Thursday, March 07, 2013

autumn : notes from my naturopath

I'm watching hues of rust and ochre seep into the landscape; summer fades to fall.

Summer was all about the heart, eating bitter foods to cool the blood and hence cool the body. Since I had Che I have always been irritated by the heat - so much so that I loathed the hot weather. But regardless of the numerous heatwaves we experienced over December and January I never once felt agitated or overly hot. Now I really understand and appreciate the benefits of eating a seasonal diet; allowing nature to dictate my menu.

I always mark the turn of the season with a visit to my naturopath. It's an opportunity to learn more about my body and how it relates to the change in weather. I always experience a lull in autumn, both emotional and energetic, and whilst it hasn't arrived yet I know it will come with the first cold wind - I'll recognise it, be with it, and then move on. 

Autumn is about the lungs - ultimately we want move any waste out through the blood with an increase in vitamin C and we want to get rid of excess mucous so it doesn't sit on our chest during the colder months. Our diet should include pungent foods to cleanse. These include garlic and onion, thyme, and spices like fenugreek, tumeric and cardamon. 

Other seasonal suggestions include:

  • green smoothies - kale, baby spinach, apples and pears
  • nettle tea; a powerful cleansing concoction
  • burning 'woody' oils to dilate the airways - pine, juniper, frankincense, eucalyptus* 
  • if you have a moist area in your home try burning cedarwood, tea tree and or lemongrass*; they help to dry fungus and mould
  • for fabulous tips on mould removal, pop over to biome's blog
  • for a sweet and therapeutic afternoon treat try pineapple, mint and ginger juice
In the past few weeks I've noticed that Che and Poet want more for breakfast so I've been making porridge and toast to accompany smoothies or fresh juice. We're a family of grazers and I find, especially in the colder months, that I can easily spend most the day preparing food. It's exhausting and overwhelming at times, the desire to feed your children the very best, and often time and energy get in the way. I've been reading some great cookbooks lately, slowly introducing a few new recipes into our diet. My favourite meal at the moment is simple, nutritious and so quick to make. Poet loves it, Che runs from the plate (you can't please everyone):
  • chop kale, leek, beans, capsicum, perhaps some green chilli, and brocolli
  • head 1.5tbs coconut oil and add the leek and a little crushed garlic
  • after a few minutes add the vegies and cook for about 5-7minutes on med-high heat
  • add a little salt and pepper and perhaps a squeeze of lemon juice
  • enjoy (serve with brown rice, if you like)
What's your favourite autumn recipe?

*some oils aren't safe to use in pregnancy (especially clove oil) so always check with your health food store/naturopath before you burn them in the home. 


  1. What great tips... will definitely burn more 'woody' oils. Thanks x

  2. I love these turn of the season posts Jodi... thank you. I've been feeling that change of weather cold coming on so have been drinking stupid amounts of my little tonic made with ginger and lemon and turmeric and cayenne. And Jude Blereau's book "Wholefood for Children" always gets a revisit when I'm running out of ideas for nutritious meals. A bit of a lifesaver. Thanks for yours... xx

  3. Jodi, what cookbooks are you enjoying right now? Currently we are working our way into Jude Blereau's Wholefoods for Children as we explore new foods with our 8mo. Its scrumptious. And loving the River Cottage Cookbook for Babies and Toddlers, as well as The Sprouted Kitchen for big kids (me and the big man). Its the reverse here in PIttsburgh, we are awaiting spring, but for the two of us Aussie transplants it still all feels topsy turvy - including last night's snow storm :)
    Thanks for your post xo

  4. I love this post Jodi, thank you so much for sharing.

  5. I think natural medicine is endlessly fascinating...and often so correct in its management of well being!

  6. I have been meaning to visit a naturopath but this is a nice substitute until I do - I love these posts of yours. Have you tried massaging kale? I know it sounds a bit ridiculous but really you just rub and squeeze it with a bit of oil or lemon juice. The reason I ask is that process begins to break down some of the components of the fibrous leaves. It changes the flavour a lot, making it less bitter, and one of the big reasons why young children don't love eating vegetables when they are offered them is that their tastebuds are not balanced/fully developed, making bitter flavours particularly noticeable for them. Maybe it won't 100% change Che's mind but it could help perhaps. x

  7. Lovely post Jodi! My question - do you visit a naturopath just for advice for yourself/family every season, or do you go for testing/blood tests already seem so full of information yourself about health and wellbeing:)
    My boys Jasper and George have just started eating a lot more at breakfast too, must be the season change hey! Also, a while ago you posted about your juicer, cold pressed kind...what brand do you have and where can you purchase them from? What do you use to make smoothies?

