Six week detox tools

BODY FUNCTIONS

A practice from the Aryuvedic tradition; consider that our body has three main functions – producing energy to run on, healing itself and growth/regeneration and eliminating waste and toxins from the body. It is said that between the hours of 4am and noon the body is cleansing itself – so many yogis will have only lemon or lime water and nothing else until early afternoon when the first and sometimes only meal is taken. From noon until 8pm is considered to be time to take in food and do things that generate energy for the body, that may include eating, napping, taking sun and fresh air, exercising, and for a practicing yogi it would include a yoga poses or ‘asanas’, and pranayam, or breath exercises. It is recommended that you take your fresh vegetable juices in the late afternoon or early evening as they will then be bioavailable for the healing and regeneration process during the night. From 8pm until 4am the next morning nothing should be eaten so the body does not have to deal with heavy waste elimination processing in the body, and the body and mind should be quiet and resting, that is: no movies or news , early to bed, rising early. Observing these three practices with provide a framework within which to practice a better diet, and a healthier lifestyle.

BODY CLEANSING

Adding a favorite cleansing tea to your daily routine is an easy path to being on a constant detox. Ginger tea is probably one of the most effective. Boil sliced ginger in a pot for about 15 fifteen minutes, drink it hot or let it cool. Dilute as necessary. Whether you use ginger tea or another of your own favorites, cinnamon is also very good, mint is good, the constant ‘washing’ of the internal organs with a cleansing tea will help wash out the toxins that begin to release from your cells. Note: when detoxing is approached in a hurry the risk is that too many toxins get released into the bloodstream at one time. For example if you start with a water fast right away. This places a heavy load on the liver and kidney, causes headaches and ill feelings, and discourages the detox process.

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Unaccountable happiness, clarity, connectedness

Unaccountable happiness comes from many practices; for me it comes mostly from the practice of surrender (and acceptance) and non-attachment. I first learnt what it meant for me to surrender during yoga classes with Charat in Singapore. As he instructed us in class, he would ask us to surrender, to the pose, to the body, and to the divine spirit. My mother was ill and was not going to be with us for long. Finding my way to allow the grief to be there, to accept her imminent death and not resist it’s inevitability; this was a huge surrender for me. It did not create unaccountable happiness for me in that moment – but a month later when I travelled all the way back from Singapore to the US to be by her bedside for her last few days, I was able to experience being with her as powerfully in her death as in her life, and moreover, be witness to the miracles in my own family that happened in the space of her passing. As I drove about the city where she had been hospitalized during her last travels, I was able to listen to music, feeling unaccountably happy, while at the same moment, profoundly saddened. That was the first time I noticed this kind of happiness. It could be called something else as well – it could be called ‘fully present and present for life itself’. It is an experience of fullness, being acutely present to the external and physical realm of the world, where everything in life is fully accepted as it is, no matter how things are.

Since then there have been countless moments of unaccountable happiness, and there had been before that too – the difference was in the consciousness of the moment. Its as if the heart, the body and the mind all surge at once, with the experience of love, contentment, some call it bliss… when this happens I take a moment to acknowledge it – that everything is so perfect (perfectly imperfect), that I am so fortunate to be alive and experience it this way. Then I let the moment pass and move on, with the practice of non-attachment, no matter whether the attachment is to something ‘good’, or ‘bad’.

Clarity Purification of your body, your family/social/business relations, and of your thoughts and spoken conversation can lead to elevated states of clarity as the background noises will quiet, worry and compulsion will cease. The mind, when quiet, can perceive clarity.

Clarity seems to have its degrees and its always already there. I would describe it as a range from luminosity to crystalline white light. For me, clarity comes with the absence of mental noise, background concerns and worries, or any compulsive need to take action of any kind. With those things absent, there is a clarity of Being, even quietness in the body, that allows the ‘vision’ of the minds eye to become clearer. There is less emotion and a different quality to perception. It is the condition that allows heightened perception. The ‘luminosity’ is akin to feeling someones energetic vibrations. Some people, especially healers, are able to see or feel that energy very acutely and find the places where there are interruptions or differences in that energy. There is a clarity of perception that goes beyond our typical mental checklist of what we observe, for example, when we are interacting with someone else. It’s like being tuned in enough in a conversation that you address the unspoken questions as you speak, because clarity has them at the surface.

