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This post is sponsored by KeVita. Zip down below for a fun giveaway!
There are generally two camps of people:
Obviously you know which camp I am in : ) September 22 marks the first day of fall, so we all have permission to talk about all the great things about this season.
(Funny side note: I was telling Mazen a few weeks ago that the weather felt like fall outside and he said “Mommy it is NOT fall yet.” Turns out his teachers had a fall countdown going, and he knew that date had not yet come!)
Fall is my favorite season for many reasons. More than New Years, and more than spring cleaning the autumn season is my time to restart, reenergize, and recommit to my healthiest self. I’m sure this feeling traces back to the back-to-school feelings I experienced as a child. I like getting back into a routine.
Setting a morning alarm. Since Mazen was born I’ve been going to bed around 11pm and waking up naturally when he does. He’s usually up around 7, but sometimes he sleeps until 7:30. Those preschool mornings are quite hectic to get us to school on time. In an effort to get myself organized before Mazen is up, I’m putting myself on a schedule: bedtime at 10, alarm at 6:26am. So far this is going well, as I am dressed with a cup of French press coffee in hand when Mazen rises.
Less wine, more kombucha. I’m trading my nightly glass of wine for a few billion probiotics! Kombucha is one of the few drinks that has a ton of flavor, fizz, minimal sweetness, and a host of goodness to go along with it. With colder weather on the way, my immune system needs all the strength it can get. Probiotics line the intestinal walls much like an army would stand shoulder-to-shoulder and protect a village. These healthy bacteria act as a barrier against sickness trying to get into the bloodstream. The organic acids in the KeVita Master Brew Kombucha help to feed these beneficial bacteria. Your gut gets credit for about 70% of your immune system, so having a strong one goes a long way towards keeping you healthy. Happy hour = happy body.
Brushing my teeth more than twice a day. This is an old trick I used to do when I worked in an office. So much of my sugar cravings happen after meals because I need a palate cleanse. I’ve started brushing my teeth right after lunch and dinner and like magic the sugar craving is gone. And when I’m feeling really lazy I just rinse with mouthwash and it does the same.
Bringing back the prep day. So much of my summer is spent winging meals and eating from the garden. Back-to-school season means the prep day is back, and I’m making more of an effort to put family meals on the table to enjoy with Mazen. With colder weather comes cravings for roasted vegetables, so I hope to do a big pan of them (including sweet potato fries for Mazen). One a week so I can quickly assemble lunches and dinners.
Get fresh, crisp air for 30 minutes every day. Ironically, in the summer I walk places less because it’s so darn hot and humid out there! I don’t want to arrive with stinky, wet clothes. During the perfect 70 degree temperature days with twinkling sunshine popping through the leaves, there is absolutely no excuse not to walk instead of drive, play outside in the yard, and spend more time outside. Plus winter is coming, so appreciate it before it’s gone!
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Thanks to KeVita for sponsoring this post and inspiring my inner sparkle.
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Remember when all of my breakfasts looked like that ^^ ?? Lots of nut (seed) butters, granola, chia, and fruit. Most of the time served over oatmeal or yogurt.
I can’t explain my palate. It is incredibly finicky, and I really have no idea what to expect when I wake up each day. My diet has changed a lot in the past 1-2 years, and not really for any intentional reason. I just evolved.
>> nut butter. Still love it, but don’t feel the need to put it on everything like I used to. Favorites are Whole Foods brand peanut and almond! I don’t get to Trader Joe’s as much to get sunflower butter, and I still love crazy flavors, but only when I can find them easily
>> granola. Perhaps this is one of the more intentional changes, but I do get a little out of control when I have granola on hand, so I stopped buying it as much. Totally delicious though! My favorite kind remains the Nature’s Path brand that is airy and crunchy. I have such fond memories of the days when I tried a different granola every week! That was a delicious time in my life. Need to make a homemade batch soon!
>> bread. Less bread is coming in my front door these days, so naturally I’m eating a little less. Still going to Great Harvest when I do need to stock up though! Matt was a big “bread on the side of the meal” eater so I used to jump on that a lot, and request a small portion when he would toast his. I’m mostly just eating it for breakfast toast and the occasional sandwich these days.
>> dark chocolate. I used to CRAVE dark chocolate after meals. That craving is gone – no idea why. It might be because I just haven’t had any really good dark chocolate in the house in a while. Hmmm….!
>> craft beer. This is another “well if the beer drinker is gone….” type of taste. I’m finding too, though, that if I’m going to drink I’d like to drink wine, so I’m choosing beer less in public too. This could be seasonal though – I like a good thick craft brew in the winter!
>> Hugh Jass salads. (Say that one out loud if you’re confused!) I’ve been eating a lot more leftovers and vegetable sides this year, and just haven’t been into salads as much as I used to when I prepare them. When I’m out though, bring on the biggest kale salad one can find!
<< eggs. There has to be something physical about this because I got on an egg kick after Mazen was born and it hasn’t turned off yet. I think eggs make such a great breakfast, and with toast and fruit, I feel great. I used to want to feel super full after breakfast each day and oatmeal left me so satisfied, but now I like breakfasts that keep me fueled but don’t overload, and eggs/toast/fruit seems to do that.
<< wine. See beer comments above : ) Love me some vino!
<< coffee. I used to be all about the decaf coffee because I am sensitive to caffeine. Well, I am still sensitive to caffeine, but I’ve gotten hooked back on regular coffee. Particularly a French press pot of Shenandoah Joe’s with half and half. Still love my Nespresso machine for cappuccinos!
<< green smoothies. Smoothies have been my go-to all summer, and Mazen loves them too. I make a pretty hearty smoothie with oats, banana, peanut butter, Vega, spinach, and organic cow’s milk. It keeps me full until lunch, and is a great quick-to-make balance of nutrition.
<< cheese. Cheese is the new chocolate! I can’t get enough good cheese these days. Manchego, aged gouda, triple cream brie. It is fairly calorie dense, but I like to think the pros outweigh the cons
<< steak. Randomly I have been craving steak more often. I used to eat a lot more vegetarian, but this is another one of those “blame it on pregnancy” cravings that has stuck with me. I do always try to choose grass-fed beef when out (like at Citizen Burger!) and always buy it for cooking.
<< alternative salads. I haven’t given up on salads! But I just got so tired of mixed greens and baby spinach. Lately I’ve been getting heads of romaine and making really crunchy salads, and of course long live the kale salad! I’ve been into making homemade creamy dressings too! Like this one all the time.
Interesting to note that there are both healthy and unhealthy foods that I wrote down, so I guess I traded some for others! I have no idea where my cravings are rooted and what causes taste to change. I’d like to think there’s a nutrition piece to this puzzle, but I’m not so sure. I do tend to literally crave salads after a day or two of less-than-ideal eating choices, but beyond that I doubt that my body is craving a nutrient that’s in a green smoothie. I think it’s more emotional and memory connected than anything else. What feeling does dark chocolate bring to me verses how I feel eating cheese? My cravings are seasonal too, and I think this list will probably change again in the next month or so as colder weather rolls in.
What food can you not get enough of right now?
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