Detoxing

What Are the Benefits of Detoxing Your Body? By Dan Zisko (Livestrong)

detoxingDetoxification is the process of removing toxins from the body. The process to detoxify your body involves many different elements such as herbal detoxification regimens, change of diet and vitamin supplements. It is one of the best ways to rid your body of toxins, which can slow it down and make it unhealthy. The process of detoxification requires some discipline.

Physical Benefits: The most noticeable benefits from detoxification are the physical ones. Since the toxins store up in major organs, detoxification will help these areas the most. The organs which are affected, such as the liver and stomach, will begin to work more effectively. After the detox is completed, you may feel “lighter” and have more energy. Also, since a detox is used to clear away free radicals, your body’s immune system will be stronger and you will have a lower risk of getting cancer. Finally, a detoxification regimen will clear your blood, helping it circulate better.

Mental Benefits: Toxins and free radicals that accumulate in the body can also affect brain functions. Before a detox, you may have trouble sleeping, chronic fatigue, and trouble with your concentration. Once you work through this process, many of these issues will gradually disappear. You will be able to sleep better and concentrate more.

Lifestyle Changes: A benefit which most people don’t think of can be the change to your lifestyle. As you progress through the body detox, you will begin to feel better physically and mentally. This feeling can be addictive and lead to changing your lifestyle to cut out bad elements which give your body those toxins. Quitting smoking, eating better, and getting more exercise are all actions which help protect the body. After a detox is a perfect time to begin these actions. 

10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse: Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 10 Days!


 5 Natural Detox Drink Recipes

Cleanse your system with special detoxification beverages by E.C. LaMeaux (Gaiam.com)
If you are looking to revive yourself from within while increasing your energy level and your overall well-being, a body detox may be in order. Detoxification is the process of eliminating toxic substances from your body. Before beginning any detox diet, it is always good to check with your doctor, especially if there are any health concerns.

detoxIn their book 7-Day Detox Miracle, Revised 2nd Edition: Revitalize Your Mind and Body with This Safe and Effective Life-Enhancing Program, Sara Faye; Stephen Barrie, N.D.; and Peter Bennett, N.D., explain that detoxing with a whole body cleanse can enhance the body’s systems. According to the authors, detox drink recipes can assist in ridding your body of toxins and bringing it back into healthy balance.

Lemonade cleanse

Detox, master cleanseLemon consists of ascorbic acid, assisting in the cleansing process. Known also as the staple beverage of The Master Cleanser, this detox drink is easy to make. Mix 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup and one-tenth teaspoon of cayenne pepper in 8 ounces of purified water. Proponents of the Master Cleanse recommend you drink 6-8 glasses of this lemonade drink and eat nothing each day of your cleanse. Despite its popularity, nutritionists warn against the lack of essential nutrients in this drink.

Green detox drink

Detox dietThis vegetable detox drink is made up primarily of green vegetables, providing an effective natural body cleanse of the digestive system. In her book, The Raw Food Detox Diet: The Five-Step Plan for Vibrant Health and Maximum Weight Loss

certified clinical nutritionist Natalia Rose discusses the importance of vegetables at length. For this detox drink, you will need:

3 carrots
3 kale leaves
2 celery stalks
2 beets
1 turnip
½ bunch of spinach
½ cabbage
½ bunch of parsley
½ onion
2 garlic cloves
Mix all ingredients with water and puree in a blender.

Detox dandelion tea

According to classical homeopathic practitioner Sonya McLeod, B.A., D.C.H., dandelions are a great source of vitamin A, potassium, iron and calcium. According to McLeod, dandelion detox tea is a diuretic that will eliminate bodily toxins through your liver and kidneys. She recommends brewing 6 tablespoons of 1-year-old dried dandelion root and 12 tablespoons of fresh dandelion leaves in 4 cups of purified, boiling water. Other recipes call for simply adding 2 teaspoons of crushed dandelion leaves to a cup of boiling water and allowing it to brew for about 10 minutes.

