It’s Spring time aka Kapha season which is the absolute perfect time to cleanse our bodies. Our bodies love being in tune with the seasons and what better way to mimic what’s going on around us than with a mind and body reset. In Ayurveda, Kapha season is governed by the elements of water + earth which when combined create mud. As we transition out of Vata season (air + ether) our bodies have a tendency to become congested, heavy, dull, drained, and just generally stagnant. So many of us end up with sniffles, congestion, or the “Spring fever”. Heard of it? Ideally we want to get rid of these negative side effects by bringing in more light, proper diet, exercise, self-care and daily rhythms. When we’re in balance in the Spring we bud like cherry blossoms and tulips from the dirt - alive and full of energy! I want to share with you my cleanse experience from last week.
I created my cleanse to quickly and simply facilitate our bodies toward ultimate balance and enlightenment. I follow the cleanse guide myself for at least one week (sometimes more when I’m really feelin’ it) every March or April. Last week was the perfect time for me to dive deeper into my cleanse since I didn’t have many obligations outside of myself and work. It’s always best to choose a week where you have enough time to spend taking care of yourself.
The cleanse guide has a few levels to choose from: beginner, intermediate, pro and kitchari cleanse. I chose pro this time although sometimes I start with a kitchari cleanse (check out this recipe for my simple kitchari) for a few days and transition to intermediate or pro depending on how my body is feeling. It’s important to consistently check in with our bodies during this process. The cleanse guide provides you with recipes for your dosha (which I help you determine pre-cleanse) along with step-by-step directions on how to practice oil massage, dry brushing, tongue scraping, and more.
The foods I let go of during my cleanse:
Sugar (in all forms) except a bit of stevia in my morning matcha
Gluten + Dairy (I already don’t eat these so this was easy)
Caffeine (I don’t drink caffeine so this was also easy)
Meat + Seafood
The foods I included in my cleanse:
A variety of in season veggies (tons of greens) including veggie heavy juices and smoothies
Tasty dressings to keep my palate guessing
Nuts, fruit and fats in smaller amounts
Lots of yummy soups, salads and veggie bowls
Honestly, there wasn’t much deprivation. The recipes provided enough variety to keep my palate guessing so none of the foods I ate got boring. Of course there were times, especially at the beginning, where I was craving sweets and fats but the cravings eased up towards the end. I was also eating a 1/2 pint of raspberries after dinner 3/7 days and a date here and there when I felt like I needed a little boost. I tried not to replace my sugar cravings with other sweets because, even though fruit sugars are much better for you, I was trying to let go of the emotional connection I had to sweets.
Cleansing is a time to explore ourselves on a deeper level. No matter if you came to cleanse to lose weight, reduce inflammation, increase energy, improve sleep, improve complexion, or what have you - it’s a fantastic time to come back to our truest selves and observe our tendencies. This self reflection is a huge growing point and helps us move through life more gracefully.
What I gained from the cleanse
I started going to bed earlier (around 9:30/10) and waking up early. This was largely due to the fact that I was eating dinner earlier and not snacking past 7:30. Our bodies stay awake when they’re digesting food and because I finished digesting earlier, I got sleepy and fell asleep much earlier.
I was waking up earlier! I was up around 7am everyday and actually CHIPPER. This was a huge revelation for me because I have a lot of fatigue from my Lyme. It was really exciting to experience the feeling of energy so early in the morning.
My skin cleared up and my PMS was non-existent. I always get acne before I get my period so this was a nice change.
I recommitted to my meditation practice. Work got busy (which I’m so grateful for) and meditation fell by the wayside. It was challenging to find time to meditate when all that was going through my brain was “coaching call, coaching call, cook for this client, bake for that client, work on website, coaching call, coordinate time with intern, etc.” so I really had to FIT meditation in again. I found that the easiest way to get myself on the cushion again was to first pull a tarot card. I love my goddess cards and my new animal spirit cards. They give me something to reflect on. I either journal on the chosen card or sit with it. I also love meditation apps like Calm.
I was cooking at home a lot more and realized how quick and easy cooking tasty meals can be. Most of my meals only take 15 minutes to make!
I took less naps! I am a big napper thanks to Lyme and chronic fatigue. I was surprised to notice that I didn’t need 1 nap all week.
I swapped my iPhone and Netflix for a good book or magazine. Even if Night Mode is turned on my phone (which everybody should have on 24/7 to reduce blue light exposure) starting at a screen keeps me locked in to distraction and keeps me awake. I love the feeling of holding a book in my hands or flipping through a design or food magazine. I’d do this to help me drift off to sleep.
I quit mindless snacking. A lot of my usual snacks were off limits during the cleanse so I was left with things like veggies, fruits and nuts. I would allow myself to snack when I was actually hungry but would always stop to pause and ask myself, “is this actual hunger or an emotional craving?" and if it was the latter I would ask myself what I could do to satisfy that emotional need. Sometimes calling my hubs or mom did the trick and sometimes just sitting with the emotion and feeeeling through it did the trick.
I lost a few LBs. I gained a few when I was in my Lyme flare up and the weight was really holding on no matter what I did. A lot of the time extra weight can stick around because of stress. Maybe you’re one of those people who work out a ton and eat right but can’t seem to lose weight. I promise if you work on bringing in the lessons I teach in this cleanse that weight will drop so quickly you don’t even believe it.
There is so so much more to share but for the sake of keeping this concise I’ll leave it at that. I feel a renewed sense of self. Like I accomplished something that was “hard” and grew throughout the process. I feel more confident. This week of caring for my mind and body allowed me to drop into a state of ease. Not only am I a better version of myself for me but for my family and community as well.
“When you start to take care of yourself, you start to feel better, you start looking better, and you start to attract better. It all starts within you.” - Idil Ahmed
If you’d like to learn more about how the cleanse can benefit you, or how my other services might benefit you, schedule a complimentary consultation here. I look forward to connecting with you!