There’s a crispness in the air and the sun is setting earlier. Autumn has arrived and with its winds comes a reminder to slow and steady ourselves after an active Summer.

Like all of nature, we must cycle through times of activity and times of rest in order to stay balanced, healthy and happy.

Autumn marks the annual transition from stimulating Spring and Summer months to the slower Autumn and Winter months.

Like any time of transition, Autumn can be unsettling and aggravating especially if we don’t make small changes to our daily habits that balance the seasonal qualities.

Ayurvedic Basics for Autumn

Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, focuses on finding balance between body and environment, and that’s why changing habits as the environment changes seasonally is so important.

Autumn is dominated by the elements Air and Ether (called Vata Season in Ayurveda).

This airy quality of the season impacts us in many ways. It is physically drying to our skin, eyes and sinuses. Temperatures drop, and the cooling of our bodies slows our digestion.

The windy and erratic weather can cause us to feel mentally aggravated and unfocused or emotionally withdrawn and lonely.

Ayurveda balances these influences by bringing the opposite qualities into daily habits. For Autumn, which is dominated by dryness and instability, we want to focus our daily habits on the opposite such as hydration, warmth, and stability.

Let’s start with what to eat!

A Healthy Autumn Diet

Eat Warm, Cooked Food.

Warm, cooked, grounding and nourishing foods like soups, stews and roasts will balance the cold, airy influence of Autumn.

Reduce Cold, Light Foods.

The colder weather and body temperatures slow digestive fire, making it harder to digest cold and raw foods. Eating too much cold and raw at this time of year can be both digestively and mentally exhausting and aggravating.

Moisten, Oil & Spice.

Hydrate from the inside out, both with water and healthy oils, to counter balance the drying qualities of the season, and use more spices in your foods to stimulate digestive fire.

Stick to Regular Meal times.

The erratic weather fluctuations of this season and change of routine can be very ungrounding. Create a sense of steadiness in yourself by sticking to regular mealtimes.

Sweet, Sour & Salty.

The six tastes influence our digestion, tissues and mind. Ayurveda recommends more sweet, pungent and salty tastes during Autumn (which are nourishing and grounding) and less bitter, sour and astringent tastes (which are drying).

Healthy habits in action

  1. Use more spices to keep your digestive fire stoked.
  2. Create and stick to regular meal times to ground mind and body.
  3. Eat more soups and add healthy oils.

Include the kids

Send the kids to school with thermoses of soups to keep their minds more focused and reduce the amount of raw food in their snacks.