Ayurveda is all about tuning into the world around us and living our lives in conjunction with the seasons. As the seasons change, certain doshas become more present in the environment and also in our bodies and minds. These seasonal transitions can be challenging and cause imbalances to arise in the form of fatigue, headaches, weight gain, skin issues, poor digestion, frequent colds etc. In order to maintain balance and optimal health, Ayurveda recommends following a seasonal routine and doing regular seasonal cleansing in order to reestablish healthy digestion, support the body’s innate healing processes, eliminate toxins, and guide the body back to its natural state of balance.
A full Ayurvedic seasonal cleanse, involves a preparatory phase (simplifying one’s diet and enkindling digestion), a process of internal oleation (consuming liquified ghee on an empty stomach to initiate fat metabolism and pull toxins from the fat cells), a kitchari mono diet, herbal supplements, daily oil massage and steam therapy, a purge to eliminate toxins, and a process of rejuvenation, post cleanse. Sound like a lot? Doing a full Ayurvedic seasonal cleanse can feel overwhelming, complicated, and unrealistic. Luckily, doing a modified version can still have profound impacts on your digestion and overall health. Continue reading to learn how to do a modified Ayurvedic seasonal cleanse and to get the recipe for this butternut squash kitchari…
A SIMPLE AYURVEDIC SEASONAL CLEANSE
-A modified Ayurvedic seasonal cleanse is a great way to simplify your diet, let go of cravings, reestablish healthy habits around food, stabilize your blood sugar, nourish your body, and improve digestion.
WHEN TO CLEANSE
-Seasonal cleansing is traditionally done biannually in the Fall and in the Spring, but this modified version can be done any time.
HOW TO CLEANSE
-Eat a kitchari mono diet for three to seven days (that means no caffeine, alcohol, sugar, wheat, dairy, or anything else that’s not kitchari or steamed veggies).
-Eat three meals a day (no snacking).
-Hydrate with plenty of room temperature water and hot herbal tea.
This cleanse is super doable and if you’re feeling a little off or your digestion is struggling, I hope you’ll give it a go. As always, I’m here to answer any questions you might have.
This post was created as part of the annual #virtualpumpkinparty. Be sure to check out all the other pumpkin recipes HERE.
This kitchari recipe is a little different and includes pureed butternut squash for some extra lusciousness (pumpkin or sweet potato would also work). If you don’t like squash (we need to talk) simply leave it out and add chopped veggies like carrots, celery, or zucchini or serve the kitchari plain alongside steamed veggies.
Butternut Squash Kitchari
1 butternut squash
1 1/2 teaspoons ghee
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup white basmati rice
1/4 cup red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and place cut side down in a large baking dish. Add about an inch of water. Bake for 40 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. Allow to cool before removing the seeds and scooping out the flesh. Transfer the flesh to a food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside 1/2 cup of the squash puree, reserving the rest for another use.
Meanwhile, melt the ghee in a medium pot. Add the ginger, cumin, and coriander and fry until fragrant. Rinse the rice and lentils then add to the pot with the ghee and spices. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes, until the rice and lentils are cooked and the kitchari is creamy. Stir in the pureed squash, turmeric, and salt. Taste and season with more salt as needed. Serve warm, topped with black pepper and minced cilantro.