Om Maker

Wellness with Janina Church
March 14th, 2012

Kitcheree the wonder food!

Kitcheree (sometimes spelled Kitchadee) is a traditional Indian food made from split mung beans and basmati rice. It is indeed the wonder food! It’s easy to digest, cleansing to the digestive system, a complete protein and absolutely delicious. I try to cook it once a week for the family to help keep our digestion balanced. The children love it! Especially my youngest who lovingly calls it “yellow rice”. It is often my quick go to when I need a fast dinner as it only takes 25 minutes to cook.

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As I mentioned earlier, the combination of the rice and beans are a complete protein, so it can be a great protein source if you are vegetarian. When prepared with all the fixings, this meal encompasses all the six tastes, which in Ayurveda is part of eating a balanced diet, as each taste feeds our body, mind, senses and spirit and satisfies each of the dietary building blocks.

Because kitcheree is easy to digest and nourishing, it can be ground up and fed to your baby when they are getting into solids. It can also be eaten as a mono cleanse. I try to do this about once a month to reset my digestive system. Depending on what is going on in my schedule, I will eat only kitcheree for one or two days for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I feel great and I don’t at all feel starved of nourishment when doing this. Making it way more fun than a juice or broth cleanse….

Kitcheree can also be customized for each body type and time of year. Add some fresh grated ginger when you are needing to warm up or dried coconut when you need to cool down. Here is my basic Kitcheree recipe you can jazz up to your hearts content:

 

 

Kitcheree

3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 cup white basmati rice (rinsed)

1 cup split yellow mung beans (rinsed)

6 cups lukewarm water

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups seasonal veggies (optional)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

lemon wedges

 

  • Gather and measure all your ingredients and have them ready to use.
  • Melt ghee or warm up oil in a large saucepan on medium heat
  • Add the mustard, cumin seeds and turmeric.
  • When the seeds start to pop, quickly (we don’t want the herbs to burn) add the rice and beans.
  • Stir for about 1-2 minutes or until the rice just starts to smell toasted.
  • Add all the water at once. Add the salt and veggies at this point if you are using them and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Serve warm with chopped cilantro, pinch of salt or Braggs Amino Acids and a lemon wedge. If you have extra ghee,melt some and try drizzling a couple tablespoons of it over your dish for a richer flavor….mmmm!

Enjoy!

 

January 8th, 2012

5 Tips for Weight Loss

Here are a few tips to help you lose some weight the safe and natural Ayurvedic way!

 

1. Reduce stress

Studies have shown that minimizing stress can help you shed some unwanted pounds and keep it off. Stress throws us into “flight or fight” mode. When in this mode the body produces a stress fighting hormone called cortisol which triggers the body to pour stored sugar from the liver and muscles into the blood stream. This causes insulin levels to elevate to be available for our body to make emergency actions-like run away from a tiger. High amounts of insulin inhibit the burning of fat for energy and store the fat for later use. The body responds to this by craving more emergency fuel (food) that is high carbohydrates and sugar. In an emergency our body needs these quick energy foods to “fight or flee”. (Skipping meals or starvation diets also create this emergency reaction in the body) Sadly due to our fast paced modern society we are constantly living in this state of emergency even if we don’t outwardly feel it.

Even just 5 minutes a day of a stress reducing exercises ( yoga, breathing techniques, meditation ect.) can nourish the body and shift your mental perspective.

2. Make lunch your largest and main meal.

Anytime between 10am and 2pm is the best time to eat your lunch, which should also be your largest meal. Your body’s fire element governs digestion and is at it’s peak during this time, thus metabolism is at it’s peak. Making lunch your main meal of the day will also keep the body nourished and satisfied until dinner time, and make it so you don’t feel that you need that big of a dinner. This is assuming that lunch was not just a big plate of nachos and a diet soda. Which brings me to my next tip…

3. Cut out processed food as much as possible!

I have a friend who says she only eats what God has made. Truth be said, most packaged food is not really food. Some of it will claim to have some version of fresh food in it, and if it actually does, it’s not enough to truly call nourishing, life or energy packed food. Processed food is jammed with preservatives that are toxic to the body. Whole foods are naturally low fat and can help you maintain steady energy in your body. A good way to start is try eating only food that doesn’t come from a wrapper, package, can or fast food window.  Eat only what has come from the earth for a few weeks and I bet you will notice a difference in your body.

4. Pause before you eat and while you eat.

Make time for your meal. Before scarfing down that deliciously healthy plate of cooked veggies and rice, take a few moments to calm the senses. Say a blessing, prayer, or simply sit quietly for a breath or two. Calming the self before eating can set the pace for your meal and prepare the body for food and the digestion of it. During your meal, pause between bites or better yet, set down your fork long enough to thoroughly chew your food as digestion actually starts in the mouth with chewing. Try focusing on eating. No eating in front of the computer, television or worse on the run. If we eat in a hurry, we are less likely to digest it properly. Improperly digested food creates toxins in the body which clogs it up and bogs it down. Eating in a hurry is also stressful to the body, and remember reducing stress is is number one.

5. Eat only when your hungry.

Many of us eat when we are not truly hungry. Due to our busy schedules we eat when the time clock tells us to and not when our bodies do. Some of us eat out of boredom or snack all day and never really experience that true hunger feeling. That feeling in your gut that says “feed me!” is also telling you that your body’s digestive enzymes are ready to get to work and metabolize food. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of your body’s natural fat burning abilities. This might take some adjusting of your schedule, but hey it’s your body and it’s worth it.

 

Give these a try and you just may notice difference in your body. If  practicing all these tips seem too big of a change, try adding one tip into your routine for a while and see how you feel. Then slowly add on one more tip and them another.

Be well~

Janina