Fresh cranberry juice

According to Mayo Clinic, there is some evidence to suggest that drinking cranberry juice may help prevent urinary tract infections and ulcers in healthy individuals. Cranberry juice also contains vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants. Though not advocated by any authoritative body, cranberry juice has become a popular detox drink, and according to Mayo Clinic, two 16-oz. glasses of full-strength juice can be safely consumed on a daily basis by healthy adults. To make this detox drink, dilute one part cranberry juice in four parts water. Then, add 1 tablespoon each of apple pectin and psyllium fiber to stimulate gentle intestinal elimination.

Fruit detox drink

Because fruit is high in fiber and packed with essential vitamins and minerals, it is a wonderful natural detox for the body. This recipe incorporates fruit, along with flax oil and lecithin, to provide essential fatty acids while you detox. In your blender, add:

8 oz. of orange juice
4 oz. of pure water
½ cup banana strawberries or yogurt
½-inch slice of ginger
1 small garlic clove
1 tablespoon flax oil
1 tablespoon lecithin granules
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice if desired
1 tablespoon of protein powder or spirulina powder

6 Ways to Boost Circulation for Detoxing and Immunity


The link between cleansing and circulation by Karen M. Lynch (Gaiam.com)

You probably give a lot more thought to maintaining your weight than your circulation. But if you’re interested in preventing disease and cleansing your body of toxins, pollutants, additives and chemicals, your circulatory system is your friend — and it needs your help to stay strong.

Imagine your circulatory system as a network of tubular highways reaching every part of your body. Now imagine a traffic jam on one of those highways, with massive delays, excess pollution and a high risk of accidents.

To keep your circulation moving right along, you need to know these basics about circulation and the most effective ways to keep yours pumping.

The two types of circulation

The circulatory system actually consists of two distinct systems that work in tandem: the cardiovascular circulatory system and the lymphatic circulatory system. Mia Harper, a licensed massage therapist at MediSpa at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, explains how the two systems work together to detox the body.

“As nutrient-rich blood travels away from your heart, it progresses through smaller and smaller tubes, called capillaries,” she says. “In nearby tissue cells, nutrients and waste are exchanged. Fluid squeezed from the blood, called interstitial fluid or “lymph,” transports waste to your lymph nodes (via a series of vessels similar to veins) where the fluid is neutralized, filtered and eventually returned to the bloodstream.”

1. Cardiovascular circulation

Your heart is the power behind your cardiovascular circulatory system, pumping blood through your blood vessels, supplying every part of your body with the oxygen and nutrients it needs for proper functioning. With poor circulation, not only is your blood flow impaired, compromising that blood supply, but your heart is unduly taxed. Both have negative consequences and can lead to a variety of health problems.

“Poor circulation can lead directly to heart attack, stroke, eye disease, kidney disease, and claudication (leg muscle pain or weakness that comes and goes after an activity like walking),” says Dr. David Katz, Associate Professor in Public Health Practice at the Yale University School of Public Health and director of the Integrative Medicine Center in Derby, Conn. “But poor circulation also plays a role in almost every disease, from dementia to diabetes, influenza to cirrhosis.”

2. Lymphatic flow

Your lymphatic circulatory system works directly with your cardiovascular circulatory system to keep blood and lymphatic fluid levels in balance and flush toxins out of the body. It also carries immune cells throughout the body to help defend against infections.

But your lymphatic system isn’t lucky enough to have a powerful organ like the heart to keep fluid flowing. “The lymph system is stimulated by gravity, muscle contraction (exercise), hydrotherapy (alternating hot and cold water on the skin), breathing, lymph drainage therapy and massage,” says MediSpa’s Harper.

If your lymphatic circulation slows or stagnates, toxins will accumulate and immune cells won’t be delivered to the areas of the body where they’re needed, causing a variety of ailments, the very least of which are aches, pains and swelling (lymph edema). This can also cause deterioration of your thymus gland, tonsils and spleen – key components of your immune system — and weaken your body’s ability to fight infection and disease.

6 activities that boost both kinds of circulation

There are a number of easy and effective ways to improve the health of both your cardiovascular and lymphatic circulatory systems:

1. Drink plenty of water

“Circulation is vital to all of the body’s functions, and water makes up a large part of blood volume,” explains Katz. So make sure you drink enough water every day and don’t allow yourself to get dehydrated, causing undue taxation on your circulatory system.

