WHAT TO EXPECT
Whether you’ve opted for the three, four or nine day cleanse, it is generally safe for a range of imbalances and constitutions. Bear in mind that ‘any’ cleanse can be challenging because it not only deals with the physical body (with a few unpleasant detox symptoms like headaches, body aches, irritability and exhaustion), but also the mind and emotions. Seeing as this is a very gentle cleanse, it should not cause a great deal of discomfort, however there may be some times where challenges can arise, especially if you are detoxing from an extremely stressful lifestyle.
Before the actual cleanse it is important to limit dairy, sugar, caffeine and gluten from your diet to ensure that physical detox symptoms are kept to a minimum. For most people, cleansing with rice and beans seems a little weird because in a Western dietary perspective raw juices are usually used. However in the Ayurvedic approach kichari is easy to digest so can help even more with supporting the detox. The purpose of a mono-diet of kitchari is to give the body only one thing to digest, this allows the body to regulate the natural rhythm of digestion, basically a big rest. View our body as a car, we need to service and re-condition it to improve its functionality. In the same way we can condition our bodies with a kitchari cleanse.
During the cleanse you will start the day with ghee, then 30 minutes after an oatmeal and/or kitchari. This diet is more than enough for you to get on with your daily duties without collapsing into a heap. It will reset the digestive system and support the elimination of toxins from the bowels. (It is better to allow elimination out of the bowels than skin). This cleanse is balancing to all doshas, vata, pitta and kapha. Fresh meals are always preferred in Ayurveda, so we will deliver your meals daily for the whole day. Try to avoid eating leftovers from pervious days.
We will provide herbs for you; In Ayurveda we include all six tastes into one meal to optimise digestion- sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent. This kitchari has all tastes. This will be tailored in your kitchari cleanse.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM CONSTIPATED?
It is not uncommon to experience constipation during a cleanse. If your bowel movements are too slow in frequency or volume or even if you find it hard to pass stool, please follow these simple guidelines, as proper elimination is very important during a cleanse because it is the body’s natural method of detoxification;
A supportive cleanse will clear excessive doshas- vata, pitta and kapha and toxic buildup known as ‘ama’ from the system using the organs of elimination (namely urine, sweat and feces). These channels need to be kept open and running smoothly throughout any cleanse to ensure toxins are not re-circulating around the blood stream.
- drink warm water or any hydrating fluids throughout the cleanse (don’t drink these with meals, but rather away from meals. Wait about 30 minutes after a meal to drink these warm fluids)
- increase ghee or high quality oil content in the diet. You can add additional ghee or oils to the kichari
- add more cooked vegetables to the kitchari
- take psyllium husk or chia seeds with your warm water for more bulk.
- take triphala pills or power (an ayurvedic herb that helps with elimination) *provided in the cleanse-make sure to take 30 minutes before bedtime
- take almond milk with ghee or soaked flax seeds
If you have tried and tested all of this, perhaps consider the following;
- adding soaked prunes , soaked raisins, a rip banana or prune juice in the morning, 30 minutes before any food is consumed
- an enema (salt water best) * see enema section
For most people , these measures should work just fine, however if you find yourself still constipated, consult your health care provider.
THE NITTY GRITTY
- In general, you can eat enough kitchari to feel satiated but not to the point of exploding (my grandfather always used to say, eat until you can still fit in half a burger into your stomach, you get the point!). This will vary for different people, but in general, you will ‘know’ when you feel satiated.
- eat simple kitchari or oatmeal for breakfast.
- you can garnish your kitchari fresh cilantro or sesame seeds.
