Luckily, many fall foods – such as soups, stews, breads, greens and other autumn produce – can be incredibly healthy when prepared properly (and not drenched with sugary glazes or chocolate).
To prepare for a festive – and fit – season, here are ten fall nutrition tips harvested by Fitness Together’s very own Ellicott City personal trainers.
- Eat more apples. Harvested from August throughout November, apples are low on calories when plucked from the tree (and not baked in a pie) and are high in antioxidants and dietary fiber. Make sure to eat the peel, as well – which is a dense source of nutrients.
- Haul out the cauldron. Stews and soups can be a hearty, healthy, and quick meal. Go easy on the meat, potatoes, and cheese, and heavy on the veggies.
- Spice things up. Use more herbs and spices when you cook to give your immune system a holistic boost. Try fresh garlic, ginger, and oregano, as well as those perennial holiday favorites, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Bring on the Brussels sprouts. These sort-of mini-cabbages are infused with vitamin K, folate, and iron. Though some decry this veggie’s slightly bitter flavor, recipes abound online blending this fall favorite with sauces and spices to make it an autumn hit.
- Don’t drink your calories. From Halloween parties to Christmas gift exchanges, you’re sure to encounter your share of sodas, sugary drinks, and the ever-present punch bowl. But these beverages serve up nothing more than empty, fattening calories. Consume in moderation.
- That being said, coffee occasionally can be your friend. Not only is coffee high in antioxidants, but it has been shown to ward off type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. Plus it’s a great way to warm up on a cool night.
- It really is the great pumpkin. Fall’s most famous squash is rich in potassium, fiber, and vitamin B, and can be cooked up and baked into a number of relatively healthy dishes and desserts. So when you’re browsing the pumpkin patch this year, be sure to pick one for a Jack O’Lantern, and a few more for the oven.
- Couch potatoes are not healthy. Fall is a cornucopia of great things – not the least of which is the new television lineup, from sitcoms to football. But binge-watching can just as easily lead to binge snacking. So keep tabs on portion sizes, and pre-measure those chips. Don’t just haul the bag to the couch.
- But sweet potatoes are. Sweet potatoes are more nutritionally dense than their counterparts. They maintain far more nutrients roasted, and are an excellent source of vitamin A and iron.
- Remember – earlier nights mean less outdoor activity. But you can easily counteract this by joining a personal training studio.
At Fitness Together, our Ellicott City personal trainers can make the most of autumn by helping you fall in with healthier eating habits. Call us today at 410-750-2228.