But does water help flush toxins from your system? Katz explains that adequate hydration is required for adequate perfusion, which in turn is required for adequate function, detox included. “And water-soluble toxins go out with water, so adequate hydration is certainly directly relevant for kidney function.”

2. Exercise regularly (both cardio and strength training)

Any activity that contributes to overall fitness will also contribute to a strong circulatory system. Regular aerobic activity is good for the health of your heart and blood vessels. Resistance training adds to muscle mass, which increases the efficiency of both cardiovascular and lymph circulation, explains Katz.

3. Eat healthy

Circulation is yet another aspect of your health that benefits when you eat healthfully. “Lymph is made up of immune cells,” says Katz, “so the quality of lymph is enhanced by practices that boost immunity, including a healthy, balanced diet and weight control.“

4. Get a massage

By applying pressure to the body, massage stimulates the blood and lymph vessels, helping move the fluid along. “Studies suggest that massage may enhance circulation in a localized manner to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and perhaps accelerate healing,” says Katz, “similar to the way that applying pressure to a tube squeezes out the toothpaste.”

5. Try manual lymph drainage therapy

By applying pressure in specific ways that target lymph nodes and vessels, a therapist trained in the lymphatic drainage therapy technique can directly target the lymph system to activate lymphatic fluid circulation and stimulate the functioning of the immune and parasympathetic nervous systems.

The technique includes holding the hands flat and moving them over the body to detect and assess current lymph flow patterns, and moving them in wave-like movements to release blockages in the network of lymph nodes and vessels.

“The benefits of lymph drainage therapy include a reduction of inflammatory responses (both acute and chronic), detoxification, regeneration of tissue, and deep relaxation, to name just a few,” says Harper.

6. Shake it up with vibration and rebounding therapies

It seems obvious that shaking and bouncing your body around will get your blood pumping. But is there any evidence that they actually work to increase cardiovascular circulation and lymph flow? Turns out there is: A recent study published in Medical Science Monitor found that “Five minutes of 30 Hz or 50 Hz vibration produced significant increases in skin blood flow.”

Rebounding (jumping on a trampoline) appears to be especially effective at improving lymph system circulation. Lymphatic fluid is completely dependent on physical exercise to move, and the up-and-down rhythmic gravitational force caused by jumping on a trampoline causes the lymph system’s one-way valves to open and close, increasing lymph flow.

“The repetitive rhythmic motion of bouncing on a mini trampoline provides a simple, zero-impact exercise method with long-term mental and physical health benefits,” writes Dr. Tina Wellman, a psychoneuroendocrinologist and author of books on blending exercise, nutrition and detoxification to achieve wellness, in an article for Total Health. ”These benefits include increasing oxygen uptake and promoting detoxification via the lungs, skin, and lymph.”

How to Detox from Caffeine, Sugar and White Flour in 7 Days

Tips to cleanse your system by Mark Hyman, M.D., author of The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First – The Simple Way to Defeat Depression, Overcome Anxiety, and Sharpen Your Mind

detoxCaffeine, sugar and white flour are substances that interfere with your metabolism and brain health — and the ones people usually have the most trouble giving up and getting out of their systems.

I recommend eliminating these items from your diet in a systematic way with a detox. This may help you avoid potential withdrawal symptoms, make you feel better, and jumpstart the process to better brain function and overall health. Follow the steps below to help make the transition as simple and painless as possible.

How to eliminate caffeine

If you have been drinking caffeine for a long time, you have to get off it over a few days. Minimize your pain and the difficulty of giving up your addiction by following these detoxification steps.

Step 1: Start on a Weekend

You may want to start on a Sunday. This will allow you to take naps as needed, since your body will be recovering from the caffeine and you are liable to be fatigued.

Step 2: Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

For the first three days (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday), cut your daily intake of coffee, cola, black tea or other caffeinated beverages in half. That means if you usually have four cups of coffee in the morning, you would have two cups of coffee in the morning on Sunday, one cup on Monday and half a cup on Tuesday. Doing this helps you wean your body off the caffeine, which should reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Step 3: Drink Green Tea

For the next four days (the remainder of the week), you can drink one cup of caffeinated green tea steeped for five minutes in boiling water. You may continue drinking green tea for all its wonderful health and weight benefits. (Note that I recommend green tea as part of your morning ritual.)

