Ten Reasons To Love A Fall Cleanse

It’s Day 4 of the Pranaful Fall Cleanse, and I feel amazing, and profoundly grateful for Meredith Klein. This is the second time I have cleansed with her, and I love it and her, more than ever before!

Here’s why The Pranaful Fall Cleanse is so awesome:

1) I don’t have to starve myself. We drink a yummy green juice in the morning, and enjoy kitchari for lunch, and dinner.

2) The food is delicious. It took me a few days to acquire a taste for green juices, but now I actually crave them. They give me so much energy, and it just feels good to fill our bodies with nutrients, first thing in the morning. Similarly, kitchari was new to me last spring, but now I look forward to it. There is something very healing and comforting about Meredith’s recipe…so much so, that it was hard to break my kitchari habit after the Spring Cleanse!

3) It’s convenient. We can download the recipes and instructions for the cleanse, start whenever we are ready, and keep the materials for future reference. Meredith cleansed with her students last week, but it was not a good week for me, so I started this past Monday. The cost for the materials is only $40, with $5 off if we enter the code “crazyhealthy”. This is an amazing deal, and I expect the price will go up next time, as her business grows…so don’t wait!

4) I don’t have to worry about what I will eat. It is comforting to not have to think about what I will make for dinner. I prepare a big pot of kitchari (basmati rice, mung beans, ginger, cumin, tumeric, and a few other yummy flavors!) on the first and third days of the cleanse, and reheat portions at meal time. If I want to change things up, I can roast some fresh veggies to add to the kithcari, or make some of Meredith’s recommended (and delicious!) sauces.

5) I can still work out. My energy dips a little in the first few days of the cleanse, but not so much that I can’t practice yoga. Sweating helps the cleansing process, so I love that I can do both at the same time.

6) Cleansing reminds me that food is just food. Sometimes I get so attached to the foods I love, that I forget to keep food in it’s proper place. It’s empowering to identify those attachments and release them, especially as the holiday season begins. It’s so much easier to say no to Halloween candy, when I am fresh off a cleanse!

7) Cleansing creates new healthy habits. I had never made green juice or kitchari before my first cleanse with Meredith. These days, however, I make green juice at least twice a week, and serve kitchari to my family for dinner. Putting food in its place helps me keep my weight in check, and my energy levels high.

8) Meredith is a great coach! She is incredibly helpful, and will answer any questions you might have–just check the Pranaful Fall Cleanse page on Facebook for more insights, or email her with your questions.

9) The cleanse includes powerful meditations and insights. Recordings of Meredith’s conference calls and meditations from last week are included with the cleanse, and can be accessed online at any time.

10) I feel amazing, and inspired afterwards. Cleansing makes me really, really happy. The first few days are difficult, but when I trust the struggle, wonderful things appear on the other side.

You can still register for The Pranaful Fall Cleanse. Check it out, and let me know how I can help you be successful. Trust me on this…cleansing with Meredith will change your life in the most empowering ways!

Namaste,

Amber
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The Saltwater Flush

ImageI’m on Day 5, of a seven day cleanse with Meredith Klein of Pranaful. Which means that, since Sunday, I have been eating the same things every day, with just a few minor modifications that add variety to my mono-diet (as Mer calls it).

Every morning, I make a juice from leafy greens, a green apple, and a daikon radish, with a splash of cayenne. For lunch, snack and dinner, I eat kitchari (kich-a-ree), which is a mixture of basmati rice, mung beans, coconut oil, seaweed, veggies, and spices. I can add chutney and spices to change the flavor, and make it soupy or more like a rice dish, to vary the experience each time. It is actually considered comfort food in India, and I am beginning to see why. I’ve fallen in love with kitchari this week, and know that it will be a staple in our house from here on out. It’s delicious and satisfying.

On days 3 and 5 of the cleanse, Meredith suggested a saltwater flush, first thing in the morning, to eliminate toxins from the body. I want to participate as fully as possible in the cleanse, so even though I have already done one flush (and did not enjoy it), I went ahead and drank my saltwater again. Which means I will be running to the bathroom a lot this morning.

To be perfectly honest, I almost skipped the second flush. I told myself it wasn’t that big of a deal, and I am too busy. I am leaving on a trip early tomorrow morning, and have a million things to do in the meantime. I need to register my girls for school next year, do a bunch of laundry, pack for the trip, get the house in order, and drive soccer carpool this afternoon. Somewhere in between, I also absolutely have to practice yoga and meditate, because I know I won’t be able to tomorrow (I try to never miss more than one day a week). So it feels like I don’t have time to sit around and wait for the flush to take effect.

I am also a little worried that the flush might wash away the medication I have just recently started taking for my hypothyroidism. After the flush on Wednesday, a lot of my symptoms returned, and I felt pretty bad for part of the day. It could be that I was just detoxing, or it might be that the medication never had a chance to take effect before I washed it away.

As all of these excuses ran through my mind, however, I asked myself if any of it was true. Do I really not have time for this? Could I find a way to work around the inconvenience? Can I adjust my supplements to minimize the thyroid symptoms, or just deal with them for one more day? (I’ve been battling hypothyroidism for six months…what’s one more day?)

I realized that I could find a way to work around the flush, and I was probably avoiding it because it’s not pleasant. But in my heart, I know that the flush will ultimately increase my energy, heal my body, and help me be a better yogini and teacher.

So, I decided to go for it. I took my yoga off my mat, surrendered to the experience, drank my four cups of warm saltwater, and told myself it would all be ok in the end.

