The air here in the South of France has turned crisp and dry and the Mistral winds have begun to blow with a force I had forgotten. Vines are turning shades of yellow and bright red, and our hills are slowly losing their gorgeous green hues. I imagine Southern California is going through its own subtle fall changes. Are you noticing?
A lot of you have asked about Ayurveda, and I thought I’d share some simple Fall balancing food ideas. Some of the imbalances we notice at this time of the year include feeling fatigued, sleep deprived, dry (skin/hair), constipated, and perhaps a bit anxious or agitated. These are normal imbalances brought on by the Vata -‐Air and ether-‐ element dominant at this time of the year. By living in tune with the natural laws of the season, we can maintain balance and maintain a strong immunity. It is time to slow down, stay warm, create regular routines of rest, and to eat warm, cooked, grounding, and unctuous foods.
With much love I offer up the following ideas…
Fall fruits: avocados, apples, figs, pears, persimmons, guavas, tangerines, kiwis Always eat fruits separately (they make a great snack) and don’t hesitate to grill or steam them at this time of the year. Try an apple sauce with apples, pears, quince, and spice with cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon. No need to sweeten!
Fall veggies: sweet potatoes, squash, zucchinis, pumpkin, green beans, peppers Make a warming squash stew, a pumpkin soup, a zucchini gratin.
Warming spices: ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, horseradish, cloves Use them in the food you cook, or make your own herbal tea with ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and the zest of an orange.
Warm liquids: raw organic milk, milk alternatives, warm teas (see above) soups and stews.
Healthy oils and fats: olive (but do not cook with it) grapeseed, sunflower, sesame oil. Seeds, nuts, avocados. And yes, some raw goat/sheep cheeses! (Well, I have been in France…)
What is good for your inside is also good for your outside! As a daily practice this time of the year, give yourself a full body oil massage. Use warm sesame oil -a warming oil I have used with most of you at this time of the year‐, and if desired scented with lavender or geranium. You can also place a drop or two in your ears and nose if you feel dry at all.
Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor
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