East meets west, a modern “Keto Panchakarma” detox retreat! Traditional Indian Ayurvedic cleanses offer a holistic approach to taking time off for oneself to detox, cleanse and restore body and mind. John Douillard, a noted Ayurvedic Doctor, says that Panchakarma means literally to “punch your karma,” or make a bold step toward stopping unhealthy patterns in body and mind that would otherwise give way to disease. How can we function well if we are over-stressed and overworked and… overweight? We need regular self care, tune up time.
Life these days is traumatic, period, and we don’t generally process stress, grief and loss well in our culture. Preferably it’s best to undertake this mini-program on a weekend three day vacation so that you could escape your daily grind. Whether you have family life, or rent a cabin in the forest, try to find a spot where you can observe some silence, at least while the family is away or create a quiet retreat room in your house. I try to do one of these every month. It’s recommended to keep away from excess stimulation, media, cell phones and invest your time resting, walking in nature, reading light material, as well as practicing gentle yoga and meditation.
This mini-retreat can be used for healing and weight loss as well. The Indian curry dhal-bat diet called kitchari that’s traditionally used for three meals however, isn’t great for westerners exclusively, as it consists mostly of mung beans and rice. Those are generally considered high carb, survival foods. In the west, we have a different constitution and time and I found simple, high protein foods that are much more appropriate to add to the cleanse for weight loss. However, you will make a big pot of this kitchari, it is very easy to digest and after day 1 you will notice the digestive cleaning process.
I wanted to offer something as simple as possible that could go for all three different doshas or body types. This diet is focusing on Kapha body types, ones with slower metabolism, and with some extra weight. I personally have found that a hybrid of the Indian system and the keto work well for a three day personal retreat and if you like you can extend it to six days or nine days, however long you have. This could be done on a weekend or just taking a few personal days off to be alone in the comfort and quiet to do in your own home. Adjust your own portions, listen and your body will tell you how much or little it needs.
This retreat can release unresolved emotions stored dormant in our mind and heavy connective tissue. To cope, avoid the urge to re-suppress anything and use exercise and meditation to soothe your heart and soul. Walk, laugh, cry, allow whatever needs a voice to be released. My teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche said “if you let the mind come out, it will.” Be gentle with yourself and your experience, joys comes often after the purging of tears and fears, likewise health comes after the purging of toxins.
Simplifying your diet allows your body to divert it’s energies to mobilizing and releasing accumulated toxins. According to Ayurveda, a few foods are easier to digest than others and therefore are preferred whenever you undertake a detoxification. Here is my hybrid, holistic “recipe” for Panchakarma:
Before you begin:
- Schedule specific dates for when and how long the cleanse will be, like a Friday am until Sunday pm.
- Prepare to eat a simple keto breakfast and two meals of cleansing Kitchari only.
- Remove excess caffeine (morning ok), all tobacco, alcohol, or other substances from the daily regimen.
- Drink a detoxifying herbal tea throughout this time and 8-10 glasses of water.
- Evening Oil Massage and warm lymphatic massage brush bath every day during the cleanse.
- Quiet, alone time for yourself during the cleanse.
- At least 12 minutes each, of yoga, meditation and cardio every day.
1. 12 minutes of Yoga, sun salutations, outside is best, do whatever flow you are used to.
2. Keto creamer organic coffee or Kapha keto creamer chai tea with ginger and cinnamon, and a pinch of clove.
For the keto creamer, I add 1 tbs grass-fed whey power, stirred together with organic cream, add stevia if needed.
3. 1/2c organic yogurt and 1/2 c raspberry, blackberries, and blueberries, or apples and pears
or 1/2c organic cottage cheese and 1/2c sliced red peppers and cucumbers (if dairy free, soy yogurt can be substituted)
5. Mid Morning, drink a quick shot of 2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar
Since your digestion is strongest when the sun is brightest, it’s best to eat your biggest meal at noon, also have a little lighter dinner.
1. 2 c kitchari with vegetables and tofu
Recipe for Kitchari
2 cups uncooked split red lentils
1 cup uncooked organic white basmati rice (rinse with water until water runs clear)
1 tablespoon of ghee (can substitute olive oil)
I used 4 tbs of quality bulk curry powder or you can use:
[2 tbs turmeric and 1 tbs fresh grated ginger root or 1 teaspoon ginger
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon per black mustard seeds, cumin, and garlic powder
Optional: ½ teaspoon each coriander powder, fennel, and fenugreek seeds]
6 cups water
½ teaspoon salt (rock salt or sour pink salt is best)
Sliced carrots, and or chopped spinach, chard, or beet greens
Pan fried, cubed tofu.
Rinse the mung beans till the water runs clear. I soak mine overnight or a for a few hours before cooking. Bring beans to a boil 6 water cups
Cook beans and rice together until until become soft (about 30 to forty minutes).
The the beans and rice are cooked, I heat up 2T ghee or olive oil in a fry pan and cook the spices lightly, and then add them to beans and rice.
Add vegetables and tofu, cilantro leaves as a garnish just before serving, if desired. Add salt to taste.
2. Lemon or mint water room temp or warm, 8-10 glasses per day, ginger or mint tea or tea and dairy free chai can be alternated
3. Cardio walk or workout interval is best for at least 12 minutes
4. Listen to healing music, read, light spiritual or poetic reading, long walks outside, 5 element nature bathing
Early Evening Panchakarma
1. Eat 2 cups of ready made kitchari.
2. Add 2 teaspoons of oil- flax, ghee, olive or coconut
3. Early evening sunset walk, celebrate each night and try to see the magical sunset to seal the day.
4. Massage your body for 15 to 20 minutes with 8 oz of lightly pan warmed organic sesame or coconut oil, from head to toe, hair too! The coconut I warm in my hands.
5. I then do my evening meditation for 12 minutes with a towel under me, to let my skin absorb the oil, then take a shower or bath. Scrub your body with natural or Dr. Bronner’s soap and use a dry brush over whole body toward your heart as this provides a lymphatic massage, but let some oil to stay on the skin before bed. You can do the oil and bath in the afternoon instead as well.
6. Get at least 7-8 hours of good, nourishing, self care sleep.
Basic Retreat Shopping List:
Dry Wooden Brush
2 Jars Raw, unfiltered organic Coconut Oil
1 lb. Basmati Rice
1 lb. Red Lentils
bunch fresh spinach, carrots
1 block organic Tofu
large bag of bulk Curry Powder
1 large container of Organic Yogurt
Berries, Pears and or/ Apples
1 small carton heavy cream or sugar free soy creamer
grass fed whey powder
mint or ginger tea
fresh lemons or lemon juice bottle
coffee or black tea (mornings only, as desired)
Check with your doctor before beginning any diet, exercise or weight loss plan, and not recommended if pregnant or lactating. This diet is not intended to diagnose, cure any disease, this is what I personally have found, heals me… Try it if it’s safe for you, and please let us know how it worked for you!
Here’s to your new, yogic and healed self!
Owner of Sakura Designs, Yoga and Mantra Beads