You can switch to decaffeinated green tea if you want to eliminate caffeine completely. Otherwise, it is fine to have one cup of caffeinated, organic green tea every morning. The caffeine is minimal, and the health benefits are great.

Step 4: Take Vitamin C

Throughout this process, I recommend taking 1,000–2,000 mg of buffered pure ascorbic acid (vitamin C) powder or capsules. This may help you detoxify and balance your system.

Step 5: Drink Plenty of Clean Water

You should also drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water a day. You should do this regardless of whether or not you are getting off caffeine, but it is especially important for this process because it will keep your body well hydrated and can reduce headaches and constipation, and flush toxins out of your system.

How to eliminate sugar and white flour

Eliminating sugar is hard because it’s an addiction. But the physical cravings dissipate quickly once you stop eating it. Here are some tips for how you can successfully do this with a whole body cleanse.

I recommend starting the same day you cut your caffeine intake in half.
The tried and true method from my experience with thousands of patients: Go cold turkey from all white flour and sugar products. (Don’t cheat — it will only make it worse!)
Include protein for breakfast, such as eggs, nuts, seeds, nut butters or a protein shake.
Combine “good” protein, “good” fat and “good” carbs at each meal. (Good fats are fish, extra virgin olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds and avocados. Good carbs are beans, vegetables, whole grains and fruit. Good proteins are fish, organic eggs, small amounts of lean poultry, nuts, soy, whole grains and legumes.)
Don’t go low-fat. Consume olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds and avocados every day. Despite commonly held beliefs, these good fats are NOT fattening.
Eat every three hours. Snack on nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts or pumpkin seeds (raw or dry-roasted only). One serving is a handful or ten to twelve nuts.
Drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water a day.
How to ease withdrawal symptoms

The unfortunate reality is that making these changes in your diet is liable to cause a few withdrawal symptoms. They include:

Bad breath
Constipation
Achy, flu-like feeling
Fatigue
Headaches
Hunger
Irritability
Itchy skin
Nausea
Offensive body odor
Sleep difficulties (too much or too little)

These symptoms are actually a good sign. They mean your body and mind are eliminating stored toxins and are finding their way to balance and UltraWellness once more.

Those who consume the most caffeine, alcohol and sugar, and those who have the most food allergies, will have the most difficulty with the detoxificaiton initially. In any event, symptoms of withdrawal usually disappear after three or four days.

What to do if withdrawal symptoms become uncomfortable

Make sure you drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water daily.
To prevent headaches, make sure your bowels are clean.
If you are tired, allow more time for sleep.
Make sure you exercise daily to help fight off fatigue.
If you are hungry, have some protein in the afternoon such as a handful of nuts or seeds such as almonds, pecans, walnuts or pumpkin seeds, cooked beans, or a piece of steamed or baked fish.
If you’re irritable or have trouble sleeping, take a combination of calcium citrate (500 mg) and magnesium citrate (250 mg) before bed.
If you have an upset stomach, drink ginger or peppermint tea. Steep a tea bag in boiling water for 10 minutes, and drink up to four cups a day as often as needed.

Clean From the Inside Out - 9 Foods that Help Detox the Body

by Lisa McLellan from LMfitness.com

Clean the body from the inside out? Detoxifying and cleansing are part of our normal body processes. The three main organs that detoxify the body are the liver, the colon and the kidneys. The liver acts as a filter preventing toxins and bacteria from passing into the blood stream. Respect your liver. The colon’s main role is to flush out toxic chemicals before they can do you any harm. That is why you want to keep your colon flowing regularly, so they don’t get stuck there! The kidneys constantly filter your blood and get rid of toxins in the form of urine. Drinking water is an important support for the function of the kidneys. Detoxification is what your body naturally does to neutralize, transform or get rid of unwanted materials or toxins. It is a primary function of the body to keep us alive and healthy. To experience vibrant health, you need to maintain these three key organs by nourishing your body with the right nutrients. As the body functions more optimally when the blood Ph is alkaline, a great way to support your natural detoxification system is to feed it alkalinizing and detoxifying foods.

