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Soup’s On: Why Eating Seasonally Is Good for the Body

Sarah Love

Each Nia class begins by setting a focus, stepping in, and warming up before we get moving, cooling down and stepping out. The cycles leave us refreshed, energized and ready for the next step in our lives. Delicious!

Eating seasonally and locally as much as possibly also has a very similar effect on our bodies.

In the summer our bodies want lighter foods like salads. In the winter something warm like soup. Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines advocate living in harmony with the seasons. Finding the balance between the external and internal keeps us fueled and healthy. What other benefits are there to eating seasonally?

Costs Down, Quality Up

When you can buy food at the peak of supply, you save money. In the spring asparagus will cost $1.99/lb; in the winter $4.99/lb.

The shorter the distance the food has to travel to your plate, the lower the cost and the greater the quality. Eating locally also leaves a smaller carbon footprint, which is a way of measuring the amount of carbon emissions to truck the food to your grocery store.

Did you know that lettuce loses 46% of it nutrients within 7 days of cold storage?

More Variety

In each Nia class you can have a Nia Experience but the variety of teachers, styles, foci and intentions is huge. Eating seasonally gives us more variety, too. How many lettuces can you get in the summer? Or how many varieties of apples in the fall?

Whatever the season, it’s always a good time for soup. Soup can easily be adapted for the season, your dietary needs and what you have on hand.

Here in Seattle, it’s still winter and a good time for hot soup.

A Basic Soup Recipe

Check your larder and refrigerator and consult your body to see what you’re in the mood for eating. Like paying attention when you dance Nia. This simple recipe can be modified to suit your tastes while using seasonal foods.

Sauté an onion in 2 T of oil and brown

  • You choose the type of onion and oil. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Chop a carrot or two and a couple stalks of celery and add to the onion

Add 6-8 cups broth

  • If you’re adding meat or fowl, this could be beef or chicken stock that you can pick up in handy cartons. For vegan or vegetarian, add a vegetable stock.
  • If you’re going for a cream soup, add less broth, then milk or cream the last few minutes of cooking.

Add your imagination – and what’s in the cupboard - express yoursel

  • Potatoes and kale make a great soup.
  • A variety of beans – kidney, garbanzo, cannellini
  • Leftovers like chicken and rice can be used
  • If using a grain like rice or noodles, think small. A quarter cup of uncooked rice goes a long ways. Grains swell in liquid and you’ll have more of a casserole than a soup if you go heavy on the grain.


  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For a pungent soup, add chili flakes or a Serrano pepper – especially if you’re adding beans.
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg in a squash soup
  • A dash of white wine is good in chicken noodle or red wine for beef.
  • Herbs like thyme, oregano, or cilantro – fresh or dried. Finely chopped parsley binds the flavors in a soup.


When all the ingredients have cooked and you’ve got the taste you want, set the table. Add a nice bread and salad and invite others to join you in a bowl of fresh made soup that’s good for your body, your wallet and the environment.

You’ll find plenty of soup recipes online that use the seasonal crops in your area that will keep you warm in the fall and cool in the summer. Bon Appétit and Happy dancing!