TRANSTIONING TO FALL….
Labor Day is here, which means Summer is ending and Fall is just around the corner. Cooler temperatures, pumpkins, football, bonfires and leaves changing colors all to come! I love to feel the crisp air and get a spring in my step after the long, hot days of summer. Each season brings a sense of renewal and mystery. What is to come? What will transpire in my life? How can I grow and be better?
During this change of season, specifically summer to fall, it is a great time to do a dietary “reset or cleanse.” A few weeks of anti-inflammatory, targeted foods and herbs will help prime the immune system for the inevitable invasion of germs and viruses that breed in the cooler months. Cleansing also allows the body to rest and restore and heal GI and other inflammatory issues. At the end of the newsletter I mention the upcoming two- week Clean Eating Program that is a healthy reset. If this is of interest to you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEPTEMBER’S NUTRITION CORNER: EATING FOR IMMUNE HEATH
As we head into cold and flu season, it’s time to get yourself prepared and start stocking up on a few essentials to keep the immune system supported.
Here are a few of my must-have immune supporting nutrients, foods and herbs:
Zinc– Zinc is an essential trace mineral that plays a role in more than a hundred enzymatic reactions in the body. It’s needed in small amounts every day in order to maintain your health and perform important functions. Zinc is needed for healthy cell division and it acts like an antioxidant fighting free radical damage.
- Foods high in zinc: pumpkin seeds, shellfish, lamb, grass-fed beef, chicken, cashews, yogurt, keifer and chickpeas.
Vitamin C- Because your body doesn’t store vitamin C or make it on its own, it’s critical to include plenty of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables your daily diet. The benefits of vitamin C may include enhanced iron absorption, better immune function, plus a reduced risk of various conditions from gout to heart disease.
- Foods high in Vitamin C: red and green bell peppers, parsley, spinach, kale, broccoli, kiwi, guava, strawberries and oranges.
Vitamin D- Vitamin D builds and maintains strong bones; aids with calcium absorption; helps regulate cells responsible for auto-immune function and improves heart health. In the body, vitamin D also gets converted to a steroid hormone capable of turning genes on or off, signaling them to make enzymes and proteins crucial to maintaining health and fighting disease. It’s hard to get enough vitamin D3 now without supplementation but below are some foods as well as being in the sunlight without sunscreen.
- Foods high in vitamin D3: fatty fish, mushrooms, fortified milk, orange juice and cereals. If you are taking a supplement, it needs to be in olive oil or a form of fat to be absorbed.
Selenium- Selenium seems to have a powerful effect on the immune system, including the potential to slow the body’s over-active responses to certain aggressive forms of cancer.
- Foods high in selenium: garlic, broccoli, sardines, tuna, brazil nuts and barley.
Probiotics– Probiotics are critical in immune health as we know that the majority of our immune system resides in our gut (70%). Probiotics are friendly bacteria and are in the GI tract help to reinforce the barrier function of the intestinal lining. This function may decrease infections and immune related reactions, thus supporting the health of the immune system.
- Foods high in Probiotics: keifer, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kombucha, tempeh, kvass, apple cider vinegar, sourdough bread.
Elderberry- Elderberry is a tremendous source of flavonoids including anthocyanins which have potent antioxidant capabilities. There is research that Elderberry can block infection by directly inhibiting viral infections. Note that you must cook elderberry which is why the syrup is so popular. Also it is not advised for pregnant or nursing women to consume elderberry. Here is my post and recipe to make Elderberry syrup and gummies. https://wordpress.com/view/nourishyh.wordpress.com
Mushrooms– Mushrooms are reported to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular-protective, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties. It is well-established that mushrooms are adept at immune modulation and affect lymphocytes, macrophages, T cells, dendritic cells (DCs), and natural killer (NK) cells.1
- Most potent mushrooms: chaga, reishi, shiitake, maitake.
Herbs- Several roots and herbs counter the negative effects of stress, stimulate the immune system and increase resistance to bacteria and viruses.
- Immune supporting herbs/roots: ashwagandha, astragulus, echinacea, elderberry, ginseng, holy basil, licorice, nettles, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and cardamom.
SEPTEMBER’S AYURVEDA CORNER: THE CHANGING OF A SEASON- VATA
The tried and true Ayurvedic ways tell us how to stay balanced in the change of the seasons and even in the ever-changing world.
Life is hectic. Life is busy. Life is a whirlwind. So how do we keep calm and grounded in a season of Vata derangement? Good question– practical and age-old advice. I am not coming up with new answers, but going back to the sages and the wise ones.
So what is Ayurveda? Basically it is “The Science of Life” brought to us by old sages, doctors and healers who lived by Mother Natures doctrines. It is thousands of years old and still practiced to this day. Ayurveda is the mother of all healing modalities. Literally you say “…..” (fill any healing modality in the blanks) and I say it came from Ayurveda.
In Ayurveda each season is associated with a Dosha, or characteristics. Autumn, or Fall is a Vata season. Vata qualities mirror Fall with dry, mobile and cool attributes. In our bodies this transpires as dry skin, irregular digestion or elimination, stiff and aching joints or muscles.
So as we transition to Fall here are my tips to keep our Vata in check…..because who wants aching joints and irregular bowels?
1) Use oil instead of lotion to rehydrate your skin. Abyhanga massage is an oil massage that stimulates the circulation and cams the mind. Do this daily and see tremendous benefits not only with your skin but also your peace of mind. Add some essential oils for even greater benefits.
2) Meditate each morning and/or evening. Even just five minutes a day will help calm the Vata energy in the mind. Think clearer, be calmer.
3) Eat cooked and warming foods. No more raw veggies. Eat your greens and root vegetables cooked in healthy organic oils. You don’t need to overcook, but allow your body to do less work and get the nutrients you need with these healthy fats as the delivery.
