Metabolic Cycles & Seasonal Transition: Do you feel the winds of change?
Spring is almost upon us. Here in Michigan we've been given sneak previews of warmer days, the sunshine whispering its return is imminent.
As these days get warmer, it feels almost as though we're exiting a deep sleep and finally waking into the morning hours of a new day.
Actually, that's exactly what is happening- at least within our bodily clocks anyway.
Remember how we talked about circadian rhythms a couple of posts ago? (read it here) The body runs on a 24-hour cycle. The body also adapts seasonally. Think of how a bear prepares for Winter, hibernates, and returns to normal activity in the Spring. If you have kids and want to explain this concept to them, The Bear Snores On is a phenomenal teaching tool.
Our bodies, being mammals like bears, actually regulate in a similar fashion. As Winter approached we entered an insulin-resistant state for the purpose of using the fuel we had in periods of less food. While we do not suffer from lack of food during the Winter months, our bodies still maintain this cycle.
Our central nervous system is in control of our peripheral fuel metabolism functions like: liver glucose, lipid metabolism, adipose metabolism, muscle physiology, pancreatic insulin, glucagon secretion as well as our cardiovascular biology. (credit)
All of the bodily functions listed above contribute to the feeling of hibernation we undergo during the Winter months.
As Spring approaches, our bodies transition into an insulin-sensitive state in anticipation of the growing season and an abundance of food. And then it's spring is a teaching tool for seasonal change.
Spring brings all kinds of change for our environment, our mobility ability, and our bodies. For people who suffer from diabetes, this transition can be definitively felt if you use insulin as your main source of treatment. Blood sugar levels will feel noticeably lower in the Spring, and can give a hypoglycemic feeling.
How can I support my body during the seasonal transition?
One of the first steps is listening to your body. Do you know what lower blood sugar feels like even if you're not diabetic? Common symptoms include lightheadedness, shakiness, sweatiness, increased heartbeat, and hunger.
A second step is to begin shifting the foods you eat from hearty stews, and filling dishes that the body is drawn to during winter months to lighter meals more often. Filling the body with nutrient-dense foods is important year-round, but the kinds we eat shift accordingly.
Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodles keeps up appearances by including the healthy fats of the avocado. Pair with steak or chicken as a protein source and you won't be left hungry and you'll be supporting your metabolism.
We still have a few cold days left, it is Michigan after all. The cold days that you find yourself craving something warming- try Baked Cod in a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. As fancy as it sounds, it's equally as easy. The sauce can be made ahead of time.
If you want to up your Iron, Vitamin C, & greens intake without eating a salad, this Vibrant Green Soup is here to deliver. Charged with micronutrients, it comes together quickly and has all the flavors of Spring.
Each of these three recipes are diabetic-friendly, adaptable for different diets, and all-around delicious. Listening to your body has benefits, supporting it nutritionally gives you the chance to operate optimally.
Want more customized recipes? A grocery cart ready for you filled with the things you need?
Check it out here. 👇🏼