7 Easy Ways To Stay Healthy This Fall
Fall is here!
It gave us a couple fake-outs, and in some parts of the country it tried to masquerade as late summer for an awfully long time but there is finally no denying it…
Frequently chosen as the favorite season of them all, fall inspires images of warm drinks, cozy clothes, colorful leaves, crisp air and….healthy living…?
Hmmm…maybe not so much…
There’s really no reason why fall shouldn’t be about healthy living, it’s just that spring and summer are more closely aligned with health in our culture…
In the Spring and Summer we are cleansing and detoxing and dieting and drinking smoothies and eating salads and staying active and slimming down.
It’s a very complex formula. Ready for it?
More skin exposed + More time out of the house = More focus on our health
I think that must be calculus.🤓
But seriously, we tend to be more motivated to be healthy when people will see us more, and see more of us. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that!
I say, whatever it takes to get you eating healthy and exercising! (within reason)
But the problem with the above equation, is that when fall comes and we put on more clothes and hibernate a bit more, a lot of us lose focus on our health goals…
And then come January or February you tune in and realize that you don’t feel so great in your body, and your mood and confidence are suffering.
I challenge you to pay a little more attention this fall to your body, your mental state and your health in general.
A change of focus with every season is natural…But can you let the pendulum swing a bit less far? Can you keep a bit of balance and presence this season as we move into winter?
Imagine how great it would be to move into the holiday season feeling light, comfortable and strong in your body!
There are lots of different ways to do this, but I’ve just got a few (7 to be exact) quick and easy ways to stay healthy this fall. Do one, do a few, do them all!
Let’s get some good habits in place now before winter arrives!
Stock up on herbal tea
In the colder temperatures, many of us end up dehydrated because cold water seems unappealing or unappetizing...
Making a warm cup of herbal tea is easy, healthy and often more pleasant...and it totally counts as water!
Some herbs I recommend are peppermint, chamomile and ginger.
Or just grab a blend from the grocery store. I like the brands Yogi and Tradition Medicinals (no affiliation).
Give it a shot and stay hydrated through these colder months!
2. Take Vitamin D
This one is for those of us that live further from the equator. But even people living in the southern states in the U.S. can be vitamin D deficient because we all spend so much time indoors and wearing sunblock!
Vitamin D is important for mood and immune health. And vitamin D controls calcium in the body so it is vital for strong bones in the long run.
The best way to increase your vitamin D is to get your baseline levels checked and then to recheck a few months after you start supplementing. If you aren’t able to get your levels checked, 2000 IUs is a good place to start…though more is often needed to get people into optimal range. So talk to your doctor about testing!
3. Skip the sweets
Listen, I like pie! Who doesn’t like pie?!
And having sweet treats occasionally is totally fine!
Having sweet treats every day, or even multiple times a week, is going to lead to weight gain in most people.
Excess sugar is also inflammatory and bad for your digestion, and it makes you more susceptible to colds and flus.
Try some fruit instead!
4. Research indoor exercise (or get the right gear)
It’s likely not going to get any easier to exercise outdoors!
Now is a good time to check in with yourself about whether or not you are realistically going to continue to bike/run/hike/walk when the going gets tough….
It’s not for everyone! Better to know it now rather than be caught off guard when the really cold weather arrives and you’re left standing at the window waiting for it to end.
There are lots of options for indoor exercise…hit the gym, take an exercise, yoga or dance classes, find some videos online or grab a friend and go walk around the mall.
The key is to find something that you like…or maybe just don’t hate at first.😉
And if you’re the person who checked in and decided…”YES! Yes I would like to exercise outdoors all winter”, then do yourself a favor and get the correct gear.
When your feet and core are dry, you can conquer the world!
5. Steam your veggies
Salads can be hard to eat in the fall and winter…
Most of us need warm food when it’s cold out. And salad greens aren’t generally in season, anyway.
The winter version of the salad is a bowl of steamed veggies…
It’s quick, it’s healthy, it’s WARM, and you can still put your favorite dressing on it!
6. Head out to the coffee shop
This isn’t what it sounds like…This is NOT an appeal for more coffee drinking.
It’s more about getting out in public where there is activity and light and sounds!
You could just as easily substitute coffee shop with library, gym, community center or anywhere else that is outside of your house and lively.
You don’t need to wait to be invited or make a plan. Just take your book or phone and do what you would be already be doing…but out of the house.
This one is especially important if you tend to struggle with seasonal depression or feelings of isolation in the winter. Get out and find a change of scenery!
7. Eat lots of soups and stews
This one is both easy and tasty!
Soups and stews are a great way to increase hydration, stay warm and simplify cooking. I love when a meal is all in one pot!!
Ideas and recipes abound! Get a new cookbook or just search around online for best winter soup ideas. Here’s one of may fall favorites to get you started…
CHIPOTLE PUMPKIN SOUP
2 T coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 chipotle peppers (canned in adobo, 1 for mild, 2 for spicy), chopped
8 cups chopped, cooked pumpkin (Bake or steam, or you can use canned.)
4 to 6 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water (Use more or less for desired thickness.)
2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
2 T lime juice
Toasted, shelled pumpkin seeds (Fry on medium heat in dry pan stirring frequently until browned and fragrant)
Canned coconut milk mixed well
- Heat oil in a large pot (8-quart) on medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, cumin, and chipotle, cook for 1 minute more.
- Add the pumpkin, chicken stock, oregano, and salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, partially covered
- Remove the soup from heat. Purée the soup in batches, 2 cups at a time.Return the puréed soup to the pot.
- Add lime juice. Adjust seasonings to taste, adding more salt, cumin or chipotle to taste.
- Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds, coconut milk drizzled over the top, and chopped cilantro.