Here is a list of nine such foods which you can integrate into your diet on a regular basis to give your body the tools it needs to slowly cleanse, rebuild and thrive.

1. Avocados are a good source of healthy fats which help speed up the metabolism and help reduce weight. They promote healthy skin and stimulate cleansing actions of the digestive system.

Cleanse Nutrients: Glutathione, fibre, antioxidants, good fats, potassium.
Cleanse Target: gallbladder, digestive system
2. Cabbage contains fibre, antioxidants, alkaline minerals and more good fats, it’s a great all round cleanser, powerful GI tract cleanser and an anti-inflammatory.

Cleanse Nutrients: Fibre, antioxidants, good fats, manganese, folate, B6 and potassium
Cleanse Target: GI tract & digestive system
3. Kale is a green leafy vegetable, a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It’s especially important to cleanse the blood so getting a big boost of chlorophyll is a must.

Cleanse Nutrients: Chlorophyll, antioxidants, good fats, anti-inflammatory
Cleanse Target: blood, digestive system
4. Cucumber – eat it often!

Cleanse Nutrients: High-alkaline water content, antioxidants, vitamin c, manganese
Cleanse Target: Liver
5. Spinach is one of the most nutritious and alkaline vegetables you can eat.

Cleanse Nutrients: Fibre, chlorophyll, antioxidants
Cleanse Target: Blood and colon
6. Broccoli – cruciferous family.

Cleanse Nutrients: Critical detoxifying phytonutrients, fibre, antioxidants
Cleanse Target: Anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, digestive system
7. Celery – easy to use in juices, soups, salads, snacks. Kids love it.

Cleanse Nutrients: Fibre, antioxidants, good fats, manganese, folate, B6 and potassium.
Cleanse Target: GI tract and digestive system
8. Ginger – great to spice up stir fries or to drink as a tea

Cleanse Nutrients: ginger is an anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, anti-carcinogenic
Cleanse Target: intestines and digestive tract
9. Garlic – eat every day!

Cleanse Nutrients: manganese, sulphur compounds
Cleanse Target: liver, immune system
Improve your detoxifying results by buying organic and eating raw or lightly steamed, in order to get more health promoting enzymes and vitamins. Drink alot of clean water and sweat (another way the body detoxifies). A little knowledge can go a long way when it is supported by action on a daily basis. Enjoy these delicious and healthy foods as you become more vibrant, energized and slim! Your body will love you.

7 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Colon

A clean colon can prevent Irritable Bowel Syndrome, cancer and more by Aislinn Vaughan & Philip Knox (Gaiam.com)

When looking for ways to get and keep a healthy colon, these tips can be helpful. Following these detoxificaton suggestions may prolong your life by assisting with the risk-reduction of potentially preventable illnesses like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), diverticulosis and colon cancer. In addition, they can promote an attrition of the discomforts of bloating, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue and gas.

Fiber

Fiber-rich food is a great choice for a healthy colon. Eating a good amount (about 25-35 grams daily) of high-fiber foods like raspberries, bananas, prunes, peas, broccoli, beans, celery and whole-wheat pasta is a great start to cleanse the body. Other fiber-rich whole grains include brown rice, whole-wheat and whole-wheat breakfast cereals. Fiber keeps food waste moving along your digestive track, which helps your intestines stay squeaky clean and can decrease your risk for diverticular disease. See Three Ways to Get More Whole Grain in Your Diet.

Vitamin D

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that a steady intake of Vitamin D is advantageous when trying to prevent colon cancer and maintain a healthy colon. You can get Vitamin D from a variety of sources including the sun (15-20 minutes of daily exposure is sufficient) and foods like bread, fatty fish, milk and cereal. If your foods do not supply enough Vitamin D, taking a supplement may be warranted. Vitamin D may also help prevent osteoporosis.

Don’t hold it

If you feel a bowel movement coming, head for the bathroom and let it go. If you try to hold it in, built-up fecal matter can release toxins into your body, which has the potential to cause diverticulosis and IBS. Regular bowel movements is one of the ways your colon keeps itself clean and healthy.

