Thursday, August 22, 2013

Did you know that the food choices you make can help make balance with the season?

I’d like to say a big hello to all my friends. It has been a busy summer filled with rewards of work and play. Now that we are at the end of the summer, we begin to notice a subtle change in the weather as we welcome a little cooler temperatures. This just may be my favorite time of the year where we have nice warm days with comfortable slightly cooler nights. Perfect for a good night’s sleep.

All this being said, it is definitely time to make a few changes in your food choices in preparation for the cooler weather to come. We may find ourselves craving more sweets during this time of year. The weather, as it cools, has a contracting effect. A perfect example is apparent in nature as the leaves on the trees change color, dry up, and eventually fall to the ground. Our bodies also experience a similar contracting effect which often results in feeling more hungry, tired in the afternoon, and slightly more pressured. Eating a variety of good-quality sweets will help balance out this contracting process and make us feel more relaxed. When we align our food choices with the environment, it helps us to feel more comfortable and we are able to experience better health.

Here are some ideas of what to include in your diet during this transitional time and as the temperature continues to drop.
Chunky cabbage, onions and carrots, perfect for long steaming and stews!

  • Start your day with a nice bowl of warm porridge. My  favorites this time of year are steel-cut oats with pure maple syrup, soft millet cooked with sweet vegetables or soft polenta with fresh sweet corn (GMO free of course).
  • Start including some millet into your diet. Although millet is not so commonly known it works with all of the sweet vegetables and happens to be delicious with any meal. As an added bonus, the leftovers are easily incorporated into a puréed sweet vegetable soup, or formed into cakes and fried for a tasty entrée. 
  • Emphasize sweet vegetables in your cooking such as onions, cabbage, sweet potatoes, leeks, and carrots. As the weather grows colder, winter squash comes into season which is both delicious and versatile.
  • Regularly use cooking styles that enhance the sweet quality of your vegetables, such as long steaming, or sautéing and simmering. These cooking styles help bring out the natural sweet taste of the vegetables and offer longer lasting, more substantial energy which is important for the cooler weather to come.
  • Finally, continue to enjoy seasonal fruit, but consider cooking it a few times a week. The rich flavor of poached peaches, baked apples, or even a fruit crunch are all perfect at this time of year and will satisfy almost any sweet craving.

Kabocha squash, onions and green cabbage, all sweet and delicious!