Kitchari Spring Cleanse and Recipe
Spring is finally here. No more heavy boots, jackets and restrictive clothing. As we all know, winter gets cold, heavy and pretty stagnant. Energy levels are low, our bodies just want to relax and cozy up on a sofa with a warm blanket and vegetate. Well, spring is a time for rebirth, cleansing and movement. It is a time for getting out and enjoying what nature has to offer. It can be tough to get out of the winter blues and habits we have built over the months, but there is no better feeling than the heat of the sun and the freshness of the air. Now is the time to enjoy our Kitchari Spring Cleanse Recipe. An Ayurvedic cleanse resets and rests your digestive system.
With all the talks of getting healthy nowadays and detoxing, today we would like to share a detox that has been around as long as Ayurveda itself. Many are familiar with Ayurveda, but those that are not, please feel free to research this ancient and esoteric way of life and health further. Many people like to call this alternative medicine, but we beg to differ. Ayurveda has been estimated to be over 40,000 years old (give or take a few years!), but even if it is 1000 years old, it is still older than western allopathic medicine. We are not taking anything away from western medicine. We simply suggest that we should reconsider what we label “alternative.”
Webster defines ‘alternative’ as the following:
1: offering or expressing a choice
several alternative plans
2: different from the usual or conventional: such as
a: existing or functioning outside the established cultural, social, or economic system
b: of, relating to or being rock music that is regarded as an alternative to conventional rock and is typically influenced by punk rock, hard rock, hip-hop, or folk music
In order to be alternative that would infer it came after the conventional. I’m no math whiz, but allopathic has been around for much less than 1000 years, so by process of deduction, I would think allopathic medicine should be labelled alternative and not Ayurveda (food for thought).
Below we are going to share with you a natural, gentle and very effective way of detoxing your body without investing too much time and money. There are so many options for detox out there, but I like to subscribe to the “keep it simple” adage.
What is a Kitchari?
Kitchari is an age-old, traditional dish known to be a staple of traditional Indian meals, which just so happens to be a staple for Ayurvedic cleanses. This hearty yet versatile dish is incredibly nourishing to the body/mind. It is known as a tri-doshic meal, which simply means it can fit all three dosha types comprising every individual’s constitution (dependent upon the spices and veggies used). The Kitchari Cleanse is an Ayurvedic must for making the transition from winter to spring and summer to fall.
Being a tri-doshic recipe, Kitchari is suitable for all body types, therefore fitting for a meal as well as a cleansing tool. Kitchari is easy on the digestive tract and extremely nutritional and satisfying as a meal.
Kitchari is Good for Everyone
We all have busy lives, and we often seem to not have enough time in the day to do what needs to be done. Life is busy for us all, and we can’t even fathom the idea of adding another thing to do on our already overfilled proverbial to-do list, but this is the beauty of Ayurveda, another one of its perks. Ayurveda’s claim to fame is in its versatility and ability to work around your schedule and life.
There are no hard and fast rules and facts that need to be followed. The only thing is commitment and discipline. It doesn’t matter when or where, as long as you do it – and we all have a little time to spare. Don’t agree with me? Try a social media detox, an hour less of TV, limit your time on mobile devices. You have three listed above – I’m sure you can find more!
How long is the Kitchari Spring Cleanse?
Typically, the Kitchari spring cleanse averages roughly seven days, which excludes the vital pre & post cleanses. Even though the Kitchari spring cleanse is extremely efficient at flushing the system without creating excessive depletion, we do know that cleanses can be very taxing both physically and mentally, be it on our energy stores or nutrients. So as any cleanse, we know that ample rest and recovery is necessary for an effective outcome. Once again this plays into the time factor – we cannot skip work for a week, ignore our family and avoid our daily responsibilities – so we recommend a one day a week Kitchari spring cleanse.
Whatever the reason you are opting for a one day a week Kitchari spring cleanse, you can rest assured you have made a very important and responsible decision. This form of cleanse is gentle, safe and an effective way of maintaining a healthy system. The Kitchari spring cleanse increases the Agni (digestive fire), treats imbalances (in time), aids in re-establish energy and vitality. Focussing on a mono-diet of Kitchari one day each week will provide a much-needed break for the often overworked digestive fire by flushing out toxins and removing blockages and freeing up our vital energy channels.
