Autumn is here!!! This a beautiful time of the year….
“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale” –Lauren DeStefano.
Autumn or Fall, however you prefer to call it, it’s here, shorter days, crisp air, colorful leaves, football games, school events, and yes, too, countdown to the holidays and a new year! Autumn has been known to raise stress levels with increased activities – let’s take time to savor the beauty of the season. Keep a watchful eye on staying active, eating seasonal greats and wise balanced agenda planning as you stow away shorts and bathing suits. Enjoy the seasonal produce that makes this season so tasty. And celebrate gatherings by enjoying foods without overindulging.
According to the Ayurvedic tradition, just as the natural world transforms with each changing of the seasons, so, too, does our mind-body physiology. The environment is our extended body, and therefore changes that are occurring outside of our bodies are also occurring inside of them. During these periods, it’s common for certain energies within us to become aggravated and contribute to disease or illness. In addition, imbalances in our diet and lifestyle may manifest in more noticeable symptoms.
Return to Balance
As we transition into the autumn season in the Northern Hemisphere (and springtime in the southern half of the planet), it is an ideal time to sit back and reflect on what may be out of balance in our lives, then take steps to restore our equilibrium. Ayurveda recommends a seasonal cleansing, purification, and renewal process in which we eliminate whatever physical and emotional toxicities we have accumulated, allowing our mind-body to return to a natural state of balance and health. After we’ve released the stored toxins that prevent the free flow of energy and information throughout our entire physiology, we can engage in practices of rejuvenation that nurture our vitality and wellbeing. See more at: 9 Practices for Seasonal Detoxification.
Take a look at the following Slide Show posted in Huffington Post: Healthy Reasons to Love Fall
Fall into good habits this autumn! Here are some lifestyle tips to keep in mind as you enjoy your healthiest autumn by helping your body to make the transition gracefully, ensuring health this fall and the coming winter:
Exercise – the great outdoors is pretty as a picture at this time of year
Autumn is a great time of year to get active. Change your activity patterns to suit the season. Be gentle. Try to avoid heavily aerobic exercise outdoors in the cooler autumn months, as it may reduce vital energy or weaken your system. Instead focus on gentle or moderate exercise like brisk walking, tai chi or yoga. Why not swap swimming for walking or cycling with a friend. It’s easier to be comfortable outdoors without too much sun. Keep up your vitamin D intake by being outdoors around midday. Light exercise boosts your immune system by enhancing the activity of neutrophils (a common white blood cell), which are instrumental in protecting the body against viral and bacterial infections. Research shows that fair to olive-skinned people need 7-30 minutes of sun in the middle of each day in winter, while darker skinned people need up to 3 hours around midday in winter.
Nutrition and healthy eating
Nutritionally, changing your diet to follow the seasons means that you ensure your fruit and veggie intake form the basis of a healthy diet throughout the year. These provide important nutrients like fibre, vitamins and minerals and antioxidants, while being naturally low in energy.
Autumn is the time to seek out local apples and pears, quinces and root veggies like sweet potato, beetroot or parsnip.. Climatic changes in autumn may lead to dryness affecting the body, especially the lungs and skin, resulting in dry skin, dry cough and constipation. Eating more moistening, juicy fruits like pears, pomegranates, persimmons and apples can reduce these effects. To help boost the immune system, add some vitamin-packed seasonal vegetables like yams, sweet potatoes, carrots and winter squash. If you do come down with a cold or allergies, try adding some pungent flavored foods to your diet such as green onions, fresh ginger or sweet onions.
Food preparation: warm it up. As the weather becomes colder, prepare more warm cooked foods and reduce the amount of cold raw foods in your diet. Try using cooking techniques like baking, braising, roasting and stewing to improve nutrient absorption in the cold weather months.
Sleep: early to bed and early to rise. According to ancient Chinese philosophy, one’s sleeping habits should adjust with the changing length of days through the seasons. In autumn, as the days become shorter, try going to sleep earlier to avoid the chilly nights and waking early to enjoy the crisp morning air.
Clothing: layer, layer, layer! People should avoid wearing heavy winter coats and adding thick quilts too early in the autumn season. Specially in the beginning of autumn, the body needs some time to cool down from the summer heat. Adding too much clothing may prevent the body from adjusting to the cooling temperatures.
As the weather cools more, gradually add more clothing and blankets to your bedding to give your body time to adjust. Layering is very important in autumn, as mornings and evenings tend to be cooler than the warm afternoons. Carry a sweater and scarf to layer on when spending time outside in the wind or shade.
**Important** In Autumn, you need to take special care of these two vital organs, the lungs and the large intestines:
The lungs—along with the bronchial tubes, throat, sinuses, and nose—are a major detoxification pathway. They act as the go-between for the internal and outer environment, inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide through their pulmonary capillaries. Each cell performs as a mini lung by taking in oxygen from the bloodstream and eliminating carbon dioxide, which is then carried back to the lungs. That’s why it’s so essential for your lungs to have good-quality air that is clean, moist, warm, and rich in oxygen.
