Fall in Love With Seasons Best Foods

The leaves on the trees are changing, the morning air is crisp,  and the days are getting a little shorter. There is no other season quite like fall to step back and take in all the beauty it has to offer. My favorite thing about the fall season, besides all the changing colors, are the  variety of fresh produce still in season. From root vegetables like squashes and pumpkins to varieties of apples, here are some ways to take in all your nutrients this November.

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From Honeycrisp to Gala or Jonathan and even Granny Smith, apples are everywhere this time of year. Most of the time we see them covered in sugar like the Halloween staple, caramel apples. However, apples are incredibly sweet on their own and don’t need added sugar to bring out their sweetness. Try slicing them and baking them in the oven with some cinnamon for an afternoon snack. If your craving dessert, look no further than a healthier apple crisp. Made with less sugar and oats for added fiber, it’s a great treat to not feel guilty about.

TRY IT! Baked Apple Crisp

http://www.bakerita.com/small-serving-apple-crisp-gf-vegan/

 

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Nothing says fall more than pumpkins. It’s a fall pastime to take the whole family out to pick their very own pumpkin and carve their own unique faces. Instead of letting them go to waste, try using them in dishes for some extra vitamin C to help ward off the inevitable winter cold. Pumpkin seeds can be easily roasted with some fresh herbs as a great snack and pumpkins can be boiled down easily. Once boiled, all you need is to puree them and you have a great dinner to warm up with.

TRY IT! Pumpkin Soup

http://minimalistbaker.com/simple-pumpkin-soup/#_a5y_p=2741230

 

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Although beets have gotten a bad rap in the past, if cooked properly they can add a beautiful rich color to any dish. Beets seem to be trending this season and they are popping up in many unique ways. Roasted beets are the easiest way to work with them. They pair well roasted in salads with some fresh goat cheese and even as a side dish in a sweet potato hash. Looking for a salty snack? Try slicing the beets real thin and baking them with a small bit of seasoning. They will be a great treat and will make you question those other boring, unhealthy snack choices you have been making.

TRY IT! Beet Chips

http://www.aspicyperspective.com/oven-baked-beet-chips-recipe/2

 

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When thinking about a staple fall vegetables, carrots are almost always on hand in your kitchen. They go well in stocks and soups, can be pureed in a soup, or even added to salads for a pop of color. Carrots are a very versatile vegetable and although most people tend to eat them raw, roasted carrots can be just as tasty. If cut into sticks, you can bake them into a new take on a french fry. They are perfectly crispy, just what any dish needs to be complete.

TRY IT! Carrot Wedges

http://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/baked-rosemary-carrot-fries

Healthy Halloween: Pumpkin Workout

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Try out this healthy Halloween Pumpkin workout! Depending on your fitness level, complete 10-20 repetitions of each exercise and 1-3 sets of each.

1 | Oblique Taps

Rotate the pumpkin from side to site, gently tapping the pumpkin on the ground on each side.

obliques

2 | Squats

Hold the pumpkin at chest height and perform a squat.

squats

3 | Uneven pushups

Place one hand on the pumpkin and the other on the ground. Do half your sets on one side and then switch.

pushups

 

4 | Lunge and Twist

Hold the pumpkin at chest height, step forward to perform a lunge and rotate your upper body and pumpkin to the opposite side as the leg you stepped forward with. Step back so your feet are together and switch sides.

lunge

 

5 | Rainbow Press

Hold the pumpkin at shoulder height on one side and then press it up and over your head and bring back down to shoulder height on the other side.

press

 

6 | Biceps Hold

With your arms bent at a 90 degree angle and your palms facing up and holding the pumpkin out in front of you, hold the pumpkin steady for 20-30 seconds for each set.

biceps

 

7 | Single Leg Deadlift

Standing on one leg, let the weight of the pumpkin pull you down as your other leg rises behind you until your raised leg is in line with your flat back.

hamstrings

 

8 | Sit-ups

Hold the pumpkin on your chest and perform a sit-up using the pumpkin as resistance.

situps

 

Finding Balance When Healthy Eating Becomes Unhealthy

We hear all too often about the myriad of ways to eat healthy and to be healthy. With so many diets on the market promising to result in “weight loss, improved sleep, age reversal, more energy, and limitless potential for obtaining the ultimate sense of well-being,” it comes as no surprise that the abundance of recommendations sets us up for a great number of  health risks, not to mention, confusion, and oftentimes disappointment. For some, this excess of controversial health information results in a disordered eating pattern. Have you ever wondered, “Maybe I should go on a cleanse…or maybe I should avoid dairy products…or maybe low-fat….or maybe Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan (or insert any other type of diet here)?” Well you are definitely not alone in your curiosity!