Kitchari is Nourishing & Gets You Through Your Day
Whether you decide to use Kitchari as a part of your culinary lifestyle or for cleansing purposes, know that you have a very powerful tool you can play around with. By modifying the recipe and playing around with the different combination of spices, veggies, oils, and ghee, you can accomplish many different methods with their own individual effects.
A good rule of thumb is to use homemade chicken broth or a bone broth for added flavour and essential vitamins and nutrients. So I invite you to do more research, learn about the different combinations and effects – have fun with it and make it your own – this is the way of Ayurveda.
Health Benefits for Performing a Weekly Kitchari Spring Cleanse
Increases in Agni (digestive fire), as it is comparable to fasting
Helps the digestion mitigate imbalances such as gas and bloating, constipation, loose stools, inflammation in the GI tract, hyperacidity and various disorders such as IBS, Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis
Provides a gentle ongoing detox for the system
Gives your mental and physical a break by providing energy and lightness
Again, just because this is the abridged version of the 7-day Kitchari spring cleanse, this does not mean you can do as you please. There is still a code to follow when it comes to fasts, and this one is not an exception to those rules.
Be fairly strict with your meal routine on these days. Honour the fact that rest is primordial, so try to avoid travel, excessive work, and strenuous exercise, copious social activity (excessive talking and excessive technology).
These are some key facts to remember when attempting a weekly Kitchari Spring Cleanse:
Consistency is key! DO NOT skip weeks
Always try to do the Kitchari spring cleanse on the same day of each week (preferably an off day)
Opt for a lighter version of the traditional Kitchari spring cleanse (find the recipe below)
Aid the cleanse by consuming cleansing teas and herbs
NO sugar (including honey, stevia and cane sugar)
Drink only herbal tea and hot water
Get all the rest you can on fasting days
Avoid travel, excessive work, strenuous exercise, social activity: talking, technology, socializing.
Incorporate as much as possible regenerative activities (yoga, stretching, meditation, breathing techniques, walking, baths, steam or sauna
Kitchari Spring Cleanse Recipe:
Doshic effect: Vata ↓, Pitta ↓, Kapha ↓
* Kapha types should use quinoa instead of basmati rice.
Serving size: 3-4
Time: 60 minutes
1 cup split mung dal or red lentils, soaked overnight
3/4 cup basmati rice (substituted for brown rice or quinoa)
4-5 cups purified water
1 carrot, grated
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
2-3 leaves of chard, kale or collard greens
2 tablespoons of ghee, coconut oil or sesame oil
1 tsp fennel
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
3-5 black peppercorns (freshly ground)
1 inch peeled and grated fresh ginger
Fresh juice (1/2 lemon)
5 sprigs of fresh cilantro (finely chopped)
1 tsp turmeric
Sea salt or pink Himalayan for taste
Add ghee, coconut oil or sesame seed oil to a medium-size saucepan. Let melt and then add cumin, coriander, fennel and black pepper. Stir all together over medium heat. Let spices brown slightly.
Once done add water and bring to a boil. Add mung dal or red lentils and the basmati rice. Reduce heat to low. Stir occasionally. Cover with lid, leaving slightly open to avoid overflow.
Test beans to see the level of readiness. When to your liking, begin slicing carrots, celery and greens. Add to the pot and stir. Cover with lid always being conscious of overflow.
Keep on a low boil for 30-45 minutes or until beans and veggies are soft (practically mushy in texture) and well cooked.
Remove from heat.
Add remaining ingredients and garnish (cilantro, fresh lemon juice, grated ginger, turmeric and salt to taste).
Place in a bowl and enjoy.
NOTE: Whole mung beans and brown rice take longer to cook, therefore it may increase total preparation time and may require more water.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading about the Kitchari Spring Cleanse and Recipe and try this out. We look forward to seeing photos of how you made your Kitchari, don’t forget to tag us on social media or to send us your photos.