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3 Common Mistakes while Cleansing (and their remedies!)

I am embarking on my annual fall seasonal cleanse. Today is officially day 2 of 14! To give you a glimpse: I am incorporating medicinal foods for the first 4 days like beets, apples, and green vegetables to thin the bile and alkalinize the body. The bulk of the cleanse will consist of ayurvedic kitchari, followed by a few more days of seasonal foods. I’ll also be including ayurvedic herbs and well as drinking warm ghee each morning (the harder part!) Each year, to stay in integrity, I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” If my answer is lame I know I won’t have a great experience. If my answer has a little heart or curiosity I am bound to do okay. I have to feel aligned before moving forward. With cleansing on the mind, I am sharing a few cleansing mistakes so common, people often overlook them. Check them out: Mistake #1: Assuming the most challenging cleanse is The Best Make no mistake, there of course is a place for more vigorous cleanses, but do not assume this is the only way. Remember, the body heals in relaxation response. An intense or jarring protocol may do more harm than good, shifting the body into a state where it wants to store instead of release. Same goes for length of time. You may not need to do a month-long protocol. I know seasoned cleansers who fast one day a week and others who do a shorter 3-day protocol once a month. Give all protocols a fair chance. What is your edge between kindness and endurance when it comes to intensity and length? Mistake #2: Ignoring seasonal wisdom Here in Michigan, we are right smack dab in the middle of my favorite harvest season. Apples, squash, and root vegetables abound! As the air gets cooler and dryer, these foods ground our energy, calm our nervous system, and keep digestion running smoothly. Consider the season when you approach a detox. When you pay attention you’ll notice that Mother Nature provides the nutritional antidote to the season. Here’s a little Fall eating cheat sheet if you need a boost. Mistake #3: Trying to sustain the cleanse after it’s over Cleansing and detoxification is a nutritional therapy. Just like having a strain in your knee, getting physical therapy for some time, and then returning to your normal activities, cleansing and detoxification should also have an end and a return to a sustainable (possibly upgraded) way of eating. Like I previously mentioned, many assume that the most restrictive diet must be the best one. A restrictive diet may be therapeutic for a period of time but sustained may create imbalance. Note: If a person is trying to maintain a cleanse beyond it’s expiration date for weight loss purposes, it has officially turned into a diet and it is likely they will run into dietary revolts once part of their psyche feels restricted and contained. My advice: Do the cleanse. End the cleanse. Re-enter into sustainable eating. Repeat in the Spring. If seasonal cleansing is on the menu this Fall, best of luck to you! I’ll be checking back in mid-month to share my own findings. Now I want to hear from you! What is your favorite nutritional cleanse protocol? What have you tried in the past? With love & respect, Laura

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