It reminded me that, so often I create my own pain, by resisting experiences that, logically, I should embrace. All the times that I don’t get on my yoga mat, because “I am too busy”, the days that I don’t meditate because “it’s not that important”, the food I eat that I shouldn’t because “it’s not that big of a deal”.

In yogic circles, we call this phenomenon resistance. It’s a powerful thing, resistance, and once I became aware of it, I realized how much it guides my life. Yoga, however, has empowered me to overcome resistance. Most of all, it’s taught me that more often than not, we can, and should, do the things we resist the most…even if it means a saltwater flush…and trust that we are better for it in the end.

Photo: http://www.ilove-diet.com

Green Juice, Kitchari and Aloe Shots

photo copy 2I’ve dabbled in Ayurveda off and on for over a decade. I first learned about this ancient practice during my 200 hour yoga teacher training program, and have been both fascinated, and intimidated by, Ayurveda ever since.

I’m fascinated by Ayurveda because it all makes so much sense, and it has stood the test of time. Ayurveda has been around for thousands of years, and is the most widely practiced form of medicine in India. It stresses medical diagnosis through the use of the five senses, use of food as medicine, proper hygiene (internal and external), and eating seasonal foods that support our personal body constitution.

Even though I know it works, I find Ayurveda intimidating at times, because it’s so incredibly different from modern American practices and attitudes. It forces me out of my comfort zone.

It’s also not the kind of thing that you can just read a book and understand…Ayurveda is experiential. It requires patience, intention, and a lot of practice to assimilate it into our lives.

This is why I really wanted to participate in the Spring Cleanse with Meredith Klein, that I shared with you last week. It is founded in Ayurveda, and I knew it would deepen my understanding of the practice. Meditation and yoga are also highly recommended during the cleanse, and you know I’m all about that!

It hasn’t been easy, but as of right now, on day 3 of the cleanse, I feel great, and extremely grateful for what I have learned so far:

1) I am really attached to food, but not in the way that most people are attached to food. I rarely use food for comfort. Instead, I think of food as a drug, and use it to give me energy, alter my mood, and relieve pain. Not being able to eat some of the crazy healthy foods I normally use medicinally, such as bananas an chocolate, has been hard. I am also attached to eating small meals every 3 hours or so. Trying to eat less frequently on this cleanse brings up all kinds of stuff for me. Which is awesome, because awareness of my attachments always breeds progress.

2) I get hungry less often when I eat Indian comfort food, known as kitchari (pictured above). The word kitchari means mixture, and usually refers to mung beans, basmati rice, spices, and veggies. I now know that mung beans, which taste a lot like lentils, are highly detoxifying. Who knew?

3) I can make green juice from leafy greens and water in my blender. No juicer needed. Simply strain the juice with a cheese cloth or jelly bag. And just for the record, adding a green apple, lemon and ginger makes green juice more palatable.

4) Tumeric, cumin, and black mustard seeds taste awesome with cilantro, coconut and lime. I have, for a long time, been afraid to mix too many flavors in with my veggies. Most of what I cook is very basic, with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, cinnamon, honey and/or lemon as flavoring. Now, thanks to this cleanse (and being forced outside my comfort zone), I have a few more spices in my repertoire.

5) Aloe juice is good for reducing inflammation, and enhancing digestion, especially if you add tumeric and black pepper (Meredith calls it “aloe shots”). It also has a fairly pleasant taste on it’s own. Again, who knew?

5) Kombu seaweed adds a lot of nutrients (iodine is the most important!), but very little taste to kitchari.

6) Kitchari can be made in advance, and enjoyed for several days, with a different sauce and veggies every day…which makes my busy life a lot easier.

7) A salt water flush works a lot like an enema. You drink four cups of salted water first thing in the morning, and stay by the bathroom for a long while. Drinking that much salt water makes me want to gag, but I’m sure I’ll feel better later for it.

8) I can make digestive tea from cumin, fennel, and coriander. It’s not my favorite tea, but I have to admit it is comforting.

9) I can give up anything for a week, even coffee.

10) The more I learn about ayurveda, the more I question why I don’t eat this way all the time. I have to avoid some of the suggested ayurvedic foods, due to my allergies, such as dairy and wheat, but I do believe an ayurvedic diet might be the best choice for my constitution.

There’s still time to participate in the FREE Spring Cleanse with Meredith Klein of Pranaful. Just register on her site, print the materials, and start it on a day that works best for you. And, as always, let me know if you have questions, or need encouragement.

Also, please follow me on Facebook at Come On, Get Healthy, if you want to see what I have been eating this week!

 

Namaste,

Amber

FREE Online Spring Cleanse

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I met Meredith Klein three years ago, when she cooked for us at a yoga retreat with Steve Ross in Ojai, CA. I watched in awe, as she lovingly prepared ayurveda-inspired dishes throughout the weekend. The food was beautiful, delicious, and inspiring.

When I returned home from that retreat, I felt amazing. I’m certain it had as much to do with the yoga, as it did with Meredith’s perfectly balanced meals.

Since then, I have followed Meredith’s business, Pranaful, and emailed her when I need inspiration. She is always quick to respond, and brilliant in her replies. I have incorporated many of her recipes into my regular routine, and especially love her garlicky kale chips and cashew creams.

So, I was thrilled when I heard that Meredith is offering a free online spring cleanse, beginning this Sunday. Please check it out, and join me, in what promises to be an inspiring experience. I will write about the cleanse in a future blog post, and would love to feature your stories, so please let me know how it goes.

Happy cleansing!

Amber