It’s that time of year when the weather has barely starting wandering toward the next season, but a turn of the calender page has made us start thinking ahead to that shift of seasons. Even as we savor the last of the summer produce, the tomatoes and zucchini that so recently seemed infinite and unending, our thoughts begin to turn to apples and pumpkins, and perhaps to pears and root vegetables and even brussel sprouts.
Fall is the transition that eases us from the bright days and late nights of summer into the cozier and sleepier days of winter.
The hardier autumnal fruits and vegetables tend to be those which store well for the winter, and unlike the lighter produce of summer, they generally provide a denser, more carbohydrate rich fuel for those cold days when our bodies expect to burn more fuel and need more insulation against the weather. At the same time, some of the fall produce nudges our bodies to get rid of toxins in one last push before settling in for those heavier winter meals.
Here are a few tips for cooperating with the natural tendencies of this season:
*Continue taking advantage of the lighter summer produce while it’s in season and available in your garden or at your local farmer’s market, but be ready to transition into fall produce as it becomes more plentiful.
*Consider starting some ferments as a way of storing fruits and vegetables for winter. While this traditional habit is no longer necessary to preserve food, it is a good way to preserve high quality, in season produce in a way that will help keep your immune system running well as you enjoy them through the winter. (Sauerkraut is a good, simple option, but I’ve also seen interesting ideas such as fermented apple chutney. A quick google search for ‘fermented ______’, filling in the blank with whatever produce you have extra of, should provide plenty of options.)
*If you have an interest in juice fasts or other cleanses, the fall is one good time to schedule them, as there’s still plenty of produce available, and, as mentioned above, our bodies are naturally doing a gentle detox to prepare for winter. If you’re not interested in doing a full blown cleanse, you might still pick up a box of some type of daily detox tea to add to your morning routine for a month or two.
*Take advantage of the cooler and less humid weather to get outside and get all the vitamin D you can before the darker months of winter.