28 Healthy Foods You Should Always Have in Your House

Hi There!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. Getting ready for Baby Erin to make her appearance has preoccupied my time and energy, as well as getting used to working from home – I’m a freelance writer and musician/worship director. It’s been an adjustment, but I’m glad that I have the opportunity to stay home with little Erin after she’s born, which should be some time in the next two weeks.

That being said, with all the preparations going on, one thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is what we’ll be eating, especially for the first two weeks. I’ll confess, I probably haven’t done as much freezer cooking as I should. But I have been collecting an arsenal of super easy recipes, and we just got a steal on a new blender, which we desperately needed, so we can make smoothies, after all, if you’re nursing you need something fast right?

Through the years, Micah and I have learned that if we want to eat healthy, there are certain foods we can buy in bulk to have on hand, so we won’t be tempted to grab fast food. Even though there’s two of us, soon to be 3, we’ve learned how to prep and freeze certain foods when they go on sale, so that we can get the best deals,and there are some foods we do eat a lot of quickly. You’re food list might look a lot different than mine, but I’m attaching a list for you to use so you can stock up on these delicious and nutritious foods too. It just so added up that we have 20 staple foods that we keep in our house on a regular basis. This is one of my favorite ways to plan a menu for the week. Why are these our staple foods? Continue reading “28 Healthy Foods You Should Always Have in Your House”

The Beginner’s Guide to Macros

Disclaimer: the advice in this post is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Before beginning and exercise regimen or diet, seek counsel from your healthcare practitioner.

There are lots of dieting fads out there, so many that it can be overwhelming to try to balance nutrition for the average healthy person who just needs a basic guideline to help them figure out the amount of nutrients they need on a daily basis. They say there is no magic formula, but there is a simple way to manage nutrient intake, and that’s where macronutrients come in. Macronutrients are divided into 3 groups: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. The USDA recommends the following ranges for macronutrients, based on your activity levels:Protein: 10 – 35%, Carbohydrates: 45-65%, Fat: 20-35%.You need all 3 of these categories in order for your body to function at it’s best. And the word macro means big, so think of tracking macros as looking at the big picture of your overall nutrition. Still wondering “why these categories”? We’ll tell you.

Protein

Proteins are the building blocks of cells and muscles. The 8 essential amino acids found in many animal proteins and even a few plant proteins can help you build muscle and repair tissues in the body. Lean protein is necessary to refuel after a workout. Protein also keeps your metabolism functioning in a healthy way. Several lean sources of protein are chicken, lean beef, quinoa, whey, greek yogurt, lentils, and fish.

Macros

Carbohydrates

The carbohydrate category probably contains the largest variety of foods. When counting macros, carbohydrates include, fruits, vegetables, and starches. Although many look at macros as simply energy in vs. energy out, I encourage you to remember that the quality of the fuel you put in your body does count for something. Carbohydrates help preserve muscle and low glycemic carbs, such as sweet potatoes, help stabilize blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates also restore energy levels. Examples of nutritious carbohydrates are strawberries, broccoli, and brown rice.

Fats

In the 90’s, fat was a dirty word in the nutritional sense. People were obsessed with everything being low-fat. However, the human body needs healthy, unprocessed fats in order to store energy and transport nutrients effectively. Imagine trying to have a healthy metabolism without your body being able to transport the nutrients you receive from other foods, pointless, isn’t it? Fats make this happen for vitamins A, E, and K.  Healthy sources of fat are nuts, avocado, coconut oil, and extra-virgin olive oil, as well as small portions of real butter.

If you have trouble making sense of nutrition and and figuring out what you need and in what portions, tracking your macros can make keeping up with your food intake much simpler. Just remember to get your nutrients from healthy foods, and you will be well on your way to eating a better diet in no time!

Sources

https://www.acefitness.org/blog/5904/how-to-determine-macronutrient-needs-based-on

https://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/DRI_Macronutrients.pdf

 

How To Spring Clean Your Diet

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful weather if you’re in NC! It is a gorgeous day today, and Micah and I (and Erin) have already taken a relaxing Sunday afternoon walk.

With this amazing weather, everyone wants to look and feel their best, but it’s so easy to hang on to those old habits of junk food and unhealthy cravings…trust me, being pregnant, I would know a thing or two about cravings.The reality is, what better time to start eating a healthy diet? With the rise in popularity of farmer’s markets and gardening, healthy choices are more accessible  and affordable than ever. If you’re still not sure where to start, don’t worry, I’ve got some tips for you on how to spring clean your diet. These tips are so simple, that even if you’ve never tried to eat healthier foods, you’ll still be able to get on the right track to a balanced diet.

