“The best of all medicines is resting and fasting.” – Benjamin Franklin
Detoxifying with lemon water
I’ve never voluntarily fasted until now. The idea of going hungry just to lose a few pounds that would inevitably come back has never appealed to me. But then during my yoga teaching training my teacher Dhyana suggested we all try a mono-diet for a few days. I didn’t do it back then, but the idea was planted in my head. Thus, I added it to my 30 before 30 list.
There are many reasons for fasting or doing a cleanse besides losing weight. For me, I would like to give my digestive system a break. I’ve been known to overindulge (hello creamy mushroom soups with fried mushrooms yesterday) and my stomach is irritated easily. I want to detox and get all the junk out of my body. It’s also a chance to quiet down and reflect. Read this for a full description of all the benefits of fasting.
There are multiple ways to detox. Ayurveda suggests using a mono-diet of mung beans and rice. Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old Indian system of staying healthy. A mono-diet means you eat a small amount of the same thing at each meal during the fast. It’s gentler than a juice cleanse, plus you actually get to eat. I’m making a simple kitchari, which is a mixture of mung beans and basmati rice.
Organic mung beans from Whole Foods
Organic basmati rice from Trader Joe’s
Fasting was a little bit of a last minute decision once I realized I had a few days without any serious plans. Last night I went to Trader Joe’s to grab the ingredients. I was surprised to find out that the one by me doesn’t sell dried beans. I bought rice and soaked it overnight in water. This morning I tried the grocery store down the block before finding the beans in Whole Foods. I’ve read you can use lentils instead, but since it’s my first time I wanted to do it the traditional way. The beans are soaking right now, so it was a bowl of rice for breakfast.
Simple, yet surprisingly satisfying
Since fasting is a time for reflection I plan to read (some of) The Yoga Sutras, which is another item on my 30 before 30 list, and do plenty of yin yoga.
Have you ever fasted or done a cleanse before? How did you feel? Were there any surprising results?