This article was written in collaboration with BUSH'S® Beans as part of Cooking for Healthyish: Beans 101.
Autumn is the best season we've ever had (we do not care if it makes us basic). But let's be honest: With cider donuts, pumpkin spices, remnants of Halloween sweets and comforting food galore, this is not always the healthiest season of fall more than just a dive into the holidays. Here are seven fun, but healthy ways to celebrate the best season of all. Now get out and grab the leaves.
. 1 Come into the game.
Nobody can tell you that sitting on the couch with a plate of nachos is not one of life's greatest pleasures to watch your favorite team. But it's also pretty easy to squeeze into something when you cheer them on.
"I add a lot of movement while watching football games," says Rob Sulaver, founding coach of Rumble and founder of Bandana Training. The more you participate in the game, the more calories you burn. "
It could be so easy to actually get up and celebrate everyone first or celebrate pushups every time your team scores a mascot style. Fancy a challenge? Try this half-time training.
. 2 Add this one ingredient to the traditional autumn dishes.
Beans may seem modest, but they are powerful little guys: they not only contain a lot of protein and fiber, but also leave you full and satisfied. And though beans are delicious in all seasons, they are particularly suited to autumn flavors and are an easy way to make each dish more nutritious.
If you do not normally add beans to your chili, now is the time. Whether you're a vegetarian or simply your favorite chili con carne, try BUSH'S® Chili Pinto Beans or BUSH'S® Chili Kidney Beans to speed up the preparation time. They are pre-packed and slowly cooked in a secret blend of spices, so you get that chili flavor even without hard work (and you can take full advantage if everyone loves it).
Chili is not the only thing you can do with beans. Try this white bean caramel dip (do not pat it until you taste it) for a boost in potassium and fiber. Or one of these other tasty recipes!
. 3 Enter autumn activities.
If you think that pumpkin beds and corn labyrinths are only for children, think again. Traditional autumn activities are a great way to celebrate the season, as they usually take place outdoors, require some exercise, and are better with friends – anything that is beneficial to both mental and physical health.
Madness and find the most beautiful autumn festivals that you can. Pick apples in a nearby orchard. Go to a local festival and jump into a hopping house, dance the polka, paint a pumpkin or just enjoy the fall products. Round up the family for a autumn race or turkey trot. Or just go for a walk and watch.
. 4 Roast a pumpkin instead of carving one.
Instead of rotting your pumpkin lantern outside, take advantage of the health benefits. Pumpkin is low in calories but packed with nutrients, especially beta-carotene, which can boost your immune system (a real win in the cold and flu season!), Good for your eyes and can help prevent heart disease.
While there's nothing wrong with cans, it tastes better if you bake it yourself – and you have the added benefit of having seed to go (BTW, they are also pretty good for you). Roasting squash is very similar to what you probably already do with spaghetti or butternut squash, but here is a visual step by step. You do not know what to do with it after it has been baked? We have 29 ideas here.
. 5 Do not wait until November 22 to be grateful.
As of today, write down five things that you are grateful for each night – and be specific (eg, "that friendly stranger who kept the door open in the post office for me), not my family") , It may sound a little woo-woo, but practicing gratitude on a regular basis is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Yes, you yourself. It can make you physically and mentally healthier, strengthen your relationships, and make you less angry with others. One study even showed that writing in a 15-minute thank-you journal helped participants worry less and sleep better.
. 6 Think outside the mashed potatoes.
Those who are creative with vegetable porridge are one of the favorite activities of Megan Templem, BS, NTP and RWP .
"I call them" Mascher "because they are not strict potatoes," she says. "You can grind almost anything for a healthy enjoyment – my favorites are rutabaga and carrot puree."
Even better if you grab some orange (ahem, like this pumpkin above). Vegetables with a deep, rich orange contain more phytonutrients that have been linked to disease prevention, says Templeman.
. 7 Cozy with an autumn drink at home.
There's nothing wrong with getting an annual PSL or the occasional caramel cider, but most coffee shop drinks are filled with sugar, whipped cream (more sugar) and unusual artificial flavors and preservatives. When you make a festive drink at home, you know exactly what's important – and you can even enjoy it more because you're not out and about.
If you are a traditionalist, try it better. Pumpkin spice latte made from real pumpkin puree and maple syrup. Ready to branch? Make a tahini with hot chocolate, almond milk chai latte or honey miso latte.