Real food. Real solutions.

Pumpkin Season!

There are always going to be bad days on the job. No matter how much you love it or how wonderful and stress free it may be 99% of the time there is still going to be that one day where you just want to quit. But why work at a job you hate? Or live some place you hate? Why wake up every morning dreading at least half of your waking hours? Bridget just sent me a wonderful card that included words of wisdom from Dr. Seuss- “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.” He’s so right. There is a woman in my internship program who is in her 40s pursuing a career in something completely unrelated to what she has done her whole life. And I think that is brave, fearless, and stinkin’ awesome of her. One of my readers has completed a 4 year degree, joined AmeriCorps, and is now back in school for something completely unrelated. And I think THAT is awesome. Another reader has a phenomenal chef for a boyfriend and is still teaching herself how to cook. Again, awesome. This week, I have had the pleasure of working with a woman who will be 60 in a few months. She competes in 6 triathlons a year! SIX! I just did a 1/2 mile swim with her in a muddy river earlier today! Best part? She’s only picked this up after her kids were grown. You can re-create yourself at any point in time. At any and every point in your life you can steer yourself in a new direction whether that is becoming healthier, changing careers, or just changing jobs. YOU can do it. Your happiness is in YOUR hands alone. YOU. GOT. THIS. Whatever stressor you have going on right now it is likely a temporary thing. Ask yourself, is this going to matter in 5 minutes? 5 hours? 5 days? If the answer is no then take a deep breath and let it go. Don’t waste your time complaining about it, that just in turn makes you a negative person. And makes me not want to be around you. Unless you have pumpkin flavored things. Oh, you actually wanted to read about something related to nutrition? Oh, okay.
It’s pumpkin season! I was inspired to write this post thanks to this hysterical article about how wonderful pumpkin spice lattes and all things pumpkin flavored are. Then after look at this picture. Embrace the sterotype.

People in WV don’t seem to be as obsessed with pumpkin as NY. This could be a true statement or it could be the fact that I don’t know anyone here except my dog, I’m not really sure. That is a complete lie, I know the Sunday football crowd at Buffalo Wild Wings too. Actually, I’m lying again. I think triathlon women is my new Morgantown best friend. Perhaps I should run that by her. Check yes or no.

Back to pumpkin. It is delicious in coffee but the pumpkin flavored syrups are full of artificial chemicals and a lot of sugar. Excellent news though, you don’t need to spend $2+ a cup to get that delicious pumpkin flavor. Check out this article for ways to make pumpkin coffee FROM HOME! You use spices in the grounds and don’t get any of the gross artificial flavors, sugars, and toxins that come in the products you would buy in a coffee shop. I didn’t use almond milk and it still tasted delightfully. I also experimented with vanilla extract in the grounds which was delicious. Cocoa powder will be my next venture. How awesome that I don’t have to put trash in my coffee. Thank the caffeine gods.

Coffee is not the only thing pumpkin to enjoy this season. I have a crazy thought, and this might blow your mind, but… actually eat pumpkin. And not just pumpkin pie. Actual pumpkins. I’m pretty sure I invented this recipe but I could totally be lying about that, too. Follow this recipe for how to bake it but instead of pureeing at the end just mash it up like you would a potato. For a 1 cup serving add ½ tablespoon of butter, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or more if thats your style), and crumble a few walnuts on top. It is f’ing amazing. Know what is even better? I am okay with you eating this for breakfast. Add some protein like plain yogurt (you could even mix the pumpkin in the yogurt!) and I will be the proudest nutrition mama. Pumpkin is a vegetable but like this it is really dessert that you get to eat for breakfast. Or lunch. Or whenever. Pumpkin is high in a bunch of vitamins and minerals that I think are super cool but I doubt you do. If you really care you can check that out here. It is also low in calories, one cup only has 30. Rock. On.

Save the seeds from the pumpkin too! You can roast them and add them as a crunchy topping to salads instead of croutons that were cooked with vegetable oils, blech. Or you can just eat them as a snack. Here is how to do it. Do you know what else you can do with pumpkin? These things-

Thai Pumpkin Soup (use olive oil not vegetable oil)
Roast Pumpkin and Feta Risotto
Pumpkin Spice Hummus (again, use olive oil)
Turkey Pumpkin Chili (can also use ground beef, make your own puree instead of buying in a can)

Anyone use pumpkin for something else?


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