how to eat seasonably + an Earth day intention

Happy {day before} Earth day, my friends!  One of my personal nutritional goals these past few years has been to learn more and discover how to naturally flow with the seasons (including diet-wise) – and Earth day is good reminder to reboot these intentions and realign my values.  In light of this wonderful day celebrating the beauty of our planet and the incredible environment it provides, let’s talk about how to incorporate more of a sustainable nutritional blueprint by eating in tune with the seasons!

First of all, what are the benefits of eating seasonally?

Eating “seasonally” allows for a greater variety of foods consumed, which results in a larger diversity of vitamins + minerals working their magic in our body, so to speak.  Freshly harvested food provides not only a higher nutritional profile, but also a more powerful flavor than that particular food’s “off-season.”    Being FORCED to eat seasonally, as our ancestors were, requires us to forage for plants in nature and cultivate crops that can only survive under certain environmental circumstances – meaning certain foods (fruits, veggies, herbs, etc) were only available at specific times of the year.  Therefore, we adapt to learning how to cook new (to us) foods in a creative fashion.  And if you buy into the whole cultivation thing and take all of this seasonal eating seriously, it can foster the mind-body connection piece to create healthy relationships and rhythms within your dietary patterns.

From an environmental standpoint, eating with the seasons helps support your local farmers and encourages sustainable food practices.  Added bonus – this will also save you some cash moneys!  Notice at your grocery store when certain produce goes on sale – this is usually because there is an abundance (yay!) of that particular food item because of it’s in-season-prolific-creation, so the grocery stores need to move it through quicker than usual.  And last but certainly not least, it forces you to sharpen your culinary skills.  If you did some sort of challenge to eat seasonally for one entire year (anyone up for it?!), you would be shocked as to what some of your options are during certain times of the year.  However, not impossible!  This is why I love opting into co-ops and CSA bags – you PAY for things you would quite possibly never purchase in a grocery store, but OH WHAT A FUN WAY TO GROW!

Now for some tips on how to eat seasonally….

My first and favorite is sign up for a local CSA bag (Community Supported Agriculture)!  You can visit this site to search for a CSA in your area.  Some may even provide a delivery service for a small charge!  We use Guilford Gardens in OKC, and it is delivered to our home on Tuesdays every other week.  (They also have a weekly option!).  Each week we get a fun variety of veggies, fruits and herbs, occasionally eggs and ALWAYS a freshly prepared soup and dinner entree made with fresh produce.  WINNER!  This week (first of our Spring opt-in) included red chard, sweet potatoes, green onion, radishes, 2 other leafy greens, gluten and dairy free veggie minestrone soup and vegetarian lasagna!

Of the above pictured, I honestly would have only every purchased the sweet potato and (just one) type of leafy green, but you bet your bottom dollar I love the ability to experiment in the kitchen (even when forced to :)) The result is always super fresh and tasty, and knowing that it was all cultivated from a labor of local love adds an extra layer of yummy.

Visit your local Farmer’s Market.  Y’all, these are everywhere these days and are only getting cooler and cooler in my opinion.  Farmer’s markets are also often better priced than organic produce at the grocery store.  We love taking little Ro to the OKC farmers market on occasional Saturday mornings and walk around planning a fun Saturday night dinner with the goal to use only things we purchase at the market (including grass-fed meats!  try it – so fun and challenging, but also eye-opening!)  I also recently got to visit the downtown Dallas farmers market with one of my best friends and whoa!  It is such a fun family activity, and also great exercise!  Another favorite of mine is in Santa Fe, NM.  On a recent quick getaway there, after browsing the market for 2 hours, I was convinced that I would quit everything I was doing and move to Santa Fe and become an herbalist (Alex quickly shot that one down…)  I am still cooking with spices purchased from this beautiful and crafty market!

Purchase produce that is on sale at your grocery store.  As mentioned above, food in abundance (seasonal most likely) is likely to be at a reduced cost for a period of time.  Capitalize on that!  Get creative!  I am a big fan of going to the grocery store with a plan, but leaving room to make impulse purchases allows for adventure.

Now this one is for the birds, but planting your own vegetable or herb garden is an obvious way to eat seasonally.  Coming from a gal who cannot even keep a fake succulent {looking} alive, it is on my list of things to conquer in the next year or so.  It will be my honor to document the disaster process here so that you can follow along!  I love the idea of putting hard work and intention behind what you plant, and experiencing the cycle of life as these intentions grow along with your beautiful vine of tomatoes, later to be freshly enjoyed {mindfully} as salsa or tomato sauce!

What would your top picks be if you got to plant anything you wanted?  Mine would be cilantro, basil, tomatoes, squash of all varieties, sweet potatoes, onions, asparagus, spinach + kale.  Oh and blueberries, like 5,931 bushes of them.  And of course lets throw in a mango, lime, lemon and banana tree.  And heck why not a coconut tree too.

I hope you found this post inspiring enough to find a way to incorporate more seasonable-minded eating habits, or at least give a new, in-season veggie a shot as a prized piece of your next meal!  May I suggest an Earth Day intention (or really any day!) –  prepare one meal within the next few weeks using mostly ingredients locally purchased (local Farmer’s Market may be your best shot).  Enjoy each bite, savoring the thought that a heart-felt, inspired energy was abundant in that meal.

If you are looking for produce that is in season, here is a good resource for Oklahoma! (not promising but pretty sure coconuts are no where on this list…)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *