Easy Ayurvedic Detox

With spring in the air (and a baby due imminently!) I’ve been busy clearing my outer space to freshen things up and get ready for new beginnings.

I would normally do a thorough internal detox at this time of year to clear out the inner gunk that accumulates over the winter, but being 8.5 months pregnant and all means my favoured juice-fasts are a no-go right now.

Kicharee is super easy to digest (it kinda looks like it’s already been digested, right?!) which is why it’s such a great detox food. Anything that takes the pressure off your digestion for a little while will free up your body to focus on any clearing and maintenance that’s needed.

Luckily Ayurveda (Yoga’s sister science – btw if you’re practising Yoga but not Ayurveda you’re missing a serious trick!) has the perfect dish for cleansing.

Whatever your constitution is, whether you’re young, old, sick, healthy, pregnant or otherwise, Kitcharee will do your body good.

It’s a one-pot, easy-to-make, all-around-healing and digestion-kindling meal. It balances all three doshas (meaning it’s good for everyone!) and is also given to anyone who’s sick to assist their recovery. Sound good?

For a simple and gentle detox make a batch of this and eat just this two-three times a day for a day or two, sipping on hot water in between meals.

If you’re pregnant, or not ready to dive into a more intense detox or fast for any other reason, this is a great way to gently cleanse and support your body from the inside-out.

There are probably a million variations of this recipe but here’s the essential mix to get you started.

The Bulk

1 cup of mung beans (soaked overnight)

1 cup of basmati rice (or another grain such as quinoa or brown rice)

3-4 cups of water (if you want it thicker use slightly less water, for a more soupy consistency add a little more)

The Seasoning

A chunk of fresh ginger

1sp cumin seeds

1tsp mustard seeds

¼ tsp of each of turmeric, ginger powder and coriander powder

Seaweed (optional, I use kombu but you can substitute for another)

Salt to taste

Vegetables

Whatever seasonal vegetables you have in the fridge. Here’s where it’ll vary each time you make this. This time around I used broccoli, carrots,  swiss chard, and spinach.

Toppings (optional)

Handful of fresh coriander

Lightly toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Heat some oil in a pan and fry the fresh ginger, cumin and mustard seeds.
  • Add the mung beans and rice along with water, bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Then add the seaweed, turmeric, ginger and coriander, plus the seasonal vegetables.
  • Turn the heat down to low and cook for a further 10-20 minutes.
  • When the kitcharee is almost done you can toast some sesame seeds in a pan, chop some fresh coriander, add both onto your dish when serving along with a drizzle of oil for extra oleation (internal oiling – big in Ayurvedic cleansing.)

I’m not one for spending long in the kitchen so I use a pressure cooker for this. After step 1 above I bung everything in and pressure cook for 10 minutes. Turns out delicious!

Recipe adapted from A Pukka Life, this is an accessible introduction to Ayurveda.

 

Five Simple Rituals to Detox This Spring

Spring is the yearly equivalent of early morning. It’s full of potential, we have everything ahead.

Just as how we spend the first few moments of each day sets the tone for the rest of our day,  the start of spring is also a powerful juncture where we have a unique opportunity to positively impact what’s ahead.

Here are five simple practices to get this new beginning off to the best start.

  1. Detox Your Outer Space

There’s a natural desire to cleanse at this time of year. That extra layer of winter fat is no longer helpful or needed, it’s just weighing us down. Spring is a dynamic and buoyant time when we’re naturally poised to thrive, but it’s difficult to soar when we’re weighted down with excess, including external excess.

Spend a week or two clearing out your space. External clutter is just internal clutter on display. If you need some inspiration check out Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. You can listen to the audiobook on youtube for free.

The approach is simple, divide your stuff into categories – clothes, books, gadgets/equipment, sentimental items etc… – then tackle each one in turn.

For each item ask yourself whether it’s still useful, have you used it in the last 6 months? Will you use it in the next 6 months? If it’s not useful, then, does it spark joy? If it’s not useful and it doesn’t spark joy, pass it on, allow the item to be useful or joyful to someone else.

When our space is cluttered we block the flow of new ideas. Our space shouldn’t be a museum to who we’ve been but an open invitation to the person we’re becoming. Cherish who you are now by releasing the stuff that no longer serves you.

