April 8, 2019
What is kitchari?
So, I’m turning 30 this May 2019, and though I’ve had an overall good healthy life, there’s definitely room for improvement in every area. Five weeks ago I had what was probably the longest hangover I’ve ever had in my life and it was the turning point for my quest to healthy lifestyle.
I contacted Rana Haddadin to be my Ayurvedic Practitioner. My main problem has always been my relationship with food - feeling happy? treat yourself with food, feeling sad? treat yourself with food - in a rush? Treat yourself with fast food. Overall, I never thought of food as a solution or as a result to my overall symptoms of bloating, moodiness, gastritis, dry skin, and whatnot. Until I met her…
The first thing she did was an extensive test to determine my type of body. I am Pitta or Fire Energy. And considering this, amongst the many changes she told me I should do, the one that specifically struck a nerve was NO SNACKING. I find it incredibly funny how throughout the years, information has been accesible through various channels and instead of becoming the “age of information” it’s now the “age of misinformation” in my opinion. We have heard and read about the Paleo Diet, the Keto Diet, the Atkins Diet, the “this and that” Diet, and believe me, I have tried them all. Yes, all with the wrong approach; “I have a wedding and need to lose 5 kgs” is the most basic one. This time, I think about it more as a lifestyle change.
With the “No Snacking” approach, I have reduced my bloating significantly. Now, I’m not saying I have not snacked. But I am way more aware and mindful regarding how my body reacts to certain food types and food habits. I began excercising 3-4 times a week in order to climb the Nevado de Toluca and felt amazing. I have not weighted myself, nor do I intend to, in the months to come. Mostly, because this is not about weight, it’s about how I feel.
So, what’s Kitchari? After some weeks of progress, I pushed my body to a limit with exercise and food to achieve my goal of Nevado de Toluca. So in order to begin the Spring with the right foot, Rana decided it was time I do a Kitchari.
According to Banyan Botanicals, Kitchari is “the traditional cleansing food of Ayurveda”. For what Rana has told me, the Kitchari also helps move stagnant energy around your body from past experiences. This in particular has me a bit worried (haha) I tend to get moody when I’m hungry so I can’t wait what this “energy moving “ experience will bring.
This blog entry was created specifically for me, so I can remember how I felt, what my thoughts were and how I reacted to the cleanse/reset.
Day # 1
Today, Monday, April 8th, is my first day. What did I put on my Kitchari on Day 1?
1/2 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup uncooked brown lentils (original Kitchari is with split mung beans but I couldn’t find any)
5 cups of water
1 whole garlic clove
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
Black pepper and salt
As of right now, I have eaten both breakfast and lunch of it. I feel satisfied but a tad anxious. I have not felt bloated nor hungry. A little dizzy and moody (but I didn’t have a good night sleep, maybe that has to do with it) I feel thirsty so I’ll have some warm water. I’m truly worried about the evening which is when I tend to get more hungry and anxious with food. But I know I will make it through.
Evening Day # 1 - Hungry not moody. It took some time for me to sleep, could also be the time change.
For day #2, my morning Kitchari was exclusive to Basmati rice, ghee, turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper. After eating my breakfast, I felt satisfied but quickly became hungry at 12 pm. As I had already know, the easy party is the breakfast/lunch. The real tough part is the evening.
For the afternoon, I had my Kitchari with vegetables (Same recipe as before but with 2 carrots in big chunks and 1 handful of kale). My throat and tongue start feeling funny… like they need solid food. Kitchari is porridge-like consistency so it’s been different to what I usually have.
It has not been easy… I had a Doctor’s appointment and then went home, where after watching one episode of Ricky Gervais’ After Life show, I cried like a little girl all afternoon. Fun times. Rana has been checking up on me constantly, cheering me up. It feels good to have the support. The mind is playing some tricks on me like “why are you doing this?, just stop”, but I know it’s just one more day and then i’ll be done. Besides, its making me realize that even though it’s hard, it is possible for me to just have something for dinner and then stop snacking.
I had my Kitchari for dinner and some tea. I also think the Daylight Saving time change is definitely taking a toll on me. I feel like just surviving this, not actually enjoying it as much. What I do enjoy though, is having a flat stomach! (ha!) and now I know what I should eat one day before a beach day. I had no coffee all day and also felt kind of sluggish. I had a hard time sleeping even though I felt tired and got a tad dizzy before sleeping. This is definitely making some changes inside.
It took me forever to get out of bed… forever. I added some honey to my Kichari of Day #3 (Same as day 1 but with cauliflower and sweet potato in big chunks) I don’t think I added enough water because it’s more rice-y consistency rather than porridge. I don’t think I can make today work with no coffee though…
I ate my lunch at 12:30 pm and felt better than the anxious me this morning. However, I was still kind of “tired”. I had my 1/2 cup of coffee like an hour ago and I feel wonderful. Maybe I was missing coffee and I was having some withdrawls… maybe it’s not the food that’s making me feel angry and tired but my addiction to coffee. Also, this week I turned over 60 days since I quit smoking, so that can also add to my anxiety. Let’s see how the evening goes.
So I got home and it still feels weird that the sun is out until 8:30 pm! But anyway, I separated my last kitchari bowl into two so I ate the first at 6:00 pm and the last at 8:30 pm. I still felt hungry but I could tell it was not actual hunger but the anxiety saying “eat more!”. To change up the beat, I added a little lemon to my kitchari and ate half of a tiny avocado with some lemon. I had some tea before sleeping, which by the way I’ve been having some trouble doing, but after some “Guided Meditation” on Spotify, I fell asleep.