I’m happy to say I’ve had a super productive weekend, and lots of time to unwind and de-stress after working forty hours last week! I normally only work 32 hours per week, but my boss asked me to cover a Friday shift and I can always use the extra money. On Friday, Buck came over and spent the night (as he usually does on a weekend night) and we ordered delivery and watched cartoons (as we also usually do.) My back was so sore after spending so much time running around at Starbucks, I had no problem falling asleep in the blink of an eye on Friday. The last thing I remember is Buck watching tik toks and turning his phone to show me them as I fell asleep, lol.
Yesterday was catch-up-on-things-around-the-house day, so I did tons of laundry, cleaned up my room, and went grocery shopping at Target. The Target I went to was definitely not the closest grocery store to me, but I like to go there because it’s the single ONLY location I know that carries the Gardein Chick’n Florentino. I also bought a bigger reusable water bottle, because I definitely don’t drink enough water throughout the day and I’d like to make a bit more of an effort. I also started watching Coven last night, the third season of American Horror Story, despite Buck’s warnings that it’s going to be too spooky for me. I will admit, I’m four episodes in and it is quite disturbing, but I’m definitely too deep into it now and I HAVE to see how it ends. I actually don’t watch a lot of Netflix nowadays, but hey, it’s spooky season, and what better way to spend October than binging spooky television?
To be honest, it’s been really nice to focus all my attention on something besides work. I have definitely felt like Starbucks is consuming my life lately, particularly since it’s so intensive and there’s even some internal store drama going on. I’m trying to transfer pretty badly, both for my own well being and to cut my commute in half, but I’m also not opposed to finding a new job altogether. Even if I just cut back on my hours and spend more time doing freelance/remote work, that would be a step in the right direction.
On that note, today has been all about applying for jobs and getting some writing done. I’m going to start publishing two articles a week instead of three for the foreseeable future, because with my current busy schedule it’s just too easy for me to get behind. I’m looking forward to the week ahead, including weekly dinner with my friends and taking Nathaniel on a surprise date some day next weekend, and *maybe* even a response from a new job? Stay tuned!
My favorite month is FINALLY here, and I’m ready to go all-out with the fall content. I do have a ton of fun things planned for this month, including a visit to a haunted goat farm. More to come on that.
Anywho, let’s talk produce. Pretty much all of my favorite fruits and veggies are in season this month, so I’d love to schedule some fruit picking to use in baking. I’m not an incredible cook, but it’s a lesser-known fact that I’m pretty good baker. You’ll just have to trust me on this one.
Pumpkins | Reducing Chronic Diseases
It shouldn’t be new information that October is PUMPKIN month. Technically, pumpkins are a type of winter squash, but I truly believe the pumpkin deserves its own entry. Not only are they delicious for baking and Starbucks drinks- you can also carve them into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween night. We love a spooky, well-rounded healthy snack. Pumpkins contain antioxidants, which can help protect you from chronic diseases, different cancers, and skin damage. Pumpkins are also filled with nutrients that can improve your immune system- something I especially appreciate during allergy season. Below I’ve included a link to a basic pumpkin pie, which you can make dairy-free by opting for almond milk instead. You can also make it vegan by using applesauce instead of eggs!
Bananas | Heart Health & Weight Loss
Bananas are one of my favorite fruits to eat year-round. They’re extremely delicious and highly convenient to eat, and (of course), they are also perfect for baking. One banana only has around 100 calories, and they consist almost entirely of water and carbs. Because bananas have such a low calorie count and fill you up fast, they are an ideal snack for those seeking to lose weight. My mom makes the most amazing banana bread on the planet, but sadly, I don’t have her recipe on hand. However, I do have this delicious recipe from Allrecipes, which comes up as a close second. Just replace the butter and the sour cream with vegan replacements, and you’re good to go.
Apples | Dietary Fiber
Just like pumpkins, apples are a staple of October that deserve love and recognition. I haven’t gone apple picking in forever, so I’d love to make time for that this month! Apples are a fantastic source of dietary fiber, which can help prevent the development of certain diseases. Consuming apples has been linked to the prevention of obesity, diabetes, strokes, dementia, and other neurological disorders. Less healthy than eating an apple (but arguably more delicious) is an apple pie, and my personal favorite version is the one by Marie Callender. It’s 100 percent vegan, completely by accident, and it tastes deliciously homemade. I have an entire article about accidentally vegan snacks, so I’ll link that below, too.
Greens | High in Vitamins, Low in Calories
Leafy greens include kale, herbs, spinach, cabbage, arugula, and romaine lettuce. I am admittedly a little picky about the leafy greens I like to eat, but most of them can snuck into a smoothie undetected. A kale smoothie might not strike you as a typical fall meal, but it’s one of the best ways to get some raw kale in your body (especially if you hate the taste on its own, like me). Also, a fall salad with some grapes and nuts actually sounds delicious to me ATM, and as we all know, those leafy greens are fantastic for your health. Consider combining some of the other produce in this guide to make your perfect fall salad, smoothie, or breakfast meal!
Potatoes | No Fat, Sodium, or Cholesterol
You may not think of a potato as being particularly healthy, but it’s actually not a bad choice. Like the subtitle states, potatoes contain no fat, sodium, or cholesterol, and they’re packed with healthy nutrients. Potatoes are also naturally gluten-free, making them an iconic staple in the vegan + gluten-free community. I found a great recipe for vegan mashed potatoes on Allrecipes, so I’m going to link that down below for you too! Also, real talk, can we make potato picking a thing? I would be 100 percent incented to go to a potato picking farm as a charming fall activity.
Raspberries, Strawberries, and Cranberries | Healthy Skin
Technically, strawberries aren’t a berry, but their high antioxidant count is very similar to that of a berry. Antioxidants aid in a variety of wonderful things for your body, notably, they can even help prevent wrinkles and skin damage. Berries are also excellent for fighting inflammation, which helps to defend your body against infections from injury. In regards to cooking, there are a multitude of great ways to bake with berries and strawberries. Below I’m going to link a Triple Berry Crisp recipe, which can be easily customizable with different fruits, and easily made vegan as well.
Winter Squashes | Vitamin C
Last but certainly not least, winter squash is in season for the month of October. Did you know that squash is actually a fruit? (I did not know until I started writing this article). I love squash for its sweet, nutty taste, and its versatile properties in both summer and winter dishes. Squash is packed with a variety of different vitamins, most notably vitamins C and A. The benefits of eating squash include boosting your immunity, regulating your metabolism, and even preventing infections! The notorious winter cold is just around the corner, so eat up on your veggies and get in as much squash as you can!