26 Home, Health, And Garden Experts Share Their 100% Useful Tips For Transitioning To The Fall

Ever wondered how to best prepare for the change in season? We asked the experts.

October 13, 2017
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There’s a good chance you’ve already put away your summer clothes and pulled out your big, cozy blankets and knit sweaters—which means you're well on your way to embracing fall. To help you settle into the season even more, we reached out to experts in home design and energy, alternative medicine, wellness, food, and mindfulness to put together our ultimate fall checklist.

Below, you’ll find creative ways to ward off colds, simple décor tricks to bring on the cozy, and here-and-there-and-everywhere cleaning and cold weather preparation tasks that will make all the difference come winter. Maybe you check off all the to-dos, maybe you only check off one. Remember: as long as you’re happy, slowing down, and staying healthy, you’re doing just fine this fall.

(Brag your love of gardening with the Organic Life 2018 Wall Calendar, featuring gorgeous photographs, cooking tips and recipes, plus how to eat more—and waste less—of what's in season.)

mint tea
HeikeRau/getty

Drink This DIY Tea

In the fall, we want to support our lungs from the all-to-familiar phlegm and mucus buildup that comes with seasonal allergies. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, restoring balance to our lungs and body can be done through consuming specific foods. Dr. Vincent Caruso Jr., D.C. of New Jersey Total Health recommends making this delicious tea to support the body in its ability to adjust to the season. If you are into tea blends, here are 9 more that are perfect for fall.

 “In a mug, pour boiling water over a handful of mint leaves, 5-6 chunks of fresh ginger, ½ squeezed lemon, and honey to taste,” says Dr. Caruso. After enjoying, keep the mint and ginger to make another cup.

Introduce This Gratitude Meditation

Let’s make everyday feel like Thanksgiving, minus the crazy amount of food. Plus, it's been shown that giving thanks can actually make you a happier person. Place a little notebook next to your bed and dedicate a page to daily gratitude. Each night before you go to bed, list 3-5 things you were grateful for that day. It could be anything from extra bacon on your salad to your car running smoothly. It’s a simple way to remind yourself and the universe that you’re happy, thankful, and aware. That while you may strive for new things in your life, what you have now is pretty awesome. Energy follows thought, and the universe loves gratitude.

Tend to The Nooks and Crannies Of Your House

Lucy Norman, cleaning and organizing expert at End to End Cleaning, knows a thing or two about prepping a house for the fall. She recommends taking an afternoon to wipe down the following often overlooked items: lighting fixtures, garbage disposal, refrigerator coils, and small kitchen appliances. Also, your oven is going to be getting lots of love coming up (Hello giant turkey!) so give it a good scrub to boost efficiency.

Light Your Walkways

A little outdoor ambiance never hurt anyone, actually it may keep you safer. “With longer evenings, make sure the yard and pathways around your home are well lit,” says Charlie Capps, director of gardening for Windowbox.com. Consider using decorative solar stakes, spotlights, or classic candle pumpkins. Your guests will thank you and your yard will look like magic. We love these solar lights for a walkway ($24 on Amazon.com) as well as these patterned walkway lights ($20 on Amazon.com).

diffuser
Photograph courtesy of Amazon

Diffuse Autumn Scents In Your Home

KJ Landis, author and creator of The Superior Self series, embraces the season by using the stove and some essential oils. (Here are the 5 most versatile essential oils you can own.) “I get out my fall favorites like vanilla, coffee, cinnamon, and clovebud, and mix five drops of each with about 2-3 inches of water on the stove,” she says. Simmering this mix for 20 minutes will make your whole house smell like autumn. “It feels great to embrace the season, and the scent grounds me after a long, stressful day of work.”

