I recently finished another cleanse: 1 month of no eggs and 2 months of no coffee. A teacher of mine in Guatemala City practices Kinesiology muscle testing and informed me that my body asked for a break from those two staples in my diet. I cringed, I had actually just taken a 2 month break from coffee and now needed to again, and I ate eggs every day for my protein! But it’s true, gentle cleanses are healthy to vary our diet and allow our body to rebuild the proper nutrients rather than over-relying on a certain food or drink for energy.
1. Tongue Scraping
As we sleep, our body is releasing toxins in our mouth and especially on our tongue. These toxins are bacteria buildup on the Keratin that our tongue produces. The tongue regularly produces Keratin, and in balanced eating the Keratin is produced and discarded with eating and swallowing. If we have an imbalanced diet or irritation in the oral cavity, then our tongue experiences a buildup of Keratin, and that’s where the bacteria grows. When we awake and immediately swallow or drink water, we are ingesting the bacteria and toxins back into our bodies. Doing a few scrapes of the tongue gather the toxins and remove them from our bodies; and when you do, you’ll be able to see them go as you scrape gunky whitish/yellow saliva from your tongue.
Before you scrape, check to see where the most film is on your tongue and the corresponding part of your body that may have a blockage. In general, any build up signifies an imbalance in digestion and blockages in your colon. Notice that if you change certain foods in your diet, the build up might also change. The balance is different for each of us, so bringing awareness is the first step, and experimenting on yourself is the fun part!
You can find a tongue scraper at your local store and I recommend the metal ones. If you want to try it out without buying one, just use a spoon!
2. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is a detoxifying anti-oxidant that breaks up blockages in the body and has been shown to lower blood sugar level and cholesterol. It is full of antibiotic properties that can rebalance the acid content in your stomach, preventing heartburn and acid reflex. Drinking just a cap full in the morning helps to cleanse the colon (helping that to clear that indigestion that might have cause the residue on your tongue from our above practice). Just be sure that you buy the organic version. The vinegar also stimulate your metabolism and digestion for the day, preparing your body for balanced energy use and even weight loss. I recommend adding the capful in a big glass of water and drinking the whole thing down. If the taste is too much for you, you can even heat the water and mix in honey. Just a spoonful helps the medicine go down!
Besides taking Apple Cider Vinegar internally, it has a myriad of topical uses. If you have problems with a rash, acne, bug bites or poison ivy, just put some Apple Cider Vinegar on it. The vinegar is also effective in cleaning, from counters to sterilizing, this is your chemical-free go to!
3. Oil Pulling
Organic Coconut Oil is one of the best oils to cook with, hydrate your skin with, and pull out even more toxins from your gums and cheeks while also cleaning your teeth. Take a half a tablespoon of coconut oil and allow it to melt in your mouth. Then swish it around for at least 15-20 minutes. The oil takes about 15 minutes to sufficiently pull the toxins from your mouth, and when you spit it out, you may notice the yellowish color. I find that I like to oil pull while in the shower to clean my inside and out. After you’re done, spit out the oil. You can brush your teeth after this not to brush away the oil, but because brushing your teeth is another essential cleansing practice that is not replaced by the oil puttling. Studies show differing results in whether oil pulling helps to remove plaque and buildup on the teeth and gums, so go ahead and brush those pearly whites for maximum cleansing.
4. Coconut Water with Lime
While living in Guatemala, I enjoy cutting open fresh coconuts as part of my morning ritual, but even without access to coconuts, drinking some water with lime in the morning is a great way to wake up your digestive system. You may drink the water at room temperature or even a little warmer, but avoid cold water first thing. Warm water stimulates the digestive system and gets your metabolism moving. If you like, you can even begin to get a bit creative with your water adding turmeric, ginger, or rosemary for extra taste and extra cleansing. In general, we don’t drink enough water each day, so give yourself a boost first thing in the morning!
5. Fresh Smoothie
After all these cleanses, now we’re ready to ingest nutrients into our bodies. I notice a difference in my day between the mornings when I start with a smoothie and the mornings that I don’t. Blending some fresh organic fruits along with any extras you like - I recommend chia seeds, ginger, maca, spirulina, and of course lots of raw cacao! Add water, fresh almond milk, or goats milk for smooth flavor. If you’d like to make your own almond milk, just leave your almonds soaking overnight, pop off the outside skin, and throw them in the blender first with some water. Rather than adding sugar or even honey, try adding raisins or prunes for sweetness. Have fun and get creative each morning!
I hope these simple daily practices help your day. You can do all five in about twenty minutes, and I recommend practicing them in the order I’ve listed them. Many of these are based on ancient Ayurvedic practices of health and wellbeing. Carry out your day with love and acceptance of yourself and those around you, and that light will radiate!
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Jessi is founder of JUSTA, a non-profit organization in Guatemala that supports local artisans. She also owns and runs Seven Springs Holistic Retreat Center in East Tennessee. Join Jessi for a YTT or holistic retreat and share in one of her many passions: yoga, creativity, permaculture, natural foods... and so many more.
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