Pumped for Pumpkin

I love fall.

I know my blog’s behind – I’ve still got a Summer 2012 (bucket list) page – but the chilly weather and the changing leafs leaf no question: fall’s here!

Besides busting out scarves and boots, I’m also busting out the festive eats. Rather than sugar myself up with pumpkin spice sauce from Starbucks (seriously, I used to get 4 good old pumps in my coffee at least once a day!) or whip up pumpkin bread, I got ambitious in the kitchen and whipped up a batch of paleo pumpkin granola this afternoon.

I credit Sarah for recommending the recipe from PaleOMG that served as my inspiration, which means I will also blame her if I look like a pumpkin after I eat it all. Besides drooling talking about this stuff today, we bonded over our mutual girl crush decided that we’d get along with Juli. If you haven’t gone to her blog, do it now but be ready to leave hungry.

Anyways, inspired I was so I busted out my apron and made like Martha…

Paleo Pumpkin Granola

Ingredients:
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 tbsp. of flaxseeds
¼ cup raisins
10 chopped dates
pinch each of nutmeg, salt, and cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl, mixing to blend.  Set aside.
Combine nuts, seeds, and dried fruit in a bowl. Add to wet ingredients.

Add spices.
Stir til moistened.

Spread on a baking sheet lined with a layer of parchment paper.


Bake for ~40 minutes or ‘til just starting to brown, turning once or twice to ensure even cooking.


Let cool/harden on sheet before devouring placing in an air-tight container.

Thoughts while consuming copious quantities taste-testing:

  • I am such a good cook.
  • Sarah better fund my new wardrobe in a size up.
  • Toasted pecans might have addictive qualities similar to those of heroin.
  • My apartment smells like heaven.
  • Juli is a genius.
  • I look hot in my apron.
  • I need to make granola more often.

Basically, the recipe was awesome. I made some switches—left out some cloves, added in some flaxseeds and raisins—and I’m happy with the turnout. I think I’d like it a little crunchier if I make another batch.

Since I’m just festive out my butt, I tossed the granola on top of an apple this evening. Deeeeelish!

If you make this, I recommend teasing your friends with it on instagram. Or tossing it over an apple–can you say festive flavours for fall? (You can, but maybe you shouldn’t). It’s breakfast. It’s a snack. It’s a dessert. It’s whatever you want.

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Have you ever made a paleo/grain-free/gluten-free granola recipe? Was it crunchy?
What’s your favourite way to use pumpkin?

Walk the walk

Ya know all that good stuff about talking the talk and backing it up by walking the walk?

Let me tell you, it’s delicious.

After last night’s big realization, I made good on my plans to live and love life last night. Rachel and I chit chatted and then met up with some girls I miss far too much for fro yo! It had been a few hours since dinner so I had a hefty, awesome cup of chocolate/amaretto mix with chia seeds, granola, coconut, and a cherry on top. I think I have this fro yo thing down to an art…

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And it was so good to catch up with everyone. 🙂 Fro yo or not, say yes to people when they ask you to hang out. Just go for the experience…when’s the last time you regretted hanging out with a friend?

When I got home I dove into bed and into the book I mentioned in my post — Do I Look Fat in This? Life Doesn’t Begin Five Pounds From Now and as I thought, it was just what I was searching for in my epiphany. There’s a whole chapter called “But I’m Just Trying to Be Healthy” and some stuff sticks out to me worth sharing…

  • “…to talk about health is to talk about more than just weight charts and fat counts. It is to talk about wholeness, wellness, and a sense of complete balance mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”
  • “Have you been dieting for well over half your life? Has the fact that you haven’t been able to reach the size you desire masked any of the other accomplishments you have achieved in your life?…I wonder how many other areas of your life are not being honoured because you are so restrictive.”
  • “It’s time for the woman you are now to confront your inner dieting child and find out if this is a pattern you wish to continue. Being healthy is about having a well-rounded life. Moving your body, eating balanced meals, and working on your emotional and spiritual health. If you spend all your time focused on food and your size, you may be missing the fullness of your life that is available to you now, not five pounds from now.”
Amen to that!
There’s a lot of talk in the book about walking the walk and that is what I need — reassurance that I can do it and the reminder that actually living it is the important thing! I also came across a post on Body Love Alchemy about the need to use your A-ha moments to change how you live. So that’s what I’m doing…
This morning I woke up pretty early, fixed myself a bowl of cereal, and decided to get on with my day.
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good

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better!

