These plans should serve as a basis. For best results you should adjust things to fit your individuality. Using this plan for 21 days will give you a good idea where to make adjustments. Without the advice of a professional Ayurvedic doctor or trained practitioner I would advise you to follow the guidelines for the plan best suited for you for the 21 days, after which you can begin to make adjustments. These are general guidelines.
Another noteworthy point is that I am beginning with people who may be eating a “Standard American Diet” (SAD). Thus, the plan includes information on reducing canned, frozen and processed foods from the diet. If you already eat a whole food diet, but find that you are unsatisfied with it, look closer at the times to eat (see chapter 12) and which foods are the best for you from the lists in chapter 15. This will usually make sufficient enough changes to help you become healthier. Please note that there is a certain amount of humor in these plans to lighten the changes!
Day 1- Decide in advance not to try and fit all 21 days into this afternoon’s schedule. The best thing you can do now is to stop eating all fried food – especially in fast food (or any) restaurants. Even at home, just don’t do it. Fired foods also mean donuts or anything that is deep-fried.
Day 2- Stop drinking orange juice every morning. Feed yourself three good meals in a day, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day, they all are. Check your digestive power – hungry every three to four hours on the hour? Normally the pure Pitta type will have a strong appetite and digestion – keep giving it food. Hungry between meals? Eat fruit or raw vegetables (carrots, celery, etc.). Try and remember where you buy real food.
Day 3- Throw away all oils and your margarine. Toss the low-fat products and go buy organic butter. Make ghee, see Chapter Eight on how to do it. This is a major step as oils are not good for you generally, but ghee will balance your appetite without clogging your arteries. Cold-pressed olive oil can be used on salads and pasta – don’t cook with it though. Skip the butter on toast altogether if you can, but it is still better than margarine as it won’t turn to plastic in your veins.
Day 4- Cut in half all of the fermented foods you eat – wine, beer, yogurt, cheese, miso, soy sauce, tempeh, yeast, yeast breads (bread can be taken every other day), etc. Now that you remembered where to buy whole foods you can go there and buy some – grains, vegetables and beans are a good start (remember those things?).
Day 5- Cut in half all of the acidic foods you eat – bananas, citrus fruits, coffee, pickles, and sauerkraut, etc. This especially means soft drinks like colas as they are very acidic and leech all the minerals from your body (aside from overtaxing your liver and pancreas).
Day 6- Begin to love bland food – remember the heartburn from the last Mexican meal? Greatly reduce all spices; regular use should be limited to those listed in chapter 15 under spices. Now is a good time to stop all very spicy foods and the spices themselves.
Day 7- Stop buying canned foods. Throw away the tomato sauce as it will cause major acidic problems – use fresh tomatoes to cook with when you must have them. Throw out all the sugar in your house – buy some non-refined sugar for now.
Day 8- Celebrate the new week by having a garage sale to sell your microwave oven, deep fryer and coffee maker. As long as you are at it, sell the foods you used to cook in those things too! (If you haven’t thrown them out already!)
Day 9- Today is a good day to find your kitchen again. Once you have found it convince yourself that it has other purposes besides making coffee (anyway, you sold the coffee machine yesterday). When you have convinced yourself that your health is a worthwhile investment cook a meal consisting of whole grains, vegetables and a salad. (This is assuming you haven’t done it already on day four!)
Day 10- Stop all white wine and vinegar – you may as well stop coffee at this point since the coffee machine is gone. Tea is OK for you if you feel too dejected. If you smoke reduce the amount you consume in half.
Day 11- Reduce your intake of meat (i.e., fat) in half – no more than four meals per week. Understand that you will feel lighter – don’t mistake this for being empty.
Day 12- Buy some of those tasteless white cubes called tofu and soak them in tamari. Tamari looks like soy sauce but is not fermented, you can recognize it by the price, it is twice the cost of soy sauce. Tamari will make the tofu taste like something – soaking it for 30 minutes is the minimum time – overnight makes a good meat substitute.
Day 13- Now is a good time to clear out the freezer. Keep Aunt Sally’s homemade jam, the ice cream and throw the rest. Reconfirm that bland food is delicious!
Day 14- Two weeks already! Open your last bottle of champagne to celebrate (now you can only have it at marriages and weight-watcher meetings) – champagne is far too acidic to consume on any kind of regular basis. Learn about older red wines as they will disturb you less. Water, sweet fruit juices and flower based herbal teas are the best beverages for you – begin to drink them!
Day 15- Stop all of the fermented foods you eat – bread is OK if you don’t have any kind of food allergies – if you do stop it as well.
Day 16- Stop all of the acidic foods you eat – bananas, citrus fruits, pickles, etc.
Day 17- Start cooking two meals a day (no, toasting bread does not count!). Breakfast, lunch or dinner, whatever fits into your schedule. Use a lot of whole foods (no, these don’t come in a can).
Day 18- Now that you are cooking two meals a day you can clear out the cupboards of all those boxes of stuff. Feed them to the dog. Go buy sacks of grains if you need something to clutter up your cupboards.
Day 19- Eat aunt Sally’s jam over the ice cream – you may as well go for it because ice cream will be limited to leap years from now on. No need to fill your freezer up again unless you freeze your own cooking.
Day 20- Invite a Vata type over and cook them a meal – they are often lousy cooks and you can show off your new tofu dish. Don’t accept their coffee machine if they happen to offer you one. Perhaps you can sell them some stock or insurance after dinner just so you don’t feel like you’ve totally wasted your time.
Day 21- Admit to yourself that it was better to take 21 days instead of an afternoon to do this (or review what happens to your body when you shock it if this is the first afternoon!). Avoid acidic, sour, spicy and fried foods – other than these you can eat what you like. Be aware not to overeat, but eat good meals three times per day.