There’s a certain smell in the air, kids have gone back to school and we’re all starting to hunker down as the chilly weather begins. It’s a time where some of us on our journey start to worry about being tested by the comfort foods of fall and a change in our exercise habits.
We know the change in seasons can be hard, so to help we’ve compiled some ideas on how to have a fun and healthy fall!
It’s A Great Time For Healthy Eating!
- Pumpkins are in season and they’re not just great for carving! They are rich in beta-carotene and potassium – and don’t forget the seeds which are loaded with magnesium and taste great toasted!
- Fall means the apple orchards are bursting. Apples are rich in vitamins such as, beta-carotene and B complex vitamins, as well as protective antioxidants. Include them regularly in your meals. They are also perfect for your lunch boxes and afternoon snacks.
- Don’t forget your greens! Kale is packed with vitamins A, K and C. It’s also high in potassium and iron. Looking for a new healthy fall green to try? Make it Brussels sprouts. They are a virtual storehouse of nutrients and antioxidants including vitamins K, A and the B complex, not to mention iron.
- Winter spices add comforting flavors to food, and researchers are finding they can be good for you. For example, scientists are studying turmeric – that yellow spice often found in warming curries for its potential to help prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s. And, a recent study from Penn State University found those who consumed two tablespoons of cinnamon in their meals had 30% lower levels of blood fats! While you may not be able to include two tablespoons, just remember it as a key flavor for your fall recipes.
Are you wondering how these nutrients and antioxidants help your body? Visit Nutrition.gov
To find out more on spices, WedMd has a handy guide and tips for including them in your recipes: Spices and Herbs Health Benefits
Looking for healthy fall food recipes? Visit Calorieking.com’s Recipe Library for some brand new fall recipes or look to Eating Well for everything from healthy crockpot meals to comforting casseroles.
Fun Fall Exercise
- Remember the pumpkins you will be adding to your healthy but comforting diet and carving into jack-o-lanterns? A great way for you and your family to have fun is to head to the pumpkin patch yourselves. Walking around searching for the perfect pumpkin is a fantastic way to sneak in some exercise.
- Why buy apples from the store? If you live near an apple orchard it’s another opportunity to take the family out for exercise disguised as a great adventure!
- There’s nothing like enjoying the fall colors. Take the entire family for a trail hike, or perhaps get away from it all on a special date walking through your local park.
- The cooler weather is also a great time to pursue some of your favorite activities outside now that you can do so without the uncomfortable heat. Hiking, cycling, jogging, walking the dog, tennis, yoga – you name it and a sunny, fall day is perfect for it.
- Even if your schedule has you too busy for a planned activity, try stepping out at lunchtime and walking about the block or your office complex.
Here’s a great resource from the National Park Service to help you find your local park: Find A Park
Looking for a park specifically for the kids? Here is a “Map of Play” to help you find some safe, fun and unique playgrounds near your neighborhood: Map of Play