Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fall Into Autumn’s Harvest of Potential for Growth

Fall Into Autumn’s Harvest of Potential for Growth

by Darra McMullen,
GHWCC Writer/Researcher and Women’s Health Network Member

Fall’s bounty, in every sense of the word, brings with it numerous opportunities to improve our physical, mental, and spiritual health.  Let’s now take a look at a few of these options for moving in a positive direction.

Number One:  Take advantage of autumn’s plethora of different types of squash and potatoes to whip up healthy and satisfying soups and stews.  Squash and potatoes can serve as a wonderful “base” for many recipes.  Dishes can vary depending on the type of squash or potato used and the add-ins included in the dish.  Consider adding one or more of the following:  onions, carrots, celery, peppers, lean meats, tomatoes, and beans or peas.
            Carefully think about whether you want the preparation to run on the sweet, savory, or salty side, and season accordingly.  To stay on the healthy “wagon”, use caution when adding sugar or salt.  Let natural sources of sweetness, such as carrots or corn, do some of the seasoning for you.  Likewise, consider using salt substitutes for part or all of your salt contribution to the dish.  Experiment with fresh or dried herbs to add dimension to your cooking.  Don’t rely on just “sweet” or “salty” for seasoning; get curious and creative and use those herbs.

Number Two:  Use’s fall’s cooler temperatures to start or improve an exercise program.  Frequent walks, by yourself or with a companion, jogging, bike rides, stretching routines, and yoga are all much more pleasant to do when there are not high temps, humidity, and mosquitoes to contend with on a daily basis.
            Let fall’s cooler, drier air fill up your lungs and invigorate your body and spirit to go forth and move about more productively.  Start with an informal fitness routine, such as walking or biking, and while you’re outside, consider what else you feel inspired to do.  Whether it’s to take up gardening, to join a gym, to participate in charity walks to raise money for worthy causes, or simply to make a commitment to frequent walks or bike rides for your own well being, follow your heart and go with your inspiration.  Your physical health and mood will definitely improve, and you may even find that your inspired ideas lead to personal or spiritual growth.

Number Three:  The fall season is replete with festival opportunities and special events put on by houses of worship or ethnic group organizations.  Take advantage of these numerous options to learn something about other groups of people and their cultures or to contribute something of your own – time, talent, money, or objects – to a worthy cause set up by your (or another person’s) house of worship or a charity.
            You’ll find that gaining a broader perspective of others and/or contributing to charitable causes makes you feel a lot better, as well as improves our community.