Think of January 2016 as the month where you give your body a vacation from all the hard work it has put in for the past year. Even when you were on a vacation, your body really wasn’t, because you probably ate and drank more than you normally would. This has been my annual pattern for many years now – making January the month where I take stock of my health. So in that light, let me share what I do to cleanse.
Discipline. Discipline. Discipline. That is the only thing that gets you to a place where you get anything accomplished. And actually it is not difficult because you don’t have to do the dreadful dieting business. So here is how I begin my New Year.
1. Start the day with a hot mug of water with a full lime squeezed in. This is hard for the first couple of days, but then you start looking forward to it because it makes your insides feel so good. The hot water wakes up the digestive system and starts the cleansing process.
2. A tablespoon of Psyllium husk every morning, mixed in a glass of hot water. (‘Telephone brand Sat Isabgol Psyllium husk available on Amazon). It cleans your stomach and intestine wall from the excess deposition of toxins and oily substance. It prevents absorption of fat from the food. Any serious allergic reaction related to Isabgol is rare. Mix one tablespoon in a glass of warm/hot water, mix, and drink quickly.
3. Drink a glass of hot water, mixed with one-tablespoon organic Apple cider vinegar and one-teaspoon of honey. Any time during the day. The benefits of this remedy are so many that I cannot even begin to write them here, believe me when I say that you will feel great.
4. The other change that is unique is the concept of ‘single foods’. What this means is that eat only one food group at a time. Usually our meals are made up of multiple food groups that we lump together, breakfast for example can comprise of egg, toast, juice, fruit, coffee, oatmeal etc. Choose just one item to eat for breakfast, just 2 boiled eggs maybe. Then have a glass of fresh juice 90 minutes later, an apple 2 hours later, bowl of vegetables for lunch with a very small portion of rice, some nuts a few hours later, dinner can be a bowl of lentil soup with some veggies thrown in, and so on. Basically, eat a lot through the day, make the portions small, add fresh vegetables to every meal, avoid raw foods, avoid frozen foods, and keep the meals as simple as possible. Key is to focus on fresh ingredients and never be hungry.
6. Drink about 6-8 glasses of warm/hot water in a day. You can vary flavors by adding a cinnamon stick, or a pinch of ginger powder, or lemon again. This keeps the system active and the pipes keep getting washed.
7. Walk everyday between 20-30 minutes. The brisk walk activates the sluggish, stagnant digestive system, and you notice the body getting energized after a couple of weeks.
1. This one is very hard for many people; however, leave meat (specially red meat). Meat is very hard for the body to digest, and stays, putrefying, in the digestive tract for long periods. And especially now, when all the meats are so processed, and farmed and hormonally engineered. I personally don’t believe in the ‘farm fed, hormone free’ revolution. I think it is just a marketing myth to hike up the rates and make you feel psychologically better. Mainly though, remember you are cleansing.
2. And yes, I am writing this – avoid alcohol for the next month. You will notice so many wonderful changes: within a few days, your skin will look more hydrated, your sleep will be better which will lead to increased energy and concentration. The liver actually gets a chance to clean up other toxins now that it is not in overdrive dealing with the alcohol. If you have a problem with acid reflux and weak digestion, your symptoms should dramatically improve. Alcohol over time makes the heart work much harder, so you will notice that you able to exercise better as your pulse rate lowers. And best of all, you may actually lose weight.
3. And this brings me to the next thing – you know what I am going to write here – Sugar - the ultimate culprit. Your body will thank you when you give it a break from the sweet stuff. And it is not just dessert and candy, but I am also talking about all the processed, packaged foods that totally mess up your glycemic index. Going cold turkey is hard, so ease out with the added sugar and dessert over a week; and completely stop with the processed foods.
In conclusion, I want to say that if we take the time to neglect the body for 11 months, we can totally take the one-month to cleanse and rest the various systems. After all you even take your car for regular servicing, so why not your body? You will notice fantastic results with this regimen. Wishing you the best of health in 2016.
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