Seasonal Eating Fundamentals

Part 1 Seasonality

Here begins an exploration of a topic which impacts everyone around the globe on many levels. I’m sure most of us are curious about these movements towards the simple idea of eating with the seasons and sourcing from local as possible and it makes sense why they are gaining traction. When we contrast these ideas to the extreme changes we have gone through in the food system it becomes clear why diseases are becoming the new normal and why we feel the urge on some level to move towards simplicity of life. So through the posts to follow I will go deeper into the impacts of the choices we make and how to allow our intuition to guide us towards our personal best food choices.

With most of us stressed out running in survival mode and not operating from our intuition it makes sense why it is so easy to overeat and crave things out of season. We know that harvesting plants based on when they are ripe and ready creates a healthier food, but the production of manufactured foods distanced us from our connection to the environment making cruising through the grocery store difficult to distinguish which is the best option. These two themes alone of managing stress and harvesting when ripe are massively impactful towards the longevity and ease of all living creatures and the balance of the planet we live on.

But how aware are we of whats growing locally in our neighborhood, or even in a range of fifty miles around us? From the perspective of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine there is a deep connection between the seasons, what we should be eating and our state of health. According to these very old traditions, it’s when we are living out of sync with the rhythms of our ecosystem that we begin to create imbalances in our lives. Yes they may be subtle, but just think of how transformative it could be to reintegrate with the rhythms and bring back balance across the board.

Throughout history the seasons have had the upper hand for what we have available to eat, that was until the agricultural revolution. But through these changes in technology and ability to sustain farming throughout the year we have gradually acquired the control over when we could eat fresh berries and tender greens. Typically we wouldn’t have delicate berries available in winter and so it goes for root vegetables in the summer, this is what may have distanced us from our intuition and sensitivity to what we may be physically craving rather than what we think we want to eat.

This way of eating is part of our inherent nature and could be seen as a communion with our environment. Relearning how to translate these physical sensations into what we should be eating doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a skill that we can acquire and fine tune over time with practice. My simple tip is to identify what seasonal plants grow closest to you and begin to add them into your diet. On a broader topic this practice will help reduce the carbon footprint we are creating from importing and transportation and even if it’s only a little bit, it will help steer us in a less destructive direction.

 

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