A New Year: Living with The Seasons
Following the rhythm of the seasons means being in harmony with nature, and in harmony with yourself. Man has always adapted to this cyclic and energetic movement, but in our modern society, this is less and less the case. We have lost this connection little by little and we have difficulty accepting the changing of the clock, the lack of light, the fatigue and the slow pace of winter for example. It has become completely normal for us to eat tomatoes in mid-winter, but by doing so at the wrong time of year, we are going against the grain of nature. There are some natural laws that Man ought to respect, such as the rhythm of the seasons, so here are a few explanations from a Naturopathic point of view.
In Winter, we often lack energy and strength; we feel tired and empty, and we look forward to spring and summer. This tiredness often leads to colds, infections, respiratory problems (asthma), kidneys problems (e.g. stones, infections), bladder infections, lower back pain, bad blood circulation (related to the low temperatures), tinnitus, hot flushes, dizziness and constant thirst (!). To get warm and to feel more cheerful, we indulge ourselves with good food, good wine (very enjoyable!), and that’s before Christmas and New Year when we let go of all our good efforts before making new healthy resolutions for the New Year ;-)
Therefore, we consume too much; too much salt, too much sugar, too much dairy, too much meat and too much alcohol, but not enough fibres, water and vegetables. If we have overworked organs, then the elimination process will falter and the body will be overloaded: weight gain, cellulite, cysts, various infections, fatigue. Our mind gets weaker, we feel low, we can feel anxious, become susceptible to irrational fears and even get chronically depressed.
During this season Nature invites us to rest more, and perform less physical exertion.
So, here is my Naturopathic advice for Winter:
- Seasonal fruits (citrus fruits for example) and nuts, to be eaten away from the main meals so as not to disturb the process of digestion;
- Herbal teas, adding fresh ginger for a good kick!
- Root vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, beetroots, cabbages and carrots;
- Squash or pumpkin soups;
- Winter legumes: lentils, peas, broad beans, soybeans (dry beans);
- Cereals: spelt, oat, buckwheat;
- Oily fish, full of Omega 3 for your mind: herring, mackerel, salmon;
- Vegetal milks: almond, hazelnut, rice (a little bit of goats or sheeps cheese but with moderation);
- White meat instead of red meat: if possible, not more than twice a week;
- Big sleeps, long walks outdoors, as much as sun as possible, good books, movies with a delicious hot chocolate… without guilt! Actually, we should LOVE winter…
The kidneys are driving our winter energy levels and controlling the liquids in our body. They transform and transport the organic liquids and provide the necessary energy to the bladder to transfer and regulate our micturition (urination). Therefore, it is important to drink enough water throughout the winter – something we tend to forget at this time of the year.
Here it is! The season of revival! Your liver is the most important organ during this period, as it filters the blood and is of vital importance to the bodily fluids. It nourishes the muscles when they’re in action, especially when we are in movement. It is an important for the bloodstream as it lubricates and nourishes the muscles. It has an influence on the feminine menstrual cycle. The liver makes sure that there is a good blood circulation around the body.
The liver is an important organ to sustain at spring time because its weaknesses, as well as those from the gall bladder, can show up: migraines, bad digestion, heartburns, chronic fatigue, heavy legs, gallstones, allergies, hay fever, herpes, eczema, heavy periods for women, dizziness, conjunctivitis.
My Naturopathic advice for Spring:
- Green and leafy vegetables;
- Sprouted legumes;
- Wholegrain cereals: spelt, millet, buckwheat;
- Oily fish;
- Dandelion root (it helps to cleanse the liver);
- Mono-diets: from 1 to 3 days (apples, bananas, rice) or fasting for those who feel like it, to cleanse the organism from all the toxins and fat that accumulated during winter. Be careful, those practices should not be taken lightly, and are not aimed to lose weight quickly for the bikini season. Gather some information and seek for some professional advice.
- Moderate exercise.
That’s the season many are waiting for! Unfortunately, it’s at this time of the year that we record the most cases of cardiovascular and blood circulation diseases, swollen legs, varicose veins and hot flushes. This is explained by the fact that the heart is the main organ of the season; it controls the transport of the blood through the veins, as well as the perspiration (sweat participates in the thermoregulation of the body). The heart helps to provide enough blood to all the tissues of our organism.
The blood composition can also be altered and this may provoke parasitic diseases. Blood badly filtered by the kidneys can lead to skin problems and marks, itches, skin parasites (fleas, ticks, scabies etc.), tiredness and a weak immune system.
It is also common to hear about cases of anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, insomnias, inflammations. Our emotions may be intensified, the face can easily blush and tears can easily come out; the complexion gets pale, with sensations of cold and fatigue with physical effort.
My Naturopathic advice for Summer:
- Summer fruits: strawberries, grapes, watery fruits. To be eaten away from meal times if possible;
- Intense activity early in the morning or at the end of the day;
- Foods rich in Vitamin C: crudités, salads, cereals (rice, quinoa, rye, barley);
- White fish, white meat and poultry;
- Extra virgin oils (olive or rapeseed for example).
The season of beautiful colours; it is driven by the energy from the lungs. The air that we breathe is transformed into 90% of the energy that we need, mixed with the food energy, and the remaining 10% are produced by the spleen. The Lungs are responsible for respiration and for all this energy that nourishes the tissues of our organism. Lungs are very sensitive to external pathogens carrying diseases. They control the blood vessels and the blood circulation in the heart function. They are an essential source of nourishment for the skin; revitalising and moisturising it.
In Autumn, the same diseases and infections that we thought were gone the year before reappear: coughs, asthma, lack of oxygen, bronchitis, respiratory problems, shortness of breath, insomnia, bloating, coldness/difficulty warming up. Oxygenation of the blood can be weakened, which provokes a lack of energy, a (sometimes) chronic fatigue, and sadness. Physical activity decreases, leading to withdrawal and negative moods: worries, fears, anxiety.
My Naturopathic advice for Autumn:
- Breathe as much pure oxygen as possible, away from the city;
- Activity: still quite present but diminishing a little to get ready for winter;
- Grape diet (1 to 7 days), mono-diets and fasting: to cleanse and detoxify the body;
- Foods full of minerals: courgettes, pumpkin, aubergines, grapes, berries, chestnuts;
- Cereals: rice, sweetcorn;
- Semi-oily fish: sea bream, trout.
Have a great year!