Where do I start? I did this ayurevedic fall cleanse that you only eat ghee and kichari (apparently the ultimate yogic food, consists of rice, mung beans and spices) for 4-5 days, then you purge with castor oil on the last day. Oh dear. Castor oil? Purging? Well I admit that I love purging. Love being clean and have nothing left in there. It’s just an awesome feeling of being really clean. So once I heard about the cleanse I jump in it right away. I live for purging. (well not really but yea I talk about my poop all the time.) I was apprehensive with drinking castor oil, because I do oil baht with it and that shit is sticky and potent. But I decide to go with it.
So the idea behind the cleanse to eat kichari every day is to minimize the type of food you are consuming. Only rice for carbo, mung beans for some protein. Then a shot of ghee before breakfast for fat. This is to give the body rest it needs to do whatever internal work it needs to do while still being nourished but not having to work too hard to digest.
And dear, I have done so many cleanse but this is the worst cleanse for me, in term of difficulty. Why? Cos after the third meal of kichari I can’t even look at it anymore. It’s a mush of rice and mung beans with no flavors and some spices.
But subjecting myself to this ordeal, I realize how much I indulge in food. Even though I am a healthy eater, and I do love eating for the good flavor and what not.
Second, I realize that I snack! I have worked on this paper in front of my computer for the past few weeks. And every time I start writing I start eating. It’s like a stress response and eating just relieve the stress.
4 days of kichari experience
In this cleanse journey, on the first day I did okay. On the second day, I was getting antsy and super cranky. It happens to be the day that I had a lot to do, running around all day and things become very intolerable. I started squeeze lemon juice into kichari for more flavor. For dinner, I gave in and had one date with kichari, because I couldn’t stand the blandness of it. One fucking date. thank god.
Third day, I was coming up with a creative way to make kichari more tolerable. So I cook it with less water so it would be less mushy and more like normal rice. Yea that didn’t work. It’s even harder to eat. I can only eat 3 spoons of it. Then I had to go to school, so I decided to skip lunch and chew sugar-free gum and drink water for lunch instead. So I had an exam that day. Come home. Make the dry kichari the way it should be, and eat it. With two dates. Oh and I might have a few more before bed. Although with all the struggling with kichari, I surprising feel relaxed and calm. I realize that the cleanse is working.
Day four, I stick to the diet. Decide it’s the last day I might as well go through with it. I was feeling really good after all. Really calm and no anxiety as usual.
And I forgot to mention that ghee shots in the morning increases in the amount. By the last day you are taking 8 tsp of ghee. I dig it. I love fat. I love ghee.
So after 4-5 days of kichari on the last day, the cleanse manual suggest that you skip ghee in the morning, eat kichari for breakfast, and skip dinner and purge. But I could take kichari no longer. So I modify the cleanse plan. I make stew pear and apple , and soupy rice instead to eat for the day. And surprisingly, the stew was really filling, with just 1 apple 1 pear (or you can just do 2 apples.)
Recipe: Stewed apple or pear, for breakfast
1 apple , cut in chunks, cored, and peeled if not organic
1 pear, same as apple.
2 cups of water
cinnamon, clove, (cardamom, etc)
1 tbs raw honey
Boil every thing, except honey, on medium high heat and let simmer for 5 mins. Take about 1/3 of the content to blend and mix back into the chunk. Add honey and enjoy.
This simple stewed apple and pear is such a good breakfast, surprising filling. I couldn’t eat the whole thing in one meal. so I kept the rest for lunch. And drink the rice soup (boil 1 cup or rice with 10 cups of water) throughout the day. By the end of the day, I went a little crazy because I was shopping. So cautionary tale, don’t go out during cleanse. because you will see food and you will wanna eat. So I bought marzipan chocolate and pumpkin and vegetable chips and I snack on them. guilty.
But oh well, I did my best. :) and here is the highlight. Castor oil. I took 2 tbs of castor oil, make fresh OJ from a big naval orange, shake them together and drink it. I felt it churn it my stomach a little bit. And I had some reaction in my mouth, like itchiness and numbness. But I don’t think most people have this. I am just sensitive to weird oil, latex or whatever you would call in plants sometimes. Like I get itch and have reaction from avocado and papaya sometimes. whatever.
Then next morning around 4am, I purge. I was clean inside as one can be.
Thoughts after the cleanse
1 less anxiety during cleanse.
I was amazingly calm during the third day. And after I started to snack again I can feel the anxiety is back. So this may have to do with snacking. or maybe eating no meat, less salt. who knows. It will have to take me a few self-experiments to figure this out.
2. lithe body, empty stomach and superhuman yoga practice
By the fourth day of the cleanse, my yoga practice deepens so much. I feel like there is nothing in there in my stomach and I can do forward fold so deep and uddhiyana banhda so sucked in. it was magical. after the purge I went to a sunday led class, and I was able to get into Marichi D on both sides without assistant. This is only the second time this happens for me.
So does the cleanse work? absolutely. Was it worth it? yes probably. Yes!, on the second thought. Would I do it again? Yes, once a year probably. Does it suck? oh yea it sucks so bad. I can’t even think of kichari anymore. I would rather eat salad, soup, juice fast, whatever than this.
But needless to say, it was a powerful cleanse. It left me a lot to think about. And yes now I witness that Ayurvedic is really the sister science of yoga, because my yoga practice just deepens magically. yes, magical, but magic is not painless. :).