6 Essentials For Your Fall Garden:

Fall is now in full swing! Just because the weather is changing and the days are becoming shorter, that doesn't mean your organic summer garden has to wither away until the spring! If you live in a place without snow or ice, you can continue your green thumb all year long!  Some vegetables do much better when the temperatures drop a little, and they don't have direct sun for long periods of time. Here are my picks for the 6 essential vegetables for your fall and winter garden.

1. Broccoli: Grows great in cooler temperatures. Requires lots water, approximately 4-6 hours of sun per day. Make sure to cut the heads off before they start sprouting yellow flowers! 

2. Cauliflower: Actually part of the same family as broccoli and brussel spouts. So they need the same amount of light and water. Once your cauliflower are nice and white, approximately 60 days, cut the heads and harvest. Cauliflower are so easy to use and taste great with little added.  Break up the head of the cauliflower. Lightly drizzle with truffle oil so the cauliflower is lightly coated. Salt away, and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. 

3. Swiss Chard: This is a staple of any fall salad greens mix. It is not only a very colorful addition to your garden, but also very tasty. You can harvest at any time, but the smaller leaves are a little sweeter. If you are looking to make salads regularly, make sure to plant 6-10 plants, so you can rotate which plants you harvest. 

4. Brussel Sprouts: These plants love their cooler climates, but still need ample water and 4-6 hours of sunlight. Harvest when the buds are about 1-2 inches in diameter. 1 plant can produce 2-3 pounds of sprouts! Of course, when cooking these delectable treats, i'm always a huge fan of adding bacon! 

5. Kale: The queen of resilient crops. They are very resistant to cold temps, and will produce almost all year round. Whether you use your kale for salads, smoothies or juicing, with a nutritional label like Kale's, you can't go wrong! 

6: Butternut Squash: A true Fall classic. Butternut squash take a little longer to grow, approximately 90 days, but i think they are worth the wait. They need lots of sunlight and lots of water! And they are a very large plant, so make sure they have plenty of room to grow! But there are so many great options for using butternut squash, from pastas, to soups, straight up, or even on pizza. 

Happy farming!
Dr. Vincent

Have Your Sweets & Eat Them Too! 

Life is short. Eat dessert first
— Ernestine Ulmer

Life is all about balance. If people tell me, they never eat sugar or don't like dessert, i immediately think they are lying. Everybody likes something that's sweet. It's a part of being a normal human. So let's all agree that dessert is a part of life, and let's live a little and enjoy it!  Now, although no one has ever been hurt by a single cupcake... a dozen cupcakes is a different story. So how can we enjoy dessert or satisfy a sweet tooth, without unleashing the flood gates and eating the entire dessert table. Sometimes, that is easier said than done, but here are a few tips. 

1. Just let go! Telling yourself that you can NEVER eat dessert, will only breed more of that rebellious spirit that draws you closer and closer to a dessert chow down session. By telling yourself that sweets aren't allowed, it can also cause some people to feel guilty when they actually do eat them. The first rule: allow yourself to indulge. Enjoy it, and let's figure it out later. 

2. Portion Size:  Eating sweets isn't about being hungry! It's about satisfying a craving. So the bigger the cupcake, doesn't necessarily mean the better. A standard red velvet cupcake, with all of its amazing deliciousness, has approximately 500 calories. Just for reference, thats approximately a 5 mile run to work off that 1 minute of mouth ecstasy!  However, a mini red velvet cupcake has approximately 150 calories. Portion size is crucial when choosing dessert. By choosing smaller portions of sweets, you can nip that sugar craving in the bud, and keep your calorie count lower in the long run. 

3. Plan Ahead: So you know you are heading out with friends, going to a wedding, baby shower, birthday, whatever, and you know there will be some amazing baked goods and sweets. Moderating your calories during the day, is a great way to keep your overall caloric balance in check. That doesn't mean starving yourself all day, because that can have negative effects on the metabolism and hormones, but decreasing some calories here and there can create some room to indulge a little later. Hold the dressing on your salad, slow down on the 3pm snacking, and choosing a healthier lunch option are all easy ways to create a little wiggle room in the daily calorie balance. 

4. Pre Package your Desserts: When you're having a dinner party or bringing a dessert to a get-together, come up with a creative or festive way to pre-package your dessert. This way you can decrease the average portion per serving (See the s'mores picture above). Try a mason jar or individual basket to create a smaller stand alone dessert, which secretly is a smaller portion. Because, if they're all on the same plate, it's just too easy to grab another :) Remember, although the other dessert-partakers won't know about your secret calorie skimming ways, it's still good Karma. 

Cheers for dessert!
Dr. Vincent