Fall means cooler nights, changing leaves and cozy socks. These changes tell us something big is happening in nature, we are coming from sun season into moon season.
The sun season and all of it's warmth, growth and expansion, is giving way to moon season, a more introspective and darker time of year. The grand stirring of heat is trying to move out of the body and with this we can experience aggravating symptoms such as allergies, hot head, cold hands, runny nose and itchy/burning eyes.
Our goal is to assist the body in removing the heat with grace and ease.
This is the benefit of eating these 5 foods on a daily basis in the fall.
Okra is cooling to the body, mind and spirit. Okra needs to be properly cooked in order to experience the following benefits.
The slipperiness binds toxins in the blood, muscle tissue and liver, and then helps eliminate these toxins through the colon
Lubricates the colon and aids in smooth bowel movements
Balances Pitta (fire/water) and Vata (air/ether). Can be heavy for Kapha (Earth)
With its cooling metabolic effect, decreases heat and acidity generated from toxic buildup
Serves as a prebiotic—to feed and protect the friendly bacteria in the gut
Increases the quantity and quality of the reproductive fluid
Helps alleviate arthritis and osteoporosis
High in carotene, B-complex vitamins, and vitamin C
Source: Vaidya Mishra and Divya Alter from her blog The New Ayurvedic Kitchen
This ancient grain has been prepared in many ways all over the world for thousands of years. Barley flakes or hulled barley are most nutritious, not pearled. Barley is sweet, cooling and semi astringent, meaning it is great for the fall to help ground the body and remove the heat of summer.
More benefits include:
It has a natural slipperiness that lends to a healthy environment in the gut (prebiotic)
Calming to inflamed urinary tract
Can regulate blood sugar
Contains fiber which assists in proper elimination
Binds with toxins in the colon and blood, thus purifying these tissues
This seed is a cooling dipani in Ayurveda. This means that it kindles the digestive fire at the same time that it is cooling. However, if you eat too much fennel, it can be warming, so let's stick to 1/2 tsp with each meal per person.
In order to alleviate some of it's heating properties, we must first toast fennel seeds. Take 1/2 cup of organic fennel seeds and place in a dry cast iron pan. Turn the heat on medium and toast until fragrant and they change color, about 1 minute. Chew 1/2 tsp following meals.
Fennel carries these additional benefits :
Increases clarity of consciousness
Benefits lactating mothers by increasing milk
Decreases abdominal pain from indigestion
Directs vata (air/ether) downward, thus calming to the mind
This is yet another vegetable that is soothing to the digestion, slippery in the intestines and overall cooling to the body.
Slice zucchini and roast with other local and seasonal vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, beets, and daikon radish. Add some sprinkles of our Savory Magic Masala, and you've got an easy and delicious meal.
This common citrus is often overlooked for it's flashier counterpart, the lemon. Lime has a few things going for it that lemon does not. It is alkalizing, cooling and adds another digestive component to your meal, that is the sour taste.
Slice wedges and squeeze over freshly cooked grains, legumes, vegetables and add a splash to your spring water.
Enjoy the last of the warm days by assisting your body to release the accumulated heat gracefully.
If you are interested in being guided through a personal healing journey with cleansing and nourishing foods, specific personal meditations and other self care practices, contact me to arrange. I am honored to work with you from a distance or in person in Northern Colorado.