Daisy Prepares for Fall

Daisy Prepares for Fall

September represents the start of a new year for many people, even more so than January. It is a time when schools start, work picks up and people attempt to gear up for the increased pace of life. For some this feels like a grind and the increased pace is difficult to manage. September is also a transition point between the expansive and hot summer days to the inward and cool days of the fall. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this period occurs for about 16 days around the fall equinox (This year – September 22).

This transition point can leave people feeling ‘stuck’ with tiredness, physical/mental stagnation and creative blocks. People may also experience nausea, bloating, poor appetite and loose stools. This is caused by our bodies being our of synch with the natural rhythm of the earth.

Ancient eastern wisdom offers dietary and lifestyle recommendations to help move with the seasonal cycles. This is the time of the ‘earth element’ that is responsible for digestive health and distribution of nutrients to the body. These nutrients help strengthen the body in immunity, vitality, warmth and mental function for the cooler months ahead. Therefore, this is a time to focus on strengthening our digestion that in turn will leave us with greater energy and focus. Check out these 6 tips for synching with September!

Tip 1: To harmonize with this season choose food that are grounding

Choose mildly sweet foods, yellow or golden foods and round foods. This includes millet, carrot, sweet potato, squash, cabbage, yams, legumes, brown rice, sweet rice, chestnuts and apricot.

Tip 2: Prepare foods simply

Use minimal to mild seasoning. Eat simply and avoid complicated meals and food combinations. Eating simply and moderately reduces the energy required to breakdown food. It reduces bloating, stomachache, irritable bowel and leaves us feeling vital and focused.

Tip 3: Practice moderation in food preparation

Don’t undercook or overcook foods. Use moderate cooking temperatures. Cook with water or sparing amounts of oil. This helps to reduce the complexity of our meals and the digestive energy required to break them down into nutrients.

Tip 4: Consider a seasonal 3-day grain fast

The cusps of spring and summer are times for a ‘cleansing’ fruit and vegetable fasts while the cusps of winter and fall are times for a ‘building’ grain fast. A grain fast can help to build mental focus. This includes rice, rice congees, mung beans, sourdough breads, broth soups and root vegetables with plenty of tea such as marshmallow root or licorice tea.

Tip 5: Consider a probiotic or fibre supplement to boost digestion

Fibre helps cleanse the colon and improve digestive function. Research has shown that fiber encourages healthy bacterial growth that supports immune function. A probiotic will help inoculate the gut with healthy bacteria and kick-start digestive and immune function. When our immune system is strong we tend to feel more vital and focused.

Tip 6: Practice meditation and breathing exercises

Meditation brings us into our centre. This energy grounds us and brings us closer to the earth. In doing so, we are harmonizing with the rhythm of the earth and the season change.

 

The earth element regulates our ‘centre’…. That which is constant from where it harmonizes the effects of the four seasons’ (Inner Classic)

 

References:

Bengmark S. Colonic food: pre- and probiotics. Am J Gastroenterol. 2000. Jan;95(1 Suppl):S5-7.

Pritchford, P. Healing with Whole Foods. 2002. 3rd Ed. North Atlantic books, Berkley, California.

Rask C, Adlerberth I, Berggren A, Ahrén IL, Wold AE. Differential effect on cell-mediated immunity in human volunteers after intake of different lactobacilli. Clin Exp Immunol. 2013 May;172(2):321-32