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Posts Tagged ‘Fasting’

5 Day Autumn Detox

I’m quite fond of my springtime detox, and was feeling a bit weighed down and sluggish as the season transitioned into Autumn. So I decided to do a little research into Autumn detoxes. None of them really appealed to me, so I decided to simply create one using warming veggies that are known to possess detoxification qualities. I wanted something easy on the digestion so I created some pureed and brothy soups from the list of detoxing veg — one of the reasons for embarking was to give my digestion a break, a reboot, a clear slate with which to renew itself. Plan it according to fasting day falling on a day where you can lounge, sleep, rest, read..whatever you do to relax. You don’t want to exert too much energy — mentally or physically — on fasting day. As with the springtime detox, I find fasting to be more successful when I tapper off the amount of food over a few days before fasting, then slowly ramping up portions over a few days when breaking the fast. You can choose to simply fast for 1.5 days up to 3 days.

As I went through this detox, I slept quite a bit (even before fasting day)..reduced the intensity of yoga I practiced, but still taught some tough classes which didn’t help the fatigue/weakness factor — and because of my teaching requirements, I broke the fast Day 5. The mind tried to talk me out of fasting midday on Day 4 (as it usually does when I fast), but my body was happy..so I persevered with the help of hot lemon water and chamomile tea. I did a walking meditation on Day 4 when I walked Mocha – a slow and abbreviated walk (maybe only 1/4 mile over the course of ~15 min). It was most enjoyable. 🙂  If you want to extend the number of fasting days beyond 1-1.5 days, I’d recommend also incorporating an herbal vegetable broth once a day (after a full single day of complete fasting) to keep nutrients coming in, without reigniting the digestive system.

Disclaimer: This is only meant as a way to give yourself a renewed sense of digestive health..NOT as a way to lose weight. As with any protocol that calls for fasting, please listen to your body (but be wary, the mind can play tricks..the body doesn’t lie). If you need to break the fast sooner than expected, break the fast gently. If you are pregnant, refrain from fasting. If you have any medical conditions, please consult a physician before embarking on this detox. Typically with detoxing, salt is recommended as to be avoided — however, if you have serious low blood pressure please include a minimal amount of salt during the detox/fast to avoid black-outs and such.

Day 1: [Eat normal portions for each meal.]

Breakfast: Cup of tea (options: Green, Herbal) + apple (or other autumn fruit) + oatmeal or handful of seeds (options: sunflower, pepitas)
Lunch & Dinner: Roasted Veg (choices: Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Kale, Garlic, Onion, Artichokes, Beets) served with brown rice or quinoa and baby spinach salad (with baby tomatoes, carrots, seeds, drizzled with a small bit of cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice).
Afternoon Teatime: Red Rooibos or Chamomile tea (or a detox tea blend)
Evening Teatime: Chamomile, Red Rooibos, or Coconut Milk Chai using Rooibos tea

Day 2: [Normal portions at lunch, reducing the dinner portion to half of normal.]

Breakfast: Cup of tea (Green, Herbal, or Hot water+lemon wedge) + autumn fruit + handful of seeds
Lunch & Dinner: Butternut Squash-Cauliflower Soup [roast b. squash, onion, and puree with cauliflower. spices include: cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom. veg broth to desired consistency.] OR Potato-Broccoli-Kale Soup [broccoleek soup+kale] + green smoothie at one of the meals (to make things easier, buying a Naked or Odwalla Green Monster or SuperFood smoothie will suffice..unless you want to make your own green smoothies).
Afternoon Teatime: Herbal tea, Detox tea blend, or Dandelion Tea
Evening Teatime: Chamomile, Red Rooibos, or Coconut Milk Chai using Rooibos tea

Day 3: [Option to begin fasting after lunch.]

Breakfast: Cup of tea (Herbal or Hot water+lemon wedge) + glass of juice (if feeling you need some blood sugar love)
Lunch: leftover Day 2 Soup or Herbal Broth (veggie broth heated with herbs like turmeric, garlic, oregano, thyme, coriander)
Afternoon Teatime: Herbal tea, Detox tea blend, or Dandelion Tea
Dinner: optional to begin fasting and skip dinner, or perhaps just have a green smoothie or Herbal Broth for dinner if you had soup for lunch
Evening Teatime: Cup of Chamomile or other light herbal tea

Day 4: [Fasting Day]

Anytime you feel the need for tea or a snack, have some hot water with lemon, Chamomile, a fasting/detox blend (pending it doesn’t have caffeine). As mentioned before, listen to your body — rest, relax, restore. Your mind will try to tell you to break the fast.. “why am I doing this? just eat!” yada yada.. but your body will tell you the truth. If you’re experiencing migraines (not just a slight headache, that is common), severe nausea (not just mild upset stomach), or black-outs, BREAK THE FAST with some light herbal broth or a smoothie.

Day 5: [Option to continue fast or reintroducing food.]

If continuing to fast, have a small bowl of herbal broth midday, then continue as Day 4 and use Day 5 as a guide for when you break the fast. I wouldn’t recommend fasting for more than 3-5 days — and always listen to your body and break when your body needs it. Don’t reintroduce too much food at once..go slow!
Morning Teatime: Hot water with lemon or any light herbal tea + glass of juice (if breaking the fast)
Lunch (about 1.5 C serving): Herbal Soup (see Day 3) + green smoothie
Afternoon Teatime: Herbal tea, Detox tea blend, Dandelion Tea, or Nettle Tea + apple
Dinner: Small portion of any leftover Day 2 soup, or Herbal Soup with the addition of peas or any leftover veg+rice/quinoa from day 1
Evening Teatime: Chamomile or Coconut Milk Chai using Rooibos tea

As with the Springtime detox, focus on calm breathing, positive thoughts, rest, and getting in touch with the change of the seasons. Autumn is a great time to reflect on seeds which we plant for a bountiful harvest in the spring, to let go of the high-heat energy of summer and linger in a slower-paced, mellow energy, to reflect on that which we should let go/release the way the trees release the leaves that no longer serve the health of the tree.

