If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times: summer’s over, folks! Luckily, it’s not the end of the world. We’ll get to enjoy the fall weather (and for locals, the beach isn’t going anywhere!) as it turns from warm to crisp to (eek!) chilly. With the change in season, comes a pretty sudden shift back into a routine. While summer is a time to let loose a little bit, school and work schedules get us right back on track for September, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For me, I’m a sucker for routine. It just makes me feel grounded to stick to a schedule, while enjoying what fall has to offer of course.
Who doesn’t get excited for apple picking, pumpkin spice everything, sweaters, fall hikes, and boots?! Fall is a fun season, so take advantage! Pick the apples, order the pumpkin spice, or, even better, make some home-made pumpkin recipes, light a scented candle, hike more, wear cozy sweaters, carve a jack-o-lantern, and enjoy! Here are a few of my top tips for stepping (not falling!) right into fall!
1. An apple a day! Utilize that in-season produce as much as possible. Some local fall bests (other than the obvious apples and pumpkins) include kale, brussels sprouts, cranberries, escarole, grapes, celery, pea pods, raddichio, and kohlrabi. Pick it, cook with it, eat it.
If you have a sweet tooth like me, opt for an apple. They’re nature’s candy and super fresh this time of year, especially if you pick your own! One of my favorite afternoon snacks is as simple as it is healthy (are you surprised?) Just cut an apple into bit-sized pieces. Sprinkle with cinnamon and a little Stevia (optional) and microwave for three minutes. Let cool and you have a delicious, warm, and comforting snack. Add oats, nuts, some crunchy cereal, nut butter, (or cooked apple!) for some sustenance or to make a healthy dessert (or breakfast!)
2. It’s not winter yet! Take advantage of fall weather by exercising outdoors. Fall is the perfect season for outdoor running, bike riding, hiking, and even some extended paddle boarding on warmer days. No one can argue that a fall run through the woods with the colorful foliage beats the treadmill any day. Our bodies still need that Vitamin D from the sun, so try a new outdoor activity and enjoy the great outdoors while you move!
3. Plan and pack! Packing your own lunch is cost-efficient and allows for far more control over what you eat during the day. Choose a few simple staples you know you’ll enjoy and make them. Salads, sandwiches, wraps, parfaits, soups, etc. With a busy routine, food prep is KEY. Plan lunches and/or dinners for the week and get your grocery shopping done on the weekends. Make big salads and divide them into containers for each day of the week. Cook in bulk and freeze or pack leftovers for lunch. Don’t forget to pack healthy snacks like yogurt, veggies, hummus, fruit, nuts, or your own trail mix and be sure to bring a water bottle to stay hydrated!
To save time in the morning, you can even prepare breakfast the night before. One of my favorites is overnight oats. Just soak 1/3 cup of rolled oats (uncooked) in 1/2 cup of almond milk. Stir in a tablespoon of chia seeds, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.. Refrigerate overnight and mixture will be thick and ready for you to add your favorite ‘toppings’ and devour in the morning, hot or cold. Whatever you choose, having healthy meals on-hand will save time, money, and rule out those last-minute not-so-good choices.
One Healthy Breakdown: Step into your happiest, healthiest fall!