And the final piece for us to talk about is the fall season diet. Here are the basic food guidelines for the fall season:
1. Favour warm, moist, heavy foods – think soups, stews, casseroles. Notice how these are have the opposite qualities of vata dosha (opposites bring balance into the system).
2. Eat sweet, salty and sour foods: We want to emphasize the sweet, sour, and salty tastes as they are warming and building. In the fall we can reduce the pungent, bitter and astringent tastes as these are quite drying.
3. Eat from the Fall/Winter grocery list: The list I like to work from is from Dr. John Douillard’s website. You can find it here: http://lifespa.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/winter-grocery-list_complete-chart_johndouillard1.pdf
4. Eat lunch as the biggest meal: This keeps the digestive fire strong, the body warm, and your energy steady. If you have that energy crash between 2pm and 4pm where you need coffee or chocolate, you didn’t eat a big enough lunch to carry you through.
5. Keep hydrated w warm liquids: This can be warm water, or other liquids. It’s a great season for teas like ginger, turmeric, chai, tulsi, ojas milk, or hot chocolate!
6. Reduce stimulants: Stimulants like coffee and alcohol have the same qualities as the fall season – they are drying, light, subtle, and mobile. You can resume the intake of stimulants in the spring time.
7. Use culinary spices to bring more warmth to your food: this is a wonderful season to explore spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, pepper, cardamom, salt, cayenne, garlic, basil, oregano, dill, thyme, saffron, sage… and any other culinary spices you might have in your kitchen. Culinary spices, when cooked in, help with the digestion of the food.
This week’s homework is to see what shifts you are willing and able to make with regards to food. Even step one – shifting from cold raw foods to warm cooked food will go such a long way. Remember, it’s not about big change, but consistent change.
Happy Fall Season to you!