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Try "Fasting" With a 40-Day Yogic Mono Diet

What Is a Mono Diet?

A mono diet is also called a fast because it has similar effects, but it's not so hard on the body. These diets allow you to still do physical activities. These types of diets are ideal for people who seek spiritual transformation.

In the yogic tradition, there are several mono diets one can undertake. There is the famous melon diet, which is mostly done at the height of summer (because you'll get very very cold!), and consists mainly of various sorts of melons eaten over a period of maximum of two weeks. Or the banana diet, which you guessed it, consists of bananas (and kardemom pods). This diet is especially good for men, and for purging drugs from the body.

Mono diets are similar to fasting, and they have similar effects, but they are much less strenuous on the body, allowing you to still do things like work and play. The mono diet featured in this article is called the "kitcheree" diet, and it is especially good when it is colder, but really it works any time of year. It is like a mild fast really, and it is a good way to prepare the body for spiritual practices and lose weight.



Mungbeans and Rice

This mono-diet is also called the mungbeans and rice diet or kitcheree. In Indian households it is quite common to create family meals called kitcheree, and there are many family recipees. But not all of them are yogic, in that they do not all contain the ingredients to fully nourish and regenerate. This recipe right here is the proper yogic one.

Is it healthy?

A lot of people always want to know if it is healthy to eat the same food for 40 days. Well, the first thing one needs to remember is that it is only 40 days, not for life: That would not be healthy. The second thing is that the mungbeans and rice have complimentary amino acid structures, meaning that, when you combine them, the form a complete protein. Allowing for a full and complete nourishment.

How Often Do I Eat?

As many times as you like, but normal is to have this meal two or three times a day. If you have trouble with the bowels you may add some oil to the dish. And sometimes you can eat a little yoghurt with it. Drinking: you need to drink a lot, but can only drink non-caffeinated teas like yogi tea and minaral water. Occasionally, golden milk, which is milk cooked with ghee and turmeric, is also okay, as it is good for the ligaments.

What Are the Effects of This Mono Diet?

This is different for everyone, but everybody will be able to cleanse their body, and get a more steady frame of mind through keeping up with the 40 days. My experience is that you get a lot more energetic, especially when you combine it with heavy (kundalini-)yoga. If you want to lose weight but do not want to starve try this out. There is no muscle loss with this diet because of its high protein content, and if you workout hard alongside it, you'll even gain some muscle.


How much do you like this recipe?

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

24 hours

1 hour 30 min

25 hours 30 min

several meals, depending on how much you eat


  • 1 cup mung beans
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 9 cups water
  • 4-6 cups chopped assorted vegetables (carrots, celery, courgettes, broccoli etc)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or ghee
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup minced ginger root
  • 8–10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 heaped teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 heaped teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 heaped teaspoon crushed red chillies
  • 1 tablespoon sweet basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 Seeds of cardamon pods
  • to taste Salt or tamari sauce
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Preparation and Cooking Instructions

  1. Soak the mungbeans in a large pan with lots of water overnight, then rinse them thouroughly
  2. Bring water to a boil, and put in the mungbeans, medium flame. Start stirring when you are bout 20 minutes in, and keep stirring all the way to the end! This is very important, as otherwise it will burn and be ruined. Especially when adding the rice, things can get out of hand quickly if you don't stir.
  3. prepare vegs
  4. heat ghee or oil in a large frying pan, and fry the onions, garlic and ginger. Also add the turmeric.
  5. Now add all the other herbs to the mixture, and when the mungbeans have been cooking for about 70 minutes, add the rice and cook and stir for another 20 minutes with everything in one pan. Whene you are done, the ingredients should be hardly individually discernable
  6. Add some salad, and bon appetit!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Douwe Drijversma


anet on December 24, 2013:

how is it mono if there are many ingredients? and cooked..

what else would you recommend for mono?

Douwe Drijversma (author) from Amsterdam, Netherlands on August 18, 2013:

Hi Claudia, Thanks for the nice comment. To answer your question: no, other beans or lentils do not have the same effect as mung beans. It is actually the combination with the white rice that makes for the nutritiousness, there is nothing else like it really. In ayurveda this specific recipee reduces down all the doshas (the different qualities) which is why you'll feel very calm while on this diet. Yes, I know about Fit for Life. Those guys are actually on raw food right now. Which is also interesting, but the monodiet that I am proposing, is that the food is so well cooked, that you could say it is 'pre-digested' making it very easy on the system

Claudia Tello from Mexico on August 18, 2013:

I´ve never seen mung beans here in Mexico City, could it have the same results using lentils or other kinds of beans (as long as one sticks to the same one for 40 days)? I also wonder if rice doesn´t lose its protein content when it is white rice we are talking about (instead of brown)?

I find this "food brake" principle very interesting. Fit for Life is based on something similar but as a lifestyle health choice (eating only fruit until 12:00pm and then alternating “stimulating” protein+produce meals and “relaxing” wholesome carbs +produce with the idea of not consuming carbs and animal protein together). The idea is to give your body and digestive system a brake and time to clean itself and discard what it doesn´t need (as opposed to being always busy digesting meal after meal). I followed this eating program for a few months back in 2006 and I felt fantastic: full of energy, my body felt light and my digestive system was working in a perfect way, plus, I looked beautiful, and what woman wouldn´t be happy with that?

Very interesting hub, voted up and shared.

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