With chill entering in the air, it is of particular importance to recognize our need for nourishing foods. Along with the cold, autumn brings dryness. It is a time of contraction; our bodies tightening and contracting to maintain warmth. Rather than salads, raw juices, and foods that are chilled which appeal in summer and late summer seasons, in transitioning to fall it is essential that our food be nourishing, grounding, and that it secure warmth within.
In fall we build our bodily stores for winter. Nuts are great food and whole grains are a must. Paramount in autumn are root vegetables such as parsnip, sweet potato, beets, turnip, rutabaga, leeks, and carrots, which provide nourishing starches, building protein, rich stores of vitamins, and offer a balanced warming nature that is needed now. Winter squashes offer similar nourishment to that of root vegetables. Cooking methods of roasting, stewing, sauteing, and mashing offer plenty of versatility in the preparation of root vegetables and winter squashes.
With there always being a fine line between nourishing and clogging the body, it is best to keep food portions reasonably light and to cook everything well now, and throughout the upcoming more inactive season of winter to therefore enhance digestion. Nourishment from food is the source of strengthening Wei QI which wards externally pernicious wind invasion and prevents colds and flu from setting in. This is now the time to reduce coffee and other stimulant foods. In the phase of autumn, slowing down, building reserves, and grounding for the eventuality of winter, we remain in rhythm with the expectations of the season, and continue regardless of the excesses of the season, to cultivate good health and wisdom.
With all best wishes for good health and well being