According to the Five Transformations Theory, there are five seasons. Late Summer is the time of year when there is a slight pause between the expansive energy of Summer and the inward pull of Autumn. The energy of this time of year is starting to come down, but not so much that we are drawn inward yet. It’s actually a very relaxing time. We are out of the frenzy of the height of Summer and can just float and enjoy the warm nourishing sun.
This time of year corresponds to the earth or soil element. Earth element is what brings all the other elements together. Earth is at the center and can also be found during the transitions between all the other seasons and elements. From tree to fire to metal to water back to tree. The earth element can be thought of as home. In this way, it represents our ability to nurture ourselves and others. In our bodies, this correlates to the pancreas and stomach and our ability to bring in nourishment and maintain stability. This is particularly evident in our blood sugar and our ability to maintain a steady, accurate and even rhythm in our daily lives.
The rush and chaos of our modern society can make it hard to deeply nourish ourselves and maintain stable blood sugar. Irregular meals, stress, lack of predictability in our schedules are main contributing factors. At the root is the extent of our disconnection with nature. Our ability to deeply nourish ourselves will help us maintain our center and not be as swayed by all the forces around us. It helps me to visualize myself at the center of my life. Then I can notice everything swirling around me, but I am not swirling with it.
The main grain and vegetables that support our bodies this time of year are millet and the round vegetables. Round vegetables include winter squash and cabbage. In general, vegetables that have a good mild sweet quality are very good for supporting the pancreas and helping to stabilize blood sugar. Sweetness is the flavor that corresponds to the earth element, but strong sweet can bring this out of balance while mild sweet supports. Creamy puréed soups are a wonderful example. There is also a recipe for Sweet Vegetable Drink which works to relax and soften the organs corresponding to the earth element, can help even out blood sugar and address cravings for sweet.
Some dishes that are wonderful this time of year:
Millet with Sweet Vegetable
Millet Vegetable Soup
Aduki Beans with Squash and Kombu
Nishime style vegetables
Sweet Vegetable Jam
Creamy Carrot Soup
Creamy Squash Soup
Creamy Broccoli Soup with Pumpkin Seed Dulse Condiment
Sweet Potato Pudding
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