| LINDSEY WILSON
I’ve been really excited to try out the OWL reset— a cleanse that uses Ayurveda and Chronobiology to craft a 4 day reset using “shakes” and bone broths (and solid food, if you opt to eat while cleansing).
My co-founder, Angelica, has done the OWL cleanse multiple times. In fact, it was her first cleanse ever. This, however, was my first OWL reset.
I had previously had their bone broth after doing a more traditional Ayurvedic cleanse, a PanchaKarma, and it was delicious. We have also recommended it to clients who have gone through the cleanse with us.
Before I sat down to write about Day One, I blended my first Morning Magic Matcha shake with water and a banana and boiled my Vegan Morning Elixir. I was most excited for the shake, but the broth was grounding and delicious in the most delightful way, as well.
I’ll start by saying that I’m usually pretty hesitant to do cleanses. I have a very strong appetite, and after spending a few too many years in a cycle of disordered eating, I am now pretty resistant to things that make me feel deprived and hungry.
However, I felt that this “cleanse” had a different energy behind the intention, which was to give the digestive system a break. My intentions in the past were usually centered around deprivation and wanting a quick fix for something I deemed *wrong* in my body.
You can opt to do this cleanse two ways
Broths and shakes only — This is obviously the more intense way of doing the cleanse, as it is low calorie and you will not be chewing foods for 4 days.
- Eat from the approved food list while also having the broths and shakes — This method allows for a few oils, veggies, fruits, proteins, and spices (no grains, dairy, etc.) so that you are still eating a nourishing diet while supporting your digestive system with shakes.
Why Ayurveda supports a digestive break (aka fasting)
- The digestive organs require a large amount of energy and when rested can create excess energy for healing
- This ‘excess energy’ can balance the agni, or digestive fire, which helps to burn away ama, or toxins
- The body can naturally heal itself when it is not busy digesting food
The Science within the OWL cleanse
“Chronobiology examines periodic (cyclic) phenomena in living organisms and their adaptation to solar and lunar related rhythms. These cycles are known as biological rhythms. All of our products, both our broth elixirs and mylkshakes, have been intentionally curated with Chronobiology in mind, so you are consuming specific foods at ideal times of day to ensure optimal digestion.” — OWL website
Ayurveda has a similar idea, and the science uses its dinacharya, or daily routine, to align with the rhythms of nature.
Many of the OWL spices and ingredients, such as triphala and moringa, are also Ayurvedic and naturally support the digestive system and energy levels, respectively.
How I Felt Before the Cleanse
The week before beginning the cleanse, I did a lot of eating out and traveling while in LA, and I noticed myself getting bloated a few times. I also didn’t sleep well with the quick time change, so my energy levels feel a bit lower than normal. My skin looked clear, but I was excited to have that ‘glow’ I usually experience post-cleanses.
My intention was to consume the broths and shakes only, along with a lot of warm lemon water and herbal teas. I planned to work out 3 out of the 4 days during the cleanse week because I love moving my body, and I have classes I needed to take before they expired. I also wanted to stay attuned to my body’s needs and rest as much as I could outside of work and exercise.
I lasted most of the day with just the broth and shakes, and I surprisingly wasn’t hungry at all despite having worked out and walked my dog multiple times!
However, I did have a headache, which subsided once I upped my water intake. I also forgot how mentally challenging it is to drink food instead of eat it! I was staring longingly at my fiancé's buddha bowl dinner, and I decided to cook some vegetables for myself. WOW it felt amazing to chew, and the carrots tasted like a million bucks.
When I began the reset, I wanted to do it 100% by just consuming the broths and shakes, but I realized how ego-driven that was and noticed my old perfectionist habits creeping in. Once I realized that plan didn’t come from a pure intention, my new plan became to listen to my body’s urges for cooked, whole vegetables and honor that.
To keep myself nourished, I was in bed by 9 PM reading a book. I fell asleep early and let myself sleep in a little the next morning instead of exercising.
The best part of the cleanse at this point was that I was genuinely loving the taste of the broths and shakes, and I loved that I got enough nutrients to not feel hungry at all.
On Day Two, my intention was to take more rest for myself. When the body is cleansing it’s just as important to cleanse and nourish the mental and emotional body in the process.
I noticed that, on Day One, I pushed myself a little too hard, and my body was giving me signals that it was time for a break. I took some space in the afternoon to do some Yoga Nidra, and I was so tired I fell asleep during the practice, which doesn’t happen to me often.
I woke up on Day Two with a slight headache, but it went away as soon as I enjoyed some lemon water.
