Did you know that Feng Shui extends to the foods you eat?
When you eat food that’s in season you give your body good Feng Shui by keeping it in balance with nature’s rhythms.
Seasonal eating makes it easier to maintain your vitality at a healthy weight, too.
Today’s guest blogger, health coach Priscilla Stephan, owner of Sweet Path Wellness, shares the details!
Aligning Your Diet With The Seasons
Seasonal eating has significant health, economic and environmental benefits. By consuming fresh, local produce, your diet contains a variety of essential vitamins and minerals that fortify your immune system during times of seasonal change.
It’s cost-effective as the abundance in quantity keeps prices low. Moreover, seasonal produce is usually locally harvested which means a smaller carbon footprint. Here’s how to bring seasonal eating into your life.
Spring is the season of fresh beginnings and the Wood element. The focus is on the liver and gall bladder. A healthy liver establishes a smooth and flowing energy throughout your entire body and mind.
- The best foods for spring are light and cleansing: young plants, fresh greens, sprouts and raw foods. These foods emphasize the yang, ascending and expansive qualities of the season.
Summertime is the season of the Fire element, characterized by hot weather, long days, and conserving energy in the heat.
- The best foods for summer refresh and cool you down – salads, fresh fruits and vegetables, light carbohydrates, and raw foods. The focus is on the heart and small intestines. The heart regulates blood circulation. A calm heart brings clarity and peace to the entire body.
In summer you need to watch out for a very modern challenge: air conditioning that “fools” your body into thinking it is winter. You may be eating heavy “winter” foods just when you need to be at your lightest.
Fall is the harvest season characterized by the Metal element. It is a time to enjoy heartier foods and flavors. The Chinese organ systems are the lung and large intestine. The lungs receive the vital Chi of the air and mix with the Chi extracted from food to distribute it through your body.
- Choose more astringent foods to represent the contracting, inward motion of Metal. Ideal foods include sour flavors like sourdough bread, pickles, cheese and yogurt; pungent foods to clear toxins such as hot peppers, garlic, ginger, radish and foods rich in Vitamin A to boost immunity such as winter squash, pumpkin, mustard greens and other dark leafy vegetables.
The best foods for Winter (Water element) are hot and expansive: stews, casseroles, dried fruits and beans, food that warms and nourishes us as we expend energy in the cold and that fortify the kidneys.
- Salty and bitter foods like seaweed, miso, escarole and quinoa have a centering quality and move energy inward. The Chinese organ systems are the kidney and the bladder. The kidney provides warmth and energy and serves as the foundation for the body.
In sum, seasonal eating ensures your good health, provides good taste and value, and it’s better for the planet too.
Don’t know what’s in season? Check out the Seasons App for instant access to seasonal produce in your area. To find the closest farmer’s markets and locally grown produce near you, visit: http://www.localharvest.org/.
Spring is the perfect time to cleanse your body of toxins and reboot your system. My friend and health coach, Priscilla Stephan of Sweet Path Wellness, has created an easy 10 day program to energize your life with delicious, seasonal and whole foods. Details here: www.10dayreboot.com.
(Photo credit: nataliemaynor on Creative Commons)