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  • Writer's pictureValerie

Reflections: Kitchari Reset

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

What I learned from eating only rice, beans, oats, and fresh produce for one week

This past week, Ashtanga Yoga Long Beach and Intrepid Ayurveda held our first-ever 1-Week Reset & Restore. This was an Ayurveda and Yoga-informed digestive reset consisting of a guided sattvic diet combined with simple self-care support. The reset revolved primarily around the traditional Ayurvedic healing dish kitchari, which is a rice and mung bean stew cooked down with spices, ghee, and vegetables to make a balancing, nourishing but easily digestible food. Besides eating kitchari 2-3 times a day (with oatmeal or fruit being an alternative breakfast option), we also restricted caffeine intake, sugar, snacking, dairy, and any kind of processed or prepackaged foods.

One of many renditions of kitchari

I’ll be the first to admit that although I’ve had plenty of kitchari, I’ve never actually buckled down and made it every day for one week. Nor have I completely avoided sugar and snacking, and while I have dramatically decreased my intake of coffee over the last few years, I was interested to see what would happen when I didn’t have my usual go-to comfort foods and beverages. Below is how I went about this week and my takeaways from the experience:

My Approach

I had a mug of warm lemon water first thing in the morning and did my usual self-care routine. I limited breakfasts to oatmeal or fruit salad. Until lunch, I would sip on herbal tea. I would always prep my kitchari either early morning or mid-morning, and one batch would last both lunch and dinner (I don’t recommend refrigerating kitchari and warming it up the next day). On one or two occasions, I had steamed or baked vegetables as a meal, but for the majority of the time, I kept to the kitchari script. Breakfast was around 8 or 9 am Lunch around noon and dinner around 6 pm. If I found myself absolutely starving, I allowed myself a few pieces of fresh fruit, and that was enough.

How was the experience and what did I learn?

The challenges

I’m surprised to say that there really weren’t many challenges. All meals were very satiating – with the rice, beans, and ghee all providing