Fall is my favorite time of year! As the summer winds down and the nights get chilly, I usually get into a much more consistent true exercise routine. I say 'true exercise' routine because my summer is often action-packed: swimming, running outdoors, golfing, hiking, etc. Not to mention more items on the social calendar that pull me in different directions... So when fall rolls around and my days return to what feels like a more normal routine I like to make sure consistent gym time is part of the routine.
Being physically active is so important in maintaining a healthy weight, building strong bones and muscles, and maintaining cardiovascular health. Bonus: Better energy, feeling simply better day in and day out and sleeping soundly! Now that said, exercise and diet go hand in hand.
That's where the next part of my fall goal comes into play: minimize processed foods. I would venture to say that being a dietitian and foodie I probably do better than most in this arena, but there's always room for improvement. I do fairly well with cooking regularly, utilizing whole and raw ingredients in doing so, and snacking on simple items. While I've established good habits, processed foods are ever present in our lives. Just look at the 40,000 products available on grocery shelves!
It is with this understanding that I am going to challenge myself to identify the processed foods that are in my diet and truly focus on minimizing them. I'll keep you updated on my progress as I read labels carefully, plan ahead, and try to reduce some of the 14-letter-worded ingredients that make an all too frequent appearance on food labels. Just don't ask me to give up my (cough, chemical filled) coffee creamer!