No essential oils on hand? Try adding three cinnamon sticks to a large pot of simmering water for an energetically warm aroma. “Cinnamon is also said to attract abundance into your space,” adds Heather Askinosie, co-founder of Energy Muse and co-author of Crystal Muse: Everyday Rituals to Turn into the Real You. You can also use a beautiful diffuser, like the one pictured above. These are some of the 5 best eco-friendly essential oil diffusers

Then Bake Up Some Warming Classics

To welcome this time of year, it never hurts to indulge in baking with some new twists on traditional recipes. This slow-cooker pumpkin butter will fill your house with delicious smells and a tasty treat at the end. Ditto this mouth-watering ginger apple crisp that made one of our editor's ditch her mom's recipe. What better way to indulge in autumn?

changing sheets
Burak Karademir/getty

Replace Your Pillow

“If your bed pillows are yellow, lumpy, or flattened out, it’s time to replace them,” says Michelle Fishberg co-founder and CEO of Slumbr. (Here's more on what you need to know about changing your pillows.) Without proper care, pillows can accumulate dirt, oil, dust mites, bacteria, mold, and even fungi. Yeeesh. We don’t need another reason to be face to face with illness this fall. When on the hunt for your next pillow, make sure it provides neutral support, meaning your head, neck, and spine remain in alignment, that it can be easily washed or cleaned, and that it’s hypoallergenic or all natural, says Fishberg. “We’ve all had experiences sleeping on various pillows we’ve bought or ones in friends’ homes and hotels. Think about what you did or didn’t like about those pillows,” she advises. With the proper care, a quality pillow with a natural fill material, like down, buckwheat, or natural latex, can last you years, even a decade. So recycle that old lump by donating to a local charity, composting natural fills, or turning it into a pet cushion, and invest in dozing off.

Change Your Bed Sheets

We know the story all to well. Conventionally processed cotton, which makes up 30-40% of the market, is genetically modified and sprayed with pesticides to yield a higher harvest, explains Danielle Dorn, Creative Director of the organic textile company Under the Canopy. “In production, the treatment of the cotton incorporates toxic chemicals, such as formaldehyde, chlorines, and known endocrine-disruptors,” she says. These toxins run into water systems, expose village and factory workers, and end up in our sheets, which we cozy up with every night. (Here are 10 other mistakes you might be making every time you go to bed.)

A better alternative would be buying organic cotton sheets, as they do not have GMOs, pesticides, or chemicals. And always opt out of the ‘wrinkle-free’ option, as they are chemically processed. Here are some of the best organic sheets you can buy. Dorn recommends paying more attention to the fiber than the thread count of your next set. “Organic fibers are generally shorter in staple, giving it lower thread count, but the fiber is far superior, making a higher quality, longer lasting sheet,” she explains. If you sleep cool at night, look for a sateen weave. Warmer? Check out a Percale sheet. And give them a good wash every 1-2 weeks.

Clean Up Your Cleaning Products

Before you start any of the below projects, consider what you’re using to do so. Does it contain chemicals? Smell harsh? It’s inevitable: we’ll be spending considerably more time indoors, and this increase affects how our indoor ecosystem works. “Our bodies foster a microbiome to live indoors, which supports our mood, biology, and physiology,” says Aunt Fannie’s CEO, Mat Franken. Chemicals challenge that supportive environment by killing off healthy bugs and, more obviously, harming our endocrine system. Look for cleaning products that are food-based and free from perchloroethylene (PERC), fragrance or perfume, Triclosan, Quarternary Ammonium Compounds (QUATS), and Chlorine. For a deeper look into detoxing your cleaning supplies, check out Super Natural Homes.

essential oils for cleaning
artursfoto/Getty

Make Your Own Natural Ones Instead

If you’re the DIY type, you may fall in love with making your own cleaning products from essential oils. “Peppermint is cool, invigorating, and antibacterial, making it the perfect air freshener,” says Rupinder Mangat, CEO of luxury essential oils brand MEVEI. In a spray bottle, mix 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil with one cup of water. Shake well and spray. (Here are 8 more natural cleaning products you can DIY.) “It’s a surprisingly effective deterrent for ants and spiders as well,” she offers. Lavender is a beautiful antibacterial that pairs well with vinegar. Just add 4-5 drops for scent and a cleaning oomph. Eucalyptus is a powerful germicide and dust mite buster, so a few drops with baking soda makes an all-natural mattress cleanser. “Is there anything tea tree oil can’t do?,” kids Mangat. From fighting germs, bacteria, and viruses, this is must in your home-cleaning arsenal.

