Thursday, September 27, 2012

Winter Eating

With the colder weather coming, this is a good time of year to assess your eating habits. 

One of the easiest ways to stay healthy is to eat according to what is available during the harvest of each season. It is important to transition into eating warmer, cooked foods during this time of year, and to save the salads and raw foods until next summer.

Foods in season during the fall:

Brussels sprouts
Collard Greens
Winter Squash
Concord grapes
Wild Turkey
Atlantic Mackerel
Native Oysters
Pacific Salmon
Red Snapper
Scallops (bay and sea)

A good guideline to follow for eating during the fall is to see what is available at your local farmer's market. Use those foods as a template for building a meal that is appropriate to the season.  Also, look at what’s on sale in grocery stores; they tend to put on sale those foods that are in abundance and readily available.
Additional tips for this season:

Carry around a sweater/sweatshirt/scarf - even if it feels warm outside. During the fall, it is cold in the shade and warm in the sun. This is typically the season where people still dress like it is summer, because the sun still has warmth during the high point of the day. This drastic change in temperature without the proper protection from the environment can put your body at risk. Make sure to dress in layers if you are working or exercising outdoors. You can shed the layers as your muscles warm up.

Eat soup - this is the time of season to begin thinking about and making more nourishing, wholesome, all-encompassing foods, like soups. The best soups contain a protein, veggies, and carbohydrates. They are a great all in one meal! The warm temperature is also beneficial to the yang to prepare oneself for winter.

Keep hydrated - autumn is a time of dryness. The moisture from the humid summer gives way to autumn’s dryness. Also, with the use of heaters, it’s extra dry. It is important to remember this. Drink tea or room temperature water to help your body remain hydrated.

See your acupuncturist – autumn, especially with school back in session, is often the time when people catch the most head colds.  Seeing your acupuncturist can build up your protective Qi to lessen colds during the winter.

Get out and enjoy the change of season, but remember to be prepared for the change in temperature. You don't want to be caught off guard.