Fall is a time of transition. We shift from hot weather to cold weather and the climate swings back and forth between extremes. It can be confusing for your mind and body; a time when it’s easy to “fall” into ill health.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, hot, pitta (fiery) summer begins to move into cool autumn and brings out the vata (air) dosha. As the vata dosha gets more aggravated, our attention will be turned more and more toward keeping vata from becoming excess. This can sometimes make you fatigued and spacey and can contribute to dry skin.
Fall is a good time to work a little harder to lead a stable life and stick to your routine. We should get up early when the world is calm, to prepare the mind for the day. As part of your daily routine, rinse your mouth with a warm mouth rinse, such as mild cinnamon and clove. You might also massage your skin with sesame or almond oil.
A warm, moist and nourishing diet is just right for fall. Keep your meals moderate in size and well balanced with a variety of foods. Well-cooked steamed vegetables, rice with ghee and soft soups hit the target. Radish, fenugreek, soy milk, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, tortillas and whole wheat are good choices. Consuming onion, garlic and ginger can help keep you warm and support your immune system. Also, don’t skimp on sweet, sour and salty foods! Sweet tastes, such as avocado, cherries, grapefruit and carrots, are grounding. Sour and salty tastes, like pickles, in moderation, can help pump up your digestion.
To top off your meal, Ayurvedic cuisine proposes a dessert of sweetened cream of wheat with almonds. And before bed, how about a delicious nighttime drink for the fall, made from half water and half milk, boiled with ginger, cardamom and nutmeg?