Fall Has Arrived
Fall has arrived and the farmer's market is stocked with some of my favorite seasonal foods. A time for grounding, nourishing, warm colored squashes, root crop harvests, the start of brassicas and mushrooms, and delectable autumnal fruits - it's my favorite season for hearty, nutritious foods. One of my favorite seasons for eating and herbs, today I am going to share how an herbalist approaches fall in the kitchen and give an example of how I help my clients do the same.
Herbalist/Nutritionist Tips For Fall
Seasonal eating is one the tenants I live by in my house. Not only does it highlight the very best produce that each season has to offer (giving you that farm fresh feel), but it also helps to connect our bodies and our minds to the season. Nature has a way of offering what we need in the season we need, and fall is no exception. Fall is a time for building our pantry stores for winter, warming, and moistening the body to balance the climatic change, and for building our immune systems for the season(s) ahead. For me, fall is all about canning summer veg, curing root and tuber crops for the winter (such as potato, sweet potato, garlic, and onion), warming the body up with roots such as ginger, and keeping things moist with delectable fall fruits like pear. When folks come to see me for seasonal health and wellness, not only do they get the opportunity to check in with an herbalist to fortify their health, but the chance to connect closer to the earth and learn how we can live in more alignment with the season ahead.
Fall Client Health Plan
Want to see how I work with a client who comes in for seasonal wellness? Check out a sample client nutrition plan below to get a little taste of how I work with my clients for seasonal health:
To bring more warming foods into the diet to help balance the coolness of the season out, find activities that the client and their family can do to connect to nature during autumn, give herbal recommendations for system balancing herbs to help prepare for the season. This client is also experiencing some grief this fall, so we will add a bonus formula in to support them in that.
This client already struggles with sluggish digestion so we want to help warm the system to help keep things moving as the weather cools down. This is an energetically balancing blend.
Warming Digestive Decoction : Ginger, Licorice, Anise Hyssop, Cinnamon, Burdock To Make: Simmer roots for 10-15 minutes on low, add 1-2 tbl anise hyssop and let steep 10-15 more minutes; have daily around 4:00
Grief Flower Essence: Mullein flower essence paired with rose for heartache, grief, and release. Mullein is also an herb with an affinity for the lungs, which are the organ of grief and one of the organs associated with the season of fall. Take 3-5 drops every morning in your tea/water.
Food + Nutrition
This client struggles with breakfast and is always challenged to find something warming to eat that will also pack enough protein. Their go-to meal is a protein shake but with their cold sluggish digestion, this just isn't a good fit. This is an alternative meal option for them.
Warming + Protein-Rich Oatmeal: 1 cup warm oatmeal sweetened with maple syrup (6g protein), stewed pears and apples with cinnamon, 2oz of vanilla Skyr on top (7 g protein), 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (4.5 g protein), and 1 tbl hemp seeds (3g protein). Served with 2 links chicken apple sausage on the side (12 g protein).
This meal is packed with fiber (oatmeal, apples, pears), seasonal moistening foods (pears), probiotic and digestions supporting foods (apple, yogurt), healthy fats (hemp seeds and chicken sausage), and warming herbs (cinnamon). This meal also hits 30g of protein (protein goals vary between clients but typically we are shooting for 30g per meal when focusing on protein) making it a suitable post gym snack. The individual components of this meal can be prepped ahead of time and assembled morning of making it a low maintenance breakfast.
Bone Broths: homemade bone broths with garlic and ginger for nourishing and warming the digestive system. Bone broths are rich in amino acids and help replenish and repair gut health.
This client loves summer and has a hard time adjusting to fall life so we're giving them lots of activities to help welcome in the season and embrace the energetics. They recently lost someone they love and are having a hard time coping with that as well. We'll use some bonus herbs and practices to help support them in their seasonal grief.
Client Activities For Embracing Fall:
1. Get up every morning and enjoy a warm beverage in the garden. Research suggests that early morning sun exposure help with mood and serotonin levels, as does spending time in nature. When feeling bummed, incorporating small practices into daily life that have an uplifting and stabilizing act on the nervous system can do wonders for mental health. More advanced mental health challenges will require more care and counseling.
Journal Prompt - take the time to sit down and write about the things you are sad about losing from summer, give yourself time to grieve this loss. Then make a list of the things you are ready to let go of, that didn't go so well during summer. Write those down and save for later. Then make a list of the things you like about fall. Incorporate at least one of those foods or activities into your daily life. When finished, sit quietly and go into meditation and visualize all the things you're ready to let go of drifting away like fallen leaves into the earth.
Fall Activities For Earth Connection w/The Family:
Sunday walk in a local park to get everyone moving and into the sun. During each walk have everyone in the family point out something they notice in the environment that they love or think is beautiful. This helps connect us to the things we love about fall, rather than the things we do not love about fall.
Therapeutic Body Care Support Options
Recommend client get acupuncture in addition to above to help support digestion. Will also send client some qi gong exercises they can do to help stimulate digestion.
Want To Get A Personalized Wellness Plan For Yourself?
Did reading this feel like a warm hug for the soul? Schedule a discovery call to learn more about seasonal wellness plans and to book a seasonal wellness consultation for a bespoke plan for you.