REFLECTING ON PHASE I OF MY KITCHARI CLEANSE | a health journey
Yesterday I completed phase 1 of my kitchari cleanse, 7 days of eating kitchari and the accoutrements pictured. The first two days were the worst, cravings ensued and I ended both nights with a banana smoothie... not exactly outlined in the cleanse guide but not all too detrimental either, besides raising, hopefully not spiking, my blood sugar. By day 3 I was waking up craving the stuff. With half an avocado for healthy fats in the morning, a squeeze of lemon and cilantro micro greens mostly mostly for sex appeal, I was loving this savory alternative to porridge. I started out cooking my full batch for the day every morning, but quickly realized that by the evening the congealed kitchari was hardly appetizing. Without the luxury of time however, I continued to prepare my daily servings worth this way until the weekend. The kitchari takes about an hour to prepare, but aside from that, it's minimal ingredients makes for time and energy saved in the kitchen. It's amazing what a planned menu for you day can do for your mental space.
Notable changes so far...
The most exciting thing I have noticed related to my health is a return to regularity. My morning dump is back, hallelujah. The second thing I'm excited about is that my acid reflux has all but disappeared (I was previously experiencing it almost every afternoon and evening). The third thing is a significant reduction in the intensity of my bloating. This last thing has been persistent for a few years now. I think most of us experience bloating by the end of the day and usually we wake up with flat tummies in the morning, but I wonder how much bloating is normal? Due to the regular discomfort of the bloating I have experienced, I have a feeling mine wasn't "normal". In the last few days however, my nighttime bloat has been visually evident but lacking the usual feeling of tightness and gaseousness. I'm quite pleased thus far.
Through the next phase of the cleanse, the reintroduction, I'll be looking for changes in my complexion, an increased frequency of elimination and any food sensitivities. I expect this next phase be the most difficult for me. I'm kinda over the kitchari dish and will be looking for ways to add interest, otherwise I'm afraid I'll go overboard with other foods I am reintroducing. It's all about slow additions and patience here. While it's important to not feel deprived, gorging on new foods can disrupt the calming effect this cleanse has on the body's systems.
Practices implemented during the cleanse...
The aim of this cleanse is to reset the system by giving it a break from overwhelming input in order to allow it to recuperate, repair and reset. This input however does not only include food but a variety of stressors from environmental pollutants to negative psychological states. It is inevitable for any body to accumulate a degree of toxicity, and for this reason cleanses have been being performed for millennia. In this modern era we face a deluge of physical toxins and face unprecedented levels of chronic stress. We need to practices for expelling these built up toxins (a broad use of the word to include chemicals in our environment and the chemicals secreted by our own bodies in response to our thoughts, actions, experiences and ingestions and stored in the cells and tissues of the body).
All that to say, there are little practices we can implement to de-stress, and these are the ones I chose because they either resonated with me or were easy to incorporate into my day.
- Sipping warm water throughout the day to keep the digestive tract warm and working for you.
- Nasya applying a few drops of nasya oil to the nasal passages and inhaling deeply to sooth and keep unobstructed
- Morning meditation to bring calm to body and mind
- Pranayama deep breathing technique to calm the peripheral nervous system
- Ahbyanga self massage with tridoshic oil to encourage lymph flow and the loosening of toxins stored in the tissues
- Yoga to stimulate blood flow and metabolism
- Triphala taken in capsule or powder form with warm water to aid elimination in the evening