May 2016 - Page 89

T here is something to be said for Spring cleaning. It signals that the long dark days of Winter are over. It literally brings a breath of fresh air into our homes. But what about our bodies? What about a change of pace from all of the heavier and harder to digest foods we tend to favor in the Winter? In the Ayurvedic tradition, there is a special cleanse recommended for Spring. It’s simple and only takes four days. There are practices in this cleanse which actually benefit us year round because they help the lymph system, which is the detox engine in our bodies. There are five easy steps to this cleanse. Think comfort! Think spa! STEP 1. OLEATION WITH GHEE (an amazing detox vehicle) Every morning after scraping the tongue with a tongue scraper and cleaning the teeth, drink melted ghee in increasing amounts. Ghee (clarified butter) is available in health food stores or online. It’s also easy to make. Day 1: 2 tsp. Ghee Day 2: 4 tsp. Ghee Day 3: 6 tsp. Ghee Day 4: 9 tsp. Ghee 1. Drink the melted Ghee plain, or mix it in a small amount of warm, unsweetened almond or rice milk, with a pinch of ginger and cardamom for taste. 2. Wait thirty minutes. Then, drink a glass of warm water with ¼ to ½ a fresh lemon squeezed into it. If nausea occurs after drinking the Ghee, sip ginger tea. This is not uncommon on days three and four. STEP 2. KITCHARI—INDIA’S “CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL” Kitchari is a traditional Indian “comfort food” (rather like risotto) that allows the digestive system to rest while nourishing the body and keeping blood sugar levels stable. Eat it for three meals per day for the four days. Should your blood sugar level become unstable, add a seasonal vegetable to the mix. If needed, add 1-2 ounces of lean protein to the lunchtime meal. Eat enough at each meal so that you do not need to snack in between. It is very important that no oils are added to the meals. Ghee is the only oil that should be consumed (in the morning). STEP 3. DRY SKIN BRUSHING This technique stimulates lymphatic drainage, which is one of the most important elements of detoxifying your body effectively. Do this just before you take a hot bath in the evenings. Using a dry, soft washcloth, raw silk gloves, or a soft brush, begin rubbing your body in circular motions starting with your scalp, then around the forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, and cheeks. You can be vigorous with the scalp, but be gentle with your face. Next, use quick, firm, but 89