Natural Living: Fall cleanse, part 1
Autumn is an excellent time to purge the old and re-nourish the body. Just like the tall maples, we must shed our leaves and cleanse before the winter. An autumn detox cleanse will help to stave off seasonal colds, keep your immune system healthy, and prepare your organs for the colder months ahead.
While the majority of chronic health challenges are caused by more than one factor, accumulated toxins over the long haul can result in one developing any one of the chronic diseases that are plaguing people in industrialized countries. The presence of inflammation is what makes most disease perceptible to an individual. It can and often does occur years before it exists at levels sufficient to be apparent or clinically significant, hence why seasonal cleansing is so important. Cleansing will help rid the body of both endogenous and exogenous pathogens and toxins we accumulate through poor food choices, poor sleeping habits, stress and exposure to environmental and chemical pollutants.
It’s important you do the right type of detox for your body type and for the season in order to retain or restore health balance. Many people make the mistake of incorrectly detoxifying with raw cold juices, cold salads or a master cleanse, which is healing in the warmer months, but can be cooling and depleting in the dead of winter’s cold. There’s a reason why our bodies crave hot soups and cooked foods during colder months. To ignore the need to support a minimum core body temperature is to allow significant enervation, which is never conducive to supporting optimal health.
In Chinese medicine, paying attention to “food energetics” is an important part of restoring health. Various foods are recognized as having cooling or warming properties. In cold weather, it’s considered important to consume more warm-natured foods to preserve the body’s optimal metabolic state. Undergoing a cleanse this time of year should also focus on the lungs and large intestine. According to Chinese and Western medicine, these organs are linked to skin and breathing problems like asthma, eczema, rashes and dry skin — all of the most common things to ail us in the colder months. To support the lungs and large intestine, one should cut out sugars, flours, dairy and alcohol for a healthy, mucus-free stomach and respiratory system.
The following is a guide to get you started on your way to better health and a cheerful holiday season.
I recommend an autumn/winter seven day soup cleanse. You’re basically consuming soups throughout the day for seven days. Creating at least five different soups with different textures and spices are important to keep your palate enticed. Stay tuned to next week’s article to get specific recipes, or if you want to start sooner than that, simply Google “vegan soup recipes.” Make sure the recipes are void of any processed or packaged items. Also these recipes should be vegan to assure maximum benefit of cleansing toxins from your body.
If you’re addicted to coffee, sugar, cigarettes or other varieties of drugs, wean yourself off a week prior to cleansing to avoid strong detox effects. Timing is important — make sure you don’t have parties scheduled prior to or just after your cleanse, as your body will need to ease into and out of these dietary changes. Prior to starting a cleanse, you want to make sure there are no temptations lying around your house, especially after Halloween to pull you off track. After you have cleaned your cupboards of any processed, packaged foods, plan on shopping for everything you will need to endure your cleanse.
During your cleanse use organic and local produce whenever possible. Drink room temperature water with a squeeze of lemon throughout the day. If you haven’t had a bowel movement after two days, use Smooth Move Tea, which is a gentle laxative to assure elimination of toxins.
When undergoing a cleanse, possible detoxification effects can include headache, nausea, fatigue, rash, constipation, and being more emotional. These effects are more common the first three days; by day five most people feel completely energized. One can decrease these effects and better their results by increasing filtered water intake, using a far-infrared sauna, herbs, acupuncture, meditation, Epsom salt baths, enemas or colonics and decreasing their stress load while cleansing. It’s equally important to get plenty of rest while cleansing, however you may continue your exercise routine during the cleanse. If you’re feeling like you need more time to cleanse, by all means turn this into a 14-or-21-day cleanse.