(Disclaimer: the following information is intended as suggestions for healthy eating. Before you begin any diet or exercise regimen, consult your physician or healthcare provider.)


Are you ready to spring clean your diet?

How To (1)

1.  Look for local on the label. Local produce is based on what’s in season and readily available in your area. This makes it cheaper, and usually, local farms are very careful about the quality of their produce. I find great deals at a local flea market in my area, where I can find pretty much any kind of produce that’s in season for a great price.

2. The fewer (ingredients), the better. This is a great general rule of thumb when grocery shopping. I mean, look at the back of a doritos bag….Think about how long that list of ingredients is….a much healthier alternative would be those sweet potato chips that only have about 5 ingredients, or better yet, and cheaper, just roast a can of chickpeas in the oven until they’re crunchy…I love to sprinkle chili powder and garlic powder on them…Delicious!

3. Buy foods with ingredients you can pronounce. Okay, with the exception of that exotic fruit or veggie whose name we have no idea how to spell, this is one of the best rules for cleaning up your diet. This is especially true of pre-packaged foods. Don’t buy it unless you understand what’s in it…if in doubt… make a healthy freezer meal instead of buying the ready-made alternative. (That’s what a slow cooker is for.)

4. Drink more water. Micah and I do not keep 2 liter sodas in our house. Ever. We drink water, tea and coffee, and I’m sure not too long after little Erin arrives, we’ll be adding quality fruit juice to that mix. It’s actually saved us a lot of money on our grocery bill over the years…I’m not sure how much, but if you were to add up what you spend on soft drinks each month, I’m sure you’d see how that money is better spent on fruits and veggies….it’s all about your priorities.

5. Pack your lunch for work. A homemade lasagna with chopped up veggies added in is way better for you than ordering out pizza or Chinese. Once again, I add, remember to use your slow cooker. You will also save a lot of money. Your body and your wallet will thank you.

6. Say “no” to fried and breaded foods. I’m from the south, where we love our breaded chicken tenders, but they’re just not that good for us. A healthier alternative is to roll chicken tenders in egg and oat flour and then bake them in the oven.

7. Be accountable. Keep a food journal. When you see what exactly what you’re putting in your body, it’s far easier to realize how much good or harm you’re doing to your body. Part of health journaling is about how that healthy meal made you feel versus how that fast food meal made you feel. I’ve coached a lot of clients through the years, and those that keep a food and exercise journal have more lasting results and reach their goals much sooner than those that don’t.

Cleaning up your food intake is easy, and can really be done without a lot of expense or a lot of extra effort. What is your favorite tip for staying on track with eating healthy? Comment below!

–  Julie

You Asked, I Answered: Fun Healthy Dinner Ideas

I get asked a lot about what we eat for dinner…I mean, yeah, of course, sometimes it’s grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, and a salad, but usually, our meal choices aren’t that mundane. We love a lot of variety, and having a variety of healthy foods in your diet is a good thing. I asked some trusted friends their favorite healthy dinners, and here was there reply:

A One-Pot Wonder
“I browned ground turkey (93/7) and then added 1 large (10 inches or so) zucchini halved, then sliced and sliced onion and cooked until they were tender. I added salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then, when it was done I added 1.5 cups precooked quinoa and about 1 tbls yellow mustard for flavor. Turned out delicious!” – Bethany Martin

Zizzas
“Zucchini slices cooked for 8-10 min on 450 (til tender crisp) and topped with favorite pizza toppings, a little sauce, and low fat mozzarella. A new favorite!” – Bethany Martin



Keep it Simple
“Steamed tilapia, with steamed cherry tomatoes and broccoli.” – Jessica Elder

“Salmon with grilled veggies!” – Megan Ortwerth

Dinner on the go!
“G-free wraps with chicken salad, made with shredded rotisserie chicken, a cup of Greek yogurt, 1/4 c. crushed almonds, and 2 tbsp. spicy brown mustard with a cup of mixed greens!” – Julie Auler


Need more dinner ideas? check out our Cheap Clean Recipe Collection!

Until Next Time!

-Julie



My Top 8 Reasons for Working out and Eating Clean

Hi! It’s been a wild week!

