Can you feel it, too? It’s in the air! Fall is finally here. We usually feel before we see it.And, before the changing of the leaves, we get a glimpse of Autumn’s glorious colors in the produce section at our favorite store. Purple, green and yellow cauliflowers, orange pumpkins, green and yellow squashes, red orange persimmons. Most of us can get our favorite foods all year round. So, does the arrival of seasonal foods matter?
Today’s the Autumnal Equinox –the day that marks the first day of fall, marked by the light of day being equal with the darkness of night. It happens twice a year – the next time will be the Spring Equinox. It’s still hot during the day here in southern California – it may feel like summer, given we sleep with just a sheet and light blanket, ceiling fan whirling, with windows open. In fact, it’s still hot enough that some people are still running their AC at night. But this last week, you could feel it. The days are shorter and shadows are getting longer. Fall is definitely in the air.
I’m so excited autumn is here. It’s truly my favorite season. Yes, I love the warm summer nights, am crazy mad about the summer fruits, and enjoy the carefree feeling you get on summer days. But, I’m just wild about the changing of the seasons from summer to fall. It’s sort of like the changing of the Guard in London. We’ve all seen pictures of the changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, parading for everyone in their beautiful red and black uniforms in typical British pageantry. Soon fall will be in all her glory, but I think you’d agree, the change from summer to fall seems to happen at a slower pace than at Buckingham Palace.
As the days grow shorter and the leaves begin to change color, the summer fruits and veggies are gradually giving way to the bounty of autumn. With autumn making her glorious and colorful grand entrance, we welcome the fall harvest. And like the leaves of autumn, the fruits and veggies come in the colors of fall: oranges, reds, purples, browns and greens. Are you ready for the pumpkins and squashes, a seemingly endless variety of apples, Asian pears, persimmons, grapes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard and other delectable fruits and veggies? I am!
But wait! Given most people have access to an abundance of fruits and veggies all year long, frozen and fresh, regardless of the season – dandelion greens in October, broccoli in November, strawberries in December, etc., we might wonder why we want to pay attention to what’s actually a fall seasonal food? Does it really matter? Good question to which there is more than one answer!
First, let’s think about taste. When we get food that is not in season and not grown locally, it is probably grown in a hothouse or is shipped from somewhere far way, sometimes from the other end of the world. Both of these factors affect taste. A fruit or veggie ripened in a hothouse, has neither the color nor the taste of one grown and ripened on the vine in the sun. And when shipped from somewhere a long way away, fruits and veggies have to be picked green or they’d rot before they reached the docks, the wholesale house, and the markets here. Picked-green fruits and veggies don’t stand a chance to develop their full flavor!
Second, an abundant crop grown locally will be less expensive compared to a crop that has be shipped and stored. Lots of middlemen have to be paid. It pays to shop local farmers markets or patronize stores that buy and stock local produce. Plus, when you buy locally, you also get produce that is fresher and more nutritious because they are fresher, they aren’t being treated against molds that can grow during transport, and they’re not covered in wax to help preserve them. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables in season can also be related to fewer healthcare costs because you’re less likely to have digestive and allergen issues resulting in illness.
But the most valuable reason to eat seasonally is that Mother Nature knows best for us. She gives us the ideal foods each season that not only taste their best but also will keep us healthy, energized, and alert…foods that fit the needs of our body during each season. In Ayurveda, the oldest medicine practiced on earth (Ayurveda precedes Chinese medicine), food is our medicine. Our bodies need different nutrients and properties according to the season. During the spring, we crave foods that are enlivening and cleansing, foods that can help waken our bodies following the long fall and winter months. The long, hot days of summer bring us refreshing, hydrating, energizing foods. And during the fall, Mother Nature again provides us exactly what we need: warming and other higher fat and protein rich foods to help us through the colder, shorter days.
Eating seasonally helps our body stay in balance. But let’s face it, given the fast pace world we live in, the easy access to foods out of season, and the availability of processed and fast foods, it’s easy to get out of balance. Weight issues, allergies, sleep and skin problems are evidence that the body is out of balance. So, go local. Eat fresh and in-season produce (and organic, GMO free as much as possible). Better yet, begin this season with a whole food, seasonal detox such as the Fall Into Fabulous 7 Day Detox! Get rid of toxins and get your body back into balance. You’ll discover the benefits of losing 3-10 pounds, improving your sleep and your mental clarity, having beautiful, glowing skin and getting back your sexy! For more information on Fall Into Fabulous click on the Work With Me drop down box or click HERE!