Water

Inadequate hydration can lead to a build-up of toxins in the body. As those toxins accumulate, the risk for constipation, bloating, gas, IBS and fatigue increases. If you’re trying to keep your colon healthy, try to drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water in a day to cleanse your body.

Exercise

When you’re trying to keep your colon healthy, exercise is a huge part of the equation. By increasing blood flow and circulation through exercise, your colon (and entire gastrointestinal system) gets more oxygen. This may help ward off colon cancer and other diseases. Your fitness routine doesn’t need to be extreme. Stretching, doing yoga or walking for 10-15 minutes a day is sufficient to help keep your colon healthy.

Colonoscopies

Although a colonoscopy is by no means a fun experience, it’s essential in the prevention and early detection of colon cancer. For individuals over age 50, a colonoscopy is a necessary step in maintaining colon health. Also, ask your doctor about a colonoscopy if you are experiencing on-going diarrhea or constipation, as these can be signs of colon and intestinal problems. A colonoscopy can aid in proper diagnosis of your condition.

Cleansing Your colon

There are also natural ways to keep your colon clean. Pay a visit to your local alternative medicine center to learn about the colon-cleansing treatments they have to offer.

Colon flushes are a popular procedure, and are believed to wash out toxins and waste material that have become trapped in your colon. If you suffer from constipation, a colon flush can be the best way to regain regular bowel movements and restore your colon to health. With a variety of special herb and mineral infusions available, colon flushes can be tailored to suit your unique needs. Although self-administered colon cleansing kits are available, you should seek advice from a health professional before attempting your first treatment.

Ayurvedic Cleansing with KITCHARI

What’s So Amazing About Kitchari? John Douillard 

Above all other Indian meals, there is one which is considered to help facilitate spiritual growth. It is the Ayurvedic detox food – but it can also be found on many dinner tables on a normal day, as it is loved for other reasons, as well.

Kitchari, pronounced kich-ah-ree and sometimes spelled khichadi or khichdi, has long been used to nourish babies and the elderly, the sick, and the healthy during special times of detox, cleansing, and deep spiritual practice.

A simple, porridge-like blend of beans and rice, kitchari is often referred to as the Indian comfort food. But perhaps contrary to the western idea of comfort food or even health food, kitchari has many nourishing and cleansing benefits.

Join me as I investigate the subtle magic of kitchari, its profound benefits, and a simple recipe to enjoy.

The term kitchari is used to describe any dish made with a mixture of rice and beans. For the traditional, cleansing kitchari, split yellow mung beans were used along with a long grain white or basmati rice, and a blend of traditional Indian spices. Let’s take a look at the constituents of kitchari on their own before we talk about how to blend them together.

Why White Rice?

kitchari white rice in bamboo basket image
During a cleanse, long-grain white rice may be preferable for ease of digestion.
The first question you might ask is, why white rice? During a cleanse, the metabolism slows down and the digestive strength weakens, so any food eaten must be very easy to digest.

For kitchari, white rice is used because the husk has been milled off to make the rice easier to digest. While brown rice may be used – and will actually supply more nutrients – the husk makes brown rice much harder to digest. During cleansing, a time of already compromised digestion, this can irritate the intestinal wall and cause digestive gas or abdominal pain.

Traditionally, farmers would bring their rice to the miller and have the rice de-husked based on their needs. If someone was sick, elderly, or there was a baby in the house, all of the husk would come off, making white rice for the ease of digestion. Brown rice was used only if digestive strength was optimal or when funds were short, as it was expensive to have the rice prepared and de-husked.

Typically, long grain white rice was used over short grain rice because it was believed to be more nutritious. Even without the husk, it was considered a more stable food than short grain rice. Now, studies have shown that long grain white rice has a lower glycemic index than short grain rice.

Why Split Yellow Mung Beans?

kitchari split yellow mung dahl beans image
According to Ayurveda, split yellow mung beans are the one type of beans or lentils that will not produce gas.
To be called kitchari, the rice has to be cooked with a legume. Traditionally, that legume was split yellow mung dahl beans. These are the only legumes that are classified as “vata balancing” in Ayurveda. This means that, unlike every other type of beans or lentils, they will not produce any intestinal gas.

