Fairfield County Edition

A Nourishing November

Ayurveda Urges Warming

Think of warm apple spice cake, savory pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice lattes; there is something about the fall that draws us into wanting harvest flavors and spices. That “something” is explained by Ayurveda, the ancient science from India that relies on the wisdom of nature to balance the body and restore wellness. Often referred to as “yoga’s sister science”, Ayurveda explains that during the fall as nature is cooling, drying and blowing its winds through the trees, our bodies are responding in similar ways. The skin becomes drier, and the body releases its final reserves of summer heat, often in the form of allergies or rashes. In order to balance the depletion of warmth and moisture, late fall becomes a time for gathering the harvest vegetables and drinking and enjoying warming spices such as cinnamon and clove.

Explained by Ayurveda practitioner and teacher Dr. Vassant Lad, MASc, in his Textbook of Ayurveda: Fundamental Principles Vol 1, Ayurveda sees the world in terms of pairs of opposite qualities: light/heavy, dry/moist, static/mobile. Each season manifests these gunas at different times. Similarly, these qualities are reflected in our bodies in various combinations referred to as doshas. There are three main doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Fall manifests the qualities of dry, light, cold, rough, mobile and astringent. It is necessary to balance the body with the opposite qualities of moist, heavy, hot, smooth and static. The best way to achieve this balance is through diet and lifestyle. In the fall, this balance is accomplished by eating grounding root vegetables infused with spice. Receiving a massage to replenish oil in the body is another way to find balance in preparation for the coming winter. 

Fall is a time for drives in the country, viewing nature’s spectacular colors of yellow and red as they give way to browns and blacks, and reflecting on a landscape readying itself for winter. According to Ayurveda, it is the perfect time to stop and warm up with some mulled apple cider and perhaps a slice of pumpkin pie.

Recipe for roasted butternut squash with Brussels sprouts:
• 1 ½ lb chopped butternut squash, roasted at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
• 3 cups chopped Brussels sprouts, roasted at 400 degrees for 20 minutes

In a separate sauce pan, cook the following for 10 minutes:
• 2 Tbsp ghee
• 1 cup maple syrup
• ½ cup pecans
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp coriander
• 1 tsp sea salt
• ¼ cup golden raisins 

Combine butternut squash and Brussels sprouts in a dish, and add the maple syrup “sauce”.

Author Jamie McKee is a high school English teacher, a Connecticut-licensed massage therapist, and a student at Joyful Belly Ayurveda. Teaming up with Innersource Ayurveda wellness services, McKee offers massage, facials, marma therapy, and monthly workshops on Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle at the Ayurveda Experience located at Salt of the Earth Sanctuary in Woodbury. Now offering a fall balance and harmony package at Woodbury or Ridgefield locations. Connect at 203-982-5129 or Info@InnerSourceAyurveda.com.

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