Autumn - 'The season that teaches us that change can be beautiful'
Often, autumn is the time of growth and change. Looking after your health is not just about changing your diet or adding a new hobby to our already busy lifestyles.
Sometimes, all we need is a little moment of reflection each day to examine where our heart and mind is at and what anxieties or exhaustion we may be experiencing.
Our mindset impacts our health and if we hold onto, or try to control elements of our life that cannot be controlled then tension can start to manifest and build up causing stress and anxiety. This is because hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are released to help us cope during tense times. Over use of these hormones can lead to imbalance of blood sugar levels plus affecting the digestive system which covers a large part of our immune system. Eventually, this can result in autoimmune problems, allergies and problems with the thyroid. Our body is on a constant cycle where cells die and are renewed.
The beauty of autumn is that everything stops growing for a little while and we see a fall, the leaves lose their moisture and ‘let go’ of the branches they have hung on to since springtime. This is important also to our internal health, we need to let go of things, in order for other things to grow.
This year, why not take the time to experience the beauty of autumn, watching the leaves turn into golden bronze colours in the crisp air. It is the perfect time to reflect on what 'old leaves', you need to let fall in your own life, what health issues you may have experienced through yourself or loved ones and what losses you have had this year.
It took me a while to realise that health is more than just the food we eat. How healthy are your thoughts? How stressed are you? How busy are you? What does your environment look like? Food matters yes, but so does our mindset. We have to invest in ourselves in order to have capacity to invest into others and do our work well.
You may want to start by just having an extra 30 minutes a day where you get up earlier just to reflect, pause, pray, meditate and capture your thoughts, let them go. Perhaps, its time to slow down and make room for extra rest in the evenings.
Starting the day right will increase your capacity to cope with stress and help you focus throughout the day.
Increase nutrient rich autumn fruits such as blackberries, clementines, apples, dried cranberries, pears and figs. Any of these can be added to warm porridge in the morning. Adding a touch of cinnamon and nuts of choice such as pecans or almonds will help balance out blood sugar levels.
Oat porridge with caramelised pear and walnuts.
Feeds 2 people
1 cup of oats - heated on hob with ½ cup of almond, coconut, milk
½ cup of boiled water add to oats
Simmer and stir for 5 minutes
Whilst oats are cooking, peel and chop pears and add to a separate pan with
⅓ boiling water and ½ tsp of cinnamon.
Poach in a medium heat for 5 minutes
Once porridge is cooked, separate in two bowls and add 1tsp of cinnamon in each bowl along with 1sp of maple syrup then mix.
Add more milk or coconut or greek yoghurt on top if you want this thicker
Garnish with poached pears chopped pecans
Breakfast bowl with cacao granola, coconut yogurt and autumn seasonal figs, pears (fruit of choice)
Feeds 2 people
1/2 cup of my homemade granola - adding ¼ cup of cacao when you place oats in oven.
Add 2tbs of coconut yoghurt
Serve with fruits, Figs and pecans and cinnamon for blood sugar balance.
You could also sprinkle some protein powder over the top to garnish. (Purition is a good brand and they have a great autumn recipe out at the moment)
Overnight chia pudding with banana, pomegranate and figs
Feeds 2 people
1/2 cup of chia seeds
½ tsp of organic Nadali vanilla powder
1 cup of almond or coconut milk
Place all ingredients in a glass jar with lid.
Shake up and place in fridge
Next morning garnish with banana, pomegranate, figs and a teaspoon of maple syrup. You could even warm up some pears or apples on the hob in a pan, using that as your fruit garnish instead.