The temperature in New York is dropping and soon the air will be as crisp as the leaves descending from the trees. While I hate the thought of summer being over, I must admit that I am already falling under autumn’s spell; craving patterned scarves, boots, leather jackets and every girl’s best friend — leggings. Like a best friend, leggings are forgiving to a fault, always telling us we look thin, mostly to avoid hurting our feelings. Leggings allow us to fill our mouths with tasty treats, while simultaneously filling our ever-expanding waistband.
Solution? Say No To Leggings This Year.
Before you close this page in frustration at the mere suggestion of letting go of this fall fashion staple, hear me out: leggings are still acceptable when watching television, laying in bed or running the occasional errand. However, wearing them daily can cause us to lose track of whether we are maintaining our weight. Therefore, let’s pledge to opt for a pair of jeans instead.
In exchange for you joining in me in an effort to ditch our leggings this season, I found you a trendy, well-fitting pair of jeans that won’t even come close to breaking the bank. You are going to love these ASOS Ridley Black Skinny Jeans in Rip and Destroy Busted Knees, for a whopping $12.84. For that price, you can buy more than one!
Pumpkin Without the Plumpin’
Once we toss our leggings to the side and put on our trendy fall jeans, we are ready to consume our favorite pumpkin flavored items…or are we? If we give in to our seasonal pumpkin proclivity, are our only choices sugar-filled pumpkin spice lattés or fattening pumpkin beer? If so, how do we maintain our jean size?
You might be surprised to learn that pumpkin is actually a great food to eliminate bloat. It contains potassium and fiber which help digestion. Pumpkin is also great for the diet as it is low in starch and sugar. The question is: how do we get the benefits of the pumpkin flavor we love, without the extra calories?
Have a Sweet Tooth? Blend Yourself a Pumpkin Smoothie
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup pumpkin
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla protein powder
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 4 ice cubes
- 1/2 cup of water
*I like Designer Whey in French Vanilla, which is gluten free, low calorie and tastes delicious. Click here to buy this powder for 50% off it’s normal price, at only $22.99. This is an amazing value, as this powder will last you a while. Happy blending!
Have a Flavor for Savory? Warm Up With This Pumpkin Soup
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 cup pumpkin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 4-5 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 onion
- cayenne pepper to taste
- Heat oil in pot over medium heat.
- Add onion and stir until translucent.
- Next, add pumpkin, garlic, and vegetable broth.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until pumpkin is soft. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Puree soup in a blender (in batches) and return to the pot.
- Add coconut milk and simmer for a few minutes. Add salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.
I got the basis of this recipe from Avocado Pesto, a gluten-free recipe book, and through experimentation, I made some adjustments to give it a sweet and spicy flair I think you will enjoy.
Float Your Boat and Sink Your Bloat
I know we are into autumn months, but it is time to take a quick vacation. Envision yourself on a large yacht. The wind is blowing your hair, leaving it tangled and salty. Your skin is baking in the sun as the droplets coating you slowly evaporate. Your freshly manicured fingers clasp a champagne flute. The bubbles tickle your nose as the elegant liquid is inhaled through your lips. The fish on your fork was caught from fresh turquoise seas and has been artistically assembled on your plate. Your worries are non-existent as you are far away from anything that could cause you stress. You are rocking gently in your boat, in tune with the ocean current and the present moment.
Good news, you can experience the benefits of boating all year long. I know of a boat that will relax you, help you live mindfully and will allow you to fit into your new fall wardrobe. Sound too good to be true? Okay, it’s not quite a yacht….I’m talking about Boat Pose (Navasana) and breaking it down for you in 5 simple steps.
- Sit with your legs straight in front of you. Rock backward and gently shift your weight so that you are balanced over your sit bones. Don’t know where your sit bones are? Place your hands under your butt and you will be able to feel them. Note: You may have to pull some of your bottom flesh up, so you are not unintentionally sitting on your sacrum, or the triangular bone at the base of your spine (Spine-Health, Peter F. Ullrich, Jr., MD).
2. Lift your chest and begin to straighten and lift your legs while keeping them together.
3. Once your legs are extended, reach your arms forward facing each other to balance.
4. Keep lifting through your chest and bring you chest and legs closer together.
5. Try to straighten your legs. Note: If you can’t do this, don’t worry, you are most definitely not alone. Instead, bend and hold the back of your knees, and/or use a strap to support your pose.
Note: Although Boat Pose has tremendous benefits, Navasana is one of my most dreaded poses. It requires A LOT of core strength and can put stress on your lower back if done incorrectly. If this or any other pose starts to cause you discomfort, listen to your body and limit the amount of time you spend in this or eliminate it altogether.
In a city like New York, we often feel pressure to accomplish as much as possible and we sometimes forget to slow down when necessary. After back-to-back yoga sessions, weight lifting, and other daily obligations, I woke up last week with extreme back pain that preventing me from going to work, and also set me behind in my yoga practice. After a week of physical therapy, heating pads, and rest, I was ready to get back into my daily routine. When my yoga instructor asked me why I hadn’t been to class the previous week, I told him I hurt my back. He immediately knew that I had overexerted myself and had not given myself ample time to recover
Tyler Knott Gregson said, “Promise me that you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves, that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.”
We usually push ourselves in order to make our lives more profitable, whether it be monetarily, i.e. doing overtime at the office, emotionally i.e. making time for family and friends, or physically, i.e. engaging in exercise. When the daily grind starts to feel like a harsh undertow taking us under, how do we know when enough is enough? We must strike a balance in our lives; pushing ourselves to succeed, without overworking ourselves to the point that we potentially worsen our quality of life.