Tag Archive for: vegan diet

East meets west, a modern “Cleansing Panchakarma” detox retreat! Traditional Indian Ayurvedic cleanses offer a holistic approach to taking time off for oneself to detox, cleanse and restore body and mind. John Douillard, a noted Ayurvedic Doctor, says that Panchakarma means literally to “punch your karma,” or make a bold step toward stopping unhealthy patterns in body and mind that would otherwise give way to disease. How can we function well if we are over-stressed and overworked and… overweight? We need regular self care, tune up time.

Create a Sacred Space

Life these days is traumatic, period, and we don’t generally process stress, grief and loss well in our culture. Preferably it’s best to undertake this mini-program on a weekend three day vacation so that you could escape your daily grind. Whether you have family life, or rent a cabin in the forest, try to find a spot where you can observe some silence, at least while the family is away or create a quiet retreat room in your house. I try to do one of these every month. It’s recommended to keep away from excess stimulation, media, cell phones and invest your time resting, walking in nature, reading light material, as well as practicing gentle yoga and meditation.

This mini-retreat can be used for healing and weight loss as well. The Indian curry dhal-bat diet called kitchari that’s traditionally used for three meals however, isn’t great for westerners exclusively, as it consists mostly of mung beans and rice. Those are generally considered high carb, survival foods. In the west, we have a different constitution and time and I found simple, high protein foods that are much more appropriate to add to the cleanse for weight loss. However, you will make a big pot of this kitchari, it is very easy to digest and after day 1 you will notice the digestive cleaning process.

Healing Body, Mind and Heart

I wanted to offer something as simple as possible that could go for all three different doshas or body types. This diet is focusing on Kapha body types, ones with slower metabolism, and with some extra weight. I personally have found that a hybrid of the Indian system and the keto work well for a three day personal retreat and if you like you can extend it to six days or nine days, however long you have. This could be done on a weekend or just taking a few personal days off to be alone in the comfort and quiet to do in your own home. Adjust your own portions, listen and your body will tell you how much or little it needs.

This retreat can release unresolved emotions stored dormant in our mind and heavy connective tissue. To cope, avoid the urge to re-suppress anything and use exercise and meditation to soothe your heart and soul. Walk, laugh, cry, allow whatever needs a voice to be released. My teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche said “if you let the mind come out, it will.” Be gentle with yourself and your experience, joys comes often after the purging of tears and fears, likewise health comes after the purging of toxins.

Simplifying your diet allows your body to divert it’s energies to mobilizing and releasing accumulated toxins. According to Ayurveda, a few foods are easier to digest than others and therefore are preferred whenever you undertake a detoxification. Here is my hybrid, holistic “recipe” for Panchakarma:

Before you begin:

  • Schedule specific dates for when and how long the cleanse will be, like a Friday am until Sunday pm.
  • Prepare to eat a simple nutritive breakfast and two meals of cleansing Kitchari only.
  • Remove excess caffeine (morning ok), all tobacco, alcohol, or other substances from the daily regimen.
  • Drink a detoxifying herbal tea throughout this time and 8-10 glasses of water.
  • Evening Oil Massage and warm lymphatic massage brush bath every day during the cleanse.
  • Quiet, alone time for yourself during the cleanse.
  • At least 12 minutes each, of yoga, meditation and cardio every day.

Morning Panchakarma

1. 12 minutes of Yoga, sun salutations, outside is best, do whatever flow you are used to.

2. Keto creamer organic coffee or Kapha keto creamer chai tea with ginger and cinnamon, and a pinch of clove.
For the keto creamer, I add 1 tbs grass-fed whey power, stirred together with almond milk add stevia if needed.

3. 1/2c organic yogurt and 1/2 c raspberry, blackberries, and blueberries, or apples and pears
or 1/2c organic cottage cheese and 1/2c sliced red peppers and cucumbers (if dairy free, soy yogurt can be substituted)

4. Morning after breakfast meditation for at least 12 minutes, you can recite a calming mantra or affirmation.

5. Mid Morning, drink a quick shot of 2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar


Courtesy of: https://www.marthastewart.com/1165773/kitchari

Afternoon Panchakarma

Since your digestion is strongest when the sun is brightest, it’s best to eat your biggest meal at noon, also have a little lighter dinner.


