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6 Super Healthy And Simple Recipes to Try This Fall

6 Super Healthy And Simple Recipes to Try This Fall

There’s no doubt about it. Fall is a time of indulgence. Between the sweet treats of halloween, huge Thanksgiving feasts, and pumpkin spiced everything, it can be tempting to overdo it. This can be problematic, especially when the holiday season isn’t too far away either, bringing its own temptations. The good news is that the coming of autumn brings plenty of healthy and tasty seasonal produce, and there are other ways to make some indulgent favorites just a bit healthier. Here are six super Healthy and simple recipes to try this season.

1. Curried Butternut Squash Soup

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    Image Credit: Food Network.

    This delicious vegan soup is a perfect light lunch.

    • 1 Can Lite Coconut Milk
    • 2 Cups Diced Butternut Squash
    • 1 T Coconut Oil
    • Curry Powder
    • Salt and Pepper
    • Vegetable Stock

    Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. Saute the squash in the coconut oil until lightly browned. Add salt, pepper, and curry powder to taste. Pour in enough vegetable stock to just cover the mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Stir every 5 minutes. When the squash is fork tender, add the can of coconut milk. Use an immersion blender to puree the mix until it is smooth. Finally, taste the soup and adjust for seasonings.

    Pro Tip: Some cooked brown rice or quinoa adds bulk to this soup.

    2. Parmesan And Butter Mashed Fauxtatoes

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      Image Credit: Inspired Taste

      There’s a good chance that someone at your Thanksgiving table is going low carb. They’ll appreciate this great substitute for mashed potatoes.

      • 4 Cups Riced Cauliflower
      • 2 T Butter
      • ½ Cup Heavy Cream
      • Salt And Pepper
      • Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

      Take the riced cauliflower and butter and place in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and cook on high for five minutes. Remove and stir. Repeat this process until the cauliflower is soft. Add the butter, salt and pepper, and heavy cream. Mash with a potato masher until it is roughly the consistency of mashed potatoes. Stir in freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.

      Note: All microwaves perform differently. Please adjust for yours. If your grocery store does not have riced cauliflower, simply toss four cups of florets into your food processor and pulse until it resembles rice.

      3. Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Bacon And Dried Cranberries

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        Image Credit: Walmart Live Better

        If you are tired of the same green bean casserole, this is a tasty alternative.

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        • 2 Cups Brussels Sprouts Halved
        • ¼ Cup Bacon Cooked and Crumbled
        • ¼ Cup Dried Cranberries
        • Olive Oil
        • Salt And Pepper
        • 1 T White Balsamic Vinegar

        Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, stir brussels sprouts, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mix on a shallow roasting pan and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, sprinkle the dried cranberries and bacon over the vegetables. Continue roasting until soft and somewhat browned. Spoon into a serving bowl and toss with white vinegar just before serving.

        4. Speedy Pork Loin With Apples

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          Image Credit: Inspired Taste

          If you’ve got a great pressure cooker, this is a great Sunday dinner recipe, or even an alternative to your Thanksgiving turkey!

          • 4 to 5 Lbs Boneless Pork Loin
          • 1 Onion Cut Into 8 Pieces
          • Olive Oil
          • Salt And Pepper
          • 3 to 4 Apples Quartered
          • 2 T Whole Grain Mustard
          • ½ Cup Apricot Jam
          • 1 Cup Chicken Stock

          Rub olive oil on the pork loin, add salt and pepper and sear it in the pressure cooker until brown on all sides. Remove the loin and add in the apples and onion. Saute those until somewhat soft and fragrant. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, and add the pork loin back in. Put the lid on the pressure cooker and bring up to pressure. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove the pressure and let the loin rest for about ten minutes.

          While you are waiting, mix the jam and the mustard in a microwave safe dish. Heat on medium for thirty-second intervals, and stir frequently. Then, glaze the pork loin with the mixture.

          Suggested Sides: Roasted Green Beans And Parker House Rolls

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          5. Cheap And Comforting Smoky Lentil Soup

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            Image Credit: Cook Diary

            Lentils are a true superfood. This soup is hearty, delicious, and extraordinarily inexpensive.

            • 2 Cups Brown or Green Lentils
            • ½ Cup Diced Carrots
            • ½ Cup Diced Celery
            • Chicken Stock
            • ½ Cup Diced Red Onion
            • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
            • 1 T Minced Garlic
            • 4 Slices Diced Bacon
            • Salt And Pepper
            • 1 Bay Leaf

            Heat a large soup pot over medium on the stovetop. Add bacon and allow that to cook, stirring frequently until the fat renders and the bacon is cooked through. Throw in the carrots, celery, and onion and crank the heat to medium high. Saute for about 5 minutes. Toss in the minced garlic, and add salt and pepper to taste.

            Add the lentils and stir them into the vegetable mix. Pour in enough chicken stock to cover the mixture by approximately one and a half inches. Place one bay leaf into the soup mixture, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, and let everything simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the tomatoes and stir. Then simmer, stirring every ten minutes until the lentils have softened.

            Pro Tip: Swap out the bacon for a tablespoon of olive oil and use vegetable stock to make this recipe vegetarian. Add a couple of drops of liquid smoke for extra flavoring.

            6. Pumpkin Parfaits

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              Image Credit: Jen Kappes

              This is a healthier, and portable alternative to many standard pumpkin pie recipes.

              • 1 Can Pumpkin Puree
              • 1 Pouch Sugar-Free Vanilla or Cheesecake Pudding Mix
              • 1 Container of Light Cool Whip
              • 1 Cup of Skim Milk
              • 1 Cup of Evaporated Milk
              • Pumpkin Pie Spice

              Combine all ingredients except for the Cool Whip in a bowl. Mix thoroughly with an electric mixer. Cover and place into the refrigerator until it is set. Spoon the mixture into parfait cups alternating with layers of Cool Whip. Finish with a final dollop of the Cool Whip and a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice.

              Serving Kids? Dish this up into unbreakable plastic tumblers to keep your glassware safe.

              These recipes provide some great alternatives to their more calorie-laden counterparts. They are also a great way to add some healthy produce to your fall meal plans.

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              Last Updated on September 28, 2020

              The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

              The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

              At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

              Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

              One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

              When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

              So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

              Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

              This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

              Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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              When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

              Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

              One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

              Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

              An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

              When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

              Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

              Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

              We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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              By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

              Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

              While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

              I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

              You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

              Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

              When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

              Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

              Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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              Con #2: Less Human Interaction

              One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

              Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

              Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

              This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

              While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

              Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

              Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

              This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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              For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

              Con #4: Unique Distractions

              Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

              For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

              To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

              Final Thoughts

              Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

              We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

              More About Working From Home

              Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

              Reference

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