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fireplace
Moretti/Viant/getty

Frame the Fireplace

It’s your fireplace’s time to shine. (Just make sure you're avoiding these 5 scary fireplace mistakes.) Consider rearranging your family living space to welcome the cozy feeling of fall by placing extra seating around your fireplace. Accent chairs, benches, ottomans, or poufs all create a little extra space to relax, offers Heather Hess, Designer and Director of Editorial Content for SwatchPop! Even adding a few more throw blankets to the room will invite coziness. It’s the perfect way to gently direct the energy of an evening. Warning: s’mores are a known side effect.

Cover The Grill

Now that our cooking attention has turned from burgers and grilled vegetables to banana bread and quiche, it’s a good idea to secure the grill from elements. “Especially important for those who keep their grills outside all year round, grill covers protect from falling branches, leaves, rain, and snow,” says Clark Turner, director of product management, gas grills at Char-Broil. Not to mention spiders and savvy rodents. Keep in mind that a good cover should fit right, so measure the width of your grill before shopping, and look for a cover with hooks or loop straps so it stays secure. Also consider the material. “It should be high strength water repellant, and fade resistant,” says Turner. And if you need a grill for next year, check out these eco-friendly options.

Gut Your Gutters

Besides bringing in a few small pumpkins, we’d rather the moisture of fall stay outside. “To prevent water and moisture damage from ruining your day, a close inspection of your gutters is a must,” says Lauren Haynes, cleaning expert at Star Domestic Cleaners. When inspecting, keep an eye out for broken rivets or seals, cracks, and holes. Replace as needed. Haynes also suggests checking out the fascia boards, especially if they’re made from wood as they may have rotting. “Next, your job is to clean the gutters,” says Haynes. To do this, simply scoop all the debris into a bucket so there is no obstruction to downspouts. Using a stuff brush, clean the remaining dirt inside. Plumbing rods or long poles are useful when checking the downspouts for blockage. Finally, use a hose or pressure washer to make sure all is clear.

Pest Proof Your Home

Rodents love sweet treats too. To keep them from snatching your pumpkin pie, Black recommends keeping your firewood away from the home and removing debris, like old tires, toys, and equipment that could be hiding places. Inside, inspect around windows, doorframes, and attic rooflines, she suggests. Seal em’ up if needed. Basements tend to attract dampness, which bugs love, so consider a de-humidifier to reduce pest-friendly conditions. Next, make sure your garage doors fully seal and keep them closed when not in use. Lastly, before swapping screens for storm windows, check for damage and replace for next spring, says Black. You can pest proof your whole home in 15 minutes.

woman opens drapes
Seb Oliver/getty

Replace The Drapes

One of Kidder’s first fall-home prep chores is replacing her lightweight faux-silk draperies with heavier velvet drapes. “The rich velvet makes my home feel cozier and the heavy fabric keeps drafts at bay,” she says. She also takes advantage of other small adjustments, like replacing her teal pillows with deeper jewel tones and adding more throw rugs around for cozy toes. You could go jungalow style or embrace different textures, but make sure you're paying attention to what's framing your windows, as you look at them every day. (Check out our story on toxicity in homes to learn about other eco-upgrades you can make.)

Vacuum To Save Money

“Using the maximum heating potential of your system during cold months requires a thorough vacuuming of radiators, grates, baseboard heaters, etc.,” says Lucy Norman. Remove your radiator covers and vacuum underneath before replacing. “And there is a good chance your dryer vents are stuck with lint, which makes them less efficient,” she continues. (Here are 6 ways to nix the toxic chemicals from your laundry routine.) Inspect and clean dryer vents by unplugging the dryer’s connector or stop the gas, making some room behind, and loosening the clamp, which holds the hose. Then use a lint brush or vacuum to clean the hose. “Removing it will eliminate the risk of a kitchen fire as autumn weather is known to increase the static electricity, which can ignite the lint that is stuck the vents,” warns Norman.

