Autumn in the Big Apple. Opera season has opened, the Yankees celebrated their new stadium by winning their division, and post-season baseball starts today with no fewer than three games.
I am loathe to let go of the light and heat of summer, I hate the chill in the air, yet I find myself thinking New York City just doesn’t get much better than this. (Yes, I remember saying that in May as well.)
My appetite has changed in sync with the drop in temperature. The raspberries that linger in the farmers market no longer call to me. My taste has moved on to heavier foods and fats as my body prepares to pack on a few pounds for winter.
But not if I can help it!
While sporting a younger body, I never thought twice about the three pounds that arrived in autumn and melted as effortlessly as the last snow in spring. But somewhere after forty summers, winter’s natural insulation stopped melting on its own, and dropping even a few pounds took effort. I am a true naturalist, but enough is too much.
I won’t ignore the wisdom of nature’s rhythms, but I’ve learned to follow those rhythms mindfully. These days I can’t get enough quinoa. A dollop of ghee in the pot ensures I’m getting enough healthful fat to keep my liver and nerves humming.
The squash baking in the oven is plenty sweet on its own, but dusting it with cinnamon or nutmeg aids digestion and circulation, supports the pancreas and liver, reduces inflammation, and more. Squash might get a drizzle of raw local honey once it’s cooled a bit (Ayurveda warns against cooking honey, which kills honey’s many benefits, and turns it toxic.)
Kitchari, a one-pot meal of rice and dahl, is another cool weather staple, a dish so balanced and digestible that you can lose weight and stoke your digestion by fasting on it. If time allows, I enjoy making kitchari from scratch. Mostly I grab for a packet from Komal Herbals and add whatever fresh veggies are in the frigo.
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