By Health Coaches Stephanie Kurz and Debra Kaplan
As health coaches, we’re often asked, “What is the best way to eat?” Really, the answer is simple when you break it down to what Mother Nature provides. Eating locally grown, seasonal vegetables and fruits offers nutrition that’s perfectly in balance with the season.
Why eat seasonally and locally?
Nature provides us with the foods we need to properly fuel our bodies through various seasons. For example, in summer, we have abundant fresh fruit and crisp vegetables high in water content – watermelon and cucumber, for example – to keep us cool and hydrated. In winter, heartier foods that provide rich sources of energy, like root vegetables and dark greens, become available to strengthen our immune systems and help retain our body temperature during colder weather. Another stroke of nature’s genius is that predating modern technology, these foods also stored well throughout the colder months when less fresh produce is available.
Eating this way keeps us attuned to the earth and the cycles of nature. And eating locally grown produce keeps our diet clean as fewer chemicals are used to preserve and ship.
How do I find seasonal and local foods?
Farmers’ markets are the best resource for fresh local produce. We love them because:
The food’s always in season
They allow you to connect with farmers in your area so you know exactly where, and whom, your food is coming from
Sellers are often happy to explain how to use their produce and recommend recipes
Community Support Agriculture (“CSA”) programs are a great way to get produce you’d find at the farmers’ market delivered to you. You’ll receive a box of fresh veggies weekly throughout the farming season.
Health Markets and natural food stores like Whole Foods and Fairway also have growing “local” produce sections.
Over the next year we’ll post articles on what to eat in each season and delicious seasonal recipes, starting with Autumn.