One of the highlights of the fall season for many people is the return of all things pumpkin spice. From candles to lattes, the whole world seems to go crazy for harvest in the fall. In Alaska, we started celebrating in August, but in Alabama, we didn’t see fall-like temps until Thanksgiving time. Whatever your weather outside, there’s no denying that pumpkin spice season is upon us. Here are a few ways to prepare for the hype.
First, decide if you even like pumpkin spice. I know it seems so silly, but it’s hard to be hyped about something you don’t love. If you happen to not be a fan of the coveted pumpkin spice latte, maybe there’s a favorite fall flavor or food you do love. Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and spiced apple cider are my favorites, personally. No matter what your favorite fall flavors are, knowing what you like is a perfect way to help you be intentional with small ways to add joy to your day through flavor.
After you’ve identified your favorite fall flavors, decide when and how you want to indulge. As a Registered Dietitian, I am always a fan of finding ways to balance your favorite foods that keep your soul happy with the foods that keep your body well-fueled. That said, I’m not a fan of diets or restrictions, so where does that leave us for balance and not over-indulging? Each person is different, and how your body processes the added fat and sugar of many fall treats will be different from mine. For example, I love pumpkin spice baked goods, but too much sugar leaves me with a bubbly tummy. So, I intentionally choose when and how I want to enjoy fall flavors, and I know if I overdo it, I’ll feel awful- and where’s the fun in that?
When you’ve decided what your favorite flavors are, and when you want to indulge, look for other ways to incorporate the smells, textures, tastes, and coziness of fall into your routine. Maybe you can burn a scented candle or diffuse fall-scented oils. Perhaps you find fall-inspired hand soap or a lower-sugar version of your favorite warm drink on a cool morning. One of the most fun ways to enjoy more fall flavors is to try your favorite flavor combination in a new recipe. Pumpkin spice oatmeal made with high protein milk, for example, is a great way to enjoy fall flavors while helping to balance your blood sugar and keep your body well fed all morning. Warm cinnamon apples on top of pancakes are another great way to add more fiber and fall flavors to your breakfast.
Lastly, try to incorporate time outside. One of the beauties of the fall season is the crisp air and changing leaves. Take your favorite pumpkin spice season treat with you for a walk, or even just sit on the porch with a warm drink and a soft blanket in the cool morning air. To fully enjoy the warm, cozy tastes of fall be sure to take in the nature around you that inspired the seasonal flavors in the first place.
When it comes to preparing your home for pumpkin spice season, be sure to check on a few basic areas of your property before winter fully moves in. This includes the seal of your windows and doors, your roof integrity, looking for low hanging branches, and even making sure you have hoses disconnected outside if your area gets below freezing. For more ideas on how to care for your home be sure to check out MilHousing Network’s blog. If you’re looking for your next home, MilHousing Network can help support you in 9 major military-related markets.
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Heather Campbell is an Air Force spouse, mom of 3, and serial volunteer for military families. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, she is a subject matter expert in the field of nutrition and is passionate about eliminating food insecurity in the military community. She is also the host of the MilHousing Network’s podcast, called MilHousing Nation, where we share actionable steps to help you build community no matter where you call home.