Winter has hit us sooo quickly here in the Okanagan!
It feels like one minute it was 35 degrees and the risk of forest fires was through the roof, and then nek minute BAM! Snow. WTF.
The snowy hill out my kitchen window.
Now I actually don't get to complain about winter this year.
One - I chose to move back to Canada and the wintery climate. Two - I live in Kelowna, one of the milder winters that you can have in Canada. Three - I have an insulated and centrally heated house - something I NEVER take for granted after living without that for 12 years in good ol' NZ.
And Four - I am going on not one but TWO hot holidays this year. Thailand (!) for a wedding in early Dec, and then NZ in Feb. I'm super excited.
It's ok, you can say it - what a bitch, I know.
This is me, drinking coconut water the way it was meant to be drunk, in Samoa. This will be me in Thailand in 4 weeks!
Anyways, for the moment it is winter here and with that comes a shift in eating patterns.
One of my best tricks for eating well, no matter the season or the climate, is eating seasonally.
Eating seasonally is one of the best and easiest ways you can improve your health.
(In fact, if you want to get some free recipes and can't be bothered reading the rest of this post, just click that link in bold and you can get some sweet winter meals now!)
Eating what grows around you at that time of year is also cheaper, better for the environment, and supports the local economy.
Here are three great reasons to eat with the seasons!
1. It's in our DNA
From an evolutionary perspective, we have, until very recently, relied on whatever was growing around us. In the winter we ate what could be easily stored, and in the warmer months we consumed the summer abundance. Our bodies are geared towards certain foods at certain times of the year. Have you ever noticed that a big hearty stew full of potatoes and carrots really hits the spot in the middle of winter but come summer, fresh and light salads feel more appealing? That’s not an accident, that’s thousands of years of biological programming.
2. It’s fresher and better quality
Food that is in season tends to be better quality. It can be picked closer to ripeness, as producers don’t need to worry about long storage times and transportation. This means you are getting a fresher final product.
Many fruits and vegetables lose vital nutrients (such as the notoriously light, oxygen and heat-sensitive vitamin C) when they are stored for a long time.
Never mind that from a flavour perspective, by the time that winter tomato gets to you, it is a mere shadow of the food it should be.
3. It’s better for you
Eating seasonally also means that you are exposed to and eat a wider variety of produce, which has massive health benefits. Rather than just your standard cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes, you are branching out.
Eating a wide variety of produce is one of the best health insurances that you can buy.
Different plants contain different nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals (literally “plant chemicals”).
Purple anthocyanidins are found in dark berries, but also red cabbage. Brassica veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and kale contain detoxifying and anti-cancerous compounds. Tomatoes, peppers, kiwifruit and citrus all contain high amounts of vitamin C. Sweet potatoes and yams are full of Vitamin A. And beets alone contain an antioxidant called Betalain.
The only way to get this amazing array of nutrients is to eat a wide variety of fruits and veggies, and going seasonal is one of the easiest and best ways to do this!
Want some sweet winter-season recipes? Sign up to get my Healthy Seasonal Meals freebie - I will send you a set of recipes and a shopping list at the beginning of each season. Woo hoo!
We are starting with Winter - with 3 amazing meals (including a desert that is so delicious you won't even know that it's healthy).
What are your favourite ways to eat seasonally? Leave a comment below!
Got friends who need some winter meal inspiration? Share this with them!
And if you or someone you love needs some real love and guidance to help you make consistent, healthy choices, then sign up for my meal plan program Taste Success.
You are only 90 days away from a healthier, more energized version of yourself. And you're already awesome, so imagine the possibillities :)
PS - Loved what you read here? Then sign up for my weekly newsletter - where all the fun happens - and get a sweet freebie :)