Autumn wellness notes
Rhaya Jordan is our resident nutritionist, naturopath and wellness expert. Here, she shares her tips for autumn wellness and a smooth transition into the cooler temperatures.
“Just as the seasons influence nature and the food on our plates, I also believe it affects us as people – our moods, our lives and our energy. In early autumn, the summer and winter are beginning to merge together. Summer is very much about the external – the outdoors, the sunshine, freshly picked salads, raw fruit and vegetables. But the cold and dark months become much more internal – we pull inwards as the days draw in, becoming more still and reflective.
“Autumn is a time of harvest, gratitude, transformation and quietness. You can see nature turning inwards and slowing down. Plants begin the process of regeneration in our Market Garden, and the fertility and growth of summer sink back into the earth. On our plates, instead of light fresh salads, we naturally turn to richer, earthy flavours such as mushrooms and mineral-filled root vegetables.
As we are surrounded by so much abundance in nature, harvest is of course the time of year to contemplate gratitude, and gratitude always relies on reflection. We have to stop and consider what we are lucky enough to have before we can really be grateful for it.
When harvest is over, it is the time for nurturing, nourishment and rest – the fallow time of year that we so often forget in our modern lives, to our detriment. Across the world, our people, societies and soils are depleted and exhausted. This is the time of year to sleep more, rest and recuperate, just as nature does. By turning inwards and looking within, one can find the opportunity to strengthen and increase resilience. Just as a tree knows when to rest and regenerate, so should we.
Autumn is also a time of transformation – the ultimate symbol of this has always been the amber, red and golden hues of falling leaves. The tree no longer has use for them and lets them go, in a way that is beautiful and useful for the soil. We should take our lead from nature in this way, releasing that which no longer serves us in our lives and letting go, finding stillness and grounding for the coming winter.
Food plays a huge role in this and is vital in bringing us back to ourselves and nature. Turn your attention to warming, nourishing foods which are easy to digest. Our traditional comfort foods were slow cooked, collagen and mineral-rich stews and broths with plenty of fibrous root vegetables.
Harvest encourages us to preserve and ferment our bounty, giving us vital support for our gut flora and vitamin C at a time when fruit and vegetables become scarce. Warming, rich foods become more important; good fats not only nourish but will protect your skin during winter too – there is a reason we crave them during autumn and winter.
Take time this season to observe the changes surrounding you in the natural world and consider how you can bring this into your life. This will allow not only a greater connection with nature but a restful sense of wellbeing as we enter the cooler months.’