Natural Health Articles
As summer comes to a close and fall approaches, with this season’s change comes shorter days, colder temperatures, bountiful harvests, and new routines. Traditional Chinese Medicine correlates this time of year with the elements of Earth and Metal. Earth governs stability and organization during this transition, the harvest and preparing for winter (a time of introspection and rest) while Metal is all about refining, purging all that is unnecessary and maximizing the use of what remains. Similar to spring, fall is also an ideal time of cleansing. While in the spring we cleanse from stagnation, excess and look to warm up from the winter, fall is a time to cool down from the heat and activity of the summer. Physically, emotionally and spiritually we crave order, connection and simplicity. This makes fall the perfect time to refocus on diets, to purge (or at least put away) anything not necessary in your environment and learn to prioritize and maximize your time and energy.
Make the most of the bounty of the fall harvest and focus on foods that nourish the stomach, spleen and pancreas such as; apples, grapes, peaches, pears, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, beans and walnuts. These foods are naturally sweet, nourishing and help to balance the earth element within our bodies. And to balance the metal element, which governs the lungs and large intestine, root vegetables, grains and strong warming herbs are ideal as they aid in cleansing and elimination. Incorporate foods such as; onions, garlic, potatoes, beets, rice, buckwheat, millet, cayenne, ginger and mustard into your daily diet.
Since fall is a time of organization and cleansing, it is an ideal time to tidy up your external environment. Cleaning out closets and cupboards, organizing and creating structure and routines not only helps in creating space externally, but also has profound effects on creating clarity and a sense of peace internally (I highly recommend the book “The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo for a more in-depth explanation). I am a huge fan of what’s called "sacred structure”, it is a simple, clear layout for my day that includes meditation, movement and a precise eating plan, while being loose enough that I can add in any day to day activities that may come up. Having a structure not only helps to keep life organized (well as much as possible) it also helps me to prioritize other activities, allowing me to happily add in what I want to, and simply say “no” to what doesn’t fit. Creating clear boundaries is essential in keeping peace of mind and stopping this season from becoming overburdened, and hectic. We all know that when we get overworked and rushed, the less we can accomplish (and what we do finish is rarely done to the best of our ability).
So remember that this is the time to organize, prioritize and purge. Eating slowly and living simply.