Do you notice that your diet changes as the seasons change? Or do you find that you tend to eat the same foods year round?
I am definitely more drawn to lighter and more ‘expansive’ foods in the summer such as fruits, salads, smoothies and colder drinks. In the winter I don’t really want salads nearly as much and instead I crave warm soups and warm drinks (hello homemade hot chocolates and chai lattees… now we’re talkin!)
How about you?
Have you ever heard of eating with the seasons?
Basically, the main idea is to follow the seasons and eat the foods that are available and locally grown, as it helps to maintain your health and connection to the cycles of Nature.
Here is some info on what the changing seasons can bring and the type of food you may want to try eating:
Spring is a time for purification, healing and rejuvenation. It is also a good time to consider cleansing your body and increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables with the increasing warm weather. Warmer foods such as heavier protein foods and fatty foods should tend to decrease (think animal meats, legumes, oils, butter).
Summer is a time of growth and activity. The weather is warmer and typically we tend to require a lighter diet with fresher, cooler and higher water content foods such as salads, raw fruits, raw vegetables, less high fat foods and high protein foods.
Autumn is where things start to change and we notice a shift in weather, energy and our diet needs. The weather cools down and the days grow shorter. The natural harvest time of Nature arrives. The diet may migrate towards eating more cooked foods, whole grains and richer proteins and fattier foods (healthy fats). There will be fewer raw fruits and vegetables and more complex carbohydrates in the diet as it grows colder. You may notice that you start to crave warming foods like soup, or other foods that are higher in carbohydrates (think pasta and breads).
Winter brings colder temperatures and the craving of more warming richer foods. It is important to be mindful of our sugar and fatty food consumption as people often tend to be a little less active in the winter.
The main foods to focus on eating during the winter are high quality complex carbohydrates such as whole grains (think sprouted bread, rice, quinoa, spelt, millet) as well as root vegetables such as carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions and garlic. More protein is often consumed over the winter months as well such as legumes, lean natural meats and healthy fats like butters and high quality oils.
That seems like good common sense to me, but if you think about it do we really do that?
We can get bananas and mangoes year round along with many other varieties of fruit and veggies (which is pretty awesome by the way), but those types of food may not actually grow in your local climate.
Why does that matter?
What is the benefit to eating with the seasons and locally?
Benefits of eating with the seasons:
You can eat healthier – Foods that are local and in season are often fresher and usually higher quality and ripe for consuming when they reach you, whereas some fruits/veggies are harvested before they are ripe and travel a long distance and may spoil or lose some nutritional value along the way
You can save money – by eating foods that are seasonal and local, they have a shorter distance to travel and can be more affordable compared to foods that are out of season and distributed to your location from another country
You can support local farmers/businesses – Not only will you get fresher local foods, but you have the chance to support local farmer and small businesses in your community and that is pretty damn cool
You will experience more variety – It can be boring to eat the same foods year round and so if you eat with the seasons, you will end up trying different foods, dishes and experiencing some variety as the seasons change!
Don’t forget – these are just suggestions, to incorporate into your diet. If you love certain vegetables or certain fruits, by all means include them in your diet. This is just something to consider as the seasons change ?
So, what would be a blog about seasonal foods without a tasty “warming” recipe?
Delish Pea Soup:
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 carrots diced
- ½ cup chopped sweet potato
- 1 ½ tsp dry basil
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 5 cups water
- 2 cups green split peas, rinsed
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp dried paprika
- 1 handful chopped parsley
In a large soup pot/sauce pan, saute onion in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add peas, stir lots for 4 minutes. Add water, ½ tsp thyme, ½ tsp basil and fresh parsley (some of it). Simmer on low heat for 35 minutes with lid on.
Add celery, carrots, sweet potato, rest of spices, salt, pepper, ginger, garlic (all of it). Simmer for 20-25 minutes with lid off. Puree soup once cooked, or add wild rice at the end of cooking to make thicker if you choose.
I made it a little while ago, and it was so dang easy and fast make, not to mention delicious and warming.
I was pretty proud of myself. Lunch for days! *fist pound ?
If you liked today’s post please share it with your friends and let me know in the comments what your favourite warming foods are during the winter! ?
Cheers to staying warm this winter with tasty food!
Sources: Staying healthy with Nutrition by Dr. Elson M. Haas