Fall marks a time of coming together and tending the hearth if you allow the season to draw you inward. Fall brings new reverence for the familiar, and to re-establishing routines. You may experience a sense of nostalgia as fall's immanence dances in the air. If you resist this inward pull, you may feel scattered and anxious (Vata season) as you ease your way back into the world of responsibility. The winds of change are blowing. And keeping in mind where we live, you might begin thinking about winter preparations. Traditionally, fall is a practical time of year to line up your ducks in a row before the long, hard winter. Healthwise, supporting your body in September is essential to strong immunity and resilience all winter long.
September comes as a surprise and shock to your system as winds pick up and temperatures fluctuate. The days are noticeably shorter, with less humidity in the air. Change is in the air, which always aggravates Vata. Altogether, these have the characteristics of air element - dry, mobile, and light.
With the humidity gone, dryness abounds and Vata is easily aggravated. Unless adequately hydrated, digestion will be weak. Dehydration can lead to weak appetite, gas & bloating. However, if you are well hydrated, a robust appetite and a strong digestion will return with the cooler temperatures this time of year.
Vata individuals suffer the most in September, while Pitta Vata individuals may break out into a rash around mid September, due to the combination of heat and dryness. Pitta folks will notice that any Pitta aggravation that might have built up over the summer flares up in early September, then gradually subsides as September progresses and the weather cools.
Kapha people will enjoy carefree lightness and new inspiration this time of year as the congestion and heaviness of summer humidity dissipates. Kapha individuals are energized by the fall - and should use this energy to accomplish their goals before winter hibernation sets in mid November.
During the first couple of weeks of September, apples are appetizing. Their cooling, laxative nature can help purge any residue of summer heat. So enjoy pleasant fall walks in the countryside ripe with apple orchards. Bask in the delight of apple pie.
Select heartier root vegetables and grains like oats, tapioca, sweet potatoes, and potatoes. Heavier foods like nuts, sesame seeds, and meats like chicken and salmon offer nurturing sweet taste, beneficial for fall. For dessert try dates, which provide ojas building sweetness. Almond coconut fudge is another of our favorite ojas building autumn treats.
The digestion changes, our blood goes closer to our core and less in our surface (skin). The stomach gains access to more blood and clamors for food. We experience this as a craving for starchy and heavy foods like potatoes. Appetite and digestion improve just in time to thicken up and insulate the skin. Warm, oily, heavy foods build ojas and prepare the body's reserves for winter.
Foods to build resilience for the fall:
Here is a recipe for the fall:
Sweet potatoes and mustard seeds on a bed of steamed kale
2 pinch. CINNAMON
2 pinch GINGER (DRIED)
2 pinch MUSTARD SEED
2 pinch NUTMEG
2 pinch SALT (MINERAL SALT)
2 tbsp. Ghee
2 c SWEET POTATO
1/4 c YELLOW ONION
PREPARATION OF THIS HEALTHY RECIPE
1. Chop the potatoes and boil in a deep frying pan with a pinch of salt. Use just enough water to cover the sweet potatoes. Remove from heat and strain when soft but not mushy. Place in a bowl and set aside. Discard extra water.
2. Cut onion in long thin wedges.
3. Use the same pan to sautee mustard seeds in ghee until they begin to pop. Add remaining spices, let cook for a few seconds, and onion for an additional thirty seconds or until onions are translucent. Add cooked sweet potatoes and fry gently without mushing them. Sprinkle with a dash of salt when done.
4. Lightly steam the kale and add a table spoon of ghee (raw leafy greens are hards to digest and cause Vata aggravation, by lightly steaming however the quality changes from hard to soft, from rough to oily and from cold to warm).
Set the kale in a bowl and add the sweet potatoes and onions on top. You could also add some goat cheese (optional). Enjoy!