At the other end of the spectrum is the intense vibration of white light.  It is less mysterious than it seems, white light contains all the color vibrations, and when there is sunlight, it is always there. If you practice fasting, prayer, meditation, breath exercises etc. it is possible to perceive and experience the color vibrations in ways that are extra-ordinary. You may experience crystalline white light, where as you look through everything is the same except that it is appears as if through a sharp crystal clarity, and it occur as something that is more than just visual.

Connectedness It is an experience that words are truly inadequate to describe.

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We are what we eat

When I finally started cleaning up my diet, figuring out what foods were allergens to me, what caused asthma or inflammation in my system – my body was able to communicate to my brain better about what I was eating. Or, my brain was able to get the message better. The messages began to be something like: ‘oh wow, that made me feel really good!!!!’, or ‘geez, you’re killing me here.’

I know it sounds silly – but truly I began to tell the difference between live and cooked foods and was able to feel the difference in energy I would have after having one over the other.

So dead foods, even if they were vegetarian, or vegan, were still energy suckers, live foods were always a source of energy. So that is the bottom line for me – if I really need energy I eat live foods, and way less of it – because it provides so much fuel to the body. If I eat dead foods, I feel, well, less alive…

From another perspective – if one believes we take in the matter we eat into our body at a cellular level then well – as they say – who needs embalming? We are already preserved, polluted, chemicalized, processed, genetically modified, growth hormonized, etc., etc. Not to mention, as Maya Tiwari would say – we consume the anxiety, grief and fear of the animals that are slaughtered for our consumption.

One thing to keep in mind as well is that the body is a highly functioning machine, but if it is constantly dealing with our excesses of bad foods, we are wearing out the machine on waste processing, reducing the time for other higher functions like healing, regeneration and growth.

And, connected to this, we are sometimes HOW we eat. Distracted, absent, over consuming gluttons…I certainly was and still can be. Being fully present for the food we eat seems to go a long way towards having it provide nutrition, curbing the tendency towards overeating, and having the food choices be better.

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Avocado cilantro salad

 

My buddha is from China, his bindhi from India, devotion and gratitude is not particular.

My buddha is from China, his bindhi from India, devotion and gratitude is not particular.

Here are the pix – this recipe is pretty self evident, and you can improvise as you like. The recipe is one of Sri Dharmas that he suggests in the Life of a Yogi teacher training manual.  Its a super food, and if you eat too much of this it wont hurt you! The image below does show this with sprouted bread, if you cannot have gluten then corn tortillas or gluten free vegan corn bread is a good substitute.

 

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f) super foods to live on

From the post on detoxing:

Things to start to have on hand if you want to eat better and get healthy and really have some freedom about when and how to eat them. The more raw food you eat the better, once something is subjected to heat it will lose it’s vitality, and becomes less nutritious. Everything below is just suggestion:

VEGETABLES: Vegetables become super foods when you juice them, eat them raw, or add to smoothies. The best vegetables are local, seasonal, not sprayed or organic. Buy only what you know you will prepare and eat while fresh and minimize waste. This will have your healthy food budget be manageable and have you be compassionate & responsible towards those who do not have. Pick ones you like or ones your body is telling you to eat. Standbys are:

avocado (really a fruit but considered a vegetable by many) (avocado cilantro salad)
carrots great to juice, shred, or steam (Trader Joes sells them organic 89 cents a pound)
lettuce, spinach, bok choi, baby chard, kale etc. and other leafy dark greens – for salads
and for steaming/saute
onions if you love onions, but note onions and garlic are considered by many cultures to be ‘medicinal foods’, so I avoid them on a day to day basis, and then eat them raw when having a cold or other syptoms of a depressed immune system
cucumber – juicing or eating
zucchini spaghetti squash – substitute for pastas and great in vegetable dishes
celery for juicing and adding to many dishes like stir fry vegetables or pots of lentils
and vegan chili (trader joes has great organic celery)
cabbage(s) – not great if you have thyroid issues but fine if eaten in moderation
mushrooms – a great high protein vegetable that is very satisfying
tomatoes (really need to be in season, local and near organic)
potatoes, any kind but fried!

any other vegetable you love and can get fresh – beets, root vegetables, herbs are also excellent, you have to go by what you like or love – that will have you satisfied with your food. If you only love one thing go with that. Some of this is better eaten raw, and some you may feel a need to cook.