For many, this obsession over what’s right and what’s wrong has led to an eminent pattern of disordered eating. Simply called orthorexia, this obsessive thinking and eating can have dangerous health effects, similarly to other disordered eating behaviors. Orthorexia is simply, ‘an obsession with eating healthy or purely.’1 You might be thinking to yourself at this point, “What’s so wrong with wanting to eat healthy all the time?”, or might even find yourself envious of others that seem to be so focused on avoiding unhealthy food choices. The problem with this way of thinking, however, is that while this attempt at healthy eating may initially start out as wanting to feel better, look better, or just achieve improved health, it is an unsustainable behavior in the long run.

With time many that obsess over what they presume to be healthy eating practices, limit food choices so much that they find themselves dedicated to only a few carefully selected food items, neglecting all the beautiful, delicious, and nutritious foods that are available!  While foods such as kale, ginger, carrots, cabbage, and blueberries (and more!) truly do provide us with ample amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, limiting your meals to only these items is certainly void of many other essential nutrients.

For example, 1 cup of chopped raw kale provides more than 200% of the RDA for Vitamin A, over 100% of Vitamin C, and an astounding 680% of Vitamin K! It also, has a notable amount of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids at 121mg and 92mg, respectively. Kale provides a dense amount of quality carbohydrates (24g), fiber (1g), and protein (5g) as well. At first peek, you might say this is truly a nutritious food! But, when this is eaten alone and for lengthy periods of time, you would be missing out on some other essential nutrients, namely Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and B Vitamins. It is also a low-calorie food, which means that if eaten alone, you will likely not be getting enough calories in your day to sustain energy and to maintain optimal health.

Instead, let’s practice creating a list of healthy foods that you enjoy eating. Next, create a list of foods that may not necessarily be considered to fall in the same ‘healthy food’ category, but they are foods you truly love eating and that should be eaten only in moderation. Lastly, create a list of meals that will allow you to enjoy both healthy foods along with these favorite moderate foods. This will help you to find balance in your eating, while allowing you to occasionally enjoy some of these favorite treats in moderation. The outcome will prove to leave you room to focus on your improving health, while avoiding the feelings of depravity and help you to avoid the pitfalls that often accompany fad diets and eventual binge eating. After all, food and mealtimes should be a time for nourishment, joy, celebration, and praise for the health you are working to achieve over a lifetime!

Look at the example below for an example:

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Reference:

1 Brytek-Matera A, Rogoza R, Gramaglia C, Zeppegno P. Predictors of orthorexic behaviours in patients with eating disorders: a preliminary study.BMC Psychiatry. 2015;15:252. doi:10.1186/s12888-015-0628-1.

Eating Healthy and Staying Social

Birthday parties, tailgating, dinners with friends, holidays, work parties, weddings… All of these fun events have two things in common… people and food. Most social gatherings revolve around food and often the food choices offered are not the healthiest. So, how do you attend social events while sticking to your healthy lifestyle?

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1 | Eat before you go

Plan to have a full, nutritious meal prior to attending a social gathering. Since your tummy is already satisfied, you will find that you won’t be as tempted to overindulge in unhealthy treats.

2 | Bring your own healthy dish

For any pot luck type event, bring a healthy dish to contribute so you know you will have at least one healthy option to choose from.

3 | Finger foods don’t = small portions

When nibbling on the small appetizers at  parties you might think you are watching your portions but even just a couple pieces of a “bite size” appetizer can add up to a full portion so stick to just one or tow of each snack.

4 | Keep it balanced

Remember to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables and start by eating the healthier options first.

5 | Drink lots of water

Water should be available at all social gatherings. Have a full glass of water before you even dish up. Sometimes your body can mistake thirst for hunger. After drinking a full glass of water you are often less likely to over-serve yourself.

6 | Keep healthy, portable foods on hand

Keep healthy, on-the-go foods like nuts and protein bars in your car or purse so you can snack on these before going to a social gathering where you know there may be tempting foods.

7 | Check out the menu in advance

When you are going out to eat, make sure to check out the online menu in advance so you can pick out a healthy option. When you arrive at the restaurant try not to open up the menu so you are not tempted to change your mind.

8 | Drink in moderation

Along with food, social situations also commonly revolve around alcohol. Try to drink in moderation by limiting yourself to one to two alcoholic drinks an evening.

9| Hidden alcoholic calories

When alcohol is available, be aware of the calories in the drinks you’re choosing. Beverages mixed with creamy and sugary mixers can have upwards of 400+ calories. For example, eggnog can run you 300-400 calories a glass.