why cleanse

a friend asked:

I’m interested in trying a juice cleanse and am wondering if any of you can point me to reputable sources for tips / tricks / recipes / guides… that sort of thing.

the first reaction in my mind is, why cleanse?

i think this is the most important question to have an answer for before beginning any cleanse.

are you doing it for intestinal health? for your skin? for spiritual connection? to loose weight?

there are endless reasons to cleanse, and just as many ways to cleanse, so answering the first question can lead you towards coming up with a cleanse plan.

no matter why you choose to cleanse, here are some things to keep in mind

it’s called comfort food for a reason, we are comforted by the action of consuming. when going on a liquid cleanse (water or juice), a clean food cleanse (raw or whole foods), or even a mental cleanse (kicking TV, radio etc.) we detox, with that comes big emotional release. holding that for yourself as you begin a cleanse is HUGE and will help you maintain

sthira sukhamस्थिरसुखम  steadiness and joy through your cleanse. talking to your partner, close friends and co-workers ahead of time is a great idea, you may even find a Partner In Cleanse Screen shot 2014-10-04 at 8.52.24 AM

having a PIC can be supportive and rewarding, but also has challenges (two detoxing buddies is still two detoxing buddies).

  • listen to your body.

yes, that is cliche, but they usually become cliche because they are true. i once set out to do a 10 day cleanse and on day 7, i was done. so i stopped. no shame, no guilt, you don’t know how your body will react. one of the most successful cleansers i know does her cleanse each year* she does not have a set amount of time, she cleanses until she feels that she is done.  along with the physical, energetic, emotional, spiritual changes you can gauge your cleanse by the whiteness of your eyes, and by the plaque on your tongue.

(*we all do better at different times of year, she does hers in the fall, i’m more successful in the spring, there is no rule about when is best, and no harm in trying! the only way you will find out what works best for your is by trying!)

  • do what you can to take the cleanse further

sauna, dry brush, oil pull, tongue scrape, detoxing herbs/teas. while you are in the space of cleansing, do all that you can to assist! herb combinations to release mucoid plaque, grapefruit and oils to detox the liver, senna leaf and/or salt flushing to aide in the release, enemas (with different herbs for different results), if you decide to make the commitment of doing a cleanse, do yourself a favor and get the most out of it!

when on a juice cleanse, it is amazing how much time becomes available, this is what always sticks out to me.  the time (and energy) we spend preparing food, eating food and digesting food, suddenly is put back in to your schedule while cleansing, and the social component is affected as well. As Sharon Gannon says;

Preparing food is a magical act, a potent, alchemical process,

through which one form is transformed into another form

selecting the vegetables, fruits, herbs and super foods at the market (or from your own garden or local farm), cleaning and preparing the produce, juicing, enjoying the juice and cleaning up are all important aspects to be conscious of. we so often take for granted where things come from, while cleansing, it is so important to acknowledge what goes in becomes who we are. if we are in a bad mood, it is best to stay out of the kitchen. or the adage you are what you eat. this includes thoughts (as discussed in my what do you consume blog post.  to cultivate the highest intention and clear any negativity we may feel, we can pray or chant a mantra before we start to cook, while cooking, and before we eat. 

  • take it easy

you may not have as much energy as you are used to. you may not always feel your best, but this will pass (generally the first 3 days are the hardest and then its WOOOOOwoooo energy and feeling good) but if you have clearly defined the reason why you decided to cleanse, you can take your exercise regime easy, add some yin yoga, gentle stretching and walking in place of more rigorous activities and allow your body this time to cleanse and heal.

so my advice,

first, figure out why you are feeling drawn towards cleansing, then you will be able to find the perfect fit, and if you can’t find one, let me know, and we can work on it together!