Related: 6 Small And Simple Ways To Save Money On Your Heating Bill—According To An Energy Expert

aromatherapy
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Unwind With Aromatherapy Oils And Lotions 

Include a few drops of your favorite to unscented body lotion or high-quality oil and apply after a warm shower. “I often apply to the neck and shoulder area so I get the aromatherapy benefits as well as medicinal,” says Kimberly Jonas, Founder and Principle Alchemist of BodyMantra. When purchasing, be sure to look for oils that are marked Therapeutic-grade, have been steam or CO2-distilled, and have third party testing for purity. “It’s also a boost if you can find organic or wild-crafted sources, so that you are applying the cleanest, most potent medicine to your body.”  Playing with essential oils this season has the added benefit of transitioning your body to slow down and settle. Jonas suggests gravitating towards essential oils that are earthy and dense. “Use Patchouli sparingly to help regulate the central nervous system, Vetiver to help you slow down and settle, Lavender to cultivate equilibrium, and Cedarwood, which is the epitome of a fall scent,” says Jonas. (If you really want to get into it, you could even try visiting an aromatherapist, like this writer did.) 

Purge The Candle Drawer

“The more black smoke you see coming off the wick, the more toxic it is, like running a vespa in your home,” says Joshua Onysko, founder and CEO of Pangea Organics. Of course, sometimes the wick just needs a little trim, but if you see streams of black, you’re in trouble. (Here's more of what you need to know about the dangers of scented candles.) It’s easy to get fooled when buying candles, as most “natural” candles are made from GMO, unsustainably sourced plant oils and blended with synthetic aroma chemicals, he explains. Yuck. But nothing is as bad for our environment and health as petrochemicals (paraffin) based candles. When replacing your candles, look for organic oils and waxes, and pure essential oils. “Try only burning that great new candle for a few hours at a time and keep the wick trimmed. It will last a long time,” says Onysko. Or, make these awesome beeswax candles in your slow cooker.

Try Bringing Some New Energy Into Your Space

To start a new mindfulness practice in your home, here are 5 meditations you can do right now. But there are many other options to get a fresh perspective and feel renewed energy, too. “A couple of ways to cleanse your space is to burn sage or use sound, like ringing a Tibetan bell, to break up stagnation and remove lingering energy,” says Askinosie. (You can also add more Tibetan singing bowls and try sound meditation.) This can also just be a simple way to meditate and focus on the power of transition into fall in your home. While burning the sage, walk around your home and hold a soft intention of balance, harmony, and tranquility for the season. (Here are a few more ways to remove negative energy from your home, if you're into that.) If you want to decorate with something to remind you to feel renewed: “I also like to keep a piece of Rose Quartz in my front door,” says Askinosie. Another favorite crystal of hers is Apophyllite, which she keeps on the dining room table or counter. To many, this crystal is known for promoting joy and happiness. And even if you don't believe in all that, they can look lovely on a shelf or coffee table. (Here's more on what healing crystals are anyway, and if there's any evidence behind them.)

Warm With Yoga

One of my favorite ways to start the day, especially when it’s chilly, is with a round of 3-5 Sun Salutation B to warm the body and wake the chakras. Move slowly, holding each pose for a full breath, and pay attention to how the tightness of your muscles gives way as the body loosens. From there, I move to grounding poses, like Mountain (Tadasana), Tree Pose (Vriksasana), and Warrior II (Virabhadrasana), holding each for at least five breaths to generate heat and find my footing to start the day. Through the flow, pay attention to your thoughts. Do they stay on your breath or body? Do they wander? This is a great practice for acknowledging anything that arises in us, and working through it.

