Whether we want to be or not, we are part of nature. One reason it is important to eat seasonally is to stay balanced and connected with nature. In the same way that we clothe ourselves differently for each season, we should also eat differently during each season.
The energy in nature starts to retreat during the fall and by the time winter comes around, the energy has contracted and further decreased and moved inward. Winter is the time for reflection, restoration and nourishing our energy reserves. Therefore the winter diet should be the most warming and typically the heaviest of all the seasons. It is important to eat more cooked, warming foods to satisfy our body’s need for heat. The diet is more calming, and combined with the cold air and lack of sunlight, we are encouraged to relax and hibernate, thereby restoring our energy for Spring.
If you are not sure what to eat during the winter, pay a visit to your local Farmer’s Market and see what is available. Nature provides us with the foods that are appropriate to eat at the correct time of year. What can you get excited about in Winter? Winter squash (too obvious?), beef and lamb, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, root vegetables and leafy greens. Fantastic seasonings of the winter can include cinnamon, ginger and garlic.
If you notice that watermelon is not available right now, that is a good thing. Melons are very cooling foods and perfect to hydrate and refresh ourselves in the summer. Overeating cooling foods like melon during the winter stresses the digestive system and thus the immune system, which are forced to work extra hard to maintain warmth in the body. This does not mean you shouldn’t eat any cool or raw foods in the winter, but rather you should adjust your diet to include more cooked food in the winter than in the other seasons.
Check out the many great recipes on my site that will keep you warm and balanced this season!