We are fully into fall, and along with the changes in temperature and the changing of the leaves, you might be feeling some changes yourself. Many people experience mood shifts when a new season arrives. Others feel more lethargic, and need to pause and recharge. That’s why it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself this month. But for most of us, it’s tempting to overindulge – snacking on leftover Halloween candy; cooking your favorite Thanksgiving dishes; baking special treats for visits with family and friends. And yet, this is exactly the time of year when you want to look and feel your best – not tired, moody, or bloated.
I’d like to encourage you to take some time to simply “be” before all the seasonal activity begins! Consider setting aside time each week to take care of YOU; to keep (or restart) your exercise commitments; to meditate, stretch or read – whatever relaxes and recharges you. And when it is time to cook, consider the “power of the pumpkin!” Squash is one of my favorite Fall foods, and I’ve included a list below of the vegetable's benefits and a healthy recipe that is perfect for the Thanksgiving table:
Pumpkin’s benefits include:
• It’s high in fiber (helping you to feel fuller longer)
• It promotes healthy digestion
• It is a good source of vitamin A, which supports healthy vision, bone growth and immune system health
• The vitamin A in pumpkin is a natural source of carotenoids, which help our skin and mucous membranes repel bacteria and viruses more effectively. (Very important during the upcoming flu season.)
• Its seeds contain the amino acid “tryptophan,” which helps the body produce serotonin, which boosts your mood and supports a good night’s sleep!
• The seeds are also high in beta-carotene, which can reduce inflammation and protect against free radicals, lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer.
• The best way to eat pumpkin is roasted or pureed into a soup!
Here's a delicious recipe to try, and if you like hummus, you'll love this one!
* 2 TBSP tahini (sesame seed paste)
* Juice of one-half lemon
* 1 TBSP olive oil
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* ½ tsp sea salt
* ¼ tsp red pepper or chipotle pepper
* 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin PIE puree)
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
* 1 – 2 TBSP toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Put first 8 ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Spoon hummus into a serving bowl, sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds (optional). Refrigerate or serve at room temperature. For dipping, pair with carrots, celery, sliced bell peppers, cucumber slices, or any of your favorite fresh vegetables. *
Remember, Folks, food determines how we feel and heal!
Source: Crave Nutrition, LLC.