With falling temps and rising motivation, now is the perfect time to revisit and reset your healthy lifestyle goals. Here's how to get started.
Fall is here and so is the perfect opportunity for you to finally slow down and take a deeper look at your own personal health and wellness. With the season changing, now is a great time for you to sit down with yourself (yes, I mean take “you” out for a coffee date with your pen and notebook) and check in with how you’re feeling mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Maybe there are some things you’ve been wanting to work on but just haven’t had the time yet, or perhaps you’ve been too busy being out and about to cook at home but have been craving a home-cooked meal. Well, now is your time! With both the temperatures and the tempo of everyday life slowing down, this allows you to do the things you maybe didn’t have time or energy to do before. With that being said, this change can also bring anxiety to some of us. As much as I look forward to fall and days without any plans, this transition somehow always plays games with my mind. Going from having something locked in the calendar every weekend, if not every night, to feeling the flow of summer disappear can be triggering for a lot of people as we often use plans and busyness to distract ourselves from what’s important. But guess what? This is the perfect time to take care of you again! If you shift your focus here, the next few months can be transformative. The first step I like to take is to set new personal, emotional, physical and even financial goals for myself. Here are my tips for how you can make the most out of your fall.
Go on a solo date. Write down some of the things that you have been looking forward to or missing and start there. Then schedule it into your calendar so you don’t forget.
Create an exciting menu for the upcoming week utilizing all the fresh local produce (think squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, roots) and get back to cooking. Creating a menu can help minimize food waste by incorporating several recipes using the same ingredients. Pro tip: Save time by chopping vegetables all at once for upcoming meals.
Change up your workout routine or start a new one! The Agdal Method app has got you covered whether you want a 50-minute full-body workout or a quick 10-minute booty burn. Head to theagdalmethod.com to sign up today for just $1. See you on the mat!
If you read my column before, you probably read about scheduling your annual doctor check-ups this time of year, but I’ll say it again because it’s so important. Doctor appointments really aren’t the most fun—I get that and am right there with you. But if there is one thing we should be making time for, it’s our health. Line them all up during one of these weeks so you knock them out. Trust me when I say you will feel so good that it’s over, but what’s even better is that you are taking control of your health. Don’t forget to ask for your flu shot while you’re there!
Speaking of flu season, now is a great time to add even more immune-boosting foods to your plate—or juicer! Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables include citrus fruits (oranges, clementines, limes, lemons), kiwis, strawberries, papayas, sweet yellow peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, parsley and kale.
Take a bath! A bath is never a bad idea (unless you’re running late). Incorporate baths into your weekly self-care routine and add some Epsom salts, which can help remove toxins from your body and are also known to ease certain body aches and tension. To make it even more luxurious, light your favorite candle for ambiance.
MY CURRENT OBSESSIONS
This deeply hydrating face mask is one of my favorites, especially for the colder months when my skin has a tendency to dry out. Use two to three times a week to soothe your skin. Dr. Barbara Sturm face mask, drsturm.com
Up your bathtime with this dreamy scented candle using 100% natural fragrances and essential oils. NEOM Perfect Night’s Sleep scented candle, us.neomorganics.com
These bath salts feel amazing on the skin and have a warm yet subtle scent. Herbivore Calm soaking salts, herbivorebotanicals.com
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
This easy, yummy soup is a fall classic you will crave again and again. Serves 4.
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. EVOO
2 chopped yellow onions
1 can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 ½ lbs. butternut squash, peeled and cut in chunks
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
2 tsp. salt
Fresh ground black pepper Creme fraiche for topping (optional)
(Pro tip: Use plant-based butter alternative, vegetable broth and coconut milk for a vegan alternative.)
Heat butter and oil in a large stockpot, add onions and cook until translucent. Add pumpkin puree, butternut chunks, stock, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes or until the butternut is tender enough to fork. Blend (use caution with this as it will be burning hot and steaming) or use an immersion blender and blend till mixture is smooth. Return mixture to the pot, add the half-and-half and heat on low while stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste or a bouillon for extra flavor. Optional to top your bowl of soup with creme fraiche before serving. Add a side of roasted vegetables to get even more delicious veggies or a simple spinach, apple, cranberry, goat cheese and walnut salad for something fresh.
Photography by: PORTRAIT BY TAYLOR BALLANTYNE; PRODUCT PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRANDS; BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP PHOTO BY NATALIYA VAITKEVICH/PEXELS