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Cleanse: Spring Cleaning for Your Body and Your Mind

Cleanse: Spring Cleaning for Your Body and Your Mind

Spring is on its way. Winter, with its rich holiday foods and cold, short, and dark days, has likely left you with a lot less energy than during warmer months when sun and fresh produce are plentiful. You may have even added a few pounds. Not to worry. Even before the weather is warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities, you can get a workout doing your household spring cleaning and get that energy level back with a detoxifying cleanse. Getting rid of toxins and losing a few pounds will increase quality of life and general wellness.

Spring Cleansing

Below you will find a protocol along with supportive instructions for a pre-cleanse and the cleanse itself. If you have never experienced a cleanse, you may be surprised by the short period of physiological changes that you may experience. Do not be alarmed if you experience sweating, lightheadedness, weakness, nausea, or a change in body temperature. Although these are common symptoms associated with a cleanse, do not ignore any change that seems extreme. If you feel uncomfortable with continuing the cleanse at any time, you can stop and opt for light vegetable salads and raw soups. You may stop a cleanse at any time, but to fully realize the benefits, the full course must be completed.

Pre-Cleanse

Prepare your body by easing into the full cleanse. You may want to consider beginning on a Friday since the 2nd and 3rd day of the pre-cleanse and the cleanse are usually the toughest. You will have Saturday and Sunday to rest during the tough days (if you have different days off, adjust accordingly). This simply means that if you are accustomed to a heavy meat diet along with fried foods or if you consume nicotine, alcohol, sweets, and other drugs (except medication under a physician’s supervision), you should reduce your intake of these and incorporate the following.

Water

Drink at least 2 liters of water or more per day. Use an alkaline water of Ph of 8.5+ or spring water. Water is the living element that removes all toxins. Reduce carbonated drinks, flavored drinks, black teas, and caffeine as they may decrease the impact your body will feel during a cleanse.

Food

Incorporate healthier, plant-based whole food choices. Eliminate heavy trans-fat, high sugar, and empty-calorie foods. As you transition into the cleanse, keep these dos and don’ts in mind as they become very important during the cleansing protocol.

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Dos

  • Consume dark leafy greens such as kale and collard greens (you can add to salads or make soups).
  • Consume sprouts, whole grains (quinoa, amaranth, brown rice), seeds, nuts, and legumes. Use raw, organic, unprocessed, and unsalted varieties.
  • Consume seaweed (alaria, Kombu, dulse, nori, or dehydrated sea palm) and kelp noodles. You can also add these to miso-barley paste for added nutrition. You may also add mushrooms for taste and benefits. Avoid added salt and flavorings, when possible.
  • Consume a variety of fruit such as pomegranates, grapefruit, avocados, strawberries, blueberries and local seasonal fruits. Try to minimize the intake of bananas, cherries, grapes, and oranges. Although delicious, their sugar profiles may set off a little trouble during the beginning of a cleanse. If concerned about candida, please refer to candida-safe foods section. **
  • Cultured food: Yes! Consume plenty of raw kimchee, sauerkraut, or other fermented foods. These will enable gentle elimination and a balance in body acidity.
  • Cultures: Minimize intake of cheese and other dairy products to one serving a day. You may consume a small amount of unpasteurized milk and goat’s milk kefir for probiotic building and immune fortification. You may substitute dairy probiotic for coconut water kefir or traditional kefir.
  • Tea: Herbs that benefit a cleanse are parsley, spearmint, chamomile, marshmallow root, burdock, and dandelion. These are non-acidic and caffeine-free. Drink little to no stimulant teas such as green or black tea. Abstain from other brewed drinks like yerba mate and guaraná.
  • Oils: Consume raw, unrefined organic oils. These remove bad fats and introduce good fats in your body that detoxify, promote tissue flexibility, and stabilize the immune system. Check product labels to look for: Organic, Cold pressed, Extra Virgin, Unrefined.
  • Gluten-free: Eating breads can be very delightful, yet these contribute to a great portion in intestinal trouble. Try to replace wheat-based breads with gluten-free breads, especially breads that contain sprouted kamut, potato, almond meal, garbanzo beans, coconut flour, sorghum, rice flour, and amaranth. You may opt for gluten-free granola with raw honey, fruit, and yogurt alternative (coconut and almond) as a breakfast.

Don’ts

  • Avoid drinking alcohol or taking drugs (unless prescribed by your physician).
  • Avoid refined sugars, empty caloric food, wheat, monosodium glutamate (MSG), genetically modified foods (GMO), saturated fats, artificial flavors and colors, soda or other carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, acidic drinks, pasteurized juice, junk food, and canned food.
  • Avoid excess red meats by gradually reducing portions. The same applies with chicken, fish and eggs. Consume animal protein as minimally as possible.
  • Avoid non-organic food. Nothing says toxicity like food that is loaded with pesticides. Pesticides can cause many harmful effects for the human body and has long been known to potentiate cancer cells. Give your body healthy, local, and organic produce.
  • Avoid processed supplements, unless directed by your physician. Supplements are not necessary if you get plenty of fresh whole foods, water, plenty of sunshine and fresh air. Supplements have been known to contain additives such as magnesium stearates and titanium dioxide. In some instances these excipients may potentiate hepatic-toxins. There are some whole foods supplements that you may continue to take such as chlorella, spirulina, and shilajit.

