It’s been a long, hot September, but the leaves are finally changing and that cool fall weather that I love so much has arrived. In celebration of a season that’s full of beautiful hikes, hearty soups and comfy sweaters I’m sharing my favourite ways to keep cozy and enjoy this wonderful time of year:
This fall you’ll find me …
- Sipping on homemade pumpkin spiced lattes (with the occasional splash of almond milk baileys) plus lots and lots of warming ginger tea.
- Cooking & consuming more warming foods like homemade soups & stews. This is the time of year to incorporate longer cooking times and heartier ingredients like sweet potato, pumpkin and squash in order to prepare the digestive tract and immune system for the colder months ahead.
- Curling up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket, a cup of hot tea and a great book (currently rereading a favourite; ‘Zen & the art of motorcycle maintenance’, a yearly tradition).
- Changing up my skin care and makeup routine to include thicker face serums and warm fall tones. At this time of year I switch my bright coral RMS cream blush to a more berry-hued tone by Ilia called ‘a fine romance‘. I also add a heavier balm to my daily organic skincare routine. My current cold weather skin helper is the 100% Pure Retinol Restorative Overnight Balm. It’s thick enough to keep my dry skin moisturized and dewy as the air gets cooler and drier.
- Decorating the house for my favourite holiday … Halloween. Every year I skip out of clinic early and Kyle & I pickup a few new pumpkin beers to try and rate with our famous 4-pumpkin rating system (the only gluten I have all year, totally worth it). We eat a hearty bowl of something fall inspired like squash soup or spicy chili, turn on Hocus Pocus and wait for the kiddies to come by.
- Turning on my SAD light therapy box from Northern Light technologies to ‘trick’ my body into thinking the days are just a little bit longer than they are. By starting every day with 15 – 30 minutes of light box exposure it activates a physiological process known as the cortisol waking response (CAR). The cortisol awakening response is an increase between 38% and 75% in cortisol levels peaking after waking and a healthy CAR is associated with increased stress resilience and improved day time energy.
- Supplementing with Vitamin D to keep away those cold weather blues. Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is important to support mood during the winter. Canadian guidelines suggest between 400-2,000 IU of D3 daily to maintain adequate vitamin D levels throughout the year. However, factors like genetics, exposure and conversion can all affect your vitamin D status which is why I advise that patients get their blood levels of Vitamin D checked in order to determine the best dose. Now is a great time to check your D status and start supplementing right away to prevent a winter deficiency. Did you know that any dose over 1,000IU requires a prescription? Book an appointment to check your levels & determine what form & amount of this ‘sunshine vitamin’ is right for you.
What is your favourite part of fall?