The fall season is rolling in and I don’t know about you but I immediately want a warm beverage and a sweet.
So here’s the good news…. this is the best time of year to indulge in your sweet tooth. Yes you heard right- INDULGE.
Now that does not mean go and eat all the halloween candy. What it does mean is that there is an abundance of sweet foods that come from mother earth herself this time of year that can actually help you curb your cravings and heal your organs.
From western medicine we are taught that the pancreas releases insulin to help stabilize blood sugar levels. Yet when we over over do it and may I even say, abuse ourselves by eating too much processed foods, especially processed sugar we tax the pancreas and after a while it gives up and says…no more, can’t do it. This is usually the onset of diabetes or a full blown case. Then we have to resort to insulin shots to help regulate the blood sugar.
But here is the good news. You have the ability to take your health in your own hands and reverse or rather never even go down that path.
And YOU STILL GET TO EAT SWEET FOODS! In Chinese/alternative medicine were are taught that the pancreas (and stomach & spleen) are the organs related to the earth element. There are 5 elements in Chinese medicine (wood, fire, earth, metal and water). Each element teaches us about certain organ systems, times of year and time of day, foods to eat, directions to move in and much more. The reason we are focused right now on the earth element is because we are currently in its season: summer / early fall. Other qualities of the earth element include afternoon time, gathering and stabilizing, the feelings of worry or compassion, round vegetables and the color yellow/orange.
Here’s what I love about alternative medicine. It’s so simple. You don’t need to be a doctor to heal yourself.
Let’s put all these elements together.
What is one of the popular times of day when most people crave sweets? Yup, 3:00 in the afternoon. And that’s the time of day to be mindful when it come to the earth element. What color are lots of vegetables this time of year? Yup, yellow and orange. Winter squashes, sweet potatoes, carrots, yellow onions, parsnips, pumpkins. And what do you know about these vegetables? THEY ARE SWEET. What season, historically, is a time to start to go inside, gather information, go inward? Yup, fall. Think of the animals preparing for winter. They are gathering their resources so they stay safe during the cold months. We have the ability to do the same, gather our energy inward. When we eat processed foods and sweets it is actually a dispersing kind of energy- sometimes even high or manic, followed by a crash or a low. Eating grounding fall seasonal sweet foods helps us gather our energy towards the middle and helps us feel nourished and satisfied. It also stabilizes our blood sugar rather than go on the high and low roller-coaster that processed foods can trigger.
Oh I love this. It’s so easy.
This is the perfect time of year to eat sweets AND heal your body.
So here is the tip- get out of the mind. Stop studying information about how to heal your sweet tooth instead do yoga. Start with closing your eyes, calming the mind, taking deep breathes, and release the tensions in your body. Then open your eyes look outside, refer to nature, and BAM it’s right in front of you. Good wholesome seasonal food from the earth that is delicious, sweet, and can heal.
So this is the time of year to indulge in sweets. I have tons of recipes and ideas and you can check out lots of information on my website www.darshanaweill.com.
In the meantime lets focus on the highlight of the month. Pumpkins.
Pumpkin is the perfect way to treat that sweet tooth. Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants. Filled with beta-carotene, potassium, zinc, fiber, vitamin C and E and magnesium as well. The mixture of these health filled nutrients promotes a strong immune system, helps lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar. They also help prevent the on- set of cardiovascular diseases, improve reproductive health, strong bones & teeth and much more.
And don’t throw out the seeds! This high protein food can be tossed with oil and salt and roasted in the oven. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of essential fatty acids. EFA help promote healthy skin and balance certain neurotransmitters in the brain to promote a sense of well being, regulate mood and promote high quality sleep.
Are you wondering what you can do with a pumpkin?
I personally love to put the whole pumpkin, sweet cooking kind, into the oven at about 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until soft. You don’t even have to slice it up just bake it off whole. Sometimes I coat it first with olive oil but you can bake it off with out the oil as well.
Then I scoop out the insides, add some butter (or earth balance) and salt and eat it with greens, grains, high quality animal foods or beans.
Another creative way to use pumpkin is to put the cooked insides right into the blender with some broth and herbs and make a soup.
Other times I dice the raw pumpkin, put it into a pot of water with a steaming basket and cook it up that way,
As you can see it’s very versatile and so simple to use.
Try it out, play with it and think outside the box.
Here are a few more ideas: pumpkin pudding, pumpkin butter, pumpkin pie.
And how about a scrumptious pumpkin bread? Well I didn’t want to leave you without a recipe so I have included that the PUMPKIN BREAD recipe below.
I hope you enjoy the bread recipe and all the variations of pumpkin and sweet vegetables as much as my family does. For more information on how to seasonal cleanse and FIND YOUR FOOD FREEDOM contact me. I have a few workshops coming up.
In the meantime, have a very happy and SWEET October.
PUMPKIN BREAD RECIPE
WHAT YOU NEED
3-¼ cup flour (spelt, whole wheat, rice) * Try using the whole grain and making your own flour.
¾ cup of honey
2-¼ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons kudzu
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 cups pumpkin puree (your own is great or you can get canned)
1-cup vegetable oil
½ cup chopped walnuts and/ or raisons (optional)
WHAT TO DO
Grease pans (two- three) loaf pans or 24 muffin pans.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Measure flour, balking soda, kudzu, salt and spices together in a large bowl.
Add pumpkin, water, honey, vegetable oil and eggs.
Beat until well combined. Fold in nuts and/ or raisons if using.
Pour batter in well-greased pans.
Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour for loafs and 20-25 minutes for muffins.
In health and service,
Darshana Weill is a Food Freedom Coach and yoga teacher. She founded 21days to Kickstart your Food Freedom and the Kiss Emotional Eating Goodbye Program-5 months to Food Freedom Program. Her coaching and programs teach women to use consciousness in their relationship to food. She works with individuals and groups. She also teaches a variety of health related workshops around the Bay Area, Santa Cruz and nationally.
WORKSHOPS DARSHANA TEACHES AT THE YOGA TREE
21 Days to KickStart Your Food Freedom, The Yoga of Food: How is life feeding you? Nutrition 101, Sugar can be Medicine, Women’s Wellness: Treat PMS Naturally, To Be or Not To Be a Vegetarian and Yoga and Food For Emotional Eating.
To find out more about Darshana’s program
FINDING FOOD FREEDOM
Check out www.darshanaweill.com or
To contact Darshana directly call 510-423-0603 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want more recipes? Check out Darshana’s 50 quick and easy recipes Ecookbook: http://darshanaweill.com/page/cookbook-1