The fall season is officially here and with it the energy of the metal element. It’s no surprise that this element represents change, letting go and transformation, we see it all around us. It is considered one of the most spiritual of the elements because of the alchemic potentials. Feng Shui theories echo this more spiritual aspect as well as the metal element is represented by the celestial father or heavenly influences. In both Chinese medicine and Feng Shui, the metal element also governs the lungs and therefore our Qi or life force. Actually, there are different types of Qi. There is our original Qi that we are born with, but there are also other types such as grain Qi that we derive from the food we eat, lung Qi which comes from the air we breathe and wei Qi which can be likened to our immunity, to name a few. These types of Qi can be supported and cultivated with various lifestyle practices and regimes such as Qigong and eating locally with attention to the energetic action of foods according to the five elements. One of the things I love about Chinese Medicine is that it is based on the principle of prevention rather than intervention. Of course sometimes life happens and we require intervention, however taking a conscious approach towards prevention also increases the daily quality of life, self awareness and empowerment. It cultivates a closer relationship within ourselves and the world around us. I love the analogy of tending to our mind/body as gardeners tend to the garden. Nurturing the seeds of new potential, weeding out the excess, and giving thanks for the fruits of our labors.
The energy of the fall asks us to move inward, a pause, to give yourself time to do what feels right to restore for the winter season. Whether that’s cleaning house, making time for practices or activities that nurture you or simply taking a new interest in how and what you are filling your cup with. Getting back into the kitchen is one great way to reconnect and nourish the system for the changing climate. Some of the foods associated with the metal element are those of the onion family, garlic, ginger, turnips, radish. The color of the element is white, so think white foods. These foods help to circulate energy, warm the body and eliminate toxins. Other immune boosters can be combined such as mushrooms, chlorophyll rich leafy greens, celery, pumpkin, squash, and sweet potato.
One of my favorite cookbooks is called Naturally nourished by Sarah Britton. It’s full of delicious and not too complicated ideas to keep you inspired!