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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of fall! It is a time to visit with friends and family, the weather is just right, but most importantly you get to enjoy wonderful food! Thanksgiving begins the feasting season and if you’re not careful you may overeat on this day. Since this is a holiday, and it only comes once a year there is no need to deprive yourself. You just need to be conscious and go into the meal with a plan and stick to it. Below are some simple tips to help conquer portion control.

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Halloween is just a few days away and it is estimated that Americans spend approximately two billion dollars on Halloween candy each year. According to a poll conducted by Influenster, America’s favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and North Carolina’s favorite is the Butterfinger.

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It’s that time of year again!  The Fall season is upon us and we start seeing that word everywhere, “Pumpkin.”  It seems that many brand name products believe that everything can use a little bit of spice……that is, Pumpkin Spice.  So far this season I have found pumpkin lattes, pumpkin Oreos, pumpkin protein bars, pumpkin chips, pumpkin cake, pumpkin bread, pumpkin Cheerios, pumpkin cookies, and the list goes on. For many consumers it’s all about the pumpkin signaling the beginning of the Fall season.  While many food industries take this ingredient to an extreme, and use it in many sugar filled products, let’s take a closer look at the pumpkin and it’s nutritious side.

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In addition to crisp, cool mornings and mountains painted in beautiful colors, fall brings a harvest of delicious fruits and vegetables. This bounty can bring interest to your meals in terms of colors, textures, and flavors. In addition, they are great sources of vitamins and minerals needed for good health including vitamin c, folate and potassium.  Many fruits also contain a lot of fiber.

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The Autumn season and all its glory is quickly approaching! So, whether you're pumped to get your yearly pumpkin fix (or maybe you would rather pass)  here are some tips and tricks to staying healthy this fall!

Seasonal Foods:

When you walk into a grocery store it's hard to keep in mind what’s in season and what’s not in season. Keeping this in mind is important; picking foods that are currently in season is key to getting the best produce you possibly can. Often times when you buy out of season produce ,the taste and other aspects can be compromised. Below is a list of produce that is in season during fall months and always remember “fresh is best”.

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Are you tired of making a mediocre salad? Salads can be very healthy for you, but we don’t always make them that way. Do you only have one or two colors on your salad or load it with a high calorie dressing or other high calorie foods? Some salads can cost you as many as 1,000 calories or more. Try following these simple steps to a healthier salad.

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Weights

 

1. Add some weight

When I want to improve my normal exercise routine I use an extra 3lb weight to boost up my normal cardio. You can also use light weights at the end of your workout to improve muscle tone and burn extra calories. As tolerated an extra 20 minutes of weight endurance during/after every workout can dramatically improve fitness.

 

 2. Spruce it up

 You don’t have to use big equipment to get a great workout. Spruce up your normal routine with a jump rope, fitness ball, Zumba class or even a hike in the mountains! A one hour hike or Zumba class can burn an enormous 500-1,000 calories. Jumping rope can burn an additional 10-20 calories per minute depending on the intensity.

 

3. Hydrate

Staying hydrated all day prior to a workout will prevent early fatigue during and can also improve endurance. If you’re not properly hydrated prior to and during exercise; performance and longevity will suffer, and therefore; less calories will be burned.

 

 4. Fuel up

 If it has been several hours since your last meal/snack, fuel up with a healthy dose of protein and complex carbohydrates.  Your body cannot run on empty, therefore; a healthy snack about 30 min- 1 hour prior to exercise will keep your body fueled.  Studies have shown that pre-workout protein will increase resting energy expenditure by an average of 6-6.5%.

 

5. Stay motivated

Committing to a regular workout regimen may take some motivation. The best tip that has helped me stay motivated is music.  When I download new music or make a new playlist I am eager to get to the gym. If music doesn’t help get you motivated, pick a work out partner; a friend who will help keep you committed to reaching your exercise goals. You can also try the reward system; give yourself a special reward/gift at the end of the week/month for meeting your exercise goals.