In natural therapies, the body is believed to reflect many aspects of the natural world. Autumn is often described as a time for ‘letting go’ of those things that no longer serve us. Much like the trees which shed their leaves of seasons past. Autumn is also a great time to try something new. Form new habits surrounding diet and exercise. Begin a new wellbeing practice or workout. Change up your natural skincare regime! We rounded up some of our favourite wellness tips to help you align the body, mind and skin.
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that here at CONTENT we believe that what we eat affects all aspects of our being. From the condition of our skin to our peace of mind, filling the body with seasonal produce is an easy way to assist us in aligning with the seasons. Below, Content’s Nutritional Therapist and Medical Herbalist Jennifer Derham shares her tips for incorporating seasonal foods into our diets to support immunity this autumn.
“Rich in beta-glucans and polysaccharides that support the immune system, mushrooms are a great addition to an autumnal diet. As tasty as they are medicinal – mushrooms are anti-viral as well as anti-microbial.”
Jennifer’s favourites to try now: “Common varieties such as button, oyster, shiitake, maitake as well as less common species such as reishi are readily available at farmers markets at this time of year.” For those days when you don’t have time to head to the farmers market, our selection of instant medicinal mushrooms are great to have on hand.
How to use them:
• Add to warming stir fries, soups and stews
• Boil reishi into a nourishing tea
• Enjoy lion’s mane raw in salads
“Great for supporting the immune system, elderberries are a valuable natural remedy for flu, cold and chest conditions. Possessing anti-viral properties, elderberries contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C making them a great pre-winter remedy to incorporate into your diet.”
• High vitamin C levels assist in warding off viruses and strengthening the immune system
• Potent antioxidant properties promote healthy, youthful skin
How to use them:
• Blend into a smoothie
• Incorporate into your daily juice
• Make an elderberry chutney and freeze in batches for a hit of natural anti-viral food medicine available for your use all winter long
AYURVEDA SEASONAL TIPS
For Ayurvedic fans, we’ve called on the help of of wellbeing expert and The Body Balance Diet Plan author Eminé Ali Rushton. After discovering Ayurveda, wellbeing expert Eminé Rushton changed her approach to eating and moved towards a holistic view of ‘diet’: simple nutritional advice to promote balance and a healthy life. She shares a warming recipe for Autumn, as well as some healthy nutrition tips to make the most of the changing season:
“As the days become cooler, the focus this season is on keeping the system warm, moist and hydrated, and one’s mind calm. Comfort is key at this time of year. As autumn becomes colder and wetter, we must once again focus on balancing our bodies, to prevent them getting colder and wetter themselves (when we start to get a bit snotty and mucous-y!).
- Avoid eating too many cold and raw foods, which create dampness (upping our mucus and phlegm production).
- Grains are great: they are warming but also cleansing – stock up on quinoa, barley and basmati rice and use as the base for many of your autumn meals.
- Eat your vegetables warm and soft – steam for best results – and start enjoying seasonal soups and warming, silken stews again. Focus on foods that will ground you, dispelling cold, and making you feel toasty and happy inside.
- Porridge is a great morning meal; when I was pregnant for the second time (and feeling both poorly and nauseous) my panacea was a cockle – warming Cardamom Chia Spice Porridge. Flavoured with maple syrup, this porridge is sweet, creamy, dreamy stuff, and chock-full of immunity-boosting antioxidants too.
- Mild sweet curries (made with squash and sweet potato) are great for the whole family. Also try aubergine fritters, mini mushroom pies, fish (Pollack and haddock are both in season) with celeriac chips.
- Make warm milk, spiced with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom for your children before bedtime.”
CONTENT COLD FIGHTING TONIC
If you’re feeling a little worse for wear, try recreating our quick and delicious Content Cold Fighting Tonic recipe at home, featuring our current favourite superfood ingredient turmeric: a super potent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-fungal and antioxidant immunity booster.
Flower Essences are another great way to gently support the body and mind through the transitioning of seasons. We love the Lotus Wei Anointing Oils which are a great mood-enchancing boosters.
