There’s something so cozy about the taste of fall. Hot and spicy drinks in hand-warming mugs, decadent pumpkin pies, and crisp apple streusels all offer a level of comfort unmatched by foods from any other season.’Tis the season for food, football, and pumpkin spiced everything—and none of it needs to affect your waistline!
I know the transitions from summer to fall is always the roughest. Summer is prime time for eating light, being active, and spending lots of quality time outdoors. It’s easy to slim down and stay on track without putting in very much effort. And then fall comes around and things just feel, well, slower. The air chills, the food gets heavier, and the motivation to get moving—especially outside—is at reduced levels.
But before you lose your mojo, I’m here to remind you of all the amazing things that fall brings (hello changing leaves, football Sundays, pumpkin patches, and fall baking) and how you can use them to your advantage to stay on track, stay healthy, and not let the never-ending PSL temptations get the best of you!
Go For the Canned Pumpkin
We know that fall means that pumpkin season has commenced. A great way to get your fix? “Canned pumpkin is a fabulous source of potassium and Vitamin A. Add it to oatmeal, pancakes, overnight oats, and soup to add that signature pumpkin flavor.
I did a post all about canned pumpkin and the different ways you can use it for weight loss and baking Click Here
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis
This is the energy we expend each day for everything that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like activities. We are specifically talking about the non-exercise activities that we would normally perform on a daily basis. I’ll do a whole separate post dedicated to N.E.A.T. Basically, it’s the way to sneak exercise into your day without actually exercising. And the perfect way to stay N.E.A.T this fall? Raking up those leaves, walking around the farmer’s markets, fall markets, and pumpkin patches. Bonus: Squeezing in regular exercise.
Cube Your Butternut Squash or Sweet Potato
To ensure that those fall veggies get used and don’t just sit on your counter. Spend the extra money on pre-cut butternut squash cubes or sweet potato cubes; they’ll make you more likely to just empty them onto a cookie sheet, coat with avocado oil and cinnamon, and bake. I find that if I buy the actual squash or sweet potato, I’m too lazy to actually chop them up! You can also buy them precut.
Bake Your Pears
Fall fruit is delicious when baked—, especially pears. Baked pears are a scrumptious, light treat. Halve pears, scoop out the core, stuff with walnuts and figs and cacao nibs, coat with honey, and bake in the oven. Then, top them with full fat organic Greek yogurt and cinnamon. Delish! You can do the same thing with apples!
Take advantage of berries being cheap and in season by buying them in bulk when they’re on sale and freezing them immediately. Only some of the vitamin C may degrade and then you have them ready and on hand for smoothies or to melt into an oatmeal like a compote.
Get In On the Trick or Treating
Fall means Halloween—and, of course, that means candy, candy, candy. But guess what? You don’t have to stay away! Allow yourself one to two pieces of your most favorite candies per day for a specified amount of time so you don’t feel deprived.
Pre-Pay for Exercise Classes
Keep the momentum of summer activities going. Pre-pay for your exercise pack or ClassPass into the Fall—you’ll be much more motivated to stick with it after an active summer. Grab a friend so that the two of you will support and motivate each other.
Warm Up Your Smoothies
One of the most common healthy breakfast choices these days are smoothies and juices. Unfortunately, as it gets colder, those look less and less appealing. Most people don’t realize that if you have a high powered blender, particularly a Vitamix or Blendtec, you can make warm smoothies in just a few minutes. Just keep the blender on for approximately four minutes or until your smoothie is the desired temperature.
One idea is a Hot Chocolate Oat Smoothie. To make it, combine 2 tablespoons cocoa powder with 1-1.5 cups of almond milk, 1 small banana, 1/3 cup of rolled oats (soaked overnight will make it creamier), 1 tablespoon almond or cashew butter (or a scoop of organic grass-fed protein powder.
Get Your Veggie On In Advance
Cook your veggies in one big batch on one day of the week. With the root veggies being our seasonal ones right now, it’s easy to bake or steam some acorn squash, zucchini, butternut squash, and whatever your favorite veggies are, and then keep them stored in the fridge. Just pull them out and reheat, and add your favorite protein for a complete meal!
Shop the Gyms
Now that the weather may be forcing you to take your workouts inside, take advantage by checking out all the gyms in your area—including the ones that may have opened up over the summer. Try out new locations with free passes. Ask the front desk at your gym or fitness studio for a trial membership (some will do a trial membership). With the temps getting lower, you’ll be thankful that you have somewhere indoors to exercise!
Pop Some Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are brimming with benefits that range from being packed with protein, loads of dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, and they hold L-tryptophan for a good night’s sleep. Add them into your Greek yogurt or cottage cheese for an added nutritional boost.
