Rolling (literally!) out of bed, last October, I felt like someone left a bowling ball in my tummy. Was I sick? What had I done to myself? And where did this feeling come from?
Oh yeah, the Halloween potluck…I’d ignored most of what I know about balanced eating and came to a social gathering unprepared. With no healthy mini-meal or pre-made snacks I felt obligated to indulge in a little bite of this and small taste of that. Before I knew it, I felt uncomfortable in my skin and a huge sense of regret. Those unhealthy choices satisfied in the moment but didn’t feel worth it in the end. Has this ever happened to you?
Food can be an easy place to turn for comfort. After all, holiday celebrations, cultural traditions and mealtime gatherings are all part of the season. Chilly weather means more comfort foods: mashed potatoes, homemade chili, soups, and baked goods (because you have to use the oven, right?).
For many, the start of this new season triggers the “beginning of the end” of a holiday spiral where overeating, overindulging, making unhealthy choices and feeling guilty can become the new normal. Cue the bloated tummy bowling ball feeling.
But it doesn’t have to be this way for you. What if, this Fall, you allow yourself to find and have true balance? Balance is not about perfection. It’s about real life, real food and remembering to care for yourself, daily.
“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”
~ Gretchen Rubin
As we move into Fall and Winter, it’s important to steer away from the cold foods of summer like salads and smoothies. Soups, stews, and warm beverages will be best on your meal plan. Warming foods move energy through your body and create the digestive fire we need to break down food for better absorption in the body, making Fall the perfect time to eat foods that give your body both comfort and nourishment.
The best way is to make your meals is at home whenever you can. Fall is a good time to start or continue practicing the 4Ps (Plan, Purchase, Prep and Put Away). Want to come home to a delicious-smelling house and warm meal at the end of the day? With just a bit of planning and prep-work you can easily cook meals in the Instant Pot or slow-cooker that are healthy and taste good.
There are lots seasonal vegetables to get excited about. Of course there is the favorite autumn pumpkin, but other veggies highlight the produce section this season too; acorn squash, butternut squash, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, carrots and cauliflower!
Have fun eating the foods that make your body feel nourished and energetic. Especially with cooler weather it’s important to keep your immune system healthy. Make clean eating choices when you can. And when you want to indulge think of the balanced living approach…
Here are five ways to help you feel fulfilled and nurtured with more than just food.
- Decorate your home using your favorite Fall colors like deep red, orange, yellow and brown. Have fun and be creative! Light a fire or several candles to instantly bring coziness into a room.
- Re-discover your wardrobe. Bring out the boots, scarves, long-sleeved shirts, comfy socks, and sweaters that make you feel good about your body and keep you warm and comforted all day long.
- Go for a brisk-paced walk outside. When you come back inside, notice the warmth that your home or office already provides.
- Find comfort in gratitude! Nothing gives more fuzzy insides than a quick gratitude check – think about something simple that you can feel happy about every day.
- Curl up with a book and a blanket. Nourish your mind in a relaxing space. Even if you can only spare 15 minutes, it’s a start!
Coming into the season with a mindfulness about balance is already giving you a head start. Find out more about the Balanced Living approach and and how it can help you #comebacktolife.
Are you interested in being part of the next Balanced Living Program?
Send an email to [email protected] with the subject “Yes I want more balance!”
Learn what BLP graduate, Jennifer Raczka, gained from the program in our Spotlight Q&A!
Bonus Fall Recipe: Create extra warmth in your kitchen with this Butternut, Coconut & Cashew Curry.