Eating for Year-Round Health: September Tips
Getting into September means getting back into our routines. There is a lot of transition going on right now with summer winding down, kids going back to school, and new programs beginning in our congregations.
There is also a big transition happening in nature right now. It’s called nectar surge. Take dandelions for instance. They bloomed in spring and now they’re doing the same thing! In fact, a lot of plants are flowering and blooming this time of year to give bees the nourishment they need to weather a long, cold winter.
With the nectar surge there’s more pollen in the air which for some people will bring upon hay fever. This is really interesting because as summer progresses heat in the outdoor environment accumulates and accumulates and accumulates.
And guess what?
This happens inside our very own bodies as well! Heat rises in our bodies throughout summer which dries out our sinuses. When our sinuses get too dry they get irritated more easily, meaning they’re more vulnerable to the pollens in the air. Dry sinuses also causes reactive mucous.
Think of the three little bears - you don’t want too be too mucous or too dry…you want everything in your sinuses to be just right.
So by the end of summer as heat has risen both inside and outside of our bodies we tend to become too dry which again means extra irritation, extra vulnerability from the pollens and next thing you know you have hay fever.
In nature there is the most lovely metaphor for this that we humans love to watch, but often neglect to connect to our own bodies. By the end of summer so much heat has literally risen in the trees that the leaves turn yellow, orange, and red. Some of us travel to see this transition! Later, the leaves dry out more, become brown, and fall off the tress.
You and I don’t have leaves to shed in order to remove excess heat. Instead, for us, nature is designed in such a way that the foods that dissipate heat are harvested this time of year, at the end of summer. Foods that cool us down and even purge the extra heat in our bodies! It’s so amazing how nature provides us with what we need, when we need it!
Take apples for instance. Apples cool the body and are very cleansing. Apple trees are teeming with apples this time of year. When you eat them, they loosen your stool, which helps draw the extra heat down and out of your body. The alternative is the heat continuing to rise up our bodies causing dryness, hay fever, headaches, and more.
September is the time to take care of that heat which will serve to prevent winter colds and flues. The qualities of winter are cold and dry. If you go into winter already too dry from the heat of summer then you’ll become even more dry, causing your body to produce reactive mucous, making you a breeding ground for colds and flus.
So, this month make sure you’re eating apples, watermelons, pomegranates, leafy greens…foods that are cooling. You don’t want to eat warm foods right now, foods that produce heat in the body. The time for that is coming, but it’s not here yet!
Get to your farmers market and take advantage of all the abundance of fresh fruits and fresh veggies right now!
Also, massage your body with coconut oil and use coconut oil (which is cooling) to cook with.
And check back next month for tips on how to eat in October to support year-round health!
In support of your healing,
p.s. It’s so important for your health and wellbeing to eat what is in season. The microbes that come out of the ground now are completely different than the ones that came out in the spring. Even though they are the same flower the microbes that came out on the dandelion in the spring are different than those coming out on the dandelion now. The microbes on the greens in spring worked to dissipate extra mucous and now they’re working to dissipate heat. In winter the microbes on your food will be working to boost the immune system. Eat food in the season nature provides it and enjoy a year of optimal health!