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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Stumpf

Diet and Lifestyle Adjustments for Autumn

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

The fall equinox can be seen as a transition, whereas the summer solstice can be seen as a manifestation. Think of it this way, Spring is the pre-cursor to summer due to the budding flowers, peeping sunshine, and longer days. Spring is sweet and fresh, but we all know that moment in the middle of June when summer arrives, and it's game on, baby!

Summer solstice means sunshine till at least 8 pm, followed by epic sunsets, warm nights with friends and family, pool parties, and maybe a cold beer or two! However, during the fall equinox, the leaves change, the air crisps, we dig our sweaters out of the closet and start asking our favorite barista if they have any pumpkin spice on the menu. In short, we begin to prepare for winter.

Some of us live in parts of the country where this shift is very prevalent, and some of us don't; however, that doesn't mean our bodies don't pick up on the subtle changes around us. Don't you find it odd that nearly everyone you know comes down with a cough for a cold around this time?

Well, that's because the seasons are changing, and our bodies are thrown for a loop! The best thing you can do during a seasonal transition is to transition with the season! Here are some helpful tips to tweak your diet, exercise, and lifestyle routine to fit the coming months!

Dietary Shifts for Fall

As the weather cools and we find ourselves in a state of flux, it's important to stay vigilant about our self-care routine when it comes to meals. Fall is not the time to slip up on your meal prepping routine or your fresh fruits and veggies game!

It's possible you had a fabulous summer filled with rose and pizza nights, making fall an excellent time to refocus your weekly menu. Since our immune systems tend to weaken during this season, we want to support our bodies by eating highly digestible, healthy, and simple foods.

The idea here is that when the body doesn't have to spend all its time and energy digesting food, it has more time to build strong immunities, in turn, supporting the whole body!

How to Make Your Food More Digestible

#1 Soaking Beans, Grains, Nuts, and Seeds

Beans, grains, nuts, and seeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein and are part of a healthy diet; however, on their own can be a bit hard to digest. Presoaking neutralizes the phytic acid and releases the enzyme inhibitors, thus making them much easier to digest and allowing the body to absorb the nutrients quicker.

#2 Use Digestive Spices

Cooking with spices isn't just a fun way to add flare to your meals! Herbs such as cumin, ginger powder, cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, fennel, and even garlic can help aid in the digestion of your food!

#3 Eat Real Food

We immediately give our bodies a huge break when we eat fresh, organic, and seasonal vegetables and fruits! Cutting back on processed foods like white flour, white sugar, sodas, red meat, candy, alcohol, energy drinks, and low-quality dairy can significantly improve the body's natural ability to digest, absorb and assimilate your meals and help fight seasonal viruses.

#4 Seasonal & Local Produce

It's no accident that mother nature provides certain fruits and vegetables during certain times of the year. This is because the fruits and vegetables harvested right now are the exact fruits and vegetables our bodies need to stay in harmony during the fall season. The best way to get seasonal produce is to find your local farmer's market and see what's on the menu!

Exercise Routines for Fall

Does anyone else feel like it's 100% harder to work out when it's chilly outside? Sometimes, coffee in bed with fuzzy socks is a perfect alternative to the gym! That said, it's far too easy to lean into the coziness of autumn and fall off our workout schedule (get it… fall???) It's essential to stay motivated, but It's equally important to tailor your exercise routine for the season.

Energetically, the season before winter is all about grounding and centering ourselves so, we want to refocus our physical efforts in alignment with that intention. In early fall, slow and steady hikes with decent inclines are perfect!

As we transition into late October and early November, you're going to want to prioritize staying warm while you exercise. Consider practicing slow flow yoga in a gently heated room, about 85 degrees. Lean towards classes that focus on strength and endurance like weight training, pilates, and core work.

Cardio shouldn't be a huge priority during the fall season as it can be ungrounding due to its somewhat chaotic nature. Save your intense cardio classes for the spring, where we focus on breaking up stagnant and stuck energy through rigorous movement.

Remember, we are always trying to prioritize our immune system during transitional seasons, so it's important to break a sweat every time you workout. This helps detox the lymphatic system, which directly impacts the immune system. Aim to break a sweat three times a week for optimal immune support!

Lifestyle Shifts for Fall

Once Halloween hits its full speed ahead. We can try to make time for ourselves, but the truth is, the holidays are absolutely nuts no matter how you look at it! That's why September and most of October are the perfects months to ground, center, focus, and rest. Lifestyle-wise, it's a perfect opportunity to schedule some "me time."

Maybe pack up your journal, crystals, tarot card and finally take that solo weekend trip you've been dying to do. If getting away isn't in the cards, no problem! Maybe you cash out on some PTO at work and finish up a house project or two!

Or perhaps, it looks like not taking on that extra project at work because you don't want to overwhelm yourself. Consider taking whatever you can take off your plate right now to avoid total burnout.

Make a Mindfulness Down Payment

Fall is a perfect time to commit or recommit to your meditation practice. Even if things feel calm right now, it's still important to stay consistent. Think of mediation as a down payment in your mindfulness bank.

All the calm you collect now, you can cash in on December 22th when the malls are overrun, and you haven't done a lick of holiday shopping! You'll be able to take a deep breath and access all the self-care you practiced over the past few months, which will help you navigate the situation with grace and ease.

Final Thoughts

The Fall Equinox is a grey area. Summer is gone yet; the chill of winter hasn't quite arrived. Be patient and still during this time. It might not be the most exciting time of the year, and that's okay. Enjoy the sweater weather, watch a leaf change colors, go inward, and prepare yourself for the season ahead.

Fall Equinox is happening Sept 22nd, 2021

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