Seasonal Vegan

by jane arie baldwin

My fall garden offerings

My fall garden offerings

I start to feel the change of seasons at the end of summer.  While the hot August heat still pounds down I begin to feel the rhythms of the fall season in my bones much like the creaking bones of arthritis foretell of rains to come.

I’ve eased up on dairy, wheat and eggs in the last few years and don’t suffer from the seasonal allergies that I once had — before Claritin was over the counter.  When I felt a pang of fear every time I got to the bottom of a bottle and called my doctor in a panic for a refill. Back then the steroid nasal sprays, the Benadryl, the Claritin made no promises that they would work all the time.  Indeed they worked the least when I needed them most — when I wanted to pair wine with cheese or margaritas with queso — it’s as if those drugs ignored my frazzled yet humble requests for help.

Now days I follow the “Everything in moderation, including moderation,” rule. This saying is my reminder that there is no panacea for health. It reminds me to know my own body and do what I have to do to keep it in balance. I’ve noticed that in the fall and winter my body seems to be more sensitive to temperature and barometric pressure.  After radiation treatment for cancer many years ago my body does not retain heat and I feel cold most of the time, especially in winter.

To bring my system in balance in the winter I opt for more healing foods – baked root vegetables or soups.  I avoid dairy, wheat, eggs, and sugar in the cold weather months.  Also I cook my vegetables to aid in the digestion process, even salad greens I will toss in a pan for a few seconds. Raw vegetables, like dairy and sugar create mucous in the sinuses and I’ll do anything to slow that process. Every little bit helps in the winter as the majority of my energy is spent staying warm.  I’ve noticed though that once I shifted my diet, choosing to eat seasonal foods and curb my intake of hard to digest foods such as wheat and dairy my body changed. I no longer suffer from seasonal allergies or have to rely on allergy meds to get me through the day.

In the winter months I must put in extra effort to create balance in my life. For that I must practice being a seasonal vegan.  The cold and dry climate of fall and winter require me to make adjustments to my spring and summer routine. I have to tweak some of my everyday habits to maintain optimal health so that I’m not just surviving in the winter but prospering in a cozy and comfortable environment both inside and out.

Do you have seasonal routines that help make you comfortable and keep you in balance? I’d love to hear about them.