Saturday, November 9, 2013

Spring Clean

Spring is not yet here but just round the corner. Since past few days I have been thinking of doing a Detox week or a Chur for me and I am super excited about it. It so happened that R will be travelling for a week and T has her holidays so I wanted to take this opportunity of the time and try and do this, not that R and T stops me from doing something like that but the thing is I can try and do this for a "Trail" and later the whole family feels like doing it when its Spring in real. But to be honest I don't think R and T needs to do it, coz they might vanish. They anyways don't have deposits of fat as yours truly have, especially around the waist. But its good for everyone and once I have my mind fixed on something I just do it, get Nike funda........Just Do it `*

I have been reading so much on the net about this. I saw and read many sites, blogs and newsletters and stuff and now I am so overfilled and overwhelmed with the information. I got the basics from there and I am going to do it sort of my way.

The bottom line is not to eat carbohydrates, fats and proteins especially for the first 2-3 days. On the first 2-3 days you mostly take juices of fresh fruits and vegetables. There was a lot of focus on drinking fresh Lime or Lemon warm water first thing in the morning and then the rest of the day, steamed veggies, soups , coconut water etc.

I am also going to incorporate in my diet the two great Indian veggies which are now-a-days available fresh at the Indian stores and which I love and they are Fresh Fenugreek leaves (Methi in Hindi and Bockskornklee in German) Methi is slightly bitter in taste and it has numerous benefits. I grew up eating fresh Methi leaves, in Parathas (Indian bread), Aloo-Methi (Potatoes and Methi leaves), Dal- Methi (more at R`s place) and just stir fried methi with a piping hot Phulka (Chapati) drissled over with some fresh lime juice. The thing is we always used lime juice no matter which methi dish we are eating, it tastes great and if I think the scientific explanation for it must be, because Methi has Iron and your body cannot take iron very well, unless its combined with Calcium, so there you go.

So anyways now back to the second ingredient which is Amla in Hindi, or Gooseberry in English. Amla is considered a super veggie in India and it also has a lots of benefits in Ayurveda. It is light greenish in colur and it is very high in Vitamin C. It is also used to make Hair oils and Shampoos. There are so many things made from Amla, the very famous Amla Murabba (whole Amlas preserved in sugar sirup), Amla chutney, Amla ki Laungi and Amla powder. My mom used to use and still uses Amla powder instead of Lime juice or Mango powder in a dish where some sourness is needed and I use it too. She also gives me reserves when i come here. As a child and a teenager I used to use Amla to wash my hair too mixed with two other herbal ingredients which were Shikakai and Aratha (soap nut), WOW I am feeling so excited and nostalgic while writing all this. Its like going back in time. Another good thing I have to tell you guys which is super good for the eyes is "Triphla", Triphla means Tri means three and phla means Phal or fruit, so its a mixture of three fruits Hard, Bard and again Amla, I used to soak it in the night and wash my eyes with the water, YES, Eyes and they felt so clean, fresh and sharp. I dont have a big stock of Triphal powder here but I do have and I use it once in a while. Tripahla is also used in a variety of ways in Ayurveda medicine.

So again back to the spring clean, I am going to incorporate fresh methi and fresh Amla in my diet. Now I have almost figured most of the things. But I will keep you posted and I hope some of you can also benefit from it. But hey, remember I am not a practionsor nor a doctor, so be careful before starting anything or better consult your doctor.

Another thing which I gathered about the detox is that your liver gets cleaned with all the juices you drink, two things which were mentioned in most of the places, one was Licorice(Süssholz in German and Mulathi in Hindi). Licorice or Mulathi has also significant uses in Aurvedic medicines. It is also very beneficial when you have problems with your Vocal codes or in sore throat too. In fact I had problems with my Vocal cords and my parents advised me to suck on a little piece of Mulathi all the time and I also used to make tee from it. In the real form it looks just like small pieces of wood but it tastes sweet and has distinctive flavour. So, anyways while detoxing you make tee by boiling Licorice and drink it several times a day.

The second thing which was mentioned was our good old Dandelion or Löwenzahn. I never thought it would be such a special and beneficial thing. Until now I have used it to blow with my girls and that's all I knew about it  but if I recall its tee is also quite common here in the Alpine region and apparently it also helps a lot in detoxing. So I am going to stock on that too.

There were some other points given to be kept in mind while detoxing
- gentle exercise, fresh air
- one or two spoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil before going to bed to help you stimulate your liver.
- in case of sluggish bowel movements a spoonful of Castor oil is also recommended or else boil some fennel seeds (saunf) in water and drink that. Its herbal and tastes good too.
- sweating to get out your bad toxins from the body so again exercise.
- lots and lots to drink and as we have seen earlier Licorice and Dandelion tee, herbal tees.
- another drink was to boil 2000 ml of water, add a stick or Licorice to it and then add 400 gms of washed green moong to it, let it sit for 6-8 hours, then drink it. Further you can make sprouts out of the moong, so I will call it moong tee.
- if possible organic fruits and vegetables.

