Can you believe it’s the start of another month and we’re officially into the swing of autumn now? No, we can’t either! Colourful leaves, frosty morning, darker nights and, with Halloween approaching, it’s a fun time of year as we get closer to Christmas. Taking care of our health – and our family’s – at this time of year is more important than ever so here are our top tips for keeping healthy this season:

GET OUTDOORS

As the mornings get darker, the nights draw in quicker and temperatures gets colder, it can be tempting to stay indoors. But getting outside for at least 30 minutes every day will do your body and mind wonders. Whether you walk the children to school, get out during your lunchbreak, or go conker-picking in the park at the weekend, you can shake off the stress, burn off some energy and be in touch with nature. And if you’re lucky to be treated to some autumn sunshine, this can boost your vitamin D levels too!

CUT DOWN ON STIMULANTS

It can be common to feel more lethargic at this time of year, so reaching for sugary foods or caffeine for an quick-fix energy boost can become a bit of a habit. However, this isn’t great for your blood sugar or energy levels, and it can leave you feeling more tired than before. We recommend switching your normal cup of coffee for decaf, or even better, trying herbal teas instead. As for chocolate, this often contains refined sugar and also significant amounts of caffeine and theobromine (a caffeine-like stimulant), so swap it for one of our deliciously creamy carob bars for a no refined sugar, caffeine-free treat when the cravings hit.

HEALTHY COMFORT FOOD

When it gets colder and darker outside we often crave more filling, comfort food – but that doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy! Try making porridge for breakfast with oats, skimmed milk, cinnamon and honey, topped with fruit and/or nuts for a filling way to start the day. Homemade vegetable soup at lunchtime works a treat with some wholegrain bread, while dinner could be a rich stew or casserole packed with vegetables, grains or potatoes and some protein of your choice. How about a fruit crumble for dessert made with seasonal fruit and a topping of oats, coconut oil and coconut sugar? Yum!

SLEEP WELL

A good nights sleep is vital at this time of the year, so make sure you try and stick to a routine that helps you to drift off easily and catch plenty of those Zzzs. Run a bath, get some comfy pajamas out, light some candles and snuggle up with a good book – but don’t be tempted to go for anything caffeinated in the evening as this can interrupt your body’s way of calming down for the night. As we mentioned earlier, go for herbal tea and carob instead of coffee and chocolate if you need a fix!

EMBRACE SEASONAL PRODUCE

Eating seasonally means that fruit and vegetables are likely to be richer in vitamins and minerals at their time of being harvested, plus they’re usually at their cheapest, so make the most of what nature has to offer! Fill your autumn basket with:

  • Apples
  • Aubergines
  • Beetroot
  • Butternut squash and pumpkin
  • Cabbage
  • Fennel
  • Figs
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Rocket
  • Sweetcorn
  • Watercress