Happy & Healthy

Fresh Fall Focus

October 2019

Don’t fall back into bad habits 

The days are getting shorter, and the air is getting colder. Summer’s officially over, which means it’s time to pack away the swimsuits and dig out our favorite light jacket. But it is also the time when many of us resume poor habits that we had put away pre-summer. Have no fear, friends; we’re here with some easy ways to enjoy fall without paying for it in spring.

Embrace some superfoods!

When people think of fall, pumpkins quickly come to mind. But did you know that they are more than just something to carve for Halloween? They are the unofficial leader of the fall superfoods. Actual pumpkins (not the artificial spice kind, more about them later) are an excellent source of vitamins A and C and contain antioxidants that promote eye health. After pumpkins, apples might be the most popular fall superfood. They’re rich in fiber, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t just something our grandparents would say. Studies have shown that eating apples can reduce your risk of stroke, lower bad cholesterol, reduce your risk of diabetes, and more. Plus, apple-picking is a great way to enjoy the brisk autumn air, get a little exercise, and spend time with family and friends.

Boo! Halloween candy

Halloween will be here soon and with it brings witches, ghouls, jack-o-lanterns, and of course, candy. Lots and lots of candy. It’s easy to get snared in the evil Halloween candy cycle. It goes like this:  It’s early October, and you see candy on sale. You think about last year, the scramble on Halloween day to get candy before the trick-or-treaters start appearing. Not wanting to go through that again, you do the sensible thing, you buy a bunch of candy now so you don’t have to worry about it later. Unfortunately, at some point, someone (we’re not pointing fingers) opens the bag and starts sneaking a piece here and there. Before you know it, it’s October 31 and you’re down to a couple of root-beer-flavored lollipops no one wanted. And you’re rushing out to the store to avoid disappointing the kiddos.

This year, try these two simple tricks to save you time, treats, and calories:

  1.  Never buy candy early. You’re going to eat it, and your kids will eat it, and your spouse will eat it. Everyone is going to eat it. Wait until a day or two before Halloween before purchasing candy. It’ll cut down on the amount of time that evil candy has to tempt you.
  2. Speaking of candy, purchase candy you don’t like. If you’re a chocolate lover, get a bunch of sugary sweets and vice versa. It’s easy to avoid temptation if what you bought isn’t your go-to candy. Plus, when it comes time to hand out the candy, you’ll be sure to give it out generously to make sure you don’t have any leftovers.   

Get a flu shot

The autumn season is also the start of the flu season. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get a flu shot. Who should get one? Anyone that is predisposed to get sick. Those with diabetes, autoimmune disease, smokers, former smokers, and the elderly should get the shot.  Also, for those whose work involves the healthcare industry or interacting with the community, it’s a smart idea to get the shot. Remember that getting a flu shot won’t prevent you from getting sick, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it will reduce the chances by up to 60%.

Put down the pumpkin spice

It’s hard to imagine a world before Starbucks introduced the Pumpkin Spice Latte. But since the PSL’s debut in 2003 (16 years ago!), every fall more and more companies and brands jump on the already overcrowded pumpkin spice bandwagon. This year is no different; there will be Pumpkin Spice SPAM, pumpkin spice deodorant, pumpkin spice dog treats, and a lot more. That doesn’t even include the many, MANY pumpkin spice beers, coffees, and liquors. Unfortunately, along with the delicious flavor of pumpkin spice, they are usually part of foods and drinks loaded with sugary syrups, whipped cream, and tons of calories.

We’re not saying to avoid all pumpkin spice products for the fall (we’re not monsters), but maybe don’t make them part of your daily routine. And when you do decide to partake, try and make them a little healthier by choosing low-fat or non-fat milk and skipping the whipped cream. Unless it’s pumpkin spiced SPAM, definitely put whipped cream on that.

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