Tag Archives: autumn

Easy 5-Ingredient Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip with Homemade Graham Crackers

pumpkin cream cheese dip and-crackers
This time of year I find any excuse I can to invite people over. Saturday afternoon football games, Friday night TGIF-ing, or just because, Autumn feels like the most inviting season of all. Halloween night, especially. Our patio always turns in to the must-be spot for family and friends. Everyone pitches in goodies for the trick-or-treaters, and we provide the turkey & black bean chili.

While a healthy dinner that fuels our party and little costume wearers, I’m always trying to find some new and exciting to serve for dessert. This year, we’re going with a crazy-kind-of-simple Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip. Part appetizer, part dessert, wholly scrumptious, there’s nothing not to love about these seasonal creation. (more…)

Fall for Kale and White Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes for Dinner

kale-bean-sweet-potato

As fall approaches, I can’t get enough of nutrient dense root vegetables. Most notably: the sweet potato. While some prefer variety in their diet, I could eat some form of sweet potato every day: mashed for breakfast, fried for lunch, and stuffed for dinner.

sweet-potatoes

Stuffed sweet potato, you ask? Yes. My multiple experiments in the kitchen to include as much sweet potato as possible has led to one of my staple year-round dinners –the kale & white bean stuffed sweet potato. Who needs to wait for fall to have a hearty, yet surprisingly light, dinner? Not me!

Sweet potatoes are an all-star source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and the purple sweet potatoes are even thought to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Just as the recipe name implies, you simply bake the sweet potatoes, choose your green and your white bean, prepare as directed, then stuff the greens & beans into the sweet potato for a healthy and satisfying edible boat! It’s truly delicious. (more…)

5 Indulgent, Homemade Donut Recipes Under 200 Calories

As the days get longer and the nights get cold, autumn reminds us that it’s OK to fire up the oven again. Since you won’t be sweating anyone out of those house when you preheat to 425 degrees, take advantage of the temperate season and fill the house with the intoxicating aroma of homemade baked goods.

There’s nothing like a sweet treat in the fall, but the pies, lattes, and candies are usually calorie bombs that you could frankly do without. With Halloween, October might just be the sweetest month of the year. But our sweet treats spare you the sugar and calories normally associated with confections. And you better believe we never skimp on the novelty.

We’ve dreamed up five simple, healthy, and scrumptious donut recipes that will fill your home and belly with fall feel-goodness. Our donut recipe collection is the perfect complement to the cravings associated with fall: warm, sweet, ooey-gooey fun. Even more impressive, none of the donuts rely on the typical “pumpkin spice” crutch so often seen in October. Leave the pumpkin guts to the kids, you’ve got some baking to do!

DONUTS1

Apple Cinnamon Streusel Donut

Unless you’re a teenager or child, you can’t enjoy a donut without some post sugar-high guilt. For the food conscious who have a sweet tooth, these hearty gems are the perfect fit. The donuts have real apples, whole wheat flour batter, and a decadent and textured streusel topping. With this perfect weekend-long snack, you can practically afford to eat two in a row at 155 calories each. (more…)

You’ll Fall in Love with This Harvest Chopped Salad with Orange Ginger Vinaigrette

Summer is over but my salad bowl is still full! I’m a big fan of the big a– salad trend. Just a plate piled high with greens, veggies, berries, nuts and frankly anything else you want – it’s an entree that never disappoints. I always finish feeling full, satisfied, and not weighed down.

With Autumn as my muse, and my refrigerator quickly filling with the early seasonal produce, I crafted an entirely new entree salad. And it’s gooooood.

beet quinoa salad

“How is this even real?” was our photographer’s reaction upon tasting hers. And then she proceeded to demolish the rest of the food props.

Our Harvest Chopped Salad is like a farmers market truck unloaded in your kitchen. And then it rained down this homemade vinaigrette and what bloomed was just the best darn thing you’ve eaten in a while!

fall salad ginger vinaigrette

With red beets, carrots, quinoa, and ginger, this salad is not only hearty and satiating, but it’s also a great way to get your food experimentation on. If it’s been a while since you’ve tried some of these ingredients, or presents the first time, get after it! All of the complementary flavors blend perfectly together and it’s so darn pretty you won’t have any choice but to want to eat it. (more…)

The Fit Family Fall Bucket List: 13 Ways to Eat and Play This Season

The calendar has officially declared that fall has arrived, even if the weather is slow to get on board. This cooler season isn’t unlike summer in that it is full of wonderful ways for you and your family to stay active and healthy.

Here are thirteen fun things you can do with your loved ones. We encourage you to try one activity for each week of Autumn.

pumpkin patch

1. Play at the Pumpkin Patch.

The pumpkin patch is a great way to get off the couch and get some fresh air. Most patches have hay rack rides, petting zoos, and even playgrounds. Get the most out of your time, challenge your kids to find the oddest sized pumpkin, or get some exercise by searching the far end of the patch. There’s lots of fun to be had by all.

