Diet Shift

Mindful of the New Year

2017 was a relatively good year for me, though I decided to end it with a touch of the flu. I have issues with fatigue already, so ending the year and starting the new one with fatigue overload can be demotivating. It also means that my diet reset, by the original intentions of Ayurveda, will be imperfect due to taking Tamiflu.

Imperfect because I am technically not supposed to be consuming any form of medication during the detox – no “harsh chemicals.” I am not going to risk my health or ability to take care of Jai, so I will accept that the reset won’t be perfection and move on by continuing the medication. 

Flu or no, I am determined to have a positive start to this New Year.

Yesterday I began the reset and it seemed to go well, though these first two days aren’t as vigorous as the middle two days. It’s more about eliminating certain things from my diet in preparation of the more active phase.


Important before going any further: I highly recommend speaking with a healthcare professional if you want to do a reset like this, particularly if you are on medication that is extremely important to your health. Do not eliminate any medication that might cause harm in its elimination, no matter how temporary the reset. It is less important to get the reset “perfect” and more important that you maintain your physical and mental health. This is less about cleansing your body and more about helping beat bad eating habits. I advise using caution and common sense.


Beginning the Reset

When doing a reset based on the ayurvedic techniques, it means that the following items are temporarily removed from the diet: caffeine, alcohol, recreational drugs, meat, dairy, gluten, salt, and tobacco products.

While the preparation phase itself is about getting the body ready by removing the above items from the diet and eating simple foods, it is important to prepare yourself mentally before the preparation phase.

The temptation to binge on junk-food a day or two before beginning the reset is extremely strong. Go out and eat some fries, wings, beer, and milkshakes. If favorite foods are about to be temporarily eliminated, why not?

While that would be a lot of fun, it does mean that a diet reset may not be the right thing to do at the time. If the idea of losing out on certain foods is so difficult that a binge session is the only way to prep for the reset, then there needs to be more mental preparation.

You have to be ready, really ready, to do something like this. If it already fills you with dread, then making it through several days, let alone one, will be a drudgery. This is about helping your body reset from negative eating habits so any diet/lifestyle changes you want to make will stick in the long term.

With that in mind, on Saturday, the day before I started this reset, I made sure that I wasn’t overindulging in the foods I am going to miss through this reset and next 6 months. I also took some time to reflect on what food items I was really going to miss: some meats, wheat products, cheese, and in the short-term, coffee.

I did treat myself to a final americano before going cold turkey on caffeine Sunday. I suspect that once the reset is over I will be back to sipping some form of caffeine unless I feel like I can get away without starting that up again.

But once Sunday rolled around – I started to do my thing. See my journal below for how it’s been going and how I plan to manage the final four days.

So far, the hardest thing is to ensure that I eat breakfast in the morning. I really do skip it because I either forget or am too busy.


Daily Journal

These daily routines with food, regimens, and exercise come from Banyan Organics, Yoga Journal, and a previous detox program held by a local yoga studio.

When I begin my active phase tomorrow, I am going to attempt to do some of the morning routine before Jai wakes up. If I can time it right, I will be eating my oatmeal at the same time he’s eating his breakfast.

I will also document my cravings/feelings and share excerpts in the future posts this week.

Day 1 – Preparation Phase

Morning

  • Wake up and drink warm water with lemon
  • 30 minutes of gentle yoga
  • Bowl of oatmeal (though I skip the raisins – I hate those)

Afternoon

  • White rice with some steamed veggies & ghee

Evening

Throughout the Day

  • Snacks: Fruits and nuts
  • Water: 72 oz./day
  • Tea: Mint or Chamomile

Day 2 – Preparation Phase

Morning

  • Wake up and drink warm water with lemon
  • 30 minutes of gentle yoga
  • Bowl of oatmeal

Afternoon

  • White rice with some steamed veggies & ghee

Evening

  • Quinoa with steamed veggies & ghee
  • No food or snacks after 7pm
  • Try a few suggestions of mindful practice or meditation