Equally important to your health and detox process are your large intestines, which also need your special attention during this season. When your system becomes backed up with toxins, a mucus buildup along the lining of the intestinal wall occurs. The wastes lodged in your colon ultimately affect every part of your body and result in constipation. One of the first places this intestinal problem appears is your skin in the form of rashes, blotchy skins, acne, and eczema. And because constipation can cause fecal matter to stay lodged in your system for weeks or even years, this motionless waste develops a hard, stubborn buildup along the walls of our bowels and creates a dangerous playground for unwanted bacteria.
Autumn healing tea, herbs, and spices
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) tea is my autumn beverage of choice due to its effectiveness as a lubricant and its ability to soften and dissolve mucus in the lungs and moisten the intestinal tract to prevent constipation.
Autumn spices including warming cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and anise, which are not only deliciously aromatic but help to prevent indigestion, gas, and cold hands and feet. Anise is a lung remedy as well, known to help bronchial disorders and asthma. Your autumn tea, herbs, and spices all help to support intestinal and respiratory function and alleviate dampness.
Autumn detox plan
The harvest season is the time to begin to decrease your intake of cooling summer foods and start to increase more cooked and warming foods into your eating plan in preparation for winter. It’s also the season to reduce your fruit intake from three portions to two, because fruits are especially cooling to the body. We need more warmth now.
For the autumn detox plan, whether you stay on it for the minimum three days or two weeks, the foods to be consumed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are from the food groups listed below.
Autumn detox plan protocol
Oils—1 tablespoon lignan-rich flaxseed oil and 1 tablespoon sesame oil daily
Lean protein—at least 8 ounces daily. Choose from beef, buffalo, eggs, lamb, poultry, tofu, and tempeh
Vegetables—Unlimited raw or steamed, low glycemic; plus 3 tablespoons sauerkraut
Fruits—2 whole portions daily. Choose from 1 medium apple, 1 cup cranberries, 1 medium pear, 1/2 medium persimmon, 1/2 pomegranate; plus 1 to 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Filtered water—8 glasses a day
With or between meals—2 cups of fenugreek tea daily
Ayurveda recommends the use of specific herbs that can cleanse the organs and rejuvenate the tissues. Some of the recommended herbs include triphala, ashwagandha, guggulu, brahmi, ginger, turmeric and neem, among others. These herbs help by enhancing our bodies’ own detoxification pathways. They have also been shown to contain helpful natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, as well as several anti-cancer chemicals. At an energetic level, they help to balance our doshas as well.
The appropriate doses of certain herbs may vary, depending on a person’s balance and other medical issues. Check with your health care provider or practitioner as recommendations will depend on your individual mind-body type, medical conditions, and other medications you may be taking. However, most people can benefit without any side effects from the following regimen:
Triphala: 1,000mg, twice daily
Turmeric capsules: 500mg, 2−3 times daily — See more about: Turmeric Powder
Ashwagandha: 500mg, twice daily
Fresh ginger tea: 5−6 servings each day
How to Make Ginger Tea
Ginger tea has a strong cleansing effect on the body, mobilizing toxins and restoring balance. It benefits the digestive system and helps reduce cravings for sweet and salty foods. Prepare ginger tea by adding one teaspoon of grated or sliced fresh gingerroot to a cup of hot water. You can get a thermos bottle so that you can sip ginger tea throughout the day. See more about Ginger’s Health Benefits: Ginger the Wonder Spice
Sample autumn detox plan menu
Upon arising—two 8-ounce glasses of water with juice of 1 lemon
Before breakfast—1 cup fenugreek tea
Breakfast—1 stewed apple with cinnamon and nutmeg; Autumn Scrambler (made with 2 eggs, mushrooms, and onions with 1/2 tablespoon sesame seed oil)
Mid-morning—two 8-ounce glasses of water
Lunch—Tempeh burger; Warm cabbage salad with grated carrots, celery, parsley, and dressing of 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon aniseeds; 3 tablespoons sauerkraut
Mid-afternoon—two 8-ounce glasses of water
Before dinner—1 pear
Dinner—Broiled lamb chops with a dash of cinnamon; braised greens and sliced daikon with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil; Autumn Leaves Veggies (with steamed wild mushrooms, radishes, and snow peas); 1 cup of fenugreek tea
Mid-evening—two 8-ounce glasses of water
In the fall, you may also want to consider a series of colon hydrotherapy treatments to assist in cleansing the bowel. Colon hydrotherapists believe that regular colon cleansing helps relieve fatigue, gas, headaches, irritability, and a number of stubborn skin problems. A marked sense of well-being, more energy, less brain fog, and more tranquility has also been reported. Dark circles and bags under the eyes disappear. Colon hydrotherapy can help to establish the pattern of regular bowel movements on a daily basis. Once the system has been cleansed with colon hydrotherapy, the colon can again function as it was meant to, eliminating unwanted wastes from the body.
Original Article was first published in Mother Earth Living: Natural Healing: Fall Into Detox
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