Kitchari Cleanse Day 3


Sparking Joy and Tidying Up

A little Marie Kondo for your monodiet.

January 11, 2019

Saying goodbye is such sweet sorrow. Unless you are saying goodbye to kitchari. In actuality, it isn’t that bad. But, this afternoon, I made a big bowl of kitchari. After a few bites, I was over it. Tonight, I’ll have a little kitchari for dinner. Then, that’s all she wrote! This begs the question then, what do I do next?

The answer? Well, I found it on Netflix.

This morning, I watched a few episodes of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up. If you’ve watched the show, you likely know that the overarching themes are sparking joy and putting things back in place. And though Kondo is speaking of physical objects, I can’t help but think that my kitchari cleanse has initiated the same process.

I am not one who believes in an elimination diet for the sake of trend or losing weight. If you want to be vegan for moral reasons, do it! If you feel like dook after eating gluten, don’t eat it. But when we eliminate foods because we are stuck on the outcome, we will find a diminishing return on our investment. Elimination for the sake of elimination leaves us feeling deprived.

To put it in another context—the Konmari method—if you focus on cleaning out your house by throwing away everything you don’t want, you won’t notice the joy from those items in which you truly love. According to Kondo, this unsavory process of elimination places the emphasis on the “can’t-haves,” “shouldn’t-haves,” don’t-wants,” “can’t-live-withouts.” If you notice, even the language associated with these items is negative: can’t, shouldn’t, don’t. By focusing on the inverse, we highlight the items we “love,” “cherish,” “treasure.” We can emphasize what makes us feel good in life. In turn, it’s easier to let go of that which doesn’t bring joy.

Ok, back to kitchari. Eating simple kitchari for three days has made me question what actually brings me nourishment and joy. I don’t really want to get into the conversation of what one should or shouldn’t be eating. This isn’t a platform to put my food choices and diet above or below another. Besides, Ayurveda reminds us that what works for us today will change. What I will share is that it is clear the fast pace of life, social demands, and, frankly, laziness on my part, have led me to hang onto things that don’t nourish and spark joy in my diet and lifestyle. As I begin to transition back into regular food, my hope is that rather than focusing on what I can’t have or shouldn’t have, I’ll focus on what I know feels best in my body.

Really, kitchari cleansing is just another way of tidying up. It brings balance back into life by clearing the clutter in the mind and body. It puts everything back into place by regulating digestive fire, expelling old emotions, cultivating clarity, and resetting our patterns—inside and outside of the body. Yes, I do believe in the science of Ayurveda. I’ve experienced its benefits in my body. But I also believe that when we can see the metaphor of our bodies and the world around us, we learn that our inner and outer worlds are one and the same. In other words, when we spark joy and tidy up on the inside, we see it on the outside. Sure, this can be physically. But it’s more than that. When joy is the undercurrent of our decisions, we impart that on the world around us. When we are tidy and joyous on the inside, we see the world as a place that, too, is tidy and joyous.