kitchari cleanse (total mindf**k)

So a teacher friend and I decided to start a spending freeze challenge for one month (our rule is that the one exception is produce). We had a couple weeks to prepare for it, I stocked up on food essentials and made a few purchases that I knew I’d need for climbing and SAR training. Like two days before we were scheduled to start, she texts me “I think I’m going to start the spending challenge with a cleanse” and I was like “oh?” [I’ve never cleansed and never wanted to. I have no interest in fasts, particularly]. But, she tells me about it (kitchari is basically rice, mung beans, ayurvedic spices that agree with you, veggies that you digest easily) and I was like “HEY, I can totally do that. And it sounds like a decent idea.” It’s not fasting, you eat as much as you want, except you’re restricted to not eating until after you poo in the morning, and stopping eating 2-3hrs before bed. But it covers all the good food groups, and you drink tea (but not coffee. goddamn it. not coffee.) And I knew it would be good for me to cut sugar and caffeine and flour.

So I was in. For a cleanse. In addition to our spending freeze. Then I also decided I would cleanse from Facebook and Netflix/TV in general.

I don’t know if you’ve cleansed before. But a monodiet gets intense FAST.

Day one: I wanted to eat everything in the entire world but kitchari. But the end of the day, I couldn’t even stomach eating more kitchari.

Day two: I’ve never hated anything in the world like I hate Coriander. I fucking hate coriander. I’d rather die than eat any more coriander.

Day three: me “I’m suddenly tired, like, my eyebrows and fingertips are tired” my friend “ah! I see you’ve reached the detoxing stage. Your energy will come back. In a day or a few.” The most interesting thing about this day was, I became incredibly motivated to get rid of old clothes. I just had this fuck it mentality, I don’t need this shit! This shit either! It all goes!

Day four: things got better. At this point, I was craving things I don’t even want to eat, and never do eat (boxed mac and cheese, what the hell?) Although, by the end of the day I did just stop eating, which was bad. But it was only one night. This led me to eat an entire avocado plain.

Day five: I had to skip a training run because I was too tired. I made banana bread for the weekend intensive backcountry training and I couldn’t even lick my fingers (yeah, I mix things with my hands. so what). Things were a little rough because of those two things. But, overall it wasn’t too bad. By the end of the day, I was eating plain rice because I couldn’t stomach the spices or the beans anymore. Interesting, making the banana bread was a project in health…I adjusted the recipe to make it gluten free and cut nearly all of the sugar out because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to stomach it.

After the cleanse: so I had two full days of backcountry training right after, I brought a bunch of healthy food with me. The interesting thing was, though, that I felt like I should still be eating kitchari. As much as I thought I’d make a big breakfast feast on Saturday morning, I made plain oatmeal and added peanut butter but nothing else. I actually made some kitchari after the weekend was over. Even weirder than wanting to eat kitchari even when I don’t have to is, I feel like I’ve made some progress psychologically about the way that I eat and think about food. I don’t think of myself as someone that emotionally eats but I realize that to a certain extent I do. When I’m tired after a long day of training or teaching, I daydream about the things I’m going to make to eat. Now, I’m planning ahead better and having things already made. I’m making slightly better choices in terms of nourishing my body than what just sounds good. It was a great look into why I do things, and why I think about food the way that I do.

Up next: what is the NEXT ADVENTURE?! It’s a big one, I’m telling you. The biggest of all time.

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