Each year when fall rolls around, we notice an influx of clients coming in for massages here at the studio. Autumn seems to be a time of year when we pause to take care of our bodies. Maybe the long, busy days and travel-filled weekends (and hot dogs!) of summer have caught up with us. Or maybe it's something about the way the temperature drops and the leaves change color that creates a new sense of possibility. Whatever the reason, with fall comes a special energy for activity and for starting afresh. And yet we also know we need to slow down and take care of ourselves.
A great way to capitalize on this energy for and focus on well-being—aside from getting a massage, which we must admit, is a great way to take care of yourself—is to eat well. Walking through a local farmer's market in Brooklyn, we were inspired by the bounty of beautiful fall goodies, from wild flowers to brussels sprouts to cider.
When the weather is still mild and so many great veggies are in season—sprouts, beets, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, and more—it feels especially pleasurable to shop outside, meandering through the colorful tables of produce. New research from the University of Iowa reveals that there are a variety of reasons we value farmers markets so highly, beyond food quality and freshness. For one, we respect how the food is produced—the moral, human side of the equation like if the pickers were paid a fair wage and if the produce was grown with care. Another reason, interestingly, could be our human desire to connect and build community through food. "Asked why they shop at their local markets, respondents mentioned the atmosphere, the 'hometown feel, live music, and that people 'seem happy,'" the research shows, and study coauthor Ion Vasi adds, "It’s something that indicates there is something we kind of lost and are nostalgic and yearn for as a society."
So if you haven't visited a farmer's market lately, we recommend it. Those in NYC can check out a directory of markets here. And while you're there, take time to be present in the moment—soak up the smells and colors, strike up a conversation with someone. Before you leave, consider picking up gourds and flowers to bring that warm, fall spirit back to your home. It may bring a smile to your face just when you need it!