My 3 Day Summer to Autumn Gentle Cleanse + Reset

September 10, 2020

If you read my article last week, you’ll know why I like to reset my body and mind with the change of each season. This weekend I’ll be taking full advantage of the upcoming Autumn season with a bit of TLC the 3 Sources way. You won’t find harsh restrictions or punishing plans here. Nor will you find juices or raw foods, which are the opposite of what we need when we’re working on firing up our digestion. Instead, this gentle 3 day cleanse will focus around 4 simple recipes and some intentional self-care practices to welcome in the new season, all in a calm, cosy, delicious and gently powerful way.

If you’d like to join me, I’ll be starting the 3 day cleanse this Saturday with a quiet weekend before taking it through to Monday when I’ll be nicely in the swing of things. You may decide to start the cleanse on Friday, the choice is yours. You can also choose to absorb the information and start next weekend. The important thing is to set aside the days before the changing of the season – the Autumn season officially begins on September 22nd. Feel free to do a 2 day cleanse instead of 3, but I wouldn’t recommend any less. Carving out this time for yourself is a powerful practice that will help you flow from one season to the next with grace and ease.

3 Day Cleanse + Reset Recipe Plan

This 3 day cleanse and reset is based on eating plenty of comforting, yet light and easily digestible food with good amounts of herbs and spices such as ginger and cumin to support and rekindle your digestive fire. And because digestion is at the core of human health, not only are you giving your body what it needs to prepare for the Autumn season, you are also getting out of its way by not loading it with the social, digital and food stimulation that we typically ingest each day. This allows your body to repair and regenerate, whilst encouraging the body’s innate capacity for detoxification and healing. I find that it is also profoundly clarifying for the mind and the tissues. In just 3 days you will likely notice an enhanced state of taste, as well as marked improvements in your appetite, digestion, elimination and mental clarity.

You can choose to eat the following recipes in any order you like, though the healing apples are best eaten before 4pm. If, like me, you practice intermittent fasting, you could break your fast with the Grounding Broth mid-morning, enjoy the Healing Apples mid-afternoon and finish the day with a mug of Wonder Golden Milk.

Healing Apples

Fruit is much more easily digested when it is cooked, especially as the weather begins to cool. A simple, tried and tested therapeutic food – pureed apples with warming spices builds immunity and is wonderful for gut health. The healing properties come from the pectin in the skin of the apples that’s released during the cooking. Pectin repairs and maintains the mucosal lining of the gut, where 80% of our immune system is housed. The warming spices, especially cinnamon, are anti-inflammatory, immune boosting and contain good amounts of antioxidants. I recommend stirring in a little coconut yoghurt or cream per serving, to keep blood sugar levels nice and balanced.

To make enough Healing Apples for a 3 day cleanse, roughly chop three apples (unsprayed), keeping the skins on. Add to a small pan with 15 whole cloves, 3/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 3 star anise and 1/2 cup filtered water. Simmer over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Remove the star anise and about 10 of the cloves. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth. Serve warm with a tablespoon of coconut yoghurt or cream (the thick cream on the top of a can of coconut milk).

Grounding Broth

If you’ve been following 3 Sources for a while, you’ll know that I regularly make plant-based broth as a way to nourish my body, support my digestion and encourage my body to heal. It took gallons of experimentation before I came up with what I now call “Miracle Broth,” a plant-based elixir that’s dense with medicinal mushrooms, seaweed, root vegetables, ginger and turmeric. All the good stuff. Miracle Broth forms the base of this grounding meal in a bowl. You can find the recipe and read more about its benefits here.

To make the Grounding Broth, warm 2 cups of Miracle Broth per serving in a medium pan. Add to it the following:

1/3 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa + finely sliced kale, green cabbage, Swiss chard, spinach or broccoli florets + leftover carrots or other root vegetables from the Miracle Broth + fresh shiitake or other mushrooms.

