HEALTHY FOOD BITES TO GO: Fresh Fall Ideas by the Baker’s Dozen to Stay Energized
The longer days and chillier nights of autumn call to us to replenish ourselves and begin preparing to nest through the winter months. A drop in temperature inspires a need for us to ground ourselves in this changing season. There is so much to love about fall; from all things pumpkin-spiced to comfy beanies and sweaters. We may savor the sweet snap heard when biting into a freshly-harvested apple. But with cold and flu season around the corner and seasonal stress threatening to sap our energy, we must take control of personal health in easy steps. This is surely preferable to repairing the fallout once the damage is done.
Try some of these seasonal tips to keep the body in balance well into winter.
- Fall is a great time to gently nurture your body with lightly steamed vegetables and hearty, comforting soups.
- Seasonal eating is an important aspect of maintaining wellness. As the temperature drops, consume more lightly cooked whole grains (quinoa, barley and rice), ‘underground plants’ or root vegetables harvested from deep in the ground. Root veggies will keep the body warmer. Some include: yams, beets (add to tacos!), parsnips, carrots, onions, garlic, celery root, ginger, and daikon or lotus root. These push blood naturally to the surface of the body, creating warmth, especially to hands and feet. Pureed soups made from seasonal squashes (kabocha, acorn and butternut) are rich in vitamins, plus anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. These can chase a cold away.
- Become acquainted with fall fruits. Look for fall harvested apples and pears, grapes and Vitamin C rich pomegranates. Enjoy pre-packaged pomegranate seeds, or sip 100 percent pure POM juice which has three times more antioxidants than green tea or red wine.
- Adjust your cooking methods for this time of year. Put more heat into your food by roasting and stewing. Warm, nourishing whole foods will support your feelings of well-being.
- Manipulating food – e.g. cutting, pounding, grinding and stirring helps to release more energy and heat from food.
- Chewing what we eat more thoroughly generates warmth. Less digestive energy is required when food is properly chewed, so avoid inhaling meals and snacks during an insanely busy day. Observe your body reward the effort.
- Switch store-bought salad dressing and its’ preservatives, additives and tons of sodium for delicious seasonal alternatives you can whip up at home. This will make your salad dressing as healthy as your salad!
Try a simple, homemade MAPLE APPLE CIDER VINAIGRETTE http://www.ronnacorlin.com/blog/2018/10/9/maple-apple-cider-vinaigrette that packs a nutrient punch and gives you complete control over what goes into it. For this seasonal recipe and more, visit my blog at www.RonnaCorlin.com or check out my Instagram feed @Wholefoodieronna https://instagram.com/wholefoodieronna/ .
- Get your healthier pumpkin-spiced latte on this year with Better Half; a dairy-free half-and-half made from coconut cream and almond milk from Califia Farms®. With no sugar-added, this vegan, soy-free option is 15 calories per 2 tablespoons (if you are counting). Add to coffee, tea and smoothies.
- Enjoy harvest-style snacking. Bake a sweet potato and top it with a favorite nut butter to reduce sugar cravings. Prepare your own autumnal trail mix with fruits, nuts and warming spices. Nuts: Roasted almonds, pecans or hazelnuts. Dried fruit: figs, cranberries and apple chips (find healthy favorite Bare® organic apple chips with no added oil or sugar in the chip aisle!).
- Add warming spices – ginger, black pepper, cardamom and cinnamon to hot cocoa and chili recipes to stoke the digestive fire.
- Wash off the days’ stress and hydrate the body with personal care products that restore moisture during this wind-blown season that tends to dry the earth, along with our skin. A new favorite is the Grapefruit Citrus Sugar Scrub from Trader Joe’s. It’s a lightly scented rejuvenating body scrub that exfoliates with sugar crystals infused with tart grapefruit, spicy ginger and nourishing essential oils. Climb into bed disconnected from the cares of the day and transport yourself to a pampered place.
- Establish a routine with your go-to restorative practices to feel more steadied and grounded. Yoga? Meditation? Alone time? Pleasure reading? Listening to music? Go to your happy place to relieve seasonal anxiety and stress.
- Look for locally grown produce that has not traveled a great distance in a refrigerated truck. Note their deliciously intense flavors. These freshly picked plant foods will nurture your mood and productivity far beyond foods manufactured in a plant.
Fall represents a return to roots. Replenish, stay grounded and carve out time for rest. The holi-daze will be here soon enough.
In health, Ronn