So I am really excited to start doing this from tomorrow morning and if some of you also wish you can do it too. So good luck to me and good luck to you :)

Here is what I think I am going to do starting tomorrow till Friday.

1. Start my day with a glass on warm water with juice of a fresh organic lime, lets say in my case at 6.30
2. A cup of Herbal tee at 7.30
3. Fresh berries or any fresh fruit smoothie at 10.00 with or without almond milk
4. if available coconut water or else vegetable broth at 11.30
5. lunch at 13.30 of steamed vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, spinach, fresh fenugreek, cucumber, beets, asparagus, celery,Swiss chard, cabbage or else a salad(carrots, avocado, apples, baby spinach, methi, grated amla/gooseberry, beetroot) with ginger and lime dressing seasoned with see salt and pepper. WOW! so many colorful veggies, its almost not at all boring :)
6. Small snack of pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds at 16.00, if needed a herbal tee too.
7. Dinner at 18.00 either spinach soup or soup of cucumber and avocado or then again steamed veggies tossed with pumpkin seeds.
8. If hungry then some veggie broth saved from the veggies or a small bowl of fresh berries
9. before going to bed a spoon or two of extra virgin olive oil.

WOW!!! It feels great, I already feel I have done my homework, now first thing tomorrow morning at 9.00 after having my Lime water and Herbal tee I am going to go the the market and stock on my veggies and fruits. I am so excited to do this. Hope I am able to do it with work, my German classes and everything else going on. T was being mean and told me she will bring a hot samosa from Hiltil or a warm Calzone and a Pizza and she and M will enjoy it in front of the Idiot box, really Mean :((((, Anyways I will show them that I dont get temped and I will have a better skin and a great immune system after this : D and I know she was kidding, but was she never know with her!

I am also going to go look for a second hand juicer in some of the Brokis here, as I don't want to invest in a new one, I did once years ago, I used it twice and it exploded and then never again.

So the detoxing shall begin on Monday morning..............the clock is ticking.......

I wish myself good luck again and I hope to stay away from temptation :) and if you ever do it or doing it already, then I wish you luck too.

So I started my Spring detox tour yesterday and this was meal from Monday. Fresh Lime water at 6.15 in the morning, followed by a breakfast of berry smoothie at 8.30. Then I went to the gym and at 10.30 I had an apple but I should have had a coconut water or a juice, but :(

Super healthy lunch of steamed veggies at 13.00 The veggies tasted yum as after steaming them I added a bit of sea salt, pepper, grated ginger (was yum) and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice to it and sprinkled some pumpkin seeds on the top. These veggies I am going to cook on normal days too.

To be very honest it was a bummer for me, I thought I was supposed to be feeling good and fresh but I did not. I realised my body is not use to have too much or only fresh fruits and vegetables. It felt too acidic in my stomach so I decided to follow the old school or if you may the Ayurveda way or the Indian way. I think this fresh fruit juice fasting suits the European or the Western bodies. I figured :(

Anyways I am still doing my detox thingy but with a mix of the old school saying and tips from here and there. Being a vegetarian and still working and running around my body felt the need of carbs and proteins.

So what I am doing now is taking a meal of "Kitchri" which is a dish made from yellow moong daal (Lentils) and Rice. Its a super simple recipe to cook with just 4 ingredients, in fact M cooked it for us yesterday, her first time and it was great.

Here is what you will need:

- 1 cup of Rice
- 1/2 cup of yellow Moong Dal
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Ghee
- 3 cups of water

OK so 6 ingredients altogether. Anyways, wash the rice and the Dal a couple of times until the water comes clear. Soak them together in double the amount of water for about 12-15 minutes. After that drain that water and add 3 cups of water with salt, turmeric and Ghee. Cook it in a pressure cooker for 8-10 Minutes or if you are not using a cooker then just in a deep pan for about 15-20 minutes.  Let it cool. Open the cooker and if you think its too thick add half a cup or a cup of warm water and let it boil and mix well. Eat it with fresh natural Yogurt. If you like you can add any vegetable of your choice to the Kitchri and it will make it a even more of a complete meal. Veggies like carrots, beans, peas goes very well and ja one more veggie which goes super well is, baby spinach. After you open the cooker and the kitchri is still hot, add a hand full of spinach to the kitchri, mix it well and cover it for a couple of minutes. It will wither with the heat but will taste fresh too.

So this will be my lunch followed by a salad and in between lots and lots of tee with Löwenzahn, Licorice and fennel and yes of course I had my Chai today morning like always. Some habits are so hard to change. But why change them. Drinking Chai is like religion for me :)