How to Do a Kitchardi Cleanse

Cleanse your body, mind, and spirit the Ayurvedic way.

A “kitchardi cleanse” is a simple kitchardi mono-diet, where you eat only kitchardi (mung lentils, basmatic rice, ghee, and spices) for all meals. Such a strict mono-diet is usually designated for people that have some serious GI symptoms, or are in a flare of a chronic degenerative process. For those of us that are just seeking to reset our digestive system, which benefits every other system, we can add in fresh juices, fruits, and vegetables to supplement the kitchardi. (To learn how to make kitchardi, see Kitchardi: The Ayurvedic Detox.)

If you’re overwhelmed at the idea of eating a new food, or the same food, for an extended period of time, start with just a single day on the kitchardi mono-diet. One day is enough to start seeing digestive benefits (alleviating gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, stomach acid, and mucus build-up).

Three days of kitchardi is where I begin to feel some of mental and emotional clarity, and fewer cravings. For me, five days usually does the trick for overcoming whatever food addiction I may have picked up recently. Seven days is challenging, and I’d recommend doing that in a supportive online group setting, or after successfully completing a prior three- or five-day cleanse.

In Ayurveda, longer cleanses are usually done at the end of Spring and early Fall, and several practitioners lead online cleanse groups at those times. In preparation for a kitchardi cleanse, it’s a great idea to just make kitchardi as a normal meal and get familiar with the recipe and taste before doing the cleanse.

Another option to incorporate kitchardi cleansing into your everyday lifestyle is to eat kitchardi on a regular basis to keep your digestive system healthy—I eat some kitchardi every day.

Here are my tips for a successful kitchardi cleanse:

Organic ingredients are essential when cleansing so you don’t bring in toxins from pesticides and processing.

Eat fruits alone, at least thirty minutes away from other food. Fruit is best ripe, peeled (if applicable), and room temperature.

Cook vegetables into the kitchardi to give yourself a bit of variety. I recommend using whatever is seasonal, as the properties of seasonal vegetables are naturally balancing for the energetic qualities of any given season.

You can also eat some steamed and spiced veggies as alternate meals.

Avoid taking in a lot of toxins with processed juices, coffee drinks, and alcoholic beverages. Fresh juices, herbal teas, and lower caffeine alternatives are best. Green tea with a little fresh cream and honey is going to be a lot cleaner and more supportive of your cleanse than a mocha latte, for example.

If you find yourself at a restaurant or social event, eat steamed veggies, or fruit. Others have told me they’ve done steamed rice with nori, or a broth soup. The point is to keep it light and easy to digest in order to support the cleansing process.

Avoid any processed food.

Don’t abandon ship if you have a bit of a ‘cheat!’ The overall goodness of the cleanse is not going to be thrown out of the window if you have a bite of something ‘uncleansing.’ Just accept the deviation and continue on.

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