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The Ayurveda 30 Day Detox

Updated: 6 days ago

My husband and I decided to start an Ayurvedic 30 day detox. Why? There are a lot of reasons to focus on eating healthier. For me, it was that I got my labs back. My glucose was high, my cholesterol was high, and my doctor told me I was pre-diabetic. How can this be? I’ve been doing Pilates 3x a week and going to the gym regularly, working out on the treadmill and practicing yoga and meditation. I even started taking pickleball lessons. We are also pretty outdoorsy; we go for regular walks and bike rides.


Well, after doing a ton of research, reading all the experts advise, and trying a variety of diets, I finally decided to seek out the help of a nutritionist and have come to realize that to create permanent change, a few healthy lifestyle changes will make all the difference.


First, eliminate added sugar.

Research shows consumption of sugar leads to serious health problems, including heart

disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s [i]. Let’s take a closer look at sugar types. Natural sugar

contained in foods, like fruit, has fructose, and in milk/cheese products, its lactose. Unless you have a lactose intolerance, these natural sugars consumed in moderation should not present serious health issues [ii].


The sugars that are unnatural sugars added to processed foods to enhance flavors are the

metabolism killers. These are the sugars to eliminate from your diet. These are prevalent in

most packaged products, even those touting to be healthy!


Read the labels for added sugars. When I first started reading labels, I was surprised at the

tricky ways producers of processed foods endeavor to hide the ingredients, but it’s all processed sugar even if it’s called by another name. Some alternate names include HFCS (which means high-fructose corn syrup), corn syrup, agave, glucose, plant nectar, sucrose, maple syrup, beet sugar, cane crystals, cane juice, coconut sugar, dextrin, dextrose, fruit juice, maltose, raw sugar, and the list goes on and on. Foods that contain high quantities of added sugars include: salad dressings, pasta, all sauces (BBQ, pasta sauce, hot sauce, etc.), condiments, (ketchup, mayo etc.), soups, bread, yogurt, cereal, and packaged foods.


Why the fuss? As brilliantly set out in the movie COOKED, before we began consuming pre-

packed goods, we rarely consumed sugars in large amounts. We ate fruits and vegetables from the source. We cooked from scratch using simple whole foods. When the food industry

introduced convenient processed foods and sugary preservatives, we increased consumption of added sugar by 50%!


Scientists have proved that consumption of excess added sugars contributes to serious

metabolic disorders and numerous other diseases. Excess sugars put strain on the liver and

produces excess glucose and triglycerides which build up, causing liver damage. When

triglycerides are released into the bloodstream, this can cause fat and plaque to stick to the

artery walls contributing to heart disease. Moreover, excess sugar intake causes your body to

work overtime, stressing out your vital organs, and the adrenal glands release higher than

normal levels of cortisol. High cortisol causes the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream.


Too much glucose causes the pancreas to release insulin to moderate the blood sugar levels,

and this can then lead to glucose dips, a chain reaction causing cravings, and the process starts over again. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found the long-term impact of patients consuming 17-21% of their calories from added sugars and other additives had higher risk of developing cancer, heart disease, blood glucose/insulin resistance and diabetes. When insulin no longer functions properly, the body stores excess blood sugar as fat, causing weight gain, especially around the midsection of the body. This type of visceral fat is the most damaging as it produces inflammation. This increases the bad cholesterol and promotes buildup of fat around organs, and insulin resistance. A report from the NIH (National Institute of Health) published in 2022 states that 57 million people in the US have insulin resistance and are pre-diabetic! You would think the FDA would limit the amount of added sugar allowed in food. It’s no wonder that the prescription drug world is rolling in the dough with Ozempic and other similar drugs for weight loss (at what cost is yet to be seen).


Second, eat more plant-based foods.

Let’s dive a little deeper. When we eat processed food, they are usually stripped of nutrients

and have loads of added sugar to taste palatable (and added ingredients that you can’t

pronounce to make them shelf stable). While they may taste good, they have little to no

nutritional value. Your brain then releases hormones such as insulin and cortisol, temporarily

increasing energy, but then comes the crash and cravings. Consequently, we feel hungry and

need to eat again to get our energy level up. Consuming more sugary processed foods, and the cycle continues until we develop pre-diabetes, dysregulated metabolism, GI tract issues, obesity and other health problems[iii].


When it comes to eating your veggies, most of us are not consuming enough. The CDC

recommends we should be eating 4 to 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Half of your

plate should be green leafy low starch veggies, such as artichokes, asparagus, avocado,

broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, green beans, lettuces (arugula, super green mix, spinach,

etc.), mushrooms, squash, tomatoes and zucchini. This simple change increases fiber intake

and keeps you feeling full. It’s low calorie/high nutrition value has numerous benefits, including improving mental well-being. One study presented by the American College of Cardiology in 2019 showed that people who consumed a high fiber plant-based diet improved their blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting glucose in only four weeks.***


Third, Ayurvedic eating for your Dosha.

