How To Improve Digestion and Reduce Stress with Ayurveda

Interview with Lisa Munger

With the Happy Sexy Belly program running full course all my thoughts are on digestion and ways to improve it. I do my best to share the most effective tips on improving the feeling of digestive un-ease with my students. I share what worked well for me, what I learned from my teachers, and read in my favorite health books.

I also interview lots of experts to learn new things or to hear a new perspective on things well-known. Today my friend and a great ayurvedic practitioner Lisa Munger shares her wisdom.

According to ayurveda, dis-ease stems from improper digestion. Both mental or physical indigestion cause toxins or ama and eventually lead to maladies that range from anxiety to constipation, from weak immune system to anger.

There many ways to improve both physical and mental digestion to prevent bloating, reduce stress, and stay healthy.

Lisa Munger, an ayurvedic expert answers my questions about:

  • The effect of TV on our digestion
  • Why it is good to eat with your fingers
  • How much food is a perfect amount for your body
  • One incredibly versatile and tasty dish to heal your digestion
  • How to use essential oils to improve the unpleasant symptoms or indigestion

If you want to experience the healing power of kitchari that we discuss in the video on your tummy, try this recipe:

Quinoa Kitchari (adapted from Dr. Sunil Joshi)

image from

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This dish is really easy to digest, healthy, balancing, and tasty.  Make it when you need to detox, let your digestive system rest, get over a virus or sickness faster, and just nourish your system after a stressful event. Traditionally, kitchari is made with rice but quinoa goes great, too! It has more protein (amino acids) and tastes great!


  • 1/2 cup yellow or green mung dal
  • 1/2 quinoa or white basmati rice
  • 1-2 tsp. ghee
  • 1/4 tsp EACH black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ground cumin, ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • mineral salt to taste
  • Chopped cilantro and a few slices of lime
  • Optional 1 small beet, kale, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, green beans or any other vegetable that you like

What to do:

  • Soak dal and grains overnight or at least for a few hours. Rinse well.
  • Heat ghee and mustard seeds in a large saucepan on medium heat until seeds begin to pop. Add remaining spices and cook briefly.
  • Then add the water before the spices burn.
  • Add the rice, dal, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add hard vegetables like beets and carrots, cover and simmer until both dal, veggies and rice/quinoa are soft, approx 30 mins.  Add additional water as necessary.
  • Add softer vegetables and greens 5 mins before grains and lentils are fully cooked.
  • The cilantro leaves and lime juice right before serving.

You can read more about kitchari benefits and get a few different recipes here.

The winner of Gaiam Giveaway

On another note, it is time to announce a lucky winner of Gaiam Giveaway. And the winner is Carrie A Groff! Congratulations Carrie! I will email you personally with all the details.


Get Your Tummy Feeling CLEAN. Plus GaiamTV Special Giveaway A Simple Answer To Most Digestive Problems