I have noticed that every fall people will call my office asking for help with anxiety and sleep disorders. There is something about the changing weather and climate that makes a pre existing disorder worse or pushes these symptoms to the surface. Stress in the person’s life is the same as it was during summer but the pressure of the changing weather amplifies their symptoms. Perhaps this is due to the cold weather coming on pushing the blood and energy of the body inwards for the winter. It is a subtle kind of hibernation; people often feel more internal and reflective in winter, need more sleep and can be less social.
Honor your connection to nature and prepare for the inherent changes of the seasons. This minimizes anxiety and supports one to remain in harmony. Get in touch with the natural rhythm of your body and nature; here are some self care tips you can try that will allow your body to remain in alignment with the season.
You may need to build up your immune system to strengthen your blood for winter time:
take some long walks outside and breath vigorously as you look at the changing colors. In Chinese Medicine it is understood that the colors of the fall naturally rebuild and strengthen the adrenals and pancreas (Spleen Qi). Another way to say this is that you will just feel good! Go to bed one hour earlier so that you can take advantage of the shorter days and nurture yourself with more sleep. Your body will thank you. Here are some healing recipes for the Fall, apples especially are calming to the spirit, they help to relieve anxiety and can help with sleep. Here in New Mexico, the apple trees are about to drop their last offering of the season before the first freeze. I wish you and your loved ones a bountiful fall and a nourishing winter.
Here are some fall menu items that will help keep your body in balance.
Food as Medicine: Lentil Soup
Lentils are an inexpensive and high quality form of protein; known for stabilizing blood sugar and helping digestion. Anytime digestion is supported, the entire body/mind connection stabilizes; you just feel better all over. This is a simple, easy recipe that takes about 1 hour to make.
Dr. Japa’s Lentil Soup
-2 cups green lentils, soaked for 1 hour to 8 hours(optional, but they cook faster when
– 2 cups chopped onion, celery, carrot in equal parts
– Lemon peel, lemon
-Fresh parsley, finely chopped
– Garlic salt
– Feta Cheese
Soak lentils overnight, saute onion, celery, carrots in olive oil for 5 to 10 minutes until slightly toasty.
Add lentils and vegetable stock to cover, plus one inch.
Bring to a boil, then simmer gently until beans are completely soft. Continue to add water or stock as needed as it cooks.
During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add a little bit of lemon peel, the garlic salt, squeeze in a few cloves of pressed garlic and the parsley. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover the pot. At the end of cooking, season with salt and pepper and a squirt of fresh lemon juice. Serve with fresh feta cheese on top.
Dessert on the go!
Apples calm the spirit and support health sleep. They are full of Vitamin C and fiber and they prevent constipation. Plus this healthy dessert is basically pie filling without the crust. Try it with yoghurt in the morning for breakfast or with ice cream for dessert. Takes 10 minutes to prep, bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
Serve two people
-6 apples, cored and chopped
-½ stick of butter
-1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Filling Spice or Cinnamon
– 2 cups of Oatmeal
– 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup, to taste
Fill your casserole dish halfway with sliced apples. In a separate bowl, mix the oatmeal, maple syrup and spice. Slice in the butter until it disperses, or melt it and pour in. Spread this mixture on top of apples. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.