Leaning Into Fall: Foods, Herbs & Exercise

Seasonal transitions are hard on our bodies, particularly the ones that feel so harsh as moving from the Pitta (fiery) Summer season to the cool, dry, rough, and windy Fall and Winter seasons. This seasonal transition becomes harsher if we continue to consume the cooling foods that felt so good in summer (such as salads and raw veggies) into the Fall.

The antidote to the Fall is its opposites: warm and unctuous (but not too heavy).

Reboot Your Fall Kitchen & Pantry

Re-booting your kitchen and nutrition for the Fall has less to do with liver cleanings that might have been undertaken in the Spring, which could aggravate Vata and deplete our bodies for winter, but rather more to do with grounding ourselves and having a “toolbox” (of foods, lifestyle, and herbs) to prepare ourselves for winter. The qualities in our life to seek are warming grounding, and moist, with an emphasis on rhythms and routines.  This is where I will be focusing my writing and communications with you this month. Reduce in your life the cold, doing too much, anything that dries you out, and erratic habits. Not doing so, you may notice an increase in anxiety, dryness, and gut imbalances.

In Chinese, the fall is the season of the lungs and large intestine. With the increased darkness of the days: grief and sorrow can arise.

Traditional cultures have honored the ancestors at this time period. As a result, creating routines and rhythms ground us, creating rituals that allow us to “let go.”  And the lungs become vulnerable thus highlighting immunity and breath practice. This also makes the morning routine particularly important.

Lean into the Season

Fall: Favor foods that are warm, moist, slightly oily, and building foods

  • Make the slow cooker your friend and lean into slow-cooked soups and stews
    • Consume warm food and drinks. Avoid skipping meals and do not fast.
  • Root veggies, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, and winter squashes
  • Cooked cold-weather greens, such as sea vegetables, collards, kale, and Swiss chard
  • Warming spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, cumin, fennel, and salt
  • Warm, spiced milks (can be non-dairy): Chai lattes, Golden milk
  • Warming teas: Ginger, Turmeric/ginger
  • Raw or fresh-roasted seeds and nuts
  • Rich cold pressed oils, such as coconut, sesame, ghee, avocado
  • Moist grains, such as wheat, brown rice, and oats cooked with veggie stocks or extra water
  • Sweet or heavy fruits such as bananas and mangos; apples, pears, and cranberries
  • Proteins from small legumes, such as red lentils, mung beans, split peas, and aduki beans, tofu, eggs, most meats
  • Establish regular mealtimes

Foods to reduce:

  • Dry foods such as chips and crackers
  • Coffee
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Larger beans (cannellini, kidney, pinto), which may cause wind
  • Raw foods

Amalaki is a rejuvenating herb that is rich in Vitamin C. And a component of the tri-doshic powder Triphala powder. Check out Banyan Botanical’s website for information on these amazing powders.

Moringa is a cleansing herb to relieve accumulated heat.

Ghee is a clarified butter that has no casein and is ideal for roasting Fall veggies.

Exercise: Rest is in order to allow the body to recalibrate. If your usual routine is vigorous, back off for a few weeks. Use the extra time for oil massage. Avoid catching a chill: don’t run outside in the cold; favor brisk walks; do swimming and moderate yoga to circulate energy and ground the body. Stay out of the wind and cover-up. Keep your ears covered in the wind and cold.

I encourage you to start a big pot of warming soothing nourishing soups and stew a couple of times a week. Some of my favorite cookbooks: The Clean series by the amazing local author, talented chef, and educator, Terry Walters; The Oh she glows series by Angela Liddon; Sea, Salt, and Honey; and The Ayurvedic self-care Cookbook by O’Donnell.

Order Organic Local Soups & Juices

And suppose you want organic, local, nourishing made from scratch soups and juices and don’t have time to cook yourself. Laura Christie of Christie Caters who utilizes the beautiful Passiflora Commercial Kitchen to create goodness for your body and soul is on-board to help you out.

You can order these products directly from Laura and pick them up at our 7 Church Street North, New Hartford location during our business hours. Email Laura to order.

We are here to support your wellness journey. Don’t forget to make appointments with our amazing holistic health team: Dr. Karen Tyson, ND; Randi Camirand- Licensed Professional Counselor, Practitioner of EFT, EMDR, CBT, and yoga therapy; Alex Bailey- LMT and cranial sacral massage therapist; Sharon Fortier- LMT and trained in Arvigo Techniques of Mayan Abdominal Massage®, or drop in the say hello and buy your supplements, teas, or tincture.

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