Ayurvedic Kitchari Dish

Food As Medicine | Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse

Clear thinking, sustained energy, and well-being with an Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse

Ayurvedic Kitchari, is it the right time?

As the end of the year draws to a close, I have been pondering what I want to leave behind and how I want to feel. I want to feel focused and clear-minded, have sustained energy, and end the year with fortified strength so I can start the new year with a healthy body and happy mind.

I have an autoimmune disease called endometriosis and although it’s more or less in remission, it tends to flare up around Christmas time when a few foods not often on my regular eating regimen may slip through. Family stress and emotional triggers play into it as well, and as recently deceased spiritual teacher and wise sage Ram Dass concludes, “If you think you’re enlightened, go and spend a week with your family.”

Well, I tried that, and now I need a Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse!

How can we replenish, nourish, and detox our organs without extreme fasting and get about our day effortlessly? Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse!

Kitchari is a foundation to Ayurvedic medicine and is an ancient yogic practice. The recipe includes basmati rice and mung dal (also known as moong dal). You can buy the dal from your local Indian supermarket, which is always a great experience – it’s fun to try new ingredients and it smells so good in there. 

Ayurvedic Kitchari has many variations and is a one pot meal. It’s very quick to put together and is a budget vegetarian meal that is delicious. 

Basmati rice and mung dal together create a balanced food that is a good protein combination. This complete food is easy to digest and gives strength and vitality. It nourishes all the tissues of the body. It’s excellent for detoxification and it helps prevent the aging of our cells. I like to call it my longevity soup!

In my recipe, I include zucchini because they are great for removing excess water in the body and also cooling things down in summer. I also put in kale and carrot for fibre and digestion, and I add fresh coriander right at the end.

I usually eat this for three to four days for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a complete cleanse. You can take it for up to a week and will feel nourished and satisfied.

Here is my recipe:

Ayurvedic Kitchari (4 servings)

  • 1 teaspoon cumin (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (dried) 
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (dried)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom pod (available at Indian markets)
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons turmeric (dried)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (grated finely) 
  • 1 teaspoon fennel powder (dried)
  • 1 cup organic basmati rice
  • ½ cup mong dal
  • 3 to 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 zucchini (diced)
  • 4 leaves fresh kale (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (diced)
  • fresh coriander 

In a large pot, heat the ghee and add the cumin seeds and brown mustard seeds. Heat until fragrant, being careful not to burn the seeds.

Add all the remaining ingredients. The water should be 4 inches higher than the ingredients for a soup consistency.

Cook on low heat for around 25 minutes and season with some Himalayan sea salt.

This amount with give you one day of Kitchari cleanse. Simply reheat the soup at each meal and garnish with fresh coriander.

This is an easy recipe that will fit perfectly in your busy lifestyle but of course if you want to taste mine feel free to contact me here.

Eating clean food = Self-Respect

aq9a0171I was at the Frenchs Forest Organic Farmers Markets with my family on the weekend and went past a new store I hadn’t’ seen before. It sold homemade fermented food products and Kombucha and on the store sign it said ‘Eating well is a form of self-respect’. It really grabbed my attention as this is my constant mantra and for 20 years I have been eating and cooking organic real foods for myself and my family. Through stages of sickness and my father dying I became aware of this eating well to nourish and care for myself and see food as my medicine not a drug to make me emotionally feel better (for a short time we know this) When I’m stressed or low on energy its easy to grab something sweet even if it’s raw chocolate (considered a health food)  it has a component of caffeine and sugar. I encourage you to practice this mindfulness when putting anything in your mouth and thinking is this self -respect or just a quick fill for an unmet need or food craving. I have personally been dealing with heath issues since my daughter was born 4 years ago and had to step it up a notch and be completely gluten/dairy and sugar free, sure I miss chewy sourdough but the ramifications and flare ups are just not worth it. Having worked as a food as medicine organic chef for 9 years for clients with very complicated health issues I now have first hand experience myself and know that the 80/20 rule is just not good enough the self-respect has to eating clean 7 days a week for me to have good health and thrive in this busy world.

morning yoga practice

Preparing for Spring – body and mind

morning yoga practiceHaving a peaceful mind can help with your detoxing in early spring, leading to a less stressed and harmonious you. Taking part in relaxing exercise is really important for your health and wellbeing. Doing a few yoga poses or just meditating for 5mins each morning before you start the day, is a great way to bring peace and also calm to your life.

