Nights are getting longer and leaves are beginning to fall. When seasons change, it gives us the opportunity to check in with your personal health.

Maybe it’s time to go through your spice cabinet and toss the old and bring in new ingredients.

So how do you stay happy and healthy this fall season? We’ve got some tips to get you started.

Start with extra virgin olive oil to get extra health benefits.

“Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a rock star when it comes to seeking a healthier, longer life,” Lori Hackman, owner of The Oilerie Sun Prairie explained. “Research has found it can help lower the risk for dementia, and Alzheimer’s and even cardiovascular disease.”

Research has linked the Mediterranean diet, which includes EVOO, to numerous health benefits.

One of those reports from the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine said that eating a Mediterranean diet that includes EVOO, may lower risk of dementia by 30-35 percent.

A growing number of people are experiencing similar benefits from incorporating extra virgin olive oil into their recipes. This has become more important since research scientifically links olive oil to potentially better health and wellness.

Hackman suggested a recipe for Garlic Rosemary Chicken and Italian Oven-Roasted Vegetables, perfect for delicious fall entertaining or family dinners.

“Eating produce that is in season usually means its traveling a shorter distance from the farm to your table, and that means a higher retention of vitamins and minerals,” said Hackman.

You may not have realized that extra freshness matters, big-time with olive oil. The Oilerie’s olive oils are truly farm-to-table.

“They come from one family’s olive groves near Rome,” she said. “The farm grows the olives, makes the oil, and then ships it directly to us. It’s as fresh as we can possibly get.”

Extra virgin olive oil is the highest grade and quality of olive oil. It’s made from the first pressing of the olives and processed at low temperatures to lock in the integrity of the oil. That’s how the health benefits are kept intact.

At the European-style, taste-before-you-buy Oilerie ( there’s more to love about EVOO than how it enhances recipes.

“Every time you use olive oil in your fall and holiday cooking, you’re reaping extraordinary health benefits,” said Hackman.

Stop by to taste and learn. Pull the spigot on the big containers called fustis and taste away. After making a selection each bottle is hand-sealed and dated.

Chances are if you ask people how they use olive oil they might say they drizzle it on salads or use it for dipping bread. That’s fine, but there are numerous ways you can incorporate it in cooking and baking.

Get creative, and use olive oil in entrees and marinades, seafood, beef, pork and chicken, or in salads, and snacks like pizza and popcorn.

When you’re baking or sautéing meat or veggies, you can use olive oil for added flavor and benefits. Use flavored olive oil like many people use spices. Just substitute olive oil flavors of garlic, lemon, lime, oregano, chili or porcini, for example, and you’ll be surprised how good your dish tastes.

Think Wellcare

Alise Dobrot, owner of Naturally Optima in Sun Prairie, said fall is a great time to think about “wellcare.”

She is a multi-state licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a Master’s of Science in Nutrition, and an integrative functional nutrition and therapeutic practitioner. She also practices medical massage and bodywork. At her clinic she develops a personalized holistic nutrition care plan that helps restore function and improve outcomes.

“The idea of ‘wellcare’ is based on intentionally seeking wellness rather than just putting out proverbial fires,” Dobrot explained. “As the leaves fall and the world around us prepares for winter, it is a great time to tune up our bodies physically and nutritionally.”

In her practice ( she encourages people to do more than eat high quality whole foods.

“Just like each ingredient is essential for a recipe to work,” Dobrot added, “we need to eat a balance of all major food groups to meet all our bodily requirements for growth, development, and regeneration.”

In order to build healthy bodies, she says, “We need to intentionally consume a combination of nutrients that come from fruits, veggies, whole grains, and meats or seeds, nuts, and legumes. Fall is a great time to fill ‘holes’ in your diet by enjoying all the variety, color, and textures that fall has to offer.”

Wellcare is also about intentional movement.

“Just going for a walk to enjoy the fall foliage supports your body’s natural detoxification system,” she said. “Manual therapy techniques such as massage or therapeutic bodywork can be another beneficial movement strategy.”

A 2018 survey by the American Massage Therapy Association found that 62% of adult Americans got a massage for medical or health reasons such as pain management, injury rehabilitation, or overall wellness.

“Manual therapy or therapeutic bodywork uses various hands-on techniques to identify and treat body structural imbalances or restrictions that cause pain or reduce function. The basis of the majority of manual therapy techniques includes stretching, gentle pressure, or resistance,” Dobrot said.

Regardless of whether you’re looking for specific or global, manual therapy, Dobrot says this is a good integrative wellcare support for other medical therapies.

Stay active when temps fall

Regardless of what you do to stay fit this fall, many people find it easier when they have a personal trainer.

Kraig Kuchenbecker, Prairie Athletic Club’s Personal Training Manager, says the club has a new program called Training Zone (

“Our philosophy is based on community-focused, small group training where we guide people at any level of their fitness journey and help them be successful,” Kuchenbecker said.

The program covers habit formation, accountability, and world-class personal training in an uplifting and fun environment, Kuchenbecker explained: “We leverage the power of technology to help keep the cost down while providing an amazing customer experience.”

It’s one thing to introduce people to exercise programs by showing them the ropes.

But Kuchenbecker said the PAC program goes deeper by asking why.

“We want to get to the root of why they want to start working out? Why now?” Kuchenbecker said. “By addressing the why behind their motivation we can help get on track and stay on track. Of course we also want to know what they ultimately want to accomplish during what time frame.”

Personal trainers can help you meet your goals with safe and effective programs.

“We’ve seen incredible results when people put themselves first by prioritizing long-term healthy habits, and build healthy relationships and support systems,” Kuchenbecker added. “Those are all reasons why we love our community-based workout programs.”

Fall Recipes

Italian Oven Roasted Vegetables

8 oz baby bella mushrooms, cleaned, ends trimmed

12 oz baby potatoes, scrubbed (cut in half if potatoes are larger)

12 oz grape tomatoes

2 zucchini, cut into 1” pieces

10-12 large garlic cloves, peeled

5 Tbsp Oilerie Oregano Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

½ tsp sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)

Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Place the mushrooms, veggies, and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Add the dried oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Take the potatoes only and spread them on a lightly oiled baking pan. Roast in heated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and then add the mushrooms and remaining vegetables. Return to oven to roast for another 20 minutes until the veggies are fork tender.

Serve immediately with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Garlic-Rosemary Chicken

2 lbs chicken pieces, or 1 3 1/2 lb chicken cut into serving pieces

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 Tbsp Oilerie Fior Fiore EVOO

2 Tbsp butter

2 tsp fresh rosemary

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 Tbsp minced shallots

1/2 cup dry white wine

3/4 cup chicken broth


Season chicken pieces on both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat in heavy skillet large enough to hold pieces comfortably until butter foam has subsided. Add chicken pieces skin-side down and cook undisturbed until skin is crisp and golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Turn chicken pieces over and add garlic and rosemary to skillet. Continue to cook for 10 more minutes.

Remove chicken to rest and carefully remove all but a few tablespoons of fat from skillet. Add shallots and cook for 30 seconds, then add wine and chicken broth.

Scrape up pan juices from surface and reduce sauce by half.

Return chicken pieces to pan skin-side up and cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through. Add remaining tablespoon of butter to skillet to finish sauce.

Serve chicken immediately with sauce poured around it.

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