Related: 8 Best Yoga Poses For Gardeners

pumpkin centerpiece
leekris/getty

Update Your Flowers

Instead of storing away your vases, consider filling them with seasonal flowers, like mums, cotton stems, magnolia leaves and eucalyptus, suggests Hess. A few bud vases in a row filled with bare branches, wheat, cattails, or seasonal berries from your yard would even make a simple Thanksgiving centerpiece. (Here's how to make a pumpkin and gourd centerpiece.) Sunflowers are always a fall favorite and most flower shops are stocked with fresh stems. And you can always add some small pumpkins and gourds around these blooms to give everything an autumn sheen.

buy used mason jars at the thrift store to save money
Kimbra Ritchie/Getty

Clean Your Jars

Ah, the beloved Mason jar! We adore them for just about everything from drinking a smoothie to housing some fresh cut flowers. But 'tis the season for their original purpose: pickling and canning. “Now’s the time I’ll wash all of my Mason jars and stock up on pickling salt and seasoning,” says Interior Decorator, Sarah Kidder. Check out 101 super simple canning and picking recipes from the cookbook, Tart and Sweet.

Get In the Mood

Sure, we’re not thrilled about night falling earlier in the fall, but this cue is a sign we should settle in and give our bodies rest. It's important to our health to stick to a natural sleep rhythm. To flow with the evening, try adding more mood lighting around your home, like table and floor lamps, to create an intimate, comfy feeling, says Hess. Even placing large candles in your bathroom, bedroom, and living room is an easy way to create a warm ambiance with delicious aromas, suggests Liat Tzoubari, founder & CEO of the ethical artisan home decor boutique Sevensmith.

Switch Some Light bulbs

“Full spectrum light bulbs help people who suffer from seasonal effective disorder, also known as SAD,” says explains Dr. Elizabeth Trattner acupuncturist, chef, and owner of an integrative medical practice. How? “The florescent light bulbs around your home emit spotty wavelengths, like an adolescent kid missing teeth,” says Darrin Scardelli, Senior Engineer with Vanguard Building Solutions. “Full spectrum light bulbs present all of the wavelengths we need, similar to natural sunlight. Imagine the kid who just got their braces off.” Our bodies need the whole spectrum to function properly, so by switching out a few florescent bulbs, say in your office, main room, and bedroom, you’re signaling hormones and neurotransmitters responsible for regulating mood, sleep cycle, and energy. “While it’s not a perfect substitute for natural light, it’s the closest thing,” says Scardelli.

Related: The 5 Best Energy-Efficient Space Heaters That Can Save You Money On Your Heating Bills

using lotion
filistimlyanin/getty

Nourish Your Skin

When it’s cold, you may be used to slathering on water-based lotion and calling it a day. The truth is, artificial heat from our cars, homes, and offices, in conjunction with the bitterness of wind pulls out not only water moisture from our hands, but oils too. You may want to consider using a moisturizing oil. You can also learn more about whether lotion or oil is better for your skin. One trick I learned is angling car vents so they are not directly pointed at your hands or face. Another is to keep a jar of coconut oil next to your favorite organic lotion and mix the two when moisturizing after a shower. This is the perfect time to apply, because your pores are open. I even use this mix on my face and let it soak in over night. In the morning, my skin is supple and bright.

Watch this quick video to learn how to make a soothing calendula chamomile lotion at home.

Deep Condition Your Hair

Your perfect fall self-love routine may just include a bottle of olive oil and your locks. Deep conditioning is important in the fall for two reasons, we’re repairing damage from a sunny summer and restoring moisture when the temperature drops. Part your hair in half and warm about a nickel size dollop of oil between your hands, then run through each side of your hair until covered. Pop on a shower cap for some heat and moisture retention, and doddle around for 30 minutes. Then shower and dry as you would normally. (Here are 5 natural DIY hair masks for every hair type.)

 
 
fall farmers market
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Buy Seasonally

“Eating seasonally is more eco-friendly and nutritious,” says Kim-Julie Hansen, Brussels Vegan food blogger. When you purchase local, seasonal foods, less produce has to be imported. Seasonal foods even help fight allergies! And with virtually no travel time, your goods are able to grow until ripe, allowing them to soak up more nutrients from the soil. “It’s also a lot more affordable,” says Hansen. “Some fruits and vegetables can be two or three times as expensive in off seasons.”