Optional add-ins: a few splashes of tamari or coconut aminos, or a spoonful of fermented brown rice miso.

Toppings: toasted seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame), finely sliced green onion, fermented vegetables, sea salad or toasted and crumbled nori, gomasio (see below), micro sprouts or micro greens (leek or radish sprouts are great), fresh soft herbs (parsley, coriander, chives, etc), pickled radishes, chilli flakes, nutritional yeast flakes, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or toasted sesame oil.

I like to make a nori, hemp and pumpkin seed gomasio, because it’s rich in iodine, which is commonly deficient in our diets and important for healthy thyroid function. The hemp and pumpkin seeds are exceptionally rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and a great source of protein. To make a small jar, toast 1 sheet of nori in the oven for about 5 minutes or until crisp. Once cool, crumble the sheet into pieces and place in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of shelled hemp seeds and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds, plus 1/2 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt or sea salt. Pulse until a coarse powder. Store in a small sealed jar.

Wonder Golden Milk

For those of you that aren’t yet familiar with this vibrant, spicy wonder drink, golden milk, actually dates back thousands of years in Ayurvedic tradition where it has been used to aid digestion, boost immunity, reduce inflammation, purify the blood, clear the skin, and aid restful sleep. the main ingredient in golden milk is the curcumin in turmeric, a compound that is responsible for its beautiful vibrant colour. Curcumin has been widely studies for its anti-inflammatory properties, but it also supports detoxification, helps balance blood sugar, and lowers the overall risk of cancer.

For proper assimilation of this wonder spice, curcumin needs to be taken with black pepper and fat. A compound in black pepper, called piperine helps the body absorb curcumin, and shows to increase the bioavailability of it by up to 2,000 percent. The coconut oil allows the curcumin to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream via the lymphatic system. Double win.

My version of golden milk has a few more spices than some blends to encourage agni, or digestive fire. It’s a deeply comforting and replenishing drink that is perfect to start or end the day with.

You can make a batch of golden milk that will be sufficient for 3 days and just needs to be gently heated through before serving. The plant milk for this recipe is totally flexible. I like coconut, but almond, hemp or oat milk is also nice. The most important thing to remember when making golden milk is not to overheat the spices, as they will become bitter tasting and lose some of their valuable properties. If you want to use a touch of natural sweetener, maple syrup, raw honey or coconut blossom sugar are the best options.

To make a batch of Wonder Golden Milk, add 3 cups of plant milk to a small pan with 3/4 cup of filtered water, 1 cinnamon stick (or 3/4 teaspoon ground), 1.5 teaspoons of ground turmeric, 6 cardamom pods, cracked (or 1/4 teaspoon ground), 3 teaspoons of ground ginger, 3 pinches of ground nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Stir frequently at a low to moderate temperature until just simmering. Stir in 3 teaspoons of coconut oil. Strain through a double layer of muslin and store in a glass bottle in the fridge or serve immediately in your favourite mug. Add a little sweetener, if desired and a fine dusting of ground cinnamon.

Agni Tea

My take on a classic “agni tea” of Ayurveda to balance digestion and aid digestive capacity. Strong digestion is absolutely necessary to maintain good health through the seasons, especially the colder months. Each of these seeds has its own long list of benefits by itself and, taken together as a decoction, it’s a wonderful remedy to support digestive health as we move into Autumn. A decoction is just a concentrated liquor resulting from heating a substance, especially a medicinal preparation made from a plant. It calls for a slow, but lively simmer, around 20 minutes. You can drink the tea warm, throughout the day, for purifying, detoxifying and cleansing of the digestive system.

To make a batch of Agni Tea, pour 1 litre of filtered water into a medium pan. Add 6 slices of fresh ginger root, 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of coriander seeds (or 1 tablespoon of finely sliced fresh coriander stems) and 1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and enjoy. Agni tea can be refrigerated and will stay active for around 48 hours. After this time frame it is best to make a fresh batch for the beneficial effects.