SEEDS & NUTS
a good small grinder is a necessity
always best to eat these raw but if you want to roast your seeds and nuts it is always better to start with raw and do it yourself in a pan on the stove top or in the oven. if you want a super food you will sprout your almonds, soak your walnuts, and grind your seeds to add to your oatmeal!
sunflower seeds great in oatmeal, homemade granola, by themselves as a snack
sesame seeds, ground in cereals, on salads, or use tahini for salad dressing
hemps seeds – good for milk making, adding to any foods, eating as high protein snack
pumpkin seeds – as above
chia, flax – add to cereals or salads, use in baking
almonds – snack or add to other foods
brazil nuts – high in selenium, good for the sluggish thyroid
peanuts – same, as long as you have no allergies to peanuts!
walnuts – great for desserts
cashews – topping for stir fried veggies – as snack etc, soak raw cashews to make cashew cream, or sauce base for ‘kormas’, mild indian curries
any others you like

GRAINS & BEANS & LEGUMES
I joined a buying club so buy 25lbs bags of organic beans. lentils and oats, getting around the crazy prices for the same at certain health food stores…
Oats, oats are great for detoxing, steel cut or rolled, but preferably organic
corn grits (polenta)
lentils any variety, for soups, in salads, as a side dish
split peas – green and yellow
brown rice
suggested low gas beans:
edamame – frozen fresh
red kidney
lima beans
black eyed peas
aduki or mung beans (mung beans ideally are as they sell them in the Indian stores, skin off, or ‘hulled’ and split, this makes them more digestible)
white or navy beans

FRUITS BERRIES & DRIED FRUITS:
organic, local and in season is best – otherwise whatever is available to you
bananas are great and have some protein
apples are also great
raisins, cranberries, prunes, apricots, goji, mulberry,
any of your favorite fruits
I buy what is on sale, organic and affordable, or really fresh and wash it well/peel if not organic

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y) detox exclusions

The really easy version of this is: no animal/seafood products, no wheat or gluten.

What is the rationale? Well there are many but the most compelling to me from the standpoint of health is that these foods are dead foods. Literally to eat them is too eat a carcass (keeping them in the fridge is like having a mini mortuary in the house) or in the case of dairy an animal by product.  Carcass – even if its ‘white meat’ or ‘fish’ or eggs, and somewhat easier to digest than a big hunk of red meat – all become more toxic within the body than plant based foods. Meats often literally ‘stick’ around on the lining of the intestine decaying inside the body. If your system is not fluid and processing what you eat today by the next day, then whatever you eat sits inside becoming putrid and upping the toxic load on your whole body especially your liver. So – whatever you decide to do in the long run, if you want to DETOX well, you have to leave aside the animal products to do so.

I have any diary and or eggs as an exclusion in this detox regime for a few reasons: animal proteins are often unclean, (added hormones, antibiotics and trace pesticides and herbicides) and are difficult to digest. I am avoiding the whole conversation about cruelty here, I address it elsewhere. The China study has demonstrated that there is a strong link between animal protein, heart disease and cancer.

Its not that big of a deal to leave the animal matter aside- just think about what you are committed to – if you are seeking more energy and better health – going vegan for a month and adding more raw vegan foods to your diet will make a difference. And its really not that hard. I don’t want to say you will also lose weight because it’s not the focus of a detox regime, but I do recommend reading this book, Eat More, Weigh Less, by Dr. Dean Ornish. (I linked to his website recipe page, the book can be found easily online for purchase.) If you want to really move into a hyper drive detox just watch the movie, Sick Fat and Nearly Dead. Then go out and buy a juicer and do what he does! Just be mindful, many of our bodies are so toxic we really have to start with the basics of cleaning the intestine before going into juice fasting and deep tissue detox. Otherwise when we suddenly detox all that toxin releases into the blood stream at once, creating a very heavy burden for the kidney and liver, and making us feel very sick at the same time. You be the judge of how fast or slow you can go – listen to your body and always support detox with lots of water.

With regard to wheat and gluten: many many people have a wheat or gluten intolerance that has not been identified – if you experience bloating, joint pain, or constipation there is a high probability that wheat or gluten is causing some of these issues. If you have anything like Irritable Bowel Syndrome wheat may be at the source of it. Read Wheat Belly for more on this. If you CRAVE wheat products then its likely it is an allergen for you. In a paradoxical twist of body biology we often crave that which is worst for us, other big ones include red wine, sweets, and greasy salty foods.

