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Eating Healthy in Autumn

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5 BIG Food Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

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by Wendy Goldman in Healthy Eating, Seasonal Eating

For years and years, every mid-September, I’d get a cold when the weather changed. Once I learned about the energetic nature of the seasons and how to adjust my diet and lifestyle, I stopped getting those fall colds.

As I write this, it’s getting to be that time of year. The hours of daylight are getting noticeably shorter. The nights are cooler (finally!), and the weather is changing. That means it’s time to change our diet and lifestyle with the changing seasons.

The weather tends to be more dry, and can change abruptly. That (and kids going back to school) also usually signals the start of cold season. In order to stay healthy and keep our immune system strong, it’s best to follow the nature of the season.

Taking a clue from Mother Nature we can see how to adjust our diet and lifestyle. The hours of daylight are shorter and the nights are starting to get longer. Therefore, it’s best to follow the day length and get more rest than during the more active times of spring and summer. That’s the energetic nature of the fall season – it’s the transition time to shift gears to the slower pace of winter.

During summer, it was hot and the fruits and vegetables that ripen then tend to be lighter and cooling (like lettuce and leafy greens), to help our bodies manage the heat of summer. But, as the weather cools, it’s time to start shifting from salads and raw foods to more cooked, warm foods.

It’s time to start eating autumn foods. That means eating what’s in season now. We’re starting to see apples and pears. Squashes and root vegetables also grow now. You may notice that these foods have harder skins and tend to be a bit denser and heavier. They’re also more nourishing, although not as much as foods that grow in winter. These are the best types of foods to add into your diet now, and less of the summer veggies, like salads. I know that most people think that it’s “healthy” to eat a lot of salads, but that’s actually not true, especially in cold weather. 

Does that sound weird? Probably. I read an interesting article earlier today about recent research that shows that familiarity makes us tend to assume “that if something is familiar, it must be good and safe”. Read that again. The key is that it’s “familiar”. Not whether it’s actually good for us or healthy. It’s just familiar. I find that pretty darned interesting. We’ve been told for years that certain foods are good for us, and others are bad. The more “familiar” it becomes, we tend to believe it. For how many years did we all hear and become familiar with the idea that breakfast cereals loaded with sugar are what we should eat for breakfast. Yes, I grew up eating Lucky Charms and Count Chocula cereals, too. And the thought of eating that bowl of sugar now horrifies me! But it was “familiar” because of all of the advertising we saw over and over on TV. It was familiar; not healthy.

So, just because something has become a “familiar” idea, does not make it healthy. Eating salads in cold weather can make you feel uncomfortable, and can cause digestive issues. I know, that sounds weird, if this is the first time you’re hearing this. Because it’s unfamiliar, right? Try it out and pay attention to how you feel. I’ve been teaching this to my patients and students for many years, and when they observe how they feel after eating certain foods, they really start to “get it”.

My goal is to cut through the hype, advertising and nonsense about nutrition, and teach you how to eat healthy, and what really works.

FREE Food Mistakes Guide

5 BIG Food Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Get It Now!