Fall into Yin
Fall, as I like to call it (I hear it’s an American thing) or Autumn… is a favourite time of year for many. I have to admit, I am one of them. It’s a time when we start wearing more layers. We get to pull out that favourite sweater that you’ve had for years. You would never dream of giving it away even though it’s got a few moth holes and a wine stain or two. It’s the time of year when you rush inside just a little bit quicker to escape the unfamiliar chill in the air that wasn’t there a month ago. Inside you are greeted with a wave of warmth, the smell of something baking in the oven or bubbling away on the stove top. Warming food and spiced teas seem just perfect this time of year. This is Fall to me.
This weather makes us want to curl up with a good book or a loved partner or pet. There is a natural desire to go inward in preparation for the winter months. Like bears that hibernate for the winter, so do we… sort of. Winter is when yin is in full swing so we should embrace this time of transition instead of fighting against it, refusing the yang of summer to be over. It gives us time to reflect, to contemplate and to take care of ourselves from the inside out.
In this transition to the yin time of year try adding some restorative yoga, yin yoga, meditation, tai chi or qigong to your practice. Slowing down the manic yang mind and embracing the slower pace of yin. Think warming foods, like stews, chillies and soups, roasted root veg, cooked beans and legumes. Introducing spices like ginger, garlic, black pepper, clove and basil adds a warming effect to help replenish your energy. Minimise cooling foods like grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries and watermelon. Raw (uncooked) fruits and veg like apples, pears, oranges, cucumber, green leafy veg and asparagus. All of these and cold drinks can squelch the fires from within.
As tempting as it may be to grab those ‘sort of’ red strawberries or the watermelon from across the globe in November and December, try to resist. The body needs this yin time of year to recharge with warming yin foods and caring thoughts.
Foods of the season I suggest…
Brussels sprouts - With an excellent sources of Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin so eat them with a fat like ghee or olive oil. Vitamin K is essential for strong bones and plays an important role in blood clotting. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C as well, a water-soluble vitamin so it doesn’t get stored in the body and needs replenished daily. As most of you might know vitamin C is great for boosting the immune system so make sure you get good amounts during the upcoming “cold season”.
Cranberries - Like Brussels sprouts, cranberries are high in Vitamin C, as well as Manganese. Manganese aids in the absorption of calcium and the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.
Apples - “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is so true since these beauties are high in fibre (heart health), antioxidants and Vitamin C.
Cabbage - An amazing source of Vitamin K and C as well as B6. B6 helps build up the immune system, great metaboliser of fats, vitamins and carbohydrates and helps to maintain radiant skin. In fact cabbage juice is great for digestive disorders.
Kale - Did you know that kale was once only used to feed cattle. This superfood has of course become one of the most popular veggies out there today and for good reason. It’s an excellent source of Vitamin K, C, A and Manganese. Vitamin A is critical for good vision plus an important part of your bone health.
Turkey - If you eat meat…organic turkey is a lovely meat to have as it’s not only high in protein but also Vitamin B6 and B3. B3 has the ability to lower cholesterol levels and/or control it.
3…4…5…6 times a day you get to decide how you’re going to nourish, nurture and honour your body. So don’t hate it. Don’t wish it would look a different way. Don’t starve it of the nutrients it needs. Support it. Love it. Water the garden in your mind…in your heart…and in your gut!
Fall into Yin.
Micki’s recipe of the month
(Courtesy of Cotter Crunch)
CREAMY MUSTARD BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD
4-5 cups Brussels sprouts
1 shallot (sliced)
1 tbsp olive oil or ghee
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Red pepper flakes (optional)
For the Cashew Cream Mustard Sauce
1 1/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup filtered water
Juice of 1/4 of Lemon
Dash of sea salt
1/4 cup spicy or honey mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp olive, avocado oil or ghee
1/4 tsp onion powder
Sea salt & pepper to taste
For the Creamy Mustard Cashew Cream Sauce
Soak cashews for at least 2 hrs (up to 24hrs) in the filtered water.
After soaking, throw away soaking water.
Mix cashews, garlic, mustard, and spices into blender or food processor. Blend until creamy. Thin out with more water or broth to get consistency you like.
Pour sauce into a bowl, set aside.
Halve Brussels sprouts.
Thinly slice the shallot.
Add 1 tbsp oil or ghee to a skillet or fry pan.
Add in your Brussels sprouts and shallot. Pan fry on medium high for 7-10 minutes or until Brussels sprouts start to get tender and have crispy brown edges.
Add in your balsamic vinegar last few minutes to brown edges.
Next add add in about 2/3 cup to 3/4 cup of your creamy mustard sauce.
(Save the extra sauce for other dish or freeze for later)
Mix all together.
Add pepper and sea salt to taste. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes on medium heat until everything is mixed, creamy, and cooked.
Remove from heat.
Serve garnished with red pepper.