Well folks, autumn began this past week, and with it brings an opportunity for a shift in perspective. Gone are the picnics, vacations and outings of summer. Now we enter the harvest season, the school year, increasingly colder weather (in certain regions, of course), and hints of preparation for the holidays (a process that seems to accelerate exponentially after Halloween).
With the coming of fall, there are new foods in the offing. Squashes, pumpkins and other autumnally harvested foods hit the stores and farmers markets in late September, as do those wonderfully abundant greens like collards and kale. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and other ground crops also make their way more assertively into the mix, and we find a whole new palate at our disposal. Of course, living with diabetes means being careful and thoughtful with the starchy foods, but they're still delicious and very nutritious.
If the weather is getting colder where you live, then it's time to break out your warmer clothing and prepare for the change. If you have any neuropathy, you definitely want to make sure to keep your extremities extra warm and protected in the cold.
Many of us naturally crave more carbohydrates in the colder weather, so you may find that you need to more closely monitor your sugars as your diet shifts from summer to fall and winter.
Back to School
Fall means that kids go back to school, younger and older adults go back to college and university, and the academic year kicks into gear.
If you're in school, remember that stress can impact your blood sugars and alter your appetite. You may also crave foods under stress that you might not crave under less stressful circumstances, and when we're busy we tend to reach for convenient foods that often are less healthy. Care is needed in these times so that we don't go too far in the direction of "stress eating".
Change is in the Air
Even if you don't celebrate the Jewish New Year that occurs in late September, many of us feel that more momentous change happens in the fall as compared to the change that we think happens overnight from December 31st to January 1st. Fall is a time of change and transition, and these times can be both exciting and stressful.
Exercise caution and due diligence as you navigate this time of change, a time that includes sending the kids back to school or returning to school yourself, colder weather, and the end of summer.
Take good care of yourself as the holidays begin to loom on the horizon, and be sure to get plenty of rest and enjoy the fall harvest of apples, squash, pumpkins, greens and other delicacies.
Embrace fall, embrace change, take care of yourself and begin preparing for the winter ahead.