Posted by: journeytokathmandu | 2010/05/04

Journey to a Cleanse: Panchakarma Day One

As many of you know, I have spent portions of the last five years in developing countries traveling and doing documentary work.  The things that my body consumed (fried tarantula, pig’s feet, fried cow tongue, chicken blood, Big Macs) and the conditions in which they may or may not have been cooked I do not like to contemplate.

As some of you may know, when I first moved out to Portland, Oregon (over 13 years ago), my diet consisted mainly of McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell (though, thankfully, that has changed significantly!).  Sometimes I mixed it up with some pizza.

Through the years, I have also taken in vast amounts of liquor, soda (pop!), candies, red meat, potato chips, carbon monoxide, gasoline fumes, recreational treats, etc.  Sometimes I have been known to throw in the occasional bag of pork rinds (come on, who doesn’t love a good fried pig skin??).

I’ve struggled with hypoglycemia since I can remember.  My friends and family (and myself, for that matter) have often been the poor victims of my emotional (un)well-being and just general crabbiness because I hadn’t eaten a cheeseburger, in, like two hours.

Well, I have decided that at 38 years of age, it is high time to give back to my body which I have relied upon for all these years.  Time to treat it a bit better.  Time to get a better grasp on how the mind and body operates and how they might both operate more efficiently.

And therefore it is time to give it the Cleanse that it so richly deserves.

So today, through the strict consultation of Melonie Nielsen, LMP, RYT, a professional who is trained in the classic school of Ayurveda, I am beginning a Panchakarma cleanse.

What’s a Panchakarma cleanse?

Taken from the Ayurvedic Institute:

Panchakarma (five actions) is a cleansing and rejuvenating program for the body, mind and consciousness. It is known for its beneficial effects on overall health, wellness and self-healing.

According to Ayurveda, our natural state is one of health, happiness and an inner sense of well-being. Health is defined as the body being clear of toxins, the mind is at peace, emotions are calm and happy, wastes are efficiently eliminated and organs are functioning normally. In a busy, stressful and toxic world, our physical and mental systems accumulate toxins causing deterioration in bodily functioning. This eventually weakens our systems, which opens the door for chronic, degenerative, and non-specific diseases to develop. These can evolve into serious specific diseases, ultimately damaging an individual’s health and wellness.

Panchakarma can help by reversing these negative effects of daily living. It can restore your natural state of health and wellness by cleansing your body of toxins, bringing balance into your system and improving bodily function. It can also help you sustain this process by making positive changes in lifestyle.

My program begins today (Day One, if you will) and will run for at least the next 11 or 12 days.  Oh, it’s gonna be an exciting time these next two weeks!  Watch me starve (that’s today!), eat nothing but some dish called kichadi for the entire time, drink some cool ginger, lemon and cayenne libation, down some castor oil (anyone remember that story sequence from Stand By Me?) and on Day Nine basically excrete my brains out for a 24-hour period.

It will be Great Fun.

And I’m going to share it with you in the form of videos, blog entries, links, information, etc.  Heck, maybe you’ll even want to do a little cleanse yourself!

So, Panchakarma, baby!!


  1. Hell Chris, Wow, exciting and fun. Wishing you all the best. Good luck

    • Namaste Ganga!

      Thanks for the support. This is *not* going to be easy, didi, let me tell you. I am *super* hungry and I’m just eating this kichadi, which is quite bland and not very substantial (will detail in later blog). It’d be much easier to just eat dal bat for the next 10 days. I don’t think I’ve gone two days without meat, let alone two weeks! 😉


  2. Great luck and endurance in this Chris.
    I stumbled on this in the weirdest way, but glad I did. Looking forward to seeing your journey, I may indeed want to follow 🙂

    • Namaste Sondra!

      Glad that you liked the post. I’ll have another up in a day or so!

      You say that you stumbled upon this in the weirdest way… do tell. I love to know how people are coming by this blog (and the film, for that matter).

      Kind Regards,

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