The Colorful Fall Season
The last fruits ripen, leaves fall from the trees, the days grow shorter, and energy descends back into earth for the dormant cycle, which is reflected in the brilliant, vivid colors of fall.
The energies in our body, which are associated with the autumn time, are the Lungs and the Large Intestine, as well as the emotions associated with letting go. Through the lungs and through our digested food life force is brought into our body. Questions for this season are:
To prepare the most nurturing food in the autumn season, we need to be aware of its abundant yet con- tracting nature. The cold and cooling foods, such as salads, melons, and summer fruits give way to foods and food preparation that supply greater energy for the cooler season. Now root vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, which are high in fiber for the Large Intestine, can be rotated back into the diet.
The valuable flavor in autumn cooking is pungent. This includes spicy, hot, and aromatic flavors, as they have a warming energy and stimulate digestion. They stimulate the nose and the Lungs, clearing them of mucus and dispersing sluggishness. White pungent foods such as onion, garlic, ginger, and horseradish can be especially helpful. The highest pungency is generally found when these foods are eaten raw, but those with dry, feverish, or nervous conditions should avoid consuming large quantities of raw, pungent food as it can exacerbate their condition. Sour flavored foods, such as vinegar, yogurt, lemons, grapefruit, and sauerkraut can also be helpful during the fall season, as it has a gathering and contracting affect on the body.
Foods that enhance the metal element:
Grain: whole brown and sweet rice, mochi
Vegetables: cauliflower, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, celery, onions, watercress, mustard and turnip greens, turnips, garlic, cucumber, leeks Beans: white beans
Fruits: banana, pear, apples
Fish: bass, snapper, cod, haddock, herring, flounder, sole, halibut
Herbs and Seasonings: dill, fennel, thyme, ginger root, horseradish, cinnamon, cayenne, basil, and rosemary