Food for Autumn


Autumn is here and as the season changes…. so too should our diet.

“Look alike foods can enhance nutrition to gain better health”.

walnut

Walnut.

brain

Chimp’s brain.

Ecuador shamans see nutrition as one of the first foundations of good health and one way they choose what to eat is to use what I call “look alike food.”

If they see liver problems, they choose food that is in the shape of the liver… etc.

For example when I had a bad fall (in a marble bathroom) and suffered brain injuries, the yatchak who looked after me recommended that I eat extra portions of walnuts.  He believed that walnuts are good brain food and explained that the first indicator of this fact is that walnuts look like a brain.

Good nutritional wisdom also shows that nature shows us other ways to choose what we eat.

John Douillard writes about this at his lifespa.com website.

Nature’s Natural Detox

Every spring and fall certain foods are harvested that naturally provoke a cleansing response in the body. Sadly, most of us eat the same foods 365 days of the year and miss out on this seasonal detoxification. Today – in a world that has become more toxic than ever – seasonal detoxification is required.

After a long winter of heavy, insulating, warming and holiday foods, the intestinal tract can become boggy and congested in the spring.  The hair-like villi become compromised at the end of winter and early spring because of these heavy foods.  These villi drain fat soluble toxins and nutrition off the gut wall into the lymph and blood stream.  Spring is a wet, rainy and muddy time of year that can add to the congestion of the intestinal tract, further bogging down the villi and stagnating the lymph drainage around the gut where 80% of the body’s immune system lives.

In the fall, after a long hot summer, similar imbalances occur in the digestive system. Because summer heat tends to dry the mucus membranes in the gut, they compensate by reactively producing excessive mucus which bogs down the villi and congests the lymph. The lymphatic system pulls toxins off of the intestinal lining and neutralizes them with white blood cells. Lymph vessels act as drains for the entire body. Without a lymphatic system, we wouldn’t have an immune system and would be dead in 14 hours.  Therefore, optimal lymphatic flow is essential. Let’s look at how nature cares for this precious system.

Spring and fall harvested roots cleanse and pull toxic mucus off the gut wall and villi. Roots like dandelion, turmeric, goldenseal, oregon grape, ginger, fenugreek, phyllanthus and picorhiza are great intestinal villi mucus pullers.  At LifeSpa I use two formulas for this:  Liver Repair and Turmeric Plus.

In the fall, seasonal fruits like apples and pomegranates act as detoxifiers for the gut wall and villi. These and other fall harvested fruits are great lymph movers and help to de-stagnate the lymphatic system, which commonly becomes congested.

In the spring, shortly after the roots are harvested, the chlorophyll rich sprouts surface and the valleys turn fluorescent green. These spring greens provide the fertilizer to regrow the good bacteria on the intestinal villi. These good bacteria that line all the villi control the efficiency of digestion, assimilation and detoxification. Every spring and fall after the bitter roots remove excess mucus congestion in the gut, the greens – if eaten in abundance – will seed the villi with essential good bacteria and flush the lymphatic system.

Once the villi have been cleansed with roots and then fertilized with greens each spring and fall, nature moves to cleanse the lymph that surrounds the outside of the gut wall. In the spring this is done with leafy greens, berries and cherries which are harvested towards the end of season.

In the fall the lymph is cleansed by more leafy greens, apples, pomegranates, and other seasonal fruit, as well as by beets, cranberries and assorted wild berries that are also fall harvested. The main herbs that I use for de-stagnating the lymphatic system are Manjistha and Red Root.

Each spring and fall, if these foods are eaten in abundance, a natural detoxification will result. Many of us however, like myself, never seem to get around to eating enough of these seasonal roots, greens, fruits and berries.

I detoxify twice a year with herbs and a cleanse to make sure I am not accumulating dangerous toxins in my lymph, liver and fat.  Please don’t miss nature’s opportunity to detoxify each spring and fall.

For the many of us more oily unctuous foods can help our nutritional balance during the autumn and winter months ahead. Good eating to you!

Gary