Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall Fun, Food & Fitness

Living on the coast in New England is fantastic for my palate in the summertime. Fresh local seafood and veggies are in abundance... there is nothing better than stopping at the local farmer's market and picking up a few bags full of fresh native foods... the colors and tastes are heavenly, and knowing that you're eating locally grown products only enhances the flavors! With all of the local goodness, it's very easy and downright inviting to stay on track with healthy foods during the summer months.

And then? Then the fall hits. Yes, we have the most gorgeous scenery in the fall and we get to go apple picking and visit the local pumpkin patch and enjoy football games with our friends... but along with all of the fun that makes fall my favorite season, the desire to eat healthy goes out the window! We can still eat locally made foods, but those now consist of homemade donuts at the apple orchard (, chocolate covered apples, pumpkin muffins, and let's not forget about drinking our calories... the feeling of hot coffee in your body on a cool fall day is amazing. The problem with that for me is that I only like my coffee with cream and sugar and although that's acceptable to have once in a while, if I drink it everyday, there's not a snowballs chance in hell that I'm going to lose weight!

Once fall turns into winter, the comfort foods take over.... I want something warm and hearty to fill my belly! Shepherd's Pie and Chop Suey (do y'all even know what those are?!) have been staples in my house, accompanied by a big chunk of fresh bread (with butter!) of course! Being a busy mom, I like to make big casserole-type dishes that not only fill us up, but that will have enough leftovers to last a couple of days. Walking in the house after a long day at work followed by sports practices and being able to reheat leftovers is a busy mom's best friend! So in these cool months, I seem to always stick with our same old favorites, but they're really not all that healthy or conducive to losing weight.

Fitness is another area that's challenging in the colder months. My scenic runs have to move indoors when the ground is covered with snow... not the end of the world, but I'd much rather be staring at the ocean water or the beautiful foliage while I run instead of my living room walls. Until then, I'll relish these last couple of months of being outdoors and really take in our scenic surroundings. This weekend I'm planning on a hike at a kid-friendly mountain nearby. It should be a fun and beautiful break from our normal routine.

So friends, what I need from you is a little help! Can you think of some healthy filling, warm meals for dinner time that will have some leftovers? I know we're all constantly looking for new recipes so let's fill the comments section up with some good ones that we can all use!

Happy (almost!) fall y'all!
Erin L.
Erin can be found on the web at her blogFacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest!


  1. Here down south some chili is quite comforting. I make mine with lean ground meat (bison, lean beef, turkey), some canned tomatos, beans, and I add some healthy veggies like peppers, mushrooms, spinach....I just serve it in a bowl with some greek yogurt on top...or topped with light cheese. It is also great with a little cornbread too if you have the calories. My tip is to make the cornbread in mini-muffin tins...then you can eat just 2 at a time for perfect portions.

    Soups are my go-to. I make a skinny chicken tortilla, italian meatball soup, veggie soup....lots of things you eat with spoons!

  2. Here's one for you: brown some lean ground beef (I usually use 1 lb and add a little water), add onions, season with salt (I've cut out salt this year too), black pepper and a little ancho or chipotle pepper and cook until onions are done. Add a can of low sodium tomatoe sauce and stir. Add either green beans or a medley of yellow squash and zucchini and add water until everything is covered. Cover with lid and let cook until water is absorbed. Serve warm. Enjoy.

  3. We make a lot of hotdishes (yes I am from MN lol!) in the winter. My goal this year is to try and make some of our usuals 'skinny' by using the ff cream soups, sour cream, etc. and adding in more veggies! My hubby also loves roasts in the crock pot, with potatoes and carrots. I am planning on making lots of soup with loads of veggies, too. Looking forward to seeing everyone's recipes!

  4. When it is cold I love to make soups and stews...... I take my normal things I make and turn them into skinny versions...... Which is normally pretty easy to do......

  5. Ok Cauliflower Soup!!! Dont look at this and turn your head! It is absolutely yummers! Tastes like creamy potatoe or pea soup soo hearty healthy and verrry filling! This is my version... I add change spices sometimes depending on flavor I am going for you can adjust to your preferences! This will seriously surprise you!

    1 tbsp butter
    1 tbsp whole wheat flour
    3 garlic cloves
    small-medium onion chopped
    1 large head cauliflower - chopped
    3 carrots chopped
    1-2 stalks of celery chopped
    6 cups fat free chicken broth (vegetarians can use vegetable broth)

    salt and pepper to taste

    In a large pot, make a roux by melting the butter on low heat add garlic and onions and sautee until tender. Add flour and stir until blended and smooth. Add chicken broth, cauliflower, carrots and celery and set heat to medium. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender 15- 20 mins Puree with a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper

  6. I'm really looking forward to making soups!! I have a ton on Pinterest. Crockpot meals sound fantastic too.

  7. I live in my crockpot in the fall/winter! Chicken stew, taco soup, black bean soup, and red beans and rice are some of my faves. Skinnytaste and Skinny Ms. are some of my "go to's" for recipes.

  8. Midwest gal, here! Nothing better than a hot, creamy, homemade Chicken Pot Pie on a cold winter day! I am going to try the 'skinny' approach this winter like Kelsey. Here's a website to check out, they 'skinny' up all their dishes. Good luck!

  9. Someone already mentioned Chili, but turkey chili has become one of my favorite things to do! I just buy a chili kit at the grocery store and simply add ground turkey instead of beef. (I can't remember the name of my favorite right off...but it's in a brown box with a red label.) And it's definitely plenty for a few days!

  10. mmmm.comfort food. Here are my picks: (made this last night)

    turkey meatloaf with roasted potatoes or swap with sweet potatoes

    Roasted Brussel Sprouts with pineapple chicken teriyaki

    Stuffed paghetti Squash!

  11. Here are some of my favs: (I use ff cream cheese and skip the rice.) (I cut up the peppers and make this like a casserole.)

  12. I love this blog for healthy, low-cal recipes:

    I'm slowly making it through her recipes and so far I love ALL of them! I hope this helps some...of course I go to Pinterest all the time for meal ideas too! :-)

  13. You ladies are the best... I'll definitely be trying out these suggestions and book marking your links to come back to this winter! Soups are a great idea... warm, filling, and a great way to get lots of veggies in... those will be at the top of my list. Thanks!

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