Not long ago, we discussed how to leave Summer behind and embrace new habits. Now that Fall is in full swing, it’s time to add some seasonal vegetables to our plate! It shouldn’t be too hard, really. As much fun as it is to be out and about during summer, Fall truly is a feast for the eyes. When leaves change from green to all the Autumn shades, it’s a safe bet we’ll start seeing the same colors appear more and more frequently at farmers markets or the grocery store. And if we’re serious about building better habits with food, we should make it a point to add some (or many) of these to our plates. But keep in mind, we generally don’t spend as much time outside during the fall, so we need to have a mindful approach to what we put on our plate, and how much of it. Remember, any self-improvement journey to improve our health has to adapt to our environment, otherwise it becomes unsustainable. So, how do we go about making healthy adjustments for the Fall?
Orange is The Color of the Season
Ok, so there are more colors representing Fall than just orange, but this is (probably) the one we think of the most. And rightfully so! There is a whole range of Fall fruits and vegetables in every different shade of orange. From pumpkins to sweet potatoes, and even carrots, orange fruits and vegetables tend to be very high in Vitamin A, which is essential for our immune system, as well as vision. Roasting any one of these makes for a simple and delicious addition to any meal but remember to show a bit of restraint with starchier foods. While sweet potatoes are chock full of nutrition, they are also high in carbohydrates and natural sugars. In moderation, these won’t hurt you, so remember your portion control. Also, you need to save room for some green and white!
Green and White in the Fall?
Yes, you read that right. While green and white are colors we associate with the end of year holidays, or even Spring, some of the healthiest greens around are usually best in the fall. These are otherwise known as Cruciferous vegetables. If that name sounds intimidating, all it means is that the leaves on the plant make a little cross shape. While this is a neat way of identifying them, what they bring to the table is much more impressive. Most cruciferous vegetables are rich in folate and Vitamin K, and darker green varieties are packed with Vitamins A and C, and Phytonutrients, which are plant-based compounds that may help prevent inflammation as well as reducing the risk of cancer. Some cruciferous vegetables are leafy greens such as kale and arugula, and even brussels sprouts. Some, like cabbage are used in a variety of different cuisines, and it has proven itself to be tasty in just about anything! Cauliflower and broccoli are also included in the list, and are also highly beneficial for their fiber content, which as we’ve covered before, is important in aiding digestion and helping us feel full. They are also versatile stand ins for other more starch dense foods. For example, shredded cauliflower has gained popularity as a replacement for white rice, as well as a base for pizza dough!
Squash Hunger With…Squash!
Squashes are some of the most diverse and nutritionally beneficial foods available to us. While there are usually varieties for both summer and winter, Fall really is the time when these tasty treasures shine brightest. These fiber rich vegetables are considered helpful in normalizing blood pressure, and different varieties come with a whole list of nutrients and minerals. For example, and this is especially true in squashes of yellow varieties, are rich in carotenoids such as lutein, lycopene, and beta-carotene. Research has shown that these are associated with preserving our eyesight as we age, as well as with the prevention of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
Take Steps to Keep Building on New Habits
We mean this both figuratively and literally. While all the foods mentioned above are packed with nutrients, many of the foods such as potatoes, are a bit starchier, and more prone to being topped with other less healthy ingredients. Being mindful of how we serve these foods is just as important as how we cook them. Not all cooking methods are created equal and making sweet potato fries is not the same as baking a sweet potato and serving it with a small (but reasonable) spoonful of honey. And just as we take steps to avoid the pitfalls of Fall foods, we have to make sure we stay the course with any other habits we’ve been building. After a meal stacked with all these delicious Fall offerings, take a brisk twenty-minute walk to help digest! Little steps go a long way.
Health Is a Medical Issue. Trust the Professionals
When all is said and done, weight loss falls under the category of medical science. By seeking the help of trained professionals, you not only have better resources to succeed, but the support structure you need to build better habits. The professionals at Olivera Weight Loss have over 40 years of experience in helping people reduce their weight to a healthy BMI, in a clinically proven and medically safe way, and with the means to help their patients keep it off. Patients who qualify for medical weight loss treatment with Olivera receive Phentermine, an FDA approved, clinically proven appetite suppressant, which is an excellent way to jumpstart better habits with proper portions. Keeping in mind that environment can affect your weight loss journey as much as the shift into more comforting fall foods, having access to Meal Plans can help keep a balanced and nutritious, and delicious diet for the Fall. With our established patients having the option to continue their care with our Telehealth service, receiving the support, encouragement, and continuing education they need, we make it easier than ever to follow your plan!