By Cassie Anderson
The 40-day Yogic Cleanse is days away. If you are thinking about joining us but unsure you will be able to stick to 40 days of clean eating, I’m here to reassure you, based on my personal experience, it’s not as difficult as you might think. The trick is in the preparation – both in your mind and your kitchen.
In 2019 I signed up for my first 40-day Yogic Cleanse with Lynn’s Kundalini Yoga. I had little choice because it was my idea that the cleanse become an official offering for the LKY community, with Lynn sharing daily recipes, tips and encouragement to help keep us on track. Before that, the cleanse, which runs in the 40 days leading up to Greek Orthodox Easter, had been an informal event. As Lynn started to promote the first official cleanse and people signed up to take part, I knew in order to successfully complete it I needed to get organised quickly.
For me, preparing for the cleanse is a two-part process. First, it’s important to get in the right mindset so I feel good about embarking on the cleanse, and then I need to prepare my kitchen to minimise the risks of getting off track.
Getting in the right mindset
To commit to the cleanse, I need to adjust my attitude. For me, this involves thinking about why I want to do it and how I’m going to do it. My ‘why’ is easy. I want to feel the benefits of 40 days of clean eating, from a clear head to a lighter and more energised body. It helps me to think of it as a healthy reboot for my body and brain.
From here, I think about how I will tackle the cleanse. Already a vegetarian, I decide that I’m going to cut out coffee, gluten, refined sugar, processed food and alcohol for 40 days. I block the days out in my online calendar and paper diary, and then I start talking about it with everyone I come into contact with; friends, family, and even work colleagues. Socialising the 40-day cleanse reinforces my decision and makes me more determined to stick to my goal. It also doesn’t catch anyone off guard if I join them for dinner and refuse the bread or a glass of wine.
I start this process weeks out from the cleanse, so when it kicks off, I’m really looking forward to it.
Preparing the kitchen
With this positive mindset, I turn to my kitchen next. The physical actions of preparing for the cleanse are equally important in setting me up for success. There is a lot you can do to make the cleanse easier from day one, including removing the foods and beverages you are cutting out, stocking up on healthy alternatives and finding cleanse worthy treats to satisfy your cravings.
The three things that helped me most and might be useful for you too are:
1. Choose a morning beverage to kickstart your day
I found the easiest way to give up my morning coffee was to choose an alternate morning beverage. I like all kinds of tea but quickly found having to choose between black, green or herbal first thing in the morning felt difficult and reminded me that I was really missing the ritual of making coffee. Now I pick one variety of tea, usually a chai from the Pukka range, buy two boxes and drink one cup each morning. Each box contains 20 teabags, and I use these to count down the number of days remaining in the cleanse. It helps me start each day in a positive way.
2. Discover cleanse worthy treats to satisfy your cravings
Admitting my cravings and seeking healthy substitutes ensured I never felt like I was missing out. Salted popcorn replaces my potato chip habit, and while the crunch and salt factor is not as satisfying, it does taste like a real treat during the cleanse. Dark chocolate is another pleasure I have, and while not loaded, it usually contains refined sugar. I found Vivani, a brand of chocolate that is vegan and sweetened with coconut blossom sugar. It’s delicious and luxurious, so a square or two was enough to satisfy my cravings.
3. Get your loved ones on board
If you live with a partner or family members who are not taking part, consider how your cleanse will impact your shared meals. There might be days they want pasta or some fresh bread to go with the soup. Be ready for these moments by having substitutes for yourself on hand. Red lentil pasta and quick oat flatbreads work really well here. Communicating your plan for the 40 days and agreeing on how you will share the cooking during this time is key to having them support you – even if they won’t be taking part themselves.
The rewards of the 40-day cleanse are many and varied for everyone. I feel lighter and sleep deeper. My creativity and zest for life notch up a level too. The best thing is, you’re not alone. You’ll be sharing the experience with people all around the world, and Lynn will pop up in your inbox each day with tasty recipe ideas and tips to keep you motivated throughout the cleanse.