As the fall season sets in, we find the weather getting a bit colder, and if you are like me, we begin to look at ways to stay warmer inside. Perhaps you wear a scarf, putt on gloves when you go outside, or add a hat to your wardrobe. These are all great ways to avoid losing body heat, but how can we warm up from the inside out?
Let's take a look at some healing, warming plants, that are good for circulation and brain function, and how to use them.
1. Cayenne Pepper has the ability to stimulate the central nervous system, which is useful in promoting good circulation throughout our bodies. You can take it in capsules, or add a dash to your lemon ginger tea in the morning.
2. Ginger Root is a vasodilator, which means that it is effective at opening up the blood vessels, allowing more blood to travel through. Ginger root also aids in digestion and upset tummie’s. You can easily make a tea out of this root by chopping it and boiling it in water for 10 minutes.
3. Gingko Biloba is an amazing herb that is good for improving circulation, and brain function. There have been many studies showing the positive effect of this herb on memory. This is because it not only helps improve circulatory function, but also strengthens the very blood vessels themselves, improving their integrity and allowing them to work more effectively. I like Ginko Biloba in a tincture form you can get at most health food stores.
4. Parsley is of the most popular herbs for circulation and is found in many supplements designed with this purpose in mind. Parsley is a natural vasodilator, and its ability to help open up the blood’s passageways throughout the body lend to its circulatory benefits. While it won’t unclog arteries completely on its own, parsley does provide other helpful attributes to the body, such as vitamin B12 and C, which are also known for their circulatory benefits. You can add parsley to your dinner in the evening, blend it up in sauces or throw it in your blender and add it to your morning juice.
5. Gotu Kola is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine. This vasodilator has been used for centuries for a wide variety of ailments. Aside from its ability to spread open the blood vessels, it is also useful for memory improvement and cell repair. You can take these in capsule form, as it is hard to find any fresh at the market.
6. Schisandra Chinensis, 'Shi-zand-ra', is a popular herb in ancient Chinese medicine. Schisandra may be best known for its memory enhancing abilities. It is also a vasodilator that can prove quite useful in promoting warm, healthy circulation as well. I like adding a few of these powerful berries to my tea in the morning.
Foods that harmonize and heal during the Fall Season:
Soy Beans (non GMO)
- Eat lots of warm soups.
- Choose foods that are warm, cooked and moist. Eat two apples a day to aid with elimination.
- Drink a warm tea of fresh ginger, cardamom and cinnamon. This will warm the body and enhance circulation and digestion. I like to add warm almond or hemp milk
- Eat root vegetables to enhance your connection to the Earth.
**Two of my favorite Simple and Easy Fall Recipes:
Simple Roasted Pumpkin (or Delicatta Squash)
2 lb fresh delicatta squash, sliced & seeded
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin or 1 teaspoon cumin seed
1) Pre-heat oven to 200 C or 400°F.
2) Slice squash in half and then carefully remove the seeds.
3) Cut into chunky 1/2" slices.
4) Place squash into a large & sturdy roasting tray.
5) Add the olive oil, salt, pepper & cumin - mix well, making sure that all the squash pieces are coated in olive oil.
6) Bake in the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the squash is soft & browned at the edges.
7) Serve with a meal as the vegetable side dish, or enjoy it by itself!
If you want to get creative, try adding cinnamon, sage at the end or topping with a little Parmesan cheese.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Crispy Baked Tofu with Spicy Honey-Sesame Glaze
This recipe is inspired by ‘Cookie and Kate.’
2 lbs brussels sprouts
1½ tablespoons coconut oil (or ghee)
Fine grain sea salt
For the Spicy Honey-Sesame Glaze:
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch or kuzu
¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey (maple syrup also works)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 to 3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce or sriracha (depending on how spicy you like it)
1) Trim the nubby ends and any discolored leaves off the Brussels sprouts, then cut the sprouts in half lengthwise. Toss the sprouts with a light, even layer of olive oil. On a large baking sheet, arrange the sprouts in an even layer, flat sides down, and sprinkle with sea salt.
2) Bake the sprouts: Transfer the pan of Brussels sprouts to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until the sprouts and tofu are golden or to desired crispiness on the edges.
3) The glaze: In a small saucepan, whisk together the glaze ingredients (start with 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or sriracha and add more to taste). Bring the glaze to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring often and reducing heat as necessary, until the glaze is reduced by about half (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat.
Pour glaze over the Brussels just before eating.