Tonight I had a craving for two of my favourite foods: apples and oats. The best combination I have found is apple crisp, but an oatmeal cookie crumbled in apple sauce is a close second. It is the time of year where we find our food cravings shifting…from light, cool based foods to more hearty, dense and warming ones.
You may wonder what is a light, cool based food? It’s an excellent question and one rooted in Chinese Medicine that incorporates using different foods for each season. Let’s look at lettuce as an example. Availability in our region is usually June to September. This corresponds with high temperatures outside. Try eating a salad or a few leaves of lettuce. How do you feel? Do you feel warm? Do you feel chilled? What is your overall temperature like and how does your digestion feel after? Eating lettuce in the summer season generally feels wonderful digestively but trying to do so mid winter, usually has a different outcome…generally one of feeling bloated and cold. Try it out sometime on a cold winter day eating a salad for lunch and watch how your body talks.
Our next example will be sweet potatoes. Availability in our region is usually August to December. Usually we eat this cooked or baked often as fries, in soups or mashed. Even if you are consuming this food cold…how do you feel after eating it? Are you warm? Are you chilled? Do you feel heavy or light and how is your digestion?
Each food has it’s own properties and we generally try to create balance in our bodies to that of our external environment. In Winter we crave starches, root vegetables, desserts, warm drinks and generally wanting our food hot. In Summer we are wanting the opposite: fruits, like melons, salads, raw vegetables and always putting ice cubes in our drinks. Spring and Fall have their own variety but are the transition seasons from Winter and Summer.
Not only does this follow Eating with the Seasons and eating locally, it also makes sense digestively.
Watch your cravings over the next few weeks as we transition into fall season and allow for change in your grocery list as your body desires to be supported for the colder temperatures that are coming. Your tummy will thank you for it.