Ah, Summer. I love the summer. I mean, who doesn’t right? Nothing like the long, sunny days and happy people in vacation mode.
Well, this is the perfect time to talk about a hot topic that some of you might have heard a bit about. These days, it’s all about eating locally and seasonally.
The reason these are important is that your body is meant to eat the foods that grow in your climate at this particular moment. You are what you eat, so you should be eating the food that’s thriving where you are.
Also, there’s balance in the opposition. That’s why eating a juicy piece of fruit in the heat of summer feels so much better than a big, hot, heavy meal. And a belly warming stew feels just right in the dead of snowy winter.
Additionally, eating locally reduces pollution and costs associated with transporting foods…and that translates into cost savings for you and the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done your part to help the environment. And don’t forget about supporting local farmers rather than Big Ag – we need to take a stand against a system that cares more about money than the health of this nation. Check, check, and check!
The first time I experienced the “aha moment” of eating seasonally was this year…when the organic apples ran out at Whole Foods. My snack of an apple and peanut butter had been the culinary highlight of my day for months (I’m so wild and crazy like that) so I was really bummed at first, but what I realized was that I didn’t actually want it anymore – once I broke out of my routine, my taste buds were totally fine! An apple in July? No thank you!
Without my daily Fuji, I was left to explore the summer fruit, and I have to say, I’ve been having a blast with it.
I always love exploring new foods, but I’ve also had the desire for some old familiars that I don’t normally buy.
Last week at Whole Foods: raspberries and red grapes are my usuals, but I threw a couple of plums into the mix.
Farmer’s Market: nectarines. Craving nectarines.
This week at Whole Foods: apricots, red grapes (they were so crazy delicious last week that they went quickly), and strawberries (which are totally blowing my mind right now). I don’t remember the last time I bought strawberries. And I cannot stop eating them.
Later this week: TBD and loving it!
So I encourage you all to explore in season produce. See what you can add to your plate that you haven’t had in awhile…or maybe even ever!
Parent Tip: For all you folks with youngsters, this can be a great way to explore new foods with your little ones. Take them to a farmer’s market or just to the produce section of the grocery and show them all the wonderful, brightly colored fruits and veggies. Encourage them to help you shop – learning about produce and being involved in the decision-making will be fun for them and will help establish better eating habits for life.
As always, I do encourage you to choose organic, at least for the produce on the dirty dozen list. Check it out here if you need a refresher.
Check out this site for info on what’s in season in your area. It’s a great resource!
And lastly, in case you didn’t notice, I now have a fabulous badge on my site. My blog was named one of The Top 100 Health Coach Blogs 2012 by The Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Needless to say, I’m thrilled to be recognized. Gotta give a huge thanks to all my loyal readers and to everyone who has been super supportive, especially since the news broke and the badge went up! Crazy to think that doing what I love is just so damn easy… 😉
Now for the Question of the Day…
What quintessential summer moment stands out for you this year?