It’s hard to believe that October is more than halfway over already. The angle of the shadows sits a little bit differently and the new crispness of the air is a far cry from the lethargic humidity that summer gave us. As we look around us, everything is moving at a slightly slower speed. The leaves are turning colors and fading away, and hibernation mode is taking over our natural rhythms. Now is the instinctive moment in our cyclical nature to slow down and turn inward, both within our homes and ourselves. Autumn is a great opportunity to reflect and restore.
Root vegetables are more abundant in the autumn season and seem to offer exactly what we need at the moment we need it. They are grounding and focus their energy inward (as they literally grow down into the ground) and often require slow, steady heat in order to be prepared into a meal. Most of our favorite fall dishes also come with a variety of warming herbs and spices. This is nature’s way of providing us with that slow and steady warm energy we need to make it through the fall and into the winter. Soups and stews become mainstays deep in the fall, using up the last of the summer vegetables and providing tasty bundles of nutrients that act as your body’s first line of defense in cold and flu season. Some of the biggest MVPs of the autumn (apples, cranberries, squashes, and sweet potatoes) are all packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help stave off infections, as well as are full of fiber and slow-absorbing starches to help balance out the heaviness of the typical autumn bounty. As an added benefit, fall foods are easily made in abundance and are conveniently sharable, bringing together families and communities for added cold-weather support.
As the craziness of the summer is settling in behind us, autumn offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on the coming holiday season as well as our past year. Now is the time to take stock of where we’ve been and where we’re going. While it’s important to follow the natural rhythms of the season and draw slightly inward, it’s equally important to maintain community relationships. Fall’s a good time to choose social activities that enrich us and give us a sense of belonging. Cooking classes are a perfect fall activity! As an added bonus: you'll go home ready to bake some delicious bread for the holidays!