Community Spring Cleanse
Join us in a Community Spring Cleanse! April 13-19, 2014
Cleansing is an excellent way to rid your body of any excess oils, toxins, wastes and fluids that have accumulated over the winter months. Clearing out is like a re-set for the body and mind, which then allows us to build back up with the nutrient dense, healthy substances we want for an energetic return to light. Spring is a time of rejuvenation and new growth, and cleansing the body provides a clear palette for this natural activation of elements. Doing a Spring cleanse is akin to a big Spring cleaning of your home ~ it takes time, hard work and dedication but when you awaken to a sparkling clean environment everything feels better, and its always worth it!
This cleanse is based on Tibetan medical principles of health and balance, and is designed to be beneficial for people of all constitution types. Cleansing should be done by generally healthy people as a means to support well-being. *It is NOT APPROPRIATE for those with: chronic weakness or a wasting illness, young children, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding OR menstruating, people who are under weight, or women with amenorrhea.
The Cleansing Routine: Lifestyle
Follow these bcud len (pronounced choo len – means rejuvination) guidelines for proper digestion. Eat three small meals a day at about the same times, eat lighter in the morning and evening than in the afternoon, and eat in a quiet, pleasant atmosphere. Since the weather is still cool eat mainly cooked vegetables or fruits, and warm soups. On warm days a smoothie with fruit or a fresh vegetable juice is okay.
The first step is to cut out all junk food, food additives, snacks, desserts, leftovers, canned foods, processed foods and salty foods. The idea is to eat fresh foods freshly prepared and to keep meals very simple. Decrease the size and frequency of meals, and be sure to slow down and chew your food thoroughly. It is important to also remove alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine when possible. If you consume caffeinated teas or coffee, you will want to reduce and switch to decaf or remove them from your diet all together. For addicted coffee drinkers, dandelion tea is a great herbal substitute and well known for it’s sweet bitter flavor.
Drink plenty of liquids, especially warm or hot water, herbal teas, kanjees and lemon water. Along with small meals this helps to keep your digestion moving.
Get lots of rest. Sleep is important any time of year, but especially during purification, when your body needs the quiet time to cleanse itself and recharge. Go to bed early and rise early. Avoid long naps during the day.
Meditate and relax everyday, even if you can find only a few minutes here and there for peace and quiet. Prioritize this during the cleanse – treat relaxation as part of your cleansing regimen. Stress contributes to disrupted digestion, and meditation can help reduce stress levels.
Take baths, Epsom salt or herbal foot baths and/or showers daily. Scrub your body with a washcloth or loofa while in the bath or shower. This helps the body detoxify from the outside too, sloughing off dead skin, increasing circulation, and eliminating any sweat and oils that may have been exuded.
Exercise, done everyday, is important. Exercise early in the morning. Walking is excellent exercise for all body types. Practice deep breathing to draw in oxygen and cleanse the air channels of the body.
Daily self-massage with oil (almond, sesame, olive oils and ghee are all good options) is wonderful and helps loosen toxins deeply embedded in body tissues for ease of elimination.
Regular elimination is critical. Empty your bowel and bladder regularly to flush the toxins that have been loosened or released from the tissues, joints and organs out of the body before they get back into circulation.
A sample cleansing day:
First thing in the morning take Shi Je 6 with a cup of warm/hot boiled water.
Breakfast: A small bowl of cooked buckwheat with apple sauce, or white rice porridge with cardamom and dates, or kitchari.
One or two cups of warming, digestive tea blend.
Mid-morning: One or two cups of Warming Digestive tea blend, lemon water, or plain boiled water.
Lunch: Kitchari (recipe below) cooked or served with vegetables on the side. One or two cups of Detox tea blend.
Mid-afternoon: Detox tea blend, lemon water, or boiled water.
Dinner: A light vegetable soup or smaller amount of kitchari, and steamed vegetables such as (cabbage, zucchini, green beans, celery, artichokes) these can be served with lemon and a little Bragg’s, tamari or sea salt. Drink Warming Digestive, Detox tea blend, lemon water or warm boiled water. Cooked pears or apples for dessert (if desired).
* You can include bone broth (recipe below) with dinner or in the evening, especially if you’re feeling weak, shaky, having trouble sleeping, or tend to need a lot of meat in your diet.
1 or 2 hrs before bed: Hot milk whipped with ghee, a pinch of cardamom, nutmeg and a little honey. *Note, begin with 2 tsp of ghee on Days 1 & 2, increase to 3 tsp of ghee on Day 3, 4 tsp of ghee on Day 4, and then reduce back down to 2 tsp of ghee for Days 5-7.
Remember that this is a sample cleansing day. Every day should include the morning herbs, plenty of the herbal teas and other liquids, and the evening hot milk with ghee, but the meals can vary. We will be offering other meal ideas on Facebook during the week, but you can always make up your own with a combination of quinoa, millet, basmati rice and moong, french, red or brown lentils. Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Barley water or rice kanjee, made by cooking a small amount of grain with a large quantity of water (1/2 cup to 10 cups) are also wonderful cleansers of the digestive system and the urinary tract. Greens, daikon radish, bitter gourd, cabbage and celery are examples of cleansing vegetables. Cooked apples and pears are a great way to get elimination going in the morning. Prunes, pineapple, papaya and pomegranate are other fruits that aid digestion and cleansing. Herbs such as cilantro, mint, fresh ginger and lemon are also helpful for cleansing and purifying the digestive system.
Cook with digestion-enhancing, detoxifying spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, clove, ajwon (onion seed), fenugreek, dried or fresh ginger, cinnamon and fennel.
