If you want to give your body a break after all of the holiday festivities of overeating and snacking– below is a great cleansing diet designed to help release the toxins that may have built up over the past few months. The diet below is based on both eastern and western medical advice including ayurvedic cleansing tips, anti-inflammatory foods, and balancing the endocrine system.
Toxins are important to release periodically by going on special diets to help re-energize your body, mind, and soul. This is because after long periods of time, the toxins build up and are stored in our cells, especially fat cells. They can cause problems like arthritis, acne, mental fatigue or depression, sinus problems like congestion (mucus), and other inflammatory health problems. (In ayurvedic science, this is called “ama,” to read more click here.)
So every once in a while it is really helpful to try a purifying diet for 1-2 weeks to jump start your health and re-balance your body. After that, you can practice a maintenance cleanse day for one day each week where you follow the diet below.
On this post-holiday diet, here is a list of things to AVOID for the next two weeks:
- Sugar (Also watch for sugar hidden in the label as cane syrup, agave syrup, or high fructose corn syrup.)
- Eggs (If you do need to eat eggs while on the diet, eat them at lunch when your digestion is the strongest.)
- Meat and Fish
- Caffeine (If you are likely to get headaches or moody from withdrawal, you may want to gradually take less each day leading up to the first day of your diet.)
- Stay away from added salt
- Flour (If you would know something has flour if it is a food like pasta, pizza, cookies, bread, etc.)
- No processed foods or drinks—that means no fruit juice from a box, no wrappers—whole form that has less than 5 ingredients (a good motto for knowing if it’s been processed), and that you can pronounce the ingredients (easy to read means no chemicals or additives!
And here is a list of things you should EAT while on this re-balancing diet:
- ALL WHOLE fruits and vegetables! And herbs!
- All nuts and seeds (almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower, pumpkin, walnuts, pistachio etc.) and butters/creams made from them, especially because they are easiest to digest. However, avoid eating nuts late at night or after a big meal because they are harder to digest and often create “ama” if not digested properly.
- Milks from plant products—rice, coconut, almond, or soy—but get the one without the added sugar!
- Soy products (But be careful not to buy processed vegetarian substitutes with lots of additives.)
- Beans and Lentils
- Brown Rice and Quinoa
- Olive Oil or Coconut Oil for cooking
- If you really need sugar you may use Honey or Stevia (a great natural herb, calorie-free).
- Decaffeinated herbal teas, especially made for cleansing during to help your body release the toxins while adjusting to your new diet.
- Drink hot water, not cold. Hot water is extremely helpful for aiding digestion, and will give you that warm, cozy feeling instead of coffee.
- Eat more of your meals blended, juiced, or liquefied. For ex, have a fruit smoothie with soy milk in the morning or a vegetable soup blend at dinner.
- When you first wake up have a hot cup of water with lemon. Lemon is great for balancing the alkaline level of your body’s natural PH which you want to be around 7—this level keeps your from getting sick and keeps the organs in your body functioning at their best! Especially your liver and kidneys which will be doing a lot of work during your cleanse.
- Another suggestion would be to have a special meal once a day that is an Ayurvedic specialty for digestion and cleansing. Use mung beans and herbs and spices to taste or lentils, rice, and ghee.
Stay strong and observe how your body begins to go back into balance within a few days of this diet, and how it affects not only your body physically but also your ability to feel more uplifted mentally and spiritually.