Green Juice, Kitchari and Aloe Shots

photo copy 2I’ve dabbled in Ayurveda off and on for over a decade. I first learned about this ancient practice during my 200 hour yoga teacher training program, and have been both fascinated, and intimidated by, Ayurveda ever since.

I’m fascinated by Ayurveda because it all makes so much sense, and it has stood the test of time. Ayurveda has been around for thousands of years, and is the most widely practiced form of medicine in India. It stresses medical diagnosis through the use of the five senses, use of food as medicine, proper hygiene (internal and external), and eating seasonal foods that support our personal body constitution.

Even though I know it works, I find Ayurveda intimidating at times, because it’s so incredibly different from modern American practices and attitudes. It forces me out of my comfort zone.

It’s also not the kind of thing that you can just read a book and understand…Ayurveda is experiential. It requires patience, intention, and a lot of practice to assimilate it into our lives.

This is why I really wanted to participate in the Spring Cleanse with Meredith Klein, that I shared with you last week. It is founded in Ayurveda, and I knew it would deepen my understanding of the practice. Meditation and yoga are also highly recommended during the cleanse, and you know I’m all about that!

It hasn’t been easy, but as of right now, on day 3 of the cleanse, I feel great, and extremely grateful for what I have learned so far:

1) I am really attached to food, but not in the way that most people are attached to food. I rarely use food for comfort. Instead, I think of food as a drug, and use it to give me energy, alter my mood, and relieve pain. Not being able to eat some of the crazy healthy foods I normally use medicinally, such as bananas an chocolate, has been hard. I am also attached to eating small meals every 3 hours or so. Trying to eat less frequently on this cleanse brings up all kinds of stuff for me. Which is awesome, because awareness of my attachments always breeds progress.

2) I get hungry less often when I eat Indian comfort food, known as kitchari (pictured above). The word kitchari means mixture, and usually refers to mung beans, basmati rice, spices, and veggies. I now know that mung beans, which taste a lot like lentils, are highly detoxifying. Who knew?

3) I can make green juice from leafy greens and water in my blender. No juicer needed. Simply strain the juice with a cheese cloth or jelly bag. And just for the record, adding a green apple, lemon and ginger makes green juice more palatable.

4) Tumeric, cumin, and black mustard seeds taste awesome with cilantro, coconut and lime. I have, for a long time, been afraid to mix too many flavors in with my veggies. Most of what I cook is very basic, with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, cinnamon, honey and/or lemon as flavoring. Now, thanks to this cleanse (and being forced outside my comfort zone), I have a few more spices in my repertoire.

5) Aloe juice is good for reducing inflammation, and enhancing digestion, especially if you add tumeric and black pepper (Meredith calls it “aloe shots”). It also has a fairly pleasant taste on it’s own. Again, who knew?

5) Kombu seaweed adds a lot of nutrients (iodine is the most important!), but very little taste to kitchari.

6) Kitchari can be made in advance, and enjoyed for several days, with a different sauce and veggies every day…which makes my busy life a lot easier.

7) A salt water flush works a lot like an enema. You drink four cups of salted water first thing in the morning, and stay by the bathroom for a long while. Drinking that much salt water makes me want to gag, but I’m sure I’ll feel better later for it.

8) I can make digestive tea from cumin, fennel, and coriander. It’s not my favorite tea, but I have to admit it is comforting.

9) I can give up anything for a week, even coffee.

10) The more I learn about ayurveda, the more I question why I don’t eat this way all the time. I have to avoid some of the suggested ayurvedic foods, due to my allergies, such as dairy and wheat, but I do believe an ayurvedic diet might be the best choice for my constitution.

There’s still time to participate in the FREE Spring Cleanse with Meredith Klein of Pranaful. Just register on her site, print the materials, and start it on a day that works best for you. And, as always, let me know if you have questions, or need encouragement.

Also, please follow me on Facebook at Come On, Get Healthy, if you want to see what I have been eating this week!

 

Namaste,

Amber

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11 thoughts on “Green Juice, Kitchari and Aloe Shots

  1. I’ve been doing this cleanse after reading your post last week and I am really loving it! Each batch of kitchari I make keeps getting better, the juice is surprisingly good, and the aloe shots aren’t bad either! And I’m with you, I’m learning so much in general and also in specific ways, like with the churna spices and cilantro chutney–sooo delicious and I would have never made those on my own. I feel great–my energy level is good–and I feel trimmer. I guess that’s the shedding of the excess kapha. This has definitely inspired me to learn more about Ayurveda. Thanks so much for the tip last week!

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    • Steph, I replied to your comment below, but just in case you didn’t see it, I wanted to thank you again. I am so glad you have joined me on this journey! Good luck with the last few days!

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  2. Lois Kubota says:

    Thanks for the original post Amber. I’ve been doing it since Monday. I got the juicing and kitchari down to a science now. When you make it every day it goes fast. It’s also fun to experiment with the kitchari. Your kitchari looks much soupier than mine. I’ll have to try that with my next batch.

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    • Lois, in case you missed my note below, I wanted to tell you that I’m thrilled you are cleansing with us. Also, I didn’t mean for the kitchari to be so soupy…it just turned out that way the first tine. I actually like it better with less water. That was my first batch, but I’m using less water now. Can’t wait to hear how you feel when it’s all over!

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  3. Lois and Steph, I’m so glad you are both doing the cleanse! I can already tell that it has been life-changing for me. I hope the same is true for you, as well. Please let me know how you feel afterwards! I would love to share your insight in a blog post. Good luck with the rest of the cleanse!

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    • The water is lightly salted, but you definitely taste it. The first two cups aren’t bad, but it gets progressively harder on the last two. I’m glad I did it, though, because it seems to be an important part of the cleanse. I can tell I have been detoxing more in the past 24 hours than before, because my symptoms have escalated a bit. I know it’s temporary, though, so today is a day to be patient. We are more than halfway done!

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  4. Earthy Mama says:

    I’m getting ready to do my 7 day kitchari detox. How much kitchari can one at a time? How much can you eat in a day? Are there any limits?

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    • I don’t think there are limits. When I cleanse, I usually double the recipe for convenience, and keep it in the fridge for 3 days. I usually ate about a cup or a cup and a half per meal, three times between 11 AM and bedtime. It’s important to listen to your body, and only eat until you are full. If you eat mindfully, you will know when to stop, and your body will tell you when you are ready for more. One of the great things about this cleanse is that it makes us more aware of what we need vs. don’t need. Good luck!

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