Runny noses and the sniffles are all too common at this time of the year. To avoid nasty bugs, stock up on immunity-boosting vitamins: vitamin C in the form of Pure Radiance C and drink up Four Sigma Foods Instant Chaga mushrooms to fight against pathogens.
Positive affirmations are some of our favourite ways to keep us motivated, focused and inspired throughout the day! What better way to be reminded to choose happiness and be present, than to see the mantra on yourself? So choose your own Mantraband featuring affirmations like “Enjoy the journey” or “Follow Your Heart” and wear with a smile. We’re obsessed!
As Autumn is as much a time of transitioning for our bodies as it is nature, there are some unpleasant symptoms we can expect to encounter come autumn such as dry or dehydrated skin, chapped lips, fatigue, sluggish bowels and viral or bacterial outbreaks for prone individuals. However, there are some some simple ways we can assist our skins natural process of ridding of the old and preparing for the new. Try the below beauty routine to support your skin in Autumn and counter potential seasonal imbalances:
- Weekly exfoliation will ensure dead skin cells are sloughed off to allow for maximum absorption of your hydrating products. Try out Absolution La Creme Gommante or Pai Kukui and Jojoba Skin Brightening Exfoliatior
- A congested or dull skin will benefit from a polish or clay based mask such as SKIN & TONIC’s Coco Mask or Absolution La Creme Gommante, whilst an enzyme based mask such as Oskia’s Renaissance Mask or Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask are best suited to more sensitive or reactive skin types. Alternatively, a layer of Manuka Honey, applied once weekly for 15 minutes is not only a great way to hydrate, it also has potent antibacterial properties for blemish prone skin.
- Adding a few drops of booster to your moisturiser is a great way to ‘boost’ your skincare’s potency – for hydration, try Odacite Radiance Effect Booster or the Odacite Dull Skin Concentrate to perk dull, congested skin. For sensitive skin, the MV Organic Skincare Daily Soother Booster and for sun damaged skin try the MV Organic Skincare Instant Revival Booster.
- Smooth 4-5 drops of de Mamiel’s Autumn Facial Oil to face and neck. We’re huge fans of this oil to help align all aspects of our being after the summer months: from beauty to wellbeing. Below founder Annee fills us in on the key ingredients in her seasonal Autumn Facial Oil…
“The daily ritual of applying this beautifully balanced blend settles skin and mind. Nourishing seed oils including White Poppy Seed and Prickly Pear Seed Oil re-hydrate the surface of the skin, while inhaling the aromatic essential oils changes your mood. Emotionally, jasmine sambac essential oil inspires optimism, while the citrusy green mandarin and lemon help to energise. And, there’s the addition of hand made flower essences which work through the body’s acupuncture meridians to create a positive effect on our state of mind.”
Studies show that regular moderate exercise is associated with a reduced incidence of infection and improved immunity*, so getting active this Autumn is yet another great natural way to strengthen your immune system before the Winter months creep in. To assist you in your #activeautumn, we spoke with barrecore founder Niki Rein about the best ways to work out this season…
According to Niki, Autumn is one of the best times of year to get into an active routine, setting the goals you wish to achieve by the end of the year and establishing how you will go about achieving them: “Maybe it’s getting in 3-4 workout sessions before work or mixing up your training to challenge your muscles and brain in a different way – book your sessions in your diary as non-negotiable meetings with yourself to get into a positive and healthy routine.”
For suggestions of what types of exercise work best in the post-Summer, pre-Winter months, Niki suggests stepping up our resistance training especially if we’re aiming to rid of those couple of extra pounds that may have resulted from a few too many Summer cocktails: “Most of our clients put on more body fat over summer holidays than they do over Christmas. This is usually due to excess sugars in the form of white wine.” To counteract this, Niki suggests aiming for 4 days per week of resistance training that works more than one muscle group at a time: “This will help your body’s ability to uptake insulin and use stored body fat as energy.”
References: *Immune function in sport and exercise; Michael Gleeson; Journal of Applied Physiology; Published 1 August 2007; Vol. 103no. 2, 693-699DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00008.2007