Summer is in full swing and in the midst of the madness, I decided to do a cleanse not to lose weight, rather to help invite more mindfulness and awareness to my everyday. I found the following Melon Cleanse from one of my favorite Kundalini yoga studios in the city, Rama Yoga Institute on the Lower East Side. Yes I lost weight, but I enjoyed more the clarity of mind and realization that came along with this 5 day wash
I will admit I cheated on day 3 - I was having a really bad day. Instead of beating myself up for the fault though, I took a step back and realized that my relationship with food has a lot to do with my emotions and rewarding myself. If I had a good day at work, I would celebrate with a good dinner and drinks. I have decided to explore new ways of treating myself and handling my emotions - separate from using food as the tool.
In all, I attach my emotions to food and this cleanse taught me that besides feelings of gratitude, I need to begin the work of separating my sentiments from eating. I am finding new ways to comfort and give myself self care.
Before you partake in this cleanse, and especially if you have medical issues, consult you doctor or medical professional.
Now onto the cleanse!
Why a Melon Cleanse?
“Melons are like little scrubbing brushes for your intestines” (A Yoga Village). This Melon Cleanse is a 5 day mono diet that includes ripe cantaloupes, watermelon and papaya. The point here is not caloric restriction, you shouldn’t feel hungry - eat as many melons as you want; “Basically, the idea is to detox your body inside and out without going hungry. When done correctly, this diet becomes easy and pleasurable. It will deliver radiance, mind enhancement and ultra-clarity” (Rama Yoga Institute).
What is a Mono Diet?
Mono diets involve, “eating only one food item (say, apples) or type of food (usually, fruits or veggies) and nothing else. Do a quick search on Instagram or Google, and you'll notice that people have created the Mono Diets out of almost every type of fruit and veggie—watermelons, mangoes, cauliflower, spinach, and even non-produce like pizza. ‘Proponents of the diet claim that eating just one food for a period of time aids in digestion, as there are fewer nutrients for the body to metabolize, and therefore, fewer digestive enzymes needed for the process,’ says Pauline Hackney, R.D., clinical nutrition manager at Westchester Medical Center in New York. The body doesn't have to work as hard, which allegedly decreases bloating and maximizes nutrient absorption, satisfying your body's needs with fewer calories and, maybe even putting the kibosh on junk food cravings. ‘However, I'm not aware of any scientific evidence to back up these claims,’ says Hackney. ” (Women's Health Magazine).
Can I Workout While on the Cleanse?
I did Kundalini yoga class at Rama on one of the days and light yoga the rest, but “don’t attempt to continue any heavy weightlifting, high-heart rate cardio vascular or strenuous activity during the cleanse. Light stretching, pranayama and walking are best. You may resume your regular workout routine and schedule more physical activities post-cleanse” (Rama Yoga Institute). Take it easy, "stretch, breath, practice light yoga and go for walks" (Rama Yoga Institute).
The Rama Yoga Melon Cleanse
What Each Melon Does For You:
Exciting Additions to Get You Through:
Feel free to sprinkle salt, lemon or pepper on your melons. The salt helps to, "increase electrolytes in the body and cellular communication, and PEPPER to reduce bloating and gas" (Rama Yoga Institute).
Remember this is not about caloric restriction, eat as much melon respectively as you need.
A Couple of Don'ts:
Rama Yoga Detox Tips:
Transitioning Off of the Cleanse:
You can find yummy transition recipes on the Rama Yoga site, but note the following.