5 Ways to Hit Reset This Fall
- Written By:Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN
After a summer filled with travel, friends, cocktails and BBQs, many of us are ready to embrace a bit more structure this fall. For some, cleanses are an excellent way to shed the previous season’s energy while promoting balance, lessening inflammation and increasing well-being. Others just need a break from one too many cocktails and taking a month off of booze is a great way to reset.
I find a combination of a few new routines motivates and excites me for the new things to come this season. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, I’ve listed a few of my favorite suggestions that will brighten, lighten and motivate your fall.
Consider a Kitchari Cleanse
I’m not one for juice cleanses, they’re harsh, unfulfilling and provide temporary results. Instead, I turn to a Kitchari Cleanse, a warm, food-based cleanse that is a popular Ayurvedic practice. In this practice you enjoy Kitchari, a rice, mung bean and spice porridge/soup three times a day for three days to help rest your digestive system while nourishing your body with warm, calming and soothing spices. Personally, I love that I don’t have to think about what I’m eating for a few days. I make a large pot ahead of time and simply serve myself a portion at each meal. I recommend Surya Spa or Amber Gentry Wellness where they fully support and provide you with all the ingredients you need for a successful cleanse that will leave you rejuvenated and even a few pounds lighter!
Ground yourself with new veggies
No I’m not talking about pumpkin spice lattes (hello, sugar bomb), but I am talking about pumpkins and all other winter squash along with cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, brussel sprouts and kale. The change of season brings a bushel of new crops which will help you to feel nourished and grounded not to mention they’ll support your digestion and metabolism too. My favorite is kombucha squash, it’s sweet and creamy, super low in calories but filled with nutrients. Enjoy it steamed, roasted or blended!
Super charge your supplements
Whether you are back to the office, school or just regular life, staying healthy is the name of the game. While I’ll always recommend eating a balanced, nutrient rich diet as your first line of defense, specific supplements can help when we are headed into cold and flu season. Pair that with covid and we really need our immune system in tip top shape! Some of my favorites include:
Elderberry: High in vitamin C and rich in antioxidants it has been shown to reduce the duration of cold and flu illnesses, boost immunity and decrease inflammation. I’m a fan of Nature’s Way.
Oil of Oregano: A natural antibiotic that has been shown to fight bacterial infections and decrease inflammation. I recommend adding a few drops to an infuser or your shower, mix it with a little coconut oil and rub it onto the bottom of your feet or add one drop into water, juice or tea and shoot it down carefully. It is very strong and should not be taken alone.
Probiotics: Having enough good bacteria in your belly can help you efficiently fight illnesses that enter through your GI tract. I love kombucha, kraut, Greek yogurt and kimchi which are fermented foods and contain these strains naturally but if these aren’t part of your regular diet I recommend taking a probiotic that contains 30 - 50 billion CFU daily along with eating a high fiber diet especially during cold/flu season.
Vitamin D: This vitamin is necessary for the proper functioning of your immune system and deficient levels have been linked to increased infection and illness rates. To maintain normal limits I recommend taking 2,500 iu daily.
Keep your workouts outside-even in the cold
Not only will you avoid indoor germs but you’ll also burn more calories, strengthen your heart since it has to work harder to pump blood in the cold, get a dose of vitamin D (see above) and you may also boost your mood and energy. (Yes, we produce MORE endorphins when we workout in the cold.)
Keep your mucus membranes healthy
I talk about hydration a lot, but usually not in conjunction with snot! Staying hydrated is not only important for metabolism, mental clarity, energy and digestion, but it is also essential for immune health. When you are dehydrated your mucus membranes are less effective at capturing and protecting you from pathogens that enter our systems through our noses, mouths and GI tracts. Another reason to get in those 80-100 oz of water daily! If plain water is just plain boring try these.
While you adjust to the cooler weather and possibly a new schedule, add in some of these healthy behaviors to energize your fall and boost your health so you can head into winter like a champ!