What Is Seasonal Eating?
Ancient wisdom states that “change is the only truth in the universe” and for many years being someone who struggles with both trauma and anxiety this concept was dreadfully scary to me.
All I wanted was some form of consistency and the fact that change was the only thing that seemed to be consistent rocked me to core. It wasn’t until my early 20s (I’m now 36) that I finally found some peace around change and this was through working with the traditional Chinese system of medicine. I was able to find a sense of peace within the simple ways that Chinese medicine blends nature and human existence and for this I’m forever thankful.
What spoke to me the most in this ancient system of medicine was the act of tuning into the seasons. The more I was able to explore the beautiful truth that comes from understanding and watching the direct connection between nature’s cycles and the human experience, the more connected I felt and the more secure I felt.
In the Five Element Theory there are five seasons that correlate to the five elements that also correlates with an organ system of the body.
The seasons and the associated element with each season include:
Liver & Gallbladder
Heart & Small Intestine
Spleen & Stomach
Lungs & Large Intestine
Kidneys & Bladder
I love thinking of these elements and systems at
birth, growth, maturity, harvest, and storage.
When we tune it the cycles and tune into where we are at seasonally, we are able to gain guidance from the most trusted source there is-- nature. When we are in the season of spring this is a time for rebirth or birthing ourselves and our ideas. Summer is a time a growth, cultivation and action. Late summer inspires working with all that has grown in us and manifesting our dreams and visions. Fall inspires sharing and communicating all that has grown in us and Winter is for peaceful reflection and rest as we get ready to start the cycle all over again.
When we are out of balance with the seasons there is potential for experiencing disharmony, imbalance, and misalignment. We want to drop into the moment, activate the senses and pay attention to what is growing around us, is it peach season or nettle season? Are the apples ripe and ready to eat where you are living? Are the blueberries ripe and plump and ready for the picking? This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the bounty of foods nature gifts us year round, it’s more an act of taking a moment to tune into the season, tune into what your body is needing or craving that the season has to offer, tune into what your mind needs, and tune into what your spirit is craving.
During the quiet winter months eat foods that are warming and nourishing like soups and stews. Spring calls for foods that are bitter and just starting to sprout like dandelion greens, arugula, and fir tips, the bounty of greens, salads and fruits of summer, and the deeply nourishing root veggies of the fall.
The foods we eat give our body the information it needs it function and perform.
Feeding your body seasonally at least once a day is beautiful way to help synch your body into the spirit of the present moment and the spirit of the season.
Elson Haas says it beautifully, “The Reason for Season Eating is to promote the health of our bodies and the Earth. Nature provides us with foods that keep our bodies in balance with the climate, as with cooling, juicy fruits in the heat of summer.”
Furthermore, synching into the seasons allows you to drop into your body. If you step outside to greet the day, notice the weather, the clouds, the blue sky, what the air feels like close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths. Once you have taken some time to breathe, check in with your body; what does she need? What are you craving? Trust the wisdom that is within you and if you need help with this, don’t hesitate to reach out.
If you are stuck remember these universal truths:
Please let me know in the comments below, what is your relationship to eating seasonally? What do you want to know more of?