Clean eating. It’s really not a diet. It’s how we should be eating every day. When you find the style of eating that meets your needs, it’s how you should be eating daily…no counting, no guilty deviations, no beating yourself up for not being perfect. You eat well because it makes you feel well.
Sometimes, we need a reset when we get off track. The biggest seasons that need a reset are the fall and spring where there is a big shift from one season of extreme to another (hot to cold; summer to winter and vice versa). If you’re eating seasonally, you’ll notice that the winter diet and the summer diet are extremely different. Our bodies usually need a reset in the transition seasons of spring and fall for optimum year ’round digestive health.
There are those of us do well with more frequent resets. Many of us with busy and distracted lives find it easy to get off track from the style of eating that keeps us the most healthy and in balance.
Summer can be a season of easily getting off track. Some of us feel better because it’s warmer (so our body isn’t as loud when we’re not taking as good a care of ourself). We might be doing a lot of traveling and visiting, which keeps us busy and out of our regular routines. We might be eating what’s served to us instead of making our own meals. Life is just a little bit more erratic…and fun.
It’s not a big deal to get off track in the summer (“it’s not a problem if it’s not a problem”), but it’s not a good way to go into autumn. Autumn is the season that most needs well established routines and nourishing foods to balance the erratic Vata.
Have you noticed that gentle, cool wind today? It reminds us that autumn around the corner. The teachers and the kids are heading back to school, another reminder.
It might be time for a little reset. We could do a mini three day cleanse. We could take a few days drinking really cleansing teas and eliminating the big ‘baddies’ (processed food, additives, coffee, alcohol, white flour, white sugar, dairy, our trigger foods, etc.). We could do both of these things. We could wait until autumn is in full swing to do a deep Autumn cleanse. There are as many ways of resetting as there are people.
What am I doing? I’m settling back into a weekly routine of Kitchari Monday. I eat kitchari for every meal. I add variety with fresh, local vegetables. I drink lots of warm herbal tea through the day to help encourage my body to clear out the Ama/gunk. I make sure I go for a good walk (or easy run or hike) on Kitchari Mondays if at all possible to reset the mind for a new week.
Kitchari Monday starts the week off clean and healthy. It makes meal planning for what can be the hardest day of the week simple. It balances the less than ideal meals we might have indulged in over the weekend. Kitchari keeps life simple.
Kitchari Ingredients & Recipe (modified from Banyan Botanicals):
- 1 cup basmati rice
- ½ cup yellow mung dal
- 3 teaspoons Kitchari Spice Mix*
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 6 cups water
- 1–2 cups chopped vegetables (optional)
The Kitchari Kit has all the basic ingredients you’ll need to get started.
Wash rice and mung dal and soak overnight. Drain soak water. You can experiment with different proportions and grains. Please be sure you are choosing a grain (or blend of grains) that offers you a complete protein to be certain you are getting all the vital macronutrients (carbs, proteins, fats) your body needs in order to thrive.
In a medium saucepan warm the ghee. Add the Kitchari Spice Mix and sauté for one to two minutes. Add rice and mung dal and sauté for another couple of minutes. Then add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Once the kitchari has come to a boil reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until it is tender (approx. 30–45 minutes).
If you are adding vegetables to your kitchari, add the longer cooking vegetables, such as carrots and beets, halfway through the cooking. Add the vegetables that cook faster, such as leafy greens, near the end.
Add more water if needed. Typically, kitchari is the consistency of a vegetable stew as opposed to a broth. A thinner consistency is preferable if your digestion is weak and/or you are coming back from illness. You will notice that kitchari will thicken when it cools and you may need more water than you originally thought.
Add pink Himalayan salt to taste (optional).
Makes 4 servings (enough to get you through the entire day)
*Note: The following spices may be used in place of Kitchari Spice Mix. You may also make your Kitchari using the Seasonal Spice Blend from your Seasonal Ayurveda Self Care Box
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 small pinch of asafoetida (hing) powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 4 thin slices of fresh ginger root