What, why and who is to blame? Mono Detox Day 2
Anders is to blame!
As I was leaving the house with a bag full of home-made buffalo wings and all the extras too, I honestly thought to myself, I haven’t seen Anders in at least a year. I have put on the pounds since then. I bet he has lost weight and I know have gained weight.
I was correct, premonitions of those kind need not come true. What I found was a much diminished Anders. Turns out he had spent the previous weeks changing his eating habits, starting with a soup detox or some such thing. Thus, I was bringing him his first real meal. In any case whatever he did it worked. There began Kim’s move to better health.
Over the past two years I have been gaining weight at about 1kg per month. Not a happy camper am I!!!!!!!!!! I would like to blame it on lot’s of things, love, good food and those darn birth control pills. Truth is, I think it has everything to do with good food, no exercise what so ever and soon enough I won’t need those birth control pills because well I am getting to that age.
Thus began the 3 day kitchari mono fast and morning salutations.
THERE WILL BE NO PICTURES!
Kitchari, spelled a hundred different ways, is a Ayurveda dish that is composed primarily of mung beans, rice and ginger along with some basic Indian spices. It is a dish that will meet all of your dietary needs. The Kitchari is composed of dosha neutral ingredients that are meant to help balance and calm the different doshas thus balancing the body and mental state. In reality if your going to do a fast this one is pretty easy. You get to eat real food with real flavor.
Ayurveda-the science of life.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medicine and health philosophy. Basically through balance of the mind and body we gain optimal health. Traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda, has over thousands of years developed a medical system based on many components primarily diet, exercise, massage and meditation.
Ayurveda is based on five basic earth elements, fire, water, earth, air and ether. There are three doshas Vatta, Pitta and Kapha. Each dosha contains 2 of the 5 elements. Each of us are born with a dominating dosha that is complimented in different degrees by the other two doshas.
Pitta-Fire and Water Pitta personalities are usually of sharp mind, good concentration, assertive, passionate, medium build, dry skin, intense eyes, quick to anger, like to be boss, get irritable if it is too warm…In other words people one would describe as having a blustery rather dominant personality.
Vatta-Air and Space Vatta personalities are very active but quick to tire, creative, imaginative, quick to learn, unpredictable, lively and fun, cold hands and feet, adverse to cold climates, dry skin and hair, don’t perspire much, nervous stomachs…basically one would think of someone with a creative, caring but flighty personality.
Kapha-Earth and Water Kapha are stable, slow in action, slow to learn but good memory, slow to anger, lean towards overweight, resistant to disease, possessive, steady enduring energy…basically the sort of people one would refer to as stable and reliable.
According to Ayurveda we all have a dominant dosha that is complimented in different degrees by the remaining two doshas. How much is individual. Each dosha has it’s strengths and weaknesses. When we are out of balance physically and mentally the less positive sides of our doshas begin to show through. Being determined turns to being bossy, being creative and imaginative turns to anxiety etc.
The point with Ayurveda is then to keep the body and mind in balance so that we can be and feel the positive elements of our doshas. It is also thought that when we are out of balance we begin to experience physical ailments upset stomachs, poor digestion, coughes, headaches, back pain, heart problems etc. When we are back in balance our health will improve.
I have been to both a traditional Chinese Doctor and an Ayurveda Doctor. I had been experiencing chronic back pain for years with little help from the Western doctors. So, with nothing to lose I consulted the Eastern doctors. Basically when you visit either a Chinese doctor or an Indian doctor they will check your pulse, look at your skin and your tongue. It’s pretty amazing how accurate they are. They don’t ask questions until after they have given you their examination. They spend a good deal of time playing your wrist like a recorder testing out the pulse, a look at the tongue and skin, maybe even ask to look at the whites of your eyes.
In both instances they were right on the money. It was extremely fascinating. Very bad digestion, back pain, somewhat lower liver function, poor sleeping… They got it all. The problem was I didn’t want to take their advice. I wanted the Western quick fix. What I needed to do and still need to do is calm my mind, exercise more to relax the tension in my body, avoid certain foods and again calm my mind.
The thing I have noticed is when I am in balance everything is easier, physically and mentally. When I am not then everything is just work. DUH! The problem with balance whether you believe in the Western or Eastern theories is that it is a life long process. You can never be in balance and just stay in balance. You have to work at staying in balance forever. It’s a life long process. But, the more in balance you are the easier it is to stay there.
In Ayurveda there are long lists of foods that are better or worse for each dosha. Depending on, some you should avoid altogether, some you can indulge in once in awhile, others you should eat regularly. The idea is that certain foods will stress the digestive system thus stressing the entire physical body. Others will calm and nourish.
Western vs Eastern
This is my personal view on it. I don’t really believe in buying into anyone theory fully. I believe in listening to yourself. Take what feels right and use it. Everything else just throw it to the side. However, I do think that we foo foo Eastern medicine a bit too quickly, when in reality if we break it down there are many parallels if you just look at it right.
We have developed a number of theories about diet in the Western world. There is the DNA diet in the US that is gaining popularity, there is eating according to your blood group, lactose intolerant people, wheat intolerant people, people with IBS usually of a certain personality type no? In a way we are simply reinventing and discovering what has already been known and studied for 1000 of years.
HOWEVER, there are problems with superstition getting mixed up with the Eastern medicines. I don’t for one minute believe that a rhinoceros horn, a shark fin or anything else is going to increase anyone’s sperm count. Even if it did I don’t think it is worth it. Killing an entire species for a better potency goes against the whole idea of harmony and balance. If nature is out of balance we suffer. Then again in the West we are giving things like, Rosenroot, Ginsang, Omega 3, an entire host of homepathic herbs and extracts, too much credit. Calling them the miracle plants, the cure to all. If I was to eat every single thing that was meant to be THE CURE I would have pills popping out of every orifice.
So maybe what we really need is what the doctors keep telling me to calm our minds. Calm our minds so we can make better decisions based on thought rather than stress. To take better care of our physical apparatus. It doesn’t have to be the gym for the sake of the gym or running. It should be something we enjoy too.
So as of 3 days ago I am trying again to make a life change. It has to be 1 day at a time. Otherwise I will just become too overwhelmed by the road ahead of me. And if I fail here or there that has to be okay too. Otherwise the guilt of that failure will chain me back down. So here I go back for day 2 two of kitchari!
Here is a list of kitchari recipes I personally prefer this recipe:
4 quarts water
1 C mung beans, sorted and rinsed well
2 medium onions, chopped
2″ piece gingerroot, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
3/4 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp. curry powder or garam masala (optional)
2 T minced garlic
6 C chopped assorted vegetables (celery, chard, broccoli,
carrots, cauliflower, mustard greens… whatever you like)
1 1/4 C basmati rice, sorted and rinsed well
2 T butter or ghee (optional)
salt, tamari soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos to taste
Bring water to boil in a 6-quart soup pot. Add mung beans and cook at a light boil, uncovered. Add onions and ginger as they are prepped. Add spices.
When beans begin to split open add garlic, vegetables and rice. Cook 15-20 minutes over medium-high flame, stirring occasionally, and more as it thickens. Add butter or ghee and season with salt, tamari or Braggs.
Remove from heat and let it sit another 15 minutes (it will thicken up a little more).