Fall foods

By Sharon Pendlington. Sharon is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga Instructor, Birth Doula and founder of Personal Nutrition. 

It is not yet officially autumn, and yet my body is preparing to let go of the cooling food of summer to embrace the nutrient-dense, warming food of fall. Perhaps this resonates with you as well? Have you had your fill of luscious, juicy fruits and berries or crisp salad greens and raw vegetables?

Eat Food According to the Seasons

The shift in energy that accompanies the change in climate and household routines (as children return to school for instance) reminds me that my diet ought to be shifting as well. This change in diet is guided by seasonal, locally grown and harvested food.

In order to keep our bodies in balance and ensure we are consuming a variety of food, we want to harmonize the food we eat with the seasons. When we purchase and eat seasonally, our food is more nutrient-dense, we support local farmland and businesses – helping to protect sustainable food systems, and we ensure that the food producers receive a greater percentage of our food dollar.

As autumn begins, here in British Columbia, we are harvesting the remaining fruits of summer (like apples, pears, grapes, melon, plums, and cranberries) and watery vegetables such as salad greens, kale, spinach and arugula. Cruciferious vegetables (such as brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli), tomato, zucchini and sweet peppers can also be found locally.

As the months progress, root veggies such as potatoes, yams, carrots, beets and turnips follow, as well as a wide selection of squashes to enjoy. Fresh grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are also harvested in this season.

If we are eating seasonally, our diet will evolve to include more cooked vegetables, fruit and legumes, whole grains, richer proteins and fats compared to the summer months. These food all create a warming quality as we move toward the coldest seasons.

We can also use warming herbs and spices to transition to a warming diet. These include:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Thyme, oregano, basil
  • Black pepper
  • Cinnamon, cloves
  • Vanilla

Perhaps simply adding ginger or cinnamon to your favorite morning smoothie will be enough to provide the warming quality your body craves this time of year.

Choose Cooked Food

Cooking food obviously adds a warming quality as well. You might find yourself choosing warm quinoa or grain-based salads over green salads, such as this Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad.

You may also adopt warming cooking techniques such as sauteing, baking or roasting over cooling methods like steaming and stirfrying. For example, rather than eating your greens raw in a salad or lightly steamed, you might choose to roast or saute your spinach, kale or swiss chard in some olive oil, garlic and sea salt.

One of my go-to recipes for the fall season is this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. You will notice that the recipe includes an abundance of seasonal, warming vegetables, seasonings and all the ingredients are roasted in the oven and then blended with an immersion blender. To me, this soup is the epitomy of eating with the fall season, and it’s also a family favorite.

If you have any questions, please contact Sharon at her website or on social media.

Sharon Pendlington, BSc., R.H.N., NNCP, RYT

Sharon Pendlington is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga Instructor, Birth Doula and founder of Personal Nutrition Sharon believes that every woman deserves to live a vibrant life, no matter her age. Sharon specializes in Women’s Health, supporting women to reclaim their energy, their memory, their figure and to get their happy back! Sharon meets her clients wherever they are in their health journey and inspires them to take their power back over their own health and wellness.

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