The Magic Of Seasonal Alignment – Autumn

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I like the time when the seasons change. There's something magical and creative about it. It brings transformation and fluidity, and it's a great time for new beginnings. Our ancestors used to live according to the seasons, both in their activity level and their eating habits.


The ancient Chinese believed that the seasons have a significant cyclical impact on human health and well-being and that we should always live in harmony with them.


September, with an autumnal equinox, marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. For many it means the end of the summer holidays and it means going back to school and work. Ideally, we used the summer to be outside, enjoy the sun and recharge our batteries with new energy. We are entering a season where we are being asked to slow down, reap the rewards of our work, close the projects we have been working on and reflect on the past few months.


Autumn invites us to go in, store our energy and prepare for the silence and hibernation. We can learn by observing nature, how everything contracts and moves inward and downward. Trees lose their fruit and leaves, the grass becomes drier and lighter, the colors lose their intensity and even the sky becomes whiter and paler.


According to the Five Element Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine, we are entering the season of the Metal Element. Metal stands for strength, but also for formability. It is linked to dryness, the color white and the sound of crying. According to TCM, each of the five elements is associated with certain emotions. The Metal element corresponds to sadness, mourning, sadness, holding on to past hurts and difficulties in letting go. 


From the perspective of the body organs, it is associated with the lungs and colon. The lungs and colon are responsible for our immunity and work in perfect symbiosis. The lungs take in clear energy (Qi) from the air and circulate it throughout the body to all organs, then release carbon dioxide and other waste gases during exhalation. The colon separates the liquid from the processed food waste and returns that liquid back into the body as the waste and impurities are removed from our system. They both protect us from viruses, toxins, bacteria and external factors that are harmful to us.


The metallic element is also connected to our skin from a tissue perspective and to the nose from a sensory perspective. Often referred to as a third lung, the skin plays an important role in protecting against external factors and guarding our boundaries. It is also our largest organ of detoxification and the first point of contact with the outside world. The nose not only plays an important role in purifying and warming the air that enters our lungs, but also provides the sense of smell that can protect us from eating food that is spoiled or rancid.


The beginning of autumn is a perfect time to do a soft reset and detox, not only for your digestive system, but also for your entire body and mind.

Take a long weekend (3-5 days) and make sure you don't have anything planned. Don't watch TV, don't read news and just go offline. Allow yourself to slow down and focus on nurturing and nurturing yourself.


My advice is to build your detox and reset program around five pillars, which will provide an integrated and holistic approach to you as a whole. 

Pillar 1. Food for a gentle detox.
Pillar 2. Movement in nature.
Pillar 3. Breathing exercises.
Pillar 4. Emotional clearing.
Pillar 5. Detoxify through your skin.
Today we start with the first pillar: food for a gentle detox.

We are entering the colder season and the way of detoxifying our body through food should reflect this. It's time to leave behind cold smoothies, salads and lots of summer's raw vegetables. Avoid dry foods, such as crackers, chips or cookies. We should eat cooked, nutritious, warming, simple and home-made food that keeps our digestive fire alive.


You can start the day with an overnight oatmeal, teff or quinoa porridge. Add some warming spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom and/or cloves. For a light but satisfying lunch, soups are a great way to get a variety of vegetables in one simple dish. Use root vegetables, such as celeriac, carrots, beetroot and parsley roots, to prepare nutritious creamy soups. Your dinner should be easily digestible and nutritious. Eat legumes and grains, along with warming spices such as turmeric, black pepper, ginger and cayenne pepper. Make vegetable and legume stews with seasonal vegetables, such as pumpkins and potatoes. Add some shiitake, porcini, cremini or portabella mushrooms for extra protein.


Some of the foods are especially healing for the lungs and colon, and you can include them in your meals to enhance the healing benefits. These are white pungent foods, such as garlic, white onion, turnip, ginger, horseradish, daikon radish, white cabbage and white pepper. Use them in moderation because they can have a strong effect. They can be perfectly used in stews, soups and dishes such as dahl, kitchari or curries.


You can also choose to follow a simple Ayurvedic detox. Then you start your day with congee (recipe here), which is slow-cooked rice with a porridge consistency. The rest of the day you eat a few portions of kitchari (recipe here), which is a mung and basmati rice dish. This will definitely help reset your digestion by giving your digestive organs a rest, but at the same time providing you with nutrition and plenty of fiber.


Whatever recipes you choose, always prepare your dishes with intention and attention and infuse them with love.

Make sure you eat in a quiet environment, enjoy your food and chew each portion thoroughly.

Do not drink during your meal as this weakens your digestive fire.

After a meal, sit down and rest. Then take 15 – 20 minutes for a brisk walk, which will support your digestive organs in doing their work.


If you need step-by-step guidance and coaching or would like to make time for a tailor-made detox program, view the offer on my website here.

In my next posts you can read about the 4 other pillars and further attune your body and mind to the autumn season.


Wishing you a peaceful, blissful and loving fall season!

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Monika DeBoer


I offer holistic energetic therapy and nutritional coaching that appeals to you as a unique and whole person. I am also a teacher of Energetic Massage at Healing Space Institute in Bussum, the Netherlands. My mission is to help people live in a state of optimal health and wellness and reconnect them with their body's innate wisdom and healing power.


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