Autumn

October's Fruits + Vegetables

fall vegetables

Every season has specific fruits and vegetables that are grown in abundance depending on growing conditions and weather.

As we approach autumn, we’ll continue to see some fruits and veggies from summer but overall, you’ll be seeing more green and hearty vegetables starting this October. Find these guys at your farmer’s market or favorite healthy supermarket.

Fruits

Apples: bake slices with coconut oil, cinnamon and a pinch of cardamom
Avocados: guacamole – add nutritional yeast and hemp seeds for protein and fat
Dates: stuff with ghee and vanilla salt for a decadent dessert
Figs: deliciously fresh is quite alright
Grapefruits: wedged with a sprinkle of salt, chili flake, and fresh rosemary
Pears: sliced in an arugula salad with walnuts and goat cheese

Vegetables

Greens: (Arugula, Kale, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard): eat raw, lightly sautéed, massaged, use them for as a “wrap”
Bok Choy: lightly sauté with coconut aminos and other veggies
Brussel Sprouts: roast with garlic and fresh rosemary
Broccoli: eat steamed with melted ghee, sprinkle with a pinch of salt
Cauliflower: make mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes
Eggplant: roast and add to your favorite pasta sauce
Fennel: thinly shaved and added to your salad
Okra: oven-roasted. It can be simply flavored with olive oil, salt and pepper, or smothered with spices. Snap Peas: raw and used as dip sticks
Tomatoes: fresh in a salad with torn basil or cooked in your favorite soup or sauté
Winter Squash: roasted with ghee and sea salt and black pepper. Topped with hemp seeds, arugula and extra-virgin olive oil drizzle.

Allow your body to flow with the seasonal changes of food.

Welcome autumn, let’s cleanse

Fall

Autumn is here, can you feel it? Now we can look forward to having an excuse to stay in, watch movies, and cook delicious meals. I always think of the autumn months as a time to re-ground and nurture what we have.

Let’s rewind and talk about summer real quick. It’s awesome, right? The weather is just right, the sun bronzes your skin, we wear lighter more colorful clothing, we’re surrounded by an abundance of bright fresh antioxidant-rich foods, the bqqing, the socializing …

Although these are all fun and cool aspects of summer, we also tend to pick up some unhealthy habits that tend to get drawn out over those few months … late night dinners, decreased amounts of sleep, over-stimulating socializing, spontaneous meals, lots of chips and guac, rose, ice cream desserts, and then some. Delicious times, of course but doing so more than usual can cause rise to tummy troubles, weight gain, lethargy, and brain fog.

Typically by the time mid/late September hits, the body is feels how summer indulgences have taken on an energetic weight that is ready to shed off. Tuning in and you’ll notice the body wanting to slow. And if you really tune in, you’ll feel the body wanting to detox to get ready for the colder seasons. Most people think of detoxing from the winter months but I think it’s important to stimulate and cleanse your liver (not only daily) after every season.

The liver is always detoxing, that’s its job 24/7. However, the liver needs support and stimulation from herbs, food, and exercise so that it performs optimally. Here’s what you can do for the next 2-3 weeks to cleanse the body and mind so that you begin the fall season feeling grounded and solid.

Reduce/Avoid:

If you’re a meat eater reduce intake to 1-2x a week while increasing fish 2-3x a week, and adding more vegetable protein.

Reduce/avoid intake of dairy, including cheese - dairy tends to cause digestive upset, congestion, hormonal imbalances, and weight gain

Reduce/avoid intake of grains - grains can be inflammatory, cause digestive upset, and brain fog. You can opt for gluten-free grains like amaranth, rice, quinoa, and buckwheat.

Increase:

Warm lemon water with 1 tsp of ginger powder every AM

Seasonal veggies, especially broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, garlic, and onion

Eat warm, cooked meals along with raw fresh greens like dandelion greens

Add spices to your repertoire

Drink herbal teas like dandelion tea with is wonderful for simulating the liver and removing toxins from the body quickly and nettles tea which is tonifying, bone-building, kidney and urinary tract cleansing, and even helps with skin issues like eczema.

Add more brisk walking and cardio. Shoot for at least 30 minutes a day. Tip: listening to an engaging podcast can keep you walking for a long time!

The sun sets earlier, so try to eat dinner around the sunset time or at least 3 hours before bedtime. This will help your digestion function optimally and allows your liver to perform best at it’s prime working hour 1-3am.

You receive energy and grounding when you get in touch with nature and it’s life cycles. So, sit at a park and listen to the birds and listen to trees and watch their leaves begin to change their color.

Honor your body’s need for Rest n’ Relaxation… sleep, nap, and decompress...

Eat Your Autumn Colors

Eat the rainbow, eat the rainbow... 

You may hear that hundreds of times, but it’s critical to really eat foods that represent the colors of the rainbow. I’m talking about functional foods that have potent aspects beyond basic nutrition. I’m talking about food in its natural state.
 
At this time of the season, the leaves of trees aren’t quite dead. I’m noticing a lot of oranges, yellows, and reds on the leaves. There’s something warm and supportive about these colors, perhaps because they emanate boldness and density.
 
Fruits and veggies in blazing oranges, yellows, and red contain important plant compounds called carotenoids that convert to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin in which most people are familiar with for helping with eyesight and night vision. However, vitamin A also strengthens the immune system, promotes bone growth, reduces inflammation, naturally slows down the aging process, and makes skin glow.
 
Fruits and vegetables like carrots, butternut squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, orange and yellow bell peppers, passion fruit, and grapefruit all contain carotenoids (dark leafy greens have them too!).  Three of the most common carotenoids – alpha-carotene, beta carotene and beta cryptoxanthin – can be converted from foods into vitamin A in the body. This nutrient is needed for good vision in dim light, normal growth and development, a strong immune system and to keep the skin and cells that line the airways, digestive tract and urinary tract healthy. But thanks to their antioxidant activity, there’s also evidence to suggest that carotenoids – and especially beta carotene, found in orange and yellow food – might help to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, especially lung cancer. 
 
For red foods like pomegranates, cranberries, and beets, which contain the potent antioxidant lycopene, prostate health is maintained.
 
The zest of yellow and orange citrus fruits is also a good source of limonene, a phytochemical that helps keep lungs healthy and may prevent cancer.
 
A little fat helps the body to absorb ingredients like beta-carotene, lycopene, and limonene from foods so don’t be afraid to add a little fat, whether that’s roasting sweet potatoes with a little olive oil or serving pepper and carrot slices with hummus. Puréeing and cooking also makes it easier for our bodies to absorb and use phytochemicals such as beta-carotene.
 
How to eat more autumn colors:

  • Bake sweet potatoes and melt coconut oil, ghee, or butter
  • Make carrot ginger soup
  • Swap your regular roasted potatoes for roasted sweet potato and butternut squash
  • Add carrots to winter stews and casseroles
  • Make your own homemade butternut squash soup
  • Add grated carrot and yellow and orange peppers to salads
  • Top porridge with dried apricots
  • Make a fruit salad using cantaloupe, pineapple, mango and oranges
  • Make your favorite pasta dish out of spaghetti squash instead of regular pasta
  • Top squash curry’s with lemon zest
  • Make beet burgers from the pulp of beet juice
  • Add pomegranate seeds to your salads or roasted vegetables

 
Although vitamin A deficiency is less common, if you find that your immunity is very low and/or you are experiencing trouble seeing in dim light, connect with me to set up a nutrient and supplement analysis.