What is Ayurveda and a Dosha? The word Ayurveda means the study of life, or the study of the life forces referred to as Vata, Pitta and Kapha or collectively the Doshas in Sanskrit.[iv]


  • Vata energy is made up of the elements of air and space. This energy circulates through our body and includes all movement, such as blood flow, movement of the breath, and on a mental level, this energy is responsible for our creative flow.

  • Pitta energy is made of up the elements of fire and water. This energy creates the heat for digestion, and on a mental level, this energy is responsible for processing thoughts and motivation.

  • Kapah energy is made up of the elements water and earth. This energy is grounding, nurturing, stabilizing and on a mental level is calming and nourishing for our nervous system.


We all have all three Doshas, usually, with one dominate [v]. Very rarely are the three Doshas in balance. If we are imbalanced, such as having too much Vata, excess wind can cause us to become flighty, overwhelmed, spaced out or impulsive. To balance Vata, one needs to eat more Kapah nutritious grounding foods, such as soup, or sip calming tea. Having a spicy hot Pitta meal would only cause more imbalance in Vata.


If someone is feeling lazy, sluggish, or unmotivated for a prolonged period, then they are likely experiencing a Kapah imbalance. For them, eating a spicy hot Pitta meal would help light a fire under them and motivate them to take action in the right direction.


If you have too much heat, are easy to anger, or about to blow a fuse, Vata meals would help

cool and calm Pitta and bring balance.


Once I understood the three Dosha’s it all came together for me. We all experience all Doshas at different seasons of our lives. Eating for your Dosha in tune with the seasons works

wonders.


Let’s get the 30 day Detox going!

Getting yourself set up for success.


  1. Clean out the fridge and pantry. Get rid of any products that contain added sugars that could “tempt” you. Seriously, drop it in the trash!

  2. Eat more fiber. Add raw nuts and seeds (cashews, chia seeds and hemp seeds), and go grocery shopping to get all the healthy non-starchy veggies you want. Be sure to buy organic so you are not ingesting pesticides. It is best if you can shop at the local farmers market so the food is fresh.

  3. Choose fruit wisely. When it comes to fruit, choose those on the low glycemic index (green apples, pears, blue berries, raspberries, fresh strawberries and other berries in season). You can have banana and other sweeter fruits after the 30-day detox (in moderation).

  4. Eat more protein. Consuming more plant-based protein will help you feel full. Consume wild caught fish twice a week (farmed fish has antibiotics, and a host of other issues), they contain Omega 3’s for heart health. Enjoy humanely sourced meat, chicken and eggs in moderation. Be sure all animal proteins are Pasture Raised (grass fed) and Non-GMO (avoid the commercially produced meat from packing houses like the plague! Watch the docuseries LIVE TO 100 – SECRETS OF THE BLUE ZONES, and YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT which unveils the truth about the mass production of meat in America). Wild caught and Pasture Raised are better for the planet too.

  5. Drink half your body weight in water. Our bodies are 70% water. Stay hydrated. Often our body is really thirsty when we think we are hungry. Add electrolytes to your water to get more minerals, calcium, potassium and magnesium (which helps sleep better).

  6. Get plenty of sleep. Turn off devices and unwind before bed. Try to get 8 hours of sleep to fully recharge.

  7. Exercise. Set aside time 3 to 5 times a week to get exercise. If you have a desk job like I did, it’s important to get up every hour. Sitting behind a desk is deadly. Research suggests that sitting all day is equivalent to smoking a pack a day! Do low impact Pilates strength training to build strong bones. Start a Yoga practice and stretch. Take up meditation to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, and finally, get outside in nature; hike, bike, and take time for you!

  8. Cook at Home. Cooking at home using healthy whole food ingredients is better for your health (and your pocketbook!). There are plenty of excellent cookbooks out there to help you try new recipes. 


Take the plunge! Join us on one of our upcoming retreats. If you want private sessions to help to build a more tailored exercise program suited for your Dosha, don’t hesitate to contact me to schedule a consultation. Having a defined meal and workout plan benefits your physical and mental health. I’ve lost 12 lbs and the brain fog and inflammation has vanished. I feel lighter and am keeping it going, it’s not just 30 days, but a lifestyle.


Good health to you!


Laura Caulfield-Lewis, Founder

Sacred Garden Wellness


[i] QUIT SUGAR, By Tiffani Bachus, RND and Erin Macdonald, RND - Clean Eating Magazine

[ii] SEE THE CHANGE THROUGH THE POWER OF NUTRITION, By PFC Nutritionist, Katie Di Lauro

[iii] WHAT IS A HEALTHY RESET? By Courtney Mifsud Intreglia – Eating Well Magazine

[iv] LIVING AYURVEDA, By Claire Ragozzino

[v] YOGA & AYURVEDA, By David Frawley

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