Though our focus primarily lies on delivering high performing haircare, those of you more familiar with our heritage and our Journal will be well versed in our Ayurvedic underpinnings, our partnership with an Ayurvedic Doctor and how we often draw on this ancient healing system for its wisdom far beyond hair treatments.
Around this time of the year, the aftereffects of festive exuberance and excess collide with the climax of the winter season. More of us than ever experience a distinct downturn in how well we feel. From digestive difficulties, lack of focus or lethargic feelings to excessive cravings, trouble sleeping and succumbing to colds or flu. It goes without saying that these maladies affect the condition and health of our hair, not to mention our wider wellbeing. Here we turn to our Ayurvedic Doctor for a little lifestyle advice on restoring balance as we enter the New Year…
In Ayurveda, winter is predominated by Vata (dry, cold, depleted) and the symptoms highlighted above indicate a heightened Vata. Though not all of us are Vata in our Dosha type, most of us embody certain Vata qualities. A heightened Vata, therefore, restricts all our digestive fires, limiting our ability to naturally eliminate toxins and leaving us feeling deficient, chilled and sluggish.
The conventional Western solution? A restrictive New Year Detox – green juices, cabbage soups, cayenne cleanses to name a few. However, such programmes lack the vitamins, proteins, good fats or carbohydrates that our bodies need to restore regular function… they heighten our already excessive Vata. The result? Our body prioritises sending energy only to those functions essential to survival. Immunity diminishes, exhaustion continues to rise, our whole system regeneration is affected.
Those of you using our Vata hydrating hair system know that a Vata imbalance requires nourishment to restore harmony. The same solution applies for our wider wellbeing.
…Presenting an introductory three-day Ayurvedic Detox… a nutritive, replenishing cleanse. Simple, gentle and effective for all. One that maintains flavour, variety and volume to keep us committed (and, importantly, full) and incorporates easily digestible foods that allows the body’s energy to focus on eliminating toxins instead.
A different detox
This age-old tri-doshic detox focuses on the importance of simple warm-natured foods – vital as we embark on a New Year, as such foods ease the burden induced by festive excess, drawing toxins out of our systems and preserving an optimal, balanced metabolic state. This cleanse is also a preventative one, helping reinvigorate our internal defence mechanism and it’s capacity to repair and rejuvenate. Therefore, if carried out sooner rather than later, we are better equipped to stave off winter plights on our wellbeing and avoid the interruption and inconvenience illness inevitably causes.
A note on Dosha personalisation
With many of you familiar with the importance Ayurveda places on personalisation, we’re sure you’re questioning how something such as this detox could be so universally beneficial. A traditional and holistic Ayurvedic detox is indeed entirely bespoke, tailored by your Ayurvedic Doctor and encompassing several weeks; involving yoga and meditation in addition to a personalised nutrition plan.
Yet, as Vata governs autumn and winter and we therefore all carry excess cold and dry qualities during this time, a gentle, essential cleanse such as this is something we can all swiftly and easily implement… and benefit from.
Preparation is key
It goes without saying that, for the cleanse to truly work, body and mind need to be as free from stress as possible. In the few weeks and days leading to the detox, gradually eliminate caffeine, alcohol, sugar, processed foods, meat and dairy. If you can, unplug and give your whole system a rest from electronic stimulation.
The Ayurvedic Detox
For ease, each day – and the plan – is broken into six succinct areas.
1. BEGIN \ Upon waking, drink warm water with a fresh squeeze of lemon. Not only does this help rehydrate, but it also wakes up your digestive system, enabling you to digest food more easily and prevent the build-up of toxins.
2. BREAKFAST \ On day one, steam a selection of seasonal vegetables and eat with a bowl of quinoa. On days two and three, switch this for a simple kitchari – a protein- and carbohydrate-rich Indian dish made of yellow mung dal, basmati rice, spices including cumin, mustard, fennel, turmeric and coriander, and ghee. You may find it paradoxical to be recommending ghee, a fat, for a detox. Yet ghee is possibly the healthiest natural fat we can consume – it aids toxin elimination.
Of course, remain hydrated throughout each day. Drink at least eight glasses of fresh, filtered water plus fresh ginger tea, which also aids digestion.
3. MOVE \ Spend at least 15-30 minutes per day walking in nature. Not only will this boost metabolism for purification, but it also aids mental harmony.
4. LUNCH \ Your largest meal of the day… eat a satisfying portion of kitchari.
5. DINE \ Create a simple harvest stew of carrots, onion, parsnips, squash, green cabbage, rosemary and thyme – all seasonal and easily digestible. Consume this at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed to ensure your body has sufficient time to digest the meal.
6. SLEEP \ Aim for at least eight hours per night.
Enhance the effects
How to eat \ It comes as no surprise that how we eat really is as important as what we eat. By not chewing properly, indigestion often arises and disrupts the system. Relax at mealtimes, aim to eat at similar times each day and create a comfortable routine.
A final word
Several days after completing this weekend plan, the system is still processing your detox. Therefore, take care during these post-cleanse days. Avoid dense foods, such as cheese, red meat and pasta; eat seasonal, cooked food; remain hydrated and continue to eat properly. Yes, the approach is most rudimentary – as is so much with Ayurveda. But simplicity is key to the reset here and we’re confident that you’ll be far from disappointed with the results.
© 2019, all rights reserved.