Have you noticed a tickle in your throat, sniffles, or itchy eyes as autumn breezes blow in?
I’m here to introduce you to Ayurveda, India’s 1000-year old medical system. Ayurveda helps you to prevent diseases before they rear their rotten heads.
The seasons bring changes in the amount of daylight, temperature, and humidity. These changes affect your body. Do you know how to adjust your diet and lifestyle to be in sync with the seasons?
Sound crazy? It’s gobsmackingly simple.
In autumn the air is cool and crisp. Leaves dry up and fall from trees. In Ayurveda there is a primary manager of the season and each of our bodies, called vata in Sanskrit. The elements air and ether dominate in autumn. This creates light, airy, dry, windy, irregular tendencies in our bodies. Use the opposite qualities in meals and your routines — heavy, unctuous, stable, grounding, and regular.
7 Simple Sure-Fire Ways to Glisten in Autumn
1. Eat local and stay in-sync with your surroundings. In autumn root vegetable stews made with sweet potatoes, squash, and pumpkins replace the leafy salads of summer. The leaves of plants suit a summer diet while root vegetables are earthy.
2. Think, eat and drink wet. Have you noticed that your digestion slows down in autumn? Your body is in transition and can use a boost. Try preparing simple-to-digest soups and stews. And they also keep your body happily hydrated.
3. Think grounding. Eat spiced oatmeal for breakfast. The heavy quality of the oats makes this a warm, satisfying way to start your day. Porridge is also easier to digest than a dry cereal like muesli. Oats are a terrific source of fiber – and a surefire way to keep constipation at bay. Add a bit of ground cinnamon and cloves and you will feel tingling and happy from the inside out.
4. Drink warm. Ginger is an important ingredient in Indian, Japanese Thai, Mexican, Chinese cuisines — to name just a few. Wonder why? It is a proven digestive aid, anti-inflammatory and immune system booster. Try this: boil 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger in a 4 cups of water, then add a pinch of turmeric and honey. Drink. Drink. Drink. Bonus: ginger is a natural detoxifier.
And beware of ice. Your digestive enzymes are temperature sensitive. They like a warm, cozy environment, and are inactive (literally) at extremes. By putting icy liquids in your tummy, your food is more likely to sit undigested.
5. Think regular. If you stick to a regular schedule you will improve your energy levels. Eat at regular times, avoid skipping meals. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Even try to have your bowel movements at the same time each day, preferably soon after waking. If you find yourself constipated take one tablespoon of castor oil with a glass of water.
6. Eat spicy. Spices keep our digestion running like a finely tuned ferrari. Common kitchen spices have a myriad of medicinal benefits, including releasing your digestive enzymes. Include spices such as cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, mustard seeds, and fennel. Take a look at your spice rack. Can you spot nature’s most powerful anti-oxidant? It is bring yellow, used in most curry mixes and called turmeric. Regular consumption of turmeric decreases cancers rates and alzheimer’s disease in rural India. Other spices like basil, rosemary, oregano and thyme are also antibacterial and immunity boosters.
7. Think oil. When autumn winds come, does your skin turn into gritty sandpaper? Add healthy fats to your diet and lube up your skin from the inside out. Say no to french fries and processed oils. Say yes to avocado, nuts, seeds, and cold-pressed oils. Sesame oil and ghee (clarified butter) are especially helpful as the weather cools. Imbibe tons of healthy oils and fats and feel your sandpaper skin turn to velvet.
You can use simple tips and tricks in the kitchen to avoid trips to the doctors office.
Follow these time-tested guidelines and you will feel grounded, happy and warm through your autumn season.
And now over to you: have you found a tasty fall recipe? Share it with us.