Autumn is fading into winter. Your health changes in specific ways as you phase from one season to another. The workings of the body are continually being altered with seasonal transformations.

Seasonal transitions can be times of physical, mental and emotional health crises if you are out of balance. You may experience chronic tiredness; muscle pain or stiffness; digestive difficulties, poor or excessive appetite; congestion; and more intensity of existing health issues. Sadness, apathy, and depression are common.

Adapting yourself, health, and emotions to environmental conditions is a process that begins before the seasons change. In summer and spring, people tend to eat a lot of raw food, smoothies, juice, soft drinks, alcohol, ice cream and other icy cold, frozen foods and beverages.  While small amounts of some of these can help balance summer heat, too much creates excess coldness, phlegm and mucus.

When the seasons begin to change, your inner climate changes too.  Your internal climate is attempting to adapt to the dryer, cooler weather.  All the coldness and mucus manifest as symptoms ranging from allergies, colds, hayfever, arthritic pain, respiratory and digestive problems, and other health issues.  Your body tries very hard to adapt to foods and substances it does not want.  When it is on overload those excesses manifest as illness.

This article is not about a specific disease.  The focus is to help you understand how to adapt during fall seasonal transitions which begin mid-August,  and winter transition which begins mid-November.

Transition tips – Autumn to Winter

Make adjustments in your diet by eating less cooling foods such as raw fruits and vegetables, salads, smoothies, and icy cold foods and beverages. Include more warming foods like stews, hearty soups, and roasted root vegetables.

Include pungent foods and culinary herbs during the transition from autumn to winter.

Benefits of Pungent Foods

  • Produce more warmth and stimulates the body;
  • Stimulate circulation of blood and energy;
  • Keep the lungs clear and open;
  • Dries phlegm mucous, and congestion;
  • Balances fluids;
  • Improve sluggish liver function;
  • Relieves some types of arthritis;
  • Increases blood flow;
  • Helps heal respiratory infections;
  • Keeps the lungs clear and open;
  • Aids digestion.

Pungents include spicy, hot and aromatic flavors.  Ginger, garlic, black pepper, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, horseradish, and rosemary are some common culinary pungent herbs.  Use one or more daily during autumn and winter. Eat turnips, broccoli, daikon, celery, kohlrabi, mustard greens, kale, and green cabbage regularly for the above benefits.

Whole, unprocessed grains are the most grounding, centering foods for body and mind.  Brown rice and millet are especially helpful for the autumn transition. Eat them daily. Recipes Here

Trade your aluminum and coated cookware for stainless steel, glass, ceramic, or cast iron.  Doing so will eliminate toxic chemicals that harm your immune system and make you feel sluggish and irritable.

Activate Circulation with activities such as Tai Chi, Yoga, Chi Gong, Biking, Hiking; and with therapies such as acupuncture, shiatsu.

The most inexpensive and effective way to improve your physical and mental health is to practice long slow deep breathing. 70% of the body’s wastes are processed through the breath.  Most people get one-quarter to one-fifth of the amount of oxygen the lungs were designed to hold.  That’s a major deficit for cells that are trying desperately to process food, release toxins and provide energy for all your body’s needs.  Without enough oxygen your cells are suffocating, can’t process food properly, are filled with sludge and toxins, and you run out of energy.

Conserve your energy to preserve good health.  Slow down the pace of your life, and get more rest.  Your body renews and restores when it is at rest.  You need more sleep during transitions.   This may require a change in lifestyle; learning to say no more often; stop committing to things you don’t want to be doing; and changing your priorities.

You can restore the resilience and strength of your body. You have inner reserves that can be tapped if you eat and live in harmony with the seasons.  Take your cues from nature which is contracting and moving its energy inward during autumn. It’s time to draw inward and focus the more outward energies of the summer season. This is a time of harvest. The more “in balance” you are, the greater your personal harvest will be. When you adapt yourself to seasonal changes it is easy to avoid fall and winter illness and maintain good health.

©Deborah Barr, 2010-16.  All rights reserved.

There are many popular food plans and no lack of internet advice from thousands of people who lack an understanding of food therapeutics and have little or no professional training.  Good marketing sells fads to people who are desperately trying to recover good health and lose weight.  Current scientific findings often contradict previous findings by the same experts.  A perfect diet that will bring everyone good health does not exist and accepting this fact is a good starting point for achieving balanced health.

Consider some professional guidance for the right nutrition and customized holistic health plan for reversing your health and weight issues, and removing the degenerations that cause them.  You can greatly improve every aspect of your physical, mental and emotional health with a customized holistic approach.   Schedule an Introductory Holistic Health and Nutrition session with Deborah Barr, 30-year Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor. You’ll be on your way to better health. Sessions can be done by phone, skype, or at Pittsburgh office.

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