Autumn is here!

Yes, that’s right autumn has well and truly arrived! Have you noticed it getting a little darker in the evenings as you leave work and that slight cool in the air in the mornings? I know I have. I always love the change of the seasons, as it’s a time to stop and take stock. It’s also a chance to start new habits – September is perfect for this. Diet, fitness or health, it’s a time to refocus and start again.

It’s usually a month of ups and downs with holiday lows and getting back in the swing of things, but it’s also a really beautiful time of year. I know we are often we are visited by a late Indian summer in September and it really makes the transition so much easier and parks are full of burnt orange leaves and people making the most of the weather. We also get to keep our scarves and boots stored away for a bit longer for the next few weeks!

When it comes to my diet, I like to do things a bit differently in late summer, early summer. I find myself starting to eat more warming soups or making lovely tossed root vegetable based salads. I also like to change-up my flavours and herbs and spices in main meals. Just because sunny, balmy nights are behind us, don’t despair, you can still eat healthily and stay on track with your weight loss goals and eat yummy food too!

Yes that’s right, I must read back on this post when it’s cold and dark in mid-November because that’s when we battle real diet and health temptations…box sets, curling up on the couch and pressing snooze so you don’t have to put a toe out onto a cold floor!!! (just me??) Yes people, let’s live life mindfully and take note of the turning leaves, crisper evenings and new foodie ideas!

That leads me some articles in the press that I’ve seen on how we can protect our immune systems, digestion and general health with the foods we eat. These autumn foods below are some of my diet staples and they’re low in calories but will give your health a real boost. Let me know if you’ve any other great ideas to add to the list!

  1. Pears – offering six grams per medium-sized fruit, pears help you fill up on fibre. They are a great fruit for preventing a bloated belly and keeping your digestion regular.
  2. Dark green veggies are loaded with antioxidants and carotenoids, which act like brain protectors and prevent damage from free radicals. Next time you find yourself struggling to remember something at work or you are feeling like your performance needs a boost, make sure to stock up on the leafy greens.
  3. Salmon provides us with omega 3 fatty acids, iron, protein, vitamin B6 and B12 which increase the efficiency of brain functions, improve memory and keep it active during long working hours. According to the World Health Organisation, by including foods like salmon in your diet, you can boost brain power by as much as 20%.
  4. Pumpkin is a food that immediately springs to mind when we think of autumnal dishes. Each cup of pumpkin offers three grams fibre for less than 50 calories. I’ve a lovely recipe for pumpkin soup here – why not give it a try?
  5. I love herbs for the flavour and the nutrients and goodness that they add to dishes.Sage is one of those herbs that is a welcome addition to classic autumn recipes. Soothing sage has been linked to aid in digestion and calms the system so I say add some to your dinner this evening!

Have a wonderful weekend full of cooking, relaxation, fun and spending time with family and friends!

Jane, xxx

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