Ah, September. If you live in the UK, this month usually has more sunshine than the whole of the ‘summer’ it follows! And there is the added bonus of the promise of autumn in the air too. What’s not to love? Fresh starts, new beginnings and a season on the cusp of change. But before we move on completely, here are 5 things to do before summer is really over. Enjoy!
Dig you heels into the sand and sit
Yes, just sit. We’re so busy aren’t we? Running from the office to the play date to the gym and then home. All the time, running. Busy, busy busy. When was the last time you just sat? More specifically, when was the last time you went to the beach and just sat? Choose a sunny day, and do it. Take the kids if you must, but make sure they know that this day is for you. To sit. And dig your heels into the sand. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin for (possibly) one last time.
Simple activities like this are what summer was made for, so don’t miss out this year. Take the opportunity to do this one last thing. Make the most of a chance to close your eyes and let your mind drift awhile. The power of meditation is so great, and sometimes we need to completely remove ourselves from our every day lives in order to really appreciate life and all it’s glory.
For one last jolly with the girls, or with the family. Do it! Camping can be so much fun, and there’s no better time than now. This weekend! Pack up a tent and get out into the outdoors before the weather really turns. And the best bit? Leave your phone at home.
Never underestimate the power of a weekend spent not being contactable! It’s fuel for your mind, nurturing for your soul and fantastic for your wellbeing. Leave the stresses and strains behind for a night or two. Go on, we dare you!
Late summer is wonderful for a whole array of fresh produce and it tastes even better outside, on a blanket. Our favourite picnic treats include:
Courgette and cucumber noodle salad
So easy to make! You need a spiraliser or potato peeler. Cut your cucumber and courgette into strips (or spiralise them into noodles) and place in a bowl. Add two tablespoons olive oil, the juice of a lime and a pinch of salt. You can also add chilli here Serve by itself, or as a side.
Cauliflower is so versatile and in this dish, you won’t even know you’re eating a vegetable! All you need is:
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1 egg, beaten
- 40g ground almonds
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup pizza sauce or tomato paste
To make, set the oven to 200 degrees c, and line a baking sheet with paper.
Break up your cauliflower and pulse it in a food processor, until it resembles rice. Add this to a couples of inches of boiling water (in a pan) and cook for 5 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Next, use a fine mesh strainer, and when you’re done place all of the strained cauliflower onto a clean dishtowel. Pull up the sides of the towel and squeeze out as much water as you can from the cauliflower. Getting rid of the water is crucial!
Place the cauliflower in a large bowl and add the beaten egg, almonds, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, oregano and a pinch of salt. Mix well and then place onto to the baking sheet and form the dough. Shape into a pizza, making sure the edges are a little higher. Then simply bake for 25-30 minutes until it browns. When it’s ready, add your sauce and toppings and pop back in the oven for 10 minutes.
Delicious eaten warm on your picnic, or just as great cold.
Chocolate peanut butter muffins
Because we all deserve a treat! These are delicious and actually rather clean too. All you need is:
- 2 ripe bananas
- 40g cup peanut butter
- 85g cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 30g + 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 60g cup brown rice flour
- coconut oil for greasing pan
To make the muffins, set the oven at 170 degrees c. Use coconut oil to grease a muffin pan. Peel your bananas and mash them well in a large mixing bowl. Then add your peanut butter, honey, and vanilla, using a fork to combine all ingredients well. In a separate bowl combine cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and flour. Add the dry mixture to the banana mixture, again using a fork to combine well. Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, filling each slot 3/4 of the way. Bake 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before eating.
Take your workout outdoors
Chances are you’ve already been taking advantage of lighter mornings/ evenings and finer weather, so if that’s the case carry on! If you have yet to venture outside to exercise, now is the time to do it. There’s nothing like the feeling of the fresh air to get the heart pumping and the lungs working. Try it. Today.
Dance in the rain
Or walk. Or just stand. I mean, when was the last time you actually enjoyed a rainfall? We’re so busy dodging the rain with umbrellas and coats, complaining about it as we rush to work… when was the last time you actually stopped to appreciate it? Ok, hear me out. There must be an occasion, now and then, when you don’t have to be somewhere. And you aren’t wearing clothes that are dry clean only. And you are prepared to brush away the shackles of being grown up and just enjoy the moment? And let’s face it, we’re never going to be short of rainy days are we? So instead of complaining, why not embrace the rain before it gets too cold?