Autumn is the season of change. You might find yourself feeling more stressed or overwhelmed than usual, perhaps flighty, distracted, or anxious. You might start to notice dryer skin, achy joints, or irregular digestion. In Ayurveda (the sister science of yoga - it literally means “the science of life” in Sanskrit), we call this vata. Vata is the energy of movement. The qualities associated with it are dry, quick-moving, cold, irregular, rough, and changeable.
We want to counter these tendencies to keep our minds and bodies in balance this fall. That means favoring foods and activities that are warming, grounding, soft, and stable.
Here are some tips to feel your best this season:
Stay warm. Dress in layers to stay warm even in a chilly office. Try sipping warm water or tea throughout the day – this is not the time for iced coffee! Ginger tea is especially warming and grounding.
Keep a schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time everyday. Try to eat around the same time everyday. Let your mind and body take comfort in knowing what to expect.
Try mindful movement. While all exercise will warm you up, you want to focus on calming, grounding workouts like yoga, pilates, barre, dance, strength training, and walking. If you tend to be sedentary, this is the time to get moving. If you find yourself overexerting yourself when exercising, it’s time to slow down and bring some mindfulness to your workout routine.
De-stress. This is important year-round, but particularly in the fall. Do your adrenals a favor and cut back on the coffee. Try to establish a daily meditation practice (just 5 minutes can establish a sense of calm for the day). We love the app HEADSPACE and in NYC we recommend checking out an in-person class at Ziva Meditation or MNDFL. Schedule a massage or take a long bath. Don’t feel bad about prioritizing this self-care, it’s essential to your well-being.
Eat for the season. Nature gives us just what we need each season. On our Clean Eats Menu we've begun to incorporate fall foods like squash and root veggies. And we've started to include more warming, cooked foods like soups and stews. Try integrating spices like cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper as much as you can. And make sure you’re eating enough fats from healthy, minimally processed oils like extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, pasture-raised animal products, and plant-based sources like nuts and avocados.
This week on our menu, we have the traditional Ayurvedic meal of Kitchari. This classic dish has a base of split yellow mung beans and rice and lots of spices to encourage strong digestion. It’s cleansing, deeply nourishing, and a perfect fall detox food. We’ve also put our Golden Milk Oats on the menu for breakfast, which is a twist on the traditional golden milk drink that features the anti-inflammatory super-spice turmeric.
With Fall officially starting next week, we recommend signing up for a cleanse to help your body transition to the new season. Both our 5 Day Detox or Whole Food Cleanse programs were designed to help increase energy, metabolism, and your immune system - everything you need to kick off the season feeling strong and confident.