Detox Days 1-3

Kitchari

On Monday, I started a 7-day Ayurveda cleanse that centers around kitchari (pictured above), a porridge made of basmati rice, yellow mung beans, and various spices. It is not the first time I did a cleanse, my first one being in Yoga Thailand last March. Though my first detox was also based on kitchari, we had more variations in our daily food choices than this one. For breakfast, we had papaya, followed by kitchari for lunch. In the afternoon we enjoyed a tall glass of fresh detox juice and juice of a whole young coconut. Dinner was a light vegetable soup with some mung beans, and closed off with yet another juice.

The cleanse I am on now is only  kitchari. Okay, we can cheat a little and have some plain lassi or homemade roasted sunflower seeds for snacks, but besides that, it really is kitchari for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Did I mention we have to take ghee every morning, starting from 1 teaspoon on Day 1 and leading to 7 teaspoons on Day 7? I love ghee, but only when used in cooking or to drizzle on top of food. Taking ghee first thing in the morning is probably not my favorite thing. All this kitchari and ghee for 7 days is to prep ourselves for the infamous purge  on Day 7, where we drink castor oil, which pretty much is a laxative to help us really get rid of the toxins that the kitchari diet has help set aside for elimination. After the purge, we then slowly rebuild our digestive fire back by slowly reintroducing foods into our diet throughout the next week or so.

Why am I doing this? Good question. I never really know why. Curiosity, perhaps. The idea of cleansing always sounds nice. And really, just to see how I might feel differently once I come out on the other side.

Day 1. I started my day right off feeling tired with a little bit of a headache. It doesn't make sense since it was only the first day and I just barely started, but my body probably was thinking, You're on a cleanse, start feeling crappy right now!  Or it might be my the-day-after hangover from my wine-tasting trip in Napa on Saturday. Oops.

Day 2. I felt quite fatigued, drowsy, hard to focus, and weak. I stumbled into Mysore that morning, somewhat confused why I was there. I moved through Sun Salutations and noticed a headache coming on. At many points during my practice I thought about stopping and going for a long savasana instead. However, I stuck to it, telling myself to go for just one more asana , and allowing myself to take it easy. I got through to eka pada sirsasana , and decided I really had no energy left to deal with more legs behind the heads, not to mention the incredibly butt-kicking asana that is karandavasana. That evening, I made another batch of kitchari with more bean-to-rice ratio. I chopped a medium-sized sweet potato and threw that in as well. Adding the sweet potato really kicks the kitchari up a notch! The porridge was mildly sweet and the potato was grounding and calming.

 Day 3. I woke up to my alarm at 6am, shut it off, and went back to sleep for another hour or so. Some days, like this one, you just know you need more sleep. My body felt sore, stiff, and weak. The 3 teaspoons of ghee did not sit too well in my tummy this morning, as I felt a bit nauseous while I did my short, light 30-min yoga practice at home. I didn't really have any appetite at breakfast time, but I went ahead and took my digestive spices (cumin, fennel, and coriander) anyway. Ten minutes I was hungry! The rest of the day was a disaster. I was an emotional, irritated, stressed out wreck. Every little thing blew up inside me. It didn't help that I got an email from my boss with a not-so-positive feedback on my clean-up at one of my kids' cooking classes (I admit that I spaced out and forgot to erase what I had written on the white board, and apparently the teacher found some Parmesan cheese on a table). I just wanted to crawl under the bedsheets and be miserable the entire day.

Today is Day 4. Stay tuned for more!