Stress Relief

Stress can result in overeating, anxiety, and metabolic meltdown. Stress plays a large role in digestive trouble. So do not create stress with the cleansing process itself. Be positive about your preparation and cleansing. Be gentle with yourself if you are unable to follow every detail; there is no right way or wrong way to the process and you should benefit from it, not chastise yourself for not being perfect. Stress induces anxiety that raises cortisol levels in your blood and adding the natural stress of the physiological changes of the cleanse can induce a meltdown during a cleanse. Here are some tips that will help you pre-cleanse mentally and physically:

  • Yoga: You can find yoga classes almost anywhere these days. If not, try a video or record one of the many yoga television programs. All forms of yoga from Bikram to Vinyasa to Kundalini are beneficial. The exercises decompress tissues, relax the mind, and promote proper conscious breathing. Go at your own pace trying to do a little more each session. Enjoy the serenity of silence and being present with yourself.
  • Breathing: Rotational breathing exercises maintain a strengthened respiratory system and permit tissue building, and increase oxygen in the brain. Breathing reduces lethargy, anxiety, and brain fog. Try this exercise: breathe in hold for eight seconds then breathe out and hold for eight seconds. This will ease a tense mind!
  • Walking: A brisk thirty-minute walk is better than no exercise at all. Walking strengthens bones, increases circulation, and is a great detox for your skin. Walking also improves heart rhythms and thus reduces stress-induced anxiety. Get out there and walk!
  • Cardio: While pre-cleansing, remember to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible or break a sweat at the local gym when the weather does not cooperate. Exercise during this period will help to burn excess fat, boost endorphins (happy brain chemicals), regulate blood sugar, and promote optimum digestion. The more you sweat, the healthier you are. Your skin is a large organ that needs detox and sweating takes care of removing stagnant toxins.

The Cleanse

image representing raw foods for juice cleanse

    What you’ll need for the cleanse:

    • Ingredients for the tonic and juice cleanses you wish to use, click on links for recipes.
    • Raw food (see raw food recipes for ideas)**
    • Oils of choice (raw organic coconut or sunflower seed)
    • Alkaline or spring water
    • Journal
    • Warm apparel
    • Water bottles or other small containers to store a day or two worth of juices and to make it easy to take what you need when you go to work or otherwise venture out.
    • Your courage!

    The Big Step: Cleansing

    Your 2-week pre-cleanse has transitioned your body and mind to start your cleanse. Remember, that you do not have to do every part of the cleanse, but do as much as you are comfortable with. Always feel at ease and make sure to take down daily notes in your journal on your feelings and experiences as you cleanse. This will be a great way to encourage yourself and also record an experience of a lifetime: the key to a healthier life. You are now ready to start your cleanse.

    Start by drinking a tonic. Each day, you consume the lightest juice to the heaviest. Each day, the last drink will be the milk. The milk is the heaviest of the drinks. Its protein, magnesium, and fatty acids will ease your transition into the night so you will sleep better. Also, two tablespoons of coconut oil spread throughout the day can promote mental clarity, detoxification, and tissue replenishment.

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    Daily Regimen

    Click on these links for recipes for the tonics and juice cleanses in the regimen below. If hunger strikes and you need solid food, try these raw food recipes .

    image representing authentic burdock tea tonic with shilajit

      1. Tonic (choose one): Authentic, Earth-Cleanse or Out!
      (Drink water and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

      2. Delhi Punch
      (Drink water and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

      3. Garden Greens
      (Drink water and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

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      4. Bombay Dream
      (Drink water with a pinch of pink salt and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

      5. Lotus Greens
      (Drink water and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

      6. Sattva
      (Drink water and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

      7. Lakshmi
      (Drink water and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

      8. Blooming Mylk
      (Drink water with a pinch of pink salt and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

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      Tips for a Better Cleanse

