The last of the summer heat has left and we are experiencing cooler nights and mornings. After the heat and activity of summer, the arrival of autumn is often met with a sense of relief and a gentle exhale.
Nature marks each season by definite changes. At this time of year, nature’s energy starts to turn inward. The days are shorter and the temperature cooler. Following nature’s lead, we can observe the change and re-focus our own energy. It is an opportunity to take the time to rest. Autumn can be a reflective month, and the ability to slow down and rest will go a long way towards keeping you well over the cooler months.
The colder months should also see a change in your eating habits.
Simple changes to ease the transition to the cooler months:
- Eat more cooked foods. Our bodies and our digestion need warming in autumn and winter. Eating too many raw foods (including smoothies) can cool you down. Often instinctively we crave soups and stews.
- Add warming spices to cooking, such as ginger, turmeric, chilli, cardamon and cinnamon.
- Use garlic, as it’s anti-microbial and can help your body fight the cold virus.
- Keep moving. Do some exercise every day to keep your circulation and lymph systems moving.
- Go to bed earlier a few nights a week to allow your body to rest and be restored.
Immune building chicken soup
For those times when you don't have a home made chicken stock on hand, but want the health benefits of real chicken stock.
3 free range or organic chicken marylands
1 chopped onion with the skin on
2 roughly chopped celery stalks
1 large chopped carrot
6 peppercorns, 3 bay leaves, 3 sprigs of thyme.
Add all the ingredients to a large saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes. Take the marylands out of the pan and remove all the chicken meat. You can add the bones back in and simmer for another ½ hour if you have the time. Then strain the stock and disregard the chicken bones and vegetables.
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, 2 chopped finely, 2 crushed
2 leeks, finely sliced
1 celery stalk, finely sliced
2 carrots, chopped finely
2 handfuls of oats
Saute the onion and leeks in olive oil for several minutes until softened. Add chopped garlic, then celery and carrots. Cook for a few minutes, then add stock and salt and pepper to taste. Throw in 2 handfuls of oats, which give a creaminess to the soup. Add the crushed garlic and simmer for about 15 minutes, until vegetables soften. Add shredded chicken. You can take out a cup or two and blend with a stick mixer or food processor and then add back in to give the soup a creamy texture. Add ginger and chilli if you like a spicy soup.