Join me for a seasonal 3-day Ayurvedic kitchari cleanse to reset the digestive system and rejuvenate the mind and body. Recipes, instructions, guides and more provided.
I know a lot of us are waking up tired lately, due to really feeling the extra stress that 2020 has delivered.
A considered pause, a deep rest, is probably our most needed tool to help us find balance again.
A kitchari cleanse is a gentle Ayurvedic food-based detox, consisting of two to three freshly prepared meals daily of kitchari – a mixture of mung beans and white basmati rice with ghee and key spices – with herbal teas, adequate hydration and supportive daily practices.
For those who don’t want to have kitchari as their breakfast meal, stewed apples can be taken instead.
This cleanse has traditionally been used to support convalescence, ease digestive distress, promote energy and rejuvenation.
Time to lean on traditional wisdom to hep us through this modern madness.
Benefits of a kitchari cleanse
Some of the many benefits of a kitchari cleanse include relief of digestive symptoms such as bloating and gas, greater assimilation of nutrients, healthy elimination, an increase in energy, clearer skin, a calmer mind and soundful sleep.
The simple diet and elimination of pro-inflammatory foods takes the heat off the digestive tract to allow for healing.
It builds agni (digestive fire) and allows for elimination of accumulated toxins.
Kitchari is an incredibly warm and satiating meal, so you won’t need to worry about cravings or feeling hungry.
The wonderful thing about this cleanse is the simplicity of it – aside from a range of quality (organic if possible!) ingredients, you don’t need to worry about buying any expensive supplements.
Even though this is food as medicine, please consult with your trusted healthcare provider if you are pregnant, have a medical condition or have been prescribed a special diet (such as those for renal disease), are on medications or have a history of disordered eating.
Why is it so effective?
The ingredients used to make kitchari are incredibly supportive of digestive health, I’ve written in detail on this topic in my post on how to make kitchari, here.
To summarise, split yellow mung beans are the most digestible legume, gentle on even sensitive tummies. The white basmati rice is without a husk, non-aggravating to irritated gastrointestinal mucosa. Combined they provide a complete protein source, as well as key nutrients (B group vitamins and amino acids) required to support liver detox pathways.
Ghee is considered a functional food, a great source of vitamin A, and a type of short chain fatty acid called butyrate, which has anti-inflammatory effects and supports the health of the cells in the colon.
Coconut or olive oil (I prefer coconut) is a wonderful vegan substitute for the ghee (I'm honouring the traditional recipe by including the ghee here).
The spices used can be tailored to best suit your personal constitution, collectively supporting digestive health due to their aromatic oils (think cumin, coriander, fennel and ginger).
Vegetables can be added for variety, in a small amount.
Collectively the ingredients are low FODMAP, meaning they’re well tolerated by those with irritable bowel syndrome.
Of course, kitchari is only part of the cleanse.
If taking stewed apples for breakfast, you will enjoy the digestive-supporting benefits pectin and its polyphenols provide, while gotu kola tea calms the nerves and clears the mind for meditation practice; the cumin, coriander and fennel (CCF) tea soothing any digestive distress in between meals.
The daily wellness practices
This is a mind-body cleanse and the daily wellness routine is an integral part. Traditionally this includes practices such as oil pulling, tongue-scraping and self-massage.
Practices I use more often myself include morning mediation to set the tone for the day, the diffusing of key essential oils to elevate moods, forest bathing for its grounding effects, and an Epsom salts bath/foot-bath to provide both magnesium and sulfate – for detoxification support.
Preparing for your cleanse
The kitchari cleanse is simple enough to weave into daily life without any major disruptions to your schedule, however here a few tips to ensure you get the most out of it:
- Pick a quiet time in your calendar
- Wind down the alcohol, caffeine, stimulants, refined and processed foods the week prior
- Shop for your ingredients and supplies in advance
- Wash your bed linen/sheets
- Tidy the house so you can nest and feel cosy
- Cleanse with a friend – it’s always more fun!
During the cleanse
- Set regular sleep and waking times to re-set your circadian rhythms – bed by 9pm and up with the sunrise
- Prepare every meal with intention
- Beautify your serving bowls
- Offer a prayer of gratitude before mindfully enjoying every mouthful
- Rest after meals or take a gentle walk to promote optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients
- Disconnect from technology - this really is the opportune time for a concurrent social media detox
- Give yourself permission to slow down and rest
- Take some of your new healthy habits back into your daily routine!
- Gradually ease back into your regular diet, don’t transition overnight back into a diet of processed foods and alcohol
- Book time in your schedule at the following junction between seasons for your next cleanse
Here is a summary of what the cleanse entails:
Gotu Kola Tea
Calm the mind, prepare for meditation, open the crown chakra
Tune in, stay present, set the tone for the day
Pop the diffuser on with essential oils to elevate your moods
Breakfast: Stewed Apples
A beautifully simple recipe to support digestive health
Freshly prepared, using spices to best support your constitution
Aromatic spices to further support digestion and gentle detox
Afternoon: Forest Bathing
Ashort, mindful walk around a local park or through native bush
Gently re-heat and be nourished
Aromatic spices to further support digestion and gentle detox
Epsom Salts Foot-bath
A relaxing evening ritual
Kitchari cleanse recipes and resources
I have lovingly prepared everything you need to enjoy this healing, rejeuvenative cleanse. I’ve created;
- A daily menu
- Shopping list
- Recipe book with a step-by-step guide to making kitchari
- Wellness rituals guide
The recipes and guides are for a three day cleanse for two people. All are designed beautifully so you can print them out and keep them in a folder for future use.
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