If you can manage to eliminate wheat and gluten from your diet while detoxing it will speed the clearing of the intestine, as most wheat products are highly processed. When you find gluten substitutes like corn meal, corn tortillas, gluten free breads, polenta, rice, etc you will be adding more fiber to your diet automatically.

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y) detox inclusions

This is in progress, I am right now just adding links to things I have already posted that should be included in a detox diet. Please check this link for what to exclude – animal products are at the top of that list, as well as wheat.

the INCLUSION RULES OF THUMB  are :

1) Eat some form of oatmeal as your first meal of the day – Muesli is good and usually made up of raw oats and the best for you, steel cut or rolled oats preferably organic when you can is great – soaked in non diary milk to soften. Granola is OK but often way too sugary. If you choose to cook your oats, use the steel cut or rolled oats and cook them al dente in water to get the maximum benefit from the fiber. Add your favorite nuts, non dairy milk, seeds, fruits, fresh and dried, non sugar sweetener, and chew well. Have a huge bowl of it if you are used to eating heavy in the mornings. Have a small bowl if you normally skip breakfast altogether. In the latter case after a week or two you may notice that your hunger signal will return in the mornings. The oats will start to work on your system within 2-3 days if your intestine is not impacted.

NOTE – IF YOUR INTESTINE IS VERY BACKED UP: Normal bowel movements are minimum once a day, and should reflect what was consumed in the last 24 hours. If you have constipation or your intestine is impacted – you will need to add lots of water to your diet.  3 to 4 cups a day more than whatever your current water consumption is. There are a few ways to kick start the intestinal clearing, strong coffee in the morning is one of them, it can be decaf if you don’t want to get hyped up. I am not recommending any of the following  methods as this process is wholly individual, however there are a few common approaches used when detoxing; warm water enemas, suppositories, psyllium seed powders mixed with juice, and some of the teas, but the teas are often very strong and require that you be near a toilet for 24-48 hours so proceed with caution if you choose this method. If you stop animal products at the same time you begin to add raw and live cleansing foods, being careful what you eat, your system will respond, so there is no need to hurry things unless you are motivated to do so. The longer you have eaten badly and tolerated a slow digestive system, the longer it will take to get it back to full optimal function. You will probably begin to notice early results in a few days.

2) Eat one raw meal a day – preferably this one is the last meal of the day – salad with your favorite greens, the darker the better, avocados, jicama, any other favorite raw vegetables seeds, nuts, (no cheeses) dried fruits, olive oil, fresh lemon juice or some other non dairy dressing, tahini is great for satisfying cravings for calories, protein and fats. Cabbage salads are good but find a vegan version, for example with oil and vinegar. Eat as much salad as you can – do not eat bread, pasta, or any other foods with the salad. If you are really unsatisfied with this meal you can add something like cooked potatoes with a vegan ‘butter’, or vegan potato salad, just try hard to have it with vegan mayo or german style instead of eggy mayo.

3) have Green clean juice juice once a day – yes bring your jucier with you if you have to! it must be consumed right after juicing or there is little point to having it.

4) eat one cooked meal preferably with grains and or legumes and cooked vegetables. Eat as much as you care to. There are many options you don’t have to make yourself at home and are readily available in restaurants if that is your lifestyle: Indian food is great, especially if you order from a vegetarian place, Thai food has many vegetarian/vegan options, think coconut curries – vegan chili is great, avoid the cornbread and have it with rice, places like chipotle have several options for vegan meals that are tasty and satisfying…avoid the breads and flour based foods. If you are cooking at home you can surf the internet for loads of great vegan recipes that are easy to make; bean and rice are always good, braised grilled and steamed vegetables, soups etc.

5) unlimited fruits and nuts (preferably raw and unsalted) are fine on this detox regime – but note that having too much sugar can trigger cravings for all the bad stuff that you USED to eat!

Stick with this regime until your bowel movements are synced with your consumption – with no more than a 24 hour lag between eating and passing that meal. A beet salad will tell you where you are! As you progress notice the differences in your energy and mood, you may find you have lost weight in the process, your skin and eyes will be clearer, and you will be more in touch with the optimal functioning of your body. Now you can
move on to the next level!

