fall into health

It’s hard to believe the official Autumnal Equinox has already past and the dog days of summer are behind us, though in Baltimore the heat has been up so it sure feels like Summer! Fall weather is around the corner and personally – I can’t wait. Fall is my favorite season – the crisp weather, the changing leaves and the bountiful harvests that abound. Fall is a time for new beginnings – children start school or if you’re like me – you’re sending young adults off to college and starting a new beginning as the parent of an (almost) adult. I use the fall as my time to refocus and fall into health.

Five For Fall

1) Sleep

Fall weather comes with shorter days, longer nights and cooler weather. It’s the perfect time to focus on getting enough sleep. Throw your windows open, breathe in that cleansing air and commit to getting the sleep your body needs. If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night try cutting back on caffeine – I like to try fruit teas as the weather cools. You can also take an evening walk or bike ride to clear your mind and soothe the soul for sleep.

2) Harvest Time

Fall has always been symbolic of the harvest.  From apples, pears and pumpkins to squash, spinach and sweet potatoes – the choices are plentiful in the fall. Take advantage of the bounty and focus on replenishing your body after a summer of brats, beers and burgers. Try new recipes, create soups full of veggies and listen to what your body needs! My Fall Clean Eating Program focuses on detoxing the lungs and the large intestine. It features great recipes like the Garlic and Ginger Stir Fry bowl I feature below that will help restore your body to maximum functionality.

GINGER & GARLIC STIR FRY BOWL W/BAKED SWEET POTATOES

SERVES 2

½ onion, thin-sliced
2 cups broccoli, chopped
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
¼  cup water
1 baked sweet potato, chopped

PREPARE THE STIR FRY.
Place a large pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add onion and sauté until soft and fragrant about 4 minutes. Next, add diced garlic and chopped ginger and cook another 2 minutes. Then add broccoli and cauliflower and ¼  cup water to the pan and cook another 8 minutes.

SERVE.
Remove from heat and serve over baked sweet potato.

3) Posture Pointers

Less daylight can also mean more time spent indoors and on the couch. While curling up with a good book or a movie marathon can be a great indulgence – they can also wreak havoc on your back and the rest of you. Pay attention to how you’re sitting and standing. Make sure to get up from the desk or couch hourly and take a walk around. Desk stretches can be a great way to alleviate some of the stress that sitting all day puts on your body. Monitor the weight of your children’s back packs or your office bag and make sure they are being carried correctly. Finally – incorporate stretching and massage into your routine!

4) Take A Deep Breath

The best part of the fall season is that the oppressive heat and humidity finally leave us! You can quite literally breathe again! Find a park, a great shade tree and a blanket. Settle under it and just breathe in the air. Focus on your breath, the sounds of nature around you and the present moment. Take time to disconnect. You can even find time for a quick meditation using a video like this one.

5) Move Your Body

After a busy summer many of us tend to scale back on our exercise as daylight gets shorter and we find ourselves getting home once the sun has set. Your body still needs to move but safety is always a concern as well. If you’re lucky enough to get a decent lunch break – incorporate exercise into that hour.  Get outside so you can soak up that Vitamin D or make sure to incorporate supplements in your diet. Go walking in a park with a coworker or find a yoga class close by! If that isn’t an option – YouTube is a great source of exercise videos that you can do from the comfort of home. If you have children – check out Cosmic Kids Yoga to do with them! I guarantee they will love it!

Fall into health and you’ll avoid the winter slump we all dread. What are your favorite fall recipes and traditions?

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