Monday, September 3, 2012

Changing Seasons, Changing Foods?

I remember when Labor Day was the day the fashion mavens said to put away the white shoes, clothes, the summer sandals and the shorts and clam diggers/capri/crop pants. If you wore white after labor day you were committing a fashion crime.  If you must wear white it was supposed to be a 'winter white,' a subdued, lovely color that lacked the bright dazzle of the crisp pure whites. 

Then the fashion rules changed a bit (depending on who you talk to) and people started wearing what they wanted when they wanted to wear it - although it is still unusual to see someone in the northeast wearing crisp white in November, outside a wedding ceremony.

When I moved to Florida I gave up even pretending to follow the fashion rules. The sandals almost never go away here. Pants of all lengths are worn year round. Winter white is hard to find, even in December. I wear what makes me feel good. I buy new clothes that make me happy. If I am not smiling from ear-to-ear when I put it on, I do not buy it. Why should I purchase or wear it if it does not please me to have it on?

This is not a practice I can carry over into my food. I cannot necessarily eat what makes me happy or makes me feel good. I do not always smile at my dinner plate. My food does not have to please me in every way. Granted, I do not eat foods that make me gag however, I do choose my food in relation to what is good for me over what the sensation of eating it will do for me. I have to eat this way. I am a food addict and the changing seasons does not change who I am. I do eat more hot foods in the fall and winter and less cold dishes - but that does not change the basic makeup of my foods. 

The pancake part is what can
get me into food trouble
In keeping the pounds off I notice that the seasons remain Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, not Cookie, Chocolate, Ice Cream and Pie. Once upon a time, I saw every change in the weather as an opportunity to indulge in seasonal foods. Gratefully, I have learned to pause and think about what is really changing - weather - not me. I am not saying I never ever eat a cookie or a soft-serve cup; I just cannot think of the seasons in terms of my food. My wardrobe can change but my pantry remains fairly consistent. 

How do you stay on track with your food plan when the seasons change? 



Norma said...

Same mantra as you, Jane:

I enjoy what I eat. But I do not eat everything I enjoy.

Therein lies the difference. I choose to eat the clean foods that are going to benefit my body -- and, fortunately, I've always loved "good" foods -- I was never a kid who wouldn't try things or refused vegetables or anything like that. I, of course, also enjoy junk foods that run the gamut from donuts to nachos...but I choose not to eat them. The seasons don't really affect my eating other than getting to have certain kinds of produce (going apple picking in New England in the Fall, stuff like that). Holidays are what they are: rare, isolated occasions where I will eat small one-time portions of foods that aren't normally in my life the other 358 days of the year. I do feel that I've been in control of that "must have what others are having" or "fear of missing out" behavior that leads to complete abandon with eating for a while now. So it no longer worries me. I do not wear white pants, however, no matter what the calendar says. ;)

Vickie said...

This is how I have written on this topic over the years:

I would never say to a 2-4 year old - do you need to go potty? Instead I would say - do you want to go in the upstairs potty or the downstairs potty? (in other words, you are going potty).

Same way - I do not say to myself - what in the whole wide world do you want to eat? Instead I say to myself - do you want green beans, broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts or all four? Do you want them hot or cold? Do you want to eat them on the nice blue plate or in a glass bowl? Do you want to eat them with your fork or fingers? (I am very fond of fingers).

Good post.

Caron said...

My pantry will once again include oatmeal when it gets cooler and it sounds good once more. My fridge has different fruits and veggies depending on the seasons and the prices.

I'm pretty happy eating the same things day in and day out but I also do include a treat here and there especially during the holidays. Cranberry pie comes to mind. It is a Christmas Eve tradition that I do not turn down.

Joan said...

I'm always happy to see the first asparagus, baby spinach leaves, tender young radishes and strawberries in the spring. Summer is for peaches, different salads, berries and watermelon. Melon replaces grapefruit as my morning fruit in the summer. In the fall I am happy to find fresh, crisp apples again, and all the different squashes. Oh, and I forgot-- tomatoes and zucchinis in the summer-- I fill my freezer with portions of home-made ratatouille, tomato sauces, and other vegetable sides to get me through the winter. Because although I love beets, parsnips and other root vegetables, winter is long when you eat by the seasons...