Is anyone else ready to put away the dairy and desserts and cleanse for the New Year? I personally love a good cleanse, though I’m partial to the low-suffering kind. I know people who think it’s not a real cleanse unless you take in nothing but fresh juice and water, but that never made sense to me. Our bodies like balance, and balance by extremes is not really balance at all at the human level. Just look at how bad yo-yo dieting is for people or how hard it is on the body when there are huge weight fluctuations. Gentle detox is a way to cleanse while giving the body support to adjust, instead of shocking the body and then reeling from its effects. Of course, there is a time and place for everything and if you know what you are doing and have the right support, then by all means juice away your days. If you prefer a cleansing reboot that doesn’t leave your blood sugar levels bouncing and your mood-o-meter permanently set to hangry, keep reading for some options.
Adding powdered greens to your daily routine is one way to activate detox mechanisms in your body. While cleansing you should be drinking extra glasses of water anyway, so adding a scoop or packet to one of your glasses or bottles of water is a great way to get extra goodness. It is worth noting that some green mixes, like Paradise Herbs, are formulated for energy~
while others, like the Food Science one below, are formulated more specifically for cleansing. Greens in general, whether in a powder or in a whole fresh or cooked form, are cleansing though so an energy greens mix will still work towards detoxing your system. Both these mixes came in my New Hope Blogger Box and they are tasty as well as healthy blends, but there are of course other reputable greens out there. Just be sure to read ingredients lists thoroughly.
Adding a cup or two of detoxifying herbal tea a day is another easy way to help your body cleanse. There are plenty of blends out there, such as detox teas by Yogi and Traditional Medicinals that are as easy as boiling water. Flora makes a tea concentrate that you just pour a bit out and add hot water to. They promote their cleanse every year on Facebook so you can actually join a group of others using their product to get tips and expand your knowledge a bit into the world of detox. (Plus if you join in you just might get a coupon or more, depending on if you are one of the firsts to sign up.) They do have a dry blend as well.
If you want to do something a little more involved than greens and teas, making up a batch of kitchari is what one of my herbal teachers drilled into us as the most healing, cleansing, tri-doshic thing you could do. Kitchari is a meal from the tradition of Ayurveda that is made up of mung beans and basmati rice (brown or white depending on your preference), spices, and ghee. You can eat it once a day to support a general cleanse, or you can eat kitchari three times a day and nothing else but herbal teas for 6 days straight for a more intense detox. As with all things herbal, kitchari is a traditional dish that you can find a thousand variations for so this recipe can be modified as you like. What follows is how my herbal teacher told us to make it and it has never failed me. It’s a calming meal, easy on the digestive system, and healing.
1 C mung beans
After soaking the mung beans overnight (or at least 6 hours), cook them in 4 C of water until they are thoroughly soft, about half an hour.
Cook rice according to its instructions, depending on white or brown, then mix together with beans.
Warm the ghee in a sauce or sauté pan and add the spices, cooking until fragrant, about 2 minutes or so.
Mix the spices and ghee with the rice and beans and you are finished. Eat as often as you like.
I’ve never been big on resolutions, but I do like the spirit of renewal that January sweeps in. A gentle cleanse sets a nice tone for the year~ a reminder to think better, feel better, act better, and be better. Best wishes for health, fulfillment, beauty, and peace to everyone for the New Year.