Keep the winter blues away!

Top Tips for a healthy Autumn

The last few days may have treated us to some early Autumn sunshine but there’s no denying that Winter is on its away. The days are getting shorter and there’s a definite chill in the air.
September is a hectic time as many of us launch ourselves back into work after summer holidays and children return to school for the long and busy winter term.
Now is the time to really think about looking after ourselves through both our diet and lifestyle so we don’t fall prey to coughs and colds as Christmas draws nearer.
When you’re juggling on the hamster wheel of work deadlines, school runs and a social whirl it’s too easy to rely on processed and convenience foods.

Some of my tips for a healthy Autumn

-       Prepare batches of quick and easy meals which can be stored in the freezer for busy evenings try my  Turkey Bolognese recipe.

-       Get outside when the weather is good to top up your levels of Vitamin D. Plummeting levels can be associated with lower mood as the days get darker. If you are concerned, consider getting your vitamin D levels measured and taking a supplement. A brisk walk in the fresh air can really lift your mood.

-       Make the most of Autumn’s abundant vegetable harvest including squash, cauliflower, celery, onions and leeks. Throw together warming and nutritious soups for a fulfilling lunch or a tasty family dinner served with some crusty wholemeal bread.  Try my pumpkin soup.

-       Ensure you and the family are all drinking enough water. As it gets colder we can forget to drink. Making sure you are sufficiently hydrated will boost your concentration and energy levels. If you don’t like cold water drink warm water with a slice of fresh ginger and a squeeze of lemon.

-       Snack wisely. It’s too easy to comfort eat with sweet snacks when you’re feeling stressed. Carry around a supply of healthy snack bars, nuts, seeds or oatcakes to avoid the temptation. Stock up on interesting snacks for your children as well or make a batch of my good mood cookies.

-       Reassess your family’s supplement regime.  For maintenance invest in a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral. Many suppliers have products which are specially formulated for different age groups such as children, teenagers, adults and seniors. These can be helpful for age-specific issues.  A registered nutritional therapist would be able to advise you on a personalized supplementation programme.

-       I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- don’t skip breakfast.  Make sure you allow enough time for yourself and the family to eat breakfast. You will gain much more energy than an extra 10 minutes in bed would give you.  A warm bowl of porridge is a great start to the day topped with berries, cinnamon, nuts and seeds.

-       Don’t be afraid to say no. It’s too easy to try and pack in as much as possible with all the exciting opportunities that arise at this time of year. Be mindful of signing yourself and your children up for too many activities to avoid burn out and frayed tempers.

-       As temperatures drop add some extra flavour to your meals with lots of spices such as ginger, turmeric and chilli. As well as being warming, these foods have anti-inflammatory properties and may help to ward off colds and flu.

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About Michelle Lake

Hi, I run Mission Nutrition, and I'm a nutritional therapist/ nutritionist helping people all over St Albans & Hertfordshire feel happier & healthier. If your diet needs an overhaul, come and see me for a nutrition consultation! Tel: 01727 852 167 / 01727 869 929 or email michelle@mission-nutrition.co.uk