Eating with the Seasons

As the temperature drops and the days get longer, we all start to make adjustments to how we live: warmer clothes, setting the clocks back, turning up the thermostats… But what most of us don’t do it change the way we eat. The human body is designed to eat differently during each season (summer, winter, spring). In the past, this was no problem–people ate was available to them. If blueberries weren’t available in February, people ate potatoes instead. Today, however, anyone can go to a grocery store and buy fruits and vegetables from around the word: bananas from south america, avocados from California, oranges from Florida.

For those of us who lives in areas where there are distinct seasons, buying out-of-season foods confuses the body. It’s cold out, and yet we’re chowing down on cucumbers and tomatoes, which are cooling foods. The body then starts craving the seasonally appropriate foods… which throws our system out of whack and creates imbalance.

In the winter, your body tends to dry out; that’s why we crave heavier, oilier, fattier foods when it’s cold out. Foods such as red meat and root vegetables are warming and moist–therefore, the act to lubricate the body. So, if you find yourself craving meat or casseroles in the winter, there’s a reason and it’s better to eat those foods than deny yourself, feel deprived, and dry out your body in the process. (In fact, if you don’t eat enough lubricating foods in the winter, you’ll likely have bad allergies or a series of colds in the spring).

So what can you do, short of restricting everything you eat to 100 miles and enjoying a diet of steak and rutagabas all winter? Instead eating ONLY local foods, instead focus on eating more of them. So, for example, if you go to Whole Foods and notice that the squash and zucchini are grown in your region, consider adding those to your meals.

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