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Seasonal Alignment: Simple Cleanse for the Fall Transition

Thursday, November 9th 2023 10:00am 12 min read
Dr. Jessica Renfer drjessica.nd

Licensed naturopathic doctor with expertise in lifestyle transformation, healing from chronic disease and natural fertility & preconception.

When we consider what preventative medicine entails, one practice that is shared across many healing traditions is working with and aligning to the natural seasons as a guide. This includes seasonal eating, which is essentially eating foods that are appropriate to the weather, temperature and time of year (often a reflection of what grows and is harvested during said season). This can also be as simple as what clothing we wear, what activities we participate in, the speed at which we move, even the ratio of social to internal time. Much of this is intuitive, and happens without force.

In this article we will go over some recipe ideas, practices and a simple flow for a five day cleanse to reset, ground in and settle into the new season. Now this cleanse, being gentle, is actually nice to consider anytime of year, especially if you tend towards more deficient states. 

Recipes for the Fall Cleanse

As we slow, temperatures fall and activity levels tend to soften, we want to ensure our bodies are well nourished with easy to digest, warm, grounding foods. We want to focus on foods that nourish the lungs and large intestine, as these are the organ systems most predominant during fall as described in Five Element Theory in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Some favorites: 

Simple Chicken Bone Broth

I use an InstaPot, 4 organic chicken thighs bone in/skin on, fresh fennel bulb and stalks, bay leaf and sea salt. I keep it very simple, if I am making a broth for more culinary purposes I add garlic, onion and carrots, however for cleansing simple is best to avoid reactions. Fennel is so soothing for the digestive tract, adding to the gut healing benefits as well as being delicious (note that in a broth it does not take like licorice). After the broth is finished cooking, add a handful of fresh herbs such as cilantro, rosemary parsley, and thyme. Let it steep until the broth is cool, at which point you filter into glass jars and store in the fridge. Alternatively you can do beef or lamb bones, or even turkey bones. I just personally prefer chicken. If you can find chicken feet that can add even more collagen. If you have a stressed gallbladder, sometimes I recommend skimming off some of the fatty layer from the top. You will still get the collagen and amino acids without so much of that fat. Otherwise leave it and it helps curb the blood sugar swings that can happen on broth fast days. 

Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Soup

Simply roast the squash with salt and cumin from there blended into a soup with a 1/2 cup of bone or veggie broth, a tsp of  turmeric, tsp fresh chopped ginger and a small amount of high quality salt. Squash are full of antioxidants and fiber, and tend to be safe for those with sensitive digestive tracts. They nourish the root and sacral chakras. Alternatively you can just roast and eat whole without blending. Again when I am making this for culinary purposes I tend to add some thick coconut milk, more spices and some coconut aminos however for the purposes of cleansing we keep the recipes super simple. 

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Learn To Treat Yourself

Access Dr. Jess personally curated holistic medicine guides and protocols.