Healthy Habits for Fall & Winter
Each season has its own energy. Adjusting our diet and lifestyle activities to stay in harmony with the seasonal energy can help us to stay in good health. Read on to learn the best health tips for Fall & Winter.
The Energy of Fall & Winter
Even though we live in a temperate climate here in SoCal, and don’t have extreme seasonal changes like other areas, we still do have seasons. If you think about trees that lose their leaves in fall, that gives us a clue about the energy of fall.
The energy of those trees goes down into the earth to rest and recharge in winter, to prepare for the more active growing times of spring and summer. They rest and recharge.
And that’s exactly what we should do. As the days get shorter, it’s best to follow that cycle, rest more, go to bed earlier, and sleep more.
Keep your more active times to the middle of the day. It’s easier to get burned out overdoing it this time of year.
Get good sleep. This is not the time of year to sacrifice sleep for “doing more stuff”. Remember we want to recharge our batteries to prepare for next spring and summer’s more active energy, and not getting enough rest now can impact energy levels down the road.
Dietary Tips For Fall & Winter
One of our modern conveniences that messes people up with eating is that we can get most fruits and vegetables all year. It’s best to eat what’s in season where you live.
When you see watermelons in January, they come from Chile, where it’s summer. They are not in season in the northern hemisphere. Watermelons are energetically cold, and mother nature grows them for us when it’s hot to help us cool down in hot weather. People in South America can eat watermelons in January, because it’s their summer.
If watermelons cool us down, what do you think happens if we eat them in winter? It will cool your body and make you feel colder in the cold weather.
Granted, we don’t get all that cold here in San Diego, but bodies adapt to the local climate over time. You know how we can pick out the tourists in shorts in December, when we have down jackets on? That’s because our bodies have adapted to the local climate.
If you don’t know what’s in season locally, look at the labels in the grocery store that tell you where the fresh fruits and vegetables were grown. They have to show that on the labels and packaging.
More grocery stores have sections with locally grown produce. That’s another way to find out what’s in season, along with farmer’s markets.
Foods that are in season in fall and winter tend to be denser, heavier, more nourishing, and have more substance to them, unlike the light fluffy lettuces and such that grow in summer.
To make it even easier, here’s a list of the kinds of foods in season that are best to eat in fall and winter.
- hard winter squashes: pumpkins; squashes like acorn, butternut, kabochas, spaghetti, etc.
- root vegetables like sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, onions, parsnips, beets
- dense winter greens like kale and chard
- fruits like apples, pears, persimmons, pomegranates and citrus
Sound like stew yet? It should! because that’s the other important point about fall and winter eating: eat more soups, stews, and cooked foods. Avoid salads, smoothies, and too much cold, raw, uncooked foods, as they tend to be cooling.
In winter it’s best to eat all or almost all of your food warm and cooked. Avoid salads unless it’s made with kale which is warming, unlike lettuces which are cooling.
The energetic temperatures of foods (e.g., watermelon is cold, kale is warming) is a huge topic. If you follow the rule of thumb and eat what grows in season locally, you’ll be on the right track.
Now you know the best health tips for Fall and Winter.
If you have any questions, just ask!