Autumn has arrived! And with it comes the busy back-to-school season quickly followed by the hustle and bustle of the holidays. If you’re anything like me this last part of the year flies by in a whirl. Because of this, it can feel like your packed schedule is controlling you rather than the other way around. You’re pulled in many different directions and you just want a moment to catch your breath.
Autumn is a beautiful season that prepares us for the Winter Rest. The days are growing shorter, the temperature is getting cooler and grounding foods are in season. These foods provide comfort and can help us re-balance when we’re feeling out of control.
Here are a few of my favorites…
Pumpkin and squash
These are two traditional autumn foods but they’re also exactly what we should be eating to ground ourselves. They are soothing comfort foods that nourishes both body and soul. These foods are the ideal way to add a touch of sweetness to a meal and a much better alternative to chemical-laden artificially sweetened items.
But don’t fall for the pumpkin spice craze that takes over every year! Those highly processed foods rarely contain any real pumpkin but rather are full of artificial ingredients which destroy health rather than build it.
Tune-in to the next Weird Food Wednesday episode on October 4th for a yummy pumpkin recipe!
Vegetables that fall into this category are sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, garlic, and ginger. They add great flavor to your meal. Ginger aids digestion and garlic is a natural immune booster. Just what we need in the winter months. Interesting how that works, right? Foods that grow as roots in the ground are naturally rooting and grounding. Nature is amazing.
Think you don’t like beets? Try golden beets.
They have less of that “dirt” taste so many people object to.
Naturally Fermented Foods
Raw sauerkraut is perfect to add some sourness to your autumn meals while also strengthening your gut health. They are excellent sources of probiotics for gut health (hurray for a boosted immune system during flu season!). They also contain prebiotics that feed the good bacteria in your gut. Some other naturally fermented food items include kimchi, kefir, kombucha, and pickles to name a few.
If you’re not yet ready to try making your own fermented foods (which is easy, by the way) look at brands like Bubbies pickles and sauerkraut which are naturally fermented, NOT pickled. Pickling involves cooking the food and does not contain probiotics. If vinegar is in the ingredient list the food was likely pickled not fermented. Look for foods that just have water, salt and maybe a few spices. The label will likely state that it’s raw.
Add on the proteins
Proteins from high-quality foods give you the nutrients you need to build strong muscle while also feeling more grounded. We tend to crave more substantial meals this time of year due to their grounding effect which is why hearty stews and soups are so popular. Are there any plant-based proteins you have meant to experiment with in the kitchen? Now is a perfect time to be adventurous and try something new.
Remember Lifestyle Habits, too
Aside from eating foods that naturally ground you, there are other ways you can enjoy feeling grounded.
Being in nature has a natural grounding effect — so take a walk outside as often as possible to breathe in the crisp air and enjoy the colorful scenery.
Breathing exercises help with feeling more grounded and calm, so focus on your breathing throughout the day and take note if you’re breathing freely or holding your breath often. When you notice you’re holding your breath, take a moment to practice a short breathing exercise.
I recently learned of a helpful tool called the Spire which tracks your breathing and alerts you if you’re in a stressed breathing pattern. You can then go through a quick breathing exercise to reduce stress and restore calm. Who doesn’t need that this time of year! I’ll have a review of the device in a coming newsletter so be on the lookout. In the meantime, if this sounds like a useful tool you can read more about it here (affiliate link).
Do you struggle with feeling grounded this time of year? If so, I’d love to hear your solutions! Join the conversation in the Reclaimed Health Facebook group and share your grounding and stress management tips.