Posted 3 weeks ago
Fall For Healthy Eating
The sun is rising later and setting earlier, the temperatures are starting to drop and we start to think about donning the sweatshirt and fuzzy socks. The bountiful fresh produce of summer made it easier to maintain a healthy diet and the warm temperatures helped by making our bodies naturally want lighter foods.
Now with cooler temperatures comes the body’s natural instinct to store fat for the winter. It does not help those delicious choices like apple pies, cinnamon donuts, and all things pumpkin spice are all around us! It just takes a little common sense and some additional tips and reminders to indulge in some of your favorite fall treat without all your nutrition and health goals going into hibernation.
Eat Plant-Based Food
- Continue to eat local- plenty of plant-based, healthy options are still available after watermelon season ends. Snack on apples and look for recipes that use root vegetables and produce in season in fall like sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, parsnips, beets, pears, pumpkin, and cranberries.
- Embrace Citrus- Citrus fruits, pineapples, avocadoes, and bananas contain vitamin C, which is a must during the cooler months and cold and flu season.
- Try winter greens- while the summer lettuces start to disappear there are greens that grow in winter and the cooler months. Kale, Swiss chard, collards, mustard greens, and beet greens are readily available in the cooler months. Cooking these will help to tame the bitter taste.
Enjoy Seasonal Flavors
- Enjoy the flavors of the season – while the whipped cream of the pumpkin spice is not as good for you the spice of the pumpkin spice is. Incorporate fall spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and turmeric into healthier recipes.
- Stick to whole grains- As temperatures drop bread, rice, pasta dishes and casseroles become the stars on the table, stay away from refined white flour and pasta and white rice. Brown rice, whole-wheat flours and pasta, vegetable pasta, wild rice, quinoa, and barley are some tasty, filling, and healthier alternatives.
- Remember lean proteins- the fattier meats like beef and sausage rise in popularity during the cooler months but try to focus on lean proteins like chicken turkey, fish, and eat only fattier meats occasionally. Including lean proteins with meals also offers some satiety helping you to feel fuller longer.
Get Cozy with a Bowl of Soup
- Eat more soup- use chicken or vegetable stock to make warm and healthy soups. You can add lots of vegetables and even beans and lentils. Look for new recipes or experiment with what is in the pantry and freezer.
- Plan ahead- this holds true all year round but is very important during the cooler season, which is the holiday season. Nutritious freezer meals, soups, and stews, a crock-pot, or Instant Pot are your best fall and winter, pals.
Save Some Room for Pie
- Have a piece of pie! Fall treats are meant to be enjoyed, so have them in moderation. Try a smaller piece of pumpkin pie, a tall skim pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin spice tea, split that apple cider donut with a friend, or opt for the spiced apple cider.
Now is the perfect time to celebrate the fall and the harvests of the season! Seasonal fall produce includes quite a few nutritional gems!
Kindra is a Registered Dietitian. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutritional Science from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo and her Master’s of Science Degree in Nutrition from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Kindra has almost 20 years of experience working in Healthcare and Nutrition and over ten years of teaching experience, specializing in courses related to nutrition, health, and wellness at the university level.
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