It’s my favorite time of the year again, Fall. It’s also a great time to re-dedicate yourself to a healthy outlook. The change of season means cool and sometimes frosty mornings, a spectacular foliage display, the hum of chainsaws, and the return of our favorite fall sports. Typically, it also means a shift in our diets. As the temperatures fall we tend to change from the lighter dishes of summer, such as salads and grilled fare, to heavier foods such as chowder, casseroles, and roasts. The season may also have you heading out to a fall fair, and the not so healthy food that comes along with them.
If the thought of this has you reaching for your stretchy pants and loosening your belt, don’t despair because we have three tips for you.
Don’t hibernate when the temperatures plummet. I challenge you to bundle up and go outside. Try taking a walk in your neighborhood or explore a local hiking trail. Gather some friends for a pick-up game or convince them to help rake your yard. I love the feel of the crisp air, knowing I’ll be returning to a warm and cozy home. If you are unable to tolerate the cold, take your activity inside and make use of a local gym, home exercise equipment, exercise videos or walking at the mall or another large store.
Try lightening up your favorite fall comfort food recipes. Below is a guide to help with recipe modifications adapted from the Mayo Clinic.
Recognize and Analyze
Recognize food cravings and try analyzing why you might be having them. Are you at your favorite fall fair where you always get fried dough and now find yourself standing in line unable to resist the craving? Before reaching for your wallet try stopping and asking yourself if you are physically hungry. If not, walk away. Do you know you’ll be in a situation with tempting yet unhealthy foods? Try eating a healthy snack or meal before attending. If all else fails and you do find yourself with that large piece of fried dough in our hand, try sharing with others to help decrease the portion size.
I hope you enjoy the beautiful fall colors and can get outside to recreate in the cooler air. Try incorporating additional vegetables into your meals and using healthier ingredients in your favorite dishes.
Have a happy and healthy harvest season!