      • For every juice, let a span of two hours pass. Every juice should be separated by two hours since the food craving and hunger is triggered by the brain after two hours in the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
      • Drink 10 or more glasses of water per day. Adding a pinch of pink salt for every fourth glass makes the water alkaline, supports memory, removes toxins, and hydrates tissue.
      • During your cleanse, journal your feelings, your goals, and your thoughts on the whole process. Revisiting your experiences each day is beneficial.
      • If at any time you feel the need to eat solids, you may consume raw salads, fermented foods, or raw soups. Recipes are provided below. Do not force yourself to continue without food since part of cleansing is not creating stress by over-exerting your body to do what it cannot do. If at any time symptoms feel too strong, please discontinue the cleanse and see a physician (if necessary).
      • After your first juice each morning, engage in a light exercise such as walking or yoga. Another invigorating, gentle exercise is to bounce happily with a rebounder. This trampoline-like exercise tool reduces impact on tissues, increases circulation, and improves oxygen flow.
      • Regularly practice breathing exercises throughout the day.
      • If you have digestive issues, have a warm cup of ginger tea with or without burdock. Ginger is effective for digestive function, clears impurities, and increases body warmth. Warmer drinks are recommended during fall and winter seasons.
      • Keep a long-sleeve sweater of light jacket in your car and office in case you begin to feel a little cold.

      Boost Your Cleanse Benefits

      During your cleanse, focus on detoxing your whole body. These methods have been proven effective and supporting. While you may prefer not to do all of these, give one or more a try to feel a complete sense of detox:

      • Colon hydrotherapy: Have a colonic on the third day of your cleanse. A colonic involves elimination of retained toxic build-up in the colon. The procedure is very safe and the feeling after colon hydrotherapy is amazing. It helps to clear skin, reduce weight gain, promote digestion, and rebuild your blood. Maintain this sense of well-being with a colonic once every six months.
      • Infrared sauna: These saunas which are dry heat therapies especially for detox of the largest organ in your body—your skin! These gentle heat waves penetrate about an inch and a half into your tissues to vibrate liquid toxins fixated in your body’s cells. The toxins are pushed away from your skin to be drawn out through sweat or the liver. This mechanism is very safe and is not an ultraviolet ray. This is recommended at least once during the cleanse as this detox reduces cellular toxicity, boosts the immune system, and gives your skin an additional glow!
      • Dry brushing: Our body sheds dead skin. Dry brushing helps your skin feel and look clean. This process also is great for reducing cellulite, releasing gunk from our pores, and increasing circulation. Dry brushing is usually done once every other day before showering and followed by an application of coconut oil or Shea butter.
      • Oil pulling: This amazing Ayurvedic protocol detoxes deep gum and oral tissue. Dental work may have exposed you to mercury, lead, or aluminum. Studies show these toxic metals are the root cause of much illness since they enter into the bloodstream through the gums along with most germs and other pollutants. Oil pulling can be done once a day during the cleanse and up to three months. Combine a teaspoon of both organic sunflower seed oil and coconut oil and rinse in your mouth using a swishing and sucking motion for 5 minutes. When finished, spit out the oil. Not only will your teeth look brighter, your gums will feel healthier.
      • Magnesium bath: Magnesium is one of the most difficult minerals to absorb internally because of its limited availability in food. However, magnesium absorbs effectively into your skin and promotes restoration of tissue, the breakage of bonded toxins, and the expelling toxins through the skin. This also promotes tissue relaxation and nervous system health. Draw a warm, relaxing bath adding about a cup of magnesium flakes and, optionally, a half cup of aluminum-free sodium bicarbonate, then enjoy for at least fifteen minutes. Taking a magnesium bath frequently for two months will make your skin look radiant and healthy.

      **Tips for those with Candida or fungal flare-ups: As with Candida or fungal infections, the best diet is one which is free of sugars both simple and complex. One of the greatest challenges is also that when doing a Candida diet you also have to limit roots, most legumes and fruits.

      How Are You Feeling?

      Cleansing can be a little tough and can elicit emotions from crying to elation. This stream of emotions varies from person to person and have varied results for everyone but getting to know yourself physically and emotionally is one of the benefits of the cleanse. A cleanse helps our brain to chemically function at its best. So a good cry, laugh, or boisterously sung song can help you cope and experience the best of the cleanse.

      While cleansing, keep in mind a goal you may want to achieve: feeling healthy, fitting in that dress, combating that ailment, or simply wanting emotional balance. Cleansing provides so many benefits for you and during the process you get to be very intimate with your body and how it responds to your conscientious food choices and healthy habits.

      Hold a mantra in your heart (a saying that you repeat to yourself for encouragement). Repeat to yourself that you are doing this for your general well-being. Give yourself a pat on the back, you made it this far and maybe you might feel like adding a couple more days. The change begins with you and you decide if you want to take this small step for the sake of your entire health.

      Note: The statements about the products or processes featured herein have not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

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      Last Updated on September 10, 2019

      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

      Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

      Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

      This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

      One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

      Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

      Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

      1. Gratitude

      Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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      The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

      Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

      So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

      Gratitude-Quotes

        2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

        This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

        For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

        What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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        Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

        3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

        This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

        Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

        An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

        Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

        write down goals

          4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

          According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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          There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

          5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

          Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

          Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

          6. Rise Earlier

          The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

          For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

          So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

          Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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          7. Listen to Uplifting Music

          Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

          Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

          It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

          Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

          More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

          Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
          [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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