We're lucky enough to have one of our practitioner partners, Allie Dusome, do a guest blog series for us over the next four weeks. Allie is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Culinary Nutrition Expert, with a passion for real healthy food. Throughout the month of May, she's going to share some of her secrets of success with us, including how to eat seasonally and enjoy our food. Read on for her first post!
Eating With The Seasons
Welcome to the first of a series on why we should eat seasonally! During the next four weeks, I will be focusing on the importance of eating seasonal produce; where to find local and seasonal food; why we should be eating organic (and tips to save money when buying organic); how to detoxify the body; and I’ll include a few delicious recipes along the way.
Get to know me
My name is Allie Dusome. I’m a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. I love real, whole, unprocessed food that tastes delicious! My holistic approach looks at the whole individual being – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and environmental to understand how these factors are connected. By harnessing the power of food, my goal is to help clients uncover the root cause of specific health concerns and create a tailored approach to bring balance to the body.
Using my knowledge and culinary passion, I want to empower my clients to cook with whole foods and real ingredients, debunk food labels and fad diets, show them how making simple changes to their lifestyle can go a really long way, and most importantly, help create a plan that works best for them! Learn more about my approach and services I offer here.
Seasonal Eating – Part One
Seasons are considered a source of natural diversity that form the natural backdrop for eating. Changes in growing conditions vary between spring, summer, fall and winter, and as such, our eating habits should change as well. There’s a reason our bodies crave warm, comforting root vegetables in the winter and fresh salads in the summer – before modern food processing, that’s traditionally all that was available for us. However, today it’s so easy for us to forget about the seasons when we eat. Modern food processing and worldwide distribution of food allows our grocery shelves to look the same in December as they do in July.
Eating with the seasons is one of the best ways to stay in rhythm with nature. More and more people are rediscovering the benefits of consuming seasonal (and often local) food. Purchasing produce that is grown at a seasonally appropriate time has many benefits. Here are four reasons to try seasonal eating:
Nothing tastes as delicious as produce that has been allowed the time to fully ripen in the sun. Often times, the produce you pick up in the grocery store has been harvested too early and allowed time to ripen on the truck over to your grocery store – not the same. Freshly picked produce often means fragrant, juicy, crispy and colourful. Think about delicious summer heirloom tomatoes that make all other tomatoes taste inferior!
Plants get their nourishment from the sun and soil. Plants that are harvested when fully ripe have had more sun exposure, which means higher levels of antioxidants. When produce is harvested early, so that it can endure a long distance shipping experience, it’s not going to have the full compliments of nutrients it could have had if allowed to fully ripen. It’s also important to note that transporting produce often requires irradiation (to kill germs) and preservatives (such as wax) to protect the produce during the journey – doesn’t sound too tasty does it?
Eating seasonally often means shopping local at farmer’s markets. Getting to know your local farmers, or CSA’s, and how they grow your food can make you feel more connected to the whole process of “from farm to table.” Goodness Me is a great place to find local produce, as it has its own organic farm! This is a great way help connect customers with real, local, organic produce.
Your Seasonal Needs
The natural cycle of produce is perfectly designed to optimally support our health. For example, apples are grown in the fall and are the perfect transition food for helping the body get rid of excess heat and cool down before winter. In the spring there is an abundance of leafy green vegetables that help us alkalize, detox and lose a few extra pounds after a long winter of heavier, more comforting foods. During the summer, our bodies need to stay hydrated as they are losing more fluids to sweat. Foods that help us cool down and stay hydrated are easily accessible in the summer such as berries, cucumber, watermelon and other fruits.
When you start to build a diet around eating seasonal food, it facilitates the body’s natural healing process. Most of us go through the winter in hibernation mode where we’re inside staying warm and eating. Spring, with its abundance of fresh produce available, is the perfect time to shed the winter coat and detox the body.
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