Why Seasonal Eating is Important in the Fall/Winter

Have you ever noticed that your sugar cravings increase in the fall? Or for you, is it comfort foods like mac ‘n’ cheese or greasy french fries?  

It’s a common problem, whatever you’ve been happily munching away on all spring and summer now seems unbearable once the first chilly breeze starts to blow. This is especially true if you’ve been following a new diet plan…falling off the wagon seems way too easy right now.

The reason is simple – your body is asking you, as politely as it can, that it would like a bit of a diet change.

And if you don’t listen? Then your body may start getting a bit louder and all of your favourite cravings will become absolutely irresistible. Your body always gets what it wants eventually.

As the weather cools down your body is looking for foods to warm it up. Cold summer foods like salads and watermelon no longer feel as good as they did in July. They cool us down even more, which can lead to a craving for sugar to stoke our internal fire.

In the not-so-distant past, we only had access to seasonal foods. Strawberries were only available in June, and apples were only available in the fall/winter. Now our grocery stores are stocked with every food we could imagine and so we need to go shopping armed with a bit more information.

Fall/Winter warming foods become more important as the season progresses. September can still be warm enough for a salad, but by October a nice warm stew is much more attractive.

And a warm, cooked meal full of winter veggies like squash, potatoes, and carrots are what your body is looking for at this time of the year. It’ll warm you up from the inside and feed your body the natural starches that can pick up your mood on a cloudy day. 

You may also feel your sugar cravings are much lower and that the cold weather is a bit more pleasant. You’re warming up from the inside out.

You might be thinking, but…aren’t we supposed to eat salads and raw veggies? Aren’t they the healthiest foods for us? I’m looking to lose weight, so don’t I need to eat salads? The answer is, yes and no.

Salads are beautifully healthy for us IN SEASON. But, in the middle of winter, they can increase your cravings for refined sugar and flour (which offsets the health benefits of the salad) and may bring down your mood. 

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It’s only been in the last few decades that we’ve had summer vegetables available in winter. Our body doesn’t change very quickly, and can’t quite understand how to process them when it’s cold outside. And they must be shipped a long way away, from warmer climates to get here, so the nutritional level is much lower than it is in the summer.

The best way to feel warm, happy, and balanced this winter is by shifting your diet to warm and lovely winter veggies. These are truly glorious foods.

What if you really enjoy salads all year long? Then go ahead and enjoy them! Especially if they feel wonderfully satisfying. Just don’t force them on your body if it’s asking for something warm. 

Warming foods: cooked fruits and veggies, winter squash, cabbage, cooked tomatoes, avocado, root veggies, most beans, cinnamon, ginger, black tea, nuts and seeds, chocolate

What are your favourite fall/winter foods? Do you have a recipe that you always pull out when the weather starts to cool down? Share it below in the comments :)