I just found out I’ll be starting a new job in 2 weeks! Yay! No worries though! I’ll still be here on the blog…I have no intentions of forgetting my health or writing…in fact I might enjoy blogging even more! Ok, so this post was inspired by a comment made by a someone I know recently. (The names are changed to protect the guilty….) LOL! Anyway, I’m using this as a mindset example….no worries, I once had this mindset myself and I’ve learned to change it. hahaha…I often refuse dessert when eating out or at church dinners….or often times because I just don’t have a particular taste for that type of dessert….anyway…the comment was made: You’re so little – eat some dessert….honestly, where’s the logic in that….I’ve wanted to respond to comments like this for awhile, well…I get tired of hearing that I need to eat junk or skip working out because…I have a smaller frame.) I replied to the comment by saying, thanks, but it’s not about looking good, it’s about feeling good! I don’t like it when someone tries to make me go along with what they’re doing, just because I make them uncomfortable…call me Captain Controversial, but I’m a grown woman, and I think it’s silly for me to be told in public that I “need” to eat dessert. I don’t need to eat dessert…I have gluten sensitivity, and while I do sometimes splurge….It is at my own discretion when and how much I should splurge, just because I feel, well gross later on…you see, it just makes me want to go to sleep….I do enjoy dark chocolate, and I do eat dessert, but my logic is….there will be plenty of time to sample desserts 2 weeks from now, and I need to maintain my focus. I want to have the energy to do what I personally have to get done in the next 4 weeks…well, 6 weeks…and I don’t have time to be sick…by the way, have any of you ever noticed that flu season hits its peak right after Christmas. I believe it’s because we run ourselves ragged and maintain no time for our health… Anyway I wanted to share with you my “why” for working out…and while cut abs and rock hard arms and legs are great…I do have plenty of other motivation for working out, which to tell the truth, is what gets me through my tough days. So here’s why I exercise and eat right:

1. More energy…I’ve had anemia in the past, and while no longer anemic, I can’t deny that I have much more energy on days that I eat lots of veggies and lean proteins, as well as healthy fats. If I have a sweets craving, I love to nix it with a half a pomegranate this time of year! For salty cravings, I like to have 3 cups (1 yellow container) of Orville Redenbacher’s Simply Naturals Sea Salt popcorn.

2. I fuel my workouts with my food intake. After working in the fitness industry for years, I’ve learned that there’s a wrong way and a right way to eat before and after a workout.

3. I feel better when I workout. If I go a few days without working out….I’m on the level of some of those crazies you see on Black Friday! Not that bad, but you get the point. I feel less stressed, and sometimes. I need to punch and kick at something. Moms who deal with kids and say there’s no time to workout: how have you not gone nuts?! Or maybe you do feel nuts…I have no idea.

4. Variety is the spice of your health regimen…yeah, I change up my workout schedule every 2-4 weeks to prevent burnout. You should be doing that too. Over training causes injury and hinders results. You can’t blast away at the same speed all the time. Find workouts that allow for strength, power, cardio, mind/body connection, and flexibility for results that don’t quit internally and externally. Try a new food once in awhile…some of my favorite foods now are things…I’ve randomly tried.

5. Injury prevention is key to be able to function in life…I’ve heard all too many times…I’ll wait until after the knee surgery and skip pre-physical therapy. Well, I have news for you, there will be no bouncing back. It will take twice as long to recover in most cases. I’ve seen too many people regret that decision, that’s why I stay active. I don’t want to be physically unable to dance or work around my own house.

6. My immune system…while in my 4th year of college, my immune system decided to take a mind of its own and completely rebel against my body…I burned a fever every day for 4 weeks during that semester, and eventually…I developed a grayish complexion, and my hair started to turn brittle…My heart was doing funky things as well…I had frequent migraines, and spent so much time combating depression and staying in bed from migraines that I did nothing but work and school, which did not help with depression, trust me. While I was dealing with apparent emotional issues…I somehow managed to hide most of the physical issues I was having, except weight gain between 35 and 40 pounds of it…did I mention my thyroid was acting up too…I’m a firm believer in being a good steward now, but I was not a good steward in anyway at that point. How could I expect God to bless me in my health and my finances if I was not doing what it took to get both under more control.