CRAVINGS: it is common to crave the high calorie dense foods of a standard American diet if that’s what you’ve been on. Nuts go a long way to deflect those cravings so have some with you – eat slowly until you have satisfied the craving.

a few recipes that are good to include:
carrot salad, purple cabbage salad, holy rice and beans, mexican, curry lentils, chana shag, soaked walnuts, sprouted almonds, sprouted peas, scrambled tofu, vegan potato salad, spring rolls, avocado cilantro salad

 

 

 

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a) I am not my body

I used to think that who I am is synonymous with my body.
That was difficult as my body wasn’t always loveable to me – dimples on my thighs said it all. ‘I’ used to be disconnected from my body – and look down on it, I hated it so much.
On the arc I have traveled from there to accepting and loving my body, I realize now, when I say ‘I’, that I am not speaking of my body. What a liberation.

Now I look at what I am committed to in my life – like being around for my kids 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now, (or getting to have more fun and more life) and I can say, what do I have to do with this hunk of flesh and bones (body) to get it to go my way? And to be able to do what I want to do?

My body is the container for my soul, spirit, consciousness – whatever I call it, that life force that energizes this body into motion, action, experience. But it is no match for who I really am. It runs slow while I want to run fast. No matter, as long as  I don’t let my body become weighted down in a stupor from bad food, alcohol, illness, I still have something to work with.

This realization helped me immensely as I followed the path towards what had become an elusive state of good health. It also helped immensely with the integration of my body and my mind with my consciousness. The way it was; my mind passed judgement on my body and didn’t like what it saw, my body was at the mercy of my own desperation, fear and self loathing – I fed the pain and grew ever more unhealthy.  Once I got just that slight bit of distance, the insight that the ‘I’ consciousness is not the same as the body, I could look more dispassionately and compassionately at the container I had been given, and take better care of it. The path to a healthy reintegration of body, mind – heart and soul was through the practice of yoga – not only the physical practice but also living the life of a yogi.

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Detoxing – the path from dis-ease to vitality

In this post I am going to outline the whole enchilada as I know it, that is – how to get from poor health back to natural vitality, and the various states or stages involved – and in subsequent posts get into the details. Its been a long time since I was quite ill, deeply troubled, numbed, yet I am still working to stay as far away from that state as possible and closer to being fully acutely alive. Please do not consider anything I post here to be true. In the long honored tradition of monks and yogis, I invite you to find out if any of this is true for you.

a) ‘I’ am not my body
b) unaccountable happiness, clarity, connectedness
c) we are what we eat
d) 6 week detox inclusions and exclusions
e) 6 week detox tools
f) super foods
g) freedom and suffering
h) mindfulness
i) we are not our minds
j) the extraordinary miracle of this time, this place, this body
k) convergence
l) making a difference: vegetarianism and being vegan
m) the basics: what’s need and not needed
n) fluid body vs blocked body
o) liver support
p) wheat and diary
q) caffeine sugar alcohol drugs
r) pH balance
s) let thy food be thy medicine – carcass versus live plant food
t) allergies, addictions & the anti-inflammatory diet
u) signals from the body
v) practicing yoga – body teaches mind
w) gentle yoga – traveling inwards
x) following one’s ‘destiny’ or path, and observing the journey
y) yoga, karma, imprints, past lives, incompletions
z) no boundaries, all is one

 

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Chana Shag with coconut milk – spinach and chick peas

So I am trying to eat more raw food these days – and it is a challenge to say the least! However on my good days – I avoid wheat altogether, I have a raw smoothie usually with cucumber and fresh spinach, maybe a little banana and coconut water mixed in, that’s really good. At least 2-3 servings of fruit, raw nuts in some form, (sometimes fresh almond milk) and a salad usually with avocado so satisfy my craving for heavier foods. Let me just say, I love this recipe and have made it many times but the sprouted spinach (leftover ends from the last batch I made) have been growing fast and are SO ALIVE!!! makes me think I must eat it raw from now on!  And thankful to have it either way!!!

spinach sprouted in bowl

 

 

This is a seasonal and easy recipe:

2lbs fresh spinach (or 2-3 large bunches)
wash well – and use stems
locate your favorite curry mix use about 2 tablespoons –
this one has salt already added so not optimal , but tasty
find your best fresh onion – doesn’t matter what kind – chop small
saute spices and onion in a generous amount of olive oil – (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
add chopped spinach and saute lightly – by the time I have chopped all the spinach and added it to the pot overall saute time is about 10 minutes
after spinach starts to wilt
add coconut cream (I use trader joes but other coconut milk will do fine)
add chick peas – you can cook from hard or use 1 small can – I remove skins to lessen the gas!
add salt if your curry powder did not have (most do not)

simmer for 10 minutes – serve with rice!

 

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