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Eat with the elements (it's elemental to your health!)

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2017-11-03

I’m a big fan of reminding people to tune into the rhythm of the day—the circadian rhythm. I call it “catching the wave”. And recently there is more evidence proving the significant health benefits of tapping into these circadian rhythms.

Not surprisingly, it’s in your best interest to rise with the sun and sleep when it’s down, to catch that wave of the day, like a skilled surfer. Defying these daily patterns will inevitably take a toll on your well-being.

But what about the seasons?

Is there another wave you could be catching to optimize your ability to ward off illness and seize your physiological stamina?

What do the seasons tell us about our health?

Autumn is the perfect time to commit to a cleanse focused on gut healing and elimination. We’ll be doing just that during the FxNA Autumn Cleanse: Truly Food Ways to Nurture Your Colon Health starting on November 13th. There’s Special Discount Pricing available through November 9th (making it just $67 if you enroll by Thursday).

Autumn is the season of Metal, of the Colon and Lungs.

Ultimately, it behooves us to tap into more than just the rhythms of the day, but also the intervals of the weather, the ecology and the soil. This is an age-old concept that we may have lost touch with as we’ve gained the luxury to buy bananas in the midst of the cool, dark and damp days of autumn.

Hippocrates, in teaching the “doctors” of his day, said:
“Consider the seasons of the year and what each of them produces.”

Historically, not only healing, but also diagnostics, was approached in keeping with the seasons. This was true in Egypt, in Greece, in China—all over the globe.

In fact, early Chinese physicians developed the Five Elements Theory to help determine how our bodies and minds change and respond during different seasons. For instance the winter may produce feelings of fear, the summer the sensation of joy and fall may trigger feelings of grief.

It’s understanding how these elements live within us that we can further tune into how we’re feeling and more easily turn to the foods of the season that can heal and nourish us.

Autumn marks the end of the growing season.

Autumn also beckons us to turn inward, to release much of the external energy that calls to us during the warmer months.

The essence of this season supports our letting go of waste, eliminating what we no longer need, and illuminating what’s most important. Just like the trees around us—shedding their leaves and revealing the endurance and capacity of the branches usually hidden from our view—we are brought back to our core.

In keeping with these yearly junctures, each season I invite you to join me to tap into the healing secrets of the season. By doing so, you also harness the healing secrets innately within you.

Each season I offer you a cleanse that’s in rhythm with the season and as we turn the calendar to November, that means the Autumn Cleanse is just around the corner (we begin next Monday, November 13th).

Registration for the Autumn Cleanse is open now and there’s Special Discount Pricing available through Thursday night that you don’t want to miss (it’s just $67 for this one week program if you enroll by this Thursday!)

But why would you cleanse with season?

I love how the New York Times food columnist Molly O’Neill describes autumn like old age; like something that creeps up on you and is suddenly there. She says:
“Gradually you begin to bend inward, and one day you are surprised to find yourself immersed in yourself.”

She also says:
“As the season leans more toward winter and squash changes from summer’s watery sponge to dense gourds, life slows down and so does cooking, gradually. First you think of chowders, then soups, then bisques. In the end, everything is stew…. Lacking the surging juices of summer’s ingredients, fall produce generally benefits from slow, moist cooking. So does the human soul.”

And while the banana might not have a place in your late autumn shopping cart (depending, of course, on where you live), let’s consider the harvest bounty that you can enjoy to catch the wave of the season…

  • Squash

  • Pumpkin

  • Broccoli

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Cauliflower

  • Cabbage

  • Garlic

  • Onions

  • Fennel

  • Autumn greens

  • Arugula

  • Radicchio

  • Peppers

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Mushrooms

  • Apples

  • Pears

  • Asian pears

  • Persimmons

  • Pomegranates

  • Cranberries

  • Parsnips

  • Radishes

Consuming these foods will enable you to step into sync with the season.

From there, the seemingly impossible might happen.

The beauty of eating with the elements, eating these very foods at this time of year—as we’ll be doing the Autumn Cleanse – is that they actually work to heal and repair the organs associated with the season.
That’s why we cleanse with the season.

In the fall, we turn our attention inward, to your lungs and primarily your colon. Autumn presents the opportunity to harness your internal resolve, self worth, vitality and endurance. It also invites the release of emotional upsets and grudges, as well as anything else we might be holding on to physiologically and psychologically.

Exhale and release what you don’t need.

Turn inward. Turn to the kitchen. Turn to the soup pot.

Take a turn for YOU.

And ponder one last quote by our friend Molly, who reminds us, as we step into the rhythm of the season, to find the buried honey in the bitterness of our food and our lives:
“Time is what there is most of in fall. Like spring, autumn is a wrinkle, some days taut and other days loose, between summer and winter. It is a season of waiting and subtle foreboding, hence a season in slow motion rift with yearning. The cook becomes an alchemist. She turns the hard into the yielding, the dry into something unctuously moist, brings the dead back to life, finds the buried honey in the bitterness. All in her own sweet time.”



P.S. Tend to your best intentions and intestines with this season’s cleanse…

Autumn Cleanse

Group Cleanse Dates: November 13 – 19

Get ready to focus on healing your digestion and your elimination (and most particularly your colon) and nourishing your body for the season ahead.

The Special Discount Pricing is available through Thursday night (it’s just $67 for this one week program!)
This is One Week of Easy and Nourishing Foods for Your Mind, Body & Spirit!

Enjoy simple soups, steamed veggies, smoothies and tea elixirs.

You’ll have access to all the teachings, instructions, protocols, community and 24/7 online support, all from your very own home.

And get ready for some deep release.

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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