Many of you have decided to enjoy the kitchari kits as a way of gently cleansing and nourishing yourselves during the transition from summer to fall. Whether you’re trying just one meal a day of kitchari or going for a full-on cleanse, the kitchari is a wonderful way to support yourself as the seasons shift. As you clear out your body with this warm, light food, you may be wondering what else you can do to gain the greatest benefit from a cleanse. In Ayurveda, the shift in weather offers a great opportunity to adjust diet and lifestyle in accordance with the seasons to bring greater balance. Here are a few ideas for ways to love yourself as the weather turns cooler!
1. Eat mindfully. Food is obviously essential to our health, to the health of our communities, and to the health of our land. That’s why we go to such great lengths at Al FreshCo to honor each of those components in the kits we make. Too often we rush through our meals, distracting ourselves with music, TV, or reading. While you’re eating the kitchari (or other meals), try tuning in completely to the food in front of you. Notice its textures, tastes, smell. Amazingly enough, how you eat is just as important for your digestion as what you eat. So take the time to enjoy and pause with your meals.
2. Make the cleanse about more than just food. With the kitchari, you’re making a commitment to honoring yourself by simplifying your diet for a short time. Why not carry that spirit into other areas of your life? Try to carve out some quiet space at the beginning and end of each day to sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Perhaps you’d even like to carry the cleanse idea through the rest of the day, stepping back from the busy rush of some of your normal activities. You might limit your use of media or be more intentional about getting outside for some fresh air each day.
3. Give yourself some (oily) love. In Ayurveda, one of the most highly regarded practices is that of oil massage. You can do this yourself each day, taking time to massage some organic oil into your skin and sit quietly for a few minutes while it absorbs. Choose pure oils with no additives, and you can warm them gently in a saucepan before using to make the experience extra nourishing (Just be very careful, as oil heats quickly and can burn severely if it is too hot. Always test before using!) If you tend to be cold and have dry skin, try organic sesame oil (not the toasted variety). If you tend to be warm, try coconut oil. You can also treat yourself to a professional Ayurvedic massage treatment, each of which is carefully tailored for your constitution and particular imbalances. Our friend Stephanie at Samsaraa Massage Therapy offers amazing Ayurvedic treatments should you wish to deepen the beneficial effects of the cleanse!