Here's my list.
There's no denying that food can make you feel good. Starches and carbohydrates promote the release of serotonin (the happy neurotransmitter) and tend to be craved even more as the days get darker. Support and nourish these natural tendencies by choosing root vegetables, squash, and apples. Traditional Chinese Medicine also suggests using warming spices like ginger and cinnamon, and cooking foods more than you do in the summer or enjoying soups. One thing I hear commonly is that not everyone likes or knows how to cook healthfully, so here are some simple ideas.
Apple Oat Pancakes
Sweet Potato Fries
Despite being a huge proponent of teas for their medicinal properties, I almost never drink them in the summer. Already I've found myself warming up the kettle in the evening for a little healing therapy. If you find too much of a diuretic effect (ahem - waking up to pee), then try for earlier in the evening or else an afternoon cup.
- Nettle tea - wonderful for seasonal allergies and iron content
- add some lemon to help absorb the iron
- Ginger tea - supports digestion and immune function
- Spearmint - good for digestion
- Chai tea - contains caffeine
- Turmeric latte
I love the idea of being surrounded by my people, appreciating and being grateful for my community - thank you! It's also a great time to stock up the freezer. We've been freezing extra or imperfect tomatoes for the winter, and filling the pantry by buying two at a time of some of our "must haves."
Here's a few of my pantry essentials:
- Oils - olive & avocado
- Seeds - pumpkin, flax, chia, hemp (some are in the fridge)
- Black beans (canned)
- Tuna (canned, tested for impurities)
- Tomato sauce & brown rice/cassava/pea pasta noodles
- Gluten free flour (Pilling's or Bob's Redmill)
- Nut or seed butters
- Chocolate chips (Enjoy life allergen free)
- Extra condiments - bbq sauce, mustard, organic ketchup, coconut aminos
Even if you don't have anyone in the house that's gone back to school, there's something about the fall that spurs a return to routine. As much as the summer can be fun, our bodies love predictability to inspire natural hormone and other rhythms. You are doing yourself a great service by keeping a consistent bedtime and eating schedule, in order to optimize your sleep, energy levels, and digestion. It's also an ideal time to get back into taking vitamins, if you need them. (Let me know if you'd like to check your levels for Vitamin D, B12, iron, or other nutrients.)
5. Fuzzy fabrics
Socks, track pants, sweaters, blankets. I don't think I need to elaborate ;)
A couple of other things to keep in mind right now are staying active, getting fresh air, and continuing to find outlets for managing stress (which may be the exercise and fresh air or could be meditation, acupuncture, knitting, or any number of things). It's easy to let these things slide as the schedule gets busier - I get it, but it truly makes a big difference in your health.