- Avoid snacking in between meals, but if you are starving, you can enjoy some fresh fruit or a boiled egg
- if you feel deprived, you can steam extra vegetables and eat them as a side dish, garish with a squeeze of lemon juice and pinch of pink Himalayan salt
- try not to eat anything after 7pm
- drink at least 8 to 12 cups of room temperature water or herbal tea each day- this will help flush out the toxins. (non- caffeinated beverages best) This classic digestive formula will help to burn up the excess moisture of kapha, an excellent choice for cleansing. It is tri-doshic, meaning it is balancing for all doshic types, in all seasons. The digestive herbs stimulate the agni or digestive fire, making it an excellent digestive.
- most fluids taken in between meals not during
THE DAILY ROUTINE
- rise early and give yourself a spacious and relaxed morning
- upon waking, scrape your tongue and brush your teeth
- Take ghee (2,4,6,8 tsp, depending on the day).
- sip- 1 to 2 cups of hot lemon water to cleanse the system and wake up the digestive fire.
- gentle exercise- slow gentle moments will help support your cleansing- don’t overdo it as that can be counterproductive
- consider doing some light walking, swimming, tai chi, yoga, qigong. *check our dosha yoga postures
- take a bath or shower, using herbal non-toxic soap
- dry skin brushing can help with the removal of toxins
- take one packet of kitchari or oatmeal and follow recipe. It cooks within 35 to 40 minutes.
BREAKFAST between 7 to 8 am
LUNCH between 12 to 1 pm
DINNER between 5 to 6 pm (no later then 7pm)
BEFORE BED take triphala (30 minutes before bed)
SLEEP try to sleep by 10 pm
DURING THE CLEANSE
- keep your mind quiet and social commitments low, try to keep company of those that uplift you. Try not to make yourself suffer watching your friends eat those ‘cheezy’ nachos.
- surround yourself with affirmations that will encourage you to keep going. Repeat to yourself, ‘I love my kitchari’ ‘I am healing’ ‘my body supports me’
- try as much as possible to minimise stress and exposure to chaotic environments or people
- if you find intense emotions such as anger, frustration, weeping come up, view these emotions as ‘guests’, realise that ‘this too shall pass’ allow the emotions to move through and out of your system, honour yourself and know that you’ll get through this
- get ample rest, this allows the cleanse to work more efficiently
- when you are at home create a soothing atmosphere, perhaps light some candles, take baths and listen to calming music
- gentle exercise can keep things moving physically and energetically- things like stretching, yoga, walking
- you can even try to jump on a trampoline, this motion helps to flush your lymphatic system and get rid of any stagnant waste, it is also lots of fun
- sometimes it helps to have a friend cleanse with you, otherwise you may be tempted to ‘bitch’ about your bowel movements and energy levels to people that may not want to hear it
AFTER THE CLEANSE
After the cleanse is just as important as during the cleanse, as your body will still be processing out some toxins for a few more days. It is important to honour your digestive system and not eat any overly processed food for a few days afterwards. *please check members section of LTF blog for some simple Ayurvedic recipe ideas.
The slower the transition back to regular eating the better. Try to opt for a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables for your dosha type. Whole grains, beans and legumes are optimal for regaining strength. This is not the time to indulge in pasta, beer or steak!!!
Pay attention to the signals that your unique body is giving you when you consume any of the following;
- nightshades (vegetables like eggplant, tomato, potato etc.)
A FRESH START
This cleanse is quite short but highly effective and inspiring. In Ayurveda ‘agni’ is everything, and a balanced agni is what gives us vigour and optimal health and well-being. Our bodies are incredible and intelligent, and this three day cleanse gives the body a chance to reach homeostasis and beyond. Such a simple cleanse can initiate drastic improvements in the quality of digestion, assimilation, elimination. It can also shine light about your cravings and energy levels.
A final word- take time to reflect on your life so that you can implement a kitchari cleanse on or between the junctions of the seasons. Make sure to set new intentions for your health and well-being, placing importance on those things that mean the most to you. Be gracious that you managed to reboot and accept every aspect of the transition out of the cleanse.
Congratulations on your accomplishment, we hope to see you for your next cleanse at the change of season.
FOUNDER OF LOVE TRUE FOOD