◀ All Blog Posts

Cleanse with a Mono Diet of Kitchari

By Paige Bradley-Pecoul

WED OCT 21, 2020

I am sitting in a seat of lightness and clarity after participating in over 14 days of a conscious seasonal cleanse. In this time, I decluttered my personal spaces, and purged many items. I cleared my mental field by abstaining from media and sitting in silence. I allowed for emotional release through a daily journaling practice and a new moon fire ceremony. I allowed my physical body to detoxify by eating light, nourishing foods, and taking salt baths.

I chose to go deep this year during my fall detox. When I started this practice many years ago, I began with something much simpler. Over time I arrived at an approach that works for me and feels nourishing to my body, mind. and spirit.

If seasonal cleansing is on your radar, know that you can choose to approach it in many different ways. Some people think they need to take dramatic steps to cleanse, like going on long juice or water fasts, but extreme and sudden deprivation is hard on the body. I recommend taking a kinder, gentler approach.

One of my favorite ways to cleanse is to eat a mono diet for 3-5 days. This simple, but effective, approach allows you to eat your fill 2-3 times daily. As you may have guessed from the name, the trick is to eat the same food each meal. Consuming a mono-diet of easily digestible foods gives the digestive tract a break, but keeps the fiber to slough out metabolic waste. Fiber is what keeps the digestive fire burning while you cleanse..

Mono diets are sustainable, and can be followed for 3-40 days.

In the classic Ayurvedic mono-diet cleanse, the preferred food is kitchari. This dish is made from mung beans and rice. It has a blend of warming spices to support digestion, and ghee to build ojas, which is the subtle essence of earth and water, the builder of body and immune integrity. Kitchari is healing and grounding. This dish is a complete food from a nutritional standpoint. It satisfies all six tastes, leaving the body with no cravings, and providing it with all the elements to build strong tissue layers. You can even add in seasonal vegetables and greens for more nourishment.

To make kitchari, you’ll need:

1 cup basmati rice

½ cup mung beans

1 tbs fresh ginger root, grated

1 tbsp ghee

1 tsp each mustard seed, cumin seed and fenugreek seed

1 tsp each coriander powder, fennel, and turmeric powder

1 pinch hing (aka asafetida) if you can find it

3 bay leaves

6-8 cups water or veggie broth

Sea salt, rock salt, or himalayan salt, and pepper to taste

½ cup chopped cilantro

Soak rice and beans overnight. Wash them together until water runs clear.

Heat a pot on the stove and add ghee. Add all spices except bay leaves. Let cook until mustard seeds start to pop. Add beans and rice. Add water and bay leaves. Boil 15 minutes on medium heat, turn to low, cover and simmer until porridge like consistency, another 25-30 minutes. Add cilantro, salt, pepper, and top with a squeeze of lemon or dollop of yogurt. Enjoy!

If adding vegetables, put chopped root veggies (turnips, carrots, sweet potato, beets) in before covering. Add greens in at the end of cooking.

Try this simple mono diet anytime you

  • are going through a period of intense stress or overwhelm
  • experience food blahs (a sign of needing a detox)
  • notice a trend toward unhealthy cravings
  • feel like your body needs a reset.

Take care of yourselves, y'all!

Much love, P

If you would like to participate in a deeper cleanse with a trusted guide and a supportive group to have your back, stay tuned! I’ll be leading a group through my process in April 2021.