Twice a year when the seasons are changing Sophia is doing a seasonal detox to cleanse her body, and it’s been a huge game changer not only for her IBS symptoms but for her mind and body as well.
Fresh green juices and delicious salads can be hard to resist, we know, but for anyone struggling with IBS symptoms or bloating in general that’s a big no no. All those raw greens can be quite tough to digest and leave the belly really struggling - feeling bloated, swollen and aching.
The 5 week detox cleansing program Sophia’s doing is quite hard core. It’s based on Ayurvedic beliefs and methods which adds an holistic approach to it, meaning that she will not only adjust her diet but also her everyday routines, mobile phone use, sleeping habits, workout routine etc. However, what and how to eat is a big part of the cleanse and overlooking our diet is such a great way to boost our body inside and out.
If you’re into the whole idea of doing a detox to cleanse and rebalance your body but not fully committed to do a 5 week hard core Ayurvedic program (we totally get that), here’s Sophia’s top 3 takeaways from the course that will definitely help you feel healthier in both your body and mind.
1. Morning routine: detox your body in less than 20 minutes
Tongue scraping, oil pulling and detox morning drink are three non-negotiable parts of the seasonal detox that helps support your body during its natural detoxification process to remove toxins.
Tongue scraping might not be the sexiest part of the detox (honestly, this detox is not sexy at all - just really efficient) but it’s so important to support the body during the detox process by reducing bacteria in your mouth. If you don’t get rid of the toxins on your tongue, they will keep recirculating in your body. Make sure to do it first thing in the morning!
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy that both removes toxins and infuses essential fatty acids straight into your body. After tongue scraping, take 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed sesame or coconut oil (Sophia prefers coconut) and swirl it around in your mouth for as long as you can but at least 10 minutes to get the detoxifying effect. If you can do it for 20 minutes, that’s awesome! Spit it out, scrape your tongue again and brush your teeth.
The Morning drink is the way to finish off your little morning detox routine, and this digestive boosting drink will help you expel toxins from your digestive system. All you need is this:
1 tsp of grated or minced ginger (fresh)
1⁄2 lemon juice squeezed
1 tsp of honey
One cup of hot water
This drink will help your body flush out toxins and cleanse the digestive system in the process. If you want to take it to the next level you can try this Medicated water from the detox plan instead: Put 1 tsp of cumin seeds, 1 tsp of coriander seeds and 1 tsp of fennel seeds on the stove with 1 liter of water and boil for 10 minutes. Pour everything into a thermos and sip during the day. If this is all way too much for you in the morning, go ahead and do a cup of lukewarm lemon water instead. Drink up to detox!
2. Taking care of the body outside and in
This detox has a holistic body and mind approach, so even though it’s designed to detox the inside of your body it’s not all about working from the inside and out - you got to do the work from the outside and in as well. Two life hacks Sophia swears by:
Dry brushing is a process of exfoliating the skin before showering that removes dead layers of skin so that the body can more efficiently remove toxins. Dry brushing also targets the lymphatic system and helps support the lymphatic drainage to reduce inflammation due to stagnant lymph, get rid of fluid retentions and boost your blood circulation. After dry brushing, lubricate the body with heated sesame oil to moisturize the skin and prevent it from drying out during the shower. A detox cleanse doesn't get any more spa-like than this.
Alternate Nostril Breathing, or Nadi Shodhana, is a breathing technique that you can do at any time and that will help you hit the reset button on your mental state. Find a place where you can get a moment to yourself, sit up tall and straight in your spine. Let your shoulders down and back to open up your heart space. With your right hand, bring your pointer finger and middle finger to rest between your eyebrows, lightly using them as an anchor. The fingers we’ll be actively using are the thumb and ring finger. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose. Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily. Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are held closed; retain your breath at the top of the inhale for a brief pause. Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side; pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale. Inhale through the right side slowly. Hold both nostrils closed (with ring finger and thumb) Open your left nostril and release breath slowly through the left side. Pause briefly at the bottom. Repeat 5-10 cycles, allowing your mind to follow your inhalations and exhalations.
3. Rebalancing and detoxifying Mung Bean Soup recipe
Feeling seven months pregnant without being pregnant, anyone who can relate? This is Sophias number one recipe from the hard core detox diet menu and when eaten daily over a period of time, it will have a powerful detoxifying effect on your body that is quite remarkable. No more food babies - the Mung bean soup will make sure you can kiss that bloated, swollen belly goodbye. This soup is a must in your detox diet.
1/4 cup mung beans
1/2 tbsp ghee
2 pinches hing (asafetida)
1 small green chili finely chopped (optional)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cinnamon powder
1 clove of 1/4 tsp clove powder
1-4 curry leaves finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon jaggery or rapadura sugar
1 handful of fresh, chopped coriander
Salt to taste
1. Wash and soak the Mung beans in 1 cup of water overnight (at least 6 hours). Using hot water will speed the cooking process.
2. Remove the water from the soaked Mung beans, add 1 cup of fresh water, and boil the moong beans on medium heat until the water starts boiling.
3. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and let the Mung beans cook for 20-30 minutes until they are soft. (During this time, keep checking the pot to see if there is enough water - you may need to top up the water levels once or twice) If you have a pressure cooker this step is quicker.
4. In a small separate pot, heat the ghee on medium heat for 1 minute.
5. Add the cumin seeds and the green chilies. Once the seeds start to crackle, add the asafetida powder, curry leaves, cloves and cinnamon and mix with a spoon.
6. Add this spicy mixture to the cooked Mung beans. Keep on low heat.
7. Add the coriander power, turmeric, salt, lemon juice, grated ginger and jaggery.
8. Allow the Mung beans and spices to start boiling. Let it boil for 5-10 mins (the Mung should have a soup-like consistency. Add more water if needed).
9. Garnish with fresh coriander.
You can choose one or two of the following vegetables to add to your soup (grated or finely chopped): pumpkin, zucchini, baby spinach, sweet potato, carrot, kale or green beans.
Are you up for a seasonal detox to get rid of toxins and boost your body and mind? Don’t forget to take your detox to the next level by adding on a few infrared sauna sessions. Sweating is the body’s most natural way of detoxifying and a fantastic way to remove toxins.