I think it’s safe to say that there’s a massive global shift towards eating in a healthy way. I mean, just take a look at Instagram where suddenly everyone is uploading photos of their chia porridge and pastured eggs (erm, guilty!). With this newfound love of health also comes terms like seasonal, local, organic, pastured, unpastured, raw and biodynamic that can be slightly confusing for those just cruising along for the ride. What does it all mean, exactly?
As a Health Coach (yep, I can officially call myself that and am already seeing clients. Wee! You know where to find me if you need guidance. But more on that later) I recommend eating organic, seasonally and locally sourced as much as possible (I’ll get to all the other terms in another post). Why? Simply put, it’s better for you and for the environment, plus your body requires different things at different times of the year, ergo, why nature naturally provides us with exactly what we need.
But let’s take a step back for a second. What is eating seasonally?
Eating seasonally simply means eating what naturally grows in that season. In this day and age, we’re often spoilt for choice with fruits and vegetables packing the supermarket shelves that may not be naturally growing at that time. How do they do it? Well, they pick them when they’re ripe, freeze and store them for months on end, and then pull them out as needed. The result is a less nutritious version of the real deal (anyone seen those pale, sad looking tomatoes before?), plus, if you listen to your body it’s likely not really wanting that fruit or vegetable right now anyway.
Generally speaking, in summer, due to the heat and humidity humans are often craving lighter meals like salads, fresh fruit, smoothies and so on. This is because spring and summer is a time of renewal, shedding the weight gained in winter (this is found to be historically true) and due to the heat, you want to cool to your body rather than heat it. Therefore, Mother Nature provides us with a kick ass amount of such treats, like mangoes and berries and papaya and other delicious options.
In winter, however, Mother Nature tends to shut up shop a little bit, offering more hearty options like root vegetables for grounding, beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts and so on. This makes perfect sense when you think about it, as winter is the time where your body needs fuel to get through the chilly days and freezing nights. Hearty vegetable soup, anyone?
So what about eating locally, what does that mean?
Eating food sourced locally simply means buying and supporting local farmers in your area. If you take a look at your local supermarket, there’s often a sign saying where the food has come from. Sometimes it’s within Australia but from another state, and sometimes it’s been shipped in from overseas. Think about the affect all that time has on your food. From the moment it’s picked to the time it hits the shelves nutrients are lost, so if it takes 3 months to get there, even if it’s been in a fridge or freezer, it’s not nearly as fresh and nutritious as it was when it was picked. Not to mention the massive impact on the environment all this shipping food around the world causes.
The great thing about eating locally is that is also provides you with the nutrients you need depending on your region. People who live in tropical climates like Cairns require totally different dietary essentials to people living in Tasmania. That’s why tropical fruits don’t grow down in Tassie, but they have an abundance of other gorgeous produce instead. The same can be said for people living in the Northern Territory and Melbourne… it’s a completely different climate, so does it make sense to eat the same food everywhere in Australia? Not to me. Eating locally sourced food gives your body the answers it’s looking for. It’s as simple as that.
So what’s the solution? Hit up your local farmer’s market. These fabulous markets stalls are everywhere in Europe, every city, town and even suburb has one, whereby all the farmers come in with their fresh, local and seasonal produce to bring you cheaper options straight from the farm. And now, they’re spreading here too. It’s such a natural way to shop as well, away from the bright lights and processed food aisles of the supermarket. If there isn’t a farmer’s market near you, check out your local health food store for options instead.
Tell me Happies…
Do you eat locally?
What about seasonally?
Do you want to now?