I love September; it offers a fresh start with back-to-school time, wardrobes being revamped and comfort foods taking center stage. Who doesn’t savor the flavors of warm apple crisp, homemade pumpkin bread and creamy bean soup at this time of year? Celebrate the season by making healthy foods a priority for the next month. Check out your local grocery store or food coop for some new and exciting selections. Aim for adding one new fruit, vegetable or grain every week for the next four. Keep a log of the new foods and highlight which ones you liked, didn’t like and why. If you have added at least four new foods to your life – that’s a good thing.
SEPTEMBER LIVINGWELL LESSONS:
- Fiber It Up: Add more fiber to your meals and snacks by choosing whole foods whenever possible. So add whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds to your day. Counting grams of fiber does not have to happen (you know you need about 30 grams a day) if you are always choosing unprocessed foods – so say goodbye to white bread, white rice, and white flour products and your body will thank you later.
- Drizzle It On: Think of how sleek and sophisticated it is to drizzle – specifically when we talk about olive oil. Olive oil, particularly the cold-pressed extra virgin variety, imparts a delicate, succulent flavor to everything from salad greens to pasta to seafood. The unsaturated fats found in olive oil are full of heart-healthy properties that when eaten regularly have been shown to improve the quality of people’s lives. So indulge in this liquid lipid – not too much as there are120 calories per tablespoon, and savor the flavor of health.
Featured Food of the Month: Apples
My favorite thing to do in September is to pack up my kids and go apple picking. With a whole host of delicious apple varieties to choose from we are not at a loss for mouth-watering creations. From Rome to Honey Crisp to Golden Delicious to Jonagold, the possibilities for chunky apple sauce, cinnamon-baked apples, crisp apple tarts to caramel apples make me smile. Not only will it be good for your taste buds, but research has shown that an apple a day can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce risk for Alzheimer’s disease and stave off certain types of cancer. So enjoy the harvest of the season – it’s for good reason!
Have any fun, healthy lunchbox ideas? I’d love to blog about YOU.