On this episode of The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Seasons — the natural fluctuations your body goes through during the cycles of winter, spring, summer and fall, and the nutrition, fitness and life-rhythm strategies you can use to stay healthier through all of them.
Dallas shares his simple but powerful, science-based model for eating, moving and sleeping in accordance with the seasons. Pilar offers up some insights about the value of observing nature’s ebb-and-flow patterns, rather than being driven by the non-stop madness of modern-day mass culture. Together we explore the wisdom our human bodies still carry about patterns of dark and light, warm and cold, exertion and recovery.
And of course, we wrap up with some seasonally-appropriate experiments you can run in your own life.
“Seasons” Episode Highlights
- How our human rhythms got out of sync with nature: the disorienting influence of electric lights, artificial temperature controls, jet travel, standardized daily schedules, and more (2:45)
- How the agricultural and industrial revolutions radically de-seasonalized our diet, activity, sleep and other lifestyle patterns (5:00)
- The value of embracing a nature-designed, seasonal model of health rather than a standardized, modern-era prescription (8:00)
- The biological (hormonal, neurological, metabolic, immune) effects of circadian and seasonal rhythm disruption (12:00)
- Strategies for getting back in touch with more seasonally appropriate rhythms (15:15)
- Why eating locally and seasonally is a great place to start, and why seasonal oscillations (between lighter, plant-based, higher-carb diets and heavier, meat-and-fat rich diets) can make sense (16:45)
- Why all this applies to you (at least somewhat) even if you live in a very consistent climate (21:00)
- The difference between short-term “corrective” phased eating interventions and a more sustainably healthy seasonal approach, especially for the microbiome (24:00)
- Following our intuitive appetites (rather than diet dogma) toward more seasonally appealing eating choices, and why summer is a fine time to eat fruit (27:20)
- Beyond diet, changing your exercise approach (power, strength, speed, endurance, etc.) and sleep cycles with the seasons (29:40)
- Moving beyond cultural programming and habitual repetition toward natural body wisdom (31:30)
- Observing the yin and yang energies of winter and summer, and the transitional subtleties of spring and fall (33:00)
- Dallas walks us through how he approaches seasonal eating, and why it’s actually pretty easy (36:30)
- The importance of giving yourself permission to listen to and trust your own body (38:50)
- Timing your fruit intake — and why permanently cutting out entire food groups is rarely necessary (40:15)
- A recap of the logic of the Seasonal Model (45:35)
- Recommended experiments for the week (47:25)
Take a look at how well your current food/activity/sleep programs are coordinated. Seek to correct any observed imbalances.
- Assess your diet, exercise routine, and sleep schedule. Do they complement each other and the current season?
- Brainstorm how you can better align these different factors for better results.
Look at the season that’s coming into view and consider: What is one single, relatively simple thing I could do to accommodate this shift of season?
- Trust your first instinct in deciding which specific change (an adjustment in food, activity or sleep) would be most impactful, appealing and doable for you.
- Don’t stress about integrating a bunch of seasonal changes all at once. Make it gradual. Keep it easy.
Share the Love!
Each week, we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We’d love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment on Facebook and share your stories with us there.
- Check out Dallas’s Whole9 Seasonal Model of Health (infographic)
- Get a year’s worth of seasonally-appropriate nutrition, fitness and lifestyle suggestions in “The Fitness Almanac” (featured article from Experience Life magazine)
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