Welcome to The Seasonal Journal! I feel like it has been a long road leading up to this moment and up to the creation of this space. What was once a soup delivery company in Exeter, and then a blog, has slowly evolved into a platform dedicated to what I’m most passionate about: food, living sustainably and living mindfully.
I’ve always put a lot of faith into the power of food. I probably wouldn’t have created a space dedicated to it if I didn’t feel as inspired by it as I do. Until last year however, despite my love for the stuff and my healthy plant based eating habits, I didn’t really feel a deep connection between the way I was eating and living.
Being a person who has always known to feel deeply influenced by seasonal changes, the fact that there was no distinction between what I was eating during the summer and the winter was a little puzzling. I realised this was mainly due to a lack of knowledge and disconnect as to how our food grows, which I feel is really easy to have when growing up in a city and having foods like zucchini, tomatoes and blueberries available all year round. It was through gaining a little more knowledge of farming and seasonal practices that I was able to gain an even greater appreciate for food and plants.
I started adopting a more seasonal diet when living in Copenhagen. This might seem like an odd time to eat seasonally, as Scandinavian countries have a fairly depressing Winter produce yield. It was then, though, that I made some really big changes changes. When I first started adopting a more seasonal approach to eating, the thought process went along the lines of ‘when something has grown where I am, then it’s meant to be eaten”. Of course it’s not as simple as that and I would have probably had a few nutrient deficiencies if I had solely eaten the potatoes, cabbage and pumpkin that were available locally, but it was through a year of striving to live in that way, that I found the balance that’s right for me. I think there’s something really special in slowing down and letting nature do its thing, especially since we live in such a busy world in which so much as available to us whenever we want it to be- superfoods, powders, and exotic ‘health revolutionising’ fruits alike. I also found that waiting for strawberries to grow where I am, rather than buying imported ones, really re- instilled an excitement in sourcing food which can sometimes disappear in the fluorescent supermarket isles and has helped me reconnect with food when the connection isn’t there- which can happen often if you’re constantly working with food.
The two biggest lessons I learned however and that I remind myself of daily, are that there is no one perfect diet for all (sustainability, health and happiness wise) and that eating seasonally can mean different things for different people, depending on where they’re living, what is available to them and how accessible produce is. For me it means striving to eat the wonderful produce that grows around me for the majority of my diet (like potatoes, roots and greens) rather than imported produce. I still go crazy for new American vegan goods in whole foods, and incorporate non-local foods in my diet, a lot. For me, It’s more about being aware about where things come from and how things have been grown.
My aim from the start with The Seasonal Journal was to help people understand how to take small steps towards feeling more connected with the way they’re eating, and therefore living. Processing my life in terms of seasons has helped me adopt a slower pace, in a world in which we can have anything at the tap of our fingers. I do not in the slightest mean to suggest that everyone should just ditch their supermarkets and “live by the land”.
Nothing is as simple as what we see and read online, and although it would be wonderful if eating ‘seasonally’ and ‘locally’ correlated to being entirely ‘sustainable’, it’s important to maintain a holistic view in our day to day life – and it really is about feeling balance personally and embracing that we’ll never live a perfect life.
Whilst I would love to be able to rely on organic farmers markets for the entirety of my food sourcing, I’m sure many of you would agree that although sustainable environmentally, it’s not always sustainable emotionally or financially, and at the end of the game, that’s what matters the most.
Having an online audience is really incredible and humbling, but it is also very daunting. One of my biggest fears has always been that someone reading might feel like their lifestyle is inadequate just because they’re not living the exact same way I talk about living. I’ve put all my energy into making this space a source of inspiration, guidance and learning rather than inadvertently placing more limitations on people’s lifestyles.
We’re all doing the best we can, and my biggest hope is that something you read in this journal either inspires you or teaches you something, and if you’re ever unsure about something you read over here, please let me know!
All my love,