We can prepare ourselves for dieta in several ways.

In years gone by, one of the foundational steps that was a pre-requisite was participation in 6 month THE FOUR ALTARS SUPPORTED STUDY GROUP. This is no longer a pre-requisite due to it taking place every year from MARCH to SEPTEMBER, excluding some of those who are in alternative time zones or work schedules, BUT, it has shown to be a great introduction to myself and Alonso's way of working, and provide a better knowledge of ourselves and each other. It is not essential, but it is recommended.

Of course, our diet leading up to this time can make our process much smoother.

I would recommend gradually cutting back on red / white meat / dairy intake over the month prior to a dieta if you eat animal products. For the 2 weeks before, then eliminate these from your diet. Likewise with alcohol, the longer the better. Preferably at least 2 weeks with no alcohol before your dieta starts. Cutting back on salt and spices will help over these weeks, but there is no need to eliminate salt entirely from the diet as this will happen in dieta, and good quality salt contains many minerals that will help sustain the body while it is fasting. I recommend ( always and in all circumstances ) that we are well hydrated. If you are a regular coffee drinker, you may wish to cut this back gradually over the weeks prior to your dieta - replacing coffee with a light green tea can be a good way to avoid headaches that may manifest as a result of caffeine withdrawal.

Pork products should be avoided for at least 3 weeks prior to a dieta, as should raw fish and shellfish.

Sexual intercourse, including self-pleasure, is best abstained from for minimum one week prior to the dieta start date.

* I will need to be informed of any and all prescription medication or self-medications that you take, as the vast majority of these will have to be stopped entirely, or regulated at the very least. *

If you are a recreational drug user, in the case of cannabis ( I use drug for want of a better word that can be understood by everyone ) you will need to stop at least 2 weeks before please, but if the drug or the addiction falls into another category, it may be longer than 2 weeks. Please be honest about this with us and yourself. If you are addicted, or have involuntary tendencies towards a substance, you probably know already that the withdrawal can be very hard on the system, so I recommend cutting back as best as you can and speaking with me about this as to how best we can support you. Addictions can be worked on during dieta, and as humans, we can become addicted to almost anything. A good point of reflection in the time before the dieta would be, "To what am I addicted?" You may be surprised at what you find, whether it be your phone, food, shopping, tobacco, your perception of yourself, or something altogether more sinister.

Mentally, yes, there will be things to organise, but pre-dieta can be a good time to declutter and refocus on your intention, your time that is coming - to keep an awareness about you, as things may start to reveal themselves in the weeks running up to your travel. You may wish to cut back on social media, the news, movies, series, etc as all that goes into the system has to come out one way or another. You may wish to start making your prayers, prayers of invitation for the process that is to come, for the meeting with the plant teacher to be as beneficial as possible, and especially, prayers to be as receptive as possible to the overall process.

In this way we can begin to re-enforce our commitment before we begin, as it will be tested along the way, and like everything, what we get out of our dieta corresponds to what we put in.

In addition to this, getting out and about, into nature - placing attention onto what supports and serves us is always a good idea, and a good way to use our time. If you have a movement practice, or would like to begin one, then this is a good time. Movement helps to get out of the head and into the body, likewise heart centred breathing can also be useful.

In dieta there are many things that we cannot do:

Speak, touch, eat the full range of foods, wash with soap, use deodorant, listen to music, read magazines / books, use the internet or phone, and many more...

But, there are things that we can do:

Rest, release and let go, become comfortable in our being, beyond the state of doing, practice what supports us, meditate,  walk if we have sufficient energy. Appreciate where we are, who we are. If we have a yoga practice, or wish to develop one, this is a good time to lean into what we would like the shape of our lives to look like. There is much space in dieta, hours and days in solitude to remodel our existence. The removal of so many crutches and distractions allows the most real to present itself, and also for us to see where our mind goes in its attempts to wriggle out of a present moment relation with existence. Above all, it is a time that is a gift, and contains and bears many gifts - a gift of time, of emptiness - in a life that is often so full that we struggle to see the woods for the trees, so to speak. Sure, the world will still be there after the dieta has ended, and life will fill up again with all the usual situations and circumstances - but we will be better prepared, more resourced, and more able to use all that we have learned to be able to navigate with more grace and inner strength.

*Recommended reading: The Four Altars - the book of liberation and Tawantinsuyo 5.0 by Alonso del Rio. These will help you to gain a foundation into the way in which Alonso and I work, and probably bring much insight and healing along the way. You may also wish to join The Four Altars Study Group, as this has proven to be a great way to prepare for the dieta.