Another wonderful resource for this first step is www.theminimalists.com. They also have a great podcast, tune in and get some inspiration on your commute to work. Joshua Becker puts it beautifully, “There’s more joy to be found in owning less, than could ever be found in pursuing more.”

“Elimination equals illumination”- Elson Hass

2. Detox Your Inner Space

You might find that your inner space starts to naturally detox just by following step 1. I’ve heard of many people who’ve tried the Marie Kondo method, or some other form of minimizing, and found excess weight dropping off as a side effect. As above so below, and as without so within, it would seem.

Detoxing our inner space is a lot like detoxing our outer space. If we don’t clear out our outer space from time to time we end up with excess stuff cluttering up our space and creating inefficiency in our lives. Think of kitchen cupboards that get full of old food. When we accumulate too much over time some stuff get stuffed to the back of cupboards, we forget its even there, it essentially becomes useless, just taking up space. And then it goes off.
I like to think of a physical detox like clearing out our internal cupboards. For a short period of time we stop the influx of food and dial everything down to zero. You might do a complete fast, or you might just simplify your diet down to nourishing juices, smoothies, and soups.

The focus is on simple foods that are easy to digest so that your digestive system gets a much-needed break. When our digestive system isn’t so busy continuously breaking down complex foods it has time to go rummaging around in the cupboards of the body and pulling out the old stuff that’s no longer useful, often stored as fat!

Take some time to cleanse internally in spring and your body will reward you tenfold throughout the rest of the year.

The body loves efficiency, when we allow it to clear out the excess inner space-invaders we’re rewarded with greater physical energy and mental clarity.

3. Spend More Time Outdoors

Make the most of the longer and warmer days and get outside to soak up the vitality of the season. We know intuitively that being in nature feels good so make the most of this free source of healing energy.

If you haven’t heard of Earthing then definitely look into it and give it a whirl. It’s as simple as taking your shoes and socks off and stepping out onto your garden lawn. I won’t go into too much detail here, I wrote this blog recently where I dive into my experiences with it this last month, so if you’re interested, check it out.

I will just say that it’s reduced my partner’s anxiety levels from a 7 to a 3 in the space of a few weeks.

He is nowhere near as far down the “hippy” end of the spectrum as I am. He’s definitely more your ‘man-of-science-type’ and is generally skeptical about these sorts of things, but he’s been totally hooked on earthing since he first stepped barefoot onto the grass for 10 minutes a few weeks ago and noticed that it took the edge off his anxiety. He’s been doing it every day since and has felt better than he has in a long time.

It seems that making direct contact with the earth harmonises our physiology. It reduces inflammation, pain, speeds up injury recovery and has a positive effect on our emotional and mental wellbeing. It’s basically magic as far as i can tell 🙂

4. Detox Your Habits

Take a little time-out at the beginning of spring to simplify your routine and spend some quiet time in reflection. The space we create during a time-out gives us access to a new perspective, it allows us to take stock of our existing habits, patterns and behaviours.

Assess whether your habits are still serving you, or what they might be costing you. Are you a five-coffees-a-day person? What’s that costing you, if anything? Do you tend to over-schedule and be constantly busy? What might that be costing you?

What stories and thought patterns are perpetuating old habits?

What are you ready to release from your mind space?

During detox we come off auto-pilot and make some conscious course-corrections, we want to be sure we’re heading in the right direction, towards greater health and wellbeing.

5. Plant New Seeds of Intention

Once all the clearing and cleansing is done we can focus on setting positive intentions for the year ahead. Carve out some quiet time where you can sit and journal.

Here are some enquiry questions to get you started:

What are the challenges I face right now?

How do I want to feel?

What’s one simple thing I could start doing to feel how I want to feel tomorrow, next week and next month?

What diet or lifestyle routines do I want to change?

Am I getting enough sleep?

What yoga or exercise routine feels the best to me right now?

Take time to pause now and do some of the above and you’ll head into the rest of the year with a spring in your step!

 

The first Vibrant Living course was a blast! A group of 12 health adventurers committed to a 10-week, self-care deep-dive.

We picked apart our daily routine to up-level our habits and experience more energy, vitality and ease in our daily lives.

You can read all about it here If you want to join our Vibrant Living community, the next course starts in September. Discounts are available for the first five people to sign up, so if you’re interested in up-levelling your health apply here and we’ll chat soon.