Living with the Seasons

It can be hard to tell, but we are in the Winter season. In terms of Yin and Yang, the Winter season is considered the most Yin, the Yin within Yin. The climate, or weather, associated with the Winter season is sort of obvious: cold. Autumn was the time of harvest, and Winter is the season of storage; it is the season of hibernation. Learning how to live with the seasons is as simple as knowing the differences between them and living to balance their effects on the body. Learning to live with the seasons helps our body stay in balance with the environment and keeps us healthier through the year.

Winter: Early to bed, late to rise?

While, as animals, we do not hibernate per say, we can still follow along with nature and the day/night cycle. The sun provides us energy and light to engage in our daily activity. During Winter, the sun sets earlier and rises later. While we do have artificial light to help us through the season, nature provides us with the important key: the day during this time of year can and should be shorter. The shorter days can protect us from the harsh and cold weather of Winter and helps us recuperate from (and get ready for) the past (and coming) longer days of Summer.

It’s cold outside, eat to warm the inside

Diet is another important way to live with the seasons and the perfect way to balance your body with the external environment. The key word is BALANCE! Salads are great, but does it sound like a salad, which is uncooked and cold, is good to balance the cold weather? A raw, cold salad is the best way to balance the heat of Summer! Warming foods such as soups, stews and prepared foods are the best way to provide balance and warm up the body during the Winter months.

Diet should also be viewed not just in the preparation of the food but also the food we eat. Nature gives us the right food to eat for the right time of year. Though we have more options these days with conventional farming practices, the idea is to try to eat what nature provides through the year; that is why there is summer and winter squash. Here is a website that can give you the rundown of the seasonal offerings for any state.

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