Hello loves! Fall is here and if your weather has been anything like the weather here in Colorado, it snuck up rather quickly! It probably didn't help that I was back in the midwest visiting family where it was strangely 95 degrees at the very end of September... needless to say, returning back to Boulder to wet, cloudy + cool weather was a bit of a shock.
This weather always makes me a bit lethargic. Rather than judging these feelings of lethargy and sleepiness, I tune in. I ask my body how I can nourish her in this moment.
As the seasons shift, so do we. As a part of nature, we too are affected when the weather begins to cool down. Our body's natural tendency is to want to sleep more, stay inside, slow down and ground. For years I ignored this natural biological wave that so badly wanted to move through me. I resisted and pushed through the desire to rest.
These last few days being back in Colorado, I've found myself sleeping in nearly everyday. Honoring this has been so beneficial for my days overall. I know a lot of us 'go-getters' have conditioned ourselves to hop out of bed, regardless of how we are feeling, and get our day started while it is still dark out. And though we are praised for our effort, I would highly encourage you to tune in and see how your body is feeling. Especially if this seasonal transition has been a little taxing or tiring on your body.
As a society, we are conditioned to ignore and I believe this is one of the biggest issues we are now having to work through. We ignore our body's subtle signs and signals. We adopt various habits, diets or practices without ever even tuning in. And as a collective, we've lost touch of our ability to listen to the impulses we have inside of us. Our intuition.
All that to say, I want to inspire you to try something a little different this time around. Your body is not meant to perform in the same way it did in the summer. As the days become cooler + shorter, bring your awareness to the ways in which the shift is impacting you. If you're feeling more tired than usual, find some time to rest. It's okay to slow down. It's okay to sleep in. And it's okay if you're feeling like all you want to do is curl up in bed and watch a movie. IT'S ALL OKAY. And in fact, it's natural.
In addition to rest, I have included some ways that you can love your body into fall. Updating our routines + diet in accordance with the seasons will make the transition more seamless + contribute to the following:
- Stronger immune function
- Healthy digestion and elimination
- Better sleep
- You will feel less anxious + more grounded
- Overall, you will experience more resilience, stamina + adaptability
*p.s. I'm offering you guys a very special discount code at the end of this post, so read on for that!! <3
LOVE YOUR BODY INTO FALL
M O V E M E N T
In addition to honoring your body's tendency to want to rest more, I recommend switching to gentler forms of movement. As nature becomes more dormant, we can use this time as an opportunity to slow down right along with her. Gentle, flowy yoga classes, pilates and long walks in nature are some of my favorite. You can also incorporate more yin-style yoga classes over vinyasa to really nourish your adrenals during these slightly more taxing months. If you don't feel like going to the gym, try taking some of the pressure off of yourself and honoring what it is that your body needs on a day to day basis. Foam rolling and stretching at home are also great ways to incorporate subtle movement.
F O O D
It wouldn't be a complete By Erika Elizabeth post if we didn't talk nourishment through food. So what are some of the foods that support us during this time of year? Think warm, grounding + stabilizing foods. Root vegetables, nourishing fats like grassfed butter and ghee + clean protein. Move toward more cooked foods as opposed to raw. Incorporate soups, stews and porridges. Add in warming spices like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and cumin. These spices are more heating and by nature, ignite digestive fire, decrease inflammation, increase circulation and support the immune system.
s p e c i f i c f o o d s . . .
- Elixirs - elixirs are nutrient dense, super-herb beverages designed to balance and nourish the body holistically. Elixirs are incredibly supportive to include for gentle, everyday detoxification, increased immune function, energy + stamina. I created my line of adaptogenic elixir blends to remove any of the guess work + make incorporating these stress reducing, body balancing herbs an effortless experience. Below is how myself and my clients make our elixirs using my adaptogen blends.
- Heat 8-12 oz. of your favorite milk (almond, coconut, cashew, goat, etc.) over the stove + blend with 1-3 tsp. of the elixir blend & 1 tbsp. of healthy fat (coconut oil, ghee, almond butter, coconut butter, etc.). This will create a frothy super-herb drink that will contribute to full body balance.
- Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips & turnips - it is no surprise that root vegetables tend to be included in many of the fall/winter recipes. These vegetables serve to root the body and are especially supportive when cooked thoroughly to make bioavailable all of their immune boosting nutrients.
- Winter squashes: butternut, delicata, kabocha, acorn and curry squashes are all grounding, nutrient rich foods to include.
- Hearty greens like kale & collards (see recipe below) *tip: try incorporating more warm salads by sautéing the greens with ghee or coconut oil first
- Grassfed butter and ghee - grassfed butter, ghee and animal fats in general have a more heating quality and can be particularly beneficial to include throughout the cooler months. Fats like olive oil, avocado and coconut are more cooling by nature. That said, healthy fats in general have a grounding effect on the body. If you choose to eat a vegan diet, try including more warming spices and hearty vegetables to sustain balance.
