Do you ever feel like over the holidays, your good habits and routines somehow get lost in the whirlwind of social events, busy schedules and overindulging? I think a lot of us can relate to this!
I found that after a couple of weeks of drinking and eating more than I’m used to and having a lot of rich foods, my digestion was feeling a bit out of whack! I was gassy, bloated and was starting to feel some familiar food cravings popping up!
So, I decided to give my digestive tract a little retreat after the holidays!
I spent just three days on a simple Kitchari diet. Kitchari (pronounced [ki-cha-ree]) is a simple East Indian recipe that is easily digested and therefore supports and rejuvenates the digestive tract. It’s a great recipe to turn to on a weekly or monthly basis or after a little over-indulging.
I cooked the Kitchari in the morning and ate it, slightly warmed, the rest of the day. I played with the basic recipe a bit and added different vegetables on different days (sweet potatoes, zucchini, beets) for variety. I drank just water and simple, herbal teas.
I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly my digestion improved, my bloating decreased and my cravings subsided! It was a great reminder of how quickly our bodies respond when we do a few good things for them! I shared my experience and Kitchadi with a few friends and they were asking for the recipe, so here it is if you’d like to give it a try! It’s from Myra Lewin’s book, Freedom in your Relationship with Food.
Basic Digestive Kitchari
1/2 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup split mung beans
3 tablespoons ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/8 tsp asafoetida (a herb that aids in digestion, found at local East Indian markets)
1 strip kombo (like seaweed – you can get it at health food stores)
6 cups water
1/2 tsp mineral salt
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger root
1 tsp turmeric (fresh or powder)
1/2 tsp cardamom
2-4 cups freshly chopped veg such as carrots, greens, squash
Wash rice and split mung until water is clear. Warm 1 tbsp ghee in a pan and simmer the cumin, coriander and asafoetida until you can smell them. Add the rice, mung beans and kombu, stir together and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add 4 cups of water and simmer for 45 mins. In a small pan, heat remaining ghee and add the salt, ginger root, turmeric and cardmom. Simmer for 1-2 minutes then add to the rice and dhal with the ramining water and veggies. Cook for 20 minutes longer or until veggies are soft. The consistency should be soupy. Add more water as needed.
I’ve included this recipe and another variation for ‘coconut kitchari’ under Recipes. I’d love to know if you try them and what you think! I’d also love to know what things you do to come back to balance!