Oct
14

Real Food Fall

Welcome to Almost Fit. Almost Fit focuses on improving your health by doing one thing: Eating Real Food in Moderation. No low carb hacks or low fat substitutions – just savoring real, whole foods.

leaves and moss

I am not alone in saying that fall is my favorite season. I enjoy the summer heat, winter chill, and spring rains, but when I can see my breath when I step outside in the evening, or when the crown of our maple trees starts to show signs of preparing to fall and form swirl patterns on the sidewalk, or when the distant sounds of migratory geese break the silence of falling dew, I know that I am in my element.

This year is unusual; for me, it is my first fall season that I am consciously focusing on a new way of eating. Although I’ve been improving my habits over the last few years, this year in particular I’m focused on eating well, and eating moderately. Real Food in Moderation is not just the slogan of this site; as my friends and family know, it is something I’ve put solidly into practice, and presents some interesting challenges.

fall leavesOne of the big unknowns is what we are going to do for fresh produce as a matter of course. Northwest farmer’s markets typically stop around the end of October (with a few rare exceptions), so finding locally grown produce gets a little more challenging. And perhaps the most difficult change will be that our CSA has also drawn to a close, which has been our greatest supplement to our own garden. The grocery store is the obvious alternative, but it definitely takes more work to make good choices.

I also know that we are approaching the holiday season, and regardless of which holidays (if any) are part of your family culture, there is a reason that the Food Network’s slogan at this time of year is, “Season’s Eatings”. Lots of good stuff springs up at the grocery store, in the office break room, and just about everywhere you turn. It is a cultural fact that this time of year is marked by the association of eating lots of comfort foods with the feeling of “home”. While I do hold to the idea that moderation is key, it is all too easy to overindulge in truly “seasonal” foods. Egg nog is a weakness, I have to tell ya – and it’s only available this time of year.

Somehow, I don’t think the “holiday season” is what “eat seasonal” is intended to mean.

So what are my strategies? We have definitely stocked up on some of the seasonal staples that will help to get us through the winter. We were able to get a freezer for a great price, and we have since purchased 25 whole pastured frozen chickens, straight from the farm. We have also frozen many of the berries we picked over the summer, have started drying the apples we picked, and are getting ready to do some canning of our tomatoes. I’ve also found that buying locally milled organic flour in bulk (the 50 lb. bag) works for us; we just used the last of the flour this weekend, and will pick up more tomorrow. For produce, I’ll start shopping our local markets again, and try to buy organic when possible.

stairs to the river, autumnPart of my plan is to review some of the topics I’ve already written, and to get back to reading the blogs that I find useful and inspiring. I’ll be posting a link roundup this week, so watch for that – there are a lot of writers out there who really are blowing the doors off of the traditional diet approach, and focusing instead on a bigger life picture.

Another benefit of moving into the fall season is, oddly enough, less temptation to get distracted by outdoor activities at times when I need to be writing. I find it easier to write consistently when fall and winter are here, rather than when the sun is shining outside my window. I’m hoping that sense takes hold soon. Of course, I’ve got to get a better plan together for exercise, but I’m working on that. As far as writing is concerned, I’ve been consumed with some real-life challenges over the last few weeks, but sufficed to say I am not happy with posting only once a week. Look for that to change as well.

So what does fall mean for Real Food in Moderation? What does it mean to eat seasonally in the non-growing seasons? I’ll let you know as I get there. Thanks for reading.