The key to true mind-body balance? Understanding your body’s natural needs—how to eat, cook, cleanse, and heal—through each season. In our new online course Ayurveda 101, Larissa Hall Carlson, former dean of Kripalu's School of Ayurveda, and John Douillard, founder of LifeSpa.com and best-selling author, demystify yoga's elemental sister science. Sign up now!
Spring is a naturally very low-fat season, and if you're eating in accordance with nature, the lean spring harvest essentially forces you to burn your own body fat (the "emergency padding" you held on to during the winter), says John Douillard, co-leader of Yoga Journal's new online course, Ayurveda 101. And this has benefits beyond weight loss. "When you burn fat, you automatically detoxify your body of environmental pollutants, as well as the mental/emotional ama, or toxins, stored in your body fat," he explains.
This super simple 4-day detox supports what happens naturally in springtime and encourages your body to burn fat even better. "It's a great way to help the body get into fat-burning mode, and stay in fat-burning mode throughout the spring," he says. As a result of this detox, you may lose between four and 11 pounds, some of which will be water weight, according to Douillard. Here's how to do it.
Your 4-Day Detox Plan
1. First thing in the morning, take your ghee.
Take increasing doses of a grass-fed ghee each morning: 2 teaspoons the first morning, 4 teaspoons the next morning, 6 teaspoons the next morning, 8 teaspoons the next morning.
You can take it straight or warmed up in almond milk, coconut milk, cow’s milk, or a little lemon juice. The golden rule to get your body into fat-burning mode is to have all your fat for the day in the morning and very little to no fat for the rest of the day.
2. An hour or so later, have breakfast.
For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, choose from one of the following three meal plans (without snacking in between):
For all 3 meals, enjoy kitchari, the split yellow mung bean and long grain white rice dish cooked with Ayurvedic species. Try Dr. Douillard's kitchari recipe.
For all 3 meals, enjoy rice and beans (it could be kitchari but it doesn't have to be) and a vegetable. You could even go to Chipotle and have black beans and rice.
For all 3 meals, you can eat anything—soup, rice, beans, salad, fruits, vegetables, lean meat—as long as there's no added fat and no packaged or processed foods, only whole foods.
3. On the evening of the fourth day of the detox, create a mild laxative effect.
Take a hot bath, then drink 1 cup of senna tea, Smooth Move tea, or a cup and a half of warm prune juice.
After the detox, continue to eat in accordance with the spring harvest, and you will continue to lose weight, detoxify, and feel more energetic, happier, and better rested throughout the season. For a more detailed version of the cleanse, download Dr. Douillard's free Short Home Cleanse e-book.