Hello everyone. Today’s article is a guest post from Jocelyn who writes for Heater Home.
While summer actually tends to make our dieting plans easier by naturally drawing us to things like fresh fruit, vegetables and big hearty salads, fall tends to have the exact opposite effect. Grilled chicken suddenly loses all appeal in the face of a hearty warm platter full of chicken fettucini alfredo. Instead of salad we crave a cream based vegetable soup and instead of fresh fruit we want a slice of warm apple pie with ice cream.
Cooler weather and shorter days somehow manages to trigger something related to comfort food, food that’s typically not so high on the “healthy” side. Add to that the fact that ease of exercise and activity in the summer disappears and we find ourselves craving the fireplace and a good book instead, fall can spell doom for health habits. But it doesn’t have to. Avoiding the fall food trap is no problem at all if you’re willing to do a little work. So here are three easy ways to stay strong and eat like a champ, whether it is 90 degrees out or 30 degrees out.
1) What Are You Actually Craving?
The idea here is that comfort food tends to have certain characteristics. Find out what it is about the comfort food that you’re craving. Are you craving the warmth, the creamy factor or the carbohydrates? You can find all of those things in any number of combinations that do not necessarily have to be unhealthy. If you are craving a creamy soup have one that is vegetable based and uses something like pureed vegetables for the “creamy” factor. If you are craving stuffing try whole grain bread and load it up with veggies and turkey broth for flavouring. You will come out with a tasty, very comforting food that is also loaded with fibre. Including some steamed veggies like broccoli or green beans with your meals can also help cut the calories whilst adding a nutritional punch.
2) Switching Up Ingredients
I am also a firm believer in substitutions. Healthy eating does not mean giving up your favorite fall foods, it just means substituting. If you cannot imagine fall without apple pie, then make it with a whole grain crust. Even better, ditch the crust and make a cobbler with wholesome good-for-you oats. Better still, core out an apple and bake it till it turns soft and caramelized. You will wonder why you ever thought baked apples needed sugar before. For a boost of protein and fibre, add in some chopped walnuts. Switch out white anything for whole grain everything. Switch from white potatoes to sweet potatoes for more fiber. It is all the little things that add up. You will feel satisfied and your healthy eating plan will not have to suffer.
3) Fall Comfort Unrelated to Food
In some part, we crave fall comfort foods because they soothe and relax us. They can more or less knock us into a food coma where we want nothing more than an afternoon in front of the TV complete with Sunday football. Understand that if your body needs the rest and relaxation you can give it that without food. Eat a healthy well balanced meal that you would normally approve of and then without the overload of calories and fat allow yourself to indulge in some R&R. Often we give our bodies food in order to make it “okay” to rest because we can’t do anything else. Let your body rest without that food and you’ll re-train your body that a day by the fireplace with a novel can still happen without a bowl full of ice cream to go with.
About the Author:
Freelancer Jocelyn is passionate about eating healthy and living responsibly. When not writing foodie-related pieces, you will find her at work writing about efficient heating with a baseboard heater.