I’m definitely one who looks forward to the crisp morning air, rain downpours with intermittent sun and rainbows, cozy fires, warm soups, soft slippers, daily baths, anything warming and cozy really.
Our lungs and intestines are the most susceptible to weather changes in the fall, which is probably one of the reasons why I love the fall and winter…I’ve had to learn to truly take care of my body. Upper respiratory infections, bloating, slowing of energy, feeling reclusive and wanting to nest inside our homes…inside our body.
Your drive and willpower live in your gut and when the weather cools and our drive decreases, we can feel stuck or lost. We look for comfort and sometimes this is food. But when the season cools, metabolism slows, our body tries to hold onto reserves and craves what is needed for our body to do that.
We work with our clients individually on these concepts, however, I wanted to share some foundational tips and perspectives that could help anyone during this seasonal transition.
- Create a morning routine and ritual for your body and your mind: Start your morning with a gut primer that helps to warm your intestinal tract and brings movement and blood flow to this area to help deliver nutrients to your organs. This is energizing and deeply nourishing. Some of my favorites are a lemon ginger tea while listening to my morning music and meditation or writing my morning pages, bone broth with some fresh ginger grated on top, or a fresh ginger-turmeric juice to perk me up and get my blood flowing.
- Joyful Movement: Connect with movement. Explore and experiment until you find what you love. Dance, walk, hike, skip, swing on swings, bellydance, swim, yoga, stretch, hula-hoop, go to the gym…I invite you to explore movement that helps you to feel invigorated and alive, allows you to go at your own pace, and challenges you in a good way!
- Warm your body first thing in the morning so that you’re not trying to warm yourself throughout the day with food. Wear socks, take a bath when you first wake up, or drink a raw apple cider vinegar shot upon waking. Include warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice. Sometimes what we are chasing with our food has nothing to do with hunger but everything to do with our body temperature.
- Eat seasonal root veggies like squash. Avoid raw, cold vegetables, muesli, non-seasonal fruit and cold drinks. We have less digestive fire in the cold weather and need to work on stoking the fire of our digestion. When food is raw, the intestines don’t have enough energy to break down the cellulose layers in those foods which causes gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation, and even emotional/psychological irritation. Warm your body with cooked vegetables, protein, whole grains, fat and warming spices.
- Make sure you have a bone broth stock in your freezer. I know this is in almost every newsletter…but it’s so helpful and important in seasonal transitions. My favorite bone broth is just chicken feet, carrots, salt and apple cider vinegar. In the instant pot for 120 minutes. That’s it!
- Eat before it’s too late. Don’t wait until you are starving and hangry…Seriously! Yes, I’ve done this too many times to count but it’s not worth it. No matter how busy you are, please take time for you, for your body. Then you’ll be able to handle life, have capacity for the stress we can’t control, and for your kids or work or even just for you!
- Challenge your mindset around good and bad foods. Why is a food good or bad? Food doesn’t have morals or values. It’s not inherently doing good or doing bad. Instead, cultivate habits that align with your values and how you would like to live and enjoy your life. Experiment with food neutrality.
- Sip your water throughout the day. Your body can’t absorb a large amount of water at a time. If you wait until you feel parched beyond repair, then you will never feel satisfied.
- Take time with your food, connect with your food, savor your food. Enjoy the act of eating, the company you share, the flavors and aroma, smell it, and chew your food thoroughly. Calm your body before you eat. Notice how food feels in your body as it enters your esophagus and travels through the intestines. Be grateful. Feel the blessing of your body and how your body just knows how to digest and absorb nutrients. After all, we are a human body and our body has wisdom that is beyond our control…thank goodness!
- Bedtime Routine: Sleep. As the sun falls and the darkness is earlier and earlier, I encourage you to follow the rhythm of the seasons. Enjoy the darkness, the warm of the fire, warm tea before bed, your cozy slippers, and a bedtime routine that helps you drift into dreamland. Sleep is incredibly nourishing and cleansing for our organs and we need more than average during the cooler months. Don’t resist the natural seasons and rhythm of your body. Embrace it. Dive deep into sleep and you will experience less fatigue, more alertness, mood stability, hormone balance, less cravings, less stress, and more immune strength through this season.