Seasonal Diets, Adjust Yours Accordingly

As the seasons change, so do our diets. Or at least they did for thousands of years. Crops grow seasonally, so our diets would change according to what fruits, vegetables and grains were available at a specific time of the year, and in a specific region. Today, there are a plethora of food choices available at nearly every grocery store and supermarket in America. Craving cherries in winter? Chances are good one or more neighborhood store is shipping them in from the southern hemisphere. If you want cherries on your holiday table, I’m pretty sure you can find them somewhere. However, it just doesn’t feel right to me to have cherries in winter, pumpkin in spring or chestnuts in summer. When companies ship crops in from half way across the globe, you know you’re not buying the freshest, most nutritious produce.

farmers marketWhy not let the seasons dictate your diet? Every Wednesday and Saturday, there’s a farmer’s market less than 200 feet from my Santa Monica gym. You can find me there every week checking out the freshest produce and seasonal offerings. I’m a happy guy when the tomato crops start coming in. Same goes for the fall apples and summer berries. There are even a few vendors selling freshly harvested nuts and eggs picked that morning. I feel pretty lucky to have such a great bounty of fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, and other farm fresh options. I rarely need to go to the grocery store for any of these items. The thing I like the best is the changing seasons and crops. I’d feel spoiled if I always had fresh picked peaches year round. Ditto for strawberries. I’m happy when they come into season and I miss them when they’re gone.

This week I walked through the farmer’s market and found spaghetti squash. Always a favorite of mine, especially with a great tomato sauce. I rarely eat pasta, but I’m more than happy to have a great big bowl of spaghetti squash pomodoro. As the weather gets colder, I look forward to butternut squash soup and roasted yams. These are some of my favorite fall vegetables. I probably wouldn’t feel nearly as nostalgic if they were available every week.

Allow me to present a challenge to you: Get out of your eating rut. Start eating seasonally. Go to your local farmer’s market and pick out fresh vegetables and fruits each week. You’ll start to see the crops changing as the seasons do. Ask the vendors what they recommend. Try new or exotic looking produce. Many of the vendors will have great recommendations on how to prepare all of their crops. Some of them even have recipe sheets they’re happy to give you. Just ask; you’ll be pleasantly surprised. With fresh fruits and vegetables you’ll have a lot more healthy options for your meals and burn a few extra calories walking around the farmer’s market.

Fresh, organic produce is hard to beat. And farmer’s market fresh crops are generally much tastier and more nutritious than anything you can buy at the grocery store. Not surprisingly, they’re also more affordable. Think about it, you’re buying directly from the farmers and helping support their smaller businesses. Everyone wins.

Contact me today to create a nutrition plan that helps you reach your optimal fitness goals.

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