Embrace the Yin of the Year with Power-Packed Autumn Veggies

Cooler mornings, chillier nights, and blessedly balmy days, ah, autumn! We turned the seasonal corner just last week on September 22….can you feel the shift in energy?

I was noticing the beginnings of the shift at the end of August: leaves were starting to fall and the heat of summer was waning. Now that we’ve reached the end of September, I can really see the change. The leaves are turning colors, the weather is brisk, the days are shorter and energetically I am slowing down.

I wasn’t always so tuned in to the season’s slowdown. In fact, as a Real-Life Superwoman I’ve spent many years resisting autumn’s shorter days and darker nights, because they meant that winter was on the way.

Why should that matter? At the time – like many Superwomen – I didn’t even realize that I was in conflict with the energetic flow of the year…but I was, and it was taking its toll.

In traditional Chinese medicine, autumn is the start of the Yin time of year: a time to slow down, reflect, and replenish your body, mind and soul. Time to sleep more, meditate, and eat foods that are grounding.

Problem is – when you’re enmeshed in this Yang culture, you aren’t willing to surrender to this kind of slowdown; you want to keep charging full speed ahead!

So this Busy Professional Woman spent years fighting the Yin energy of autumn and winter…and as a result, often felt depressed, had a compromised immune system from constant activity, and was more vulnerable to colds and flu as a result.

Now, however, I have learned to appreciate the autumn season. I love the vibrant, warm colors of fall foliage and the vegetables that ripen at this time of year – winter squash, pumpkins, beets and other root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, turnips and parsnips. Not to mention the warm fragrance and flavor of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg…

Feeling hungry yet (smile)?

So today I want to share a couple of my favorite autumn foods and how they nourish your health, well-being and chakras.

Beets – From their gloriously red root to their leafy top, these veggies offer a ferocious number of benefits. According to Mercola.com , beets help to lower blood pressure, boost stamina, fight inflammation, support detoxification, improve nerve and muscle function, boost bone strength, stimulate the production of antibodies and white blood cells, and ward off cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. They’re packed with fiber to keep our digestive track healthy and nutrients – vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and folate. On an energetic level, as a deep-crimson root vegetable they help to ground us by nourishing the root chakra.

Butternut squash – With its hard shell and firm flesh, this is an easy food for long-term storage, providing our ancestors with a stable source of carbohydrates and fiber when fresh veges were scarce. Today, these winter squashes do more than their share in boosting your health: according to WholeLiving.com , it’s loaded with potassium, B6, folate, and carotenoids – essential for the functioning of your skeletal, cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems. Its high antioxidant levels help to reduce risk of rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and other inflammatory disorders. With its high level of beta-carotene, butternut squash can help to protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancer and macular degeneration…as well as supporting fetal and newborn lung development. Its high levels of Vitamins A and C help to support the production of collagen, essential for healthy hair and skin. Finally, as a bright-orange food, it helps to nourish the sacral chakra, which helps keep us in the flow and connected with our creativity.

Sweet potato – This is my all-time favorite autumn food…in fact I could eat this delicious vegetable any time of the year! And sweet potatoes are another nutrient-packed autumn veg: in fact, according to Mercola.com, they hold the record in their levels of Vitamin A – at 769% of the recommended daily value, only beef liver provides more. They’re also loaded with beta-carotene, Vitamins C and B6, and the antioxidant enzymes copper/zinc superoxide dismutase and catalase – boosting your immune system and all-over physical functioning and helping to fight cancer – as well as the protein adiponectin, which helps to regulate your body’s insulin production. As root vegetables, with their deep orange color, sweet potatoes support both the root and sacral chakras.

Do you want to know more about how certain foods help nourish the chakras and as a result improve your health and well-being? If yes, I invite you to join my free 7 Day Autumn Chakra Smoothie Challenge, starting Oct 3!

Tweet: Need ease and flow? Eat butternut squash Tweet: Need ease and flow? Eat butternut squash.@zestandharmony

 

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