Are you feeling the Fall in the Air?
Well, we have definitely entered into the fall season. The days are darker, colder and damper. We are animals at the core of our beings and many animals at this time of the year are preparing for hibernation. The animal world slows down metabolically and physically. If you are noticing that you are having a harder time getting out of bed, are more depressed this time of year, or just can’t seem to get anything done, there is an energetic reason for this. We should begin to notice all of these changes in our bodies as the Yang energy begins to wane and the Yin energy begins to grow.
Yang energy is the get up and go energy, the energy of the Sun. Yin is the quieter, more introverted energy; it is the energy of the moon. As there is less Yang Qi, it is harder to get things done. This is especially true here in Seattle where it is cold and dark this time of year. If you travel south, or to Hawaii in the fall and winter you will notice your energy shifts accordingly. There is more sunshine, more Yang get up and go energy. I can always get up at 6 AM and go out for a walk in Hawaii in the winter, yet here in Seattle, I really want to stay in bed at 6 AM, as it is still very dark and cold.
So, what can we do about this? First, we need to be realistic about the season we are in. At this phase of our society we are expected to work the same amount of hours in the same way 365 days a year. This is not realistic and this is not what our ancestors did. If you have the ability to shift your hours or work fewer hours this time of year I highly suggest you do so.
Second, add full spectrum lighting to your home and office. These bulbs are easy to find and they mimic sunlight. With the full light spectrum you will feel better and have more energy. For some people you may need to add a SAD (seasonal affective disorder) light box. This is a very strong light that again mimics sunlight. If you sit in the light for 20 minutes to 2 hours per day you can counter the effects of SAD. SAD is very common in the northern part of the country where it is cold and dark during the winter.
Third, while I am not a big supporter of tanning, for some people an occasional tanning session during the winter can be very helpful for their mood and sense of well being.
Lastly, this time of year it is very helpful to add warming foods to your diet and foods to help drain the dampness. In the Seattle area we have environmental dampness from all of the rain and also from being in between two very large bodies of water Puget Sound and Lake Washington. Mung bean soup is a recipe that Dr Mao Ni recommended to me many years ago. Mung beans detoxify the body, clear heat and drain dampness, an excellent choice for fall and winter.
Some food suggestions and the Mung Bean Soup recipe are listed below.
Foods that are beneficial at this time:
Bell Pepper, Chinese Chive, Gandora Mushroom, Green Beans, Kale, Leeks, Mustard Greens, Onions, Parsley, Parsnip, Garlic, Scallion
Cherry, Chinese Prune, Coconut, Dried Papaya, Grape, Hawthorne Berry, Lychee, Pineapple, Plumb, Raspberry, Tangerine
Oats, Sweet Rice, Wheat Bran, Wheat Germ
Seeds & Beans
Black bean, brown sesame seed, Chestnut, Lentil, Pinenuts, Walnut
Beef, Chicken, Fish, Shrimp, Turkey, Lamb
Anise seed, Basil, Black pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamom seed, Carob pod, Citrus peels, Clove, Coriander seed, Dry ginger, Fennel seed, Fresh Ginger
Brown Sugar, Coffee, Molasses, Rice Vinegar, Wine
Mung Bean Soup
6 cups broth
1 cup mung beans
Chopped meat (optional)
Bring broth and mung beans to boil, then simmer for 45 minutes. Add vegetables and meat, and cook for 15 more minutes.
Serve this as a main course the first night and then as a side dish the second night.
What small change can you implement to improve your health? Want to know more about how to address your specific energetic make up? Contact me and I would love to tell you more!