For the past 8 years, I have been seasonally cleansing my body. Although I’ve gained some experience with this, I am not a medical doctor or practitioner, so please consult yours before following any ‘cleanse’ regimen. Also, trust your body and intuition because you know your body best! I’m merely sharing what has worked for me here.
I have made many cleanse ‘mistakes’ in the past where I have forced my body into doing something it actually doesn’t need or want to do during a particular season. One of those things is cleansing with cold items such as juice and raw foods in the fall and winter. Fall is a perfect season to prepare for a long, cold, blustery winter season. A time for grounding and enjoying the act of slowing down and introspection. Therefore, consuming the same foods as how we want to feel; warm, grounded, nourished and season-forward. Root vegetables, squash, and the remainder of the summer bounty is ideal for fall.
I originally learned about eating and living in balance with our bodies and the seasons on an Ayurveda teacher training with the Zen Spot institute. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term that translates to the “science of life” and it is a way in which we can fully come into balance with our body, mind, spirit, the seasons, time of day and overall environment. Each individual has a specific make-up, or constitution, and therefore we are all unique. The 3 different constitutions are kapha, pitta, vata and each person can identify with one, two, or even all three of these doshas (energies). You can find your own unique constitution here.
Although we all have our own specific constitution (dosha or energy), we can identify the seasons and even the time of day with their own doshas. You can reference the image to the right (clock image). Being that fall and beginning of winter is described as vata season (aspects of vata are described as: dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, and clear (or empty), it is essential to try to balance our bodies by consuming foods and adapting to a different diet than we did in the summer (pitta season). Think: the leaves are falling, the wind is blowing, the temperatures are cooler, our skin tends to be drier, etc. Minimizing light, cooling, and drying foods such as raw vegetables and cold and frozen foods in the fall is essential to help balance what we are experiencing with the change of season. Leave those things (cold foods, salads, cold-pressed juices, cold smoothies, etc) for late spring/summer when the weather is warm. Warming foods such as steamed vegetables, grains, soups & stews are all grounding and moisturizing for the airy, dry and light sense of the autumn season. Therefore, a raw food & juice cleanse would be counterproductive this time of year as these foods are cold, light and airy (the opposite of what our bodies need and crave at this time).
I’m so happy I was introduced to this delicious kitchari recipe by my teachers at Zen Spot Institute years ago! Kitchari is perfect for fall as it’s grounding, warming, nourishing, hydrating, and lubricating. Jonah and I doubled the recipe so that we could create a 3-day cleanse out of it and eat it for 3 consecutive days (for each meal) and follow it up with a colon hydrotherapy session (blog on that coming very soon).
Kitchari means mixture—typically of rice and beans. It is particularly easy to digest and very nourishing.
1-2 TBS ghee or other high quality cooking oil (avocado or coconut)
1 cup mung beans: split beans which are yellow or whole mung beans which are green. (Sort to assure there are no stones in the mix) and rinse mung beans several times. Soak mung beans for 1-8 hours before cooking helps eliminate formation of gas. Do not soak longer than 8 hours as they will begin to sprout).
1/2 cup white basmati rice. (Rinse the rice several times).
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric (use fresh if available—peel and finely chop or grate)
1-3 tsp peeled fresh grated ginger
Organic & local vegetables: Anything goes here EXCEPT garlic, onions, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, bell peppers as these could affect digestion. A great combination is 1 – 1 & 1/2 cup of cubed yam/sweet potato, ½ cup each of sunchokes, golden beets, kohlrabi, chopped green beans & carrots, and 1 or 2 cups of chopped kale, dandelion greens chard or spinach. You can add burdock, 1 teaspoon dried burdock or 4 inches of fresh root will give you a nutty, slightly bitter taste.
6-8 cups water.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and roast the cubed sweet potato & beets for about 20 minutes until tender. We don’t peel the potato, but it is good to peel the beets.
Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon ghee or other cooking oil in deep pot over low to medium heat.
Add 1 teaspoon of cumin, fenugreek, mustard seeds and the grated ginger.
Sauté until slightly brown, careful not to burn.
Add rice and mung beans and sauté for approximately 30 seconds.
Turn down heat.
Add turmeric & coriander powders and sauté for approximately 30 seconds. Do not burn!
Add 6-8 cups of water (depends on how long you soaked the beans but Kitchari should be modestly soupy; add more water if needed)
Add root veggies at this time. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes.
Add leafy greens at this time. Cover and cook for another 20 minutes.
Step 3. Enjoy!
You can add Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or
You can add Coconut liquid aminos
You can add Tamari Organic Gluten Free Soy and/or
We love to spice ours up a bit with a dash of cayenne pepper!
Please let us know how you like this recipe and how you feel after. Cheers to your health and vitality!
By varying the mung dals (green and yellow), spices and vegetables, you can create a different dish out of this healthy recipe. Play with it by mixing up vegetables. But stick with the inclusion of fresh ginger, turmeric, cumin and coriander as they have excellent medicinal properties. Adjust to your taste. And enjoy the pleasing aroma of the spices.
Be well, friends. Thank you for reading!