Bake Root Vegetables

Besides being seasonal, root vegetables are an excellent source of fiber, which is essential for proper digestion, says Hansen. “You can use them in soups, stews, savory dishes, and desserts,” she suggests. And they last a long time, both at room temperature and in the fridge—perfect for busy folks.

Easy recipe: In a baking pan, add a large batch of diced root vegetables with the skin on (think carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, parsnip, onion, garlic, radish), a dollop of ghee, and some fresh rosemary. Cook at 400F for about 40-45 minutes, then store in the fridge. This way you can reheat them throughout the week for a simple side dish or blend them into soups. With lots of healthy carbohydrates and fiber, you’ll get sustained energy without the crash.

Store Smart

Before adding some of these check list goodies to your pantry, do a thorough clean out and try rotating your treats first in first out, says Judy Black, entomologist, and Vice President, North America Technical Services for the family of pest control brands Western Exterminator, Ehrlich, and Presto-X. Store dried foods, like pasta, grains, and flour in sealed containers, like large mason jars. Beautiful and effective. (Here are more ways to cut food waste in the kitchen.) Don’t forget to store pet food in sealed containers too and clean up your pet’s area after he's done eating. Most importantly, jar up that dark chocolate. For their size, mice have a big sweet tooth.

fall smoothies
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Switch Up Your Smoothie

Shake up the green smoothie this fall and add some seasonal ingredients, like apples, cinnamon, pumpkin, and persimmons, to your breakfast bowl or smoothie. (Here's more on using squash in smoothies.) Before you hit the farmers’ market next time, check out this Autumn Apple breakfast smoothie recipe by Jenna Tanenbaum, founder of the smoothie delivery service GreenBlender, to engage the season creatively. Plus, for an easy start, check out the only four smoothie recipes you'll ever need.

Boil Bone Broth

Bone broth gets a lot of hype in the fall, and for a good reason. “It’s a great immune booster, strengthens the gut lining, and provides anti-inflammatory amino acids to help reduce joint pain,” says Sharon Brown, clinical nutritionist, certified GAPS practitioner, and founder of Bonafide Provisions. It’s also super simple to add to one’s lifestyle, like in sautéed vegetables, braised meats, and homemade soups. Other reasons to love bone broth: it helps prevent dull skin from the cold weather, as it’s full of collagen, which contributes to our skin’s elasticity and complexion, says Brown. 

Related: I Swapped My Coffee For A Daily Cup Of Bone Broth—Here's What Happened

fall spices
Roman Larin / EyeEm/getty

Spice Up Your Meals

Replace or reposition these essential fall spices so that they are within reach when cooking. Turmeric contains the compound curcumin, which is known for it’s anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties, says Kerri Axelrod, certified Integrative Nutrition health coach and yoga instructor. “I love making turmeric lattes for their comfort and warmth.” Cinnamon and nutmeg are also staples, as they are warming and can help balance out the change in season. Nutmeg contains lots of vitamins and minerals, helps with pain relief and digestion, and even has antibacterial properties, which helps fight bad breath, she says. Cinnamon is full of antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and helps lower blood sugar. “Their addition to your diet is simple enough, like adding them to smoothies and coffee, or baking apples and sprinkling them on top,” says Axelrod.

Support Your Gut

“The digestive system is the first line of defense for our body’s immune system,” Trattner says. And we want all the immune support we can get, because remember, our immune system is responsible for identifying and eliminating foreign bacteria, like colds, so we don’t get sick. (Here's the single biggest thing you can do for a healthier gut.) Probiotics deposit lots of good bacteria to the digestive system, increase natural killer cells, and support phagocytosis (aka when our immune system engulfs harmful materials). Easy enough, you can take probiotics via a supplement or eat active foods like yogurt and sauerkraut.

