Category Archives: Cleansing

3 Benefits of Fall Cleansing you’ll LOVE

In our many years of leading group cleanses, we’ve noticed that people tend to come in droves to the New Year and Spring Cleanses, while only the die-hard cleansers show up for the Fall Cleanse. That’s probably because everyone is so motivated to lose weight for New Year’s resolutions in January and bathing suit season in the spring. In the fall… not so much.

Well, if weight loss is one of your motivations for cleansing, consider this… Using advanced logarithms, we calculated that that summertime is twice as bad for indulgences than the holidays. Not only is the season twice as long, but there is so much variety – the vacations, fried food on the beach, ice cream stands, margaritas, and more. By September, our shorts are a bit tight and we’re reaching gratefully for our sweaters and jeans. So we have this extra summer padding courtesy of summer fun, and BAM! we’re into Halloween and the holidays, piling indulgence on top of indulgence. It is a wise strategy to cleanse in the fall to clear out the summer excesses, and then face the holiday season from a place of thinner peace. Not only will you feel much better and look your glowing best, but also you’ll avoid being one of the statistical Americans that steadily gain weight every year. #NotGonnaDoIt

Whether or not weight loss is important to you, a good fall cleanse also supports immune function and boosts energy. Your immune system gets suppressed by sugar, dairy, and toxic food. During a cleanse, we give ourselves a break from all that, and deeply nourish our entire body, including the immune system. Then you’ll be confidently entering cold and flu season with a strong and resilient immune system. #Bulletproof

One of the greatest benefits of cleansing is how much energy you feel after. It’s pretty amazing! We need lots of energy during the holidays, not only to tackle the endless to do list, but also to actually enjoy and savor the celebrations with family and friends. #Celebrate

If thinner peace, robust immunity, and loads of energy sound good to you right about now, we’re starting our gentle group cleanse this Sunday!

Massive J&J Settlement Highlights the Need for Non Toxic Personal Care Products

This month a California jury awarded $417 million to a woman who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson and Johnson baby powder for decades. The jury found sufficient evidence that talc, the main ingredient in baby powder, causes ovarian cancer. In other states, several other juries came to the same conclusion, and awarded plaintiffs huge settlements.

This case highlights the mistaken level of assurance Americans have in the safety of their personal care products. The Environmental Working Group, a non profit organization dedicated to reporting the dangers of toxins in consumer products, said, “American families assume personal care products on the market today have been tested by the federal government. Unfortunately, the personal care products industry remains largely unregulated. The FDA does not even require safety testing of ingredients in personal care products before they are used.”

Talc is just the tip of the iceberg. Toxic ingredients lurk in most conventional personal care products. The short list includes parabens, phthalates, triclosan, fragrance, toluene, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, and more. Most of these are endocrine disruptors, meaning they have negative effects on our hormones. They can suppress thyroid activity, predisposing us to weight gain, and mimic estrogen, increasing the risk of breast and reproductive cancers. Companies that use these ingredients state that the amount is too small to be harmful. However, with the majority of conventional products containing them, we need to consider our cumulative exposure.

We highly recommend avoiding any products that include parabens and phthalates, as they both are linked to reproductive disorders and increased risk of breast cancer. Parabens are in lotions, hair products, and makeup, and very high levels of phthalates are found in fragrance and nail polish.

“Both phthalates and parabens act on estrogen pathways, which in humans have been associated with such varied effects as decreased sperm count, endometriosis and insulin resistance,” reports the Washington Post. In one study, the CDC tested for parabens and phthalates in almost 300 subjects, and every single one of them tested positive. These toxins are everywhere and they’re getting inside us.

Read ingredient labels carefully when purchasing conventional products. It’s easier to turn to the many non toxic brands available in health food stores like Whole Foods and through representatives. Some of our favorite brands include Dr Hauschka, Pure Haven, Ilia, and Mineral Fusion. There are many that we have not yet tried yet though! For more information, and to check the safety of your current products, see www.ewg.org/skindeep.

Fragrances are especially toxic. Using scented detergent, softener, and dryer sheets expose you and your family to toxic fragrance concoctions all day and night. A great first step would be to switch to fragrance free laundry products, like Arm and Hammer, Hex, and Norwex’s Ultra Power Plus. Instead of using toxic perfumes, switch to products that use essential oils for scent. You can find many body sprays and lotions scented with essential oils at health food stores. Also check Young Living to order top quality essential oils online.

The bottom line is that you need to be as careful with your personal and home care products as you are with your food.

Tequila vs Wheatgrass

Do you love doing shots but want to be healthy? We have a solution… Do wheat grass shots!

This gorgeous emerald green superfood beverage will make you feel SO good* that you won’t even want tequila shots anymore! Let’s be honest, tequila is fun for a few hours, but then your skin looks like a raisin by the end of the night, your sleep gets disrupted, your digestion gets wonky, your liver starts storing fat, and the next day, you probably will need to skip your morning workout because you feel so crappy. That sends you on a downward spiral towards lethargy, aging, missing good times, and generally not being happy with your body, or anything else for that matter.

