So this morning I have started my 10 days Ayurvedic Kitchari Mono Fast. I posted about preparing myself for it last weekend and got some curious responses, which inspired me to write this blog post about it. So thank you all for your questions and curiosity!
TWO IMPORTANT THINGS/DISCLAIMERS BEFORE I START!
THIS ISN’T FOR EVERYONE!
This is a personally designed program as such, which I use to have a good inner cleanse and detoxify shit from my body. To cleanse my body, my palate, my mind and bring back lightness, joy and healthy eating habits into my life, not focused on weight loss. Through this blog I hope to inspire you to check in with yourself too and adopt healthier eating habits, so we can all be happy and healthy ready to take on anything! Who is with me?
SEEK ADVICE FROM AN AYURVEDA PRO!
If you are interested in an Ayurvedic mono fast like mine, I highly recommend contacting a professional Ayurvedic health coach who will help you design a personal plan which works for you, it also helps to know your constitution, here is a link to a great dosha quiz. This website is full of great resources overall actually. My constitution is Pitta as a dominant dosha and equal Vata and Kapha second. Fire, me? How did you guess?
SO LET’S GET STARTED!
The Kitchari Mono Fast is the traditional Ayurvedic cleanse with mung beans, rice, vegetable and spices. Eating the same food daily creates the most stability for the mind, and gently allows the body to remove ama (toxins). It is satisfying, easy and cleanses the palate along with deep tissue. You will deeply awaken your sense of taste. The fast isn’t just about food though, the morning ritual which comes with the fast is just as important for dosha balancing.
This is what I do.
WAKE UP WITH THE SUN! 6am to 7 am
Wake up at sunrise, between 6 and 7 am. Wake up early has many benefits, in Ayurveda they describe several bio cycles during the day with different energy. So at different times of the day the different doshas are active, after sunrise that is Kapha, which has heavy, slow, dense qualities, so when you sleep in, you bring these qualities into the day. I started this morning at 630 am but will gradually make that earlier and earlier during these 10 days.
MORNING RITUAL. 7am to 8am
So this is my morning ritual as part of my daily routine (dinacharya) At 7 am I started my morning ritual with oil pulling. Another place where Kapha accumulates is in the mouth, so it’s good to clean out all toxins, by oil pulling. Take a table spoon of coconut oil (summer) or sesame oil (winter) keep it in the mouth, gargle and or move the oil back and forth, for about a minute or two. Make sure to spit it all out, because it contains bacteria. Scrape your tongue afterwards with an actual metal tongue scraper.
Up next. MOVE!
Start moving the body, this helps with the metabolism process of your body but of course also to keep the flow of energy going. I did 10 minutes of yoga, 5 rounds of Surya Namaskar B (sun salutes) 10 breaths in Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) 10 breaths in Uttanasana (standing forward bend) 10 breaths in squat, 10 breaths in teepee twist (5 on each side) 10 breaths in Ardha Matsyendrasana (half fish) and then finished lying down for 10 minutes in Supta Baddha Konasana ( reclined bound angle pose or butterfly)
MEDITATE. SET YOUR INTENTION.
I then took 20 minutes to meditate, which is about 15 minutes meditation, 5 minutes writing down in my journal to reflect on the meditation and the intention I want to set for the day. Intention gives awareness direction. Such an importance practice to start your day with.
I finished with 10 minutes self massage( abhyanga) with coconut oil, you can use sesame oil too, I will alternate during the 10 days, I specifically paid attention to my legs, arms, shoulders, neck, feet and wrist and hands. It’s such a nice practice, especially for someone like myself who forgets about myself a lot and the TLC we can all give ourselves, I am getting better at it, this ritual most definitely is such a self loving thing to do!
BREAKFAST 8am to 10 am
So we focus a lot on what we eat, counting the calories, but in my opinion there isn’t enough focus on when and how we eat. Having three meals a day at particular times is super important, as we need the energy, it’s the fuel for the tank. So the body and mind can keep going in between without sugar cravings. I had my breakfast today at 9 am. Between the morning ritual and breakfast it’s important to drink 1 to 2 glasses of hot ginger and turmeric water, I squeezed in some lemon to stimulate digestion and metabolism.
