Fall boating season is officially here, and if you want to stay healthy in body and mind to shred your favorite rivers, read on.
According to Ayurveda, fall season is Vata (Air/Space) season. The qualities of Vata include variable, rough, dry and cold.
The variable weather combined with the raggedness that comes with the end of the high activity summer season, makes your immune system more susceptible to cold and flu. The air is cooler, rougher and drier, and believe it or not, these qualities affect both your skin and your digestive tract. Yes, that does translate to a tendency toward constipation. 🙁
In your mind, the variability of the weather and increased movement of the air (think windy) increase anxiety and doubt.
To counteract the qualities of Vata, strenghthen your body and steady your mind, you need to incorporate the opposite qualities of steadiness, softness, warmth and liquid into your diet and lifestyle.
Here are my top 5 tips that will help you make a healthy transition to fall season so you can get the most out of your paddling:
1.Create and Maintain a Routine
Routine counteracts the variability of fall season (the mobile quality). Maintaining a steady routine helps your mind and body adapt to the changing weather patterns and the change of season.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day – ideally 10 p.m. – 6 a.m.
- Eat your meals at the same times each day.
- Exercise at the same time each day.
Consistency with meal times, sleep times and exercise times go a long way to calming the mind, enhancing mood and boosting energy. If you want more daily routine tips please click here to read my blog on the benefits of daily routine for the winter months.
The opposite of cold is warm and layering in fall season is key! It’s especially important to keep your head, neck and feet warm so wear a scarf, put on socks and keep your head cozy with your favorite hat (toque for Canadians, beanie for Americans 🙂
Layer up that you can remove or bringing layers in a bag that you can put on later in the day if you need to. This is especially important for all of you outdoor enthusiasts!
3.Eat Warm, Cooked Foods and Warming Spices
Soups, stews and oatmeal with warming spices such as cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg and cardamom (pumpkin spice!) are perfect meals for fall season.
The softness of cooked foods counteracts the rough quality of fall season. If you pay attention to your body, you’ll notice that you start to crave warm foods during the fall. The natural intelligence of our bodies is always moving toward homeostasis (balance). Avoid cold, raw foods and ice drinks.
Scroll to the end of this blog post for my favorite curried quinoa recipe that incorporates all six of the tastes, is warm and easy to digest.
4.Rest and Relax
Get plenty of rest during fall season and carve out time in your day for a nap. Yes, naps are considered good medicine for fall season according to Ayurveda! You don’t have to nap for hours. A good 15 – 20 minute power nap can go a long way.
Create a bedtime routine so that you prepare yourself for a good night sleep. Turn off screens an hour before bed, drink some herbal tea, do some gentle yoga poses and/or read a book that is calming to the mind. Give yourself some extra relaxation time this fall season and you’ll find your emotions more steady and your body more energized.
Fall season is one of the best times of year for a health and digestive reset that incorporates all of the above strategies. According to Ayurveda, cleansing in fall season allows your body to reset from the heat and business of summer, and prepare for the cold and going within of winter. That’s why I offer a Guided Fall Cleanse in October. Nourishing meals with digestive spices, routines and group support help you boost your immunity and stay healthy during the fall and into the winter. Click Here for more information and to register for my Guided Fall Cleanse!
Here’s an example of one of the meals we eat during my Guided Fall Cleanse:
Curried Quinoa Recipe
1/4 cup of quinoa
1 Tbs ghee
1/2 a carrot diced
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
pinch or two of salt
1/2 cup water
handful of sunflower seeds
Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer and set aside. Heat ghee on medium heat until melted. Add turmeric, cumin and coriander and stir until spices and ghee are well blended. Add carrots, quinoa, salt and water. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and cover. Let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit a few minutes. Top with cilantro, lime and sunflower seeds. Enjoy!