Split yellow mung beans also have their husk naturally removed. When they are split, the husk, which is very hard to digest and gas producing, naturally falls off. This process naturally renders them much easier to cook, digest, and assimilate.

A Perfect Protein

The combination of rice and beans has been a staple around the world for 10,000 years, and for good reason. You have probably heard the term complete protein, but let’s take a minute to really understand what that means.

There are 20 amino acids that combine with one another to make the proteins the body needs. Ten of them, the body can synthesize on its own. The other ten, called essential amino acids, the body does not make, meaning we must get it from our foods. Animal proteins are “complete” in that they contain all ten essential amino acids, but plant foods need to be combined to make a complete protein.

Rice, like most grains, is very low in the amino acid lysine. As a result, if you live on grains alone, you will likely become protein deficient. Legumes and lentils, on the other hand, have lots of lysine, but they are generally low in methionine, tryptophan and cystine. Fortunately, grains are high in these three amino acids.

So the marriage of rice and beans, as found in kitchari, has been providing the ten essential amino acids and making complete proteins for cultures around the world for thousands of years. For cultures that have subsisted on a plant-based diet, this marriage is often what allows their diet to be nutritionally sustainable.

Kitchari for Cleansing

During a cleanse, it is essential to have adequate protein to keep the blood sugar stable and the body burning fat.

One of the most common reasons folks have trouble with cleansing is due to unstable blood sugars made worse by the detox process. During a fast, for example, you are asked to drink only water, juice or veggies. For many, this type of austere fasting can be a strain and deplete blood sugar reserves. Then folks get really hungry, irritable, and end up with a low blood sugar headache or crash. While the goal of a fast is to shift the body into fat metabolism and detox the fat cells, this will not happen if the body is under stress and strain as a result of a difficult fast.

Here’s the basic equation:

Stress = Fat storing
No Stress = Fat burning

If you are attempting to detox heavy metals, preservatives, chemicals, pesticides and environmental toxins from your fat cells with a cleanse, make sure that you are not straining, or the amount of fat burned will be minimal.

Kitchari provides nourishment in the form of a complete protein that will keep the blood sugars stable during a cleanse. Otherwise, ironically, the body may react to the cleanse as a fat-storing emergency!

The goal of any effective cleanse should be to convince the body and the cells that life is not an emergency and that it is okay to burn that stored fat and release toxins. During a kitchari cleanse, you are eating this complete protein three meals a day, so there is no starvation response whatsoever. In fact, I always say that during our Colorado Cleanse and Short Home Cleanse, if you are straining or hungry than you are not getting the optimal benefits. The more comfortable you are the more fat you will burn.

Kitchari to Heal the Gut

In India, kitchari is often the first food for babies, not only because it is so easy to digest, it also heals and soothes the intestinal wall.

With 95 percent of the body’s serotonin produced in the gut, it is clear we process our stress through the intestinal wall. Chronic stress will irritate the intestinal wall and compromise digestion, the ability to detoxify through the gut, and cope with stress. During a kitchari cleanse, the digestive system can heal. While we offer four dietary options in our kitchari cleanses, eating just kitchari as a “mono diet” allows much of the digestion to be at rest during the cleanse, providing the nutrition needed to heal the gut and nourish the body.

Spiritual Practice and Deep Inner Calm

kitchari benefits inner calm sun shining through trees image
Having adequate protein to maintain blood sugar stability during a cleanse can facilitate feelings of inner peace and calm.
The state of fat metabolism facilitates a deep inner calm, making it the natural state for spiritual inquiry and practice. For this reason, kitchari was also fed to monks and ascetics to help create a sense of stillness in which we gain greater access to old toxic emotional and behavior patterns. This is also why kitchari is the food of choice of Panchakarma, Ayurveda’s deepest detox retreat.

How to Make Kitchari

This recipe makes enough kitchari for 3 or 4 meals. You can play with the mixture of spices. Many people prefer this recipe when the spices are doubled, or even tripled.
Ghee is optional in this recipe. Optionally, you can start by browning the spices in a pan with 1-2 tbsp of ghee.

