As we head into Autumn with shorter days and cooler weather, boosting immunity is a priority. Our bodies have specific needs this time of year, and tailoring your wellness routine for the season is an important way to keep your body and immune system strong. 

We talked with Meryl Pritchard, the founder of Kore Kitchen, lead LA Chef of The Feed Feed, and celebrity wellness consultant. Her approach to wellness helps clients feel their best while eating delicious plant-forward whole-food meals that are known for the vibrancy, flavor, and seasonality. 

How does the change from summer to autumn impact the body’s need for nourishment? 

Whatever Mother Nature is producing at that time will provide the best nutritional support for the season. Head to your local farmers market, you can shop freely because they will only be selling what is in season and available in your climate, and ultimately that will best serve you. 

In fall, we no longer need to cool our bodies down from the summer heat, so instead of melons and cucumbers we shift toward root vegetables like carrots, beets, turnips, ginger, and squash. These earthy foods help us feel grounded. Foods that are abundant in fall, like apples and pumpkins, help draw out heat that accumulates during summer. Use warming and soothing spices and include more cooked foods and soups to support digestion. 

How can we improve immunity through eating and cooking rituals right NOW? 

Cooking for yourself is one of the best ways to stay healthy; it is an act of self-care and you can be in control of the quantity and quality of the ingredients you are using. Buy a variety of seasonal ingredients from the farmers market to incorporate into your meals. 

The colder months are when immunity is most compromised, and cleansing the lymphatic system (which is like the body’s sewage system and produces fighter white blood cells) is especially important during this time. Drinking warm liquids throughout the day – hot teas, tonics, soups, warm water, and using herbs that boost the lymphatic system like ginger, turmeric, and adaptogenic herbs. 

Before a shower, use the Nourish by The NOW Dry Brush to boost lymphatic drainage, exfoliate dead skin cells and stimulate blood flow. Follow up with a grounding self-massage using gently warmed oil like Nourish by The NOW Classic Body Oil. This is soothing for the body and will create a protective barrier on the skin to help it stay soft, strong, and healthy through the cooler, dryer months.

What are kid specific ideas that help kids eat for the season? 

Remember that we eat with our eyes first, and kids show this more than anyone. If something looks vibrant, a child may be more inclined to try it so I always try to make food that is as colorful as possible. This also ensure a wide nutritional profile as well. You can sneak a lot of fruits and veggies into morning smoothies, and a grounding soups paired with a nice crusty bread is appealing for any age.

What is something relating to food + eating that we should leave behind with the summer season? 

Foods that cool the body, like tropical fruits and raw salads, will not serve you in the cooler Fall months.  Warm, soothing foods are best for cooler months – think soups, stews, roasts, and bakes. Leave the ice water, iced coffee, raw foods, and smoothies for the summertime!

Can you share a simple recipe for an autumn immune boost?

This Carrot Turmeric Lime Soup is one of my favorites. The sweet flavors of carrot mix perfectly with creamy coconut milk and turmeric. Top it off with a bit of cilantro and crunchy pumpkin seeds and you’ve got a delicious, vibrant, and immune boosting meal. 

What does it mean to you, to live fully during this time of uncertainty, change, and transition?

Change and uncertainty as something that we have to work with throughout our lives. We won’t always be able to control what is happening outside of us, what we can control is how we react to it. One of my favorite words is ‘equanimity’ which means mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. And a great quote by Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change”.