The beauty of golden leaves gently falling to the ground.
The smell of cinnamon brooms and apple candles filling the air.
The crisp, cooler days calling for sweaters and scarves. And…the warm hues of harvest. Pumpkins, squash, and gourds, oh my!
But did you know that this beautiful time of year can offer a wealth of health?
You just have to listen to what it offers…
If you’ve ever tried to buy strawberries in December or oranges in the summer, you may notice the lack of flavor, color, and texture. That’s because at virtually any point throughout the year, we can visit our local supermarket and find almost anything we need – even when it’s out of season where we live.
Why is it that produce out of season doesn’t look or taste good? Why is it that a tomato off the vine at the end of August can produce so much deliciousness that we have to have more? Why is it that we feel the need to feed ourselves every type of food all year long even if it doesn’t taste good?
There are endless reasons why, but we are here to present a new perspective:
Eating with the Seasons!
This take on our diets is an organic way of looking at eating. It simply takes into consideration the change of the season – what it means to nature, to animals, to our food supply, and how we can adapt our eating and cooking habits to complement it.
For this blog, we’ll discuss eating and cooking in fall.
Eating, Cooking, & Living for Fall
Have you noticed the sun setting earlier and cooler nights upon us? As much as we may miss those long summer days and warm evenings outside, nature is sending us signals that it’s time to move forward.
This is the Chinese medicine way of eating. Fall transitions into “yin” season, which is calming, cooler, slower, and more restorative. Our natural food supply complements this.
During this time, we find it’s helpful to:
– slow down and allot more time to cook
– cook more comforting and nurturing foods
– cook meals with more subsistence
– replenish our bodies with nutrients needed for immunity (for cold and flu season)
Food can be our medicine and when it’s time for our minds and bodies to be nurtured, look to fall harvest foods (and yes, many of them have healthy carbs) such as:
– sweet potato
– brussel spouts
In addition, welcome the sun setting earlier with allowing yourself more time to read, take a bath (even better with a piece of pumpkin pie!), and providing yourself with some much needed self- care.
Fall Food for Weight Loss
Ok, so it may not exactly be bathing suit season anymore, but it doesn’t mean it’s time to cheat on our diets more because we can hide in our sweaters!
Even though many people can shy away from fall harvest foods because of the carbohydrates they contain, fall vegetables have a plethora of perks for weight loss.
Try cooking and eating such foods as:
– and other root vegetables
for excellent sources of:
– high fiber (to keep you full longer!)
– complex carbohydrates (yes, these are good! They take longer to digest and in turn, you feel satisfied longer)
– high potassium (to help with digestion)
– rich anti-oxidants (to help with digestion and inflammation)
– low calorie food (so eat up!)
So enjoy your fall harvest food and don’t feel guilty!
Fall Foods for Healthy Aging
After all that sun this summer, we could probably all use some anti-oxidants to repair ourselves!
Have you ever noticed that fall foods are rich in color? Think beets, pumpkin, carrots, yams, etc. The pigment in these foods that makes them so bright and colorful are anti-oxidants!
For example, the orange that is so vibrant in pumpkins and carrots is beta-carotene. This is a powerful anti- oxidant that helps us age in a much more healthy (and less wrinkly!) manner.
In addition, because fall foods are low in calorie, high in fiber, and high in anti-oxidants, they can many times help us reduce our sugar intake, which is all-around good for reducing the rate of aging.
Pumpkin facial, anyone?
Overall, fall foods aren’t just for sitting on your doorstep or carving for Halloween – they are so much more!
Do you live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Highlands Ranch, Parker, Centennial, Lone Tree, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, or the greater Denver area and are looking for a more holistic way of approaching your health?
If so, please contact our offices at (303) 688-6698 or click HERE to schedule a complimentary call with Dr. Graves. We believe that our health is more than just our symptoms – it’s our way of living, of eating, of being.
Now get out there and pick some pumpkins!