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

 

ayurveda, Inspiring Quotes, Meditation, Moon, Ritual, Uncategorized

Solar Eclipse

There has been a frenzy on the internet about the solar eclipse. People driving long distances, camping, eclipse parties, the desire to pick up eclipse glasses to watch the event, makes me think of the acronym FOMO or fear of missing out. 😂 It”s been fascinating to watch.

What we perceive and what we understand depends upon what we are.

~Aldous Huxley ☀️ 

The Sun (Surya) that illuminates our world, its our source of light and cosmic power. It is often a symbol of the universal Father, of rebirth, strength, health, passion, vision and even the light of our soul. The Moon (Chandra) is often a symbol of the universal Mother,  immortality,  eternity, enlightenment, the dark side of nature or the soul. When the moon shadows the sun, it is occluded from our vision and the Sun’s normal functions are suspended.  This is energetically powerful. Historically eclipses bring about sudden, unexpected and often times of undesirable events. When I think about our current political unrest, the rise of terror and hate, natural disasters, threats of war. It seems to be intensifying daily and these types of events are magnified near eclipses.

In Vedic astrology, the Sun represents our soul. Our soul is what travels from lifetime to lifetime. Metaphorically, during the time of the eclipse our soul is hidden from ourselves. I will take the time during powerful eclipse energy to go inward to focus my energy on my spiritual practice, chant a mantra, pray, play the singing bowls, visualize peace from within and then out. I will journal and pay special attention to my own professional status, personal ambitions, self-realization, will, optimism and relations with my father.

Wisdom of the Native cultures such as the Navajo believe that the moon and the sun are sacred the way they were created, and you are not supposed to watch the moon or look at, stare at it for a long time. It affects your mind and your body. Especially for women who are carrying a baby. It is said that if a pregnant woman sees an eclipse of any kind, be it solar or lunar, it might affect the mind of the woman or also in the future it will affect the health of the baby. An eclipse either lunar or solar, is a sacred time where the sun, the moon and the earth is kind of like in an intimate position when they line up, it’s such a profoundly sacred event that it is inauspicious to view….. out of respect and reverence for every man, woman and child. Its also of common practice to abstain from eating and even drinking water, its a time to just go into the house until it passes.

Ignorance is the night of the mind. A night without a moon by which clearly to see. ~Confucius 🌙

The Maya found eclipses to be disturbing. Although many representations of eclipses appear in Mayan art, such events were generally understood to portend bad tidings. Solar eclipses, known as chi’ ibal kin, or ‘to eat the sun,’ were a particular cause for distress among the Maya people. Mayan priests went to great lengths to predict eclipses and calculate all manner of astronomical phenomena. The stars are powerful forces, the sun and the moon in particular are the most powerful luminaries in the heavens in relation to planet earth.

We can never tell how these once in a lifetime events can affect us, until later on. Whatever you choose to do during the eclipse, may it not only affect your life in a positive way, but also, create more awareness globally.

Peace and love to you, now and always!

Michelle

Super Groovy Site Updates

A Fresh Start

Welcome to my new site!

Its a new beginning, instead of trying to sell a company or product to you and tell people what they “should” be doing. This site is intended to be an evolutionary exploration on how to be your most radiant self though plant based diet and lifestyle.  Through what I know and am experiencing on an ongoing basis. It is meant to be inspiring and provide you with accurate and scientific information about health, mind-body wellness and spirituality in all aspects of life.

This site is the hub of my communication with the world. I love to share, recipes, health information, information about upcoming classes, as well as  information and inspiration on plant based living and eating.

What are some things you might find on the new site?

~Lots of plant based recipes, highly raw and some cooked, but always highly conscious and made with love!

~Thoughts about life, spirituality and evolving consciousness.

~Thoughts and inspiration on how to be our most beautiful selves through diet and lifestyle.

~Holistic parenting & plant  based nutrition for children of all ages!

~You Tube Channel will be up and running soon with cool recipes and fun in the kitchen! So stay tuned!

~Also this will soon be a connection to Sublime Elements online superstore that my husband and I own together to offer support for holistic health and wellness, both in our community and throughout the world. We offer a diverse range of products which have been designed and hand picked to help everyone create healthy selves and healthy families though body, mind, and spirit. The store will feature organic products that have been carefully sourced and selected are are of the highest quality and effectiveness available. We have temporarily shut down the online store to bring an all new, super groovy and highly informative store so that we will be able to be more interactive with our clients and give more personalized service. Until the new store is live, you can feel free to contact us if you need something particular! If we have it we’ll ship it out to you or you can come by the house and pick it up & if we don’t have it we will try to order it for you!

~Product reviews will be posted on this site. If you have a product and want me to write about it! Hook me up!

If you have any questions or ideas you would like me to include or explore, please let me know! Email me at sublimele@gmail.com

In love and light,

Michelle Berry-Shaffer

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be. ~Patanjali