It’s Fall, y’all! If you’re anything like me, that means it’s time for pumpkin patch visits, getting lost in corn mazes, and baking up a storm in your kitchen. For those trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle though, it can be difficult to keep a balanced diet. And with holiday season right around the corner it’s easy to fall off the good intentions bandwagon.
To help you keep up with your clean eating goals, I put together a list of my best tips for staying healthy when you’re surrounded by mountains of sugar. If you’re planning on traveling this year, you can also check out my posts about how I stay on track when flying or on a road trip.
1. Make Eating Clean Fun!
The whole point of living a healthy lifestyle is making sure you’re able to fully enjoy the activities you love! If you find yourself skipping events just because of some tempting treats, I’d say you’re doing it wrong.
When heading out to a pumpkin patch, plan to pack a yummy picnic lunch. You can make it into a fun group event and as a bonus it saves money too! It’s much easier to turn down those pain-in-the-ass-to-eat candied apples or your third cup of apple cider if you’re full on real food. Oh, and you’ll have an easier time hauling that pumpkin behind you without a sugar crash.
2. Pack Snacks Even for Short Car Rides
Have you ever tried to hit up a corn maze the weekend before Halloween? The last time I attempted this we ended up in the car for 2 hours longer than expected. By the time we arrived I was ravenous and a $10 slice of disappointing pizza was suddenly in my hands. Tossing a simple snack like a larabar into my purse would have saved my stomach and my wallet.
3. Plan For Those Who Do Not Plan For Themselves
My sister can pull a million squeeze packets of applesauce out of her diaper bag for her kids but never packs a single snack for herself. Our dad will obstinately refuse to carry around snacks to help manage his blood sugar. I’m fairly certain Mr Never Cooks thinks my purse is actually just a magic bag that makes food appear.
I’ve learned that if I’m trying to avoid an emergency stop at the closest Wendy’s then I need an arsenal of healthy but filling snacks on me at all times.
4. Alcohol Makes Healthy Decisions Harder
Well, I guess what I should really say is that alcohol lowers your inhibitions when deciding to indulge in treat foods. If you’re planning to attend any events with adult beverages, take some time to think about how you want to feel at the end of the night. That might mean bringing along a healthy potluck dish or sticking to just one or two drinks.
One of the surefire ways I keep to my limit is to volunteer as designated driver. As a result, I always feel better the next morning without any of the side effects of drinking and it’s nice knowing my friends got home safe!
5. Embrace Healthy Fall Foods
Fun size chocolate bars and pumpkin spice lattes aren’t the only Fall treats out there! I’ve been making plenty of tasty foods that are lighter on added sugars but full on the Fall flavors recently. Slow cooker pumpkin chili is one of my favorites right now for an easy, healthy and inexpensive dinner that even Mr Never Cooks loves. Protein pumpkin pancakes are another go-to!