Many of your know I recently came back from my yearly yoga retreat followed by a 7 day mono-diet cleanse.  My particular cleanse was designed by the amazing Camina Gillotti – an angelic Ayurvedic consultant who splits her time between the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas ( and her practice in Santa Rosa, California (not a bad life!) Check her out at:  She is available via Skype as well.

As a healthcare practitioner myself, I often need someone to reinforce what I tell so many of my patients. Camina was able to do all that for me and suggested a 7-day mono-diet cleanse when I returned.  I have to say, it’s been awhile since I had done a cleanse, and the benefits are endless.

What is a mono-diet?

I often recommend a mono-diet for clients struggling with digestive disturbance, anxiety, unexplained immune disorders and a variety of other reasons. A mono-diet can vary in its specific goals based on the disease pattern, but essentially, we want to take any increased stress off of the digestive and nervous system – bringing the body into greater balance and alignment.


Decreased digestive stress

In Chinese medicine, the Earth element is largely associated with the digestive system and the organs of the Spleen and Stomach. The Stomach is responsible for what we take into the body and why, while the Spleen transports these nutrients to the other organ systems. A mono-diet brings our awareness to the specific foods we are eating, enabling the stomach and body to function with greater conscious awareness. Conscious awareness is integral to any healing process.

Increased Energy

One of Camina’s rules that I found most challenging was no eating past 7 pm. This has now become my favorite rule. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for the ‘rest and digest’ functions of the body. The more room we can give the organs to do these functions appropriately and easily, the greater ease the body has in decreasing stress levels and increasing energy.  

Increased Mental Clarity

Simply, with improvements in nutrient processing, better sleep, and an optimally functioning nervous system, the brain functions better.  Camina also included essential fats and in fact, required me to have at least 4 tablespoons of oil or high quality ghee daily (yes butter on a cleanse!). High-quality fats are essential to healthy nerve, brain and hormonal function, keeping the body running smoothly.

The Challenge: Honoring the Emotional Body

By making a strict schedule and taking the guesswork out of meal planning, we are able to break unhealthy patterns called ‘ habitual’ eating.  ‘Habitual’ eating is eating we do out of stress, emotional coping or learned pleasure. By consciously eating, the mind and the body are better able to cope with stress with greater awareness.  This honors not only the physical body but the emotional body as well.  

We must remember that Food is the means by which we re-CREATE the world as ourselves.

Next Steps

Interested in a customized cleanse appropriate for your constitution this spring season? Contact the office to see how Chinese medicine can help to detoxify your system, bring more awareness to your physical and emotional body, and support your conscious growth.

- Catherine Craig L.Ac.