For a 7-day regimen, take a laxative (castor oil) on Day 5 to really cleanse the digestive system. Depending on how readily your body responds to laxatives, you may need to take more or less of the castor oil. Begin by taking it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach with hot boiled water (or a small amount of fresh juice for palatability), and take dosages according to the bottle. Since we won’t able to monitor you individually, finding the correct dosage for your body will be up to you. It can take 2-6 hours to feel the full laxative effect of the castor oil, but remember that you made need to take more than 1 dose (waiting 1-2 hours after the first dose should give you an indication of whether its working or whether you would benefit from another dose). This laxative day should be even more restful, as it can be quite exhausting to the system to eliminate so completely. It’s especially important to stay hydrated on this day! Drink lots of fluids! Eat much smaller amounts, or choose to consume only liquids such as herbal teas, vegetable broth, fresh juices, and bone broth. This should be followed by taking a Tibetan herbal formula in the evening (Ba Sam sMan Mar) for 7 days (the last 2 of your cleanse and another 5 afterwards) to help build back your strength and rejuvenate your being.
- ¼ cup of organic basmati rice
- 1/8 cup of yellow mung dahl
- 2 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of ghee
- 1 ¼ teaspoon of powdered herb blend (coriander, cumin, turmeric, fennel, ginger)
- 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
- ½ teaspoon of salt
Combine rice and mung dahl in a small pot. Wash rice and dahl well by covering with water, swirling, and draining. In a separate pan, heat ghee.
Add the spices to the hot ghee and sauté briefly, about 30 seconds or until lightly browned and aromatic. Add the sautéed ghee and spices to the rice and dahl.
Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 1 hour. Cook longer for a thicker consistency. Can use rice cooker instead.
Remove the rice and dahl from heat. Add salt and mix well. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
You may add light, well-cooked vegetables in the kitchari or on the side as desired.
Although everyone has all three nyespa: rLung, Tripa, and Badkan, we each have an individual constitution with one or two nyespa being predominant. To get an idea of your personal constitution, schedule an appointment for a consultation or take this Tibetan medicine questionnaire (note – this will give you an idea, but to accurately determine your constitution, its best to have a full intake and receive an experienced opinion). If your constitution indicates two or three nyespa as predominant, you can use your own judgement and intuition when choosing what fruits and vegetables to include and avoid during your cleanse.
Fruits and Vegetables to complement your constitution:
rLung – (cool/wind)
Fruits – Avocado, berries, fresh figs, grapefruit, kiwi, lemons, mango, oranges, papaya, peaches, pineapple, plums, strawberries. Sweet fruits are balancing. No dried fruits.
Vegetables – Artichoke, asparagus, beets, carrots, green beans, leeks, mustard greens, okra, onion, parsnip, squash, watercress, zucchini. Cooked vegetables are most balancing. Avoid raw vegetables.
Tripa – (heat/bile)
Fruits – Apples, avocado, berries, dates, melons, pears, pineapples, plums, pomegranate, and watermelon. Sweet fruits are balancing. Sour fruits are aggravating.
Vegetables – Artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, celery, dandelion greens, green beans, leafy greens, kale, okra, parsley, parsnip, peas, squash, sprouts, zucchini. Sweet and bitter vegetables are balancing.
Badkan – (cool/heavy/phlegmatic)
Fruits – Apples, cherries, cranberries, mango, peaches, pears, pomegranate, and prunes are balancing. Sweet fruits such as bananas and dates are aggravating, as are sour fruits such as lemons, sour oranges and grapefruit.
Vegetables – Asparagus, beets, beet greens, bell pepper, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, green beans, horseradish, leafy greens, kale, leeks, okra, onions, parsley, peas, peppers, sprouts, turnips, watercress. Pungent and bitter vegetables are balancing, cooked is preferable. Sweet, juicy vegetables are aggravating.
Bone broth is an excellent source of easily digested and assimilated minerals and nutrients, and healthy fats. Its high in calcium, iron, and especially nourishing for pregnant, postpartum and nursing women, menstruating women, anyone recovering from blood loss or surgery, people with degenerative bone loss or healing broken bones, for any rLung (wind) imbalance, and anyone with a condition that saps strength and leaves them needing an easy, readily available source of rich nutrients. It’s food medicine, so it can also be enjoyed by whoever enjoys it!
Get a few organic (local is best) beef bones from the butcher. If they have sacrum, scapula, or hip bones, those are ideal, but thigh bones or whatever they have will do just fine. Put them in a big pot on high heat and sear them for a couple minutes on each side (this improves flavor). Fill the pot with lots of water (4+ quarts), put in a generous amount of sea salt (start with a small palm-ful and taste for saltiness an hour or so into cooking), and whatever spices you wish to use. Some options are a little black pepper, a little ginger, long pepper (aka pipi ling), nutmeg, cardamom, black cardamom, onion, and garlic. Stay away from capsicums (chilies) and too much black pepper or ginger, and don’t use other veggies – this is a delicious broth, but not a soup. Bring it all to a boil, covered, then turn it down to a slow simmer and let it cook, partially covered, for 3-6 hours. If any scum forms on the top, skim it off and throw it away. It will reduce down quite a bit. When its looking and smelling done, strain it and reserve the liquid, discarding the solids. The bones will be hollow and empty of their marrow now. There will be a layer of fat on the top of the strained broth. You can skim some of this off if you wish, but do leave some as well, since that contains lots of healthy marrow and is part of the medicine we want. Taste for salt and add it as needed. It should taste delicious, and feel deeply nourishing in your body. You can fill a few yogurt containers almost full, leave room for the broth to expand, and freeze them for drinking throughout the week (they’ll last for a few months in the freezer). The broth will keep for no more than a few days in the fridge, so do freeze whatever you won’t drink in a few days.