A step-by-step guide to autumn cleanse

By Jelena Savic

Autumn is the season of harvest, gathering and the end of summer. Most of us think of spring as the season for cleansing, but autumn is just as appropriate a season to think about purging the old to make room for the new.

Looking at it through a holistic approach, the body is seen as closely interconnected with nature and the seasons. The transition from summer to autumn offers an ideal opportunity to gently cleanse accumulated toxins from the body as well as support the body’s innate immunity.

As the trees change colour and shed their leaves and the temperature cools, we must also shed and cleanse before winter arrives. An autumn detox cleanse is a great way to keep your immune system healthy to help ward off disease and prepare your body for the colder months ahead.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, an autumn cleanse is important to support the health and function of the lungs and the large intestine. The energy of the lungs is seen as “letting go” of any emotional baggage and the large intestine is responsible for letting go of the “waste”. In Ayurvedic medicine, autumn is the season to slow down and restore the body through gentle cleansing and supportive healing.

From a naturopathic perspective, cold weather can put stress on your adrenal and thyroid glands, which tends to make the blood more acidic and can therefore lead to sluggishness, muscle and joint pain and reduced immune responses to invading pathogens.

The gastrointestinal tract (the gut) is our first line of immune defence against invading pathogens. It is our innate immune response that works as a physical barrier to prevent pathogens from entering the body, as well as destroying them after they enter, or flushing them out before they can establish themselves in the body’s soft tissues.

It is important to not only cleanse and improve our gut health, but to also improve all other detoxification pathways in the body. By enhancing the function of the bowel, liver, lymphatic system and kidneys, these detoxification pathways will perform in unison to remove toxins and ultimately improve overall health and immunity.

What to expect during a detox 
The “healing crisis” is a term used to describe varying side effects that can occur when we detoxify chemicals, heavy metals and accumulated waste from the tissues and cells or our body.

During a detox, toxins can be rapidly released into the circulation and the body's elimination systems may become overburdened if not supported correctly. Symptoms can include headaches, fatigue, skin rashes, digestive discomfort and emotional disturbances such as anger, depression and nervousness.

In understanding the biological activities that occur during detoxification, we can take the appropriate steps to ensure ease and reduce the incidence of these feelings from taking place. Instead of eliminating toxins rapidly by undertaking a dramatic fast, diet and supplementation can be used to help rejuvenate the body rather than strip it down.

Eating out tips

  1. Sip on lemon and warm water before your meal. This will kick start the digestive process and stimulate the release of stomach and liver enzymes.
  2. Skip the wine and order a sparkling mineral water with lemon or lime.
  3. Remove the bread basket and order a salad as an appetizer to cleanse the palate and stimulate the salivary enzymes.
  4. Food combining - order protein with vegetables or grains and starches with vegetables. Avoid combining a protein with starches as it will cause bloating and discomfort.
  5. Skip desert and have a warming aromatic herbal tea instead. A chai tea will help sooth digestion and curb sweet cravings

MEAL PLAN
An ideal gentle autumn detox of 10-14 days, supported by particular supplements, will reset your body and mind to ultimately improve your overall health and immunity.

MORNING SUPPLEMENTS:
Vital Greens Powder or Synergy Chlorella Powder (1 tsp in water before breakfast) and
EagleTresos B with selenium (1 tablet after breakfast)

BREAKFAST – CHOOSE FROM

  1. Warm oat or quinoa porridge with cinnamon
  2. Eggs with wilted spinach and asparagus
  3. Berries, seeds and coconut yogurt

SNACK – CHOOSE FROM

  1. Vegan protein shake
  2. Nuts and seeds with goji berries
  3. Homemade protein balls 

LUNCH – CHOOSE FROM

  1. Pumpkin soup
  2. Chicken and vegetable stir-fry
  3. Roast vegetable and lentil salad

SNACK – CHOOSE FROM

  1. Bone broth (see recipe on page 11)
  2. Sweet potato and salmon patties
  3. Quinoa muffins

(for recipes visit www.healthylife.com.au/health-library/recipes/)

DINNER - CHOOSE FROM

  1. Slow cooked stews/soups/casseroles
  2. Chicken and roast vegetables
  3. Fish and salad

EVENING SUPPLEMENTS:
Blooms L-glutamine (1 tsp in water before dinner)
Healthy Life Probiotics (1 capsule after dinner)
Fusion Detox (2 tablets before bed)