Shining Bright on Health at Sun King – A Blog about Healthy Living

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shining Bright on Health at Sun King – A Blog about Healthy Living

Springtime means spring-cleaning. Not just your home, but your body too. Here in the United States we tend to go over board with cleanses, but if you want to jump on the wagon, now is the time.

Health Tips:
Lets look at how we can clean the system. There are many cleanses out there but not all are safe and not every cleanse works for every body. When cleansing you need to make sure that you are fully able to dedicate the time and attention that is needed to do it right and effectively. If you need to go to work, just make sure you are able to carve out time to eat slowly and mindfully and try not to over tax your system. Follow the suggestions below for a successful spring-cleaning by sticking to a mono diet of Kichari.

• Decide if you are going to do a one-day, three-day or 5-day cleanse
• Make sure you purchase everything for a few rounds of kichari (recipe below)
• Upon waking to your first day of your cleanse, drink hot water with lemon.
• Make and then eat breakfast (kichari) around 8am. Eat mindfully.
• Throughout the day reserve your energy. Take it easy. Read, do gentle yoga, meditate or take a walk.
• Eat lunch and dinner (kichari) at regular times. Pay attention to eating.
• No snacking
• Drink plenty of water (warm)
• Take a bath or sauna
• Go to bed early
• Be gentle

Make sure that if you are doing more than a one-day cleanse, that you make fresh kichari daily or every other day. Food looses its vitality and nutrition after 24 hours of being prepared.

Eating kichari allows the body to focus on more of a mono diet, which is less taxing to the system. Plus there are great reasons that kichari is detoxifying (see recipe below).

Yoga in the community:
Check out Lululemon for their Saturday yoga schedule. The classes are free!

IWFM + Yoga classes are offered by-donation to raise funds to support the IWFM and Growing Places Indy in the ongoing work to cultivate wellness through urban agriculture, food awareness & access, and practices for empowered living. Suggested donation for Yoga is $10.

Kichari Cleansing Recipe:

This recipe makes enough to last you for 3 or 4 meals. You can play with the mixture of spices. Many people prefer this recipe when the spices are doubled (or even tripled).
1 cup Split Yellow Mung (Moong) Beans* (see for ‘weak digestion’ below)
¼ – ½ cup White Basmati Rice
1 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger Root
1 tsp. each Black Mustard Seeds, and Cumin and Turmeric powder
½ tsp. each Coriander powder, and fennel and fenugreek seeds
3 Cloves
3 Bay Leaves
7-10 cup Water
½ tsp. Salt (rock salt is best) or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.
1 small handful Fresh Chopped Cilantro Leaves
You can add any fresh vegetables to this recipe to switch it up. Stay away from starchy ones like sweet and regular potatoes.

It’s important to get SPLIT MOONG DAL beans because they are easy to digest and due to their cleansing qualities, they pull toxins from the body. They are available at Asian or Indian grocery stores or through LifeSpa. Different spellings include “mung” and/or “dahl.” Please note that you do not want the whole moong dal beans, which are green, or yellow split peas.
Wash split yellow mung beans (dal) and rice together until water runs clear. Heat a large pot on medium heat and then add all the spices (except the bay leaves) and dry roast for a few minutes. This dry-roasting will enhance the flavor.

Add dal and rice and stir again.
Add water and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
Boil for 10 minutes.

Turn heat to low, cover pot and continue to cook until dal and rice become soft (about 30-40 minutes).
The cilantro leaves can be added just before serving.

Add salt or Bragg’s to taste.

* For weak digestion, gas or bloating: Before starting to prepare the kichari, first par boil the split moong dal (cover with water and bring to boil), drain, and rinse. Repeat 2-3 times. OR, soak beans overnight and then drain. Cook as directed.

Food as medicine:
Spices like turmeric help cleanse the blood and are also anti-inflammatory. Black mustard seeds and ginger are heating to the digestive fire, therefore amping up your metabolism. Cilantro is a great detoxifier and works at the cell level.

Workout tips: 
When you are on a cleanse your workouts should be gentle. Think about taking walks or go to a gentle yoga class. Look for the words yin, restorative, relaxing etc when looking at near by yoga classes. Workout your mind by engaging in meditation daily. This is a great way to clean emotions and thoughts from the mind, giving your entire body, mind and spirit a spring-cleaning! You can go to for many guided meditations.

Additional tip:
If you get really hungry on your cleanse, have a glass of fresh pressed vegetable juice with a little bit of lemon or lime. If you feel like you need to take a nap, take one. Give your body the time it needs to detox. And then when your cleanse is over, don’t reach for all the starchy, sugary foods in the house. Instead choose to introduce different foods slowly back into your diet. And mindfully notice if a food makes you feel great, or not so great. Use this time to realize what foods work well with your body, so that you can make smart decisions in the future.

Staraya McKinstry

Staraya McKinstry

If you have additional questions, please email Staraya at

About Staraya McKinstry:
Born and raised in Homer, Alaska, the western most tip of the United States, was not appreciated by my siblings or myself until we all went out into the world, and found that we grew up in a pretty amazing place. Alaska is a rugged frontier but it has its perks. Eating fresh vegetables from the garden, fish and seafood out of the bay, and a freshly hunted down moose/elk/deer was and still is the way of feeding family there. Fitness is a way of life; hiking, mountain biking, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and sledding (yes, it can be a great work out when you walk up the mountain) to name a few. The connection with nature seems to be a common understanding when you live in such a beautiful, ever changing environment as Alaska. With that background, I have come to love yoga and the connection it has seamlessly brought me in regards to myself, my family and friends, nature, and healthy living. I have a Masters in Public Health, but the everyday healthy lifestyle I have learned from my mom and dad and those like them back home. I am also currently going to school to train in Ayurveda Medicine (one of the oldest forms of medicine known to mankind), which focuses on healing the body, mind and spirit and maintaining health through food, herbs and exercise. My studies in yoga and Ayurveda are allowing me to bring practical, resourceful and sustainable practices to anyone who wants to learn how to get/stay healthy in mind, body and spirit.

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this blog are based upon the opinion of Staraya McKinstry. They are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, and they are not intended as medical advice.

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