I confess. I am not a die-hard cleanser. It’s one of those absolutes I just know. I’ve had my day with them and finally gave in to the wise voice inside that said a cayenne-peppered lemonade with maple syrup for days on end (aka Master Cleanse) is not for me. I am a hungry woman. You don’t want to be around me as I turn into Ms. Cranky Pants – actually, it’s more like morphing into Ms. Hangry Biiiiitch. But, crispy, clean fall air entices me to reset my cells from fast paced summer’s fun toward prep for the heavier foods that combat winter’s chill and fire up our immune response. And, when searching for an image, I was aghast that like everything else these days, you no longer need a lemon squeezer, lemons, and a bottle of maple syrup – you can just buy it pre-made in a bottle. Sigh…….some things should just be kept the way they are.
Cleanses range from the Master Cleanse mentioned above to an Ayurveda mono-diet meaning you eat one thing – kitchari – morning, noon and night to a host of others. My experience is a few years of a fall or spring Ayurveda whole foods method which meets my tricky “there’s never going to be enough” mentality around purposefully choosing to “cleanse.” If you choose to “detox,” in my opinion this whole foods approach is the safest way to go and it’s more sustainable long term. So…..
Spend an hour one afternoon to plan out what breakfast, lunch and dinner will be. Know that this yields a lot of food so consider how some foods can be blended into a second meal. The intended result is a carefully selected, varied, and grand 7-day menu plan. Choose lean protein, whole grains, legumes, and colorful fruits and veggies to fill at least half your lunch and dinner plates. Give yourself 3 days to slowly reduce unhealthy offenders – wrecking-ball foods like caffeine, alcohol, and sweets – to zilch. Go slowly on reducing caffeine to reduce that nagging headache. After 3 days, dive into the meal plan for a week to see how it feels to nourish yourself with cooked, minimally processed whole foods.
Even if cleansing doesn’t interest you, eating healthier and vibrant foods can. Summer’s heat held in your cells is intensified with the cool, dry wind of fall (think fanning the flame of a fire). Check out the article next door to see why eating in a different way can release summer’s heat that otherwise leads to burnout and high stress; not slowing down and taking care halts your body’s natural ability to detox with the seasonal change.
Ending with a fall embrace to you all,