Three months of fluctuating temperatures. Three months of energy drawing in and downward. Three months to dry out, and cool off from the summer. This period is crucial to get the dis-comforts from summer out of the body. If it is not removed and Pitta, the influence of summer, is allowed to sit elevated in the body disease then begins to develop.
How does your body handle the seasonal shift?
Do you feel relief or do your issues become worse as the fall season develops?
This time of year it is important to regulate body temperature. We want to cool down from summer, while simultaneously avoid catching a chill. This may be a challenge for some. This season is all about preparation for winter. What happens now, creates your health for the next season. Very simple things can really make a big impact on your ability to get through this winter unscathed. Personally I secretly love getting the flu. When else as an adult do we get a full week off to play video games, watch tv marathons while drooling on oneself, wearing the same stinky sweat pants for days at the sympathy of your loved ones, friends, and bosses? Sadly the healthier I get the faster I bounce back off the sofa, or never end up there in the first place. Sigh compromises for health and beauty, right.
key gunas of focus
Hot; ushna vs Cold; shita
It sounds really basic. Cool down if you are hot, and warm up if you are cold. Most of this holistic balanced living stuff is a little science, a little bit of wisdom, and a lot of duh. Most of our discomforts in life can be completely avoided if we simply learn to pay attention, and take action. This is the language of prevention. Even when you are already dealing with serious health issues, these basic concepts will take the pressure off of the body so that it can focus on healing the bigger issues. Our body works hard to maintain a very narrow degree of temperature. Adding in hot spicy warming foods, adds more heat to the body that it then needs to work to cool down. Vice versa eating raw salad in a cold body, takes away energy simply to warm up. You can help your body while it fights to keep you alive by eating appropriately to your current conditions. Notice the patterns, and set your life up around proactive prevention.
Such as, pack extra layers like hats, scarves, and sweaters this time of year. In fall it is best to dress like a swiss army knife, and over pack your lunches with lots of variety. Be a boy scout, and be prepared. This season is all about variability, and you want to be prepared. Even the weather man has no idea what the conditions will be during this variable Vata season. This next month pay attention to any foods that may bring a chill to your body, vs foods that increase heat. Pack a variety of foods for work or school that could cool you off or warm you up.
Easier said than done, and I am with you, and the struggle is real. HOWEVER it is the little changes that will truly add up and create long lasting change. Incremental steps are the foundations that will create endurance in the body, thus paving the way for the big heavy hitting stuff to actually penetrate the body and allow it to do it’s thing.
First focus on simple easy 1, 2, 3s for this season.. aka big impact juicy stuff that is so simple anyone can do it.
** If your temperature is varying wildly going from sweating to freezing, first contact your holistic health professional to get your HPA axis and Thyroid looked at. If you are freezing and cannot warm up, or sweating in February… call me.
Autumn is the time to let the excess Pitta, or built up heat from the summer, leave the body. While, for some the focus is more on building up heat stores for the winter. The days fluctuate from hot to cold, and our resiliency will be revealed.
Are you over heating in the afternoons and unable to cool?
Or are you freezing in the mornings or at night and unable to get warm?
Reduce Pitta heat:
Acclimatize: exercise outside during cool mornings and evenings, dress lightly to allow the cool wind to move across the skin.
Eat a small nutritious breakfast. Be sure not to skip.
More raw food and sweet fruit as snacks
Look at your plate: 20% raw food per meal. 40% green per meal.
Drink all beverages at room temperature.
Top meals with cilantro, or tzatziki sauce
Increase warmth for Vata & Kapha:
Protect all of your sensory organs. Keep with you something to protect your ears, head, chest, and neck. Wear thick socks.
Spend time outside during the warmest hours of the afternoon, getting lots of sun exposure. About 12-2. Have layers to cover up well in the late afternoons.
Breakfast should be warm porridge or brothy soups.
Drink warm beverages and cooked foods.
Cook with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom
Top meals with sesame oil.
Raw cools, Cooked warms
fruit: apples, cranberries, pears, grapes, guava, kiwis, persimmons, pineapple. pomegranate
greens: Belgian Endive, Butter Lettuce, endive, spinach big leaf, pumpkin, radicchio, swiss chard,
Vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, daikon radish, jerusalem artichoke, kohlrabi, mushrooms, squash, sweet potatoes, turnips
Spice it up: ginger, garlic, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, sunflower seeds,