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Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

Leaves in circle from green to yellow and brown colors on dark rustic wood flat lay. Leaves life cycle. Changing seasons and time concept. Fall leafThe coming of Autumn always feels like a poignant time to me…. So many things are changing… The nights get a little cooler, the days becoming noticeably shorter, the blackberries on my property fading in numbers of sweet and luscious berries, the harvesting of winter squash, garlic, tree fruits and more.  I’ve always been a bit of a squirrel with a fierce drive to store food for the upcoming months.

Other things are changing too, like children and adult learners back at school, the sad ending of easy camping in the Pacific NW, the beginning of the suntan fade and just general planning for winter with firewood, spigot freeze protection and tire safety.  You can see my mind is busy and my activities are many.  So how does all of this relate to health you might say, let alone women’s health?

Female physiology is a unique puzzle of cycles… When mother nature is left to its own, most of us will experience the short game of the cyclic monthly menstrual cycle.  The longer game is the cycle of starting menstruation and then ceasing menstruation.   Even longer yet..the cycle of young eyes becoming older eyes; young quick brains becoming slower machines of memory and focus; thick hair becoming thinning hair; elastic skin full of collagen to drier and wrinkly versions of our younger self.  You get the picture.  Some of us will find unique cycles due to a different hormonal environment.  And we are just a small part of so many other cycles.  Day and Night; Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn; vegetation blooming/vegetation dying off or losing its outwardly visible activities, long days/shorter days; colder days/warmer days; wetter days/drier days; the cycle of the earth’s rotation around the sun; the cycle of the moon; the Zodiac cycle, animal migrations…. And on and on we go.

I think there is some inherent wisdom and likely health benefits, to be tuned in to cycles, and have our health and lifestyle habits be in tune with cycles of nature.  For me, in the Pacific Northwest, there are some particulars to our region/our climate, but here are some thoughts:

  • When we should eat more vs. when we should eat less
  • Warmer foods vs. colder foods
  • Seasonal food choices—spring foods (I think of fresh greens)

Summer foods (I think berries, tomatoes, peaches, cherries, melons, summer squash, green beans)

Autumn foods (I think carrots, beets, apples, pears)

Winter foods (I think potatoes, winter squash, cooked grains, more root veggies, cabbage)

  • Sleep more in the winter and less in the summer
  • Spend more outdoor time in the lighter days/warmer months
  • Read more in the cooler/darker months
  • Slow down a bit in the darker/colder months
  • More outgoing and social in the warmer/lighter months
  • More inward and reflecting in the colder/darker months


We can learn from the cycles of mother nature around us.  The migration of animals in which birds are an easy one to watch and learn from; the squirrel pecking away at a pinecone for the nuts to carry off somewhere for their future; the deciduous tree leaves losing their color and gracing the ground with crispy crunchies.  We can observe and reflect on our cycles – physically, mentally and emotionally and try to stay attuned to the cycles of nature with us being a part of nature.  Observe, reflect, prepare, choose and act…with a mind towards being in sync with the world around you.

And my favorite recent quote:


Be joyful, even though you have considered all of the facts. 

– Wendell Berry

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