4) Ground your energy by walking barefoot in the grass and “Earthing”. It really works. You won’t be disappointed. Just take some deep breaths and let Mother Nature rebalance you and get those ions recalibrated.
5) Do grounding Yoga Asana’s. Tree pose, Eagle Pose, Warrior Pose are some just to name a few. Yoga is always good, just do yoga slower and more mindfully in the fall. Hold the poses longer and feel the slow burn. Do your yoga in a warm room to help open the muscles and improve range of motion.
6) Breathe more and take more time to reflect. We need to slow down and allow the good qualities of Vata to come up which give us the creative, soulful side of life. But this only happens when we are balanced and not living in anxiety or constant motion. Think before you act, speak or move. Find your Vata in arts, play and creation not in stress, fear or anxiety.
SEPTEMBER’S NOURISHING RECIPES
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CHICKPEA STEW
Makes Serves: 4-6
2 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil or olive oil; 1 onion, chopped; 3 cloves garlic, chopped; 2 tsp paprika; 1 tsp. sea salt; ¾ tsp. ground cumin; ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper or to taste; ½ tsp. ground coriander; ½ tsp. ground turmeric ; ½ tsp ground ginger; ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional); 3 cups 1-inch cubes of peeled butternut squash (about 1 ½ pounds); 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ¾-inch pieces; 1 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced or 14 ounces boxed, drained; 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice; 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas or 1 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed; a handful of golden raisins or currants; 1 cup vegetable stock or water
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add salt, pepper and all spices to the onions. Sauté for a minute.
Add the squash and carrots and toss to coat with the spices.
Add tomatoes, lemon juice, chickpeas, raisins and stock/water. Bring to a boil and cover. Lower the heat and simmer over low or medium/low heat until squash is tender and flavors have melded, about 40 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add extra salt and pepper as desired.
Add spinach or chopped chard leaves in at the end. Serve over quinoa, millet, brown rice or riced cauliflower.
PUMPKIN SPICE SEED AND NUT BARS
Prep 20 mins ∙ Cook 20 mins ∙ Makes Serves: 10 ∙
1 cup almonds, raw and unsalted; ½ cup pumpkin seeds, raw and unsalted; ½ cup sunflower seeds, raw and unsalted; ½ cup organic peanut or almond butter; ½ cup rolled oats; ¼ cup organic pumpkin puree; ¼ cup brazil nuts, raw and unsalted; ¼ cup amaranth (optional); ¼ cup maple syrup; ¼ cup local honey; 1 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice; 1 tsp. cinnamon; pinch of sea salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a saucepan, bring maple syrup, pumpkin puree, and peanut butter to a simmer and immediately take of heat. Stir until this mixture is well combined. Combine the nuts and seeds in a separate mixing bowl. Pour the liquid mixture over the nuts and seeds and stir until thoroughly coated. Using a lined or silicone square edged pan, spread the nut mixture in by pressing with your hands and compacting the mixture into the square pan evenly.
Bake for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on this mixture, every oven setting is different and when toasting nuts and seeds they may burn very quickly! Take out of the oven and let cool.
Keep in an airtight bag/container at room temperature for storing.
Note // you can make these into 20 servings and half the calories, by cutting each bar in half again.
UPCOMING NOURISH YOUR HEALTH CLASSES
- A diet based on seasonal, colorful, nutrient-dense foods.
- More alkaline forming foods versus acidic forming foods.
- These meals include vegetables cooked or “dressed” with healthy fats, a smart amount of high-quality protein and low-glycemic carbohydrates.
- Food that makes you feel good, light and “clean”
- No refined flours or grains, no added sugars, no trans-fats, no gluten, no nitrates, chemical additives, colors or dyes, no GMO’s, no over processed foods.
- Limited dairy: only hormone-free, full-fat goat or sheep’s milk cheeses, ghee and or raw cow’s milk products.
You will be supplied weekly menus with corresponding recipes and grocery lists. The meal plan will have two meals a day, (breakfast and dinner) and two snack options. You will have carryover meals that will serve as the next days lunch or give space to provide an opportunity for an away from home meal.
The cost for this program is $60 for two weeks. Weekly menus are emailed Friday Sept 14 and 21 afternoon so you can shop and food prep over the weekend. Depending on the number and location of participants we will either schedule one 60 minute group meeting or you will receive one 30-minute phone-coaching session during the program for Q&A and support.
During this clean eating program you do cook the majority of your own food! The purpose of this is
a) so you know what is in your food
b) you understand what it takes to keep yourself well-fed
c) you will form new habits food prepping and cooking that will go beyond the 14 days
d) you rekindle or find the pleasure of cooking your own healthful meals
Benefits of a Clean eating Program:
- Weight Loss
- Better Sleep
- Clearer Skin
- Lowered Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
- Improved Eating and Lifestyle Habits
Testimonials from prior Clean Eating Program clients:
“I really enjoyed trying new ingredients and recipes and it made me happy to be including higher quality foods in meals for both myself and my family. It was great to have leftovers so often”.
“I tried out new and diverse recipes. I did more meal prep and got my eating back on track.”
MARYVILLE YOGA SHALA UPDATES
We are so grateful to have had a successful first month! To all that are supporting this new studio near and far we want to thank you!
If you haven’t checked out the website http://www.maryvilleyogashala.com please do so! Another great place to stay informed is our Facebook Page @maryvilleshala and Instagram @maryvilleyogashala. We will be launching our Workshops in October so stay tuned for some great things to dive into on Sundays.
Until October’s Nourishing Newsletter……
“Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” translated to mean “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”Have a great month friends and enjoy your health!