HEALTH & FITNESS — As you prepare your mind and body for the warmer months, you may be interested in detoxification as a way of cleansing and eliminating toxins. A typical detoxification period may include fasting and a strict diet combined with light, appropriate exercise.
According to Ayurvedic practices, an ancient Indian science focused on whole-body healing and health optimization, it may be beneficial to detoxify. Consider these steps toward detoxification.
Aim for a Healthy Lifestyle
Before considering the specifics of daily routines and phases of detoxification, it’s important to focus your lifestyle around healthy practices. For example, aim to minimize stress by participating in uplifting activities such as mindful walking, meditation, spending time in nature or other hobbies that put you at ease. Remember to rest both your mind and body, and get an appropriate amount of sleep each night.
Take 3 – 7 days to prepare your body for detoxification. The start of your journey should involve the elimination or drastic reduction of caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs.
Active Cleansing Phase
During the 7 – 14-day active phase, it’s important to create and follow a singular diet of kitchari, which consists of mung beans, basmati rice, spices and vegetables. As a complete protein that’s easy to digest, kitchari helps reset your digestive system while restoring digestive fire and supporting the elimination of toxins.
If you’re looking for a place to start, consider trying a few different recipes online, or purchase from a natural foods store.
If kitchari isn’t right for you, opt for oatmeal in the morning and steamed vegetables or vegetable soup with basmati rice for lunch and dinner. Be conscious of portion control; eat enough for satisfaction without overeating. Aim to finish your evening meal 2-4 hours before sunset.
Another important aspect of the active phase is liquid intake. Drink hot water with lemon juice in the morning. Throughout the day, consider a hot tea with bitter herbs, such as teas that include nettle leaf, dandelion root, and dandelion leaf.
Create a Morning Routine
To stay on track during the active phase, it is helpful to create routines, starting with your morning wake-up call. After brushing your teeth and other daily to-dos, try relaxing techniques like sipping 8 – 16 ounces of hot water with lemon juice, self-massaging, taking a warm or hot shower or bath, gently exercising and combining these activities with an appropriate active phase morning meal.
Create an Evening Routine
Proper relaxation prior to bedtime can help encourage restful sleep. Avoid watching TV about one hour before bedtime and consider massaging your feet with herbal oil for a few minutes before rinsing with cool water.
As your active phase comes to a close, slowly reintroduce foods like dairy, wheat, soy, meat and fish. Continue activities like gentle yoga, walking, tai chi, and qi gong then rejuvenate your body with hot beverages like turmeric ginger tea, chaga tea and mushroom tea.
Learn more about detoxification and its benefits at buddhateas.com.