Now: We are now in the fifth or transition season between seasons according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is often called the Earth element season. It runs until August 6 when energetic Fall begins.
In Chinese medicine, our bodies are microcosmic mirrors of the world, themselves small worlds containing all the energies and elements of the earth, fully connected to our environment whether we live accordingly or not.
Our organ systems, our emotional beings, our energies, even our personalities will reflect the color, the energetic characteristics, the flavors, the sounds, the tastes, the direction and the striving for certain perfections of the season.
Because we are so intrinsically connected to our environmental world, our bodies must change as our environments changes.
Now, in the transition season of late summer (according to Traditional Chinese Medicine), also known as energetic Earth season, our diet should be one of building and toning and mild tasting simple foods are best. We need more fat and proteins than with the previous summer diet. We might be experiencing more of a craving for sweets at this time, so choose smart sugars as listed below as much as possible.
Here are some of the best naturally sweet foods to eat during energetic Earth season:
- sweet potatoes
- kidney beans
- string beans
“The Earth Element has a strong influence over the fifteen days surrounding each of the two equinoxes and two solstices (7-1/2 days before and after). These are neutral buffers between the seasons, which change at the equinoxes and solstices. These interchange periods represent pivotal pauses in the light patterns we experience from the sun, the center of our solar system… To attune with the seasons, choose some foods for each meal that harmonizing and represent the center–mildly sweet foods, yellow or golden foods, round foods, and/or foods known to harmonize the center… – Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 1993.
Season your food minimally with onion, leek, ginger, cinnamon, and fennel. It is now time to begin purifying and cleansing after a season of summer fun and indulging.
Now that we know what to eat, it is also important to acknowledge how we eat them. With stomach and spleen being the organs of the system, we want to assist them to function most easily by practicing more deliberate eating, chewing and digesting. Eat more slowly and with consciousness. Pay attention to portion sizes also.
Take a short rest after eating and follow it with some sort of movement. A simple short walk will assist digestion.
Late summer is associated with community and mealtime. Share meals with friends in the open air, if possible, and take a walk en masse.
Our digestion represents and is located in the core center of our bodies. When the stomach and spleen organs are balanced and healthy we obviously will be full of vitality and energy. As a result, we will be more productive in our work and able to fulfill our responsibilities.
If our digestion is out of balance with the Earth season, we will experience fatigue, lethargy, lack of motivation and stuck behavior that prevents us from being truly creative.
Poor digestion and imbalance with Earth will show up as nausea, abdominal bloating, loose stools, loss of appetite.