As the seasons change, it’s a good practice to check in with yourself and notice the habits you’ve become accustomed to, the foods that you’ve been consuming, and the physical activity that you have (or have not) been committed to. In Chinese Medicine, the fall season is connected to the lungs and large intestine so what we’re fueling our body with and how we’re connecting to breath is crucial for a smooth transition. In general, Autumn is a time to turn inward and reflect on how the year has progressed and what your intentions are for finishing the year mindfully. Below, we’ve got several tips for you on food and lifestyle to help you along on your transition from Summer to Fall. From eating alkalizing foods to connecting with breath or setting aside time in your day to get some movement, there are plenty of options for wellness this season. Taking a moment to make a plan or begin a new positive habit now will enable you to flow into the rest of this year with grace and ease.
In Chinese Medicine, the beginning of Autumn is a good time for a cleanse whether it is a quick fast, juice cleanse or a whole foods cleanse. However, for nourishing yourself with food in general, Dr. Thurman Fleet suggests that foods should be mostly cleansing foods with adequate amount of building foods (depending on your activity level) in addition to some lubricators (promotes healthy tissues) and very minimal congestors.
- Builders are animal proteins, beans, legumes, whole grains.
- Cleansers are fruits and vegetables.
- Lubricators are nuts, seeds, healthy fats, and oils. (i.e.
- Congestors are sugar, sweets, cheese, and breads. (you can try swapping honey or stevia for sugar)
*It’s also important to drink plenty of water, add greens to your plate whenever possible, and swap out sugar for honey or stevia.
*Here is a link to foods that are alkalizing vs. acidic (we want to alkalize the body!): http://www.acidalkalinediet.net/alkaline-foods.php
- Try adopting a mindful breathing practice. Deep belly breathing will help calm the nervous system and clear the mind while nourishing the lungs. Check out a past blog post of ours on a good breath exercise: Deep Belly Breathing.
- Move your body! Whether it’s taking a walk, hiking, dancing, stretching – getting the blood flowing is incredibly important for health and well-being. It’s also great to get sweaty and release toxins while feeling accomplished. Yoga is especially a great movement exercise for it’s ability to increase flexibility, strengthen muscles, encourage mindful breathing and fostering connection to the body.
- Get enough sleep. Most of us underestimate how important our sleep is. The hours you put in to get restful sleep is directly correlated to the permission you are giving your body to de-stress, process, and recharge for the next day. It is so much more nourishing to give yourself time to go to bed intentionally and unwind rather than waiting until you’re ready to collapse from the craze of your day. Often, just being more mindful about a sleep schedule can do wonders in feeling well and balanced as the seasons are shifting.