Manhattan Holistic Chamber of Commerce President Michele Risa

Functioning at Peak Performance

Many of you have asked for more nutritional information, so wanted to share this article with suggestions for functioning at peak performance.

farm-standIn history humans have eaten foods that are grown locally and seasonally. This way of eating provides optimal nutrients, the freshest foods and foods that are appropriate for our bodies during that season.

Today, due to modern technology, we no longer eat just what is in season but we eat everything, regardless of the weather or location. But just because a certain food is available doesn’t mean that it’s the best food choice for us. If we regularly eat foods that are out of season and from various locations, this can unbalance our body and mind and negatively affect our health.

An example of non-seasonal eating is eating a raw salad in the middle of winter. This may be an optimal meal to have in the summer but in the winter it can cause internal imbalances. On a cold day an optimal meal would be a thick hot stew of root veggies and beans.

Benefits from seasonal eating include:

  • Optimal health and vitality
  • Function at peak performance
  • More energy and stamina
  • Heal illnesses
  • Create balance in the body and mind

The following are the foods that should be eaten during each season:

  • Spring- greens, citrus, vegetables, herb teas
  • Summer- liquids, fruits, salads
  • Autumn- proteins, grains, vegetables, squashes, nuts, seeds
  • Winter- fish, cooked foods, vegetables, grains, bean.

Two things affect what foods are available to us. The first is the climate in which we live.  The second factor is the daily light and dark cycle (the amount of light and dark during a 24-hour period). Summer has the longest day light and winter has the longest darkness. These cycles affect our activity level and therefore influence our dietary needs.

The solution is to align ourselves with nature and eat what nature provides during each season.  A great first step to eating seasonally is to buy locally produced organic foods.  Take notice of what foods are available during various times of the year.

Seasonal eating will actually increase the variety of foods you eat during each season and throughout the year. So experiment with new foods and create new seasonal recipes that you and your family love. You’ll find some great recipes right here!

“enjoy healthy”

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