PLANT YOUR DREAMS
Equinoxes and Solstices provide key transition times in Nature offering a window of opportunity for detoxification, fasting and healing.
The key dates are:
· Winter to Spring (March 19-22)
· Spring to Summer (June 19-22)
· Summer to Autumn (Sept 19 – 22)
· Autumn to Winter (Dec 19-22)
Learning to adapt to the Seasonal and lunar transitions aids our connection with the cosmic life force that serve our well-being. Mother Nature always provides her prescriptions for vitality and health in a timely way. Unfortunately, life is often lived against the natural grain. We are not taught the skills to connect with these subtle healing energies, nor to listen to our intuition, our internal navigation system that always serves to protect our survival.
The purpose of this naturopathic guide is to prepare the body-mind to respond to the Seasonal transitions and let Mother Nature work her magic!
We all need nourishment - Choose to eat seasonal whole food, locally sourced if possible
We all breathe - Choose to breathe consciously
We all need rest - Choose to Sleep according to the rhythm of sun and moon cycles
We all need activity - Adopt functional movement to preserve your physical wellbeing
Well-being can be achieved by regulating our circadian rhythms with the natural cycles and eliminating processed foods. This is the basic rule of a detox.
The fundamental key to renewing the body-mind is in the preparation.
Most people will start a detox overnight without any thought or consideration to the impact it has on the Human frame, at an energetic, physiological, psychological and emotional level.
Any dietary change shocks our physiology into STRESS mode, as it shifts gear to protect it’s survival. All of a sudden, the body is being starved, leading to unsettled blood sugar levels!
The stress response causes cells to shift into a lockdown state to preserve their cellular integrity. This could mean loss of appetite and decreased libido, restlessness, inability to sleep, and excess production of ‘cholesterol’.
So, how do we prepare for a detox?
Block book a week off either side of the Spring & Autumn Equinox (or anytime within the month of March / September) – this ensures you have dedicated time to enable the detox and healing process to serve your wellbeing.
Working whilst detoxing is not recommended.
Both energy and rest are required to support the body to heal. Demanding jobs may tax your energy leaving you feeling fatigued and overwhelmed. This may manifest as auto-intoxication or inflammation which defeats the objective of a healthy detox. The most common symptoms of ill-prepared detox regimes are an initial ‘high’ overwhelming surge of energy followed by a ‘energy crash’, leaving the individual feeling deplete and low, creating an acute healing crisis.
The ideal length of time for an optimum naturopathic detox is 21 days.
· week 1: Preparation - The elimination diet
· week 2: The Master Cleanse – managing the movement of toxicity
· week 3: Renewal Diet - to heal & invigorate
If you do not have ‘time’ for lengthy detox, and want to experience vitality, eliminate foods that are congesting and stimulating (follow elimination diet days 1-6) This process is far more beneficial for your health long term than a badly prepared detox.
WEEK 1: The Elimination diet
Gradually eliminate the following suggestions over a 1 or 2 week period (plan the dates to suit your lifestyle)
Day 1. remove chemical stimulants from diet (alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, recreational drugs ) - you may need to support this process (seek professional, medical help)
Day 2. Processed food - including refined sugar, salt and processed meals (introduce magnesium 200mg, B12 and vit C to support energy levels)
Day 3. Eliminate meat products (replace with veg & short-grain rice or barley)
Day 4. Eliminate dairy products (replace with soups)
Day 5. Eliminate nuts, beans and seeds (replace with congee)
Day 6. Eliminate grains, in particular wheat & gluten, refined foods. (replace with Veg)
Day 7. Eat only fruit and veg, with a handful of short grain brown rice or oats to aid elimination (steamed, stewed or souped) include ginger and turmeric
Day 8 & 9: consume vegetable broth only (fresh homemade)
The next step should only be introduced if you are familiar with fasting. Do not attempt this without consulting your GP or healthcare practitioner. Do not attempt this if you do not have regular bowel movements or suffer with constipation.
Day 10 : The Spring Master cleanse formula
· 1 litre hot water
· 1 lemon freshly squeezed
· 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
· 1-2 tablespoon Maple syrup
· Cayenne pepper
· (optional Apple Cider vinegar with Mother – often used for Autumn cleanse)
Drink throughout the day. Rest & Sleep.
Day 11. Introduce naturopathic techniques. Herbal teas such as liquorice, dandelion, neem or milk thistle to support the elimination of toxins from the gut.
Day 12: Continue with the Master cleanse or re-introduce Veg broth
WEEK 3: POST DETOX – RENEWED DIET
This is a vital step to the detox process, often neglected. Most will return to their habitual patterns, and step in and out of crash detox plans or faddy diets which eventually take their toll on the human frame and energy levels.
A slow and steady approach in response to the seasonal transitions is a much healthier way to experience sustainable and enhanced energy levels.
Day 13 /14 onwards, introduce a cleaner diet over the course of the week.
Start with Vegetable broth or simplified congee, slow-cooked. Include celery, greens, root veg, ginger, turmeric, and a handful of short grain brown rice (soak overnight).
The month of March is often too cold and does not favour juicing in cold climates across the Northern Hemisphere, hence I do not advocate juice fasts at this time of year until the weather warms up. Ingesting cold liquids or foods impedes the Spleens function to nourish the body, aggravating the stomach which may lead to nausea. I have seen this pattern repeat itself time and time again. Bespoke detoxes aligned to your constitution may differ, but for general advice, stick to souping between Winter and Spring. Wait for the weather to warm slightly before introducing juices (around May time).
Activity: during the detox, conserve your energy. Most people will begin a fast and begin a heavy workout routine, which exerts stress upon the body's physiology. Take regular walks, attend to the garden, practice yoga, swim, try Tai Chi, dance. Keep movement simple. Step up activity after the detox, when you have surplus energy to spend.
Detoxes performed at times of seasonal transitions are far more effective for healing than untimely ones. The difference between living in rhythm with the seasonal signals rather than man-made ones? Well, I’ll leave that to you to explore.
Wishing my readers a happy and vibrant Spring.