As we move into September, the promise of autumn is just around the corner. This is my favorite time of the year – the weather starts to cool, the leaves turn amazing colors and the idea of curling up with a good book under a soft blanket is so appealing! With autumn on the way, this is a great time to encourage outdoor activity and enjoyment of the season. Here are 5 diabetes-friendly things I encourage you to get out and do this autumn:
- Take a nature walk to enjoy the sights and smells of changing leaves. Enjoy the break from heat and humidity and go out and take a scenic nature walk. You do not have to go far – around your own neighborhood can be a great place to start. Take in the sights of array of color, inhale the smells of fall, and take pleasure in the crunch under your feet as you walk through the fallen leaves.
- Visit an apple orchard and pick your own apples to enjoy as a healthy snack. Missouri has great apples – and they always seem to taste better when you pick them yourself! Check out your area for local orchards. Grab a friend and head out for a morning of walking among the trees searching for those perfect apples. Then head home to enjoy them as a fresh, satisfying snack and search for low-carb recipes and uses for them – like homemade applesauce or on a salad.
- Pick pumpkins from a patch, rather than a store. This offers a great opportunity to head outside, get some fresh air and vitamin D from the sun, as well as stretch those muscles and get the heart rate up with a fun walk through a local pumpkin patch. Bring a friend and make an outing of it! And don’t forget – once you get the pumpkin home, scoop out the seeds and roast them for a delicious snack!
- Visit a local farmer’s market. The harvest is coming in – so check out what your local farmers have to offer! This can be a fun way to get out early in the morning and take a walk around sampling and enjoying the fresh produce and crafts, talking with the vendors and supporting your local farming community. Challenge yourself to find a vegetable you have not cooked before and then try a new recipe!
- Try a new soup recipe. Summer is great for salads, but as the cooler weather comes in, soups bring warmth and comfort. Avoid the cream-based options and opt for broth-based soups. Search around for new recipes – especially those chocked full of hearty vegetables. This is a great place to showcase your vegetable finds from your farmer’s market adventure!
Sarah Billings, PharmD, BCACP, CDCES
MO Coordinating Body