When we strive to live in balance with seasonal energetics, there is a source of self-empowerment at our fingertips. This is because it is strengthening the body and deepens the connection to its surroundings to learn one’s innate connection with the seasons.
When lifestyle habits are not in balance with the seasonal energetic, it can affect personal health in the seasons to come. For example: overworking (especially in the winter, when it is important to rest and rebuild energy) exhausts the energy and can make a person vulnerable to sickness in the following seasons. Often the form that the sickness takes will stem from the individual’s constitutional weakness (ex: digestive, immunity, etc.). A primary way to prevent illness is through tonifying (strengthening) the body with food, herbal medicine, and acupuncture. These methods can resolve an illness pattern, such as allergies, chronic colds and flu’s, etc.
The seasonal energetics, including diet and lifestyle suggestions, are:
- wood energy
- consume more green foods
- eat lighter meals (steamed vegetables, etc.)
- slow down and breath while eating
- drink a lot of water
- do regular vigorous exercise
- Avoid caffeine, drugs, stimulants, and fried food
- Fire Element
- red foods: such as berries and red fruits (like blackberries, raspberries, and Hawthorne berry: all are flavonoid containing foods that benefit the blood vessels)
- consume blood-building foods and teas: Nettles, etc.
- drink teas that are cooling in nature are great: such as peppermint, hibiscus, green tea, etc.
- eat light foods
- loosen up: enjoy playing, relationships, and take a vacation,
- Avoid eating large meals, heavy meats, spicy food, and greasy food
Late Summer and/or transition between seasons
- Earth Element
- orange and yellow foods: squash, yams, cantaloupe, etc
- eat bland, yet tasty and nourishing foods
- cook meals more thoroughly
- nourish your body, home, and cultivate family/ community
- Avoid complicated meals
- Metal Element
- white foods: garlic (good for immunity), onion, etc.
- build immunity and lung strength
- Continue to heat foods more thoroughly: baked foods and soups are great
- breathwork and walking (especially up steep hills) are beneficial for strengthening the lung energy
- discover what you no longer need (emotionally, physically, and emotionally) and let it go
- Avoid cold and raw foods (all year, but especially in the fall)
- Water Element
- black foods: black beans, black sesame seeds, etc
- warming tea and foods: ginger tea, black tea, lamb, etc
- deeply nourishing and warming meals: baked foods and soups, etc
- eat meals peacefully
- a great time to cultivate stillness: rest, meditate, etc.
- Avoid cold and raw foods
Although this is now merely a simple outline, it is the beginning of understanding. These seasonal energetics are a useful guide. Through observing a season’s energetics and by simultaneously listening to the body’s needs, a person is empowered to know how to care for their bodies, thus preventing illness, living healthy and in balance.