Browse Month by October 2013
desserts, holidays, nutrition, recipes

Pumpkin “Ice Cream”

I LOVE fall and it’s color changing leaves and cooler temperatures. But since I live in Savannah and don’t really see either, I like indulge in my 3rd favorite part of fall: all things pumpkin. There’s pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin bread and anything else you can think to add pumpkin too.

And while I love all things pumpkin, may of these are cooler weather treats. What I needed was a warm weather treat. What I needed was a treat that was perfect for Savannah’s 85 degree October days. What I needed was ice cream.
But ice cream is not the best for you, even though it tastes so good, so I knew I wanted to come up with something that was better for you, or at the very least, lower in calories. And that’s when it hit me. I had seen that chocolate banana “ice cream” on Pinterest, where you blend a banana until it’s creamy to resemble soft serve ice cream. Maybe I could use that as my base and add some pumpkin too. And so I tried it. It was SO good, that I knew I had to share it with you guys.

Pumpkin “Ice Cream”

Ingredients

1 banana
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4-1/2 cup milk almond milk (any kind will work though)
1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp of no calorie sweetener (about 2 packets if you have packets)

Directions

This recipe requires a little day ahead prep. First you need to peel your banana and then slice it up and stick it in your freezer. You will also need to freeze your pumpkin puree. Rather than measure out your pumpkin and stick a heaping mound in the freezer, I suggest you divide it up. It will make it easier for the blender to crush up later. I use an ice cube tray. For me, 1/2 cup measured out to about 4 frozen pumpkin puree cubes, but actually went ahead and filled the whole tray so I could have more ready to go when the pumpkin ice cream mood struck me. (note: You don’t have to freeze your pumpkin but if you don’t your “ice cream” will be kinda soupy)
Now go to bed. Or don’t, but it may take a little but for them to freeze, so finding something else to do would be good. Maybe a workout or read a good book or clean the house that you probably should have done yesterday (and don’t kid me, I know I’m right 😉 ).
Fast forward to the next day, or whenever your banana and pumpkin puree is frozen. Dump your banana slices into your blender. I actually don’t have a blender per se; I have a Ninja and this works amazingly for it. It’s actually how we make our smoothies too. Anyway, after you add your banana, add 4 pumpkin cubes (remember that’s about 1/2 cup of puree). If you want it a little more pumpkin-y, add another cube or two, if you want it a little less, don’t add 4 cubes. Simple, right?
And then add your pumpkin pie spice and milk and blend until creamy!
Finally, put it in a bowl and have at it. I added a sprinkle of cinnamon to mine but I bet you could dip a few graham crackers in it too and it would also be delicious!

Have you tried it? What do you think of pumpkin? Can something be too pumpkin-y?
Friday Faves

Friday Faves #11 {Pumpkin Edition}

I knew once I found my first two favorites this week that this would most likely be a pumpkin kind of post. And no doubt, it was pumpkin all around. So I hope you ate already, otherwise you might wind up starving by the time you finish looking over all these posts. I’m pretty sure my family will be sick of pumpkin if I dont slow down on the pumpkin madness, which I don’t plan to do.

Pumpkin Spice Quinoa Breakfast Cookies from Skinnytaste: What makes you the coolest mom in the world? Telling your kids they can cookies for breakfast. And what makes you a happy mom? Knowing that these “cookies” are not only good for you but are pumpkin cookies. It sounds like a total win-win to me. And not only can these be for breakfast, but they can make a pretty awesome snack too. These are going on my baking list soon and I’m pretty sure that 12 will not be enough in my house. 

Pumpkin Protein Fudge from The Fitnessista: So, when you tell me I can have a fudge as post-workout snack, you have just given me a sure-fire motivator to get out the door. I mean, come on, it’s fudge. And if you tell me it’s pumpkin fudge, Ive already changed and am in my running shoes before you finished your sentence. 

Pumpkin Pie Protein Overnight Oats from The Dashing Dish: I LOVE overnight oats. I can prepare it the night before, and not doing anything in the morning, except eat it (and well drink my coffee). It’s perfect for mornings I may be rushed to get out the door, which truthfully doesn’t happen often, so let’s say it’s perfect for lazy mornings. I really love how there’s a bit of protein in this which will be great for workout days. And you know, I already have all of the ingredients, maybe I’ll make this tonight; although I only have chocolate protein. Think it will still be OK?

Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Smoothie from Carrots N Cake: Do I really need to go into an explanation about this? I mean it’s a pumpkin spice latte and a smoothie and has protein in make it THE perfect post-workout snack. I’m in!!!!

Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies from Budget Bytes: I LOVE oatmeal cookies!! I think they are just fabulous. I don’t have them often which could be a reason I love them that much more, making a very special treat. But these have pumpkin! Yes, please!!! 

Well that about sums up this week’s faves. What are some of your favorite blog posts you have read throughout the week?


fitness, nutrition

What is Healthy?

I feel like that is such a broad question with so many answers. For some, the answer may be as simple as staying fit and eating healthy, but for me I feel it’s more than that. Of course staying fit and eating healthy are on the list but I think being mentally healthy is important as well living green.

source

Having an active lifestyle through exercise is an important component to living your healthiest life.  Aside from helping to control weight, exercise can help combat health conditions as well as boost your mood and energy levels, and promote better sleep, something as a busy mom, I feel like I never get enough of.

Exercise and eating healthy definitely go hand in hand. In fact, when trying to lose weight, your nutrition plays an even bigger role, but should also include some exercise. Eating healthy, wholesome foods full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, to name a few, will help combat health conditions. Wait, didn’t I just write that about exercise? I did. Sounds like a double punch on those health conditions. Eating healthy can also boost your mood and energy (hey, more double punches), give you a stronger immune system and boost your mental alertness. As you can see healthy eating plays a much bigger role than just keeping that waistline slim and trim.

An aspect of being healthy that some people may not consider is your mental health. I think we look towards the outer appearance and if you look healthy and fit, then you think that’s good enough. But I feel having a positive self image about yourself, as well as not overloading and overwhelming yourself is just as important. We’ve all read how stress can aid in weight gain or put a stop to our weight less, but think about what it does for your mind and the inner struggles you may have. Many of us feel we need to be perfect or constantly be in the go, but that’s just not true. We don’t need to be perfect parents, spouses or even people. It’s ok not to do everything or be perfect at everything you do do. Knowing that is OK to leave a few things undone can really help make you feel better. Taking time each day to destress by meditating, sitting in a quiet room, relaxing on the souch or unwinding from the day can help clear our minds and leave us at ease. It can also help us be more productive the next day. We need to stop telling ourselves we’re not good enough, thin enough and smart enough. When you feel the urge to have negative thoughts about yourself, start thinking about the good qualities that encompass who you are. It can boost your mood and put your mind at ease. And I think a peaceful mind can truly help becoming the healthiest person we can be inside and out.

And finally, for me, I think the last component to becoming the healthiest person I can be is to live as green as we possibly can. So many of our products, and even foods, contain chemicals and pesticides. These chemicals and pesticides are meant to keep bugs away from crops or give us the best cleaning power but they are harmful to our bodies. These chemicals and pesticides are linked to health problems, so I’m doing my best to become as green as possible. It is, however, a fairly large and overwhelming process, so I’m taking it one baby step at a time. I first started making our own laundry detergent and have since moved on to our own dishwashing detergent. I also only use my reusable totes when shopping, whether it’s to the grocery store or Target. I have also begun buying organic and all natural foods. Now, not everything I buy is organic or all natural, but I’m starting small with a few things and working my up. It is more expensive but if you learn to reprioritize and cut back on some of the processed foods you don’t need, you can make work. We also stopped buying cleaning products with chemicals in them, as well do things such as shutting all the lights off when we’re not in the room, and recycle everythin we can. We’re not fully green yet, but we’re working on getting as close as we can. One of my goals is to start composting too. That will realy help with waste.

That’s pretty much what I feel healthy is to me. Of course everyone’s definition is different and no one definition is right or wrong. It’s all about what your opinion is.

SO……….what is healthy to you?

family, fitness

Weekend In Review #2

Intro


Friday

Friday started out as complete rest day. It was a chance to catch up on some much needed cleaning. TJ had a student film to work on so it was the perfect opportunity for housework. While TJ was gone, I got a message from my friend Amanda of Amanda Nicole Miller – Photographer, asking if I was interested in second shooting at a wedding Saturday. I was ecstatic. This was going to a huge opportunity for me to learn hands-on. Of course I said yes!