- Tahini - according to Ayurveda, tahini is a good fat to include in the winter to help keep the body warm.
- Stewed fruits - rather than raw, try stewing fruits with some ghee or coconut oil + your favorite warming spices such as cinnamon & ginger. Not only will this make your whole space smell like fall magic, your body will LOVE you, as sweets serve to ground the body.
- Raw honey - honey, in its raw form, not only has a heating effect on the body, but also a drying effect which can serve to clear away mucus. It is recommended not to add raw honey into anything warm, as this can negate its medicinal properties.
- Broths - bone broth, chicken broth, vegetable broth and mushroom broths are all incredibly mineral rich, super-beverages that alkalize and nourish the body. Supporting digestion + gut health, detoxification, rebuilding of the cells, immune function and so much more. Sipping broths for optimal hydration is highly encouraged during this time of the year. I also recommend using these nutrient-rich broths as your base for soups and stews, as well as for cooking grains.
- Warm beverages + herbal teas - warm beverages will keep you hydrated + grounded, without interfering with digestive fire. Iced beverages kill digestion and are not absorbed as easily as warm beverages, making them a less efficient source of hydration.
K I T C H E N S T A P L E S
To make this summer to fall transition effortless, there are a few things I rely on nearly every day. Some of which include the following ...
- Crockpot - my crockpot for is my go-to for easy/delicious soups waiting for me at the end of the day when I may not have as much energy to put together a healthy meal. In my experience, any soup, stew or chili recipe can be made inside of a crockpot. More often than not, I find myself chopping up different vegetables I have on hand, adding in some lentils, quinoa, organic chicken or a combination, spices + broth for a clean dinner that gets to slow cook all day long. To me, there is nothing better.
- Water heater - I could not live without my water dispenser which has both a cold and hot option. It keeps me drinking tea + hot beverages all day long which is so supportive during this time of year. The counter top water heaters are also great. Of course this isn't an essential item, but I find that I have no hesitation when it comes to making a cup of tea, which I love.
S E L F - C A R E
Holistic health is about so much more than food and exercise. I find that this time of year in particular calls for us to establish routines and rituals that nourish all aspects of our being: mind, body + soul. For me, this season has become all about slowing down (incase you didn't gather that already :P ). More baths, blogging, reading, cooking and going inward through meditation. That is what feels most nourishing and supportive for me. I encourage my clients to develop morning and evening routines, whether they are 10 minutes long , or an hour--something that feeds you on all levels. Tea, palo santo, mediation/prayer, journaling, reading, hot baths, foot soaks, music, affirmations, are just a few of the things I tend to suggest to my clients. That said, your morning + evening routines should be unique to you. And should be subject to change...there is no need to be rigid with any of it. The important thing is that it becomes something that you can sustain.
Additional acts of self care that I emphasize with my clients include: dry brushing for lymphatic drainage and detoxification, epsom salt baths for relaxation, digestion + elimination, self message with Ayurvedic body oils, yin yoga, yoga nidra, meditation and deep breathing exercises. According to Chinese medicine, this is the time of year to conserve energy + root down. Give your body the rest that it requires by finding ways to reduce stress + committing to various acts of self care, big or small.
Dear G o d d e s s,
Take each day as it comes.
Let go of the "shoulds."
Surrender to the moment.
Allow the natural wave of the season to move through you, as opposed to fighting it.
Enjoy all of the facets that this time of year has to offer.
And create space to nurture yourself along the way.
As the forces of nature contract inward + downward, give yourself permission to do the same.
R E C I P E
The following is one of my favorite ways to prepare greens during the fall and winter. Total healthy comfort food...that is all. Eating raw greens during the winter can be a bit harsh on digestion and not as supportive as we work to ground throughout the season. So this is one of my quick go-tos.
GROUNDING CASHEW CREAMED KALE
1 head of kale
1/3 cup cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 glove of garlic
1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
1 tbsp. coconut aminos
1 tsp. pink mineral salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Begin by chopping or ripping the kale into bite size pieces. It is up to you whether you want to keep or remove the stems. If you cook the kale long enough, the stems will soften. If you're short on time, I recommend de-stemming the kale prior to cooking.
Heat a small amount of coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. When pan is hot, add kale + a pinch of mineral salt and begin to sauté.
Meanwhile, combine cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, coconut milk, coconut aminos, pink mineral salt + pepper in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
Turn heat to medium low and pour in prepared cashew cream. Continue to salute until kale has softened and the cashew cream is heated through.
Last but not least, I wanted to offer you guys a super special deal on all of my adaptogen blends because I truly believe adaptogenic herbs + elixirs are one of THE BEST things we can include throughout the season. SO...if you made it this far into the post, use the code "LOVEYOURBODY" for 25% off an any orders throughout the month of October.