Recipe for Kitchari


2 cups uncooked split red lentils
1 cup uncooked organic white basmati rice (rinse with water until water runs clear)
1 tablespoon of ghee (can substitute olive oil)

I used 4 tbs of quality bulk curry powder or you can use:
[2 tbs turmeric and 1 tbs fresh grated ginger root or 1 teaspoon ginger
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon per black mustard seeds, cumin, and garlic powder
Optional: ½ teaspoon each coriander powder, fennel, and fenugreek seeds]

6 cups water
½ teaspoon salt (rock salt or sour pink salt is best)
Sliced carrots, and or chopped spinach, chard, or beet greens
Pan fried, cubed tofu.


Rinse the mung beans till the water runs clear. I soak mine overnight or a for a few hours before cooking. Bring beans to a boil 6 water cups
Cook beans and rice together until until become soft (about 30 to forty minutes).
The the beans and rice are cooked, I heat up 2T ghee or olive oil in a fry pan and cook the spices lightly, and then add them to beans and rice.
Add vegetables and tofu, cilantro leaves as a garnish just before serving, if desired. Add salt to taste.

1. 2 c. kitchari with vegetables and tofu.

2. Lemon or mint water room temp or warm, 8-10 glasses per day, ginger or mint tea or tea and dairy free chai can be alternated.

3. Cardio walk or workout interval is best for at least 12 minutes.

4. Listen to healing music, read, light spiritual or poetic reading, long walks outside, 5 element nature bathing.

Early Evening Panchakarma

1. Eat 2 cups of ready made kitchari.

2. Add 2 teaspoons of oil- flax, ghee, olive or coconut.

3. Early evening sunset walk, celebrate each night and try to see the magical sunset to seal the day.

4. Massage your body for 15 to 20 minutes with 8 oz of lightly pan warmed organic sesame or coconut oil, from head to toe, hair too! The coconut I warm in my hands.

5. I then do my evening meditation for 12 minutes with a towel under me, to let my skin absorb the oil, then take a shower or bath. Scrub your body with natural or Dr. Bronner’s soap and use a dry brush over whole body toward your heart as this provides a lymphatic massage, but let some oil to stay on the skin before bed. You can do the oil and bath in the afternoon instead as well.

6. Get at least 7-8 hours of good, nourishing, self care sleep.


Basic Retreat Shopping List:

✓Dry Wooden Brush

✓ 2 Jars Raw, unfiltered organic Coconut Oil

✓1 lb. Basmati Rice

✓1 lb. Red Lentils

✓Bunch fresh spinach, carrots

✓1 block organic Tofu

✓Large bag of bulk Curry Powder

✓1 large container of Organic Yogurt

✓Berries, Pears and or/ Apples

✓1 small carton almond milk or sugar free soy creamer

✓Grass fed whey powder

✓Mint or ginger tea

✓Fresh lemons or lemon juice bottle

✓Coffee or black tea (mornings only, as desired with almond milk)

Download Recipe Here

Check with your doctor before beginning any diet, exercise or weight loss plan, and not recommended if pregnant or lactating. This diet is not intended to diagnose, cure any disease, this is what I personally have found, heals me… Try it if it’s safe for you, and please let us know how it worked for you!

Here’s to your new, yogic and healed self!
Dawn Boiani

Originally Published on: Jun 24, 2019 on Sakura Designs

free weight loss course



Many of us gained weight during our Covid isolation, I’ve heard it called tongue in cheek the “Covid 19” meaning many gained just about 19lbs! I have compiled a scientifically proven weight loss plan that is healthy, simple and sustainable that I have used myself. It was recommended to me by other moms who’ve had great success with sustainable weight loss! This is not medical advice, this protocol below is from my personal experience only. For me it starts working on day 1. Please do check with your doctor before starting any diet, especially a reduced calorie one as there can be serious complications for certain people such as diabetics. This is a hybrid plan of about 4 diets all distilled into 1 easy to follow, healthy plan. It borrows from the Metabolic Factor primarily, Optavia® (Medifast®), Low Carb., Whole Food and Intermittent Fasting, all in one!