Saturday

What a crazy busy day! I knew I needed to get a run before the wedding, so I went for 2 miles. That run turned into the BEST. RUN. EVER! I felt fantastic the entire run. And when I hit the last 1/4 mile, I pushed as hard as I could somehow pushing out an 8:11 pace! Crazy!!!! On top of that crazy 1/4 mile pace, I had my fastest mile ever, and my best time and overall pace for 2 miles! Talk about hitting the jackpot.

After my run, it was time to get ready to head to Hilton Head for the wedding, but first I had to make a pit stop at Kohls. I needed some khaki shorts. I didn’t have any and finding some was tough but I did find some and victory #2 of the day went to the khakis. No only were they a killer deal thanks to clearance but they were two sizes smaller than my old ones! Yay for me!

It was then off to Hilton Head by way of the Talmedge Bridge overlooking Savannah. Isn’t that view the best?


I met with Amanda and the Bridal Party at Fifth Avenue Salon where Amanda explained what exactly was going to happen and how it was going to work. After she let me borrow one of her lenses, I quickly got to work shooting the bride and bridesmaids getting their hair and make up done (and immediately became obsessed with her lens. I will be getting one of those.) And of course, we stopped shooting for a picture of us together. Thank you so much Amanda for the photo!

After leaving the salon we headed over to Palmetto Dunes, where the lovely couple was staying and getting married. We made a quick stop at the reception area to see how things were coming along and snap a few pictures before heading over to check on the guys. I hung out with the guys getting some shots of them getting ready while Amanda headed back to the girls, where I headed when I was done with the guys. Just before the girls were ready, I headed down to the beach to snap a few pictures of where the ceremony was taking place and to be ready before everyone arrived. The ceremony was beautiful. I won’t go into much detail about the ceremony but when it was over came the most stressful part of the wedding: the formal pictures. Making sure every shot is taken and that everyone remains put until it’s over is no easy task, but worth every stressful moment. When formals were over, it was time for me to head out. I had to meet TJ at his work and pick up the kids. I’m bummed about missing the opportunity to photograph the fun at the reception but I had an absolute blast learning and experiencing my first wedding. 

Sunday

After a crazy Saturday, I was ready to relax on Sunday, but that didn’t really happen. I got a 4 mile run first thing in the morning. I struggled with this run. I struggled so much that I wanted to give up at mile 2 but I decided to push it a little longer. I made it to mile 3 and was still struggling but told myself I would keep going until I hit the street I needed to turn down to get to my house. By that point, I only had 3/4 of a mile left and figured I might as well finish, I didn’t have that much left. And finish I did. I didn’t feel the best about it, but my overall pace was much better than I thought so I still say it was a win.

After getting home, TJ had to leave to work on a student film again and while he was gone, he found out that his brother’s best friend had passed away. I was shocked to find out and am saddened by the news. I only had the chance to hang out with him a few times but we talked and caught up on Facebook regularly. He became a friend and actually was there for me during a tough time in my life several years ago. I last saw him for my birthday in December and I’m glad to have had such great memories as our last time together.

As far the rest of my Sunday, it was a bit somber but it I did get a few things done.

And that about wraps my weekend. How was your weekend? Did you have an eventful weekend?

Uncategorized

October Goals

So this month, my goals are a lot smaller. The last two months, I feel like I haven’t quite accomplished my goals they way I would have liked. I feel like part of that problem has been having too many. This month, I have reduced the number of goals so that I can really focus on them and try to achieve them exactly as I want.

Fitness Goals

  • Continue to build my running base
    •  This didn’t quite work out the way I wanted to last month but it was there some. This month I want to continue to build my base and be a more consistent runner with 4 runs per week.
  • Strength-train 2-3 times a week
    • Seriously? What is wrong with me? I just can’t get with the program on this, but this month I WILL do it! I am determined

Nutrition Goals

  • Mix up breakfast
    • If you lived at my house, you’d know I have the same thing for breakfast every morning. Some scrambled eggs with cheese and a coffee. It fills me up and is oh-so-delicious. But I really need to add a little variety to my mornings. The goal is to make 2 of my breakfasts each week something other than scrambled eggs.
That about wraps up my October goals for the month.
What are you hoping to accomplish this month?