This is the final part in the 12-part series for 2015 on using Ayurveda lifestyle and dietary habits to support your New Year intentions and overall health and well-being. Make one change a month to embrace a healthier you!

In today’s modern world, cleansing and detox have become quite popular.  With our toxic lifestyles and world, the intention behind this is well founded.

Unfortunately, many of the modern cleanses are imbalanced and can actually further deplete the body and don’t offer any post-cleansing instructions to maintain that health.

To understand the background  perspective about Ayurveda cleansing, read my previous blog posts about The Role of a Cleanse in Disease Prevention and Health and How To Do A Healthy, Natural, Effective Cleanse.

Today I want to talk about how to incorporate some of the cleansing principles and practices into your life on a more regular basis.  Yes, doing a more extensive cleanse for 1-2 weeks a couple times a year is crucial for getting the toxic root causes of your dis-ease and imbalance out from the deeper pathways of the body.  However, since this series has been about lifestyle habits to support overall health, it is also important to remember the power of simple cleansing tools as part of your daily and weekly routine.

Jamie’s Five Favorite Regular Cleansing Tools

  1. Eat more dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard, beet greens, dandelion greens, and green cabbage.  These foods contain the bitter taste, one of the most missing today in our diets.  Yet this taste is a powerful detoxifying agent, helping to reduce weight and water retention and counter the excess of the sweet taste.  With the diet today loaded with obvious and hidden sugars, many people have become addicted to and overeat foods with the sweet taste. This is one reason why so many people have toxins today.  Lightly cook the greens with a dash of turmeric and fenugreek to add to the bitter balance.  Unless someone has a large vata imbalance, these greens can be consumed at least four times a week but are best cooked, not taken raw or cold as in a smoothie or juice.
  2. Use cooked apples, prunes and figs for breakfast to cleanse the bowels.  Having regular elimination is part of what brings the daily waste products out.  Prunes are well known to support regular elimination.  Soaking them or figs overnight is ideal.  Another option is to dice an apple and cook in 1/2 cup of water with 2-3 whole cloves on a low simmer covered until soft.  The cooked apples serves as a prebiotic, providing food to nourish your intestinal flora and fauna.  Ideally, have the fruits for breakfast three times a week.  If you are still hunger, after 30 minutes follow the fruit with a nice whole grain cooked cereal with all the good whole fiber.
  3. Enjoy a cup of cumin-corainder-fennel seed tea with your heaviest meal or even make a couple cups in the morning and put in a thermos to sip off and on throughout the day.  This tea has a mild diuretic action which cleanses the lymphatic tissue layer.  Those with more dryness in their body need to have less of it to avoid aggravating their inner dryness.  To make, take 1/3 tsp. each of dry roasted fennel, coriander and cumin seeds and steep in 1 cup of hot water for 5 minutes.  I sell the tea at my office as well, if it is easier to purchase than to make yourself.
  4. Do a 12 hour fast by refraining from eating snacks between dinner and breakfast and having your dinner earlier in the evening, ideally not past 6 pm.  One of the reasons Americans build toxins is by eating too late at night and/or by snacking after dinner.  Really allowing your body the time to fully digest the evening meal not only allows your systems to do their natural behind-the-scenes daily processing, but also gentle supports a healthy metabolism
  5. Drink enough water throughout the day. Water is one of the body’s most potent purifiers, flushing out toxins while boosting immunity. Lack of hydration creates an environment for toxic build up that can lead to disease. Part of your daily cleansing should through proper consumption of water, ideally filtered and pure. Having that water warm adds a deeper cleansing effect.

Along with the daily body therapies of self oil massage, body brushing, neti pot, and tongue scraping, these dietary habits give your body a solid foundation in cleansing the daily build up of toxins.

©2015, Jamie Durner, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Abundant You Life Coach