Sunday, October 19, 2008
Focus on Fall
Sad but true, with the shift towards Autumn, the days are shorter, the nights are colder. But this is part of that circle of life that they sang about in The Lion King.
Brigitte Mars, herbalist, author and raw chef gives some tips for ushering in the new season.
Q. Brigitte, what does Autumn mean to you?
A. Autumn is a season that begins a more feminine cycle of nature. It is a time of darkness, as we approach the stillness of winter.
Q. What does this mean on a practical level?
A. It’s a time to get our lives in order, to complete old business, give back anything borrowed, collect anything we might have lent out,. We need our tools back. Our focus turns inward, we are with our homes, our minds, our bodies. It’s preparing for a time of reading, meditation, writing, time to experience the dark corners of nature and ourselves.
Q. How do we ready our physical selves?
A. In Asian medicine, this time corresponds to metal elements, lungs, large intestines, skin. It is a time to practice deep breathing, takes walks and air ourselves out to prevent colds and lung infections.
Q. What should we eat?
A. Foods to enjoy are heavier, winter squash, pumpkin, Hokkaido squash, carrots, dark orange vegetables, all high in beta carotene which helps the mucus membranes resist infection. It is also a good time to eat more roots, turnips, rutabaga, burdock, beets, to bring warmth and get rooted. Don’t forget leafy greens like kale and chard, spinach which help the body to utilize oxygen. It is a time of planning for winter meals, preserve now the abundance of fall harvest. Dehydrate pears and apples. In Asian cuisine, one tastes many pungent offerings now, ginger, rosemary, garlic, onions, and cayenne. It warms the insides. Also, bring in more seeds and nuts to the diet.
I'll be posting recipes this week, feel free to share any of your own.