Hope you're doing well and settling into fall. With summer still in the rearview mirror, October can feel like a heavy load to bear. Here, the dismal Chicago gray sky and thick misty air weighs me down. Some days, getting dressed simply means changing sweatpants. Curling up with my dogs and bowl of hot buttered popcorn with M&Ms on top is tempting.
There was a time when I would have done that... let the energy of the season take me down, ignore my good senses, attack my pantry like a starved animal and then beat myself up after. It's a common pattern to "black out" from self then self-loathe with your lack of willpower and self-control. When I realized I truly am just an animal, it was easy to stop this by tapping into my instincts.
As part of the human species, I called on my inner hunter and gatherer. Indulge me, and imagine you're a hunter and gatherer, too. There we are together out in the brush picking berries. Along comes a big scary wild ox, horns down and hooves up. We drop our hand-woven baskets and take off, thanking our livers all the way home for releasing the glucose we used as energy to flee. It's our body's job to seek out sugar when we're stressed. When the weather gets cooler, we naturally feel stress and also crave sugar. While we couldn't harvest Halloween candy back then, we could gather up sugary apples, berries and root vegetables nature provides in the fall to help us out. Back then, humans ate these healthy carbs, gained weight and then held that weight for winter as prolonged stress helps us keep weight on. Understanding why I felt my body shifting as the season did gave me a new perspective on the foods I choose and energy I keep.
The abundance of food and comforts of shelter have dramatically changed since then, but our bodies haven't. Evolution takes times, so rather than let the heaviness of the season take me down, I now connect to it. I soak up its grounding energy after a hectic summer and hunker down on neglected projects. When I'm done, I sink into my den with my dogs minus the snacks. Since we no longer need a heavy dose of sugar to gain weight for winter, I fuel up with a healthy-fat-focused, veggie-loaded, light-protein, low-carb way to eat called ketotarian - and love how it makes me feel, even in sweatpants. Think calm belly, deep sleep, no sugar cravings, stable hunger, even energy, leaner body and balanced mood. More on this coming soon.
The takeaway? Know that willpower is for the birds and that your instincts are spot on. Make choices this fall that would make Mother Nature proud.
As always, I'll leave you with recipes below and these...
My favorite way to connect to the moment like this one of my dogs, Vince & Violet.