Spring Detox Diet

Spring is the return of the light after the darkness of the winter months. Light brings life, this is a time to sow seeds, which is seen in all agrarian cultures in the world across times. When we align with nature, this is also the time for us to grow, shine and being creative. 

In modern days, our bodies have to deal with constant stressors: environmental toxins, from processed foods or even undigested material, including indigested event, though, experiences, unresolved emotions, and psychological stress. This makes difficult to follow the natural rhythm of life. While the body naturally eliminates toxins daily, in the attempt to digest and process all kind of inputs {discriminating, eliminating, using and storing}. some accumulation of undigested, unresolved toxins gets stored in the body, tissues, cells and in the subconscious. Over time the build-up of toxins in the system can compromise our health.

Ayurveda makes us aware of this and recommends practices to give your body the chance to remove this "undigested" and accumulated Toxins.

During spring, we might feel the sign of a Kapha imbalance:

Heaviness, dull feeling, slow thinking

Unmotivated, depression, "stuck feeling"

Water retention, congestion,

Swollen joints

Excess weight

Unusual aches or sudden irritations

Food sensitivities, weak digestion

Allergies, sinus problems

To balance “Kapha” we need to choose a diet that is light and easy to digest with plenty of cooked vegetables and pulses {mung Dhal is recommended}, heating spices to help with digestion, favoring pungent, bitter and astringent tastes. 

Pungent taste: Pepper, chilies, ginger, mustard, garlic, onion. Effects: Balances Kapha dosha, promotes sweating and clears sinus passages.

Bitter taste: green and yellow vegetables, beets. Effects: Balances Kapha and Pitta doshas, detoxify the system.

Astringent taste: tea, cauliflower, pulses, green apples, grape’s skin, pomegranates. Effects: Balances Khapa and Pitta doshas.

The bitter taste is the one particular to favor and if you have some dandelions growing in the garden (it might be too early yet), this is a great detoxifying herb to use in salads, as a cooked vegetable or in teas (the flower).

Those are the recommendation to balance the season, however, in spring it is also recommended a full cleansing to eliminate the accumulated toxins from previous months.

Ayurveda tells us that Spring is the time for cleansing, helping the body eliminate toxins, accumulated"Ama" and prepare yourself to grow with the season of light, time to “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

The practice of cleansing is considered a vital part of an Ayurvedic lifestyle, which has the potential to improve energy, strength, and immunity, as well as clarity in the mind.

There is a simple Ayurvedic cleansing that can be done at home, however, if you have any condition or are pregnant, please consult your doctor before doing any cleansing practices. Even a gentle cleanse is not appropriate for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or anyone who is extremely weak or debilitated. On the other hand, if you are considering becoming pregnant, Ayurveda recommends undertaking a cleanse about three months prior to conception by both partners.

When to start a cleanse.

Plan your cleanse when you have the time to commit to it, during this time you will prepare fresh meals of Kitchari every day (no left-over or processed food) and mild activities, such a gentle Yoga. The cleanse can be of 3-5-7 days, however, you will need few days before to prepare for the cleanse and few days after to return to normal diet and lifestyle.

Before the cleanse

For a few days before the cleanse, start to simplify your diet with lighter meals, mostly vegetarian with plenty of fruits and nuts and no stimulants such as caffeine or processed food, to get the body adjust and ready for the cleanse. {follow Ayurveda food combining recommendations}.

During the cleanse

The cleanse is based on a mono-diet of kitchari (basmati rice cooked with split mung beans and balancing spices). This meal is easy to digest and gives the chance to your digestive system to rest, giving your body the opportunity to eliminate the accumulated toxins. During this period, you can include self-massage, oil pulling for oral hygiene, gentle yoga, and meditation. Also, sauna, warm bath with Epsom salt and sweating assist the process of elimination.

After the cleanse

After the cleanse your body is still eliminating toxins, and your digestive system has got used to the cleansing mono-diet and might react if you introduce complex food all at once. Start bringing new food gradually to not overstimulate your digestive system, 2-3 days should be enough to return to your normal diet. While you re-introduce food, you can notice how your body reacts to it and if it does aggravates your digestion, might in time aggravate your health too. Think about introducing dairy, soy, wheat one at the time to observe your body's reaction. This is probably the best time to make long-term changes to your dietary (bad) habits.

Always commit to what is reasonable for you to succeed, if you feel you cannot commit to a 3-5-7 day cleanse, you can still do one-day a week cleanse, your body will still benefit from it.

After the detox, you are ready to plant new seed.....