As we all have transitioned back into work by now from the holiday season, healthy eating can be hard to maintain. Especially as the months get colder from here, cooking can often feel like a chore. We know that it’s easier to snuggle in bed with a hot pre-packaged meal ready to eat. However, healthy eating is never impossible, and you can always make many small changes to your lifestyle and diet to improve your overall health. Here are some tips to guide you through Autumn.
1) Try new cooking styles and recipes.
Soups, stews, curries and anything warm and hearty are great for the Autumn season. These meals are generally easy to prepare and cook as you can just throw everything into one pot and let it sit for half an hour. Flavouring your meals with ginger, chilli, cayenne pepper, and other spices can create a warm and comforting feeling when eating.
Preparing meals like salads and sandwiches can also be healthful if you’re not motivated to spend time exorbitant amounts of time cooking. A quinoa salad with roasted potato, lentils and honey mustard dressing can be just as hearty as a good old soup.
2) Start meal-prepping!
The Autumn season can actually make meal-prepping easier if you start to make your meals in bulk. Making stews, casseroles, and curries, accompanied with a nourishing fibre-rich carbohydrate source and side salad can easily make a very satisfying meal. These foods are traditionally prepared in bulk too, so all you need now are meal-prep containers for storage.
3) Eat seasonal foods.
Not only does this save you money, eating seasonally can be better nutritionally. This is because foods generally have the greatest nutrition content at its peak ripeness. Also, seasonal produce is fresher and more flavoursome as the conditions to grow them are optimal. Seasonal foods in Autumn include pumpkin, zucchini, cabbage, mushrooms, and pears.
4) Make fibre and protein a priority.
A tip for healthy eating all year round. We might be missing out on those delicious summer salads and fruits for now, but that doesn’t mean we should compromise on nutrition. Adding nuts and seeds like linseeds, sunflower seeds, nut butter and almonds to a nice warm bowl of oatmeal can seriously boost the amount of protein, fibre, and taste! Also, legumes like chickpeas and kidney beans, are an easy meat-free addition to soups and curries.
5) Be mindful of time changes
Daylight savings is just around the corner, so keep in mind that your daily schedule might need switching up. By the time we get home from work, it might already be dark – some people are just not motivated to cook at this time. It’s essential to plan ahead – do your daily activities like exercise in the morning and start meal-prepping so you can properly wind down when you’re at home.
Different seasons bring different challenges to healthy eating. These tips can help you maintain your healthy eating habits in the colder months.
Book an appointment with our Accredited Practising Dietitian to discover how you can eat well as we approach the colder months of the year in Australia.