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Fall is near-ish, and with that comes our favorite flavors. Dunkin’ Donuts is bringing back the Pumpkin Spice Latte August 28, with Starbucks quickly following on September 5, and stores are already loading up the shelves with pumpkin flavored cakes, pies, candies and more. Break out your Uggs and scarves and get your PSL on, despite the fact that temperatures will likely still be in the 90’s when the first craving hits. Who cares, we’re basic and the gram needs to know.

…Or Can We?

That being said, getting your fall fix often comes at price, charged straight to your waistline. You might not feel as apt to stay healthy when the temperatures cool off. The chances to bring all the boys to the yard with your hot bikini bod are mostly gone, so why bother? But you should should still make smart choices, rather than consuming processed pumpkin all season. It’s surprisingly easy to find fall flavors that taste good and are good for you. Who knew? FirstHealth licensed dietitian Ashley Carpenter came in clutch with a few suggestions to make this fall our most flavorful (and healthy) yet.

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Pro tip: Roast fall veggies like squash, sweet ‘taters, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli (drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of seasonings, bake until golden and tender) to bring out their yummy flavors through caramelization. Create seasonal salads by combining endive, radicchio, and chard with fall-forward fruits like apples, pear slices and grapes. Sub that carby pasta for spaghetti squash. Add pumpkin to smoothies for an easy flavor boost, and combine apples or pears with cinnamon for full on fall flavor that you can add to oatmeal or eat as is.

Since you’ll need energy for cardio to burn off those PSL calories, try these pumpkin spice energy balls. Or if you need some extra motivation to eat right and stay active this fall, consult an expert. Join GRIT for weekly workout classes and a complimentary personalized nutrition program, or consult with Ashley Carpenter to start making smarter choices with what you’re shoving in your mouth this season.

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