Hello sweet November !
Starting the month with a detox diet plan, as the preceding months (Indian festivals of Dusshera and Diwali) were, and also coming months till Christmas are going to be high on gluttony, so here I am with my detox diet which eventually we are going to require sooner or later.
Detoxing your mind :
We have a saying in India called “baro mashe tero parban” meaning thirteen festivals in twelve months. Each of the festival begins with cleaning the house, the surroundings, disposing the unwanted trash being collected in some corner of the house, discarding the old things, bringing home the new, thus maintaining a healthy cycle of cleanliness that greatly improves the vastu , good vibes and infused the surrounding with all positive energies .
These cleansing, purification, has immense psychological powers on overall well being of a person, promotes peacefulness, good thoughts, clarity of mind and leads one to spiritual state of being. Every religion preached this practice in some form or other, but what about our body?
Detoxification of body :
Our body too need a day for detoxification, to get rid of all the toxins that gets accumulated in liver and in blood stream through various kinds of chemical treated foods that we consumes everyday.
Detoxification is a way to recharge your body, to flush out all the toxins from the blood stream, to to renew it and to rejuvenate it through natural process. Purification of body is immensely a powerful way to purify your soul, way to free your mind from all the negativities which is very essential in todays chaotic world.
Ritual of ekadashi detox in India:
In India we have this old tradition of following “Ekaadashi” rituals of fasting or more appropriately controlled diet. Hinduism follows a lunar calendar and ekaadashi falls on every new moon / full moon day. Thus if you follow ekaadashi fasting, it will falls twice in a month which is actually a very good practice to keep your system cleanse from all sorts of negativities.
But with ages, we have added mythological stories and other superstitions (read unscientific) rituals to this age old practice, thus corrupting the very genuine concept and beautiful idea behind this Vedic ritual.
It is a well known scientific fact that on new moon (Amavasya) and on full moon (Purnima) day, the atmospheric pressure reaches to its extreme limit but its affect on our body system is not that pronounced owing to other variable factors too of modern day.
The concept of Ekaadashi stems from the fact that on 11th day (hence ekaadashi) of each new moon / full moon day, the atmospheric pressure is least owing to celestial phenomenon, thus making the day perfect for cleansing rituals. Which is a good thing to start with, knowing that our body accumulates tons of toxins throughout the week. Hence following a fortnightly ekaadashi fasting rituals can help cleansing the physiology of the body.
The fortnightly Ekadashi fasting accompanied with healthy eating improves insulin responsiveness, lowers blood cholesterol. It also detoxifies the body, cleanses the blood and improves the functioning of kidneys and liver.
Our monthly detox routine:
Once in every month we goes for detox diet and it usually falls in the middle of the month. Just for the ease of remembering it. We do not follow any hard and fast rules, no religious rituals, just simple abstinence from spices, oils, fried items and sugar.
Indian diets are heavy on spices, fried foods and those who believe in completing their meal with sweet somethings like us, consumes high level of processed sugar though out the week. Thus it is good idea to give body some rest before catching up with normal routine.
This month due to festivities and prolonged gluttony days I had chosen to be little stricter this time.
My one day detox diet menu plan:
There are many variations of detox diet and I would suggest choose the one that suits you. Everyone’s meal pattern is different and so does the responsiveness of their body towards fasting and dieting. Our meal pattern is heavy on carbs, grains and non veg food like fish and poultry.
So for a day I chose to go grain free, complete vegetarian for a day, sugar of all forms, processed salt, and spices.
Water – water is perhaps the best fluid to flush out all the toxins from the body. But knowing myself I can’t do this water therapy alone. Instead I chose to drink plain water (no infused water) at least 2.5 l a day. Surprisingly you will find, this itself a very difficult target to approach. During my post-pregnancy days, I was suggested by my lactation expert to have as much water as possible. At least 3 l a day. But could never able to reach that target. If you don’t believe me, start measuring your water intake from now onwards.
I have this age old practice of starting my mornings with warm water with little freshly squeezed lime juice. This simple routine is powerful enough to flush out the toxins from your body daily.
Fruit /Vegetable Juices – we consume so much chemical laden foods all the times that our system needs something more powerful thing to dispose the toxins. Fresh fruit juices acts as a catalyst in cleansing the body system. It acts super fast.
I usually had sweet lime juice in the morning. Other days, it is replaced by my favourite beetroot, carrot and tomato juice. Refreshing to the core and you will feel good almost instantly.
Soup : the mere mention of soups and stews, warms up my heart. Whether it is the blended one or chunky ones , soups and stews are great one pot wholesome meal that can fulfill the nutrition required. For a grain free detox diet, I had chosen two soups, yellow soup for lunch and green soup for dinner.
For lunch I had chosen red lentil, carrot and turmeric soup that goes by the name “soup that heals” and is immensely refreshing and nourishing at the same time.
For dinner my all time favourite green soup of green mung beans, green peas and spinach.
Vegetables / steamed or roasted : or better still tandoori veggie kebabs. Full of flavour and it retains the taste. Else lightly pan roasted veggie like yellow pumpkin with herbed butter is definitely an appetite appeaser.
Salad : it need not to be just the greens, it can be made wholesomely if you assemble it the right way.
I had prepared a very refreshing cabbage – carrot and beet root slaw. Just cut them into julienne and drizzle with freshly squeezed lime juices. It goes well as side with the main meal of the day – buckwheat groat salad
For this detox diet I had planned out a buckwheat groat seed salad. Buckwheats are pseudo grains and high on protein content. Plus it has many health benefits. But to avail its goodness value, you need to incorporate buckwheat in your regular meal, only then you can see the visible health benefits it brings to your system.
Recipe to make this buckwheat seed salad is given below
Yogurt / Buttermilk : In India no meal is complete without the bowl of yogurt or glass of buttermilk. Buttermilk is the diluted version of yogurt and here in India we spiced it up with curry leaves and mustard seeds. You can enjoy it in its pristine form as well.
I am making yogurt at home for few years now. In India yogurt making is a routine kitchen process and every child here has grown up on homemade yogurt. Nothing beats the fresh and pure flavour of homemade curd.
I consider curd / yogurt as super food, an immunity booster and had tons of health benefits. My 1.5 years old baby is so much fond of curd that she finishes up one bowl approximately 120gm of curd daily.
I will write more about how to set curd at home later, but for now I do emphasize on homemade curd, free from chemical additives, synthetic flavors and gelatins.
Buckwheat groat salad
- Buckwheat groats : 1 cup
- Onion : finely chopped 1 small
- Garlic : minced 1 tbsp
- Tomatoes : finely chopped 1 medium
- Fresh cilantro and mint : finely chopped 1/2 cup
- Amaranth melon and flax seeds : roasted 1/4 cup
- Cucumber: finely chopped 1
- Sea salt / rock salt as per taste
- Lime juice : 1 lime
- Olive oil : 1 tbsp
- Roast the buckwheats till they turn nice brown.
- Lightly saute the onions and garlic in olive oil. You can also skip this step.
- Add the buckwheat groats, mix them well.
- Add warm water about 1/2 cup and close the lid and let it cook on slow for 10 minute. Switch off the heat and fork the buckwheat fluffy.
- Depending upon the types of buckwheat groats, cooking time may varies. If the groats are not fluffy and opened up, add little more water and cook for another 5 minute.
- Excess water and longer soaking or cooking time in water may end with mushy groats.
- Once done, add everything listed in the ingredients section, plus little extra virgin olive oil and give it a toss.
- Serve immediately. It is best enjoyed as warm salad.
Do you have your own detox diet menu? Do share with us.
Stay tuned for winter favorites coming up next,