These days of seasonal change are a perfect time to cleanse your body and prepare yourself. Why cleanse, you ask. Over time, toxins build up in the body as the result of the pollutants we breathe, eat, and drink. The toxins then enter the bloodstream, causing the body to experience a “low” or “down” cycle…yes, the answer to your swinging moods and mid afternoon slumps. Cleansing reduces the influx of new toxins, allowing your body to more effectively eliminate the build up.
The nature of the cleansing process is that usually you feel worse before you feel better. Not much worse. Just for the first day or two. As you begin to stare your organs of all those nasty little toxins they somehow have learned to crave, you might initially feel sluggish, have a nagging headache or feel like raging aggression towards everyone in your path; or maybe not. Some people feel great right away. It all depends on how much ‘gunk’ your body is trying to eliminate. Either way, you’ll begin to feel great soon. Stay with it!
Depending on any previous cleanse experience and/or any medical conditions, your cleanse can be as short as a weekend, or as long as six weeks. In advance give yourself a time line so you know the goal and can gently work towards it.
Always start your cleanse with asking “why?” Why am I about to do what I’m about to do? It’s kind of like setting your intention at the start of yoga class. It helps you to keep the commitment and to sew that thread of intention through the fabric of your life over the next few days/weeks.
There are lots of cleanses on the market, and many of them are pretty good. What I recommend is begin with what I call the Elimination Diet, and for many people this may be all you do. Here’s the list of food groups to eliminate:
5. Animal products ie: dairy, meat and fish.
I know, I know. Relax. Inhale, exhale, pause. This may seem impossible. It’s not really. And it’s only for a short amount of time. These are the big five, the five main culprits of addiction, toxicity, inflammation, allergies, gastrointestinal upset and malaise.
Imagine what kinds of fruit, veg, whole grains, fresh juices, and herbal teas might enter your life. Get yourself a plant-based cookbook. Plan out your meals. Start your mornings with a cup of warm water and fresh lemon to jump-start your liver. Add in foods like miso soup, quinoa, brown rice, kale and tempeh. For a morning blast of energy without caffeine, try juicing an apple, one beet, fresh ginger and half a lime. Wow! What an energizer! Spend more time in restorative postures. Deepen your meditation practice. Take Epson salt baths with candles and tea. Get out your neti pot and saline rinse your nares and throat. Skin brush. Sleep more and in general just take really sweet, gentle care of yourself while you rejuvenate your body mind and spirit.
Mental well being involves a positive self-image and being happy. You can accomplish this by taking responsibility for your happiness, by caring for yourself. Do a cleanse. Make it fit your life. Commit whatever you can and let the process unfold naturally.
Until next time, I wish you and all beings everywhere peace, abundance and health.
‘let your breath breathe you’