ayurveda, Balance, Healthy Body, Healthy Digestion, Healthy Mind, Main Dish, Recipes, Uncategorized, Weight Loss

Kitchari

Lately I’ve been utterly obsessed with kitchari. Its amazing! Through all of my food adventures I have found kitchari to be the perfect food dish for creating balance in the body and mind.

In Ayurvedic philosophy, health starts in the digestive system. The function of the whole system is dependent on the proper digestion, assimilation and elimination of our food. If these things aren’t happening properly, we become vulnerable to disease. The metabolic energy of digestion, called agni in sanskrit, literally means fire. This fire must be strong for us to properly digest and assimilate our food and so its strength is a direct indicator of the health of our entire system. And so, beyond just cleansing the body of toxins, called Ama, kitchari will rekindle low agni, paving the way for greater balance in the entire system.

Kitchari Recipe:

1 Cup of yellow mung dal

1 Cup of basmati rice

6 Cups of blessed water

2 Cups of easily digestible vegetables (such as asparagus, carrots, celery, green beans, summer squash, winter squash, yam, sweet potato, turnips or zucchini), cut into bite sized pieces.

2 Tablespoons ghee or coconut oil if you prefer

2 Inch piece of fresh ginger root, minced

1 Tablespoon turmeric

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 Tablespoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt

1 stick kombu seaweed (optional)

Soak the split mung dal overnight (or for at least four hours). Strain the soaking water, combine with the rice and rinse the mixture at least twice, or until the water runs clear, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan or soup pot, warm the ghee over medium heat. Add the black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and sauté for a couple of minutes, until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the turmeric, coriander, fennel, and fresh ginger. Stir briefly, until aromatic. Stir the rice and dal mixture into the spices and sauté for a few moments, stirring constantly.

Add the water, turn heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add bay leaf and kombu. Then, add hard vegetables like turnips, sweet potato, yams, winter squash, carrots or celery. When the soup comes to a boil, stir in the salt, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Add your softer vegetable half way through about the kitchari’s cooking process, stir in the vegetables and allow the stew to return to a boil. Continue to simmer until the rice, dal, and vegetables are fully cooked. I like to have very little water remaining when finished. The consistency is more like a thick stew than a broth. Make sure your beans, rice and hard vegetables are thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat, cool, and serve.

Some great add ons to kitchari are chutney, cilantro, plain yogurt, raisins, mixed greens, (romaine, spinach, chard, kale, sprouts), sesame seeds, shredded carrots & beets.

“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.”  ~B.K.S. Iyengar

Each ingredient plays a specific role in this dish. Kitchari can stimulate your circulation, invigorate your metabolism, and clear out congestion. The beans are alkaline forming and blood-purifying, they also provide protein and nutrients to nourish the body. Cumin and bay leaf reduce water retention. Coriander promotes liver function and bowel movements, balances blood sugar, is anti-inflammatory and is great for the lungs. The amazing health benefits of turmeric include its ability to reduce inflammation, heal wounds, improve skin health, protect cognitive abilities, and ease menstrual difficulties. Turmeric also helps eliminate depression, alleviate pain, slow the aging process, protect the digestive tract, and prevent cancer. Mustard seeds fight inflammation and cancer. Fennel is great for bone and skin health as well as digestion. Kombu is great for digestion, immune health, supports metabolism, a great source of iron, and is excellent for bone and teeth health. The rice is easily digested, the warming sites kindle the Agni so that we can become digestive superstars!

In conclusion, balanced agni is what gives us vigour and optimal health and well-being. Our bodies are incredible and intelligent, and incorporating kitchari into our diet gives the body a chance to reach homeostasis and beyond. Such a simple dish can initiate drastic improvements in the quality of digestion, assimilation, elimination. It can also shine light about your cravings, energy levels, and overall joy for life!

If you want more info on the next Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse Im leading, click here.

Many blessings,

Michelle

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”  ~Thomas Edison

 

Balance Hormones, Blood Sugar, Boost Energy, Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Inspiring Quotes, Meditation, Uncategorized, Weight Loss

Food Is Power

Food provides us with more than just nutrients – carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. Food is a condensed form of energy. This energy is very powerful because it gives the human body life sustaining energy from the food we take into our body. When you eat, you process and absorb the forces of nature that is contained within the food. Plants are amazing because they store light through photosynthesis. Eating plant food  releases energy and nutrients from the plant and absorbs to the body. Taking in fresh, whole, live, organic foods creates a physical and energetic force that interacts with the body on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. Now thats powerful!

Rawsta

Compare this to feeding the body processed foods that contain chemicals of artificial colors, flavors, preservative, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), this can undermine the health and quality of your life. Add the problem that when we eat these sorts of foods we experience an extreme that includes cravings, because our body is not getting the sustenance it needs to be in balance.

Some people use food as a way to control negative emotions and weight. Fad diets and strict calorie control is horribly restrictive and destructive to our body, mind and soul. These sorts of habits lead to food cravings, mental and emotional imbalances as well as sustenance abuse and other extremes like dieting, fasting, gorging,  starving, bingeing/purging. Another way people use to control or hide emotions is by other addictive tendencies, like using drugs or alcohol.

Sustenance is a way to nurture and support the body for balance, vitality and health.  If we are abusing our body by becoming obsessed with restricting our body through conscious control or dieting or using drugs and alcohol, this can lead to mental and emotional imbalances like irritation or explosive temper, weight fluctuations and digestive issues all related to stress.

One way to create balance and soothe the digestive system without imposing calorie restriction or hiding by using drugs and alcohol is to focus on easily digestible foods like soups and pureed foods. Choosing these foods that are easily digestible instead of restricting the body tends to be kinder to your body and helps balance your mood, blood sugar and weight more easily.

Some great food choices are:

  • soups
  • pureed foods
  • fresh organic fruits
  • fresh organic vegetables
  • sprouted seeds
  • soaked nuts
  • pinto beans
  • bananas
  • lemons
  • squash
  • carrots
  • golden beets

It is important to note that our liver and kidneys must work harder to process chemicals from non-organic foods and therefore eating pure, clean, organic food is critical. It is also important to note that when you eat meat, you take on the animal’s energy, including the energy of how it was raised and the fear and trauma of the animal being slaughtered. This is very powerful.

Sugar and caffeine and stress contribute to hypoglycemia and adrenal exhaustion that affects 70-90% of individuals in the United States. This is because sugar and caffeine create temporary bursts followed by crashes that lead to low energy and has hard core effects on your blood sugar, pancreas and adrenal glands. White flour and white sugar are so devoid in essential minerals, vitamins, fiber and water that this further depletes the body.

Stress creates more of a deficiency in the body. Inviting stress reducing practices into your life will help restore and maintain balance within the body for optimum health and vitality.

Create balance through non-food practices:

  • meditation
  • self care
  • self love
  • martial arts
  • vigorous exercise
  • walking in nature
  • sit ups

Making small steps in changing your diet and lifestyle is important to creating a balanced body, mind and spirit.

To regain your personal power think about this: 

I am receptive to Divine energy moving into every cell of my body. I am committed to expressing my creativity, to accepting my responsibilities, and to making decisions that are balanced and supportive to my spiritual growth. I am guided and receptive to Divine will at all times. 

You have the power to transform your life, to live in complete harmony with nature and to create the life you have always wanted! You can start by trying this three day raw food cleanse!

Create balance within, then without!

Love,

Michelle