Fall is in the air. The weather is beginning to cool, the leaves are changing colors and the holidays are just around the corner. Soon we’ll be trading cookouts for baking and comfort food, and calorie counts and food intake will increase.
Meals traditionally prepared during the fall season aren’t necessarily health-conscious, though, as we often opt for heavy foods that warm up the insides, like mashed potatoes covered in gravy and hearty stews, and seasonal baked goods. Indulging in all that the season has to offer isn’t necessarily healthy, but you don’t have to say no to everything in order to stay on track with your diet and wellness goals.
There are plenty of wonderfully delicious fall foods to partake and ways to stay healthy during the season!
Don’t give up snacking. Eating small snacks throughout the day helps to keep your metabolism at peak performance. Say no to the cookies and opt for some fall produce instead. Apples are a tasty and healthy choice, rich in antioxidants and fiber, and shown to reduce the risk of diabetes and other health problems. Roasted pumpkin seeds are also a good choice for fall snacking. Pumpkin seeds promote heart health and reduce the risk for some cancers.
While pumpkin spice lattes are loaded with sugar and calories, there are other fall drinks that will give you that taste of the season you crave while still being healthy. Add some cinnamon to coffee for a boost in antioxidants. Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to fight off infection. Sipping hot tea in festive flavors like pumpkin chai will have you feeling cozy this fall. Tea can also aid in weight loss, reduce bloating and give you clearer skin.
Skip the carbs and high-calorie foods during meal time. Making healthy soups in the slow cooker during the fall will not only give off a wonderful aroma, but give you more time to relax. Adding turmeric and celery to meals aids in digestion, and adding an assortment of colorful fall vegetables like butternut squash and sweet potatoes will keep your diet on track since they are packed with nutrients like beta carotene and vitamin C. Turkey is another fall favorite, and when prepared lean and light it’s good for you. Enjoying a post-meal walk will also burn calories and assist in digestion while you enjoy the outdoor fall sights and sounds.
Of course, there are some foods that are hallmarks of the fall season and it wouldn’t be the same without them. No need to worry. Most of your favorite snacks, beverages, entrees and desserts can be lightened up and prepared with healthier ingredients. Replace creams with Greek yogurt and use stevia instead of sugar in pumpkin pie.