Overall though, Day Two was much better than Day One. My body felt great, and I didn’t get hungry until about 5:30 PM. I stuck to the broths and shakes until late afternoon, when I enjoyed a small bowl of cooked apples. Technically, apples are not on the list of approved fruits, likely because it can sometimes cause indigestion when consumed raw (I sometimes notice bloating and heartburn after eating apples). However, Ayurvedically speaking, warm apples are easier to digest and generally not aggravating to any of the doshas.
Then for dinner, I made a sweet potato with ghee, turmeric, and cumin. The sweet potato tasted amazing, and I savored every second of it.
I’m always a good sleeper, but a real treat of this cleanse was getting into bed even earlier than usual. I usually don’t wake up when fiancé gets up for work at 5 AM, but this week I woke up and had more energy at that hour than normal.
Beyond sleep, I also upped the rest of my self-care game with some of my other favorite nourishing practices
- Golden Mylk (made with ghee rather than boxed oat milk) Lattes
- Daily abhyanga, which is a self-massage performed with oil
- Spending extra time in the steam shower
- EFT (tapping) with affirmations
- Practicing daily morning pages and journaling
- Longer meditations, yoga nidra, and self-reiki throughout the day
- Opting for a paperback book rather than the TV or my kindle
Day Three I had a fantastic workout. I avoided cardio but kept my normal weight lifting session. Not only did I feel stronger than usual, but I could more easily lift more weight and add in more reps.
It took a lot of willpower to not overdo it, but it did feel great to have that extra energy. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work out at all while on the cleanse, but I notice a huge difference in my mental state and creativity when I move in the mornings vs. when I don’t, so I opted to keep it.
The biggest perk of this day was how deep I went in both of my meditations. Normally it takes breathwork and prolonged meditation or practice to drop into the state that I almost instantly fell into. The silent, void-like state was so nourishing. All thoughts, emotions, and chatter fell away.
If you’ve ever been in this state before, you know how powerful it is. It wipes away anxiety and fear, and it changes the energy and direction of the entire day. When I was on the cleanse, we were in the middle of a launch, and normally I would be in overdrive thinking I need to create extra content, talk to more people, etc. Yet, this was the calmest launch I had ever been through, and it’s not because my daily activity had changed. It’s because I changed the way I approached and accomplished the daily activities.
I did experience strong hunger pains between 4- 5:30 PM before I had my nightly broth and shake, and again, I chose to cook a sweet potato with ghee and spices to consume.
On Day Four I had another great workout at a Pure Barre class. Day Four landed on a Friday, so I practiced an extra long and juicy meditation. This one wasn’t as easeful as the day before, but still felt equally supportive.
Physically, my skin felt clearer and more hydrated. I didn’t experience much indigestion prior to the cleanse, but I felt fantastic the entire time I was on it. Eliminations were a little more varied than normal, but I still had a daily BM.
Mentally, I felt more clear, at peace, and grounded. I spent time during the cleanse using Mindset work to question any resistances I had, which was really powerful.
Spiritually, I felt deeply connected, trusting, and even more intuitive. The sense of calm and clarity during the cleanse was honestly my favorite part, and it makes sense why Yogis often fast to deepen their meditation practice.
The cleanse was so much easier than I thought it would be, and I felt really good almost the entire time I was on it! I don’t experience bloat or much indigestion normally, and even I felt like the reset was a much needed break for my body.
Spiritually and mentally it felt good to free up space and energy that is normally used for digesting food and thinking about what foods to prepare. I also loved that I took extra good care of myself while doing the reset, because that made the entire experience really enjoyable.
Other miscellaneous thoughts
- I plan to reuse the broth jars for flowers! They’re the perfect size for vases, and the stickers (for the most part) peeled right off.
- Don’t try to be the hero by killing yourself on this cleanse. Take it slow in your workouts, go for long walks outdoors, or choose this week for rest. If you feel intense hunger pains, drink the broth and shake. If they remain, eat the foods on the list. Hunger was barely an issue for me, but I did listen to my body when it pinged me.
- Sticking to the approved foods wasn’t an issue, nor was the caffeine. If you're a coffee addict, you may be surprised by how well the broth acts as a replacement.
Rachel Jeffries is the co-founder of Soulfull Veda, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, and Ayurvedic Coach. She first found Ayurveda through her Yoga Teacher Training but didn't come back to it until years later when her own health imbalances became a never-ending mystery.
Ayurveda was such a powerful part of her transformation that she later partnered with her first Ayurvedic practitioner, Angelica, to create the brand Soulfull Veda, where the two women believe in empowering others to learn how to self-heal and transform their lives.