Fall, Herbst, Autumn
The season that’s sandwiched between summer and winter like the middle child in the back seat of the old station wagon. Or as I like to call it… pumpkin soup season.
Whatever you call it in your part of the world, Autumn has officially arrived. Rode in on the tail of a gorgeous full moon earlier this week, bringing with it some cooler temperatures and changing leaves (at least here in Switzerland).
As always I am feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety this time of year.
Excited about the…
🍁 Gorgeous crispy leaves
🚶🏻♀️ Fall hikes in the alps
🍎 Delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables
💨 Crispness in the air
✋🏻 Slowing Down of Life
👢Tall boots and fluffy sweaters, and
🎃 Impending holidays
Anxiety in that it also means old man winter is near. Shorter days, longer nights, more time spent indoors, less BBQ’s, stressful holidays and the dreaded cold and flu season.
Up until several years ago I would’ve called myself seasonally challenged. Having been born and raised in sunny Florida, I honestly had never lived through any type of genuine seasonal change before the age of 40 (except for hot and slightly less hot).
Upon moving to Switzerland and dealing with the normal cultural and seasonal adjustments, I grew to not only admire but fully embrace all four seasons. But there was something about the fall I’ve always loved. The colors, the crispness, the pumpkins.
Before you write me off as one of those crazy pumpkin lovers, hear me out.
Pumpkins are just what the doctor ordered this time of year. They are in season for a reason. Bursting with Vitamin A and C, healthy fiber – these are just the nutrients we need to boost our immune systems as we head into the colder winter months (without all the calories).
Not a big pumpkin fan? I won’t hold it against you – luckily there are plenty of other seasonal fruits and veggies to enjoy this time of year for a healthy fall.
My top 10 tips for a Healthy Fall
- Boost your immune system now, so you are better prepared for the winter cold /flu season. Eating healthy foods with tons of vitamin A & C, along with antioxidants such as mushrooms, spinach and garlic is a great place to start. You can check out my two part series on boosting your immune system here.
- Ditch the processed / packaged food which typically contains higher amounts of sugar, fat and salt, not to mention chemicals that can lead to a number of icky illnesses. Overly processed foods trick your brain into wanting to eat more and more because it is typically lacking in the vital nutrients your body really needs. Don’t Fall for it. Get back to basics by cooking seasonal soups and healthy fall meals. Check out some easy 30 minute recipes here.
2. Get outside. Don’t use the shorter days and cooler temperatures as an excuse to stay buried under those warm blankets. Go for a walk. The natural exposure to light helps us adjust to the change in daylight hours. It also boosts your immunity, reduces stress cortisol and helps you sleep – a Win Win Win in my book.
3. Prepare yourself mentally The transition to the cooler and shorter days of fall can be a challenge for some. Taking 30 minutes every day to do something you enjoy that nourishes you physically and/or mentally will keep you fit and strong through the winter. Listen to what your body and soul needs. Fall is a great time to incorporate some meditation, yoga or gratitude practice into your daily routine.
4. Spring cleaning isn’t just for the spring season. Cleaning out a closet or the overflowing cellar can make you feel lighter and happier going into the grayness of winter. It is a fun rainy day activity to check off your list. Not sure where to start? Check out this article about why hiring a coach for this can be beneficial.
5. Eat Seasonally Visit your local farmers market and stock up on the colorful fruits and vegetables the season has to offer. Fruits and veggies eaten when they are in season are full of excess nutrients we need for this time of year. Try something new.
6. Schedule your annual health screenings to have your cholesterol, vitamin & mineral levels checked along with yearly blood work and teeth cleaning.
7. Reduce your sugar intake – it can be tempting to throw all your good intentions out the window by saying you will start eating better at the start of the year. But we all know that isn’t how it works. Avoid overindulging in all the holiday goodies this time of year for a stronger immune system and better sleep.
8. Hydrate We often associated drinking water with the warmer summer months. But it is important to stay hydrated through all the seasons. Keep up a healthy water intake as well as hydrate your skin with a daily lotion routine to be rewarded with soft supple skin through the winter, not the dry cracked kind.
9. Vitamin D. Studies show that supplementing with the right amount of Vitamin D can greatly improve not only your immune system but your mood as well. Eat more fatty fish, egg yolks and mushrooms or get a supplement from your health care provider. Just make sure to take it with a healthy fat to help with the absorption. Also see tip # 3.
Symbolically the fall and winter seasons encourage us to slow down, take stock and let go of things that don’t serve us. Listen to what your body and soul needs this time of year. Release that which doesn’t make you a better person. If the trees can do it – so can you.
Is this not a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonize.– GEORGE ELIOT
‘Happy Fall Y’all: My top 10 tips for a healthy fall’ was first published on My Swiss Story on July 5, 2021.