It’s in the air: autumn. There has been a definite change in the weather and in the general attitude of Melbournians I have noticed over the last few weeks. I’ve really felt that I’ve gone through a period of readjustment. Adjusting to the fluctuating weather, the way the body feels, and adjusting my attitude to become more settled. So now’s the time to ‘ground down’ and become connected to mind and body.
Here are my tips to get through the transition from summer to autumn.
Swap cooling summer salads, for warming dishes such as soups, stews and heartier meals to boost the immune system. Choose thicker, creamier and more nourishing foods. I like to pig out on avocadoes at this time of year, as they make a summer smoothie creamier, and a salad heartier. The oil content of avocadoes is second only to olives, and means huge amounts of good oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat) and protein which is hydrating to skin, and repairs cells, heals wounds and reduces inflammation.
Shepard avocados are now in season, overtaking the Hass avocado. The beauty of this type of avo is that it does not go brown once it's cut. This means they stay brighter in your salads and sandwiches for longer. When storing a cut avocado, place in an air-tight container in your refrigerator or wrapped in cling film pressed firmly against the cut edge.
I’m all about avo in EVERYTHING, including a smoothie. I was rather late cottoning onto this bandwagon, but it was my clever friend Steph – The Natural Nutritionist - who introduced me to the concept that savoury/sweet can marry together perfectly in a super smoothie!
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Medjool date, pitted
1 teaspoon raw cacao nibs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 tray of ice
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Top with extra cacao nibs & enjoy!
But of course, don’t neglect the gut in this seasonal transition. Support it with fermented foods like kimchi, kefir and sauerkraut. I add a spoonful to my soup at this time of year (actually lets be honest, at every time of the year, but especially in autumn!). Happy gut = happy me!
Boost your immunity with Echinacea tea for its amazing immune boosting properties.
Coconut water: Drink it by the carton! (in moderation). As the air becomes less humid, skin tends to dehydrate. So as ALWAYS it’s important to drink loads of water, but spice with coconut and you will boost the H20 hydration properties. Coconut water contains all the essential electrolytes for skin hydration – magnesium and potassium! Coconut water also contains phytochemicals that act as anti-inflammatories and regulate the skins ph – which means LESS breakouts!
As the weather becomes less humid, and the air drier, the skin dehydrates and needs some tender loving moisture. Make sure you use a cream cleanser at this time of year, as the skin barrier is often a little drier and rougher, and it’s important not to further disrupt this by using a stripping foaming cleanser. Now is also the time to transition to a richer moisturiser. Select a moisturiser containing Hyaluronic acid (a super hydrating ingredient) and apply serums to the skin before you apply the moisturiser to LOCK everything in. I love delving into my pot of Rationale HydraVitale Ultracreme.
Here’s where Yin yoga really comes into its own. I like to go to a slower, more grounding class to keep my feet on the ground throughout the whirlwind of Melbourne’s autumn weather. Try butterfly pose, where all body parts are in contact with the ground beneath you.
So enough of my autumn musings...get eating, drinking and moving!