The main way that this diet is successful, is consistency. I failed a few times at it because I’d be really great and stick to it religiously for 4 or 5 days in a row, and then reward my efforts by~ cheating- a giant dinner out with family, with… dessert!  What my coach said is that it takes a few days to stoke your metabolism to start burning fat, if you cheat every few days, the body stops the metabolic process and starts storing fat again. Also, this diet differs from Optavia because it includes whole foods, and not unhealthy pre-paid, prepackaged, high carb. “fuelings,” with weird chemical sugar substitutes.  I have had better success eating more than less, if the calories are too restricted for you, you can get tired, dizzy, grouchy and god-forbid, put it all back on and then some, once you return to more normal eating patterns. A weight loss of 1-2lbs per week is considered safe. I’ve heard doctors say that any healthy diet that includes reducing calories and increasing exercise works, and consistency is the key– as Yoda reminds us “do or do not, there is no try.” Are you ready to commit for at least 30 days? Let’s do this!



  1. Start with 6 Minutes of Burst Exercise Every Morning and 5-10K steps each day.

  2. Eat 5, whole food, high protein and vegetable (100-120 calorie) “snacks”  approx. every 2 hours.

  3. Eat 1 high protein and vegetable whole food “lean and green” meal per day (600-700 calorie), choose afternoon or early evening.

  4. Intermittent Fasting, it’s called 15:9 IF- eat all of your calories in a 9 hour, consistent block like 9:00-6:00.

  5. Drink 8 glasses of water each day.

  6. No alcohol, soda, fruit juice or sugary drinks.

  7. Stop eating refined sugar and refined carbs.

  8. Track meals and calories, water, fitness, steps and progress with an online paid app like Noom or for free, with MyFitnessPal.


1. Start with 6 Minutes of Intermittent Burst Exercise Every Morning and 5-10K steps each day.

Before you consume anything other than water, as soon as you wake up, do only 6 minutes of intense cardio, like jumping jacks, (or for Buddhists like me, we can do 100 prostrations which are like sacred squat thrusts!). I do 1 min. interval jumping jacks- 1 min. fast walk-jump 3 x 3 sets, or if you can run outdoors for 6 minutes. If you have an elliptical, do a fast 6 mins. on the interval setting, do push yourself! This jump starts your entire metabolism, and the body already begins to start burning fat. You can get a Fitbit or pedometer and walk every day, sun and fresh air does wonders for body-mind-spirit!

2. Eat 5, whole food, high protein and vegetable “snacks” approx. every 2 hours.

Eat proteins and fresh, organic, living vegetables. I created some perfect egg and veg. 100 calorie snacks and here are some more ideas.

3. Eat 1 high protein and vegetable whole food “lean and green” meal per day, choose afternoon or early evening.

Coaches call these “lean and green” meals. Create a basic high protein, low carb. veggie lunch or dinner. Some grains are ok, make the meal satisfying and nice, no need to count calories per se.

4. Intermittent Fasting: eat all of your calories in an 9 hour, consistent block like 9:00-6:00, it’s called 15:9 IF.

This doctor explains intermittent fasting and helps to undo some diet myths.

5. Drink 8 glasses of water each day.

Yes 8, full glasses, this helps to hydrate, detox, digest and keeps you full.

6. No alcohol, soda, fruit juice or sugary drinks.

This is essential, but sugar free coffee and teas are fine, if you have to, use stevia, xylitol or monkfruit sweetener on occasion, but rarely as even alternative sweeteners can affect insulin.

