Colder Weather = New Seasonal Palate

autumn digestion imbalance natural flow Oct 03, 2021

“The heat of autumn is different from the heat of summer. One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.” - Jane Hirshfield

Can you feel the crisp tinge of the coming cold in the air? Are leaves crunching as you walk through the woods? Are you grabbing a sweater to put on in the mornings and evenings?

Autumn arrives at different times depending on where we live in the world, but October always feels like the quintessential autumnal month to me.

 Ayurveda (the wisdom of life) hinges on living in alignment with the natural world. When the weather changes, what we eat needs to change too. If you have properly detoxed the imbalance of heat from summer and rekindled your digestive fire, this is the time of year to rock and roll with amazing food coming in from the harvest!

 In the cold and dry time of the year, (generally October - January) our digestive fire (Agni) is at its height and thus we have fuel to keep ourselves warm. To balance out the cold, dry and rough qualities of Vata (Air and Space) we need to focus on warm, moist, cooked, and hearty foods. Although this is the season to increase nourishment, be careful not to eat too much as the appetite returns after late summer (and stay active). 

Here are basic Vata Season guidelines: 

Tastes to favor in Plant-Based Eating: Sweet, Sour and Salty

Fruit - Apples (cooked), apricots (soak or stewed if dried), avocado, banana, cantaloupe, dates, figs, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, limes, oranges, papaya, pears (cooked), prunes

Vegetables - Beets, brussel sprouts, carrots, corn, eggplant, garlic, green beans, leeks, onions, okra, potatoes, pumpkin, parsnips, turnips, seaweed, spinach (cooked), sweet potatoes, winter squash
Grains - Amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, rice (white or wild), rye, wheat
Legumes - Miso paste, mung beans, lentils (all types), split peas
Nuts/Seeds - Almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
Dairy - Butter, cottage cheese, warm cow’s milk, feta cheeses, ghee, warm goat’s milk, soft cheeses, sour cream
Animal Protein - Beef, chicken, crab, duck, eggs, freshwater fish, pork, oysters, shrimp, turkey, venison
Oils - Almond, avocado, coconut, flaxseed, ghee, mustard, olive, sesame, safflower, sunflower
Sweeteners - Honey (uncooked), jaggery, maple syrup, molasses, rice syrup
Spices - Cinnamon, cardamom, basil, cumin, black pepper, fresh ginger

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