Kitchari – An Ayurvedic Cleanse Staple

Kitchari literally means a mix or a mess, so this dish is a mess of rice, usually Basmati, and beans, usually mung beans.  Mung beans are the easiest bean to digest.  The spices are traditional Indian ingredients, but there is no reason why you can’t experiment with others.   It’s a very grounding dish and is great to enjoy after a cleanse or to eat as a cleansing food.  If you’re eating this dish specifically to give your digestion a break, limit or omit spicy ingredients like red pepper flakes or cayenne.

There are thousands of variations of kitchari in Indian kitchens (like masala chai – everyone’s tea is different). This Sugar Ridge version, with amped up ginger and cardamom gives the dish a depth of savory.

Ingredients

1 cup mung beans, soaked
1 cup basmati rice, washed
1 large onion, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root
1 tsp ground cumin (or use whole seeds)
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 tsp black mustard seeds (optional)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp coconut oil
2  cups water
1 can tomatoes with their juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (a handful if you don’t want to measure)
¼ cup fresh mint chopped (about 8 – 10 leaves)
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or sea salt to taste
3 to 6 cups veggies:  potato, squash, green beans, snow peas, cauliflower, etc.

Instructions

Rinse the mung beans and rice together under running water until the water runs clear.  You can soak them together overnight if you want, or for a few hours before you cook this.  Soaking helps the grains to come alive a bit and reduces the amount of time needed to cook. 

Drain and discard the soaking water.

In a large pot with a lid, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add your choice of seeds and toast until the mustard seeds pop. Add the other spices and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the beans and rice and stir until they are coated with the spice mixture.

Add the water and tomatoes, with their juice, to the pot and bring to a boil. Break up the tomatoes as you add them into the pot.  Lower the heat to simmer and cover. Cook until the beans and rice are soft, but not mushy, 20 – 30 minutes.

During the cooking process add whatever veggies you want to the pot and allow just enough time to cook based on the size and density of what you add.  Small pieces of potato need about 15 – 20 minutes while green beans need 3 – 5 minutes to cook through.  Serve warm with chopped cilantro & mint and either Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or sea salt, to taste.

3 Tips to Use Your Smartphone More Mindfully

By Kurt Frost

Our smartphones are often seen as a distraction or a necessary evil to keep in touch with our larger world or as a fun escape. Rarely do we treat these devices as mindfulness tools. This is exactly what yours can be if you take some time to consider how you can use it with your health and well being in mind. With some tweaks to the layout, settings and apps you download, along with some mindful re-commitment to your working relationship with it, your smartphone can be a great asset to keeping your focused and calm. We could all use a little more of that!

Below are a few tips to get you started on the path to mindful smartphone mastery. I will post more going forward, so keep checking back.

Decide what you want to use your phone for.

Though your smartphone is really just a mini computer, you really shouldn’t try to use it for all of your tasks. Some things are much better done on a tablet or laptop. Instead of using it as an everything device, think about what activities your smartphone can uniquely do the best for you.

If social media is a black hole you can get sucked into repeatedly throughout the day, consider only accessing those sites via your laptop. You can always add these apps back again later if you decide you cannot live without them. Just don’t sell short any opportunity to make your smartphone more mindfully in line with the things that matter most to you throughout the day.

Liberally use do not disturb to keep your focus.

If you always keep your ringer and notifications on, then you are basically telling your smartphone, and everyone else, that you are available all of the time, at a second’s notice. This contributes to feeling more stressed. Turn on the do not disturb mode on your device when you are having important conversations with others or doing deep work.

If you want to make a more radical, mindful move, try keeping your smartphone in do not disturb as a default and then mindfully check it throughout the day for messages and notifications. You can always turn it off if you are waiting for an important call, but the point is that you can choose how to consume the information from your smartphone and not be at its mercy when it has something new to give you.

Use reminders to keep yourself on track.

Every smartphone has some version of a reminders app. Add several reminders to the beginning, end and throughout your day to gently bring your attention back to where you want it. For example, you can add a reminder to do a short meditation in the morning or evening or to stop for a few deep breaths during a chronically stressful part of your day. Don’t rely on your brain to keep track of all of this for you. It will only add to your busyness and stress.

For more enhanced features, like being able to easily set hourly reminders or get mindful messages randomly sent to you throughout the day, there are multitudes of other apps you can download.

If you liked these tips, please email and let me know. If you have any questions or specific things you would like to know more about using your smartphone more mindfully, send that off to me too.

You may also wish to add your email using the link below to sign up for the newsletter for the Mindful Smartphone series. In it, I will not only post the latest blog posts but occasionally share new content and updates on my work to help you use your technology more mindfully.