LIV­ING COL­UMN Let na­ture be your guide.

As the sea­sons shift, let na­ture in­spire you to nour­ish your body with au­tum­nal avours

In the Moment - - Contents - Words: Janey Lee Grace / Il­lus­tra­tion: Joanne Ho

For me, au­tumn presents a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to slow down, to fo­cus on nour­ish­ing my body af­ter a busy sea­son of sun and to pre­pare for win­ter months. Na­ture seems to re ect this too; a riot of oral colour be­comes ut­ter­ing leaves in tonal hues and berry bright fruits give way to deep orange and pur­ple root veg­eta­bles that I can’t help but be drawn to.

Sweet pota­toes, car­rots, red pep­pers; all are won­der­ful roasted with co­conut oil and a dash of harissa. Adding them into a blender with stock and spices to make soup is an­other way to en­joy them that evokes the pure joy of crisp au­tumn days. Ciara Jean Roberts, a natur­o­pathic nu­tri­tion­ist (www.whollyaligned.com), agrees. “Au­tumn is a time to draw into your­self and stoke your di­ges­tive ame,” she says. “It’s a sea­son for soups, es­pe­cially home­made bone broths or an up­lift­ing car­rot and co­rian­der com­bi­na­tion. Soups are warm­ing, es­pe­cially if you are some­one who re­ally feels the cold, and they’re a great way to re­ceive plenty of nu­tri­ents in one bowl.”

Turmeric, the deep yel­low root that looks a bit like gin­ger, is an­other in­gre­di­ent that comes into its own in au­tumn. Colour­ful plant foods are good for us be­cause of their phy­to­chem­i­cal and anti-in am­ma­tory prop­er­ties; in turmeric, it’s all down to cur­cumin, which gives it its ochre hue and is thought to help with in am­ma­tion, detoxi cation, cir­cu­la­tion and cog­ni­tive func­tion.

The root is most of­ten sun-dried and then ground into a pow­der, ready to be used to add avour to cur­ries, soups and stews. Re­cently, it has also be­come a new ad­di­tion to lat­tes and other hot drinks, to give a boost to our mid-morn­ing cuppa.

Per­son­ally, I like to have this at home as an al­ter­na­tive to co ee. I make my­self a mug of a sooth­ing hot drink called Turmer­li­cious (www.tumer­li­cious.com), a blend of co­conut milk, turmeric, gin­ger, cin­na­mon, a hint of black pep­per and skimmed milk (to aid the ab­sorp­tion), along with a lit­tle co­conut blos­som nec­tar to add some sweet­ness. When you have the time, you can make your own ver­sion; sim­ply heat your milk of choice gen­tly with equal parts ground turmeric, cin­na­mon and gin­ger, whisk­ing con­stantly, then add a lit­tle vanilla ex­tract and your favourite sweet­ener, to taste. I rec­om­mend ex­per­i­ment­ing with di er­ent amounts of the spices, start­ing with a pinch as you ad­just to the turmeric taste, un­til you nd your per­fect com­bi­na­tion.

Turmeric is good for your skin, too – you can make an all-pur­pose face mask by mix­ing a tea­spoon of turmeric pow­der with a tea­spoon of runny honey and a tea­spoon of co­conut milk or yoghurt. But how­ever you’re us­ing it, be care­ful as it can stain your skin. I nd that giv­ing my hands a gen­tle scrub with a mix of sugar and wa­ter af­ter us­ing it re­moves the bright yel­low colour – and leaves my hands feel­ing smooth and soft.

Au­tumn rit­u­als are an­other won­der­ful part of the sea­son for me. I love walk­ing in na­ture, rustling through the leaves and notic­ing the chang­ing land­scape of colour. Once back in­doors, I light a nat­u­ral can­dle or use an aro­mather­apy spray to cre­ate the right en­ergy in my home. My cur­rent favourite is Sa­cred Earth from Find­horn Flower Essences (www. nd­hor­nessences.com), which I nd helps to bal­ance and har­monise the space. I then set­tle down with a hot choco­late, which feels so nour­ish­ing in the colder weather. I’m very fussy when it comes to ca­cao and only use a high per­cent­age – I mix one ta­ble­spoon with warmed al­mond milk and a dash of co­conut nec­tar, then en­joy be­fore bed. As the nights gen­tly draw in, Ciara sug­gests go­ing to bed fteen min­utes ear­lier than usual and I, for one, will be heed­ing her ad­vice as the sea­sos shift around me.

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