Have you ever heard the statement, “you are what you eat”? Maybe you’ve done something about it, but maybe you haven’t. I’m right there with you; only recently did I finally take heed to what that statement meant for my body (i.e. my skin, my digestion, my energy levels, my overall mood)…and I’ve had several come-to-Jesus moments with myself since then. See, I’ve no newbie to eating healthy, but I have also never held myself to true standards when it came to eating seasonally and locally. I’ve always been that girl whipping through the grocery aisles to grab the produce that’s convenient and easy in that moment.
So with a new focus on just what exactly I’m putting in my body, I knew that the first place to start was eating what’s in season. But with that, came understanding what’s truly local to me, and in turn, what’s sustainable for my community and its economy. It all began to feel a bit overwhelming and confusing, so I set out to find the basics on seasonal eating and how to do it like it’s second nature.
Fortunately, it’s easier to figure it how to eat seasonally than I thought. Below, I’ve listed a few simple, effective ways to ensure that you’re eating the best of the best, all year ’round. After reading, I’d love to hear your tips and resources when you’re eating seasonally! Cheers, Kat
No. 1…Pay Attention at the Grocery Store. You can look around your produce aisles and tell what’s in season by what’s in abundance (and usually what’s on sale!). You’ll do best by keeping your eyes peeled for dramatic fluctuations in prices, and you’ll benefit by saying no to those berries that just took a huge price jump.
No. 2…Do a Little Research. There are also great sites like Sustainable Table that take the guesswork out of it for you; it allows you to search by your state, season or produce to see what’s in season where you are. For example, in late October, here in Tennessee, we have apples, arugula, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, cucumber, kale, pears, peppers, pumpkins, radishes and sweet potatoes in season.
No. 3…Seek Out Your Local Farmer’s Market. Another easy way to ensure that you’re eating seasonally is by buying locally at your farmer’s market. I’ve talked about the beauty of farmer’s markets before, and luckily I have a few great ones near me. If you’re not sure about your own, this site helps you find farmer’s markets around you, as well as pin-point restaurants that put a focus on serving only local, organic, seasonal and sustainable food. Which is so great, because I’ve been reading about why eating organic food matters for your health and wellness, and I don’t want to sacrifice the health benefits when I go out to eat on date night.
No. 4…Sign Up for a CSA. By signing up for a subscription delivery (or pick-up) produce service, you’re ensuring that you’re eating what’s being grown in your area, days before it’s on your table. I recently had the privilege of touring one of Fresh Harvest‘s local partnering farms outside Atlanta, and it was a delight to see where some of the produce comes from that makes it in members’ weekly boxes.
No. 5…Grow Your Own Food. Even if this just means an indoor herb garden, growing your own food will put the right emphasis back on what should be on the table right now. Not to mention, it’s extremely satisfying to grow and harvest your own ingredients!