It’s September already (the year again is just flying by) and there is definitely a chillier feel to the air at the moment…Autumn is truly on it’s way. I cannot wait for it to officially arrive though as the Autumn season is my favourite of all and I love doing abit of ‘Autumn Nourishing’ in preparation for when Autumn is fully welcomed.The end of September marks the start of the Autumn Equinox so there’s still a couple of weeks left to get fully prepared for this gorgeous season. With each new season there is always a transition of change. For Autumn you’ll probably find that your transition of change is finding yourself moving towards warmer more nourishing foods like stews and soups, using more root vegetables in cooking which are rich in antioxidants and minerals, and adding some more cosy layers on before you go out for your walk in the stunning array of crisp Autumn leaves. During the changing of the season you can follow a more ‘naturopathic principle’ this will allow your body to transition gently but still effectively to support your body’s adjustment to the change of season. This blog post I wanted to share with you all 6 simple tips that hopefully you will find useful to prepare you for the cooler months during the Autumn Equinox.
- Batch Cooking – There is nothing more delicious in the colder weather than a nourishing, homemade bowl of slow cooked chunky soup or stew. And during the colder months my slow cooker comes out for most of my meals. Slow cooking your meals is super simple and can save a huge amount of time too. On the weekend I love to slow roast an organic chicken, use the carcass to make a delicious chicken stock and then use the left-over meat for meals during the week. It’s a good way to be able to make a few meals out of one. You can also freeze your own batch cooked portions for ready-made meals for supper or lunch on those busy days during the week where you don’t have much time but you want a wholesome meal. All you need to do is add some steamed vegetables for the side and you’ve got a fast, home-cooked, nourishing meal.
- Spices And Herbs – Warming spices and herbs can transform any dish into a more flavoursome meal. Add plenty of warming spices and herbs to stews and soups. Turmeric, Garlic, Ginger, Rosemary, Black Pepper, Cumin, Onions, Paprika, Horseradish…are all very nourishing and beneficial. Adding herbs and spices to your meals will help to support your immune system and your circulation too. They are especially nourishing for when you feel under the weather aswell.
- Eat An Array Of Colour (“Eat the rainbow”) – Ensure that your plate has a variety of colours on it. You’ve probably heard the saying “Eat the Rainbow” before, it’s a way of reminding that you need to eat a mix of vegetables and fruits to get the vitamins and minerals that you need. So ensure a good mix of seasonal vegetables and fruits at each of your meals. For the Autumn a love a mix of colours from Carrots, Beetroot and Squashes. These types of vegetables are rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants like Vitamin C and anthocyanidins for circulatory and immune system health.
- Vitamin D – You probably by now have come across the importance of making sure you get enough Vitamin D daily so as the sun and summer months draw to a close the cloudier and darker days appear and exposure to Vitamin D can be harder to get. It’s quite an interesting fact but only 10% of our daily Vitamin D intake comes from what we eat which means the rest we need to get from sunlight or supplementation. A vitamin D supplement can be good to take during the darker months to support your overall mood and immune system. Getting your daily boost of Vitamin D really does help any seasonal mood related problems. If you want to consider taking a Vitamin D supplement then ensure it’s good quality and natural and in a form that is easily absorbed by your body so you won’t require such a high dose.
- Up Your Magnesium And Zinc Intake – There have been estimations done to show the percentage of magnesium deficiency in the population…and if you look that up for yourself it’s quite a shocking amount. If you have a lack of magnesium and zinc then it can reduce your serotonin levels causing low moods. Not only this but they also play an important part in energy production and supporting your immune systems defence against viral or bacterial infections. Ensure that you are eating foods rich in magnesium and zinc to up your intake and ensure better health. Eating things like poultry, lamb, oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach and chard (and many more) can help to increase your magnesium and zinc intake.
- Move Mindfully – With the poorer weather setting in and darker mornings arriving it can be very off-putting to get out of your warm, cosy bed and you may feel less inclined to stick to what your current routine during the summer might of been. For example; You may of loved during the summer months to wake up early and start the day off with a morning run. Instead of stopping due to the weather and dark and starting to lack motivation then just make some simple changes instead of totally giving up. Be mindful of your energy levels and make sure you don’t over train or push yourself (especially when reduced energy can weaken the immune system.) Think about a more slower and restorative way to exercise. (I am a big believer in tuning our bodies to the different seasons, like taking a more gentle and slower approach during the Autumn and Winter months.) Perhaps instead of your morning high energy run do yoga or wrap up nice and snuggly and go out for a slow and refreshing walk.
Now that the beautiful sunshine summer months are coming to an end, pack away the barbecue with gratitude and welcome a more slower approach as Autumn arrives. Enjoy the delicious creations from the slow cooker and see the gorgeous Autumn season as a time to nourish your wellbeing and start to slow down in readiness for Winter.