Happy Fasting!

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Remember, the three key words for any slayer, and in this case detoxer, ‘preparation, preparation, preparation.’ Having a well mapped-out plan will make a detox go much smoother and more enjoyable. The upside, you get to eat as much as you can stand on days 1 and 2. This sounds great, in theory. By the end of day 1, you’ll be sick of the site of vegetables..and by the end of day 2, fruits will be your nemesis. But trust me, you will feel so good and clean come day 4 that’ll you be so happy you forced this minor disruption in your daily life. Planning ahead is a must! You want to be able to let your mind rest, so having a menu planned prior to starting will make things simpler. You want to plan to do this on a 4-day set, where day 3 will fall on a day you can relax and lounge around – no major activities, no stresses. I realize in this fast-paced, active world it’s hard to just take a day to relax. Again, trust me, your body and mind will thank you for a day off. Detoxing is about more than just eliminating toxins from the body; for me it’s also about eliminating toxic thoughts and feelings from yourself as well. Stress, including stressful thoughts and feelings, causes hormonal release that is antithetical to the cleansing process. Detoxing is dependent upon optimal function of the liver. You want to focus on positivity, thus allowing the liver to function to eliminate the toxins that have been stored deep in your cells, instead of fresh stressors and hormones being released during the detox caused by stressful and negative emotions.

Day 1: Veggies day – Raw or mostly raw…only lightly steamed (preferable) or cooked. The idea is to have as minimally cooked food as possible ingested. It’s okay to have an apple or a banana, but try to have only veggies. You’ll be able to have fruit on day 2, all you can stand..and believe me, by the end of the day you won’t want to see a vegetable and you’ll be thankful for fruit day. One would think that as a vegan, an all-veggie day would be easy and delicious. I do have to say, it’s harder than you’d think..so preparation will make it manageable. You must omit traditional vegan staple foods like beans, breads, grains, veggies that take extensive cooking like potatoes, as well as oils that you would normally cook them in. I like to make a big bowl of a raw vegetable medley – like a fruit salad, but with veggies. I like tomatoes, red and yellow bell pepper, baby spinach, fresh green beans, carrots, cucumbers, with some lightly steamed broccoli – but any veg you like raw (zucchini, or that can be steamed in under 5 minutes like the broccoli will be acceptable. I also carry around a bag of baby carrots for a quick and crunchy munchie. You can use spices like garlic, cayenne, etc..but try not to use to much salt, if any. If you need a cuppa, try to keep it caffeine-free, such as a rooibus or herbal tea. Also, try to drink tea that you don’t have to sweeten – or use a natural sweetener like stevia leaves or just a tiny bit of nectar. I don’t really eat a ‘breakfast’ on day 1, just have a cup of peppermint tea…then start in on eating the ‘veggie salad’ once I begin to feel hungry. **If you suffer from hypoglycemia, and are worried about having a crash on day 1, you can include a glass of juice among your beverages.

Day 2: Fruits Only – I find it easiest to make a giant fruit salad and eat on it all day. You can also have smoothies, as long as they are fruit only – no yogurt or other additives that you might normally include (wheatgerm, flaxseed, brewer’s yeast, etc). Again, if you need tea, keep it caffeine-free (rooibus, herbal).

Day 3: Fasting day – When you wake, have a cup of herbal tea and a glass of juice, not smoothie (orange and grapefruit, apple, whatever). Relax, take a nap, stay warm – no heavy activity. In the afternoon, have another cup of herbal tea (chamomile, peppermint, nettle, or sage). In the evening, have a cup of sleepy tea (valerian or chamomile) and another glass of juice. You may experience light headaches and/or light nausea on day 3 – that’s normal (a cup of thyme or peppermint tea will help with that). It’s just the toxins being released into circulation to be eliminated. The more toxins in your body, the worse these symptoms will be. If you eat more processed foods, meat, and/or dairy, or live in a more polluted environment – these things can create a greater storage of toxins in the body. Another thing you’ll notice as the toxins are released is the whitening of your tongue. Again, this is normal.

Day 4: Return to food – Upon waking, have a glass of juice or a smoothie. You want to start light, perhaps some toast or a piece of fruit. Then, for lunch, have something light like tomato or potato and/or butternut soup, even a brothy soup like vegetable noodle. You want to avoid heavy things like beans or sweets. You won’t be able to eat much for the next few days, and when you do eat you’ll notice that you want it to be something good for you. You’ll also notice that your portions will be smaller than normal. You’re going to feel so good, you’ll want to start doing this every spring like I do. You’ll be amazed at how aware you become of the things you eat, and the toxins we put in our bodies on a daily basis – even if you already consider yourself super healthy.

I suppose this goes without saying, but I suppose I should just to be thorough – DRINK TONS OF WATER DURING THE DETOX!

If you are on any medications for various health conditions, please consult a physician before commencing any type of detox or cleanse. This is not a way to lose weight, though you might see some water weight reduction afterwards. Please be smart when embarking on such an endeavor as a cleanse/detoxification.

Happy Detoxing!

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