Eating Seasonally to Nourish Your Body
Seasonal eating may seem like the latest food trend, but it's an ancient practice that's been around for a long, long time. Food as fuel and medicine is the focal point of holistic health and eating with the seasons is its backbone.
Seasonal eating can also be called "just-in-time" eating, or eating foods when they are harvested.
There are endless benefits to eating with the seasons. Among them are:
1 | Food is fresher
When eating foods that have just been harvested, they likely are organic and free of herbicides and pesticides because they don't need to be preserved for a longer shelf life. Bonus: this practice makes it better for the environment too!
2 | Local to you
When you eat freshly harvested foods, they likely have been grown in your community (or close by). Organic, fresh foods are often locally grown and aren't subject to travel time.
3 | Supportive of your community and local economy
By eating foods from local farmers, you not only support your community but boost your local economy too.
So how do we eat with each season?
Each season presents its unique attributes; let's dive in and look at each one.
Spring is a season of renewal - new beginnings:
During the Spring our body naturally cleanses itself. It physically removes the residues of heavy winter foods and emotionally releases feelings of dissatisfaction, impatience, and anger.
During the Spring our body naturally wants to eat less. We naturally gravitate to lighter foods like herbs, sweet starchy vegetables (like beets and carrots), and raw foods.
The Spring season is the time for shorter cooking times at higher temperatures.
Summer is a season of growth and transition:
We feel lighter, brighter, more creative and enjoy outside activity. During this season we eat light, and less.
We turn to brightly-colored fruits, salads, sprouts, flower/leaf teas, etc.
Summer continues to be a season for short cooking times like steaming or simmering, at high temperatures.
Autumn is a season of transition when we prepare ourselves for winter:
It's the harvest season when we begin to move indoors.
We turn to warm, baked, sautéed foods, and enjoy sour foods like sauerkraut, pickles, olives, leeks, lemon, limes, grapefruit, and sour versions of apples, plums, and grapes.
It's also ideal to eat foods that moisten to contract the drying weather. These are foods like spinach, pears, apples, persimmons, seaweed, eggs, crab, and much more. All foods that are naturally available in the Fall.
Autumn cooking means cooking with less water, at a lowered heat and for longer periods of time.
Winter is the end of all of the seasons. It is the season of storage, a time for rest and meditation:
During the winter we gravitate to foods that are naturally salty and bitter; eat warm, hearty soups; roasted foods, dried foods, and steamed winter greens.
Winter foods include lettuce, watercress, turnips, celery, asparagus, quinoa, citrus peels, and roots like chicory and burdock.
We eat foods that are cooked longer, slower, with even less water than Autumn, also at low temperatures.
When we eat seasonally, we bring ourselves back into balance and harmony with nature.
We naturally build up our immune systems, and we create a natural defense against unwanted illnesses, headaches, digestive issues, and dry skin that can plague us when we are out of balance.
If you experience these or other health problems with regularity, one way to bring yourself back into balance is to do a seasonal cleanse.
Seasonal cleansing can help you remove toxins and unwanted "clutter" that have built up in your body, making room for natural energy, transformation, and positive changes.
If you've never done a seasonal cleanse before, don't worry. There's nothing to be afraid of. It does not include pills, powders or depriving yourself of food to the point of starvation. All that does is create havoc on your blood sugar and add more stress (a toxin!) to your toxic load.
A seasonal cleanse simply means eating foods that are currently in season.
As you do this, you will naturally begin to eat more real, whole foods, crowding out processed foods and refined sugar, which then brings your body into better balance and harmony with the season.
Hi, I'm Naomi!
I’m a Functional Nutrition Health Coach and 21-Day Sugar Detox Coach for health-conscious women who suffer from unexplained weight gain.
I teach them how to stop chasing symptoms and find sustainable solutions by listening to their body and championing their own course so they can they can finally feel comfortable in their skin again.
I love running outdoors, connecting with like-minded people, and exploring the San Francisco Bay Area with my pup, Coco Pop.