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Eating for the Season

Written by John Immel, Asheville, NC

Spring - Mid-February - Mid May

The spring is a watery season of warming temperatures. Snow melts making the rivers full and muddy. Warm temperatures encourage tender young sprouts and sweet sap to run in the vasculature of maple trees. Our internal landscape reflects mother nature's. Spring is a time of cleansing and renewal. Kapha fat melts away from tissues, along with toxins, and into the blood, making the blood sweet. Blood plasma and toxins are our metaphorical maple syrup and muddy river, releasing a flood of mucus in allergy season.

Summer - Mid-May to Mid-August

Hot, humid weather destroys the appetite and aggravates Pitta-Kapha rashes, irritability, and lethargy during early summer. By mid-July the body quickly dries out aggravating Pitta-Vata rashes, constipation, insomnia, and seasonal allergies.

Autumn: Mid-August to Mid-November

Cooling temperatures pull blood inward to the core as the body scrambles to protect itself from heat loss. The extremities lose access to blood and warmth, drying out the skin on the arms, legs and eventually the colon. The core of the body rich with blood, conversely, improves appetite just in time to nourish and insulate the skin with a fresh layer of fat.

Winter: Mid-November to Mid-February

Deeply cold temperatures cause cravings for rich, fatty, heavy foods from mid November through January 1st. As temperatures bottom out, cravings switch from fatty foods to ferments, including wines, sauerkrauts, and vinegars in January.

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

Spring Diet in Ayurveda
Summer Diet in Ayurveda
Fall / Autumn Diet in Ayurveda
Winter Diet in Ayurveda
Introduction to an Ayurvedic Diet
Emotional Health & Ayurveda
10 month online program starts Oct 10th
Starts Oct 2017

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I am in Northern California and we are in Summer. What diet do we follow now, please inform me?

- Jessica Fols-Woody, Benicia, CA, 08-22-11 (Reply)
It seems that the dates for each season must depend on where a person is located in the world. Here in the upper midwest, we tend to run about a month later than the dates given in this article. I think this is a fascinating approach to choosing what to eat, as well as for experiencing life more fully.
- Lee DeYoung, Madison, WI, 10-15-14 (Reply)

What is Joyful Belly?

Browse recipes and hundreds of other ingredients on this extensive educational website. Joyful Belly helps people confidently choose food that restores their healthy glow, using the ancient technique of Ayurveda. Our extensive collection of online recipes, ingredients, and articles makes health easy. To get started, take the free dosha quiz to find your Ayurvedic body type.

What is Ayurveda?

Learn about Ayurveda from the author of this article and founder of Joyful Belly,
John Immel.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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