For many, making the transition from summer to fall is challenging. So here are three easy tips for stepping into autumn with a bit of ease.
1. Keep moving. During summertime we enjoy a plethora of outdoor activites and sports. As the leaves and temperature begin to fall, so do our activity levels, and finding ways to keep the body moving may require a shift in thinking as we move more of our activites indoors. Besides the typical gym membership, consider walking, hiking, jogging, cycling, swimming, jumprope, exercise videos/dvds, yoga, zumba and pilates classes, martial arts, hoola hooping, stationary or recumbant bike, treadmill, yard work and gardening. With enough thought and due diligence, you can find your ideal cold weather activities to keep that body fit til spring.
2. Eat locally. Local foods follow the seasons. Even if you don’t make it to the farmer’s markets or use a CSA, the major Portland grocers (New Seasons, Winco, Fred Meyer, Safeway, Trader Joes and Whole Foods) do a good job of highlighting seasonal foods. Just look for what’s most heavily advertised, on sale and prominently displayed. This time of year you’ll find loads of:
- green vegetables – kale, spinach, collard, cabbage, mustard and turnip greens
- root veggies – carrot, yam, beet, onion, turnip and fennel
- gourds – pumpkin and a wide range of squash
- nuts – chestnut and walnut
- beans/peas – butter beans, black eyed peas, kidney and navy
- fruits – pear, cranberry and apple
- warm spices – cinnamon, clove, cumin, curry, ginger and nutmeg
Seasonal foods contain micronutrients that the body needs for building strength and maintaining health through the earth’s transition.
Are a mood/emotional eater? No worries, just keep your comfort foods healthy. If macaroni and cheese is your thing, there’s no need to live without it. Simply (a) substitute whole grain pasta and use half the cheese called for in your recipe, (b) add a fall veggie or two, like mushrooms, to the recipe, (c) make a small pan rather than a large one that encourages second portions or leftovers, and finally, (d) don’t deny yourself, instead set boundaries by allowing one guilty pleasure each week. See, you can have your cake and eat it too, just improve the quality of ingredients, resize your portions and reduce your frequency!
3. Get rooted. Just as the earth naturally enters a new season, so does our body, mind and spirit. With the arrival of fall, our bodies pick up a few extra pounds, our activies become more rooted in family, school, work and community, and we become more conscious of our inner selves. Fall is the perfect time of year for deeper inner exploration. Shorter daylight hours lend themsleves to internal activities like journaling, meditation, breathwork, Reiki, prayer and sleep. All that’s need is for you to put aside 15 minutes of your day to find your peace.
If you need help implementing any of these changes or others, consider getting support from a health coach.