Fall is upon us.
I woke up early to meet the sunrise today – and as I stepped out the contrast was clear – my bare feet on the grass were freezing – and my face was totally enjoying the warm caress of the sun’s first rays. That soft warmth only early spring and fall share.
As I got inside to put some wool socks on and warm my feet, I remembered my Chinese medicine doctor saying – “It’s fall my friend, start warming up your feet – you don’t want your chi to run away!”
The ancients knew about how seasonal changes affect our bodies.
While I don’t have training in Traditional Chinese Medicine, I am trained in Ayurvedic cooking and a big part of our education was learning about the seasons, the elements, how our bodies respond to the transitions and changes.
Ancient systems of healing bring thousands of years of wisdom, and if we rest on sound nutritional principles and the knowledge that has been passed down, we can really start to navigate the changes in seasons with grace and without much difficulty.
In fall, our lungs and intestines are the most susceptible to the changes in weather. Many people will get upper respiratory infections, or just feel weak, bloated and unmotivated once the temperature drops. You know your drive and willpower lives in your gut, so no wonder that many students come to us in fall feeling stuck and lost.
Would you like to try something new this fall?
I have gathered the 11 principles that we share with our private coaching clients so they can move from summer to fall with ease. They are also a key part of our Fall Mini Reset program – our elimination diet to reduce inflammation, increase energy and help you feel great in your skin.
Galina’s 11 tips for a healthy transition to fall
Start your morning with a gut strengthening drink. If you already have a favorite warm morning drink – stick with that. Bone broth or a drink with added collagen is excellent.
Make protein the base of your meals. Go for a palm-sized amount of a protein of your choice – meat, fish, eggs, or natural cheeses like cottage and paneer. If meat is not your thing, opt for a serving of a high-quality whey or plant-based protein powder. Properly prepared soaked legumes, if you can tolerate them, are also great here.
Include seasonal sweet-tasting veggies or fruit with every meal. It’s best for your fruit to be warm and cooked. Baked and poached apples and pears are perfect here!
Drink warm tea between meals. You can sweeten it with very small amounts of honey, but best, keep it plain. If tea is not your thing, an infusion of warm water and some herbs or ginger may be a great substitute. Some people are happy to just drink warm water, and if that’s you, more power to you. Just avoid cold, carbonated or icy drinks.
Make the bulk of your food warm and moist. Avoid cold juices, smoothies, salads, and sandwiches. In short – anything that is cold or dry. Instead choose warm, cooked, soft, liquid foods.
“This is why you will see less raw and more cooked veggies in the meal plans for our fall Real Food Reset!”
Use seasonal spices that balance the cold elements: ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cardamom, mustard, cloves, turmeric, black pepper, anise, vanilla, paprika. These will balance the cold and dry weather and increase your digestion and assimilation. You can buy a mix like Vata Churna to add to your spice cabinet.
Use seasonal herbs to balance the cold elements: dill, thyme, rosemary, fennel, mint, basil, bay leaf, oregano, parsley.
Keep alcohol, sugar, and processed foods to a minimum. If you are enjoying concentrated sweet foods such as chocolate or cookies, please have a meal before that or accompany with a protein and fat-rich snack.
Include fermented vegetables and condiments in your food: sauerkraut, ginger bug, pickled carrots and onions, naturally fermented pickles, kim-chi, fermented mustard, etc. Look for fermented nut cheeses, and naturally fermented cheese and sausage at farmers markets. Enjoy yogurt and kefir as you usually do, but make sure you have them at room temperature, as they are naturally cooling anyways.
Make sure you have plenty of bone broth or stock in your fridge. If you find yourself hungry before dinner, make a broth drink and enjoy as you prepare dinner – the warm and nourishing broth will prepare your digestion, curb your appetite and help you control food portions. Soup makes perfect breakfast!
Take time to notice your food, smell it, thoroughly chew it and swallow it with attention. Be fully done with one bite, before you continue with the other. Engaging all your senses with your food will help satiate you, but will also improve your digestion, which is easily challenged in the cold season.
And now notice
Take your time to read through these 11 guidelines a couple of times. Notice your response to those suggestions. For example, you might get super excited at the prospect of having warm food every night, yet frown at the idea of broth in a cup before breakfast. Ask yourself why that is and what are some practical ideas or support that you could ask of us to make this tip work for you.
Often, a visceral reaction may mean that you once had one unfortunate experience with a food, only to find out you actually quite enjoy a meal or a new combination of ingredients. Or say that you don’t like fermented foods – it’s ok to skip the suggestions that are really not your cup of tea (no pun intended here!).
Are you ready to feel the change?
We’re kicking off the Fall Edition of our Real Food Reset right now.
Just 30 days of Real Food to kick your cravings, tame inflammation, lose weight, and feel great in your skin
30 days can change your life
- Tired of feeling heavy despite watching what you eat?
- Are you so exhausted you need sugary food and caffeine to function?
- Do chronic aches and pains stop you from exercising and moving the way you love?
Dialing in your nutrition with a seasonal meal plan, real, whole foods, and healing fall spices is exactly what you need.
The group starts together on October 1st, but you can start to feel better as soon as you sign up!