Here at the Jersey Shore, the Purple Martins left on their journey south about two weeks early. We have become aware that seasonal shifts are occurring all over the globe and how it influences the flow of life. If we increase our awareness of how the seasonal changes are directly reflected in our bodies it can help us to move with ease through the challenges of change. With awareness, we can make choices that avoid illness and support the healing and strengthening of our horses and ourselves.
The fall is when the expansive energy of the summer season with its long hours of sunlight, high overhead has begun to fade. During the summer, the trees expand to reach for and take in the light. We too expand our activities and are outdoors for longer periods with other people and our horses.
Now, noticeably the plants have begun to brown and die back and the leaves of many trees have begun to curl and drop. As mammals we also reflect the seasonal changes of the earth. The lowering of the angle of the sun and shortening length of the day influences our hormones. Our bodies respond: the horses have begun to shed their summer coats and my hair has also begun its predictable late summer/early fall cycle of thinning.
In myself, I have also noticed my usual bodily response to the initiation of fall – my body has begun to crave richer foods, my metabolism has shifted in preparation for the cool weather ahead and I have gained some weight. The cooler weather has influenced my horse, too, he is asking for more oats.
It is helpful to be aware of the origin of these cravings and to balance them with understanding of why they occur. In the fall, like the spring, the body calls for building up. but also for detoxification. For the horses this is supported by the cooler weather and rain that potents shoots of rich, green grass. This new growth fills in among the brown, burnt fibers of the summer grass. Giving your horse access to this mixed grazing is the natural way to support their increased need for calories, detoxifying sprouts and the necessary fiber to balance this and support efficient digestion.
For humans, all of our late summer vegetables and early fall fruits such as apple, figs, pears and grapes support this detoxification process. We can add richer food, such as nuts, seeds and animal protein to support our need to build strength and reserved energy. We also need to consume fiber accordingly to support digestion. Be aware of this need your body has; move beyond the temptation of consuming too many carbohydrates as processed foods. I remind myself each day to eat my fiber as fruits, vegetables and whole grain products and support my health by keeping them around an in view!
How do we support the detox process further? For the horse that does not have access to green grass, we can offer a variety of herbs that help detox the body. As humans we can make juice or smoothies at the start our day, the natural time of cleansing. This will help to rest and repair our digestive track before eating the first solid meal.
May you enjoy the arrival of fall; feast on the nutrients its beauty and bounty offers you!