7. My hubby. ok, ladies, don’t give me the excuse that your husband doesn’t want you to be healthy, because if he values you, he values your health and well-being. That being said, I find it staggering that more women use their husband as an excuse., which may be true in some cases, but not the large majority. Personally, can I say something from one woman to another? Why is it that we ladies will try every cream, pill, lotion, gel, or  wrap known to woman, but we refuse to exercise and eat healthy….this focus on the external will only drive you away from reaching your goals. Maybe it’s not that your husband doesn’t want you to get fit, maybe it has to do with he doesn’t want you falling for a magic pill. Advice, write out your plan and your goals and then show it to him. He’ll invest. Trust me. He might even join you! In addition to looking and feeling better, you’ll gain self-control and confidence.

8. To have children someday. Hey, you have to keep up with the kiddos right? I’m an active person and have been since birth, according to my mother. I have two speeds: wide open, and fast asleep. My kids will probably be the same way. I want to be able to take them places – to the park, iceskating, hiking, you name it. I can’t have the energy to keep up with them if I don’t eat properly, and they will learn eating habits from me. Right now, I’m practicing. Plus, meal prep, healthy or unhealthy, is a beast.

There are lots more reasons that I work out, but these 8 really stand out to me. I don’t plan on being the world’s strongest woman. Although, I really want to knock out pull-ups like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. I can tell you it’s strengthened my walk with the Lord, and He’s used it to teach me self-discipline. Maybe it’s time to reflect on why you really need to get fit….if it’s about weight….you can reach a peak and then go no further, within healthy boundaries. This is why there has to be something more. Have an awesome workout today, and treat yourself to a healthy dinner. 🙂

-Julie

WOW Wednesday: Giveaway and Beach Trip Recap

Hi It’s Wednesday! Woohoo! I had a great trip to the beach with Micah, and the weather was perfect! I even did some PiYo on the beach! I love bodyweight workouts because they can be done anywhere.  The beach was cool and perfect, and I did walking lunges and pushups…more like active rest days. This pic was taken before a storm blew in Saturday evening. I brought back lots of seashells to get my diy on. 🙂 This is a really advanced PiYo flip, which took some practice…hint, I started with side plank. The ocean breeze felt great by the way. We had blissfully perfect 80 degree weather, and it was partly overcast. Lots of fun body surfing and taking long walks. I love the sunrise at Holden Beach. Our tradition is to get up, as early as possible, and go beachcombing…crazy, right…We also lost our car keys…in the ocean…needed a little excitement…Haha. But it was great to be on our own time, and enjoy taking a break from our routine, even pertaining eating and exercising…you can’t go mental all the time, or you’ll burn out. But we did have fun times racing each other down the beach and competing when it came to push-ups….LOL.

 
Speaking of workouts, I had lots of fun this week partnering with the fabulous, Lisa, from theskinnyonhealth.com Today, we’re doing an e-book giveaway of my new recipe collection, which is great recipes for warmer weather and a shopping lists, which are also great for tight budgets, and an on-the-go, abs, buns, and cardio workout. I’d really love for you to show her site some love! 🙂 She has awesome travel workouts, recipes, and reviews!Her blog is one of my new favorite health/fitness blogs! Lisa is down-to-earth and balanced in her approach to health and fitness.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open until the end of this week!  

Mmmmmm Monday! A Yummy Clean Alternative to Pizza

Hi Everyone!

Today is Mmmmm Monday! We all love good food but also know that we need to eat foods that are good for our bodies, so it’s amazing when we can put amazing food creations together that not only taste amazing but help you get in your nutrients for the day! I had seen portabello mushroom “pizzas” on pinterest before, but had never made one until last Saturday night… Throwing caution (aka. recipes) to the winds. I decided to blaze my own trail, and throw grilled chicken into the mix! The result = AMAZING

Here’s what you need to make your own “pizza’s”. 1 serving = 1 medium portabello pizza. Recipe for 2 portabello caps.

1/3c.  low sugar marinara sauce. I like homemade or the sauce from Walmart’s new organic line
2/3 c. part skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. shredded grilled chicken
1 tbsp. freshly torn oregano
2 tsp parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil

Drizzle de-stemmed portabello caps in olive oil and bake in oven on 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast for 15 minutes.  Spoon sauce onto underside of caps. Layer mozzarella, parmesan, oregano, and then chicken, and place in oven to bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven, then allow to cool and voila!

This recipe was so yummy, and so filling when eaten with a mixed greens salad! The vitamin D, protein, calcium, and healthy fats in the recipe make it amazing for a filling meal without leaving one feeling heavy!