    1. My naturopath uses iridology to basically 'read' the body (she takes a really-close up photo of my eyes). When I first saw her (I was pregnant with Poet) my eyes were a murky brown colour...2.5 years on and they're so clear and blue! They look like a new set of eyes. Some balk at the concept of iridology but I believe in it... So...she tells me what I need based on my eyes but we also discuss a general season diet. There's never any blood tests involved.

      As for my juicer, I have a and use it every day. For smoothies I just use my blender (kitchenaid brand) x

  8. I really enjoy this series Jodi. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I love the idea of certain foods being helpful during different times of the year! thank you Miss Jodi, i've filed this away for future reference :)

  10. i love these posts of notes from your natropath. she sounds amazing. i love that she gives you such simple and holistic foods to eat, suggests teas to drink and oils to burn according to the season and i have always been interested in iridology. my natropath is highly respected but he is more like a doctor using blood analysis and prescribing supplements. not a lot of mention about what food to eat etc.
    thanks so much for this series, its really lovely x

  11. I always enjoy these posts too, thanks for sharing your notes Jodi. I have just started drinking nettle tea (I drink it cold as the temperature has not dropped below 30 degrees here in Victoria for over a week!) my iron count is low and the naturopath at my local health food store recommended the nutrient rich tea, I steep it and when it cools I add it to my drinking water bottle and drink it throughout the day. My favorite juice at them moment, again aimed at blood building, is beetroot carrot apple and ginger. I am a fan of iridology too. With all of this, what feels right for one person doesn't for another and that is part of the process I enjoy, finding what feels right. Healthy autumn to you and family x

  12. Very interesting and exciting to know that autumn is coming for you! Nice pics!
    Have a lovely day!

  13. lovely pics Jodi ..... I thought we were moving into Spring yesterday (I love Spring!) but no we've gone back to rain and cold grey skies :( ...hope you're all well xx

  14. This is so smart! I feel silly now, though; I didn't even know what a naturopath was. Thank you for the enlightenment. =)

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  16. I adore ' your notes from my naturopath' posts, Jodi - I eagerly await them each season.
    I attribute much of my health & well being to eating a seasonal diet. I rarely have psoriasis flares these days & haven't suffered an asthma attack in more than 12 months. Mother nature knows best!

    We have been enjoying these recipes for Rainbow Carrots & plenty of pumpkin soup with greek yoghurt, fresh herbs & homemade bread.

    Sar xx

  17. I always look forward to these posts... wanted you to know I made your suggested meal tonight for dinner and it was a crowd pleaser! Even with the little one x

  18. This is a really interesting topic, I find the topic of food as medicine both mentally and physically so fascinating, but food to aid with changes in season is also worth exploring. Thanks for sharing this information Jodi. Autumn is a time for soups and I love to make pumpkin & red capsicum soup with a little chilli, garlic, onion (with cumin, paprika and cinnamon) and served with greek yogurt and fresh coriander on top. Also every second day I chop up a big batch of roast vegetables - garlic, red onion, beetroot, sweet potato or pumpkin, and carrot, and slow roast.. these are served warm with goat's cheese or homemade white hummus on top, or cold at the moment, given it's still quite hot outside. Alison x

  19. I love these posts - such great ideas! Thanks Jodi xx

  20. So I really want to see your naturopath too! The husband and I are thinking of making a weekend of it to fit in naturopath, yoga, photos, hangs, rojo rocket, bamboo buddha and beach time :) Your naturopath works Fridays right? xo

  21. Your seasonal posts are beautiful Jodi. I head to my naturopath at the change of season too. Still feels a lot like summer here, but with anticipation in the air xx

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  24. I'm loving your blog Jodi :). Still working out how to navigate through but getting there. I made your recipe for my family and we all Loved it! Ollie (8years) needed. Bit of encouragement the first time... Second time I added brown rice like you suggested and red cabbage. Delicious :) thanks


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