Spring, summer, autumn, winter...don’t you love the four seasons?
What would you say if I told you there was a fifth season to enjoy?
Yes indeed! According to Traditional Chinese Medicine there is a season between summer and autumn, called harvest season or late summer. It runs from late August through the autumn equinox. This is the bountiful time of year when crops are ready to be harvested and fruit trees are heavy with their delicious gifts.
An important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine is looking to what types of foods best nourish and sustain us at different times of the year. Chinese food therapy prescribes different foods based on color, taste and medicinal action for each season. By eating seasonally appropriate foods during the late summer season, we are practicing preventative medicine, ensuring that we will feel healthy and strong during the fall and long Minnesota winter.
So what types of foods are best for us during late summer?
Well, let’s think about our environment and how it affects us. Take for example a hot sunny day during the peak of summer. What kind of food would you be hungry for? What would keep you cool and refreshed? A warm bowl of gingery squash soup? Or a nice refreshing slice of watermelon? Hmm...I’ll pick the watermelon, thank you.
But as the season shifts from the muggy and hot days of summer to the warm days and cool nights of late summer, suddenly watermelon doesn’t sound as appealing. However, that gingery squash soup on a cool night? Yes please!
In Chinese medicine each season is associated with a color and taste. The color associated with late summer is ORANGE. Think pumpkins and all the varieties of orange fleshed squash that are available at this time of year. These are truly the perfect late summer vegetables, both because they are orange but also because they are SWEET, and sweet is the taste associated with late summer. So that bowl of creamy squash soup is the perfect thing for the late summer, and maybe that’s why it tastes so good at that time of year.
Want to learn more? Grab your squash and join me, Leah Fifield, L.Ac. for a fun and informative discussion about Chinese Food Therapy for the Autumn on Wednesday, September 14th from 7-8:30pm at NE Community Acupuncture and Wellness Center. You’ll get twice the info since we’ll be discussing both the late summer and autumn seasons! Sign up online at http://www.necommunityacupuncture.com/workshops/. I will also perform a cupping demo. Learn how everyone (not just Olympians) can benefit from this wonderful therapy.
Hope to see you there!
Leah Fifield L.Ac.