Your body changes with the seasons so for optimal health, it is important to align eating patterns accordingly. In the warmer months your aim is to eat fresh, keep your body cool and keep activity light. While in the cooler months you will incorporate hearty, immune boosting foods into your meals balanced with energising, cardio based exercise.
The foods we eat and the exercise we adopt all have a role to play in balancing our health to each season.
In the season of new life, rejuvenation and the first signs of warmth reappear, spring is a time for letting go and opening up to new possibilities. Your health focus in spring revolves around movement and allowing your lifeblood energy to flow so you can keep achieving. Therefore, it is important to align your diet to spring. Leafy greens, herbs, garlic and onions are good for providing a detox and cleanse for your body – a spring cleaning for the body. Balance your cleanse with gentle exercise such as stretching, yoga or massages to encourage flexibility and unblock any tension or tight muscles.
The season of yang in traditional Chinese medicine, heat and motion in your activities. Just lie the plant life growing rapidly with the sun so too is it a time for playing or working hard. However, keep your activities light and your body cool and fresh. Ideal foods to keep your summer balance are fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, watermelon and plump tomatoes. Raw foods are a good balance to keep yourself light and refreshed in summer. To balance yang, calming exercises like meditation, yoga, mindfulness and progressive relaxation are ideal for emotional balance.
The air cools down during the autumn months and the trees provide a pleasing colour of nature as you move into the season of yin. It is a time for reviewing your goals and achievements – harvest season. It is time to start preparing your body for warmth and building up your immunity as the season begins cooling. Foods to help boost your immune system and keep you warm include pumpkin, mushrooms, warm spices like cloves and cinnamon. It is the season of soups and homemade stews. To balance the heavier, warmer meals active exercise like jogging, walking or cardio workouts will allow you to stay active and balanced.
As the cold of winter sets in, so too does the pace of life. It is a time for reflection, peace and getting in touch with your inner self. Winter is the peak of yin, so it is important to keep your body nourished with yang balancing foods. This is the season for root vegetables and meats cooked into hearty stews and soups. Although winter moves at a slower pace, it is important to boost your yang energy alive through imagination and planning.