In my forty-plus years as a natural health consultant, I’ve met many women who intentionally

attend to their health and well-being. A question I frequently ask them is: “Who or what

influences you to take deliberate action to improve your overall wellness?” Their responses vary

as much as the women themselves, but a common theme reflects their genuine motive: get back

to a simple, basic, and natural lifestyle.

They have also shared some specific attributes of a wholesome woman:

• Strength and endurance of physical, mental, and spiritual abilities

• Aging well to maintain quality of life into longevity

• Peaceful sleep for physical, mental, and emotional restoration

• A sound mind for a healthy perspective and confident decision making

• A spirit of gratitude for the blessing of beautiful health they already possess

Modern-day marketing bombards our senses with every depiction imaginable––and some not so

imaginable––enticing us to accept current trends. The world’s view promotes everything from

gaunt to gauche to almost gruesome, all in the name of wellness. To be inspired in this often

uninspiring environment of fake food, unreasonable body image, and lifestyle illnesses takes

courage.

In keeping with the theme of simple, basic, natural health advice, I find that living fully in each

season makes life exciting and easier. God created a wide variety of environments that produce a

vast array of plant foods to keep us well fed and healthy. I find the one-size-fits-all,

manufactured and boxed foods to be boring! They lack the robust colors, fragrances, flavors,

textures, and vital nutrients God’s garden foods supply to awaken our senses and keep us

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By Connie Pshigoda

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thriving. Let’s look at a brief summary of each season’s harvest to learn how we can reap optimal

health and achieve those wholesome attributes.

SPRING

Spring foods are cleansing, detoxifying, refreshing, and naturally sweet. They stimulate the

body’s gastric fluids to help break down stored fat; their high fiber content awakens the digestive

and eliminative systems and gets your body ready for a more active season. Fill your plate with

plenty of berries, dark leafy greens (like spinach), and early fruits (think cherries). Spring’s

natural foods provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. There’s no need for a fat-

flush/detox diet when you eat fresh foods in spring.

SUMMER

As the days get warmer, the body needs nutrition that helps it stay cool. Summer’s plant foods

provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. Choosing summer’s cooling foods may help prevent

heat-related illnesses. One of the heart’s many functions is to keep our internal temperature under

control. The heart gets a workout in hot climates, especially when coupled with activity. Several

summer foods are packed with the carotenoid lycopene, which is the powerful antioxidant giving

the red color to tomatoes, watermelons, guavas, red peppers, carrots, and other fruits and

vegetables. Savor a variety of summer’s colorful garden produce including cucumbers, peppers,

melons, tomatoes, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, lettuce, spinach, and so

many more.

AUTUMN

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The garden begins to wane as the weather changes. Sun-ripened produce gives way to the cooler-

temperature plants. Root vegetables (beet, carrot, potato, turnip, parsnip, rutabaga, yam, and

sweet potato), thicker-rind squashes (pumpkin, acorn, butternut, delicata and spaghetti squash)

and winter greens (kale, chard, mustard, collard, and beet greens) reach maturity in this season.

These plant foods are denser than their summer cousins and provide a storehouse of nutrients to

get your body through the fall and winter seasons. Their high nutrient, low-fat, low-calorie, and

low-glycemic index properties make them wise choices for the long season ahead without the

seasonal weight gain.

WINTER

Winter is a dormant season in the garden. Think about what your grandmother might have stored

in her root cellar. The final harvest of autumn’s garden was kept in a cool, dark, dry place to be

used for winter meals. Thankfully, our modern markets offer those seasonal crops to ease and

accommodate our full schedules and lack of root cellars. Dried fruits and vegetables from earlier

harvests may be used to add variety to an often bland winter menu. Nuts, seeds, and dried beans

provide a non-animal fat and protein source and combine well with winter vegetables. Nothing

warms a wintry day like a simmering squash soup flavored with cinnamon or cumin and paired

with a slice of freshly baked whole grain bread!

When we choose wisely from our Creator’s seasonal food sources and reduce the manufactured

food-like substances from our pantries and plates we may enjoy good health, as prayed in Third

John 1:2. Then the fad diets of the world will not entice us to spend time, money, and effort

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undoing the side effects of eating unnatural foods. Our heavenly Father does not intend for His

daughters to be chemically or artificially maintained. The world’s view offers the allure of health

and well-being, while God offers the promise of a long, full life (see Proverbs 9:11). Let’s choose

His way to wellness! 

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