The leaves are falling from the trees, and a deep chill has set in the air.
Fall is a time of transition, and whether you are looking forward to the winter months or dreading them, nature is inviting us to slow down. We welcome the shorter days and cool weather as a balance to the recent heat and intensity of summer, with practices that ground us. Diet is no exception. While summer calls for cool, crisp salads, watery melons and iced drinks, at this time of year we crave warming soups, soft roasted vegetables, baked pies, and slow cooked stews. It’s no coincidence that menus in restaurants, instagram feeds, and the dishes on our tables reflect the changing season. Listening to our bodies, and making adjustments in exercise, diet, and even sleep routines will help maintain well-being throughout the cold, windy months ahead.
Here are a few nutritious ideas for filling your fall days with balance, and feeling your best.
1. Eat more substantial foods, infused with spices, and served warm. Creamy oatmeal with toasted almonds, cinnamon, and a dash of warm maple syrup, three bean chili, hearty squash soups, steamed greens, roasted chicken and vegetables, baked fish, lentil stew, and an array of hearty cooked grains. Eat cold foods such as salads, raw vegetables and icy smoothies in moderation. Try making curriedroasted butternut squash soup for dinner, when daylight turns to dark early. We will be cooking delicious Roasted Chicken thighs with lemon, olives and string beans in my Nourishing One Pan Meals, Cooking Workshop on November 9th. See class schedule below.
2. Create a “tea ritual” in the evening, to wind down your day. Choose from a number of soothing and stabilizing herbs such as tulsi, chamomile, and lavender, steeped in a large mug of hot filtered water for 10 minutes.
3. Listen to your body, eating slowly and mindfully. Fall/Winter foods are more nourishing and tend to have heavier preparations. Your appetite may feel bigger as well, which can lead to over eating. Increasing your intake of protein based foods and small amounts of healthy fats (from nuts, seeds, avocado), can help ward off sugar and carbohydrate cravings that are common this time of year. Be picky about your carbs. Choose high quality, whole grains (naturally packed with fiber) to maintain blood sugar levels, and feel satisfied longer. Coming into the holiday “eating season” these tips are especially helpful.