It’s FALL Y’ALL!! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! Ok, well for me it’s a tie between this and Christmas. Anyway, it’s the first day of fall and even though it doesn’t quite feel the same in Southern California, I will be breaking out the fall decor and lighting every fall candle!! It is my favorite season and won’t let palm trees, the ocean, and sunny days slow my obsession down. #lifeistough
What I love so much about the fall (on the east coast) is the smell of fireplaces, the beautiful colors of the trees and scenery, the crisp shock your body gets when you step outside, big sweaters, boots, scarves, football…and…well PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. When this time of year approaches, it’s really all you hear about. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin pie, pumpkin dip. Seriously…ALL the pumpkin. Not to mention the infamous PSL…
I love baking, especially when the air has a chill in it. It’s therapeutic for me and bonus, you have a tasty treat as a result and your house smells heavenly. However, if you are trying to watch what you eat and stay on the road to #shredcity then you have a problem.
Or do you?
There are plenty of ways that you can enjoy this amazing pumpkin season while staying on track. I browsed through the internetweb and found some healthier options to satisfy the pumpkin cravings:
Pumpkin Smoothie/Protein Shake – this would be the PERFECT post workout pumpkin treat! It’s packed with protein and carbohydrates (no fat!) to help replenish your glycogen stores and fuel your muscles. Remember it’s best to get protein and carbs in your body after your workout and little fat. Fat is slow digesting and will delay the time it takes for the protein and carbs to reach your broken down muscles.
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal or Pumpkin Pecan Overnight Oats – This is another perfect post workout meal for the same above reasons (you’ll need to add a side of eggs or other protein). Can you eat it even if you don’t workout? Sure, just know it is higher in carbs (especially with the addition of maple syrup) so keep that in mind and maybe go lighter on the carbs for your next meal!
Okay okay…I know you are waiting for me to suggest some “healthier” treats…
Pumpkin Gingerbread Protein Pancakes (say that 5x fast) – No breakfast is complete without protein, so why not make protein pancakes?! Be sure to use the protein powder in this recipe otherwise add a side of desired protein source. Adding the “optional” topping (maple syrup, butter, etc) will definitely increase the calories on this one, so use sparingly.
And finally….Pumpkin Cake Cookies. So this one I can actually vouch for – it is A M A Z I N G. Seriously, I think I dreamt about them the night after I ate them. Now this one is not very high in carbs, however, pretty high in fat. To alter the recipe to be less fatty, I only used 2 eggs and subbed egg whites for the remaining 3 eggs and it was still delicious. Trust. Even after omitting the 3 eggs, I still feel like 12g of fat for 1 small cookie is a lot, so I will be experimenting with using applesauce instead of coconut oil. This will increase the carbs a little but lower the fat. Or maybe I’ll go half of what it calls for in coconut oil and sub applesauce for the rest? Sometimes you just need to experiment. Don’t worry, I will keep you all posted on how it comes out. I think I’ll make it today.
How do I know how much protein, fat, and carbs are in each cookie? Oh well let me tell you: MyFitnessPal app. I track how much I eat with this app, but also can see the nutrition facts for mystery recipes like all the above. After logging in (even in the free version), you just click on Food then Recipes. From there you just copy and paste the link with the recipe (or enter it manually) in the system and it provides you with the nutrition facts and macro count!! Easy peasy.
You can also:
– Adjust the servings. So if your recipe calls for 10 cookies but you make yours smaller and it comes out to 15 cookies, you can adjust that.
– Reduce some ingredients (chocolate chips) to make it a little less sugary.
– Sub out ingredients. For example, I’ll paste the above recipe with coconut oil and eggs. I can adjust it to 2 eggs, add in egg whites, erase coconut oil and add in applesauce!
As with everything, moderation is everything. Please don’t make a batch of 14 cookies and eat the whole thing. Give the rest away to the neighbors. Or if you don’t like your neighbors and don’t want to waste the expensive ingredients on them, freeze the rest!
Of course, if you indulge in a not-so-healthy treat this fall, don’t beat yourself up. Try to moderate how much you eat and enjoy it mindfully. Eat slow. Taste every bite.
Congratulations – you either read the entire post OR you scrolled to the bottom. Either way, here is a 10% off coupon for any service on the website for your first month. Why? Because fall is my favorite. pumpkinpatch10 – Expires 10/1/16!