For millennia, throughout the globe and different cultures, fasting has been practiced to
aid health. Ayurveda recommends cleansing/fasting when transitioning to a different
season to get attuned and give space to the new cycle while getting rid of what does not
serve us anymore.
Every season brings unique energy, and how the elements express is something particular to each of them. We can incorporate foods and practices to help us navigate the ebbs and flows more gently with that knowledge. Getting into this routine each season allows me to start with more intention and strength to continue what I have put in place.
One of my to-go fasts is a Kitchari fast, it is easy to make, and it doesn't require many
ingredients. Kitchari is essential to Ayurveda. It is a vegetarian dish typically comprised
of a grain and a legume combined with spices and vegetables to cleanse your body and
improve your overall health. It is easy to assimilate, helping restore our digestive fire or
Agni. Agni is vital to the assimilation of nutrients and acts as an essential defense to
avoid pathogens' entrance to our system.
Kitchari is beneficial for all body-types and constitutions, and it is considered tri-doshic. I
recommend doing this fast for a minimum of three days up to a week. I have a bowl for
breakfast, lunch, and early dinner; if I feel hungry in between, I eat an apple. It is
favorable to drink herbal teas like dandelion and tulsi in addition to water to support the
fast. The effects are mental and emotional clarity as well as an overall lightness of self.
½ cup rinsed mung beans, soaked overnight
½ cup rinsed basmati rice until water is clear
½ tsp. Cumin ground
½ tsp. Coriander ground
¼ tsp. Fennel seed ground
¾ tsp. Turmeric ground
¼ tsp. Cardamom ground
Pinch of Cinnamon
Sea salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
3¾ cups water or vegetable broth
One cup of chopped seasonal vegetables; for this recipe, I am using red kabocha
¼ cup Yellow onion
¼ tsp. Freshly grated ginger
¼ tsp. Burdock root grated
¼ cup Cilantro
Drain the beans. Cover the pot's bottom with ghee or oil, add the spices and warm until
fragrant, add the onions and cook until translucent then follow with the beans and rice.
Stir until coated with the spice mixture.
Add the water or vegetable broth and bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 30
minutes, then add the squash and cook until done. To finish, season with salt and fresh
ground black pepper to taste and serve with fresh ginger, burdock root, and cilantro.
These are some of the health properties from the ingredients in this recipe:
Cumin: anti-diabetic, immunologic, anti-epileptic, anti-tumor, and antimicrobial activities
Coriander: dietary fiber, calcium, selenium, iron, magnesium, and manganese
Cardamom: used to break up kidney and gall stones, stomach problems, constipation,
dysentery, and other digestion problems, infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and
treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation
of eyelids, and digestive disorders
Turmeric: helps with stomach and liver ailments. It is applied to heal sores for its
antimicrobial property. It is helpful for aches, pains, wounds, sprains. The fresh juice
heals many skin conditions, including eczema, chickenpox, shingles, allergies, and
The active compound curcumin has a wide range of biological effects, including anti-
inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, antibacterial, and antiviral activities.
Fennel seed: carminative, eye support
Cinnamon: grounding, warming