There are lots of pictures on Pinterest that include a simple 5min stretch or warm up for Yoga, and even tips for meditation.

Another great thing for spring is dry body brushing. Has anyone tried this? Dry body brushing is a great way to release shed dead skin cells, and promote new skin renewal, it also helps reduce the appearance of cellulite, and can help improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage by releasing toxins – which helps the body to run more effectively (hence why it’s great to do whilst you’re doing a detox). Dry body brushing can also help distribute fat deposits, and help with muscle tone (are we seeing why this is great coming up into summer? Get those bodies ready for the hotter weather). It is also best done in the morning shower, and takes around 5mins. What a great way to start the day!

spring planting basil herbs

Spring planting

spring planting basil herbsHas anyone sowed their spring seeds yet? I have been researching on what vegetables to plant for spring, and these are my favourite picks (for Sydney / Coastal area in NSW)

Vegetables & herbs include; Broccoli, beetroot, cucumber, capsicum, cabbage, tomato, lettuce, parsley, basil, coriander, chives, dill, and thyme.

I love having herbs all year round, as it is so much more cost effective and its great having them on hand to use as required. I make pesto my basil bush grows out of control, and use my parsley for green juices.

If your garden is a big success also, you can always pre-cook some vegetables, and then freeze them so you have them on hand all year round.

Your local garden centre, or even Bunnings, would be able to help you get all the requirements you need and will even give you tips on what to plant next to each & what not to!

Spring Detox

Spring is here, and the weather in Sydney has been pretty amazing so far. As we come out of winter, it is really important to recharge the liver, by eliminating certain foods so your body is at optimum health for spring, and then summer.

carrot-kale-walnuts-tomatoesThe liver is the largest organ in the body and its main function is to keep the body clean and healthy. A healthy liver eliminates toxins, regulates hormones, maintains blood-sugar levels, and metabolises fats, proteins and carbohydrates. A unhealthy liver can lead to poor sleep, irritability, hormone in balance (acne) and feeling foggy and lethargic.

Ways to heal your liver include eliminating dairy, gluten, sugar and caffeine, but also eating plenty of leafy greens, colourful fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, chicken, eggs, include herbs and spices in your meals, drinking lots of water, nuts, and drinking bone broth is also really important to help boost those vitamins and minerals.
Detoxing takes the load off our liver so when our liver functions well, then our whole body can function smoothly.

Fertility Foods

Fertility Foods

Fertility Foods I know I have spoken about this recently on Facebook about what foods are great for fertility, but I wanted to share some other points on eating for fertility.

Here are some top foods for eating for fertility;

Leafy Greens – Leafy Greens are amazing for you no matter what stage in life you’re at. They are full of Iron, B6, and Vitamin E, not to mention fibre!

Salmon – Being high in Omega 3 fatty acids, this little wonder is great for increasing fertility! Salmon helps to increase blood circulation, and even reduce stress. It could even help with your hormones.

Nuts – Almonds are an easy snack or food to get your vitamin E from. Vitamin E can help with your eggs, and it’s also really important for your partner to be eating almonds to increase their sperm health also.

Avocado – Avocado really is a superfood, it is high in folic acid, and type B vitamins which help boost fertility in both male and females. The monounsaturated fat is also thought to help control hormones.

Eggs – Eggs are high in b12, protein, folate and vitamin D, and play an important role in fertility. A Yale university study showed that sterile women typically experience a vitamin D shortage.

Try and incorporate these real foods into your diet to maximize your fertility chances. We can help with menu planning if you get stuck or have dietary requirements and are struggling to know what to eat.