7. Stop eating sugar and refined carbs.

Yes, no flour and sugar dessert, pasta or heavily starchy foods. Some quinoa, amaranth, barley, wheat-berries, brown or organic rice and occasional potatoes are ok.

8. If need be, at least at first, track meals and calories, water, fitness, steps and progress with an online paid app like Noom or for free, with MyFitnessPal.

This is a 1200-1300 reduced calorie diet sufficient for standard weight loss for most people under 200lbs. You may need more or less caloric intake depending on weight, age, health, gender and level of physical activity. Please consult with your doctor, nutritionist or online weight loss coach for a custom plan and guidelines.

weight loss


The techniques, ideas, and opinions here are not intended as a substitute for proper medical advice. The information provided here is solely for informational purposes only. All information is generalized, presented for informational purposes only, not medical advice, and not to rely on this information as medical advice and to consult a qualified medical, dietary, fitness or other appropriate professional for their specific needs. Sakura Designs, LLC and Dawn Boiani waive all liability for any harm. This information has not been evaluated by any government agency and the information is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

Photo by Any Lane from Pexels

juice fast

Treat your body to an infusion of nutrient density and energy! Here are my favorite organic juice cleanse recipes that make for a rejuvenating cleanse and a complete body reset. I am a big fan of juice fasting, and my body simply loves it! The body has a natural ability to rejuvenate and heal itself, with a little kind care and help. I wanted to share what a juice cleanse looks like from start to finish. First let me say, I’m not a dietitian and I do not claim to be an expert, but I learned a few tips as a health coach. It’s also nice to give your heavier food intake and digestion little rest and maybe to lose a little weight when we are feeling bloated. It’s also great to cleanse in the new year after following our holiday indulgences. I try to do these once per month, or at least quarterly/ seasonally.

What does a juice cleanse do for your body?

As I mentioned previously, I am not a doctor or dietitian so you ought to consult with one if necessary of if you have any health concerns or conditions. Juice fasting is not recommended if you have to do intense physical exercise, demanding work or really intense yoga practice, especially kundalini or pranayama practices. Light, healthy stretching, hatha yoga, and gentle walks in the sun are fine for this juice fast. Try to take it easy, meditate, take Epsom salt baths and rub the body with oil to stimulate the lymphatic system and calm the nerves.

My personal experience of juicing and smoothie making has been invaluable. The juices supply a mega dose of nourishment and antioxidants to my body that makes us feel great. For me I found it better to include to green smoothies per day to add more calories and nutrients to keep me more grounded and able to still go to work, as too few calories can make me dizzy and lightheaded.

Juice fasting allows my body to reset with regards to digestion. The additional dose of vitamins boosts our immune system also gives us far more energy that normal. How long should you do a juice cleanse?  It is completely up to you. I consider that I get the best results when I make juices for 2-3 days. You must remember that along with those 2-3 juicing days, there’s a post cleansing period that is very important.

In case you are new to juicing, I’d say start with a 2 day cleanse. After the cleanse ease back into solid foods by eating salads and small vegetarian meals, chewing slowly, drink herbal cleansing tea, and hydrate with considerable quantities of water.


juice fast

So in order to begin, you will need a juicer and a good-quality blender with powerful blades like a NutriBullet or Ninja. If you don’t have a juicer you usually can get a cheap one by asking around on Craigslist or Nextdoor and I recently found a whole bunch of working ones for 10-20 dollars at the local thrift store. If you truly are not able to acquire a juicer and/or blender you want to get started on the fast right away you can use the ready-made juice bottles that you can get at any health food store. I have done it, I bought a few big jars of organic carrot juice and beet juice and some ready-made smoothies. Of course there’s nothing as nutritive as cutting your own vegetables and creating your at-home living fresh organic juices. Higher quality, slow processing juicers extract more fiber and nutrients from the veggies and fruits that gives you more pulp and gives you a bit of a milder juice aka more fiber!


green juice smoothie


When you create an at home fasting cleanse, your diet will need to be pretty basic. Raw fruits and vegetables are a necessity, and you should make sure that they are organic and fresh. Eliminate all sugars, carbohydrates, high fructose corn syrup, wheat, corn, and any other food products that are grown using pesticides.