Pumpkin-Chili

2. Eat Pumpkin!

While you’re at the patch, don’t forget to grab a few baking pumpkins. The big guys are great for jack-o’-lanterns, but don’t taste the best. The smaller sizes are great for more than pie. Try roasting a pumpkin and serving it with a little salt, or add it to your favorite chili recipe. In fact we have 11 more ideas for cooking with this gourd.

butternut squash fries

3. You Butternut Forget the Squash!

Whether you’re at the pumpkin patch or at your grocery store, don’t forget about the other delicious plants growing on the vine. Fall welcomes the season for winter squashes like butternut or acorn. The shapes are fun and the flavors are delicious. Experiment with new tastes with Butternut Squash Fries or Roasted Acorn Squash Salad. (more…)

Your Seasonal Depression is Real and it’s Easier to Deal with SAD Than You Think

I’m not afraid to admit I get a little bummed out as summer transitions to autumn, and then to winter. The perfectly named Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is an affliction of which I’ve always suffered, but for the longest time I thought I was being an overly sensitive wimp. After a mild and jovial summer, the cool air that gusts melancholy over the Midwest in early September had me wondering if I was about to get SAD again, if it was a legitimate condition, and if so, what I could do fight it.

SAD

I shot our resident mental health expert, Brooke Randolph, LMHC an email asking her about SAD, and she revealed that after two decades of speculation, SAD had officially been classified as a common disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). In 2008—before SAD was an official diagnosis—Brooke wrote, “Our natural response to the seasonal changes only becomes a disorder when the distress is in excess of what would be expected from the stressor (seasonal change) and/or when it interferes with functioning in more than one key life area.” For example, if seasonal change begins to negatively impact your responsibilities as an employee, student, or partner, you probably have SAD. (more…)

Six Reasons to Start Your Diet on Labor Day

I’ve been writing for Diets In Review for a while, but I just found out recently that Labor Day is the second biggest diet day of the year; I am assuming following New Years Day.

With the rush of back to school and getting ready for the holiday season, I did not expect weight loss to be a high priority for many people. As the weather cools off and we look forward to boots and sweaters and layers, I expected fewer people to be concerned with dieting.

While I am slightly surprised to find out that Labor Day is the second biggest diet day of the year, there are reasons why it makes sense.

Back to school time, at least for me, brings to mind fresh notebooks and clean slates. If you grew up thinking of each fall as a new beginning, then autumn might be the perfect time for a habit change for you. (more…)

Cheers to Fall: Healthy Recipes for Festive Fall Cocktails

By Alison Lewis

Is there such thing as a healthy cocktail? I believe cocktails don’t have to be unhealthy, and with the right combination of ingredients, you can actually enjoy a slimming cocktail that is bursting with flavor. With the excitement of fall holiday parties, tailgating parties and Halloween parties upon us, these creative ideas and recipes are great examples on how to create “healthier” fall cocktails.

I recently created a survey on Facebook asking, “What are your favorite fall ingredients?” My social media friends’ answers included what you would imagine: cinnamon, cranberry, pumpkin, pomegranate, nutmeg, allspice, apple pie spice and ginger. Now, how fun to try them in some festive fall cocktails! These favorite fall ingredients can actually kick up the flavor of fall cocktails without adding fat and calories.

Fall Cocktail Pairings

Here are some great pairing combinations using fall flavors:

  • Wine, limes, lemons, apples, oranges
  • Champagne and fresh grapefruit juice
  • Bourbon and apple cider
  • Champagne and fresh fruit purees
  • Vodka and low-sodium vegetable or tomato juice
  • Brandy, honey and water
  • Brandy, cider and cinnamon
  • Rum, fruit juice and fresh fruit
  • Vodka and light cranberry juice, apple, or pomegranate juice, light orange juice or fresh grapefruit juice (can you say Appletinis?)
  • Brandy, Wine, cloves, allspice and ginger
  • Apple cider and ginger (more…)

Get Fit for Fall with Popular Weight Loss Plans

With the first day of school already taking place in some parts of the country, and plans starting to be made for Labor Day weekend, it’s clear that summer is about to give way to fall. Checking in with yourself at the start of fall can be a good idea. As active as summer can be, summers like this where the heat seems to break a new record each day can leave us sitting inside just trying to stay cool, never mind working out. With the kids back in school and you back in control of your schedule, there’s no time like the present to re-start your weight loss efforts.

We’ve identified seven programs that, so far this year, really stand-out as leaders, offering their customers healthful, balanced approaches to weight loss and healthful living. Consider these for your fall weight loss resolution.

View 7 Weight Loss Plans Fit for Fall  Slideshow

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Top 6 Tips for Running in Fall Weather

Many runners will say that their favorite time of year to hit the pavement is fall, and I’m no different. There’s just something about that cool (yet, not cold) crisp air that makes you just want to get out there and, well, run!

However, just like any time of year, there are a few quirks to running in the fall that you may not have thought of. Read on for six tips to make your next autumn run great whether you’re a seasoned jogger or new to the running game!

1. Dress in layers. I like to think of dressing for an autumn run like packing for a trip to San Fransisco — you can never have too many layers! This time of year the temperature can really vary from hour to hour and from in the shade to in the sun, so when in doubt, dress for colder weather with layers that you can shed as you warm up. One great tool for reference is Runner’s World’s What to Wear feature. (more…)