Dear Leah Renee,
I have so enjoyed having a smoothie every day for breakfast, but I feel like it’s not bringing me as much satisfaction now that it’s getting a little cooler. I don’t want to give it up! What’s a girl to do? Thanks. ~Alicia, NE
We are already well into September which means school has started again, football season has begun, and fall sweaters are replacing breezy tanks. As days get shorter and the weather gets colder, it’s not only a good idea to be thinking about your smart winter wardrobe and dressing for your exterior, but what you’ll dress your plate with to warm and nourish yourself on the interior.
We are able to recognize the obvious transitions that occur throughout the year, but there are more subtle changes to identify with for optimum health and happiness. Eating seasonally helps support our bodies natural cleansing and healing abilities. Nature knows what our body needs.
What is seasonal eating? It’s eating foods which are harvested at their peak. Here are some great reasons to adopt this:
- Emotional Balance we relate certain foods to the seasons. A cool watermelon feta salad in the summer is so fitting, as is a warm butternut squash soup in the fall. Try swapping them and it gets a little confusing, it doesn’t feel right. The foods that are in abundance are connected with the time of year, and in turn we will feel connected too. You may also enjoy these tips on staying happy during the winter months.
- Taste fresh food is good. Have you ever had a tomato straight off the vine? It’s a lot different than one at your local supermarket! Conversely, have you eaten a Fuji apple when it’s not at it’s peak? It’s usual crispness and sweetness lacks big time. You will enjoy what foods are bountiful because they are bursting with flavor.
- Money when food is in season, it is abundant. Good old supply and demand. You will save at the register when you buy foods that are of plenty while pay more for those that are not. When food has to travel far from places where they are in fact in season, we will pay more for it.
- Immunity Eating foods that are fresh offer the most nutrients your body needs. The more nutrient dense our diet, the more powerful our body becomes at fighting off colds and illnesses.
- Green Shopping at your local co-op and farmers market supports the local farmers who are bringing you what’s new and fresh. That means less distance the food had to travel to get to you and more fuel conservation.
- Comfort Eating in harmony with your surrounding brings comfort to both your mind and body. Cats get their winter coat to protect themselves better from the cold so they’re nice and cozy, while shedding it for the summer. Warming foods in the winter and cooling foods in the summer give us that protective barrier to thrive in the temperature we’re in.
- Nutritional value The longer foods sit out, the less nutritional value they contain. It’s like buying a car. The second you drive it off the lot it decreases in value. Fresh food have the most beneficial nutrients when they’re new. The moment their picked, it starts to go down from there.
A great chart to reference by the EWG:
So while your morning smoothie may be so satisfying in the summer months, a warm bowl of oatmeal may be much more enjoyable when it’s cold out. Your body, mind, and wallet will thank you.
To find what’s in season near you, visit the Local Harvest website. What are your favorite summer and winter foods?