Ayurvedic New Year’s Cleanse

Show of hands, who LOVES 2011 so far?! (my hand is up, high!) I think it’s super groovy and really believe there are fantastic things ahead for all of us! Feels good!

That said, maybe 2010 has left you feeling like you have residue from holiday parties, client lunches, junk foods sitting on the filing cabinets at work, and maybe too much champagne. I’ve received quite a few inquiries about cleanses and which ones are best to do. A lot of them I see marketed are raw veggie and fruit cleanses. But remember it’s still vata season and raw, cold things are not our agni’s (digestive fire) friend right now because it’s cold outside! In Ayurveda like increases like. And therefore, Cold + Cold = Coooooold (and throw a hefty “brrrr” in there for good measure). Cold/raw does not ignite or sustain a nice fire, which is what we want our digestion to do. We want a nice roaring fire in our bellies so that we can digest food properly. Again, we all live in different places on the earth and we all have different constitutions. Maybe you have a favorite cleanse that you do and that’s cool.

But if you don’t, I’d like to offer a very simple, cheap, effective, Ayurvedic new year’s cleanse:
The Ayurvedic cleanse is a mono-diet of kitchari (rice, mung beans, cooked veggies, and Ayurvedic spices), so basically that’s all you eat. You can have kitchari for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eat until you are satisfied. Do this for 3-5 days. In between meals if you are hungry, you can have fruit (not banana). For liquids have water (not iced or cold) or herbal teas (a little honey is okay, but no sugar). I promise you will not be hungry. Don’t do major exercise, just yoga and walking. Make sure to go to bed by 10 and get up by sunrise, latest.

The benefits of the Ayurvedic New Year’s cleanse:
• Digests ama (toxins)
• Gets digestive system back on track (i.e. nice poops! less constipation, bloating, and gas
• The food is sattvic (pure harmony) and it will clear your mind
• Brings a sense of calm, serenity and focus
• Nourishes all bodily tissues to eliminate toxins and rejuvenate them as well
• Reduces our sensation of taste (our tastebuds are often over sensitized by salts, sugars and fats) so that when you begin eating regular foods again, you will notice flavors much more. Therefore you will be satisfied with less AND you will notice just how much salt/sugar you were eating before!

Go here for the Kitchari Recipe
Go here for the Ghee Recipe (or you can buy ghee from Pure India Foods or Whole Foods if you are near one or check your local Indian grocery)

Let me know if you try it and if you like it! It’s lovely food, really. I like to do a mini-cleanse for about 3 days every 4 months or so. It resets my clock and  feels amazing for the body, mind and soul. Happy New Year my friends! 2011 is going to be a great one. Start it out with a clean slate because as we know all healing starts from the inside out! :)

22 Responses to Ayurvedic New Year’s Cleanse

  1. […] for 2015. Setting sights on creating dosha-lutions, new year’s wish lists or beginning your new year’s cleanse is definitely going to transform you and help you to evolve. But before zooming to the future, take […]

  2. Aggravated by Obstruction | HeyMonicaB says:

    […] spices and heat will clear it. Make sense? Some therapies in Ayurveda that can do that are a kitchari cleanse, ayurvedic oil massage (oils with vata-balancing herbs), steam room, warm vata-balancing teas and […]

  3. […] Definitely consider doing a kitchari cleanse for 5 solid days to rid old toxins and rebuild the body-mind with renewed cells and tissues. And […]

  4. Subodh says:

    I am Kapha-Pitta Prakruti. I am suffering from Kapha imbalance but my weight is very low (55 Kgs) . Can Cleansing cause weightloss. Is there any way that we eat protein rich foods along with cleansing.

    • Monica says:

      Hi Subodh! Yes absolutely, mung dal used in kitchari is high in protein providing all necessary amino acids too. Kitchari is a perfect food for cleanses. It’s easy to digest, tri-doshic and it will keep you full between meals. That said, if you find yourself hungry, you can have it as a snack during your cleanse with no problem. Hope this helps.

  5. […] load, and possibly take a little vacation to a warm, sunny climate! Lots of folks do spring cleanses around this time too. It’s not really because we’re worried about bikini season, […]

  6. Anna says:

    Hi Monica,
    Would I get the same benefits from the kitchari if I made it in the slow cooker or in the rice cooker?

  7. sara says:


    you stated not to work out heavily on the cleanse days but I do bikram, is that ok to do?

    • Monica says:

      Bikram is extremely heating and a pretty difficult workout. It’s not “Ayurvedic” – so I would say opt for any other yoga that doesn’t have the extreme heat during your cleanse.

  8. Beth says:

    Just made the dish. Wow! It is so filling! Love it!

  9. Wasima says:

    Hi Monica,

    Thanks for sharing this great plan. I recently came off a 3 month cleanse with several food restrictions that felt great but was a challenge to keep up. This sounds like a no brainer with tasty food to boot!


  10. Meghs says:

    This is damn cool…I have been reading extensively about Ayurveda and follow most of its principles and find it to be extremely fruitful!

    I am trying to think of when to slot this mini cleanse into my 5 day work-week 2 day weekend..I know the ideal cleanse includes slower mental activity so I wonder how well it will work with a 2 day weekend and one workday..what do you think?

    • Monica says:

      Yay Meghs!! You can do the cleanse over a workday, no problem. Have the food for breakfast and bring it for lunch – no probs. You might want to do it on a Monday (depending on how hectic your Mondays are) so that you’ve already had two solid days of chilling out and eating the kitchari. xoxox!

  11. Casey says:

    What can you suggest for a college student who has no access to a stove. I only have a fridge.. and a micro. But it would be nice to cleanse my system! :)

    • Monica says:

      You can get a rice cooker for pretty cheap. I think they are like $20 or something. You can put all your kitchari ingredients in there and let it cook! :)

  12. Babita says:

    I’ve done this in the past – add in a few cups of ginger tea a day (especially vata types like me) and it works really well.

  13. Deborah says:

    I’ve never tried a cleanse but am considering it after this post! Thanks, Monica B! Although I’ve toyed with ayurveda for years, it’s only in the past few weeks that I’ve really put it into practice with food. It works. Did you know that? It really, really works.

    • Monica says:

      Hahaaaa Deborah. YES! I did know that it really works and I’m so glad you’ve discovered that too!! Go share the news with people – we all deserve to know how well it works :) xoxo

  14. Torrie says:

    Thank you, Monica! I’ve been considering a cleanse or fast this month, and your post was just the extra kick that I needed. Happy New Year!

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