On the other hand, wheatgrass makes you feel happy, not crappy! In a nutshell, wheat grass shots make you strong, energized, and gorgeous! Check out these gorgeous healthy people trying out wheatgrass shots…!

Some of the many benefits of wheatgrass shots include:

  • Cleanses blood and liver of toxins and heavy metals.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Fortifies blood.
  • Nourishes your whole body with a multitude of minerals, vitamins, all 20 amino acids, and chlorophyll.
  • Oxygenates blood and improves endurance and fitness.
  • Rich in antioxidants and enzymes that reduce inflammation and free radical damage.

Beauty bonus! The sum total of all the nutrients in wheat grass make their way to your skin, giving it a healthy glow, and also help clear up skin issues like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. There is anecdotal evidence that it also helps to prevent gray hair. There may not be a more beautifying beverage out there!

Having a 2 oz shot of wheat grass is equivalent to 5 lbs of produce! You could eat salads all day long and not get all the nutrition in a small shot of wheatgrass.

If this sounds good, but you still want your tequila from time to time, do a wheatgrass shot before you go out for tequila, and again the next morning to detox your liver and energize your body.

You can get wheat grass shots at health food stores, restaurants such as Life Alive, or mix the powder with water. If you are inspired to make wheat grass to be a way of life, you can easily grow it and juice it at home. Consume it ideally within 15 minutes of juicing to get the maximum nutrient density.

* Note, in very rare instances, the intense nutrition of wheat grass shots can cause nausea. It passes quickly. As you get used to wheat grass, that will not continue to occur.

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What do you REALLY want for Mother’s Day?

What do you really want for Mother’s day? The same old, same old – chocolate and flowers? Sure chocolate tastes good, but you don’t necessarily appreciate the after effects. Flowers are pretty, but they don’t last very long. How about the gift that keeps giving… something that makes your body lighter and brighter, your skin glow, and gives you more energy and zest for life? Our spring rejuvenation cleanse will do just that. We guarantee that you will feel better with our program and have fun doing it! Our program is created by a nutritionist – so it’s backed by nutrition science, and a chef – so you know that you will enjoy delicious food. You can get everything you need at the grocery store. Check out our cleanse page for more information! If you’re up for a life changing May, tell your family to give you the gift of glowing health, or give yourself that gift! Your family will also benefit – often we hear that husbands lose 15 lbs just from eating the wife’s cleanse meals with her, and they also snore less or not at all – another gift for Mom. Share with other moms who might like to cleanse with you!

Cleansing Kitchari

This powerful cleansing meal from Ayurveda balances your doshas (energies)! Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste. Don’t let the long ingredient list scare you – the active prep time is minimal. Spices are anti-inflammatory and chock full of antioxidants. This meal is also rich in protein and fiber. Some people eat this for a few days as a very simple cleanse.

  • 1 cup split yellow moong beans (also spelled mung, and dahl)
  • ½ cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds (or brown)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 Tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp fenugreek powder
  • 1 pinch hing – also called asafetida, optional
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 piece of seaweed (such as kombu), optional
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Wash split yellow mung beans and rice together until water runs clear. Heat the oil in a large pot on medium heat and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds and toast until the mustard seeds pop (2 – 3 minutes) add the remaining  spices (except the bay leaves). Stir for a few minutes.

Add beans and rice, carrot, and celery and stir again. Add water, bay leaves, and seaweed, and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn heat to low, cover pot and continue to cook until beans and rice become soft (about 30 – 40 minutes).

Remove bay leaves and add the kale.  Cook until the kale becomes soft 2- 3 minutes. Add more salt to taste, if desired. Sprinkle on the cilantro leaves just before serving.

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Lighten & Brighten this Spring with Ayurveda

Your body wants to cleanse in the spring. Even if you do nothing, it will try its very best to cleanse all on its own, just like the rest of the natural world is doing. You can help it along by actually doing a whole food cleanse, eating cleansing spring foods, and making adjustments to your sleep and exercise routines. On the other hand, many people unwittingly block their body’s cleansing efforts by failing to adjust their diet to spring cleansing foods and practices. Then they end up hanging on to winter weight, feeling sluggish, allergic, mucous-y, uninspired, and even depressed.

Ayurveda, the world’s oldest, continuously practiced health care system in the world, offers perhaps the best advice for aligning with spring cleansing. It’s focused on releasing toxins, lethargy, and excess weight that naturally accumulates in the winter, and cultivating a sense of lightness and energy through seasonal eating and self care practices.

In the spring, favor light, low sugar and low fat foods in the spring. That means reducing fatty/heavy foods like oils, diary, nuts & seeds, avocados, meats, and sweet fruits, while increasing leafy greens, sprouts, and low sugar fruits and vegetables. Following these recommendations will help you to shed excess weight, release toxins, and energize your mind and body!

