In Ayurveda, when major seasonal and elemental changes occur (Spring and Autumn), a cleanse is performed to help the body ease into the new season. During this time, food is simplified, a self-care practice is added, and spices and foods reflect the seasonal change. Moving from Pitta time of year (Heat) to Vata time of year (Dry/Cold), we start to incorporate warm grounding foods, gentle practices and moisture. While a Spring cleanse is generally 7 days, a Fall Cleanse is a shorter, more gentle cleanse.
Here's a sample of a Fall Ayurveda cleanse.
Day 1 (Pre-Cleanse)
Incorporate 1-2 self-care practices into your day. Examples:
Wake up before Kapha time of day (before or close to 6 A.M.).
Tongue scrape (before brushing teeth, using mouthwash and consuming any foods or liquids in morning).
Nasya Oil application (nasal oil).
Move into, include or add a Gentle/Restorative Yoga asana practice to your day (include folds and twists).
Pranayama practice. (Nadi Shodhana is a beneficial pranayama practice during this time of year.)
Turn off all electronics at least one hour before bed.
Go to bed before Pitta time of day (before or close to 9 P.M.).
Day 2 & 3 (Pre-Cleanse)
1. Begin an elimination (or reduction) of foods that are not highly nutritional or difficult for the body to process. Examples:
Caffeinated Drinks (Coffee, Tea)
Cold Foods (includes juices, smoothies and iced drinks)
2. Add 1-2 more self-care practices into your day.
3. Drink Hot Lemon Honey Water (first thing in the morning before drinking or eating any other foods or beverages) and throughout the day!
4. Drink room temperature or warm drinks.
During Your 3-4 day cleanse
1. Eat a mono diet with the 6 tastes. Examples:
Kitchari for breakfast.
Kitchari and vegetables for lunch (root vegetables using the 6 tastes).
Soup (simple soup made with root vegetables, dahl, churna spices).
If snacking is a must-have, eat almonds that have been soaked and peeled or cooked apples.
2. Continue self-care practices.
3. Drink: Hot Lemon Honey Water, CCF Tea, other warming herbal teas (i.e. ginger), room temperature or warm water.
1. Slowly add foods back into your diet, one at a time or by color (i.e. dark leafy greens).
2. Continue any self-care practices you can commit to or enjoy.
3. Journal about your cleanse experience.
Susan Kiskis is the publisher for Freedom Journal and author of memoir, Born Fire Dragon. Her second book, Let Me Carry You Home, is due out in 2017. She has a deeply seeded case of wanderlust.