As the weather starts to shift away from the heat of summer, we come upon one of the key purification gates between seasons. In other words, now is a great time to do a cleanse. The body is preparing to change how it burns energy, and as we have just moved passed the autumnal equinox, the sun is also going through its changes. When we pay attention, nature is always telling us how to follow her lead.
Many people go overboard when they cleanse and desire to take on the feat of completing two weeks or month long cleanses. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I don’t want anyone to feel discouraged. Sometimes, taking just 3 or 4 days can really be a blessing and a benefit.
In early September I completed a 3-day juice cleanse. I focused on raw, organic fruits and vegetables juices to help cool down the digestive system and give my tummy a break; it’s also a great way to support the liver. It’s said that fasting from food for even one day each week can do amazing things for weight maintenance, refreshing dull taste receptors and detoxing in a gentle way.
During my juice cleanse, I found my first day had the expected desire for food, as the body takes some time to see that it’s not going to be fed before it stops sending signals to the brain to send solid food. If you are making the time to drink enough juices throughout the day, and enough water, the hunger abates. It’s important to focus on water-rich fruits and mineral-rich greens. Too much fruit by itself can be quite a bit of sugars, as juicing strips the fiber from the food. It’s great for quick absorption, and this is one reason why juice cleanses often make you feel more energized.
Think about celery, cucumbers, kale, or herbs: like mint, basil, parsley, coriander, and lettuces, along with apples, lemons, limes, berries, and melons. It’s important to keep mixing fruit and vegetables to a minimum. Apples and citrus with greens are all right, but if you’re going to do fruits: do fruits. But keep it simple, because your choices will still affect your blood sugar levels. But also, listen to your body.
On my last day of day, I enjoyed a fresh orange juice even though it’s technically a “cheat” because orange juice is full of sugar. It was still a treat! I also was able to enjoy an incredible outing to the Big Buddha in Lantau for a Meditation walk. It was such a beautiful day, and whenever I cleanse, I am quickly made aware how my attention shifts. My consciousness is more inwards, and to be moving through the wooded paths hills away from the cityscape, along with my team and our kiddos, made me feel so grateful. Everyone had a blast. Seeing the same silence within responding to the stillness of nature was a lovely way to close-out my juice cleanse.
About the writer: Chaukei Ngai
I was born in Hong Kong, two months premature and because my lungs were not developed enough to breath on my own, I was put on a ventilator. My whole young life, I always felt like I was struggling just to catch my breath, and many took many trips to the hospital in order to get oxygen. This went on till I was in my 20’s. Then, when I was student at York University in Toronto, I went to my first yoga class and my life completely changed. I’ve never looked back. It was the first time I ever experienced a real connection to my body. I found my passion, and my calling. I found stillness. Eight short years after that Bikram’s class in Toronto, I became the International Yoga Asana Champion. And I have my beautiful son who does yoga with me. I always say that Yoga taught me how to breathe, but it’s also the fire in my life that propels me forward, both spiritually and competitively.