Tag Archives: BMJ

Kitch in the kitchen, no kitchari yum great for these cool mornings


Kitchari.171-150x150Yes you are right, I am missing my yoga retreat breakfast of Kitchari, so I have just made some, It is easy. Kitchari is a delicious and nutritive whole food from India that is known for its properties to detox the body and balance the three doshas (constitutions): Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This ayurvedic dish is used by yogis who want to cleanse the body and soul in a gentle manner, kitchari supply enough nutrients while removes toxins stored in bodily tissues and restores systemic balance.
Ayurveda believes that all healing begins with the digestive tract, and kitchari can give it a much-needed rest from constantly processing different foods while providing essential nutrients. Its mixture of spices is believed to kindle the digestive fire, the Ayurvedic description for your innate digestive power, which can be weakened by poor food combinations.
Kitchari is made with mung beans or lentils, basmati rice or barley, seasonal vegetables, ghee, and spices.
Add whatever seasonal vegetables you have on hand to complete the dish. Consider zuchini, burdock root, carrots, kale, spinach, sweet potato. The key is to use what’s available locally because Ayurveda is linked to the natural transition of the seasons. Go light on the salt in this recipe, allowing the natural flavours of vegetable stock.
Kitchari tastes like a cross between a creamy rice cereal and a light dal, or lentil soup. If it is a cold, blustery day or you are feeling under the weather, a steaming bowl of this classic Indian comfort food can both warm up your bones and restore sagging energy.
1-cup basmati rice (I used black rice today as that is what I had!)
½ cup mung dal or lentils
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 teaspoons grated/minced ginger
1 chopped medium onion
3 teaspoons kitchari spice mix (cumin seeds, tumeric, mustard seeds, ginger, garam masala, natural mineral salt)
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
6 cups water
1-2 cups chopped vegetables
Cooking instructions:
Wash rice and mung dal and soak overnight
Drains soak water.
In a medium saucepan warm the ghee, saute the onion, garlic and ginger, add the kitchari spice mixture and sauté for one-two minutes. Add rice and mung beans and sauté for another couple of minutes.  Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. When kitchari has come to a boil reduce the heat to medium-low, cover an cook until it is tender, approximate 30-45 minutes. Add vegetables to your kitchari: the longer cooking such as carrots halfway through the coking and vegetables that cook faster such as leafy greens near the end. Add more water if needed.
Garnish with coriander and fresh grated ginger if you like and ENJOY

Effervescent Painkillers and Supplements? Are they good for you?

Effervescence Pain relief? More harm than good?

Effervescence Pain relief? More harm than good?

Taking effervescent painkillers or supplements could tip you over the recommended salt intake for adults, according to UK researchers.

They studied 1.2 million UK patients and found people taking the maximum daily dose of effervescent tablets increased their risk of stroke or heart attack by a fifth, and they were seven times more likely to have high blood pressure or hypertension.

“We know that high salt causes hypertension and that hypertension leads to stroke,” said lead researcher Dr Jacob George, from Dundee University.

Effervescent drugs contain bicarbonate to help them dissolve, but sodium is also often added.

When you combine this with salt from processed foods, Dr George said people’s daily intake could reach alarming levels.

Dr George compared 24 different effervescent medicines and found the salt levels ranged from 69mg to 414mg, which is about a fifth of a teaspoon.

The National Health and Medical Research Centre advises Australians limit their salt intake to 1600mg (4g) per day. The average Australian consumes 9 grams, which is more than double the recommended amount.

Many of these drugs are available over-the-counter and Dr George said patients who regularly take effervescent medication should be aware of the risks.

He also called on drug manufacturers to find ways to reduce their products’ salt levels.

Dr Robert Grenfell, national director of cardiovascular health at the Heart Foundation, told ninemsn that salt from any source is a concern.

“People taking regular medication who are concerned about their salt intake should speak to their doctor about whether their medication contains salt and whether they need to make any changes to their diet or what they are taking,” he said.

But Dr Grenfell pointed out that processed foods are what we should be really concerned about.

“Around 75 percent of the salt we eat is from everyday processed foods, like bread, breakfast cereals, canned vegetables and sauces,” he said.

The study was published in the British Medical Journal