Sometimes a season slips peacefully into its changes, like the Indian summer some of us on the East Coast are experiencing and sometimes a season comes crashing unexpectedly upon us. How can we prepare ourselves for stepping into a healthy fall to make the most of this new season? What some of us may not know is that autumn is the optimal time for cleansing and reflection.
Although Earth and Moon Design is all about handcrafted jewelry inspired by nature, we also know that the same way we adorn ourselves on the outside is the way in which we want to take care of ourselves and our health on the inside. By focusing on our whole selves in this holistic way we can find our balance.
Eating Healthy: The Jewel Colors of Fall
A healthy fall prepares us for a balanced winter and as we see our countertops fill with the brightly colored foods that grow this time of year; the orange, yellows, greens, purples, and gold of squashes and other root vegetables, we can start to use these as our kitchen medicine cabinet.
The colors of fresh vegetables contain a plethora of vitamins that help us build our immune system and fortify our health for the months to come. This seems so right with our desire to eat heartier foods as we feel the shift in temperature.
- Yellow, gold, and orange vegetables provide us with anti-inflammatory and anti-aging vitamins.
- Greens counteract any heavy metals we ingest from our environment.
- Purple is a nervous system protector for our gut and brain.
- Red builds our blood, energy and chi, our life force.
How easy it is to bring all the different colors into our meals. And when I look at our studio areas I smile at the similarity of jewel tone colors in our beads and gemstones to be used in our fall and holiday collections. I love experimenting with color in the studio and the kitchen. Although I am not a vegan, I came across this cookbook which has some amazingly colorful and tasty recipes. You can pick up a copy here.
Tips for Staying Healthy
We recently started looking at issues related to “Aging Gracefully”, which you can read HERE. What we eat and how we take care of our bodies are some of the most important factors in being able to age gracefully. And there are other actions we can take for stepping into a healthy fall. The best protection against colds, flu, and fatigue that we are often susceptible to in the colder months, is to look after ourselves in autumn.
Through healthy living, we can build our fortress of well-being. One idea might be to add a fresh green juice or healthy smoothie to one meal a day. We can boost our immune system by eating leafy greens like kale and blending kale makes it palatable. I’ve recently started using my non-fancy blender and have been pleasantly surprised. If you’re not sure where to get started, why not try a 30-day challenge in October. The guys over at SimpleGreenSmoothies.com have a new one starting October 1st.
Hydration is the biggest antidote to fatigue and a myriad of other health symptoms. The guideline for drinking half your body weight in water each day may be a stretch for many of us, however, think about what you drink now; are you managing to consume eight or sixteen ounces of water? Now up it to one quart (32oz.) a day. We can all do that. Right?
Consider roasting a tray of your favorite vegetables, simply by slicing them thinly, drizzling olive or coconut oil, sea salt and favorite seasonings and bake. These can be used as an alternative snack to chips.
Use root vegetable to make hearty soups. The more we surround ourselves with naturally sweet unprocessed foods; the more we come to reach for them when given a choice. Trade up your ‘whites’- white sugar and flour, with whole food alternatives like spelt or almond flour; honey or maple syrup to make your cooking and baking taste even richer and more delicious.
Preparing for Autumn
The autumnal equinox- a brief period when day and night are basically equal in duration, just passed and now our days will be shorter. Autumn is also associated with internal energy, introspection, and reflection. It is the time to make sure we keep up our daily practices as the shortening of days propels us to get quieter and more focused. Harnessing this time with meditation, breath, and mindfulness practices are the simplest tools we have for cleansing and reinvigorating our body, mind, and spirit. Guided meditation can be super useful and this 30-minute meditation is a good place to start.
It might also just be the time to take some ‘me’ time, read a book, write in a journal or spend snuggle time with loved ones, be they the furry kind or a human.
During the respite that lies between the warm summer months and the cold winter days, is a perfect opportunity to complete projects and get ourselves ready for the busy holidays that come quickly from November on. And we know how fast time passes by us. We don’t want to be caught unprepared.
Stepping into a Healthy Fall
Isn’t fall an amazing time for exercise- it’s “not too hot; it’s not too cold; it’s just right!” It could be a bike ride, nature walk, bird watch, beach walk or even raking the leaves. The key to maintaining consistency with any exercise is to choose one that makes you smile. Even if you have physical limitations, as I do, any movement that involves legs, arms, and stretches is good for the heart and soul. As T.Harv Eker says, “It’s the habit, not the amount.”
A great slogan says, “Build upon what you have until you get to where you want to be“; this applies to our health as well. With the proper actions, we can approach aging in a healthy manner at every phase of life. As we enter the new season of color, we see how our trees use the cooler weather to evolve into their jewel toned glory and we are inspired. What new colors do you want to bring forth? Fall is our time too!