Pure and Local: eating with the season

Sasha Campbell
Sasha Campbell is a Certified Life Skills Coach & Raw Nutritionist and Chef. She is the founder of Blyssful Health where she educates others on healthy eating, raw food and vibrant living. www.blyssfulhealth.com

Although we have access at grocery stores to many types of food throughout the year, by observing Mother Nature, we can gain a lot of wisdom. We can learn how to choose the best food for our bodies, by taking into consideration the produce harvested each season. We can also develop an awareness of other foods that can supplement our diet for different times of the year. Some of the oldest traditions such as Ayurveda, which means “science or knowledge of life,” have been following this principle for over 5,000 years. This ancient knowledge has a lot of merit and can be adopted into our lives. Eating in sync with the seasons can bring benefits as plentiful as your garden.

Eating seasonally helps the human body to function within the given climate and temperatures, in turn, staying balanced and in harmony with the environment. There is a diversity of produce available during Canada’s four seasons, each carrying a different effect on the body that correlates to the characteristics and temperatures of the season.

The transition from summer to fall is one of the biggest changes. Summer brings hot temperatures, more fresh fruits, salads and liquids. During the fall harvest season, bodies must adapt to the cooler weather and the increase in dry winds. Eating foods that are heavier and denser at this time helps to balance the windy, drying, cool weather. Eating root vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and healthy oils can help counterbalance the fall temperature and help our bodies to prepare for the upcoming winter season, where we need more insulation from the cold. In contrast, the spring has our bodies start to adjust to the rise in temperature and damp weather. In spring there is new life and growth with an abundance of vibrant greens, which tend to be more bitter and therefore cleansing and renewing to the body. Foods in general have unique characteristics, in that they can either be heating, cooling, drying or they can add moisture.

Community Supported Agriculture program are a great way to eat seasonally. CSAs were first introduced in the 50s and 60s by Austrian native Rudolph Steiner, and brought to Canada in the 80s. As an avid supporter of CSA, and an active member for the last 4 years, I can say without a doubt that they are a great way to connect to Mother Nature and support our local farmers. Direct contact with people growing the food, and high quality organic produce come hand-in-hand with supporting CSA growers’ livelihood and local economy. Nothing feels better than eating produce picked earlier in the day that is fresh, vibrant and in season.