Have you created a clean take on an old classic? Please share!

Workout Wednesday: When Your Hard Work Pays Off and Dealing with Negativity from Others

Wow, so, it’s Wednesday! This week has flown by, and in some ways I’m relieved. Micah’s settling into his new job, and our schedule is beginning to stabilize (as if it’s ever been that way) once again. This week, I’ve been encouraged so much by my colleagues who’ve decided to take place in my accountability/challenge group this month. Let’s face it. No matter who you are, you can never become complacent and decide you’ve got it all together. I’m constantly learning myself. I just want to share what I’ve found with others and maybe, just maybe, make someone’s life better for it.

Today is actually more of a motivational post than a workout post. I would like to deal with a tough topic. Everyone tries to sell people of the highs of achieving your goals, but what really determines your long term success is how you handle failure…that’s right FAILURE. I found this out not too long ago, and it’s changed my perspective on how I do things in general. Don’t get me wrong. I still strive to do everything to the best of my ability, but I’ve learned to accept failure with grace, learn from it, and move on.

I recently got the honor of  having my pic featured in Oxygen Magazine’s “Sporty Girls” section doing what else but my favorite “glutes” move.

it’s me! 🙂

This definitely made me realize that I’m setting an example for others, and is pushing me to go further.  My goals may not be someone else’s goals…respect the health goals of others…. Cheer them on. We’re all in this together, right?….Ok, so that person may have not lost “x” amount pounds, but they started healthier habits and gained muscle. There are too many people out their with the mindset that they need to lose more poundage, so they cut back on foods, and that works for awhile, but the “bucket theory” doesn’t make you healthier, and give you more muscle tone or make you stronger. There are hundreds of ways (it seems) that people attempt to do this, so let me dispel some myths with a lesson it took me years to get through my head: lean muscle make your metabolism run efficiently long term, and one can’t expect to fuel up with junk after one trains, and build muscle…just doesn’t work. It’s 2/3 eating smarter, 1/3 eating less. This is me leveling with you the reader, because I don’t want you to fall for the ridiculousness of diet fads, like I did years ago. I believe in macros, but if you reach your macros by filling up on junk, then you’ll look like what you eat. That being said, there are no excuses, in this United States, for eating unhealthy. This is what I got from the grocery store today for $30.

That being said. There are lots of resources out there to teach you how to fuel your body the right way.
I love Tosca Reno’s book, Just the Rules, for learning about the types of foods and principles to eat by, so you don’t go crazy. and the program 21 Day Fix.
   I also love the Eat Clean Diet: Stripped, by Tosca Reno, and Skinny Ms.com for some amazing recipes! What’s your favorite clean eating recipe? I’d love for you to share! 🙂

What’s in your cart? $30 of Healthy Groceries

Happy Monday! I’m finally recovering from the whirlwind week last week, and getting back on schedule! It was great to spend time with my family, and celebrate my mom’s birthday. We went shopping, seriously, and one of our favorite places to shop is this retail chain in NC and SC called “Hamrick’s”. It’s amazing. Their merchandise selection keeps getting better and better, and this weekend, I’m proud to say that this bargain hunter walked away with a badly needed new pair of ballet flats, a date-night top, a pair of Marika leggings…and a really adorable spring top for (drumroll) $32ish! And the best part: the leggings were only $5!!!!! Micah just got a job closer to home (only 2 miles!) and we’ve been doing 21 Day Fix which is Ah-mazing. I’ve had tummy troubles like IBS my entire life, and the symptoms were GONE by the 3rd day. This is a program we’ll be doing again and again! But you can check all that out on my blog’s 21 Day Fix page. 🙂
This post has been long in coming, but it was inspired by the plethora of people in my life who love to say: “I can’t afford to eat a healthy diet.” Well, good news, you can. I went to the grocery store today, just for you and picked out some amazing foods that are staples of a healthy diet. The best part, I only spent $30.09 for the food pictured below. Through the years, I’ve encountered a lot of people who have heard how important it is to follow a healthy diet, but don’t have any idea of what that means. Let me explain this to you. You need a variety.

