Why You Want To Eat What’s In Season: the benefits of eating foods that are in season and locally grown.
It’s said that there is a time and place for everything – the same could be said about food. Here are just some of the benefits of choosing foods that are in season.
Health: when we eat foods that are in season, we allow the produce the time to grow and fully ripen. Because of this, seasonal fruits and vegetables have a higher nutritional content.
Taste: seasonal foods are picked at the peak of freshness, so not only have the foods reached their potential nutritionally, but have also reached peak flavor as well.
Sustainability: organic seasonal foods are grown in a sustainable manner by farmers who use farming methods that not only protect our planet, but also our health. By abstaining from using toxic chemicals, poisonous pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified seeds, these farmers provide us with healthier foods.
Environment: eating with the seasons and purchasing local foods helps to protect our planet because it reduces the number of miles your food has to travel before it reaches your plate. This helps cut back on the amount of fuel used, which reduces pollution.
Economic: when you buy organic, seasonal and locally grown foods you help provide financial support to the farmers in your area, which helps to grow your local economy. Additionally, seasonal foods are much more affordable since there is an abundance of them. This will save you money on your grocery bills.
Harmony: when you eat with the seasons you are working in tandem with Mother Nature and connecting with the natural rhythms of the Earth.
The labels on all produce and foods items will tell you the country of origin. Aim to buy foods from your country or shop at your local farmer’s markets. For more information on seasonal eating, visit: sustainabletable.org/seasonalfoodguide/
There is a big difference between being physically full vs. satisfied.
Do you find yourself wanting a little something more after your meal, despite being full? It could be because what you ate didn’t satisfy you. When you eat a meal that “hits the spot,” you’ll leave the table feeling content.
Ways to increase satisfaction of your meal *Make it pretty: make your meal colorful and visually appetizing.
*Please your palate: aim to incorporate different flavors, textures and temperatures to your plate to keep your taste buds interested.
*Honor your cravings: if you’re in the mood for a warm, hearty soup for lunch, but have a salad instead, you might feel physically full, but not necessarily satisfied. So when it comes time to eat, do your best to figure out what you are truly craving and what will be most satisfying to you in that moment.
It’s helpful to understand into your food preferences and tune into your cravings. By listening to your body, you’ll gain a better sense of which foods you find most satiating, and those that leave you craving more.
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You don’t need a diet, meal plan or calorie counter to tell you when to eat. The body knows exactly how much fuel it needs, and hunger is your body’s way of letting you know when it needs more. When you have true physical hunger, you’ll experience an empty feeling in your stomach and/or feel your stomach growl. Honoring hunger means listening to your body’s signals and eating when hungry.
Just as you wait for the gas tank on your car to fall to E before filling it with more gas, let your body use up the fuel it has before you had more food to your stomach.
While waiting for hunger makes sense, there are many times we eat for reasons other than true hunger… mindlessly while watching TV, because it’s “time to eat,” because you see other people eating, out of emotions like boredom, stress, loneliness, etc., or purely out of habit. In these instances, your stomach is not calling for food, but your head/emotions are. It’s important to recognize the difference between physical hunger, head hunger and emotional hunger.
Eating for reasons other than true hunger, will likely give your body more food than it needs (which oftentimes gets stored on the body in places we don’t want it!).
If your goal is to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, or become an intuitive eater, waiting for true physical hunger before you eat is something to work towards!
So, before you eat your next meal, ask yourself, ‘Am I actually hungry?’