January is the traditionally the time to detox, but as Naturopathic Nutritionist Amy Huggins explains, a gentle Autumn cleanse now could keep you free of coughs and colds this winter.
Autumn is officially upon us, and while most of us tend to get excited about the impact the new season has on our wardrobe, few will also be thinking about how we should be adapting our diets to prepare for the onset of Winter.
The Autumn Equinox last month heralded a shift in temperature, energy and temperatures. Since ancient times this change in season has been regarded as an important time to cleanse and purify to promote good health.
Just as the trees begin to shed their leaves, Fall is the perfect time to shed and cleanse toxins from our system to boost our resilience for the winter months.
You may associate the term detox with the month of January, when the nation collectively and desperately attempts to undo the damage of the holiday season over indulgence by restricting calories, or imbibing suspicious smelling teas to cleanse exhausted livers and banish the bloat.
But a gentle Autumn cleanse is just as crucial, ensuring that we welcome winter with strong immunity and clarity of mind.
Benefits of an autumn cleanse include reducing inflammation, resting digestion, helping respiratory issues, reducing excess fat and bloat and alkalising the body
Boosting immunity now will ensure we are less prone to coughs and colds later in the year.
But before I lose you altogether, please know that cleansing and detoxing doesn’t have to equal starvation and deprivation. Just a few tweaks to your diet now will have an important effect on your wellbeing for the rest of the year.
In Chinese 5 elements, Autumn is associated with the metal element which governs the mind, organisation and stability. This time (which is about reflecting inwards), is also associated with the emotions grief and sadness, so letting go of any negative feelings that are not serving us is imperative to growth and healing. Processing and releasing emotions through journaling is a powerful way to let go, creating space for new energy.
Emotional and physical cleansing seem to go hand in hand. When we release toxins from our bodies, we also release stored toxic emotions leaving us feeling lighter in both body and mind.
An autumn detox should focus on the lungs and large intestine which are the vital organs traditionally associated with this time of year. Drinking enough water, and eating a diet of fibre-rich vegetables keeps the bowels moving, which is key to the detoxification process.
How to detox in autumn
Reduce your intake of cool uncooked foods, and increase warming foods. Reduce your portions of fruit to 2 a day favouring apples and pears.
Replace spring and summer greens with root vegetables- pumpkin, yams, sweet potato, carrots, beets, turnips and fennel
Drink a minimum of 2 litres of filtered water. Drink 1 pint on rising with the juice of half a lemon, 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar. This will flush to liver, kick start digestion and promote fat burning.
Make a large pan of organic root vegetable soup and sip throughout the day
Incorporate autumn spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to aid digestion and boost circulation.
Here’s a suggested menu for the day.
Organic porridge oats with stewed apple, cinnamon and hemp milk
Sweet potato and carrot soup
Organic roasted vegetables with tahini sauce and sauerkraut
Amy Huggins is a nutritional therapist and fertility specialist. After being diagnosed as infertile, she used nutrition and naturopathic techniques to heal her body and reverse her diagnosis, giving birth to her first child in 2017. Amy now helps women achieve their dream of motherhood with nutritional and lifestyle coaching. You can find out more about Amy and her work over on her website www.amyhuggins.com or instagram, twitter or facebook