What you’re looking at is: 12oz. fresh broccoli
                                            7 bananas
                                            2c. mozzarella cheese
                                            1lb. ground chicken
                                            2 cans no salt added corn
                                            4 cans reduced sodium black beans
                                            2 cans dark red kidney beans
                                            roasted, unsalted peanuts (Make sure there are no added ingredients.)
                                            roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds (I usually buy raw, but they were out.)
                                            1 bag of radishes
                                            2 giant heads of romaine lettuce
                                            1 lg. tub of greek yogurt
                                            1 ginger root
                                            2 bulbs of fresh garlic
I can hear some of you saying where’s the fudge rounds…? Let me explain this: treats are treats…I’ve seen buggies in the store that have about 70% junk food 30% real food. This is where their money is going. They complain about being addicted but have junk food all over their house. Don’t get me wrong, a treat is ok, but if you’re eating a treat everyday, then it’s no longer a treat, it’s part of your diet.

Now to debunk some common misconceptions about healthy eating:

Myth 1: It costs a fortune. You do not need to buy everything organic! I know people that use the cost of organic as an excuse…really? The only ones to be careful about are the dirty dozen, according to my husband, who has a biotechnology degree, and studied what pesticides actually do. Buy in season, and locally, if possible, there’s a reason that this is really popular right now…because it’s cheaper. Buy in bulk. Get another family to go in on the cost of a crate of a particular food. you’ll both benefit from making a healthier choice. Grow your own herbs, instead of paying $3 every time you need fresh rosemary.

Myth 2: I don’t have time. If you’ve never heard of a crockpot, then I suggest that you acquaint yourself with it. This is how I worked 5 jobs and still ate healthily. All is takes is 15 minutes. You actually will spend more time driving somewhere to a drive-thru to eat a much less healthy meal.

Myth 3: Healthy food tastes bad. Trust me, we make some delicious stuff at our house, chili, protein cookies, etc. I had PF Chang’s-inspired clean chicken lettuce wraps for lunch….nom, nom. We don’t eat cardboard. You don’t need all that added junk. I looked at the label for corn meal the other day and 9 out of 10 brands had added wheat flour. We’ve duped ourselves into thinking we need all those fillers, like MSG, bleached flour, modified food starch, but we’re wrong.

Myth 4: I’ll still be hungry all the time. If you’re eating the right portions, the right calories for your activity level and getting enough protein and fiber, that won’t be the case.

Do some research? How healthy is your daily food intake, really?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Julie

What to do with a 10+lb. pumpkin…Eat it!

Ok, so I really didn’t have time to go to the pumpkin patch this year. I teach a class for a corporate fitness program to a group of wonderful ladies who love to bring me something from their latest garden/farm crop and their latest homemade salsas and sugar-free preserves. (Can you say “yuuuummmmy”?) So when one of my students asked to bring me a pumpkin, I didn’t know she was going to bring me the biggest pumpkin in the state…just kidding, but this pumpkin was well over 10 lb. I would’ve paid a FORTUNE for this at the grocery store, and it was organic!!! After I got over the shock, my hubby and I had to decide what to do with this beast…I named it Himey…(I’m really dorky, ok..?) Well, the pumpkin sat and ripened for a little while…but I must confess. I had no idea what to do with this giant!…well, other than roast the seeds. So, I decided to embark on a new culinary adventure, with extreme thankfulness that I bought a new chef’s knife recently. So I cut my very orange pumpkin friend into pieces, scraped out the seeds, and roasted him in the oven, while I roasted seeds in my toaster oven. After I cut the flesh from the pumpkin, I then separated pumkin I would freeze from pumkin I would puree’. It took up my two largest tupperware containers and then some. I thought to myself, great the pumpkin is prepped, but what do I do next?
That’s when my great friend’s at IDEA inspired bloggers were more than happy to lend a helping post or two of their pumpkin recipes. So thank you ladies, there were so many wonderful post to choose from! Friends, please check out their blogs for these great pumpkin recipes! Meanwhile, here’s one of my own:(This recipe has been endorsed, by my husband, Micah Auler.)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (Serves 1)
1/4 c. greek yogurt (plain)
1/2 c. pureed pumpkin
1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c. oatmeal
1 tsp. honey
2 packets of stevia
1 dash ground ginger
2 dashes nutmeg
2 dashes cloves
2 dashes cinnamon
Put all ingredients in blender and blend, and enjoy!

Link Love:
Pumkin Protein Granola
Pumkin Pie Greek Yogurt
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Lentil Tacos
Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
Pumpkin Pie Quinoa
Pumpkin Cupcake
Pumpkin Pancakes

As always, let me know your thoughts! Leave a comment or email any time!