Throughout the Day

  • Snacks: Fruits and nuts
  • Water: 73 oz./day
  • Tea: Mint or Chamomile

Day 3 – Active Cleansing Phase

Morning

  • Scrap tongue & brush teeth
  • Neti pot nose flush and put nayasa oil in nostrils
  • Drink warm water with lemon
  •  Take a shower and massage sesame oil into skin
  • 60 minutes of gentle yoga
  • Bowl of simple oatmeal until full

Afternoon

  • Bowl of kitchari until full
  • Steamed veggies with lemon
  • Take Jai for a 30 minute walk (weather permitting)

Evening

  • Bowl of kitchari until full
  • Steamed veggies
  • No food or snacks after 7pm
  • Try a few suggestions of mindful practice or meditation
  • In bed by 10pm

Throughout the Day

  • Snacks: Fruits and nuts
  • Water: 73 oz./day at room temperature
  • Tea: ginger tea

Day 4 – Active Cleansing Phase

Morning

  • Scrap tongue & brush teeth
  • Neti pot nose flush and put nayasa oil in nostrils
  • Drink warm water with lemon
  •  Take a shower and massage sesame oil into skin
  • 60 minutes of gentle yoga
  • Bowl of simple oatmeal until full

Afternoon

  • Bowl of kitchari until full
  • Steamed veggies with lemon
  • Take Jai for a 30 minute walk (weather permitting)

Evening

  • Bowl of kitchari until full
  • Steamed veggies
  • No food or snacks after 7pm
  • Try a few suggestions of mindful practice or meditation
  • In bed by 10pm

Throughout the Day

  • Snacks: Fruits and nuts
  • Water: 73 oz./day at room temperature
  • Tea: ginger tea

Day 5 – Reintroduction Phase*

Morning

  • Scrap tongue & brush teeth
  • Neti pot nose flush and put nayasa oil in nostrils
  • Drink warm water with lemon
  •  30 minutes of gentle yoga
  • Bowl of simple oatmeal until full

Afternoon

  • Bowl of kitchari until full
  • Steamed veggies with lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of Chyawanprash
  • Take Jai for a 30 minute walk (weather permitting)

Evening

  • Bowl of kitchari until full
  • Steamed veggies
  • No food or snacks after 7pm
  • Try a few suggestions of mindful practice or meditation
  • In bed by 10pm

Throughout the Day

  • Snacks: Fruits and nuts
  • Water: 73 oz./day at room temperature
  • Tea: mint, ginger, or chamomile tea

Day 6 – Reintroduction Phase*

Morning

  • Scrap tongue & brush teeth
  • Neti pot nose flush and put nayasa oil in nostrils
  • Drink warm water with lemon
  •  30 minutes of gentle yoga
  • Bowl of simple oatmeal until full

Afternoon

  • Bowl of kitchari until full
  • Steamed veggies with lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of Chyawanprash
  • Take Jai for a 30 minute walk (weather permitting)

Evening

  • Bowl of kitchari until full
  • Steamed veggies
  • No food or snacks after 7pm
  • Try a few suggestions of mindful practice or meditation
  • In bed by 10pm

Throughout the Day

  • Snacks: Fruits and nuts
  • Water: 73 oz./day at room temperature
  • Tea: mint, ginger, chamomile, or green tea

*Note
There are some things that I am maintaining in my daily routine after the active phase because I think they will be beneficial in nature.

Avoiding the Craving Temptation

Before I started this reset I knew there would be cravings when I eliminated certain foods and beverages. I am a caffeine addict and I really love a good americano first thing in the morning. I knew going cold turkey was going to be hard and cause potential headaches (literally) for the first couple days.

As I undergo certain cravings or withdrawal symptoms the best thing I can do is drink plenty of fluids to help feel full, but also help the body eliminate the chemicals (caffeine for me) that are still in my system.

Wednesday’s post will be discussing my cravings in more detail and some techniques that I found worked and did not work. I will also provide recipes for the foods I’ve been eating as they are slightly modified from the ones linked here.