Bye bye summer, hello FALL! There was no easing into the fall; one day it was warm the next day it was cold, that’s when you knew it had arrived. The time has come to pack away the bikinis, shorts, tank tops and skirts and whip out your leather coats and boots.
When the weather changes you instantly go into storage mode. Packing away your summer clothes and reintroducing your fall / winter wardrobe. You whip out your Martha Stewart books for fall home décor ideas or you sift through the latest Instyle Magazine to check out the latest fall trends.
But do you change what you eat when the seasons change? Or do you eat the same thing year-round? You may be giving me a blank stare at the moment … ha but that’s ok! Seasonal eating is seen as a foreign concept to most people (including myself in the past). How could I blame you, the grocery stores carry every food group irrespective of their seasons.
You may have noticed (or not) when the seasons change your body begins to crave different things. There’s a reason for that! During the fall / winter season you should be eating more foods that have a “warming” effect in the body (e.g soups, stews.) Make sense right? Why would you want to have “cooling” types of foods during a cold season?
The colder seasons can create a drying effect in your the body (aside from those ashy knees and elbows that appear on the outside :).) A perfect example of you “drying out” is when a cold is knocking at your door. You begin to feel that itch in your throat or you experience dry mucus in your sinuses. Your body’s next reaction is to produce mucus. This creates an environment for bacteria to build up and exacerbate flu and cold symptoms.
To counteract the drying effects of winter, you have to eat foods that create moisture and insulation in the body (oils, fats, protein). Your body may also seek out foods that are sweet sour and salty. Why? These combinations of foods and tastes create a heating / warming effect in the body and stimulates fire in the digestive system (which prevents “drying out”.) Seasonal eating is the best thing you could do, to balance the mind, body and soul.
If you are wondering what you should be eating, I’ve got you covered. I’ve compiled a list of foods, spices, oils to help you get an idea of what you should be eating during the fall season.
Grains: Brown Rice, Amaranth, Oats, Quinoa, Rye
Vegetables: Okra, Onions, Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Parsley, Turnips, Red Potatoes
Fruits: Grapefruit, Grapes, Figs, Dates, Coconuts, Lemons, Oranges, Pears, Tangerines, Strawberry, Peaches, Apples, Blueberry, Banana, Avocado
Legumes: Mungs, Tofu, Black Beans (soaked overnight)
Nuts/Seeds: Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Coconuts, Flax, Filberts, Chia Seeds, Pecans, Raw Peanuts, Pistachios, Sunflower, Walnuts
Oils: Olive, Sesame, Avocado, Almond, Flax, Coconut, Canola
Sweeteners (in moderation): Raw honey, Maple Syrup, Rice Syrup, Raw Coconut Nectar
Condiments: Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt, Pickles, Vinegar, Black Peppercorn
Herb Teas: Cardamom, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Mint, Orange Peel, Strawberry Leaf
Spices: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cumin, Fennel, Ginger Mustard, Nutmeg, Turmeric
Dairy: Organic butter, Ghee, Kefir, Raw Cheese
Meat and Fish: Beef, Chicken, Eggs, Freshwater Fish, Lamb, Duck
When you eat seasonally you get the most flavor and nutritional value plus it’s more affordable. Be sure to check out your local farmers market get foods that are locally grown and in season. Don’t forget to lightly sauté and / or roast your vegetable; raw veggies will create a cooling effect. BTW this list also applies for the winter. Enjoy!
Vanessa Cunningham is a New York-based nutrition & lifestyle coach and dynamic speaker. She helps busy working professionals reduce stress, banish unhealthy cravings, lose weight and get back their formerly-robust energy levels. A regular Huffington Post blogger, Vanessa has also been featured on Essence.com and MindBodyGreen. To learn more about her nutrition courses and upcoming events, please visit www.unhealthynomore.com.
If you are ready to take that first step towards living a healthier and more fulfilling life, apply for a health consultation with me.