LUNCH 1230 to 1330
Another important thing is to sit down and relax when you eat your meal. How many times are we eating lunch quickly and in a rush in front of a computer screen or phone? So set the table for yourself, take the time for yourself to eat in peace and quiet and at a slow pace. Do this for all your meals and you will see it will change everything, go for a walk after lunch, connect with nature, in the fast it’s recommended to do this at a recurrent time during the whole fast.
30 minutes before lunch and dinner have a small shot (30ml) of warm ginger and lemon water with a pinch of rock salt, to increase digestive capacity, plus 1tsp of Triphala diluted in water. Also drink 2 to 3 glasses of ginger/turmeric tea until lunch, I basically drink that all through the day on this fast. The way I make the ginger shots is I peel one big piece of ginger, then cut it in cubes and boil it in water for about 40 minutes, then I put it through the blender, just adding a little water to dilute it and store it in a glass bottle in the fridge (when still hot let it cool off first before placing the bottle in the fridge) so I have enough for a week of shots. To make the shot I just add boiled water to the 30ml of ginger in a small glass.
DINNER 1800 to 2000
Again sit down and relax and really take the time to eat in a calm, slow matter, with some soothing music on, maybe some candles, just setting the mood for you time. Do the same as you did for lunch, have the ginger lemon shot and triphala 30 minutes before eating and drink at least 2 glasses of turmeric/ginger tea until dinner. During meal times sip small amounts of water, the water should be warm or room temperature. Cold drinks shut down the enzyme function, this will decrease the absorption and assimilation. It slows down the metabolism too. In general drink large amounts of liquids before and after the meal, but small amounts during the meal.
SLEEP FOR 8 HOURS
Another very important thing is to go to sleep early and read a book before bed, write in a journal, or at least limit time on any device, let the body and mind rest before going to sleep. Sleep for 8 hours, so if you plan to wake up at 630 am go to sleep at 2230, have a nice all round sleep, avoid any vigorous exercise after 6pm. If you do want to practice yoga, choose a more yin style practice or meditation. Getting into a healthy sleeping pattern and resetting your biological clock can be ground breaking and life changing, mark my words!
NO SNACKS! Do not snack in between the meals, the whole idea of the fast is to only eat the kitchari 3 times a day, for 10 days and absolutely nothing else, no fruit, no snacks, only the 3 meals. You can of course play with the vegetables you put into the dish, to alternate the days and making it a little more exciting, have the dish as fresh as possible, daily cooking would be best. No coffee, no alcohol, no sugar, no fuzzy or cold drinks!
BURN, BABY BURN!
You will notice when you allow your body to take longer trip in between meals, it is forced to burn the fat AND get rid of the toxins, waist that is already sitting there, when you eat say 6 times a day, or start snacking around 3 pm your body will only burn what you just ate, not being allowed and or forced to detoxify itself. Dr John Douillard from Life Spa describes it like this, when you put gas in your car, you fill up the whole tank so you can keep driving and not stop every 10 miles to refuel. That’s how you should see your body, fill up the tank, so you can keep going, without having several stops in between.
Find my vegan version of the KITCHARI RECIPE here, most traditional recipes use ghee, I use sesame oil instead.
So there you have it! My own personal experience. When I have done these fasts in the past, the one thing I learned was how much I actually over ate. We all know those times right where we order dessert when we are already full, that is over eating and it’s so common. After a fast like this I realised how little my body actually needed to operate well and have enough energy for the day. Plus i developed taste buds I didn’t realised I had before, deeply awakening my sense of taste and flavours. Again, please find a professional Ayurvedic coach if you would like to do this fast or contact me and I will connect you with one.
Any questions, suggestions, comments please let me know.
May all you be happy, free, strong and healthy!