Kitchari Cleanse

“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?

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Kitchari Cleanse

  1. I’ve never fasted, but I can vouch for the satisfying qualities of rice. When I was in China for 3 weeks, I was very skeptical of many of the foods placed in front of me (lots of sketchy looking “meat” products), so rice ended up being my primary food source. It kept me going, but when I came home I didn’t want to look at rice again for a good month!

  2. I’ve never fasted, it actually scares me! I don’t think I would respond too well, but then again I’ve never tried so who knows. I’ve heard some good thigns about fruit/ juice cleanses. I’ll be curious to hear how it goes!

    • Well, I ate rice and beans so I wasn’t actually starving. But with that said, if you ever try it make sure you don’t have much going on and it should definitely be on a day off from work. Today my stomach feels great!

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