Fruits

  • Favor: Berries, apples, pears.
  • Reduce/Avoid: Heavy or sweet fruits like pineapple, banana, mango, melon, and avocado. A small amount of dried fruits like dates are okay.

Vegetables

  • All veggies are good! Emphasize leafy greens of all types, sprouts, root vegetables, radishes, green beans, onions, garlic, mushrooms.

Nuts & Seeds

  • Eat sparingly.
  • Favor: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds.
  • Reduce/Avoid: Nut butters, almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts flax seeds.

Legumes

  • Most legumes are good in the spring, but lentils are especially wonderful! Check out our recipe for kitchari – a nourishing, balancing, cleansing meal.

Oils

  • Reduce oils in general. This would be the time to experiment with sautéing in water instead of oil! Roasted pumpkin seed oil is so flavorful, that you only need a tiny drizzle to make your salad or veggies totally delicious.

Dairy

  • Avoid dairy, especially ice cream and cold milk. The more dairy you eat, the worse your spring allergies will be.

Grains

  • Favor: Quinoa, millet, dry oats, rye. Long grain brown rice is okay.
  • Reduce/Avoid: Wheat, rice.

Animal Protein

  • Reduce animal protein in general, especially red meat. Seafood, poultry, and eggs are okay in moderation.

Spices

  • All spices are great in the spring, but reduce salt as much as possible. Turmeric is wonderful all year, and especially in the spring.

Supplements

  • Consume cleansing supplements like spirulina and chlorella.

Self care

  • Go to bed early and wake up with the sun.
  • Get moving in the morning with some gentle exercise like yoga or walking.
  • Avoid napping during the day if possible.
  • Exercise and sweat every day.
  • Avoid snacking between meals.

Join us!

For a thorough cleanse for mind & body with expert support – cleanse with us beginning May 7th!

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Charlotte’s Charming Chai

This weekend at Serenity Yoga, we served Charlotte’s Chai, and everyone loved it! Here’s her unique and delicious take on chai tea, which includes nontraditional, healthifying ingredients like turmeric and clove infused oranges. Who does that? Charlotte, that’s who! And maybe now you too!

4 Tbsp loose rooibos tea (or 5 rooibos tea bags)
1 small whole orange or clementine
15 whole cloves
10 whole cardamon pods
1 inch sliver of fresh ginger
1/2 inch sliver of fresh turmeric
1 whole cinnamon stick

Push the whole cloves into the orange skin all around the orange. Crush the cardamom pods with a mortar and pestle. Fill your crock pot 3/4 full of water, and add all ingredients. Turn the crock pot on high. Enjoy a 75 minute yoga or mindfulness practice. The tea will be ready when you complete your practice. You can strain the tea into mugs or into a separate container.

Revving Metabolism

In our benefit yoga class this weekend, a yogi asked us if The Ultimate Rejuvenation Cleanse speeds up your metabolism. Our program will definitely benefit your metabolism, the healthy way.

The only thing on the cleanse that possibly increases metabolism is green tea, but it’s only a modest 4%, and isn’t significant. The real reason we recommend green tea is for its powerful antioxidant properties (especially matcha green tea).

Although there is nothing in the cleanse that forcefully revs your metabolism, we do avoid the foods that suppress your metabolism – things like sugar, artificial sweeteners, gluten, peanuts, and other allergens. These foods can directly suppress the thyroid, negatively affect insulin sensitivity, contribute to leaky gut, and/or result in systemic inflammation, which is not good for any part of your physiology or metabolism. At the same time, we focus on delicious, whole foods that protect the mitochondria (the cells’ energy centers) from oxidative damage, so that they can work at full capacity.

Unlike unsafe drugs that force your body to burn more calories, our clean eating plan simply removes the blockages to a robust metabolism. The result is that you start losing weight without starving yourself or running 20 miles a day.

Our New Year cleanse begins January 15, 2017! Register here. For more FAQs, click here.

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2017: Be the Change

Whew! We made it through crazy, tumultuous 2016! We hope that 2017 will be a year of healing for our selves, relationships, communities, country, and world.

As we set our goals for the coming year, let’s remember Gandhi’s advice to “be the change you wish to see in the world”, to think globally, and act locally. If we are not kind to ourselves, with our thoughts, lifestyle, and nutrition, it is much harder to be kind to our loved ones and the larger community. If we are eating inflammatory foods, we will think inflammatory thoughts, speak inflammatory words, and engage in inflammatory actions.

The Ultimate Rejuvenation Cleanse is here to help you rediscover the energy and balance possible with wholesome, anti inflammatory foods and practices. Our plan focuses on the whole you – mind, diet, lifestyle, and more. We support you every step of the way with inspiration, motivation, excellence in nutrition and self care, and delicious cleansing recipes.

We hope that you will join us for our New Year Cleanse beginning January 15th. Let’s come together to heal ourselves, and the world.

Wishing you health, love, and prosperity in 2017!