Fall into Healthy Eating
This month I want to start off with some tips for how to transition into the cooler weather, which brings us the glory of football and lots of delicious comfort foods (casseroles anyone?!)
5 Tips for a successful transition:
Get your vitamin D levels checked! Low vitamin D going into the cooler weather is linked to seasonal affective disorder, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, alzheimer's, dementia, obesity, certain cancers, eczema, alopecia, hair loss, autoimmune conditions, and essentially every negative health consequence you want to avoid. If you are deficient, supplement with vitamin D3 which is the active form of this vitamin. Make sure you check with your doctor about the appropriate levels for you.
Choose warming foods. Cold foods and liquids can slow down the digestive system, especially during the cooler weather. Warm liquids stimulate digestive juices and make you feel more satisfied. Consume more root vegetables, such as beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Add warming spices to your weekly meals, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and garlic.
Wake up with the sun. The longer you spend exposed to sunlight, the happier you will be and the better you will sleep! Now is a great time to create a sleep routine, so try to get to bed around the same time every evening. Take a bath or shower before bed, read your favorite book, or enjoy a cozy cup of chamomile tea to help you wind down.
Get grounded. Cultivate some stillness into your daily life. Meditation and journaling are a great way to do this. My favorite apps for this are Calm and Headspace. Change up your exercise regime and include less vigorous activities such as yoga, stretching, or walking.
Load up on foods that fight congestion. Take preventative measures to ward off illness during this time of the year. Ginger, garlic, onion, broccoli, cabbage, celery, and horseradish are great for clearing out mucus in the lungs and intestines.
I just had to share this gluten free, dairy free, paleo, and delicious sweet potato gnocchi with you because it was simple and satisfied my pasta craving.
Servings: About 8
2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potato
2 cups tapioca starch
2 cups almond flour
1 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsp olive oil, butter, or ghee (divided)
Cook sweet potatoes as desired. I’m lazy and prefer to wrap them in a paper towel and place them in the microwave for about 3-5 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes and your microwave strength.
Once the potatoes are cooked let them cool completely.
Once the sweet potatoes are cool, scoop out the middle, throwing the skin away, and mash them into a large bowl. Add the egg to this mixture and beat well with a fork.
In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the sweet potato and mix until everything is combined.
Spread a thick layer of tapioca flour onto your countertop. Roll the dough into a large ball and let sit in the tapioca flour for about 20 minutes, allowing the dough to settle.
Coat your hands with tapioca flour and make small balls with the dough (mine were about 2 Tbsp worth of dough) placing the balls onto the floured surface while you continue making the balls until all your dough is gone.
Once you have made your gnocchi balls, take a fork and press lightly onto each ball creating a nice texture on one side.
Set the gnocchi aside for a least 20 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add half of the gnocci to the boiling water, stirring to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom.
Once the gnocchi floats to the top of the water use a slotted spoon to remove gnocchi from the pot into a strainer. Repeat with the second batch.
Add 2 Tbsp of the oil or butter to a large saute pan over medium heat. Add half the batch of gnocchi and cook on one side for about 5-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Flip and cook another 3-5 minutes on the second side until golden brown.
Repeat with the second half of the batch.
Serve with your favorite sauce and some roasted vegetables! I enjoyed mine with vegan parmesan cheese, olive oil, and a hint of sea salt.
“Sometimes you just need a new and fresh start. Ready or not every season has its change. Sometimes just when you are feeling safe in your current routine, the winds of change sweep through and throw you a curveball. Embrace these opportunities as seasons of new chapters of growth. “