Batch cooking pressure cooker

Batch Cooking

Batch cooking pressure cooker
Pressure cooker – batch cooking

Batch Cooking – What is it? Batch cooking is when you prepare several meals at once, for later consumption. We prepare all our plans via the batch cooking method, and it’s an easy way for you prepare a weeks’ worth of meals in 1 day. I love to be able to spend a day batch cooking meals for the week, especially when I know that I have a busy week coming up, or am out every night so am time poor.

It’s also great to batch cook your lunches for the week, so you know that you are eating well at work, and won’t get tempted by the deep fried food, or unhealthy salads covered in mayonnaise at your local café or deli.

I recommend choosing at least 4 dishes that can cook whilst you’re preparing the other one. I also find that if you cut up and prepare all your vegetables, and meats before you actually start the cooking process, this will make it run allot more smoothly, and you can then focus your attention on each dish, and not be cutting frantically whilst cooking.

 

Time Poor Meals

SONY DSC

Here is a list of some time-poor meal options that help you still eat for optimum health.

Cup of Bone broth Soup – Simmer bone broth with some vegetables, and any leftover meats for a quick and nutritious meal. Either make your own bone broth (in the slow cooker whilst at work, or you can buy ones that are free from additives and preservatives at your local whole food cafes or shops)

Real food bowl – This is so quick and easy, and the kids love it! Cook some quinoa, poach a few eggs, cut up some raw vegetables (Grate carrot/beetroot, slice cucumbers/avocado/cherry tomatoes) have some kimchi or sauerkraut on top with some crushed nuts (almonds or seeds). If you wanted to add leftover meat you could also, but it’s also great as a breakfast salad with nitrate free bacon.

Sweet Potato ‘hash browns’ – grate a few sweet potatoes, bind with egg, and some almond meal, and then pan fry each side until cooked. Serve with a salad, egg, or even as a side with a piece of meat.

Avocado & Sardines – It’s as easy as that! Get a tin of (sustainable) sardines, and mash them together with an avocado, lemon, and some herbs. This is an extra quick meal and the fat from the avocado & Sardines, should fill you up.

real food whole food

Real (whole) Foods

I’m so excited to get the blog up and running, and to be able to share my thoughts and views with you. I hope you find it insightful, and I welcome all thoughts and ideas. If you want to hear about a particular topic, please let me know.

I wanted to start the blog off with a post on organic real whole foods, and why it is so important for your health to be eating them. Firstly, wholefoods mostly are non-processed, or have taken minimal processing to be produced, i.e.: coconut oil (extra virgin coconut oil). Most importantly, they don’t include additives, or preservatives.  Try and think pure food as close to its natural state!

Eating foods that are considered real foods increases your body’s ability to process all the nutrients without any difficulties of it also processing additives, preservatives, and other nasties. Eating for optimum health is my main goal.

So what foods are real whole foods? Eating fruits and vegetables, nuts, animal products like eggs, meat (not processed) and also non-homogenized dairy. It can also include beans and grains if your body is able to process these foods.

I have a few menu plans online that help you start planning meals around eating and cooking wholefoods, so click here to check them out.

Raspberry dark chocolate brownies

This recipe belongs to my dear friend Michal Nassi from my kitchen wisdom in Bondi, Sydney.
Michal is one clever baker, and specialises in gluten free baking, she also mentors me through any baking crisis and will help blame it on my gas oven.

It’s a quick and easy recipe and waiting for the brownies to cool for half an hour after taking from the oven helps them firm up a little, great sweet for a party I recently took a batch of brownies to my friend’s daughters first party and they went down a treat.

This is super sweet and a little bite goes a long way.

Health benefits from this you ask? Dark chocolate in small amounts is a powerful antioxidant it also gives you a power up if your studying or need a boost without compromising adrenals with coffee, raspberries are sweet sour and jam packed with vitamin c, and can be eaten with almost anything and good when paired with a soft cheese like marinated goats feta.