(Editor’s Note:  We found this article by Pritam Khalsa in Odyssey Magazine and thought it was such a great representation of Yogi Bhajan’s Green Food mono diet that we couldn’t resist re-posting.  This powerful and yummy cleanse eliminates all but green foods for 40 days (avoiding fruits if you have skin issues), in order to re-alkalinize the body, detoxify the liver and blood, and help with weight loss.  Avocados, green grapes, nori and mung beans?  Count us in!)


Pritam Khalsa shares an interesting diet originally conceived by Yogi Bhajan.
I like to look at ads and the stories they tell. Their psychology is often humorous and mostly none-too-subtle. I’ve seen this ad, I don’t remember who by, and I laugh. A person sits in front of a large smoothie glass. The glass contains something horrid that looks like turbo-charged Clean Green and the person shivers with panic and looks sick to their stomach in anticipation of the gunk. The camera swings to a breakfast cereal and we are assured and soothed that there is an easier way to detox.

Two things only are wrong with this story: green smoothies are actually wondrous, while brittle, dry breakfast cereal flakes seem effortless, but have shown to irritate your colon (especially if made from wheat bran) and potentially rob your body of calcium.

Should we just have a green smoothie then, or can we take the green theme to new heights? If mom was right when she said eat your vegetables, does it mean you’re going to be better when you eat more vegetables? The answer is a resounding yes.

The ‘green diet’ invites you to go colour-blind and attune your eye to only green fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes and oils.
Having its roots in the food side of yoga (Ayurveda), this diet was brought to us by the beautiful spiritual giant, Yogi Bhajan, master of Kundalini Yoga and White Tantric Yoga. He presents a thought-provoking premise: ‘Woman is the one creature on earth who needs more chlorophyll than anybody else.’

Does this mean this diet does not work for men? No, it works great for everybody, but we’re just confirming what we knew all along – that women and men on occasion have special and enhanced nutritional needs.

Yogic cleanses are also called mono diets. The teachings of Kundalini Yoga suggest that a mono diet may have merit over a fast (the complete omission of food). A regimen of healing foods ‘bathes’ the internal organs with particular nutrients again and again to the following benefit: the healing could be compared to the effect of a daily supplement. It needs to be taken for a while to have a deep effect: the autonomous nervous system expects a particular job of digestion – it can now relax and turn its attention to areas that need repair; healing foods create alkalinity; disease cannot thrive in an alkaline environment; detoxification speeds up when one nurtures oneself with a constant stream of enzyme-rich, antioxidant-laden foods – the healthy items create a centrifugal ejection of toxins.

During my learning with Yogi Bhajan, I have done numerous yogic cleanses: the lemon-turmeric rice fast, mung beans and rice, the spring diet of only fruit, vegetables, nuts and yogi tea and the watermelon cleanse. But to this day, the green diet is still my favourite. There are so many flavours, sweet, sour, savoury – it simply cannot become a bore or a sacrifice. I have done it for 40 days, fully working in my retail whole foods store and I think that’s a good recommendation.

Start out by making a list of all the green foods you know (and I didn’t mean Peppermint Crisp.):
FRUIT: Green Apples, Sultana Grapes, Kiwis, Sultana Raisins, Figs, Pears
VEGETABLES: Baby Marrows, Broccoli, Dill, Parsley, Spring Onion, Cucumber, Rocket, Lettuce, Green Olives, Green Chillies, Wheatgrass Juice
BLESSED ALL SORTS: Pistachios, Pumpkin Seeds, Mung Beans, Nori Sheets, Olive Oil, Spirulina, Chlorella, Avocadoes: 1 – 1½ a day, Jasmine Tea, Green Tea
ALLOWED: All Herbal Teas, Lemon Juice, Fructose, Honey, Yogi Tea, Soya Sauce, Herbal Salt, Spices, Store-bought Apple Juice, Psyllium Husk for Colon Cleansing

Can you fathom some interesting beauteous dishes out of these? All you really are omitting from a varied vegetarian diet is dairy, bread, pastries, tofu and soya sausages.
Some people have the preference of keeping fruit and vegetable items apart for easier digestion, while others do not have this bias. It may be advisable for you to consult with your health advisor before trying this program. You should not embark on this cleanse if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or undernourished.

Some experiences in life invite and inspire us to cleanse. Yogi Bhajan says: ‘You can call yourself a person of experience when you have cleansed.’ Natural and opportune times can be change of season, the loss of a relationship, a change at work, holidays, getting ready for a holiday, preparing for a wedding, taking a sabbatical, giving up smoking or any other events in your life that ask for this kind of honouring. As with all cleanses, you are bound to experience both highs and lows. Don’t expect to carry on exactly as normal. Observe your symptoms and care for yourself with love.

When you:
Are Tired – Rest Or Nap
Are Cold – Dress Warmly Or Take A Bath
Are Sore – Curl Up With A Hot Water Bottle Or Go For A Massage
Are Itchy From Detoxing – Skin-brush
Feel Vulnerable – Go Somewhere Safe
Feel Energised – Go For A Walk
Feel Peaceful – Write, Meditate, Practice Yoga, Admire Creation

There are many benefits that can be achieved through this diet. It is one of the most alkalinising diets, and alkalinity in the body allows oxygen to feed and rejuvenate your cells. You will be able to breathe better and more deeply, thus your body will shed accumulated mucous from the lungs and the digestive system. A little weight loss can be expected; it will be along the lines of allowing your body to come into its natural shape.

Chlorophyll naturally deodorises your body. The fragrance of an inwardly cleansed body is natural and beautiful and truly a discovery. The green diet also enriches your body’s uptake of folic acid and can be useful for when a couple wants to conceive.

The green diet creates luminously beautiful skin – you will feel extremely radiant. Your nervous system will relax. In the case of acne, it is recommended to eat veggies only and to leave the fruit.

Pritam Khalsa has been a vegetarian for 30 years. She teaches Kundalini Yoga and trains yoga teachers. She started FRUITS & ROOTS and EARTH PRODUCTS with her husband, Har Bhajan. Contact her here.


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