Saturday, March 17, 2012

Seasonal Nutrition #4

Please read Seasonal Nutrition #1, #2 and #3" before checking out this post.

The second type of seasonality is the impact the actual seasons of the year (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall) have on nutrition.  Late Fall and Winter tend to have a drying effect on our bodies.  We also endure colder temperatures during this time frame.  The Spring tends to be wetter and warmer.  Late Spring through early Fall tends to be warmer and somewhat drying (depends on what part of the world you live in too).    

I use Ayurvedic eating guidelines (food choices) to help address this type of seasonality.  Ayurveda is a traditional medicine of India and includes food/eating recommendations based on an individual’s body type and environment (one of the first resources I read on how to incorporate an Ayurvedic principles into your diet was Dr. John Douillard’s book, "Body, Mind and Sport"). 
Salmon w/ Organic Green Beans, Sweet Potato and Squash 
For my body type (I’m actually a mix of 2 of the 3 Ayruvedic body types), it is recommended in the late Fall and Winter (my competition season), to combat the colder, dryer weather, that I generally eat warmer or spicy, more oily and heavy foods.  As a result I add a few of these items to the weekly menu:
              - CurryThai/Mexican dishes
              -  Salmon (cooked and raw)
              - Pork
              - Raw milk/cottage cheese
              - Bananas
              - Avocado
              - Honey
              - Coffee
Raw Milk is your friend
Green Curry w/ Tofu and Rice
Throughout the Spring into early Fall (my off-season), to combat the warmer, moist/humid environment, I need to incorporate more cooling, drying (mainly in Spring though we’re very humid here in the Summer) and light foods.  Here are a few examples that are my ‘warm’ season staples:
              - Buffalo
              - Yogurt
              - Grapes
              - Raw Vegetables
            o   Cucumber, Broccoli, Celery, Kale, Spinach
              - Sprouts
              - Apples
              - Blue Agave
              - Tea
Lightly Sautéed Chinese Green Veggies 
As a clarification, I eat these foods year-round, but increase or decrease the frequency of eating them depending on the season.  So just because it’s summer doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a great Thai dinner; just not every day.  Don't mistake these guidelines for not being able to eat 'fun' foods either, just check out this meal I had at a breakfast meeting from last week:
Coconut Pancakes w/ a Fried Egg
So good!
With this type of seasonality I need to combat the environment’s effect on my body and it’s systems.  I actually enjoy making the seasonal changes as it matches my views on eating from local (and organic) food sources.  By efforting to eat local, I have many of my seasonal diet changes made for me. 

If you have any questions about the last 4 posts on nutrition or you’re interested in getting help with your nutritional plan, send me an email.  Don’t let a diet that doesn’t match your seasons or less-than-stellar eating habits keep you from reaching your goals and becoming a true Mountain Athlete.
Seven Springs 24 Hour Race
*Note* - The topics covered in this and previous posts should not be taken as a recommended nutrition program and are not intended as such.  Consult with a professional to get an accurate nutritional plan that accounts for your specific needs and goals.

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