Will I lose weight? What if I need to put weight on?
The Cleanse can be done according to your own objectives. Having weight to lose is a Kapha imbalance so you'll want to adopt the Kapha guidance, ensure you keep to the suggested portions - half a plate of kitchari and half a plate of well cooked veggies ideally celery and carrots. Kitchari is a light, digestible dish but it feels really comforting and fills you up so it's easy to stick to the portions. This Cleanse resets and repopulates your gut and puts you on the right tract so you can keep going with the same portion size, same sort of light, nutritious food even after your finish the Cleanse. Always finish your meals by 7pm so you've finished eating by the time your metabolism starts to slow down. In Ayurveda the time of day you eat is as important as what you eat.
If you have weight to lose I'd also suggest following the pre cleanse guidance strictly the week before and adopting the same portion size and meal timings suggestion in this week and the post cleanse week. It is quite doable to lose 6lbs over the course of the 3 weeks, without even feeling hungry. I have plenty of testimonials to this effect and people who've lost even more than this.
Conversely if you're looking to put weight on, just have lots of kitchari at lunch and dinner and more whenever you're hungry. Add some avocado to your blue keto mylk smoothie or porridge and lots of the ground buckwheat and oat. You could also have some nuts and seeds with it.
Can I combine the cleanse with intermittent fasting?
Absolutely, I often do this myself as I tend to IF a couple of days each week. The easiest way is stop eating by 7pm the night before, which is what we recommend anyway. Don’t have breakfast or anything to eat until 12noon the following day. Then you could have the breakfast smoothie option for pudding after either your kitchari lunch or dinner. This gives you a fast of 17 hours, which you can lengthen or shorten if you wish. During your fast you can still drink water and the herbal detox teas provided.
Intense fasting can be disruptive to women’s hormones so I think it’s best not to do more than 2 days each week, especially if you intend to do it on a long term basis.
Do I have to have celery and carrots with the kitchari or can I mix it up a bit?
I've suggested celery and carrots because in addition to being nutritious they tend to be ok for all Doshas (mind/body energy types in Ayurveda). Also they are well digested when well cooked which isn't true of all vegetables. Check your dosha result in my online quiz for dosha appropriate suggestions for you. Also feel free to substitute with any vegetables you know you find easy to digest and are not too heavy or starchy, but still ensure whatever you choose is well cooked.
What about reheating the kitchari? I thought you weren't supposed to reheat food in Ayurveda
Opinion is divided on the reheating issue but it is generally more of an issue with vegetables because of the degradation of vitamin C. In Ayurveda everything is supposed to be cooked fresh each day but when those rules were written they didn’t have refrigeration! I'm a herbalist with a focus on Ayurveda rather than an Ayurvedic Practitioner so I have designed a detox inspired by the traditional Kitchari Cleanse but incorporating other helpful herbal ingredients and have also made it a one batch Cleanse so it fits into our busy lifestyles. Many modern Ayurvedic practitioners advise that one batch is fine, especially with something like Kitchari which is made from dried ingredients, lasts very well for at least a week in the fridge and actually tastes better the following days as the flavour of the spices intensify. So you can reheat each individual portion in a saucepan as required (as opposed to reheating the whole batch of course) and just cook the side veg daily. This is what I personally do but no reason you couldn’t just make it in a big batch and then eat at room temperature if you prefer, or split it into three parts and make fresh each day. I have done this Cleanse lots of times and I definitely prefer the one batch option myself as I'm busy and part of the joy of this is not having to cook each day. I'm sure you know how to safely reheat food but here's a link just in case :) https://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/holiday_leftovers.html
What else can I eat? Just kitchari?
One of the main points of this detox is that apart from breakfast you are 'mono-mealing' ie only eating one thing. This means you are giving your digestion a rest as it is not having to process lots of different ingredients which taxes your body even the food you're eating is healthy. So I would advise you mainly stick to the kitchari. If you really want something else berries, nuts and seeds would be the best things to snack on. But do try not to eat anything after 7/8pm. Bear in mind every time you eat your body is having to produce insulin to process the food you are taking in. On the Cleanse you want to give your body a break from this constant digestion process, so ideally make sure you eat enough at the meal times and let your body rest in between rather than having lots of snacks. Listen to the hypnotherapy recording for support.
Having said that if this is your first Cleanse and/or you're struggling a bit absolutely loosen up the rules. Better that you bring in some healthy snacks to help you complete (and enjoy!) the three days than you give up or find it stressful. This is not a fast or intended to be an endurance contest. Relax and do the Cleanse in a way that suits you and makes you feel nourished and cared for.
Can I drink anything else?
In addition to the teas provided and hot water have any other herbal tea you like, with the exception of green tea because as great as it is we’re trying to have a break from caffeine in the 3 days,
You give the option of adding half a banana to the smoothie/porridge but I don't want to have any sugar even from fruit, shall I just omit?
Yes just leave it out and maybe have some seeds or soaked nuts alongside the smoothie. or replace with some avocado and keep it lower carb. I give the banana option to give the recipe a little bit of sweetness and to make it more substantial and because it contains hemp protein this will slow down the sugar release from the banana but absolutely feel free to omit if you prefer.
Is it ok to have fruit in the smoothie/porridge? I thought fruit should be eaten by itself in Ayurveda?
Fresh fruit is usually advised to be consumed on it's own. In the breakfast kit the wild blueberry is dried. And if taken as a porridge everything will be warmed through also.
If you do have the optional half a banana in the smoothie this is unlikely to be considered an issue as it's a small amount and it is not being taken with (dairy) milk just other plant based ingredients which is generally seen as acceptable. This is an Ayurvedic inspired cleanse rather than a strict protocol but if you want to be stricter don't include the oats if you're having the smoothie option and use coconut milk rather than a nut/oat milk because coconut is a fruit and therefore the smoothie will be completely fruit based.
Can I exercise on the Cleanse?
You can but listen to your body. Vigorous exercise whilst cleansing is usually not recommended in Ayurveda as the focus should be on nurture and support, having said that exercise that makes you sweat can be helpful in the detox process because it releases heat shock proteins in the body. If you do decide to do vigorous exercise keep it to early in the day though so that you don't disrupt your wind down time and sleep.
Also and really importantly make sure you listen to your body with exercise. If you feel tired and/or guided to just rest, then do this, follow your own internal guidance when it comes to exercise. If your body has a lot of detoxing to do you will probably feel tired and in need of extra rest.
The ideal would be for you to just do our detox yoga class a couple of times in the week that you are cleansing. This will assist the detox body without putting unnecessary stress on your body.
Also another way to release heat shock proteins is through using a sauna or just having a hot bath, which might sound more appealing while you are cleansing! If you are having a bath remember we deliver our magnesium salts in you pre cleanse week if you like.
What about meat? Can I add a bit of good quality meat in with the Cleanse?
Don't do this during the 3 days if possible. Although meat can be nutritious (putting asides the philosophical reasons not to eat it) it does take a very long time for your body to digest, anywhere around a week whilst plants are processed within about 24 hours max. Part of the reason the Cleanse works is that everything you are eating is extremely digestible so bringing in meat would interfere with the effects. You can eat meat in your pre and post Cleanse week though, ideally make sure it's organic and if possible grass fed.
Can I do the Cleanse while menstruating?
I'm pregnant. Can I still do the Cleanse?
Congrats! Wait until afterwards so you aren't making any big changes to your diet while you are pregnant. You have to be careful about taking herbs while you are pregnant too. Be as healthy as you can through your pregnancy and save the Cleanse until after you have had your baby. It is the perfect thing for a new mother to do because it is so nourishing and supportive for you and you can make it in one big batch and forget about cooking for 3 days!
If you're breastfeeding you may want to wait until you're finished as your body is already working hard to produce milk. Some more intense detoxes aren't suitable whilst nursing, speak to your Doctor or midwife first for guidance and also to check any issues with the herbs.
I have a medical condition and am on medication. Can I still do the Cleanse?
Check with your doctor/pharmacist first and also make sure there are no contradictions with any of the herbs, or any other medical reasons you shouldn't go ahead. See below for full ingredients list.
Three Day Cleanse Ingredients List
Check any contraindications with your doctor/pharmacist if you have a health condition and/or are on any medication
Milk Thistle Seeds
Tulsi (holy basil)
MCT Oil (from Coconut)
SOY Aminos (non gmo)
Flax seed and oil
Aloe vera gel
Pomegranate Licorice powder
yellow Split Moong Dal