Cleanse + Reset Guidelines

  • Eat when you are hungry. Take these days to really tune in and see when your body actually desires food, and how much you need to eat to feel satisfied. When you actually feel hunger, your body is giving you the signal that it is actually ready to receive.
  • Cook mindfully. Use this opportunity to make your meal prep a ceremony, and see it as a gift to yourself. Take your time washing and chopping vegetables, enjoy the scent that wafts up as you prepare the Agni Tea and Wonder Golden Milk. The intention and gratitude you put into your food will come back to you, nourishing you physically and energetically.
  • Keep things interesting. Add in different greens and different toppings to your broth, or a squeeze of lemon or lime to your tea.
  • Drink plenty of pure, filtered water. The body functions optimally when properly hydrated. It’s especially important when we are resetting, since we’re letting go of things that need to be flushed out. Remember to drink water away from mealtimes for optimal digestion (30 minutes before eating, 2 hours after, unless you are very thirsty). During the reset, drink warm water rather than cold to support digestive fire and the lymphatic system. Agni tea or plain Miracle Broth also count towards your daily quota. Aim for between 2 and 2.5 litres each day.

Grounding Down

After the free-wheeling days of summer, it’s good to recommit to a practice of daily self-care habits, the simple things we can do each day that add up to a state of higher health and vibration. For me, these include my minimum intake of water, meditation or breath work, journalling, and a daily movement practice (I love Pilates, ballet barre, rebounding, and walking).

Take the time to set new intentions during the 3 day cleanse and reset for the Autumn season. For more information on starting a meditation practice and creating a simple and intentional morning routine see here and here.

Autumn Energy Clearing

This weekend I’ll be clearing space for the new season by burning Palo Santo, also known as holy wood, for its grounding and earthy scent. You can also use white sage. When you are ready to do this simple clearing ritual, choose a bowl or special vessel to act as a fireproof dish. Find a comfortable spot in a favourite area of your home.

Start by setting your intentions for the coming season and anchor your body in the present moment. Hold the Palo Santo or white sage in your hand and light the top, allowing the wood or the dried plant to catch and create a steady flame. Blow out gently, making way for the smoke stream from the smouldering wood or plant. Move the smoke by fanning it with your spare hand, allowing the vapours to permeate the space and your intentions. When completed, rest the wood or plant in the fireproof dish to allow the smoke to settle. Breathe deeply and give thanks for your space and the positive energy it now holds.

The Grounding Altar

Autumn is the season of connecting back to home and Earth after the light days of summer. Creating a simple altar (a mantlepiece, shelf, or simple tray) helps us to cultivate gratitude, inspiration and new intentions. I like to choose items that reflect the season. Pine cones, fallen feathers or leaves, seasonal fruit, anything that speaks to you. These can be items you collect when you are out walking. Adding a candle is a nice addition, as are favourite photos of loved ones, flowers, or pieces of drift wood. Be guided by your intuition.

After the Cleanse + Reset

Acknowledge the time you have taken for yourself to ground down, be quiet and gentle, and nourish yourself physically and emotionally in a tender way. And remember, you can appreciate the benefits of this cleanse + reset each season. I’ll be sharing a new one as we welcome in the winter season.

During the weekend, I’ll be sharing some of my self care practices on Instagram and will be running a live on Sunday with a special recipe to add to your Autumn rituals.

Show me your cleanse and reset recipes and self-care practices on Instagram by tagging me in your photos.


‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, 
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; 
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, 
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, 
And still more, later flowers for the bees, 
Until they think warm days will never cease, 
      For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.’

On Autumn, John Keats 

comments +

  1. Molly says:

    Lovely. Thank you for the thoughtful recommendations.

  2. Angela Ridge says:

    I love every part of this Rachel and will definitely give it a go next week. I am enjoying more and more the food that I am preparing, serving it and eating it with my husband who is also enjoying it. Thank you for showing me the way. Have a lovely weekend.

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