Eat Your Fish

You’ve probably heard your parents talk about being fed spoonfuls of cod liver oil against their will. Well it was for a pretty good reason. The Omega-3 fatty acids in flax and fatty fish oil act as immune boosters by increasing the activity of phagocytes, says Elizabeth Trattner. They also protect the body from overreacting to infections. In fact, one study found that children taking half a teaspoon of flax oil a day experienced fewer and less severe respiratory infections, she says. But don’t worry, including omega-3 is as simple and yummy as adding flax oil to your salads and eating wild-caught fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, or sardines 2-3 times a week. A lot better than your parents' day.

Related: 20 Little Ways To Nurture Yourself This Winter

Serve Seaweed

Another immune booster, green seaweed is a densely nutritious vegetable, full of important nutrients and healthy immune-supporting fats, says Davida Mitchell, L.Ac., Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and General Manager of Blue Evolution. It contains the dynamic-duo vitamins A & D, which are more effective when consumed together, iodine, vitamin C, and Zinc. Seaweed is also highly bioavailable, so our bodies gobble up the nutrients much more than from a pill-based supplement. Dried seaweed is a crispy snack, but if you or your little one isn’t into the taste, Blue Evolution has some yummy pasta infused with seaweed. A much easier sell to a toddler when it’s topped with cheese, amiright?

garlic
Ana Pelaez/getty

Stock Up On Fresh Garlic

Beyond superstition, raw, fresh garlic wards off colds by stimulating the multiplication of white cells, explains Trattner. Powdered garlic doesn’t have all the good active compounds of fresh cloves, like superstar antioxidants, so be sure to always have a few bulbs on hand to add to meals. You can even make your garlic last longer with these tips. But before throwing a whole chunk into that stir-fry, crush it and wait a couple minutes to release the compounds.

Add Sea Buckthorn To Your Breakfast

A great addition to your morning parfait, Sea Buckthorn juice has one of the highest antioxidant ratings. “The herb has been around for thousands of years,” says Elizabeth Trattner. “It’s used in Chinese, Tibetan, and, Russian Medicine as an immune tonic.” The sour yellow berries are powerfully adaptogenic, meaning they increase the body’s resistance to stress, trauma, and fatigue, while supporting the heart, liver, and immune system. Not into the tart taste? Try a simple supplement.

indoor herbs
YinYang/getty

Grow Fresh Flavor On Your Windowsill

While we part ways with our outdoor herb garden, our indoor friends are just beginning. These are the 6 easiest herbs to grow indoors in the winter. “Not only will fresh growing herbs enliven indoor spaces, easy-to-grow herbs also make cooking extra flavorful,” says Charlie Capps. Pick up seeds or starter kits for basil, oregano, parsley and mint and enjoy some green amongst all the orange of the season.

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Plant Hardy Veggies and Spring Bulbs

Soups are a staple of fall, especially ones with hardy, seasonal vegetables. Capps suggests planting your carrots, broccoli, onions, peas, and spinach now for harvest in the winter. “You’ll be happy you did,” he says. Be sure to net or fence off your crops as animals are storing up on their noms for the season! This is also the time to plant your spring bulbs, advises Capps. “Whether you plant in window boxes, the lawn, or containers, you’ll get the best spring bulbs if you start now.”

Related: Your Ultimate Guide To Planting Bulbs This Fall

Adjust Your Indoor Plants 

To keep our vining, twining, big green babes happy this season, pull them away from windows, vents, heaters, or fires so they remain at a generally even temperature. Same goes for any plants you may be moving indoors for the cold seasons. (Here are 7 plants that purify indoor air.) Mist these guys regularly or place them on a tray of gravel and water to increase humidity. “And because they’re no longer in the sun and wind, you can reduce the amount of watering and fertilizing,” says Capps. It’s also an ideal time to re-pot plants that have outgrown their containers, and deadhead them to allow for new growth. “For all your plants, occasionally wipe their leaves with a damp cloth to get rid of the accumulation of natural house dust,” says Capps.

Then, sit back, relax, and enjoy your greenery (and your refreshed, autumn home, mind, and body) as the weather outside gets chilly and the seasons change.