One of my favourite times of year is fall. I love the incredible colours that are everywhere even on a dull day there is colour to be seen. I love layering clothes, so, I don't feel as odd in fall with all my layers - cozy sweaters and leg warmers, warm scarves, and of course a fun hat.
And lastly food... oh all the amazing fresh food from the garden just waiting to be made into something savoury and nutritious. I love soups, and they are so fun to make and design, they warm you up from the inside out and I always make too much so I have leftovers.
With fall comes cooler climates and windier days, so I have to make some adjustments to my diet to help keep myself healthy and strong. I often start to notice my skin starting to get dry. There’s a reason dry skin is one of the most common skin concerns: our skin is our body’s largest organ, and it is constantly changing and regenerating, so it is constantly susceptible to attack. Our skin is our body’s first line of defense when it comes to protecting us from the elements. Because the skin barrier is made up of many types of lipids, including phospholipids, cholesterol and free fatty acids. When the skin doesn’t have enough of these fats, water can easily escape through the barrier, and the skin becomes dehydrated.
Ways I'm helping my skin out:
Daily moisturizing I'm applying natural oil like coconut and almond immediately after showering, I also add in some of my favourite essential oils (Frankincense and Sandalwood to help keep me grounded in this Vata season). Quickly rinse off and pat dry. This really helps keep my skin staying moisturized all day.
Of course, drinking enough water. As soon as I wake up I have a warm glass of water with the juice of a lemon. When it gets colder I start drinking herbal teas too.
2. Foods that make a difference:
Studies suggest consuming vitamin-rich foods including citrus fruits, nuts, whole grains, broccoli, and eggs help hydrate the skin. These foods are high in vitamins B2, B6, B12, C and E that nourish your skin, improve water retention, and repair sun damage.
All those dark leafy greens are still available from the garden this time of year. I love throwing them in my soups and chilis. I through some kale in with the bean burritos yesterday and my children didn't even notice.
3. Healthy fats
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are polyunsaturated fats that help produce the skin’s natural oil barrier, critical to keep our skin hydrated and vibrant. Some studies have shown that EFA’s reduce inflammation linked to various skin conditions like acne.
Omega-3 fatty acids that can hydrate our skin from within. These can be found from oils such as black currant seeds or sunflower seeds.
I follow a plant based diet and have children who are for the most part quite great little eaters, but fish isn't an option and with my daughter not enjoying eggs, well I sometimes have to get creative.
Last year I created Oatmeal Sprinkles. This is a mixture of nutritious food made into dust for the kids to sprinkle on their oatmeal, smoothies and fruit yogurt dishes.
1/3 cup dried coconut ribbons
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 hemp hearts
1/4 sesame seeds
1/4 ground flax
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground vanilla
Add coconut to food pressor and pulse to crumbs, then add in sunflower and pumpkins seeds until they are ground down. Add the rest of the ingredients pulse a couple of times to mix and then place in an air tight container. I usually add a tablespoon to my oatmeal.
Dried coconut is a great source of fibre, iron, manganese and saturated fat (important to have some especially in a plant based diet)
Hemp hearts are an amazing source of protein, omega-3 and omega-6
Flax seeds are a great source of fibre, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper as well as omega-3 and omega-6
Pumpkin seeds are a nutritional powerhouse of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc.
Sesame seeds provide calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, zinc, fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, protein, and tryptophan
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E and a very good source of copper and vitamin B1. They are a good source of manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6, folate and niacin. Also a great place to find omega-9
Let me know how this works for you. Enjoy!
*I'm not a registered dietician, I'm simply sharing from my research and experiences, so please talk to a dietitian for health concerns and questions.