Hike and Bike
Before it gets too frigid outside, consider outdoor activities that get your blood pumping. Hiking can be maximized by hilly terrain and the brisk air. It provides a good strengthening workout your leg muscles, glutes, and abs. Another exercise you can do is cycling. The fall season offers the ideal conditions to push to another level in your cycling routine. Plus, the cooler air is exhilarating and burns extra calories.
Autumn begs for warm tea-like possibly drinking green during the day and herbal concoctions in the evening. Another idea? A homemade ginger and turmeric brew will boost the immune system as well as help digestion.
Reset Your Clock
Get yourself some vitamin D during daylight hours and begin to set your fall/winter clock by retiring a bit earlier. Self-care is paramount as the cooler months roll around. Make sure you take time to nurture yourself. Practice more restorative types of yoga and use a richer, more nurturing oil, such as sesame oil, for self-massage or after a shower or bath.
Drink Up Apple Cider Vinegar
Tis the season for apple cider—but the best way to get your fix is in the super ACV form. Did You Know? Apple cider vinegar promotes weight loss by speeding up metabolism, reducing water retention, balancing your body’s pH balance, and aiding in digestion. And when the inevitable fall cough comes around, a spoonful of apple cider vinegar can help coat your throat and fight off bacteria.
Drink Some Veggies
I get it. You hate to eat vegetables every single day. Why not try sipping a carrot-ginger juice for a mineral-heavy drink with an autumn feel. Studies suggest that people often mistake thirst for hunger, so a vegetable juice can help fill your stomach, leaving less room for calorie-heavy foods. Just make sure you’re either making your juice at home or looking closely at the ingredients to make sure it isn’t loaded with sugar like many store-bought brands.
Unstuff Your Stuffing
Rather than feel weighed down by traditional heavy stuffing as a Thanksgiving staple, why not start a new tradition this holiday season? Replace the traditional stuffing side dish with an autumn quinoa medley full of kale, butternut squash, and other fall favorites.
Get Your Body Weight Going in the A.M.
For example, do power squats, jumping jacks, seal jacks, flings, toe touches, arm circles, and wraparounds. The idea is to increase neuro-muscular stimulation and mitigate injury during the cold weather that’s coming soon. When you begin your day this way, you’ll notice more natural energy and a vibrant pep in your step. You’ll notice you process information more rapidly and become more efficient in the workplace. Since you’ve started your day with a healthy mindset, there is a lesser chance you will want to indulge in poor food choices as well.
Skip the PSL
The second summer started to drift away, we were instantly bombarded with pumpkin spice lattes at every coffee shop. But rather than drink all those calories, there are plenty of other ways to get your fix. You can also try roasting pumpkin seeds with cinnamon and nutmeg instead. With more zinc than any other seed, pumpkin seeds help the body burn fat and balance your pH levels.
I did a post all about the PSL if you are interested in reading that after this you can Click Here
Use Football Days as Workout Days
If your Sunday and Thursdays are all about taking in the latest NFL game—while of course downing beer and game day snacks—you need to take advantage to get in a game-time workout. I suggest the following.
– Pass of 20 yards = 25 squats
– Touch down = 10 burpees
– Timeout = 20-second wall sit
– Personal Foul = 10 Reverse lunges on each leg
– Interception = 10 push ups
– First down = 15 situps
– Beer commercial = 1 Minute Plank
Find a New Way to Stuff Your PieFace
Save the pie for special occasions. When cravings strike at other times. go straight to oatmeal-stuffed baked apples. I recommend the following recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut two large apples in half and remove the cores and seeds with a small pairing knife or spoon. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of butter, one tablespoon of brown sugar, four tablespoons of quick oats, and a pinch of cinnamon. Spoon on top of the apple halves and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Warm Your Water
Drink your water at room temperature. Again, thanks to the temps dropping outside, your body may be fighting to stay in homeostasis( the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes). Even more than usual. In the summertime, a glass of ice-cold water cools us down, but in the fall and winter, a room temperature water can be less of a shock to our system because we may already be cold.
Enjoy the Fall Colors Outside
Take time each week to enjoy nature and the changing leaves and walk in your local park. This will help with reducing the amount of stress in your body, which lowers your level of cortisol. This specific production from the adrenal gland, if produced consistently, has been shown to hold onto fat. In addition to lowering cortisol levels, low-intensity levels of cardio can be beneficial for faster recovery times from your workouts and even improve cardio capacity.
In a later post, I will do a more detailed post about some fall exercises you can do outside during the fall months. If you have any ideas about some fall activities that keep you healthy and I might not have covered please don’t hesitate to reach out and I will be more than happy to cover it for you. And like always if you have any questions about today’s post or any past post please don’t hesitate in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. You can reach me at the links that i provided in the section (Where You Can Follow Me).
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