleaning." According to many, Iranian customs are responsible for this yearly event. In Iran, the new year, “Nowruz," arrives on March 21 and is a time of regeneration. Iranians partake in a ritual, “Khaneh Tekani," that literally means to “shake the house." New clothes are bought, every nook and cranny of the home are scoured, and scented flowers are brought in to celebrate the arrival of spring.
Well, Well, Well
AGNI - The Sacred Fire Within
According to Bayan Botanicals, resetting Agni is great for those who struggle with: digestive issues like constipation, loose or irregular bowel movements, a lack of energy, or intense cravings for spicy, salty or sweet foods. A mono-diet based on your constitution is just the thing to put you back on a healthy path. If you have trouble skipping meals, you will eat kitchari, a mixture of basmati rice and split mung dahl. If you feel lethargic with a cloudy mind, fruit is your choice. For those who feel uncomfortably heavy and dull, a juice fast is the choice.
Now to get started. Pick a day where you can have peace and quiet and minimize stress. Don’t eat after 7pm the night before. Upon arising on your agni reset day, scrape your tongue and scrub your body with a hemp body mitt or loofah. Drink 16 ounces hot water to cleanse your system. Do some gentle exercise such as stretching or take an easy walk. Eat your chosen mono-diet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with three hours in between meals. Drink 8-12 cups of room temperature water or hot fluids. You can also take triphola tablets or powde one half hour before bed, which should be 10pm.
Now if you really feel great after one day of detoxing, you can purchase a seven-day Ayurvedic cleanse kit for $69.95 here.
The Pressed Juicery Cleanse
Cleanse #1 is for those who are new to cleansing, athletes or those with higher caloric requirements. This cleanse includes two almond milks high in protein and complex carbohydrates.
Cleanse #2 includes their most popular juices including the “Greens 2”, kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple and lemon.
Cleanse #3 if for experienced juice cleansers and is the lowest calorie option.
Once your cleanse is over, you can opt to purchase a post-cleanse box consisting of three days worth of meals for $75. It includes green detox salad, cauliflower tabbouleh and quinoa with veggies.
I am always weirdly impressed with packaging and the Pressed Juicery takes the prize for the most beautiful website and juice bottles. Does it make Pressed Juicery better than other cleanse options? Not necessarily, but it definitely makes me want their products over others.
Gwyneth Paltrow's Favorite Cleanse
Alejandro Junger, the “detox it boy”, is the creator of the Clean Program, a 21-day program which gets rid of dairy, sugar, alcohol, gluten, caffeine, nightshade veggies (potatoes, eggplants), soy and peanuts. He claims that “toxins slow us down and make us sick”. For $450, you can prove him right or wrong. Now, I think the biggest thing a program like this does is teach us what foods are good for our bodies by fine tuning our food choices, teaching us what it feels like to be hungry, and to feel gloriously and healthfully satisfied.
For a look at the reality of a 21-day cleanse program, read the hilarious article “Gwyneth Paltrow’s Cleanse Made Me A Monster." It’s the account of one woman’s Clean Cleanse experience. My favorite part of the whole article is her account of cheating by adding an extra scoop of lentils!! Now I love lentils, and am hard-pressed to ever find a way that eating lentils equals cheating.
You can order the program book “Clean” at local bookstores (or online) and I found the accompanying reviews to be excellent and full of practical advice.
The Wellness Detective Weighs In
Now, I must admit, I have done a five day juice fast preceded by a high colonic (I am from California, after all), and I was less than overwhelmed with the results. In retrospect, I believe I didn’t see dramatic results because I have spent my entire life eating healthy and exercising. I love food and love cooking and really am not a fan of juice, so the whole experience was kind of a drag.
I have also done an Agni reset from Deepak Chopra’s book “Perfect Health." His is different from the one I outlined above but seeks to accomplish the same reset. Chopra advises doing the program over a weekend:
- Friday do not eat or drink alcohol after noon and at night eat a light dinner. Before bed, take one tablespoon of castor oil, followed by a glass of hot water. You may be awakened in the middle of the night to have a bowel movement; others wait until morning.
- Saturday have fruit juice cut with warm water for your meals. Apple or grape is best. You can have three to four glasses as snacks. Avoid strenuous exercise and spend the day doing as little as possible!
- Sunday start the morning with a light breakfast of hot cereal. Avoid coffee and tea. Do not eat again until noon., then have a good, moderate lunch. Do not just have a salad and avoid anything fried or very spicy. Don’t eat again until dinner. Have a lighter meal, perhaps just lentils, rice and steamed vegetables.
I really enjoyed this routine and felt lighter and purer after completing it. To reap all the benefits, continue to eat a light breakfast and light dinner, making lunch the biggest meal of the day. Don’t skip meals, take it easy on the booze and coffee, and avoid eating between meals.
So here’s to a good Spring cleaning, inside and out! I would love to hear from any of you that participate in any cleanse, fast or agni reset program.