It’s going to get chilly out there soon, friends. This time of year is always bittersweet – we hate saying goodbye to the sunshine, but we love saying hello to warm soups, cuddles by the fireplace, and crunchy leaves under our feet. You might be thinking it's too soon to talk about essential health habits for fall, but we'll be in the thick of it before you can blink and it's always worthwhile to be prepared.
When the seasons change, it’s a great opportunity for us to take stock of where we’re at and where we’re going. Maybe you feel amazing after weeks of raw foods, sunshine and playing outside, and you’re a teensy bit nervous about carrying those habits into the cooler months.
Fear not. As the weather changes, so should our routines – your autumn healthy lifestyle may look a bit different than your summer one, but that’s to be expected. Staying in tune with the seasons is key to being happy and healthy all year round.
Try out these essential health habits for fall. If you begin by adding two new practices to your routine each week, by the time autumn is fully present you'll be very well-equipped!
10 Essential Health Habits for Fall
Heat Up Your Smoothies
You know it’s getting chilly out when you wake up in the morning, take one look at your blender and realize the last thing you want is an ice-cold smoothie. But by swapping your ice cubes for hot water, you can turn a summer staple into an autumn favourite. You can even incorporate vegetables into your blended drinks, like my pumpkin spice latte.
Swap your smoothies for hot blender drinks using this recipe inspiration:
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Turmeric Tea
- Chai Mocha Latte
- Beauty Butter Latte
- 20 Dairy-Free Elixir Recipes
- The DIY Guide to Making Dairy-Free Elixirs
Serve Up Some Soup
If your soup-making routine fell by the wayside this summer, now’s the perfect time to get back on the wagon. There’s nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of soup, especially one made from scratch in your own kitchen.
Try these comforting soups on for size:
- Lemon Lentil Vegetable Soup
- Roasted Tomato Soup
- Red Onion Soup
- Lemongrass Coconut Vegetable Soup
- Celery Root and Apple Soup
Don't Forget to Drink Water (or Tea)
We tend to focus more on hydration during the summertime when it's hot, but we need to stay equally hydrated throughout the fall and winter months. Aim to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water daily, or you can opt for herbal teas.
Source Seasonal Foods
There are so many fantastic reasons to eat seasonal foods, but fall is an especially important time to load up on them. Eating seasonally is incredibly beneficial to your health because seasonal foods provide the best nutrients we need at that specific time of the year. Fall and winter vegetables have nutrients that support our immunity for cold and flu season. Seasonal foods will depend on where you live, but for me, a few that I count on are:
- Winter Squashes
- Sweet Potatoes
- Celery Root
- Brussels Sprouts
Support Your Immune System
Now’s the time to start boosting your immune system so you stay healthy all season long. These are some of my absolute favourite cold and flu remedies, as well as the things you might want to avoid like sugar and alcohol. (Now is the time to start your batch of Fire Cider, so it will be ready!)
Try these immune-boosting recipes:
- Simple Bone Broth Recipe
- Cold and Flu Turmeric Tonic
- Ginger Tea
- Fire Cider
- Homemade sauerkraut or kimchi
- Elderberry Syrup
Lifestyle practices also play an important role in immunity, such as:
- Adequate sleep
- Stress reduction
- Skin brushing
- Infrared saunas
- Reducing your overall chemical load
For more, listen to my podcast episode about How to Supercharge Immunity.
Eat a Health-Building Breakfast
With fewer overall hours of sunlight and dark mornings, we may find ourselves waking up later and/or skipping breakfast. Try not to do this! Consume a fueling meal that includes protein, fat, and fibre. Remember: your breakfast doesn't have to be an enormous meal to satisfy these essential requirements. In the winter, I often start my day with a fat-filled hot elixir.
More breakfast recipe inspiration:
- Best Fat-Fueled Breakfasts
- Protein-Powered Breakfast Inspiration
- Tie Dye Breakfast Parfaits
- Grain-Free Fruit Crumble (I like to serve this with coconut yogurt!)
- Best Banana Pancakes
- Chocolate Chia Pudding
- Coconut Buckwheat Porridge
- 12 Vegan Breakfasts That Aren't Cereal or Toast
- 20 Best Savory Breakfast Recipes
- Breakfast Frittata
Meal Prep Something!
Many animals in the wild have elaborate preparations and healthy habits for fall. Us humans used to do the same, but many of us have lost those homesteading skills. You don't have to can everything in sight or buy an extra freezer for your freezer meals, but I do recommend doing some kind of light meal prep every week to make your busy days easier.
Some suggestions (you don't have to do all of these every week; pick one or two):
- Roast a tray of vegetables
- Cook a batch of beans or grains
- Make some hummus
- Do some light vegetable prep (and save your scraps to make broth!)
- Bake a loaf of bread
- Cook a large batch of tomato sauce
- Hard boil some eggs
- Bake a batch of granola or muffins
- Blend up some nut/seed milk
Many of these items freeze well, so you can double your recipes and freeze them for later. If you'd like to learn additional meal prep skills and recipes, consider my short course Everyday Culinary Nutrition.
Put Down Devices 1 Hour Before Bed
I get it: when the sun goes down at 4:30 pm, you turn to your phone, iPad or laptop to keep you entertained. That's A-OK – but ensure you put your devices away at least an hour before bedtime to help you regulate your circadian rhythm and to help you sleep better. I am quite sensitive to using devices at night, so I personally try to put everything away several hours before bed.
Gratitude has so many health benefits, including improving your mood, immune health, relationships, and sleep. And it's one of those essential fall health habits that's easy to do! Gratitude is something you can practice anywhere in both small and large ways. Visit this post for the full rundown on how to get started on your gratitude today.
Focus On The Exhale
There’s nothing like that back-to-school energy to turn your relaxed summer attitude upside down, but staying calm is key to staying healthy. Incorporate breathing and relaxation techniques into your routine now before the holiday season stress starts. This is an important part of your self-care.
If you're not into yoga or meditation, even taking 5 deep breaths in the morning, or when you feel worried or stressed, can be a huge help.
I know this seems like a long list of things to do to maintain health habits for fall, but each one is straightforward and many of these take minimal time. Once you get into the habit of doing them, they will seem like less effort, with maximum benefit.
What health habits for fall will you be doing in the next couple of months?