The fall equinox takes place this Sunday, September 22nd, and represents the day directly in-between the summer and winter solstices. On the fall equinox the amount of daylight is exactly equal to the amount of darkness. It is the ultimate representation of balance, and a great reminder to connect with the season around us and look at balance in our own lives.
Fall is a time of transition between the bright energy of summer and the calm darkness of winter. These changes are happening both literally and energetically through nature, and in each of us. I really enjoy connecting with the energy of seasons and reinforcing these lessons through food.
Balance lends itself particularly well to this. We’ve all heard about a balanced diet, but what exactly does that mean? As the most basic level, a balanced diet should include about half vegetables and fruit, a quarter whole grains/complex carbohydrates, and a quarter lean protein. You can think about this metric within each meal, or within your overall diet. Since I’m a woman of moderation, I believe balance also includes having treats every now and then. But, please make sure you really savor these treats and make them count! Try to keep the concept of balance in mind as you’re preparing your food this month. Use your meals as a way to demonstrate your commitment to balance in the rest of your life.
Seasonal eating is another powerful way to connect with the energy of fall. Eating for fall is quite easy and exceptionally tasty! Enjoy the squashes, root crops, and hearty greens that start to appear at the farmers market. Some of the fall produce actually tastes better once the weather turns cooler. Brussels sprouts are a perfect example – their sweetness comes out with the first frost. Seasonal eating almost always tastes better because the food is local and fresh!
It also provides the nutrients we need at that particular time of year. For example, naturally sweet squash and potatoes help the body store healthy fats and sugars for the long winter ahead. Hearty greens, like kale and spinach, are “super greens” and fill you up with tons of powerful nutrients and antioxidants that aren’t available during the winter. Obviously the necessity of eating this was has changed along with our modern food systems, but the importance of seasonal eating is still very real.
So, keep seasonal eating and the fall equinox in your thoughts this week. Perhaps you can take a moment on Sunday to stop and reflect on the equinox and your own life balance. Maybe even squeeze in a journal exercise or meditation. Open yourself up to the concept and see what appears. And then go eat a hearty fall meal to celebrate your commitment to the season!
Here are some of my other tips for thriving through fall. Enjoy.