Leaves are changing, school is back in session, and it’s difficult to miss all of the signs proclaiming the beginning of pumpkin spice-everything season. However, a full schedule or a craving for fall’s best apple cider doughnuts, pumpkin pies, and spiced chai lattes need not derail your health goals and habits. It’s easy to get stressed this time of year and let your meals and snacks become less thoughtful. When the body is stressed, its cortisol levels spike which can lead to stress-eating, weight gain, indigestion, bloating, and a slew of other things that make merrymaking less merry. Thinking ahead and prioritizing your health can keep you on track and feeling your best. There are plenty of healthy indulgences to mindfully enjoy this season and finding ways to stay active throughout the week, whether on walks, choosing the stairs, or going for a run around the block can help you stay balanced. Finding ways to make some of your favorite fall treats and recipes a little healthier is also a great way to have your pie and eat it, too. Here are a few of our favorites to keep us feeling good while not missing out on all the delicious fun! Donuts are delicious but they usually come with a carbo-loaded refined sugar crash afterwards. These delicata squash donuts look incredible and you could douse them with cinnamon for a nutrient dense, rich, tasty treat first thing in the morning or during that post-lunch slump for an energy boost. This pumpkin apple green smoothie (and this one) could satisfy your craving for pie while also helping your body start the day right with spinach, vitamins, minerals, and satisfying healthy fats- adding some Orgain Vanilla protein powder gives your morning whirl even more staying power. Get cozy with a mug of vegan vanilla hot cocoa infused with rich, creamy protein powder for a cocoa that nourishes you from the inside out. And don’t worry, when you attend or host your next gathering, you don’t have to sacrifice all of the velvety spiced goodness of pumpkin pie- we’ve got you covered with a vegan gluten free option as well as no-bake pumpkin pie bars which come together so quickly they can easily be your go-to potluck dish or holiday dessert this season. If pumpkin spiced everything doesn’t satisfy your seasonal sweet tooth, try this vegan apple raspberry crisp or grain-free pear berry crisp  for a healthier take on the butter and refined sugar packed fall classic. You could even whip up some vanilla nice cream to go along side it. All of these options will help you take pleasure in each bite, knowing that the flavors of the season can fuel your clean eating goals without having to dread your upcoming New Year’s resolutions.

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