Yesterday I had two uninterrupted hours to myself, bang in the middle of the day, a rare opportunity on a week day. I could have taken a much needed shower, cooked something more elaborate than serving up masoor dal, baked tilapia and aloo-gajar yet again or at least cooked something, anything. But did I do that ? No.
Instead I googled for "detox diet ayurveda 3 days". Don't ask me why. Maybe I overdid the Biryani that we got on Sunday and the body was sending toxic signals.At least I didn't ask for "detox diet in a packet". Ok hold on, let me google this. Guess what there IS a detox diet in a packet, what fun, packaged, processed and with all the chemicals.
But the ayurveda detox thingy is not easy. They don't do things fast, to do it the right way, you need 60 whole days, S-I-X-T-Y, who has that ? But they have a point, the body is like your child, no point hurrying it, it is best to go with the flow, to let things balance out gradually.
"A complete ayurvedic cleansing program includes 15 days of preparation and 45 days of actual cleansing. Ayurvedic healers recommend paying special attention to your diet during these two phases to avoid overtaxing your digestion and to enable purification to occur easily and completely. Maharishi Ayurveda does not recommend fasting or entirely liquid diets such as juices, because that may cause your digestive agni to become imbalanced."
Why Do You Need to Detox ?
According to Ayurveda, there are three different types of toxins that can impact the physiology: ama -- the waste product of incomplete digestion, amavisha -- the reactive form of ama i.e ama + other doshas and garvisha -- external toxins from the environment, exposure to chemicals etc..
Ayurveda recommends a program of internal cleansing at every change of seasons to clear the channels of the body of toxins that may have built up over the previous season. Detox is particularly recommended at the time when winter is phasing into spring.
The Detox Routine according to Ayurveda
The following is a general guideline of what to eat and to avoid during this phase.
To know more in details about the kind of fruits and vegetables that you can eat depending on your body type, check this Food Guidelines
Along with the diet you also need to follow a routine of sleep, exercise and massaging. And then there is the eating habit you need to follow, of never skipping a meal and eating slowly, chewing each morsel.
Basically "the Ayurveda Detox Diet is what your Mom has been telling you since you were six and you never listened until Google told you to".
But seriously what I like about the detox plan is the use of spices in cooking the vegetables.
"Ginger, turmeric, coriander, fennel and fenugreek help open up the channels of the body and support the flushing of toxins via the skin, urinary tract, colon and liver"
These were the main spices (along with Nigella seeds and mustard seeds) that were used in the everyday Bengali Food that my Ma made. She did not use garlic or onions much and neither does everyday home cooked Bangla meals call for that. Everyday Bengali food is light, subtly spiced, not much garlic, onion, red chili or cream and tends to retain the texture and taste of the vegetables. Ahh, if we could just add some fish to that detox diet, I could have sealed the deal
Main Reference: Ayurvedic Detox Diet -- Maharishi Ayurveda
Though I don't have the determination or resources to go on a sixty day detox diet right now and I need to use up the 20% discount coupons at the local restaurants, I decided to do my body some good by making and sipping the Detoxifying Tea throughout the day.
This is a very light and extremely easy to make tea. A big cup of this and small sips throughout the day will help you feel good about yourself and you will also get all the water. Just drinking this tea alone will do nothing to detox I am sure but here's to a better beginning.
Bring to boil two quarts of water in the morning.
Add 1/4 t. whole cumin,
1/2 t. whole coriander,
1/2 t. whole fennel to the water and let steep for ten minutes with the lid on. I also added some fresh grated ginger and 3-4 Tulsi(Holy Basil) leaves.
Strain out the spices and pour the water into a thermos.
Sip throughout the day.
Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor. Biology was not even amongst my main 4 subjects in High School