As you fast, you will need to make sure that you are drinking enough water. Water helps to flush the system, and it can also help to cleanse your bowels and keep your stomach feeling full. Drinking plenty of water when you create your own cleansing tea is very important.

What does a juice cleanse schedule look like?

I drink about 5 servings of juice a day and 6 glasses of plain water. I make 3 types of juice and I call them by color. Green Juice (2 servings per day ), Red Juice (2 servings per day ), Orange Juice (1 serving per day ). And after that I cap off the day with golden almond moon milk.

A 16 oz drink every 2-3 hours for a total of 5-6 juice/milk drinks per day, plus water

So here’s what a juice fast day looks like:

• 7:00 am wake up — drink warm tea made from lemon water and honey or stevia
• 8:00 am — Red Juice + Water
• 12:00 noon Green Juice Smoothie + Water
• 2:00 pm — Red Juice + Water
• 4:00 pm Orange, Carrot and Ginger Juice + Water
• 6:00 pm Green Juice Smoothie + Water
• 9:00 pm  Moon Milk Oat or Almond Milk Tea with turmeric and ashwaghanda

Orange, Carrot, and Ginger Juice

Ingredients- All Organic:

  • 8 medium (about 1.5 pounds) carrots – scrubbed clean and tops cut off
  • 8 medium (about 3 1/4 pounds) juicing oranges (depending on your juicer, you may need to cut the peels off)
  • 1 3-inch knob fresh ginger – peeled


Place everything in a juicer. Serve immediately.

Red Juice- Beet, Carrot and Green Apple

Ingredients- All Organic:

  • 2 medium beets, trimmed and scrubbed
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and core
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1T fresh lemon juice


Place everything in a juicer. Serve immediately.

Green Juice Smoothie

Ingredients- All Organic:

  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1 banana
  • 1T flax oil or ground flax seeds

(Variations: you can substitute the pineapple and mango for one more banana and a chopped apple, or 1c. of a three berry mix)


Place everything in a blender. Serve immediately.

Day 1:  It is always the hardest for me because you might feel a bit light headed and hungry. The truth is, we are packing our entire body with so many micro-nutrients, it’s plenty to operate on.

Day 2:  You might feel very light and joyous. I get better sleep through the night, wake up in the morning ready to proceed. Things are sharp and crisp and you’re simply ready to take on the afternoon!

I do organic juice fasting about every 3-4 months as a way to re-set my entire body and allow it rest. It’s a life changing treat for your body and mind, try one today!

beet juice fast

How to Create A Two Day Juice and Smoothie Cleanse- Three Juice Recipes: Red, Orange and Green

Treat your body to an infusion of nutrient density and energy! Here is my favorite organic juice cleanse recipes that make for a rejuvenating cleanse and a complete body reset. I am a big fan of juice fasting, and my body simply loves it! The body has a natural ability to rejuvenate and heal itself, with a little kind care and help. I wanted to share what a juice cleanse looks like from start to finish. A 16 oz drink every 2-3 hours for a total of 5-6 juice/milk drinks per day, plus water


  • Orange Carrot and Ginger Juice
  • Ingredients- All Organic:
  • 8 medium about 1.5 pounds carrots - scrubbed clean and tops cut off
  • 8 medium about 3 1/4 pounds juicing oranges (depending on your juicer, you may need to cut the peels off)
  • 1 3- inch knob fresh ginger - peeled
  • Red Juice- Beet Carrot and Green Apple
  • Ingredients- All Organic:
  • 2 medium beets trimmed and scrubbed
  • 1 Granny Smith apple peeled and core
  • 3 medium carrots peeled
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • Green Juice Smoothie
  • Ingredients- All Organic:
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1 banana
  • 1 T flax oil or ground flax seeds
  • Variations: you can substitute the pineapple and mango for one more banana and a chopped apple, or 1c. of a three berry mix


  • Instructions:
  • Place everything in a juicer or blender. Serve immediately.


Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels
Photo by Alisha Mishra from Pexels

What Is a Whole Foods, Plant Based Diet?

A whole foods, plant based diet uses plant sourced whole foods and avoids animal products. The plant based diet isn’t necessarily a set diet, it’s more of a lifestyle. We consume whole, minimally processed foods, and limit or avoid most animal products. We focus on plants, such as: veggies, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts, which makes up the majority of what we consume.

This diet excludes refined foods, such as added sugar, white bread, gmo’s and processed oils. We pay special attention to food grade, with advocates of this whole foods diet promoting locally sourced, organic food whenever possible.

It’s Not Vegan

People who follow strict vegan diets refrain from consuming any animal products, including dairy, poultry, meat, seafood, eggs and honey. Vegetarians exclude all poultry and meat from their diets, however a few vegetarians eat eggs, seafood or dairy. This plant based diet (also called WFPBD) on the other hand, it’s more flexible.

Followers eat mostly plants, but animal products are not completely off limits. While one person on the vegan diet might eat no animal product, one who follows a whole foods diet can eat modest quantities of poultry, eggs, seafood, meat or dairy. For example, pork production is one of the worst environmental pollutants of all of the factory farm industries. Once a year for Christmas, our family will purchase an organic ham, locally sourced and with great respect for that animal’s life. We are willing to pay much more for these occasional meats consumed, and found a few local farms right in the neighborhood!

For instance, we have 6 chickens, and feed them organic grains and food scraps, and they produce eggs for us every day! Our family eats well sourced, locally sourced or organic meats about once a week. It’s hard, we feel bad about it, especially when you raise animals, but the complex nutrients for growing children are recommended on occasion. Most nights, I use egg based dishes and well crafted, vegetarian meat substitutes.

This mainly plant based diet also can really help us lose weight and improve our overall health. Obesity is a problem of epidemic proportions. In fact, more than 69% of US adults are overweight or obese. Fortunately, with these simple food and lifestyle modifications we can facilitate weight reduction and have a lasting impact on health. Here are the 7 main reasons to consider:

1. A Plant Based Diet Can Be Richer in Nutrients

If you switch to a plant-based diet from a typical American diet, you’ll eliminate most animal and meat products.
We eat whole-foods, like whole grains, fruits, veggies, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.

2. It Can Help You Lose Excess Weight

An escalating number of people are turning to plant-based diets in the hope of losing excess fat.
This is perhaps for valid reason, several observational researches show that vegans have a tendency to be thinner and have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) compared to non-vegans.

3. It Appears to Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Improve Immune Function

Going plant-based may also have benefits for hypoglycemia, type 2 diabetes and declining kidney function.

4. A Plant Based Diet May Protect Against Certain Cancers

In accordance with the World Health Organization, about 1/3rd of all cancers can be prevented by factors within your control, including diet. For example, eating legumes on a regular basis might lessen your risk of colon cancer.

5. It’s Connected to a Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Eating fresh fruits, legumes, vegetables and fiber is linked to a lower chance of heart disease.

6. A Plant Based Diet Can Reduce Pain from Arthritis

Some research has reported that a plant-based diet has positive consequences in people with various kinds of arthritis.

7. Plant Based Diets Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

There is a substantial decrease in water consumption, food production and transport costs and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with a plant-based diet. Of course, this also is much more humane for living animals, as the animal suffering, conditions and general atrocities in our factory farms is unconscionable. A WFPBD is good for you, good for mother earth! This is the easiest way you can “Go Green” and substantially decrease your carbon footprint, by up to 73%!

I offer a simple to get started, downloadable PDF, and ongoing free recipes, ones that I actually make, so please bookmark our site!

Written By Dawn Boiani, Wellness Coach. Owner of Buddhistmala.com

image: Daria Shevtsova pexels dariashevtsova.com