Nourishing Your Body For The Fall Season
As the weather starts to cool off we may feel inclined to gravitate to those richer, heartier, stick to your ribs kind of foods and that’s not a mistake. That’s not a sudden lack of control that over takes us. It is our nature and our biology to crave these foods because they are the foods that will keep us warm during the winter months.
So how do we take care of our health and eat in a way that is both nourishing and supportive without falling into those rich heavy fattening food traps as the weather cools off? Here are 3 easy tips for you to eat in balance with nature this fall:
Tip Number 1: Eat foods that are in season
There are no mistakes in nature & the best time to eat foods is when they are ripe and in season where you live. These seasonal foods will taste best and be the most nutrient rich this time of year. Some of my favorite foods to work with in the fall are the ABCs - apples, beets & carrots. Super high in antioxidants and minerals and very versatile. All three can be used as sweet or savory touches.
Brussels sprouts are fantastic this time of year. Try mashed cauliflower in stead of mashed potatoes. Delicious! Celery root and fennel are 2 of my favorite fall foods. Kale is not just great in green juice it’s a hearty cooking green you can use through fall and winter. All varieties of squash - try roasted spaghetti squash topped with fresh basil and tomatoes. And my absolute favorite fall superfood - pomegranates! Check out your local farmers markets and really take advantage of what’s in season this time of year.
Tip Number 2: Lightly cook your foods to give them a little warmth.
While eating raw is a great way to nourish your body and in the summer months it feels natural to eat those fresh fruits and veggies, it can be challenging to maintain body heat and metabolism in the winter months without adding in some warmer foods.
The key here it to saute or stir-fry your veggies so that they are warmed but still crunchy, and you want to make sure that they maintain their bright, vibrant color. Once they’re cooked to the point that they start to discolor or get mushy they’ve also lost a lot of their nutrients and enzyme activity. And you don’t have to go overboard. Keep your fresh juices and salads, but maybe add a cup of soup or top that salad with some sauteed onions zucchini.
Tip Number 3: Use spices to create heat.
Fall is a time off cooling down and slowing down, a time of shorter days and more hours of darkness. In order to stay in balance this time of year it can be helpful to add a little spice into your cooking. Some warming spices include black pepper, cardamom, tumeric, cumin, clove and cinnamon. Mustard & horesraddish are great to use as well. Of course any kind of hot pepper such as cayanne or chipotle will add some heat. You can even heat up your juice by adding fresh ginger. Or make fresh hot tea using ginger juice and lemon. Sipping it throughout the day supports digestion, it’s detoxifying, and it will keep you warm. And of course we can’t Garlic! Garlic is warming, it’s at it’s most plump and sweetest in the fall and is great for boosting the immune system as we go into cold & flu season.
I am a Wellness Coach and volunteer for the Down Town Merchants Association of Lakewood Alive.