Hello sweet strangers! I hope this all finds you well. Once again, I’ve found myself making promises that I just can’t seem to keep. I’ve been overflowing with inspiration, but, I am back to finding myself torn between my adult responsibilities, my social calendar, my hobbies, & my self-care. There just isn’t enough time in the day to dedicate to all of the things I am finding myself drawn to…
Trying to find the balance among it all can be quite tricky, & particularly as we begin our ascent into autumn. It happens to be my favorite time of year, but also the time of year that I can become quickly run down & imbalanced if I am not careful. According to Ayurveda, the “sister science of yoga” & India’s system of medicine, autumn is considered “vata season.” The element of “air” is predominant in autumn & prana (our life force & vital breath) is abundant in the atmosphere. Autumn is associated with the qualities of “dry, rough, windy, erratic, cool, subtle, & clear” & these same qualities are shared by the “vata” dosha, which is my primary constitution. Like increases like, so those of us who identify as vata can be more easily thrown out of balance if we do not approach the season mindfully. Franky, we vata types often become quite spacey, restless & scattered. Oh dear…
However… when approached with a sense of balance & ease, the vata season will be less aggravating, especially when it’s filled with warmth, deep nourishment & a sense of stability, routine, & groundedness. This is the perfect time of year to to begin to transition away from raw overnight oats, cooling green smoothies & juices, & begin to lean into heartier, softer, warmer, & more nourishing breakfasts. During autumn’s transition, I find myself craving more oatmeal, spiced breakfast quinoa & my beloved teacher Laura Plumb’s beautifully grounding Sweet Potato Chai Smoothie. Substantial & nourishing foods as these, infused with warming, stimulating spices, will assure to keep you grounded through the vata season.
As a seasonal eater, the first indication, for me, that the season’s change is upon us is when fig season begins to wind down. Then comes the crisp air, the arrival of pumpkins at the farmers’ markets & holiday commercials, & we know we’ve come around the bend. As figs become less abundant, I morn their departure, yet revel in excitement over the arrival of cooler days, darker nights, & richer foods. I look forward to cozy & quiet evenings in ~ making soups & risotto, drinking red wine, candlelit baths & bundling up under blankets. Autumn always feels like the perfect season to nest & rest!
As autumn is a time of “transition” acts as a crossing from one into the next. I’ve taken my final carton of figs & simmered them into a loving concoction of “Ancient Grain & Superseed Oatmeal” (a favorite Trader Joe’s find), creamy homemade almond milk, warming cinnamon & cardamom ~ which is wonderful for the digestion, full of antioxidants, anit-inflammatory, & an aphrodisiac, then topped with more gorgeous figs, chopped almonds & a drizzle of raw honey…..
- 1 cup homemade almond milk
- ½ cup Ancient Grain & Super Seed Oatmeal, or oats of choice
- 4 fresh figs, chopped
- A handful of sliced almonds
- Pinch of cardamom
- In a small pot, bring almond milk to a boil, then add oats, 2 chopped figs & cardamom.
- Simmer 7-10, until almond milk is absorbed & oats become tender.
- Stir in a handful of sliced almonds.
- Serve, drizzling with honey, topping with fresh fig segments, & chopped sliced almonds.
Farewell precious figs, until next summer…
If you are interested in learning more about Ayurveda & keeping balanced through the seasons, I encourage you to join me in my favorite seasonal cleaning ritual with the lovely Claire Ragizzino of Vidya Living & knowledgeable Adena Rose Ayurveda for their “Seasonal Renewal Cleanse” beginning September 25. It’s a wonderful introduction to the seasonal principals of Ayurveda & really helps the body, mind & spirit to reset & renew. Claire & Adena provide loving guidance, beautiful recipes, meditations, daily rituals, & more. Plus there is nothing more nourishing than a mini kitchari fast.
With all hope, keeping myself in balance will mean more time to share all of the content I’ve been cooking up in my brain & queueing from the archives. I am also still working on that rebranding, so stay tuned.
As always, thank you for being patient & staying with me through all of the changes.