By Victoria “Torie” Bentley
Living in Montana gives us the privilege of fresh mountain air, breathtaking mountain beauty and the freedom to play outdoors. This nirvana brings a perpetual rosy glow to the faces of those who’ve found it.
But we cannot survive on the sheer love of living in the mountains, and healthy movement requires a strong body. Choosing a diet of organic or locally grown whole foods from seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy fats and quality proteins is the prescription for preventing illness and maintaining good health.
Seasonal eating is an important part of living a holistic, balanced, vibrant, long and happy life, free of disease.
Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that eating seasonal foods similar in nature to the external environment will keep our bodies in harmony with the world around us, and help us adapt better to season change. This philosophy, which has more than 5,000 years of rich history, is commonly known as nourishing yang in spring and summertime and nourishing yin in autumn and winter.
Think back to a time when there were no supermarkets or agriculture. The only food choices were from hunting, foraging and gathering. Diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes were unheard of.
Our four seasons, broken down
Our seasons form the natural backdrop for healthy eating.
Visiting local farmers’ markets is a great way to educate yourself on seasonal foods. Include a variety of animal proteins throughout the seasons. Properly raised, handled and local is best.
The harmony between food, your body, the seasons and environment are undeniable. Allow the symphony to play and enjoy sustainable health and wellness. Be creative, and let the natural backdrop of spring, summer, autumn and winter be your guide.
Spring is a time of renewal and growth for both plants and animals. We notice the sun and walk with a spring in our step. Focus on greens, such as Swiss chard, romaine lettuce, parsley and basil. Humans need plenty of leafy vegetables and sprouts.
Summer is a fun time to jump and play. We’re all on the go, especially in Montana where the days are long, but the season is short. Enjoy light, cooling foods such as strawberries, apples, pears, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppermint and cilantro.
Autumn begins to cool things down, and more warming foods from the fall harvest fill our plates. Eat carrots, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic, nuts, seeds, pumpkin and honey. Include warming spices like ginger, peppercorns and mustard seeds.
Winter necessitates energy conservation and strength building. Warming foods also apply during this season. All animal foods including fish, chicken, beef, lamb are warming, as are root vegetables. Try carrots, beets and potatoes.
Victoria “Torie” Bentley is a certified holistic health coach specializing in lifestyle and nutrition counseling; a certified movement therapist teaching Pilates, yoga and functional fitness; and a nationally certified massage therapist specializing in structural bodywork. Her whole body wellness business is located in Bozeman, Montana. See different aspects of her business at BentleyBodies.com, xocolatl4life.com Contact Bentley at firstname.lastname@example.org