Eating Seasonally in the Fall

Some Delicious Fermented Veggies

Fall is a time that I feel inspired with food… making good food, going to potlucks and remembering to slow down when I eat. The hustle of summer is over and now is a time for introspection and connection. In Chinese Medicine Fall is associated with the Metal Element and the organ system: Lung and Large Intestine. The flavor of Fall is pungent or expansive and the complimentary flavor is astringent. To help preserve and nourish our Lungs and Large Intestine we need both expansion and contraction. My favorite foods to make this time of year are fermented foods. I recently got a couple really amazing birthday gifts that have super inspired me on my fermented journey. 1) Fermented Vegetables book by Christopher and Kirsten Shockey and 2) Easy Fermentor Kit by Nourished Essentials (a local Portland company). I cannot recommend the Easy Fermentor enough… it makes fermenting so much easier and I love that the end result is already in a mason jar, perfect for storage! So far I have made a few different sauerkrauts and fermented veggie combos that are not only super tasty, but also really beautiful to look at on my plate as well. Fermented foods are a perfect food for Fall, because they really preserve and enhance the flavors of this time of year, extending these flavors through the cold winter months. Fermented foods are both expansive and contractive which is in harmony with the nature of this season and supportive of our lovely Lungs and Large Intestine. Our Large Intestine appreciates all the lovely probiotics and restorative function of fermented foods to give us healthy gut flora and our Lungs really appreciate when we put some pungent foods into our fermentation like ginger and garlic.

One of my favorite fermented combinations I have really enjoyed is: cauliflower, beets, daikon, cabbage and ginger. The flavors are balanced from a TCM perspective because they have all five flavors: sweet, sour/astringent, salty, pungent and bitter. I also made a Kimchi inspired blend that is super spicy and I feel like it really keeps my Lungs clear to boost my immune system.

Dinner with Delicious Fermented Vegetables… Yum!!!

 

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Fall Into Health with TCM

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Autumn in Traditional Chinese Medicine is associated with the Metal element. The Metal element correlates to the Lungs and Large Intestine. Their primary function is to take in new things and let go of the old. The Lungs control inhalation-exhalation and also control the opening and closing of our pores. Our skin is governed by the Lungs and one way to renew and give new life to our Lungs is through our skin. Our skin protects us from any external evils also known as pathogens like bacteria or viruses. Here are some steps for supporting the Lungs during the fall.

  1. Practice meditation that involves focus on breathwork. For instance the mantra by Thich Nhat Han, “breathing in I relax breathing out I smile”
  2. Take care of our skin and help it let go of what is not wanted. Exfoliate your whole body with a sugar or salt scrub. See recipe below.
  3. Use a detoxifying massage oil to nourish your skin and perform lymph massage while applying the oil. See this site for making calendula oil, a detoxifying oil you can make at home. You can also just use some extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Or spice it up by adding a couple drops of your favorite essential oils.
  4. Nourish your Lungs with food. Pears are a great food to moisten the Lungs if you have a dry cough or tend towards dryness in your body. You can also make stewed pears (add walnuts to tonify the yang) that nourishes the yin and yang and is aromatic to help open the Lungs.
  5. Take an herbal formula to support our Wei qi or protective qi. Like Jade Windscreen Yu Ping Fang San. This supports the Lungs and prevents us from catching a cold or flu. Come in to see Genevieve to help you get the right formula for your constitution.

Have a beautiful Fall and stay healthy and happy!

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Lovely Calendula Blooming in the Garden

 

Spicy and Sweet Body Scrub 6oz.

  • ½ cup brown sugar or turbinado sugar or sea salt*
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • (can use almond or sesame oil as well)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (powdered)
  • ½ teaspoon ginger (powdered)
  • ½ teaspoon clove (powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground rice
  • (or 20 drops vanilla essential oil)
  • *optional* add 10 drops cinnamon EO

Mix all ingredients in a glass or metal bowl, using a whisk to uniformly mix. Scoop into storage container. Use on moistened skin to exfoliate, then rinse. Not intended for using more than 1 x per week. *Can also use sea salt for this recipe, especially Epsom salt to penetrate tight muscles. Use caution since salt is more abrasive and can sting on freshly shaven or sensitive skin.