Autumn Beginnings

It’s starting to be quite noticeable that the summer is winding down. The temperatures are a bit cooler, there’s a breeze in the air that’s not just blowing hot air around and the sunsets are coming earlier and earlier. I’ve always felt that autumn is a time of year to begin things. Sure, spring is the traditional season of new beginnings and the earth is reawakening after winter, but for those of us who grew up (and continue to live) in the northern latitudes, autumn was when our summers ended, vacations completed and school days begun.

Even as an adult it feels like the time of year to begin some project or maybe register for a class, take up a hobby or begin a new way of bettering our health. Although January resolutions also invite the latter (as well as other resolutions), September seems less daunting somehow. There’s no post holiday hangover and it’s not the dead of winter. It’s harvest time…a time of food abundance and less cooking outdoors perhaps. A time to try new recipes (well that’s anytime in my book, but fall recipes anyway).Farmers’ markets are in full force and shopping this time of year for good produce is a joy.

Eating locally and therefore seasonally are wonderful starting points for any time of year. It’s not always easy to maintain unless you have your own root cellar and shelves of homemade canned goods,but it’s a worthy goal to have. Eating seasonally just makes good sense. First of all, we are being true to our ancestral origins;  because let’s face it…no Paleolithic man or woman  ate an orange in the middle of the winter (unless they lived near the equator where really there wasn’t a ‘winter’ per se. But I digress. Fall is the time when we feel the coolness in the weather and begin turning toward soups and stews and baked food (not necessarily cookies!) and turn away from raw salads and juicy fruits. We don’t need to cool off, we need to keep warm and we all know that colder, wintry weather is soon to come. We increase our use of warm spices…cinnamon,ginger,cloves and nutmeg; which of course pair so well with squashes, apples, carrots and even meat and poultry.

We may laugh at the ridiculous ways in which ‘pumpkin spice’ becomes a flavor for just about anything, but there’s no denying it hits a note within us. The food manufacturers and marketers know what they’re doing. However, we can design our dishes based on our own personal tastes and preferences, the nature of the season, and of course its bearing on our health.

It’s a wonderful thing to nourish our bodies the way Nature has intended and it’s a beautiful way to show love for ourselves and our families. We want to keep our immunity strong throughout the year, but especially now when we spend more time inside and close to each other (wash those hands!) and we need to know how to do that in a way that  works best for us and our unique bodies. Please don’t feel that your immunity is covered because you got a flu shot. We are way more complex and ever evolving for that to be true. Food is the real ‘shot’ and we do it every day and more than once a day.

So figure out exactly what you’d like to improve in your (and your family’s) health this year. No goal is too small and often after we incorporate and succeed with our small goals we feel optimistic that larger goals are within reach. I will post relevant articles and information on immunity building, nutrition and other topics relating to nourishing our amazing bodies. Feel free to email me with any topics you’d like to have me cover in my blogs or newsletter. In the meantime, feed yourself well, get good sleep and enjoy the resplendent beauty of this season.