Sunday, March 4, 2012

I'm hungry, it must be Autumn

I've had a rough couple of weeks on the sugar free train. I've stayed fairly controlled, but it's been hard yards. At first I thought it was because my husband had returned home and whilst I was high-fiving myself for keeping the chocolates in the pantry unopened, was I also seeking rewards for my efforts?

I wouldn't say I have been craving sugary food, I've just wanted to eat everything in site. Sugar filled or otherwise. From early in the morning, right up until before bed, I've been anxious and ravenous. 

It got me thinking back to my yoga going days and my instructor, who was very focused on what happened to our bodies, our energy and our appetites as the seasons changed. So I did some googling to see if I could let myself off the hook for all my late night binging. It turns out cravings when the seasons change is fairly common. It's believed to be our body's way of communicating the need for different nutrients.

Bcmom Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Chinese dietetics believe that our body's internal processes follow the external changes of the season and that we need to design our eating habits and food choices around the seasons.

We've just come out of Summer, where according to the Traditional Chinese Medicine, I've been right on target by eating spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, yoghurt, lemon and green tea (other things they suggest for the Summer diet are rabbit, wheat beer, mussels, endive hearts, apple, melons, oranges, pineapples and pears.). These are all cooling foods that disperse heat and build up fluids.

As we move into Autumn our energy decreases. During this time we need to support our bodies with warm foods such as oats, millet, corn, rice, carrots, leeks, radishes, cauliflower, beef and lamb. Garlic, cinnamon, chilli, onions, and ginger are also beneficial during this time for stimulating circulation to help us handle the cooler weather. 

Now in all honesty, I can't say I have been craving a bowl full of rice. But I guess it's likely that I have been seeking out foods to stimulate my circulation. 

So to cope with the current climate of my body wanting more food than usual (I didn't think this was possible) I've had a big Autumn cook up today. To carry me healthily though the week I now have some lovely seedy gluten free bread, some braised Autumn Vegetables (with those warming foods - ginger, garlic, onions) and a zucchini and almond loaf (with cinnamon and nutmeg).

Even the smells in the house made me feel warm and happy!

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