03
Mar
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Shoes and glues > The shoe patching last weekend held up reasonably well. For rainy reasons though the patched pair didn’t get fully tested. I ran out of time today so next weekend I will cut precise patches and refine the glue application process which got messy last time.

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Easier energy > For about the last week, I’ve been making a sort of kitchari/congee mix for breakfast. It’s definitely not bacon and eggs but I like what it’s been doing for me. I’ve got more energy and I don’t feel as sluggish throughout morning training.

Kitchari is an Indian curry of sorts made from water, mung beans, rice, veggies, and spices like turmeric, coriander, cumin, mustard seed, and fennel seed. The mung beans are particularly good for detoxifying the body. The congee originates from China. It is well cooked gruel or thick soup made from a grain and additional ingredients. There are many variations of it. I use water, rice, millet, sweet potato, and fresh ginger. Here’s the process I use to make it:

  • Soak brown rice, millet, and mung beans for 6-12 hours, soak kombu seaweed (in a separate container) for the same time
  • Discard the cereal/legume water, rinse and put into a pot. Cut up and add the seaweed and seaweed water to the pot (this is for additional nutrients and legume digestibility). Add extra water for longer cooking times, use a crock pot for all day or overnight cooking
  • Boil this for about 30 minutes uncovered while skimming off and discarding the surface foam
  • During the boil, chop ingredients like ginger, sweet potato and veggies (meat too if wanted). Add them to the pot when the skimming is done
  • Now also add a little of the seeds/spices/herbs that will help cook the beans; fennel seed, mustard seed, coriander, cumin, turmeric, hing - (note: kitchari normally calls for you to toast the seeds in oil until they start popping, then quickly add the spices for a slight toast before adding them to the main pot)
  • Let the pot boil again, turn down the heat, let it simmer for an hour or two before it’s done
  • About 30 minutes before you want to eat it’s still pretty bland if you didn’t add too much spice/seeds/herbs/etc. This is a good thing because now you can flavor it however you like your hot cereal; whether it’s a little salty, sweet, or other. I use miso because it has a probiotic element when not boiled.
  • Try different ingredients out. For a more standard breakfast cereal substitute fresh fruit for the kitchari elements. Try various meats and other legume/grain combinations out.

Here’s why I think this is helping my energy level: Traditionally grains had the opportunity to slightly ferment while being stored. Today foods are pre-cooked to eliminate bacteria and/or sealed in air tight packaging so fermentation doesn’t occur. Grains though that are allowed to ferment a little are partly “pre-digested.” Adding to this “pre-digestion” process is that grains/legumes were also usually cooked for long periods of time, sometimes all day. By soaking, which begins the fermentation process, and cooking them longer, my body can put energy into moving me around, rather than getting caught digesting.

I cooked the kitchari/congee breakfast to share with everyone but it didn’t take off. Some liked it, but it’s not exactly what people are accustomed to, nor what they want or need. I’ve purchased most of the ingredients for it so I don’t take too much from the center’s budget for something only I’m eating. I feel this is fair to everyone and my own budget. As well, it seems to be helping me train more efficiently. It may just be green gruel, but it’s awesome eating!

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