It’s early September and there’s something in the air. A feeling of change. Time for a fresh start. Back to the routine.
The change of season is always a good time to take stock and think about what to focus on in the coming weeks to stay fit and healthy.
For my money it beats January by far, because the weather is good, the evenings are still light and there are so many nutritious and delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables to take with you.
Now, if you return to a good routine and make some healthy changes, you can recharge your batteries, boost your immune system, and increase your mental well-being through the fall and winter.
If you’re ready for a September reset, I have some ideas to get you started. Here are five simple changes to help you roll back to fall that you can start doing right away:
1. Change with the season – autumn is harvest time, so there is an abundance of local, seasonal foods on our plates that are packed with vital nutrients that nourish our bodies. From berries in the hedges, local apples and pears to root vegetables, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables and cabbage, this month we celebrate the best of our local produce.
2. Eat seven a day – are you up for the challenge? We all know the five-a-day news, but could you add seven a day to your diet for the next week? One serving is around 80 grams, or the size of your fist. Start with breakfast – some berries on your porridge, tomatoes with your egg or spinach in your smoothie, and pack as many servings of vegetables and fruits as possible. Fill your favorite curry, stew, or chilli with extra veggies and you’re well on your way to seven a day. Both fresh and frozen count, but fruit juices do not.
3. Go outside while it’s still light. The evenings are still bright and bright enough when most of us finish our work day to give us the opportunity to walk, run, or cycle. Get yourself a good routine now and you will likely maintain your healthy exercise habits through the rest of the fall and winter months. The benefits of exercise for our physical and mental health are just incredible, so turn off the TV and get out there.
4. Return to a routine. On the lazy days of summer, most of us were a little more relaxed about meal times and menu planning. Now we’re back, it’s a great time of year to get inspired by some healthy new recipes that will take your weekly menu one step higher with no hassle. Take some time this week to dust off your cookbooks or create a Pinterest board to get inspiration for new dinner ideas.
5. Cook once, eat twice. Take the time to think about what you want to cook and do a little more so your efforts can go a long way. Make dishes that you can eat over several days – leftovers for lunch or in a slightly different way to make a completely different meal for tomorrow night. Chilli with rice tonight turns into fajitas with whole grain warps or spag bol makes a great lasagna layer with whole wheat pasta and thinly sliced zucchini to increase your vegetable intake.
What’s in season in September?
Here are some fruits that are at their best this month:
- Red currants
Also this month there are plenty of seasonal vegetables on the go, including:
- Butternut squash
- French beans
- Runner beans
- Lettuce leaves