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Hello Autumn Lovers.

Only five days until the official start of Autumn, how are you celebrating? I've filled my home with pumpkin candles, pulled out my favourite blankets, and am at this point 70% pumpkin spice.

Speaking of, this week I wanted to talk to you about pumpkin spice. Or rather, I want to talk about this idea that being excited about pumpkin spice and all things nice is daft, or basic, or just eye roll emojis for days. 

I've seen so many people online complaining about those of us who are embracing autumn fully. I find it kind of baffling, I'm not sure how someone enthusing about autumn can be so upsetting, sure it's not *technically* autumn yet, but nobody's forcing a pumpkin spice latte down your throat, are they? 

The transition from Summer to Autumn can be tough. The nights drawing in and the darker mornings, the colder, wetter weather, the downward fall to winter. It's a slippery slope to Seasonal Affective Disorder, to isolating yourself off into a winter funk.

So if embracing autumn with all you've got is what helps counteract the winter blues, then I say bring it on. Drink a PSL every day, get the knitwear and the autumn candles out, embrace all things cosy, even if the weather outside is still sunny with a hint of hot. 


If you're really ready to embrace pumpkin spice, try out this cookie recipe! I've tried to make it as quick and simple as possible, so give these a go next time you have half an hour to spare!

For the cookies:
2 cups of plain flour, 1/2 tsp of baking soda, 1/2 tsp of cream of tarter, pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 8tbsp butter, 1tsp granulated sugar, 1/3 cup pumpkin puree, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the chai spice:
1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1 tsp nutmeg
All you have to do is beat the sugar and butter together til smooth, then add in egg, pumpkin and vanilla spice. Sift in dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Mix all the chai spice ingredients in a separate bowl, roll tsp size balls of batter in the spice and then set on baking tray. Bake for nine minutes at 180 degrees, until the edges have set but middle is still gooey. Sprinkle any remaining chai spice on the cookies as they cool!

If you give the recipe a try, make sure to share a photo on Instagram and tag it #huntingforautumn!

Continuing the foodie theme, when I was planning out guest features for this year's Hunting For Autumn, Gem was an obvious choice. Her website, The Mother Cooker, is my go to for food inspiration, her recipes have never led me astray! On top of that, she happens to be one of the nicest humans I've ever had the pleasure of knowing! She's gone hard for this issue, so read on for her tips on eating yourself well this autumn.
Autumn is a joyous occasion in my life, I wait all year for its short lived glory. I long to wrap myself in a cosy coat whilst the cold wind bites at my cheeks. Watching the leaves turn from green, to amber, to deep red. Then watching them finally fall to the ground with the most elegant flutter is one of my favourite things. You know when you are driving along on a cold day, it's a little grey, but then you are met with a canopy of falling leaves, enfolding you in gold? Absolute magic. Then it's back to your warm house, whilst rain pitter patters against the window. You snuggle down with a warm drink and listen to the fire crackle and burn. You might turn on Harry Potter, candles and grab a blanket...autumn is just EVERYTHING.
But along with all the joy that autumn brings, it can also make you start to feel a little sick. Light levels are lowering, you crave all the carbs, cold and flu season begins to creep in. That's why I am here to help you eat yourself well this autumn. So you can enjoy these glorious short few weeks and get in to the habit of being super healthy for winter. Before I get in to the food aspect, I want to give you a few tips that will help with your external wellbeing.
As much as we all want to hibernate come autumn, why wouldn't we? Getting outside in the latter months of the year is actually more important. The lack of light plays havoc with not only our bodies, but our minds too. Your circadian rhythm is vital to how we feel and light is its very best friend. So go outside, even for a small amount of time. Even if it's to take pictures of your feet in leaves for your Instagram, that small amount of fresh air and vitamin D will really make a difference. As Lindsey Geddes quotes in her book 'Chasing the Sun', "...regardless of what causes winter depression, bright light- particularly when delivered in the early morning - seems to reduce symptoms." So if you can't find time to make it outside, invest in something like a Lumie light, it will make all the difference.

Keeping the air around you moist is paramount to keeping a cold at bay. A humidifier helps with the effects of dry air in the home (heating up high anyone?) Cracked lips, dry skin and dry sinuses are all helped by moist air. Keeping your nasal passages moist helps deter a cold, as there is nothing for the germs to cling to. Be mindful that humidifiers can harbour germs, so clean them regularly. A respiratory infection is the last thing you want.

As the weather cools down, we find ourselves wrapping up in more layers and turning on the heaters. This artificially warm environment is coupled with the dry air of artificial heating, which leads to winter dehydration. Winter dehydration is harder to notice – particularly if you are not sweating and you are feeling cool. You may not notice that you haven’t drunk any water during the day, particularly as your body’s thirst response significantly diminishes in cooler weather. However, dehydration can cause significant impacts to your wellbeing. It is vital you keep hydrated to regulate your body temperature, allowing your blood to carry important nutrients and oxygen around your body and remove its toxins. During winter your body loses moisture in other ways, such as the water vapour you see from your mouth and nose when you are outside in cold weather, this may not be as noticeable as a key summer sweating indicator but should not be ignored nonetheless.
The colder months can be a testing time for our immune systems, with the many airborne viruses that we all seem susceptible to. Dehydration can seriously weaken our immune systems barriers. The lack of water can dry out the mucous membranes in our lungs and sinus passages, which can reduce their resistance to infections. Keeping well hydrated during winter ensures that the barriers used to protect your body from colds and flu are fully functional and completely intact.
Vitamins are your biggest friend in the colder months, things like vitamin C and D are vital. Vitamin D will help with the lack of light and vitamin C will help deter the nasty bugs. We need to nourish and warm the body from the inside. The colder months are all about eating the grounding and nourishing foods that are going to balance our hormones, strengthen our immune system, boost our energy and feel well all rounded.
Eating seasonally is something I advocate over at The Mother Cooker, this is particularly important in the colder months. Things such as:
  • Root vegetables - things like carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin
  • Whole grains - brown rice, quinoa, oats, millet
  • Green vegetables - Broccoli, kale, spinach, rocket, cabbage
  • Herbs - Ginger, thyme, basil, dill, cinnamon, turmeric and rosemary
  • Legumes -  Chickpeas, beans, lentils and soybeans
  • Fruit - Pomegranate, apples, citrus fruits and pears
Here is a complete seasonal calendar, so you can save it and know what is in season over the next few months and in to next year.
Here are a few recipes to kick you off to feeling better:
If you aren't already, make sure you're following Gem on Instagram, her photos are dreamy, her recipes drool worthy, and she's pretty darn lovely to boot! 
Before you go...

We'll be chatting about The Familiars next issue, so you've got two weeks left to get reading! Share your thoughts over on Instagram using #HuntingForAutumn.

We're finally using the @huntingforautumn Instagram account! Make sure you're following for an extra dose of autumn goodness in between issues, and tag us in your autumnal photos and we'll be sharing our favourites.

The incredible Daphne who designs our gorgeous autumnal illustrations has finally launched her Etsy Shop! Check it out here and use the code huntingforautumn for free shipping until September 30th.
See you October 2nd! 
Copyright © 2019 Jayerockett, All rights reserved.

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