Transitioning to a seasonal fall diet
In addition to the beautiful change of nature’s colors, the crisp feel of an autumn morning, and the coziness of the early evening twilight, for many, falling in love with fall includes enjoying the rich, nutrient-dense foods that fill our plates.
And for good reason. Even though today’s world offers the ease and accessibility of consuming any type of food any time of year (think berries in winter or asparagus in fall), the earth was not designed to have the same availability all year long.
For thousands of years, our ancestors lived seasonally, knowing it was a necessity to survive. The functionality of what was consumed during each time of year was essential to life – much different than our modern world, in which we don’t have to live as carefully.
However, fall is a time of year that inspires reconnection with the earth and the harvest it has to offer. With intention and mindfulness, you can enjoy the transition and learn to live seasonally.
During autumn, nature begins to slow. Daylight lessens, temperatures drop, and leaves fall, making way for reflection and awareness. This makes it an encouraging time to reset, particularly when it comes to diet.
Cleansing the body of built-up toxins and old cells, providing the digestive system with a rest, and creating fresh seasonal eating goals are all distinct ways to regroup with the new season.
For example, such options are:
- Intermittent fasting – restricted eating within an 8-hour period
- Consecutive fasting – fasting for an extended period of time
- Elimination diet – eliminating food sensitivity triggers such as sugar, dairy, and/or gluten
- Modified diet – consuming only designated foods such as organic and/or non-processed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins
- Proper hydration – providing the body proper fluid for cooler months
A reset can be as simple or intense as you’d like, lasting one to three days, a week, or even longer (oversight from a health care practitioner is advised for substantial diet changes such as fasting) – just remember to be prepared before you start.
Organize your reset with:
- a detailed plan of what you will eat and when
- a pantry of stocked items needed
- appropriate cooking instruments
- encouragement from your family, friends, a nutritional counsellor, a health care provider, or an online support group
Once the work has been done to start anew, it’s essential to move forward with proper nourishment and fall boasts a plethora of ways to do that.
First, transition from cooling summer foods to warm fall foods. Swap the raw and uncooked for:
- roasted vegetables
- baked fruit
- cooked lean proteins
- homemade broths
- warm soups and stews
- hot teas and coffees
Second, look to nature’s bounty (available at many local farmers’ markets or grocery stores with seasonal produce) for what foods to cook such as:
- root vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, rutabaga, and beets)
- squash (butternut, acorn, red kuri, spaghetti, and delicata)
- Brussel sprouts
Lastly, take time to cook favorite fall recipes and try new ones. Slowly chew and savor your meals, and if preferred, share dishes made with love and nutrients with others.
Pumpkin-flavored anything can be fun when the mercury dips but the season has much more to offer than what we add to our coffees (although that’s an enjoyable part of it, too). Consider how you will reset your system and then nourish it properly for a fruitful and healthy autumn.