*A note on kitchari for cleansing: During a cleanse, we recommend that the kitchari be made with less or no ghee. Because ghee is a fat, it will slow the shift into fat metabolism. The less ghee you use, the deeper the cleanse. Outside of cleansing, as part of a regular diet, it is important to use ghee.

Ingredients:

1 cup split yellow mung dahl beans*
¼ – ½ cup long grain white or white basmati rice
1 tbsp fresh ginger root
1 tsp each: black mustard seeds, cumin, and turmeric powder
½ tsp each: coriander powder, fennel and fenugreek seeds
3 cloves
3 bay leaves
7-10 cup water
½ tsp salt (rock salt is best) or Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 small handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Can add steamed vegetables or lean meat when not cleansing, or for extra blood sugar support during a cleanse
*Split yellow mung dahl beans are available at Asian or Indian grocery stores, or on our online store. Different spellings include mung or just dahl. Please note that you do not want the whole mung beans – which are green – or yellow split peas.

Method:

Wash split yellow mung beans and rice together until water runs clear.
In a pre-heated large pot, dry roast all the spices (except the bay leaves) on medium heat for a few minutes. This dry-roasting will enhance the flavor.
Add dahl and rice and stir, coating the rice and beans with the spices.
Add water and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
Boil for 10 minutes.
Turn heat to low, cover pot and continue to cook until dahl and rice become soft (about 30-40 minutes).
The cilantro leaves can be added just before serving.
Add salt or Bragg’s to taste.
For weak digestion, gas or bloating: Before starting to prepare the kitchari, first par-boil the split mung dahl (cover with water and bring to boil), drain, and rinse. Repeat 2-3 times. OR, soak beans overnight and then drain. Cook as directed.

Kitchari : A New Favorite in Your Kitchen

Make kitchari when you are sick, when you are sad, when you are cleansing, for your kids or a loved one when they are under the weather, when you can’t be bothered to cook, when you come back from a long trip, when you need to regain your strength, but maybe not for dinner on a first date.

You’ll be surprised how warming and comforting it is, and pretty soon it’ll be the stuff your cravings are made of.


 

 Another video and recipe to try. Kate also has more kitchari recipes on her website. 

 

RECIPE: KITCHARI with vegetables
1 c white basmati rice
1/2 c mung beans (either split hulled mung beans or whole beans that have been soaked overnight)
1 T ghee
1 t fennel seeds
1 t cumin seeds
1 t turmeric
2 coins of fresh ginger (thick slices)
5-6 c water
1 t coriander seeds
1 T sesame seeds
1 T desiccated coconut
3 leaves of swiss chard
1 zucchini
1/2 t salt
cilantro
lime wedges

Rinse rice and beans well and set aside. In a medium to large pot, heat ghee over medium heat. Once melted add fennel, cumin and turmeric. Stir then add rice and beans. Combine spices and rice & beans and continue to stir. When rice & beans begin sticking to the sides of the pot, add ginger, water and coriander seeds. Cover and bring to boil. Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat sesame seeds until starting to brown then mix in coconut. Once all starts to brown, turn off heat and add to boiling rice & beans mixture. Stir and set timer for 20 minutes to allow rice & beans to cook. Now is a good time to chop the chard, grate the zucchini and chop any cilantro you’ll be using to garnish and further enhance digestion. About 10 minutes in, check that the rice & beans don’t need more water. If it’s not looking like a wet porridge add more water. After the timer goes off, check that the beans & rice are cooked. Depending on your bean and how long you soaked them, it may need another 10 minutes. Don’t worry if the rice grows soft; it only makes it easier to digest & it stays tasty. Once rice and beans are cooked, add vegetables and mix well. Add more water if necessary, then cover and allow vegetables to cook; this shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes or so. Once all the kitchari is cooked, serve with a sprinkle of fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro.
Vata: Very good. Can add more ghee to top. Could add pinch of hing to melted ghee at start. Use at least 6 cups water.
Pitta: Excellent!
Kapha: Good. Reduce coconut to 1 tsp and use bell pepper rather than zucchini. Can add any other more pungent spices like 1/2 tsp of fenugreek or a sprinkling of garam masala to taste to bring more heat.

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