A Simple Guide to Eating Seasonally

Eating Seasonally Leaves Changing Color

Eating seasonally is essential to optimizing our body’s immune system and organ function, and here’s a guide to help you get started…

As the seasons begin to change, you might also begin to experience some other shifts/transitions occurring throughout your life. Maybe you are feeling a bit more introspective (ahh the symbolism of letting things go, just like mother nature does with the leaves in the fall). Perhaps you find yourself craving certain foods (you are over salads and now want soups, warm tea, pumpkin flavored everything and maybe even some stews). You might even begin to notice your immune system starts acting up (back to school germs anyone!?) ….there actually is some reasoning behind this!

Believe it or not, we should not have access to everything all year round (like do you really find yourself craving a fruit salad in the cold winter months!?).

How Seasonal Food Relates to your Health

In fact, the concept of “eating with the seasons” is rather popular in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Mother Nature is actually quite intuitive, naturally growing certain foods throughout specific seasons (tubers in the fall/winter, sprouts, bitter veggies in the spring right around detox time, ripe berries during the summer etc), which pair nicely with your body’s innate cravings and symptoms (aka the way your body is trying to talk to you).

In fact, in TCM, certain botanicals are in bloom or at their peak/ready for harvesting at specific times of the year, which also can align with specific organ function, as listed below:

  • Summer — Heart
  • Late Summer — Spleen
  • Fall — Lungs
  • Winter — Kidneys
  • Spring — Liver

(see more on this, below)

As a quick little refresher, your spleen deals with your immune system and your digestive tract. In fact, your spleen helps filter your blood as part of the immune system and fights off bacteria. Interestingly enough, as we transition into the fall months you might notice some more sniffles, coughs and colds creeping up (which can be a sign of a weak spleen)…..but I digress…..

If we watched the natural rhythms of nature, we would find that it naturally makes changes that are concurrent with our nutritional needs and it is a bit silly to think we should and could have access to certain foods all year round.

We now have access to pretty much anything we want, at any time of the year we want, despite Nature’s best effort to show us differently. Think about it, when you go to your local farmers market in the summer are you on the hunt for butternut squash or the ripest peaches? While the inverse can be applied, during the fall months are you going pumpkin picking or hanging out at a watermelon farm!?

I know it sounds silly, but intuitively the body knows what it wants (why Pumpkin Spice Latté season is a lifestyle for people at this point).

Some General Guidelines for Eating with the Seasons

– Fall –

Fall Vegetables - Eating Seasonally

Fall is the time of year when the temperatures begin to drop and the days get darker earlier, which makes you maybe want to stay inside a bit more (maybe get more “rooted” or grounded after a fun filled summer).

The Spleen

Since the spleen is the organ associated with this time of the year (as are the lungs), incorporating more root veggies, stews and warmer beverages/foods in general can be beneficial not only to the immune system, but also to the digestive tract (as warm beverages can be soothing for the GI tract).

If you take a look at the colors that are “on brand” for the fall they are generally various shades of deep reds, orange and brown….much like the foods that are in season, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, mushrooms, squash, beets and golden apples.

– Winter –

Winter Stew - Eating Seasonally

During the winter you might find yourself wanting to hibernate/sleep more and just generally feeling more lethargic. This can be due to lack of sunlight (lower Vitamin D levels has been associated with low mood) as well as the much colder weather.


The kidneys are associated with this time of the year.

We know that the kidneys play a role with our adrenal health (aka those glands that sit above your kidney and contribute to energy balance, hormone health, libido etc). Our kidneys also play a role in fluid balance and filtration of toxins.

Maybe you have put on some winter weight? You aren’t alone and its actually totally normal and natural. I mean if you were freezing in the winter back in the wild days a little extra body fat could go a long way as far as survival is concerned.

Eating Seasonally During Winter

The color associated with winter and the kidneys in TCM is black, so black/darker foods are actually quite nourishing to the body.

This is a great time to eat more kelp, black and kidney beans, walnuts, as well as squash, potatoes and root veggies, as well as increase your protein intake, as amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) are important for supporting the immune system.

– Spring / Summer –

Spring Summer Salad - Eating Seasonally

As the spring/summer months begin to roll around again you might notice some more “spring: in your step, perhaps you feel yourself “sprouting” up new energy, much like the sprouting of new growth (after a cold/dry/dark winter).

The Liver

So, you want to eat foods that “spring up” quickly. This could include perceivably pesky weeds (dandelions anyone?) that are actually quite beneficial for supporting liver/detoxification health.

The color associated with the spring is green and the organ is the liver.

Eating Seasonally During Spring/Summer

This would be a great time to add in more bitter plants and veggies into the diet, as well as foods that are more hydrating and nourishing (after a cold winter), such as nettle, burdock, dandelion, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, radishes and arugula.

The color associated with summer in TCM is red, which makes sense when you think about all of the different varieties of fruits, berries, and fresh Jersey tomatoes (Jersey girl over here)!

You are also likely excited for the summer because of the warm weather and longer days, which means you will want some extra energy to play outside! Again, nature knows what’s up and wants us to eat more carbs to give us that extra energy (yes, fruit and the natural sugar found in fruit, counts as a carb and you should be loving them during the summer month

A MariGold Seasonal Favorite!

Warm up during the Fall with our Ginger Spice Pecan bar!

Rich, warm spices of cinnamon, ginger and clove blended with Organic Golden Pecans! With a taste reminiscent of gingerbread, this delightfully chewy treat goes great with a warm cup of tea.

Brianna Diorio

Author: Brianna Diorio

FDN-P, Holistic Lifestyle Coach, NASM – CPT

Brianna Diorio is a clinical nutritionist and holistic lifestyle coach, as well as one of our MariGold Ambassadors.

“These bars are truly delicious and nutritious, my favorite combination!”


1 thought on “A Simple Guide to Eating Seasonally”

  1. Love the guide to eating seasonally! Do you have it in a PDF so I can save it for later use?
    Sherrie Ritter

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Shopping Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping

      How are my Protein Bars Shipped?

      MariGold Protein Bars
      Your MariGold Protein Bars will be shipped with ice and super chilled before being sent to you. We also make every bar to order so they’re incredibly fresh when they are shipped.
      Be aware that it is normal for the ice pack to melt during shipping.
      The ice pack and special liner will keep your bars chilled during their journey to you.
      If your bars are not still cool when they arrive we want you to know that they are perfectly safe to eat.

      Even the most perishable bar we sell has a 14 day un-refrigerated shelf life.

      Please visit our FAQ page for more information.
      Send this to a friend