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Wake Up To Autumn

Brighten your morning using the simple pleasures of this fall season.

As I sit here typing away, I've got my big fuzzy white socks on; a true sign that fall is here.  The air is crisp and cool; the days shorter and the smell of apple pie is in the air!  Fall is about gathering strength and energy to prepare for the upcoming months ahead and with the dreamy days of summer behind us, here are a few ideas to brighten your morning using the simple pleasures of this season. 

1. Drink pumpkin coffee.

The excitement over pumpkin spice lattes over the past few weeks has been insane!  I screamed with joy as I took my first sip this season. But, these lattes can run your bank account dry so, pick up a tin of the beans and make it at home! (I got my can at Trader Joe's, but Whole Foods also sells it.)  If you have a coffee maker with a timer, set it to brew five minutes before your alarm, and wake up to the scent of autumn in your own home!
 
2. Make a seasonal smoothie. Morning smoothies are a must for many, but in fall, with the lower temperatures, a mango and kiwi smoothie can be a little off-putting. So, make yourself a concoction using the fruits of the season! Try a smoothie with beets, raspberries, plums and peaches. Or, see what happens when you mix apples with cinnamon and nutmeg!   

Autumn Sunrise Smoothie
2 small or 1 large pear, peeled and core removed
2 golden delicious apples, peeled and core removed
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg Blend all ingredient in a blender. Serve and enjoy!  

3. Put your slow cooker to work. Have you bought yourself a slow cooker yet?  Seriously, put it on your Hanukkah or Christmas list.  I have a love affair with mine once the temperatures drops.  Warm foods are a cold-weather staple, and it can take time to make them in the morning--time that I don't want to spend standing over the stove.  Sure, you can use the microwave to make instant oatmeal, but it typically contains extra sugar and calories. Instead, set up your slow cooker to do the work overnight!  By putting the setting on low, you can mix up some steel cut oatmeal with canned pumpkin, honey and maple sugar and when you wake up, you'll have a hot, delicious and filling meal with your coffee! 

Slow Cooker Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
15oz canned pumpkin
5 cups water
1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
1/4 cup raw honey
1 Tbs pure maple sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Add all of the ingredients to a slow cooker, stir to combine, cover and cook on low for about 6 hours. (Due to the wide range of differences in slow cookers, you might need to make some time adjustments according to how your particular slow cooker operates.)

4. Go for a brisk run or walk.  Most runners say the best time to run is when the weather is cool but not cold.  Fall's the time to whip out the track jackets and workout pants and give them a spin around the park.  It can be a pleasure to watch the leaves fall as the sun rises, especially if you bring some fun music!  I’m currently logging miles to the song "Some Nights" by Fun.  I can't help but sing along!  

Enjoy the fall season thinner and healthier than ever!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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