The Easiest 3 Day Cleanse
I’ll be honest, the closest I’ve ever come to a ‘detox’ or ‘cleanse’ is lasting 2 days into a pressed juice cleanse before hunger took over, and making the 3-week mark of Dry July (it’s meant to be for the whole month) #nojudgement #idon’thavecommitmentissues.
The reason for this is I generally feel good, have a somewhat well-balanced diet and lifestyle and simply enjoy food too much. The idea of fasting or detoxing feels somewhat unnecessary to me, even though I’ve read and learnt about the many benefits of a digestive re-set.
Having noticed that I’m feeling blah (aka not quite 100%), I spoke to a good friend who is studying Ayurveda, I mentioned how I was feeling a little overwhelmed and fatigued and wanted to look at options to increase my energy. She suggested a really simple cleanse based on my dosha (more on that later) – my first reaction was CAN I EAT?
The answer was yes. So I was in.
When I got back to Sri Lanka I visited our resident Ayurveda Doctor, Dr. Wijayananda Dias (try saying that fast three times) who reiterated that my dosha was Vata Pitta and also suggested that I needed more meditation time in my life and less stress (no sh*t). He also picked up on a few other things (my dodgy hip, tight back etc) and provided me with a selection of tonics and teas to help me on my journey back to BALANCE.
Now, I’m one who prefers working in a team (for support, and so that my whining doesn’t fall on deaf ears) so I approached my Wellness team member Nid and two of our Yoga teachers, Tye and Sarah, and asked them to join me in this endeavor. They’d all completed various detoxes and cleanses before so I felt I was in great hands., particularly knowing there was a HUGE risk that I’ll be the one sneaking a Tim Tam or banana in unless I’m watched like a hawk.
SO, what the hell did we do for three days and WHY? Here’s the low down:
Ayurveda is an ancient life science and holistic healing system from India, over 3,000years old. The term itself in Sanskrit means “Life Knowledge”
Now, I wasn’t prepared to go in too deep here and commit a full program of 14 days “panchakarma,” which looks amazing, but I am physically active in my work and need the energy to sustain it, so a 3-day introductory option suited me just fine for now.)
There are many texts, articles, and books on Ayurveda and it’s a fascinating system finding it’s way more into western society, as we become aware of alternatives and supporting elements to western/modern medicine. What really drew me to Ayurveda was its emphasis on our way of living (versus just treating a sign or symptom), and that it’s aim is to balance and harmonise all of the forces acting on the body – at the physical, mental, psychological and soul level. Which is basically what our Wellness Retreats are designed around! How’s that for synchronicity?
KITCHARI (pronounced “kitch-ar-ee”)
I had never heard of this before, but it’s a fabulous blend of jasmine rice, split mung bean dal, spices and vegetables. Here’s a good recipe that we followed from Banyan Botanicals (after we finally found the bloody split mung bean dal!)
- 1 cup white basmati rice
- ½ cup yellow mung dal
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- Spices (or 1 tablespoon kitchari spice mix)
- 1 teaspoon natural mineral salt
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups easily digestible vegetables (such as asparagus, carrots, celery, green beans, summer squash, sweet potato, winter squash, or zucchini)
In addition, we were to drink LOTS of water (like 1.5L a day) and herbal teas, plus take 2 x Triphala tablets in the evening, and REST. Which I must admit, I’m not the greatest at.
Here’s how it went down… *WARNING some commentary of bowel movements included – proceed at your own discretion!
Awoke feeling pretty good, ready for the day ahead (and craving breakfast). After a morning stretch, we dive into our first rice and bean combo *disclaimer* it took us a day to find mung dal.
I only half cheated and ate some lentil dal… sorry team. By the afternoon all of us were feeling sluggish and noticing the subtle onslaught of a headache (strange for me as I never get headaches). No toilet trips though apart from number 1s only, and found it somewhat easy to get through the day with some energy, post-dinner (more rice) we took our Triphala tablets and went to bed.
Did a tiny man jump into my head last night and start bashing my skull with a hammer? The headache got way worse (which was a collective experience between the group). By lunchtime the energy levels were low, mid fog had well and truly set in. It’s suggested you do this cleanse when you have little on your schedule, and I agree. Trying to even focus on emails was enough for me today, I think I nailed two total. I did manage a number 2 which was interesting given the rest of the girls hadn’t gone there yet. We had our kitchari prepared with love by our Head Chef Roshan and it was DELICIOUS. Apart from the headache and fog (the signs of toxin elimination) I was happy with the food and cleanse thus far, my body was feeling quite tight and sore too, so we endeavoured to move gently each day with simple Pilates and Yoga exercises.
Home stretch (seriously it’s only three days, I know) but I am not a creature of routine when it comes to diet. I love variety and walking past the daily breakfast buffet here at Talalla where the smell of fresh pancakes, omelettes, toast and fresh tropical fruit fills the air and not being able to savour any of it was probably the biggest challenge! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? I was feeling pretty bored with just rice and kitchari BUT I was grateful that I was able to eat! The final evening we decided to boost our cleanse and really flush our systems by taking castor oil. Yes, castor oil. We modified this cleanse from Joyful Belly taking 1 tsp at night and 1 tsp in the morning on an empty stomach. We took it with herbal tea, but you can also take it with milk or ginger tea, or on its own, it’s pretty tasteless.
Within two hours of taking the oil it was on… let’s just say what followed was definitely cleansing (#POONAMI) so be prepared to be near a toilet during any time you take castor oil.
THE DAY AFTER
Ensuring we were gentle on our digestive system, we ate rice again post-cleanse and avoided any caffeine and alcohol (note- I write this on Friday morning, pre Sinhalese New Year, so this will most likely change by tonight). We’ve also been taking a daily probiotic to replace any diminished gut flora. I must say, I feel much lighter, clearer and more energised post-cleanse. We found ourselves sticking to the rice and veggies for well after the cleanse ended because it seems to agree with our digestive systems and bodies. And all in just three days!
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