Kitchari Diet, the favored dish of kundalini yogis
Kitcheri is a complete dish, simmered, very popular in India. Especially in Ayurvedic medicine, it is considered a reference dish because it provides the necessary nutrients for a good energy balance, is very easy to digest and easily adapts to different constitutions (doshas).
Kitchari is the ideal ayurvedic meal to make a mono diet to practice easily for the autumn solstice or in winter after the end of the year celebrations in order to support its body in a soft detoxification without depriving it. The Kitchari mono diet provides the body with sufficient macronutrients. Moreover, given the composition of the dish (vegetables, basmati rice, mung beans and spices) it is very digestible and allows to slow down the digestive system so that it can take a rest.
Why practice a kitchari diet?
A large part of our body's energy is devoted to our digestion (about 40%). But if our diet is too heavy in sugar, fat, salt, dairy and meat products, gluten, alcohol, coffee, if you are going through an emotionally stressful period or if you snack all the time: your digestive system is overloaded and it will need even more energy to digest. As a result, not only are you tired, but your complexion is dull, you have skin problems, sleep disorders, joint and muscle pain, difficulty concentrating, difficulty losing weight, making decisions is an effort, you lack motivation, etc.
It is the right time to reverse the trend by working on your body to restore your vital and mental functions to their optimum.
Unlike a single food diet, Kitchari is a complete meal, which you can eat two to three times a day. Kitchari is a dance meal that holds your stomach and should prevent you from going hungry. However, you can always eat a fruit between two kitcahri meals if you are hungry. This will certainly not be necessary on a 3 day kitchari diet but if you decide to stay on this diet longer, don't miss out on vitamins and allow yourself a seasonal fruit from time to time.
A Kitchari cleanse is a food program designed to reset your eating habits and give your body a break. The cleanse focuses on only a handful of easily digested foods.
How and for how long should I practice a Kitchari diet?
The pre-diet phase
The body does not appreciate negative stress (stress that is not just punctual) and a diet started without preparation can cause unnecessary stress on the body and be counterproductive. It is therefore important to have a "pre-diet" time before any diet.
During this time you will continue to eat normally but you will remove the most toxic elements from your daily consumption such as: alcohol, coffee, smoking, fast sugar such as white sugar, pastries, milk chocolate etc., meat and fatty foods. Pre-diet lasts about a week and already has its challenges, be gentle with yourself, try to remove these elements by focusing on the positive feelings. Don't be too rigid with yourself, you made a choice for yourself and not to punish yourself so if needed go gradually especially if you have strong habits because you will already in the pre-diet to go through the symptoms of detoxifications with potential mood swings, headaches and irritability. This is temporary and keep your goal always in sight (you can place little notes here and there to remind you of it): to regain your full physical and mental vitality, and this is priceless!
The diet begins
After a week or 10 days of pre-dieting, it's time for the Kitchari mono diet.
You will have decided beforehand on a goal for the time of the diet. If you are new to this, start with a short goal of 3 days and continue if you feel good. If you want to do a short trial start on 3 days of pre-diet - 3 days of diet and 3 days of post diet.
3 days: this is the lifespan of the cells of the intestinal flora. So even in 3 days we can help the liver, gallbladder and kidneys to regenerate because the organs are at rest. You will have understood, in 3 days we already offer a little rest to the body, which will also help the spirit.
11 days: 11 is the number of infinity in the material world and the conqueror of the physical realm. It is therefore the first step to free yourself from the entanglement of the mind. It is an ideal time to break out of the more entrenched patterns and ensure that the positive effects of the diet remain on a longer term.
40 days: This is the ideal time to break deeply negative habits. In Kundalini yoga we say that this is the ideal time to break the chains of our habits and replace them. It is a time for a deep new beginning.
On a 3-day diet, eat only the Kitchari mono diet. If you have chosen a longer period of time, you can allow yourself one to two fruits per day, organic and in season.Fruit is extremely easy to digest, will provide you with vitamins and will not harm your diet.
After the diet
Once the cleanse is over, it is best to adopt a post-detox plan by slowly reintroducing foods for a week to ten days. For example, porridge in the morning, fruit as a snack and continue to eat kitchari for a few days at lunch or dinner, eating soup and cooked vegetables at one of the two meals to ensure a good transition. Everything must be done gently.
This will ensure that you do not upset your digestive system or return to your old habits too quickly, which could cancel out the effects of the diet.
Whatever time you choosed, be proud of what you have accomplished, working on your eating habits is extremely difficult because it is where our greatest addiction lies. Nourish yourself with the positive changes you observe and let go of the rest.
To go further and opt for a holistic approach: practice Sat Kriya
To support you in this phase, it is recommended to practice Sat Krya for 11 minutes a day. This will help you and support the changes that are taking place but it is not a necessity.
Sat Kriya is one of the most powerful and frequently used exercises in Kundalini Yoga. It raises the energy from the lower chakras to the higher chakras. In addition, much has been written about its benefits. For example, this exercise stimulates the heart and blood circulation system, massages the internal organs and contracts and relaxes the diaphragm located at the navel where we accumulate all our emotions. This technique helps to channel and direct the precious and powerful sexual energy for spiritual use.
Here is a small list of virtues associated with Sat Krya:
- harmonizes the nervous system
- calms emotional distress
- releases phobias
- reduces anxiety
- improves circulation
- increases vitality
- promotes self-healing capacity