So the next step in the forty days of yoga is a fast. Most people are doing a fruit fast. I think that’s a bad idea for me, what with my migraines and all. There’s probably someone who thinks that detoxing can cure me of migraines. To you, sir or madam, I would like to say that detoxing me of my menstrual cycle may just cure me of migraines. In that, you and I agree. However, I don’t think eating just fruit is going to take care of that shit.
I still remember when I got migraines. I got them and irritable bowel (I call him Clancy) at the same time. I was twenty. Sitting on the shitter, seeing white spots in front of my eyes. Good times.
Why are we doing this? To detoxify our bodies. We’re full of toxins. Apparently, I’m full of shit. Really, really smelly shit. Must be all that candy and cheese I eat. The point of eating a monodiet is to eat stuff that’s easy to digest so your body can take a break and dump out some bullshit. One reason to not stop eating altogether is that all the toxins then get dumped into your blood and you get a superduty dose of poison all up in you. Your body is also meant to run on something.
Instead of the fruit, I’m eating kitchari for three days. Kitchari is mung beans or lentils and rice, made somewhat blandly with spices and traditionally made with ghee (clarified butter), but I don’t have any so I’m using good quality olive oil. It’s easy on the tummy, but the rice and beans make a complete protein.
What’s a mung bean look like? They’re little, and they’re green. They’re what they sprout to make bean sprouts. I used to know someone who once worked in a bean sprout factory. He said it was one of the most interesting places he ever worked. Whatever, dude.
Kitchari recipe (yield: hella kitchari, enough for one person to eat as much as she wants and then some all goddamned day until she’s sick and tired of fucking kitchari)
- 1 cup mung beans
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 1/4 cup olive oil or ghee
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (or ground cumin)
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 3 bay leaves
- 10 black pepper corn
- 5-8 pods cardamom
- 10-15 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- handful fresh cilantro
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger
Wash the beans. Boil for ten minutes, then let soak for an hour. Wash the rice. Boil about two quarts water. Heat the oil over medium flame. Using a deep pot (this is a one-pot dish), fry the seeds, pepper corn, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, and cardamom for about a minute, stirring constantly–don’t be afraid to remove it from the heat if it seems to be getting too hot (don’t brown or let burn). Add the powdered spices and fry for another minute (again, don’t burn or the whole thing’ll get bitter and acrid). Add the beans, rice, and ginger (reserve the cilantro) and stir to coat with the fragrant oil and spices. Cover with the boiling water about two inches and simmer, uncovered. Stir frequently to the bottom. Don’t stir it like you’re petting a chinchilla. Really get in there or the bottom will burn. You may need to add more water before it’s done. It’s done when it’s soft and mushy and cooked. Not al dente. Really done. Stir in the cilantro and serve. Note bene: don’t try to eat cardamom pods, bay leaves, cloves or pepper corns. Or try. Try and fail.
Here’s some done kitchari. It doesn’t look great, but it’s definitely edible. It’s better than most gruel. Think it sounds lively? Imagine salt-free living. Yeah baby.
So day one? I got so sick of kitchari, man. I came home and tried this. I made fried kitchari fritters. Hey, it was better than finishing the Cowgirl Brie I have…man. That’s some good brie, too, just languishing in there. All fatty and sexy.
I was desperate. I wanted something salty and fatty so badly. So I cut up the cold kitchari that had sort of gelled with the rice starch and I fried the chunks in olive oil and put a little salt on them. Again, not bad, but I wouldn’t order it again.
And I did eat candy. Oh, I didn’t give up oolong tea, either.
So today, I’m pooping. I’m blowing up the bathroom. It’s also easier to stick to it. Fewer cravings. It was easier to drive past In’n’Out. I did eat chocolate again.
But my mind is doing weird stuff today. I’m in a different state. I’m cleaner, but jumping around a lot. Making a lot of connections I never made before. Realizations about relationships: they’re becoming clear. Worldly things, like mail: hard to remember. Work tasks: easy to concentrate on when they’re in front of me. People think I’m vivacious and funny. All in all, and interesting experiment. I’d say fasting is an interesting drug.
As for the bowel stuff, though: I’m glad I live alone today. It ain’t cute.