Autumn has arrived and as with all change of seasons, its a great time to take a look at how we can incorporate more seasonal foods into our meals as a way to support our bodies. In the fall, is is suggested by Chinese Medicine to eat fewer cold, uncooked foods — such as salads — and more warm, cooked foods. Switch from salads to soups and steamed vegetables. Incorporate yellow and red foods into your meals.
The original texts that serve as the foundation for Traditional Chinese Medicine recognize fall as being a time of winding down, paying attention to emotional states and spending more time in quiet environments and contemplation.
“In the three months of autumn all things in nature reach their full maturity. The grains ripen and harvesting occurs. The heavenly energy cools, as does the weather. The wind begins to stir. This is the changing or pivoting point when the yang, or active, phase turns into its opposite, the yin, or passive, phase. One should retire with the sunset and arise with the dawn. Just as the weather in autumn turns harsh, so does the emotional climate. It is therefore important to remain calm and peaceful, refraining from depression so that one can make the transition to winter smoothly. This is the time to gather one’s spirit and energy, be more focused, and not allow desires to run wild. One must keep the lung energy free full, clean, and quiet. This means practicing breathing exercises to enhance lung Qi. Also, one should refrain from smoking and grief, the emotion of lung. This will prevent the kidney or digestive problems in the winter. “
– Huangdi Neijing Suwen, Chinese Medicine Classic
When we shop for produce, the following supportive foods should be easy to find this autumn:
Fruits: Apples, Berries (blackberries, cranberries), Dates, figs, grapes, jicama, mandarin oranges, pears, persimmons, Plum, pomegranate, quince, rosehips, bananas
Veggies: Bell pepper, Bok Choy, broccoli, burdock root, cabbage (red, green, napa) carrot, Cauliflower, fresh corn, cucumber, diakon radish, eggplant, dried garlic, ginger root, horseradish, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, lettuces, okra, onions, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, rutabaga, shallot, spinach, squash (acorn, banana, buttercup, butternut, delicata, hubbard, spaghetti), sweet potato, tomato, turnip, yams
In addition, these foods are great to fill in around your produce to complete a meal:
Grains(cooked): amaranath, barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, wild rice, rye, wheat,
Beans: adzuki, black, black eye, carob, garbanzo, Great Northern, kidney, lentil, lima, Navy, peanut, pink, red, soy, white.
Nuts: Almond, Brazil, cashew, filbert, macadamia, pecan, pignolia. Pistachio, walnut
Seeds: Flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
Spices: Rosemary, sage, thyme, cinnamon, garlic
In addition, I’d like to mention a scheduling change here at IHD. Going forward, Jennifer will be available for appointments on Tuesdays 8a-6p, Wednesdays 8a-6p and Fridays 8a-1p. Amy is available by request and you can reach her at (415) 889-0474. As always, feel free to request appointments online.