Back-to-school and fall should be synonymous with home cooking. After all, a home-cooked meal is a primary food. Preparing food, creating authentic nourishment in the comfort of your home, is a supreme act of self-care. It’s emotionally nourishing and important to add love off the plate in the form of the healing power of vitamin “L” in MEAL. It’s about being open to experimentation, and getting comfortable in the kitchen is a great way to start feeding your soul. Through the primary food lens, you shape your environment, and it shapes you. Creating a healthy home environment that aligns with your body’s balance can be so rewarding for you and your family, because everything at home affects your physical health.
One way to start on a nourishing path is to eat and cook seasonally. When food is picked at the peak of the season in its most vital form, it is most nutritious; your internal environment will be in harmony with your external world. A diverse gut microbiome will create a healthier and happier body. The basic science of this helps regulate your immune system, where trace elements of your gut’s environment protect your body against disease. My favorite example of this is buying local honey, which has amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and reduces seasonal allergies. As someone who lives in a four-season climate, I have to rotate foods to support my body. Right now in fall, the energy of plants begins to gather inward, and it’s time to nourish ourselves with heartier foods like onions, garlic, ginger and squash. Winter will bring warming foods because the body needs to warm up. Bone stock is a favorite that deeply nourishes the body. The bonus is losing weight and feeling energized.
Ask yourself if you’re investing enough time in home cooking. Is it something you look forward to, or is it a chore? Are you cooking seasonal offerings?
Another action that yields bonuses is exercise. The most compelling reason for me to exercise every day is the proven fact that aerobic exercise helps memory and cognition by stimulating brain cell growth and the survival of existing brain cells. Many studies have concluded that exercise not only extends life expansion, but also decreases brain aging. Other benefits are improved mood and sleep and reduced anxiety, all of which can be attributed to brain health. Exercises that get your heart rate up are simply good for your brain. And, no one has motivated me more in the aerobic arena for the past 13-plus years than Tracy Anderson. I’m not alone. Anderson’s disciplined tribe is vast and confident—from her dedicated client Gwyneth Paltrow, who discovers most lasting things in the wellness world, to actress and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross, a true member of the #TAmily, who discusses all things wellness with Anderson in this issue. Cheers to 25 years of the mind-altering gift you’ve given so many of us, Tracy. We celebrate you.