Fall is truly here. I often find at each seasonal change I'm reflecting on the connection between Nature's cycles and my own rhythm. As the trees drop their leaves and restore their energy for Spring, I am reminded that a time of restoration rebuilds my energy reserves and ability to thrive.
We see this happening with the flora and fauna, and perhaps you are aware of what this looks like for you too. For example, the change in temperature and amount of daylight influences my appetite, my routine, the way I cook and the food that I eat. I also find that my physical activity, and my needs for mind-body nourishment are also effected. While I love to eat raw, fresh produce during the summer time, in the colder months I prefer to eat mostly warm, cooked foods for comforting warmth and grounding qualities. This feels like a very natural transition for me that agrees with my body. I also notice my muscles tensing up more and my joints often feel a little achy in the cooler, damp weather. These are some ways my whole being calls for more warming nourishment and balance.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, some of the signs and symptoms of imbalance as we transition into the fall and winter are:
- gas, bloating, constipation
- dry skin
- weight gain
Here are some diet and lifestyle recommendations to support the body, mind and spirit as we transition into fall and winter:
- Root vegetables and squashes: beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, winter squashes
- Variety of protein sources: free-range, grass-fed meats; legumes (lentils, split peas, beans), eggs
- Healthy fats, such as: avocados, coconut milk and oil, nuts & seeds and/or nutbutters
- Whole grains (gluten free if allergic or sensitive)
- Dark leafy greens
- Fruits in season. For example: apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries, citrus
- Hydrate with warm water (try with lemon)
- Warming spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, black pepper, cardamom
- Establish a sleep rhythm of waking up and going to bed around the same time every day
- Massage to reduce muscle tension and joint aches, reduce stress, improve circulation and immune system response
- Epsom salt baths to reduce muscle tension and joint pain, relax body and mind, improve sleep
- Physical activity that is restorative, such as yoga, tai chi and walking in nature
- Regular eating times throughout the day- avoid skipping meals
- Include time for quiet and stillness during the day
All of these suggestions will promote warmth from within, ignite your digestive fire, improve your energy, support your immune system and soothe your whole being so that you feel healthy, strong and more in balance physically, mentally and emotionally.
I welcome fall and all the ways it encourages me to slow down, let go and trust. What do you notice about your body, energy and/or mood as we transition into fall? How do your food preferences change? What form of nourishment is calling for your attention?