As the season slowly shifts into fall, I’ve started to transition my diet from light, crisp summer vegetables to heartier and heavier fall ones. Fall and winter are the yin seasons in Chinese medicine. Yin, as opposed to yang, is the darker, denser, slower aspect of things. When I think of yin, I picture curling up under the covers on a cold rainy day. Yang, on the other hand, is the lighter, faster and more ephemeral aspects of existence. When I picture yang, I think of bright sunshine, lots of movement and a feeling of lightness.
During the yin seasons, when the days are shorter, it is important to allow our bodies to rest, replenish and recuperate – so that we are better able to expend energy when the yang seasons return.
One of my favorite yin foods is the sweet potato. It’s dense, rich, and full of wonderful nutrients. In Chinese medicine, sweet potatoes are good for digestion, energy and increasing body fluids (such as breast milk). In Western terms, they are a wonderful source of Vitamin A.
Tonight I served a baked sweet potato with a mixture of sardines, mustard, horseradish, and garlic. I added some chopped onions and spinach on top, then drizzled flax oil over everything. On the side I had half of a hard boiled egg and some steamed green beans. If you don’t like sardines (many people don’t) you can substitute chicken, tuna, or chickpeas, with excellent results.
I hope you’re all enjoying the change of seasons! Please let me know what your favorite fall/winter vegetable is, too!