I spent the morning doing what I want to — blog, send emails, getting things ordered and some plans set to get excited about for the next couple weeks (things suddenly look more colourful), and drinking coffee of course.

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And this afternoon I am going to run with Ellen and then head on my road trip to see Lisa! I am beyond excited and proud of myself for going there just on a whim, eating dinner out, and not worrying about getting home late/when I’ll work out this weekend, etc. It’s time to fake it til I make it, and I’m doing it.

At the end of the day, if all I did was check my workouts off my to do list, eat my fruits and veggies, and that’s it, that’s fine. What’s not fine is if trying to do those things interferes with me living and interacting and doing fun stuff. Because isn’t being healthy supposed to make life more enjoyable? So when did it turn into something that we prioritize at the expense of other fun things? Yes workouts are important. Eating healthy is good for you. Schoolwork and work are important. But so is having fun and making time for friends, eating junk food, and being able to sleep in every once in a while.

I feel a whole bunch of these rambling posts coming on…and a whole lot of fun straight ahead for me!

Theme song…

Had any good realizations lately?
What are you doing this weekend? 

Wordless WIAW…with words?

That whole going wordless thing seems silly considering I have something worth saying.

I handed in my exam/essays today which means I am officially done my Kinesiology courses. That’s a degree, folks!

Holy crap.

My stomach is in knots and I think it’s just all the change/excitement getting to me.

I did not eat anything weird today…

just one, not the whole box. and i split it between pre swim and post spin snack.

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apple, carrot, turkey, and cranberry salad with some almonds.

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greek yogurt, mini eggs, and some honey!

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vanilla/cake batter fro yo, a bunch of pineapple, granola, coconut, and a cherry on top. with chia seeds. this is a nutritional marvel. and it's dinner. not cheap. not ideal on a regular basis. but delicious!

It was a delicious day, but really random. And my stomach hurt every time I ate. Or drank. Strange indeed. I am hoping this sickness is stepping in for the migraine I was expecting when the calm after the storm hit?

Though to be honest the calm didn’t hit.

I celebrated today by spending lots of quality time with friends (breakfast date with a bunch of great folks, afternoon shopping with Angela, evening hangouts with Rache/seeing some other tri friends who always make me laugh) and by training plenty.

And, I’m pooped. Looking forward to a massage tomorrow. And to a swim with friends. And to a double dose of year end dinners (I don’t know what to wear! Eek!). And I’ll probably be ravenous since today was a really weird day for eating. I’m open to filling my hollow leg tomorrow, no problemo!

What was tasty for you today?
Ever finished a degree? How’d you celebrate?

Wednesday already?

This week is flying by.

That’s what happens when you’re having fun, the sun is shining, and things are uber busy.

PS HAPPY DIETITIANS DAY (in Canada). Check out my article in today’s Gazette!

I got an apology and the parking tickets from Monday’s fiasco wiped off my record yesterday. They caught a black jeep (not a rav 4) doing the same crazy move yesterday. CRAZY!

I had a busy day yesterday…work, Gazette, a meeting at Brescia, teaching bootcamp, eating lots of good noms!

tuna/sundried tomato bagel with sprouts

grilled cheese and caesar salad

night time noshing at Starbucks

Before bootcamp, I walk/ran. 15 minutes running with 5×1 minute so 20 minutes of running! 🙂
The workout was as follows:
Warmup – squats/jumping jacks/lunges (body weight, 20 reps each rotating through for 3 minutes)
Circuit 1 – 1 minute each of weighted squats, weighted reverse lunges, and deadlifts + 30 seconds of jump squats x 3
Circuit 2 – 1 minute plank up downs/pushups or chest press/plank row with dumbbells + 30 seconds of burpees x 3
Circuit 3 – 1 minute each of oblique crunches/leg raises/sit-ups + 30 seconds mountain climbers x 3
Cooldown/stretch
Today is another busy day with work, meetings, and physio! It’s also GORGEOUS out so I’m hoping to get outside. 🙂
Term papers, kindly write yourself!