Pumpkin Cornbread

Nothing screams fall more than some warm chili while watching Sunday football, right?

But what is better than chili with a side of cornbread?
…….how about pumpkin cornbread!!

Pumpkin is not a fall phenomenon for no reason – pumpkin is filled with nutritional value. It is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, carotenoids and fiber. The root vegetable is also very low in calories making this an easy (and stress free) addition to your fall diet. You do not have to use fresh pumpkin you can buy it in a can as long as you make sure it is 100% pure pumpkin (no added sugars, etc.)

This recipe was inspired by the Purely Elizabeth fall magazine that featured a salad with pumpkin cornbread croutons – the idea immediately grabbed my attention, so I made a few tweaks to the recipe and wanted to share with all of you to enjoy as well!

pumpkin-cornbread-paleo

Pumpkin Cornbread

Dry Ingredients
1 1/2 cups of almond flour
1 1/2 cups of whole grain cornmeal (I LOVE Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
optional for sweetness: 1/4 cup coconut sugar 

Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
3/4 cup almond milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 eggs
1 can of organic pumpkin puree

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees
In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients
In a smaller bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients
Combine the wet ingredients into the larger bowl and mix thoroughly
Pour into a greased/sprayed baking tin
Cook in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown/cooked through
(times depend on the dish used for baking – stick a toothpick into the bread to determine if it is fully cooked)

Take the cornbread out of the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into serving size pieces & enjoy!

pumpkin-cornbread

make sure to check out my Pumpkin Turkey Chili recipe to pair with this pumpkin cornbread and enjoy your next Sunday Football Feast!

Exploring New Studios: weRow Minneapolis

and the studio explorations continue…

WeRow Minneapolis

A couple weekends ago we had friends in town visiting. The boys went golfing one  morning, so my friend Leigh and I decided to head out for a studio workout. We cruised the classpass website for a studio with a class time that we could work with and ended up at weRow Minneapolis.

weRow is located in Northeast Minneapolis right along the Mississippi River – the studio has plenty of parking which makes it very convenient for those who do not live nearby to come try it out! Another plus – weRow is just a couple blocks from Spyhouse Coffee, perfect for a post sweat treat!

This studio is an indoor rowing studio that offers a variety of classes; classic row, HITT row, and row sculpt. If you haven’t tried a rowing class (no matter where you live) – google a nearby studio and try it out! Rowing is a great way to get in a good cardio workout with no impact and lots of core and arm strength training all at once! For my Boston readers – head over to Btone Fitness – their row classes are killer!

WeRow MN

Leigh and I took the Row Sculpt class which was an hour of strength training mixed in with rowing sprints. The class was so challenging! The instructor created a circuit of 7 rounds – each round would begin with a 200 meter sprint on the rowing machine followed by three strength exercises. After a quick warm-up we completed this circuit as many times as we could in the 40 minutes. Luckily, Leigh and I pushed each other threw two rounds and were so happy once class was over. We definitely felt it the next day..

I love a good row class, so I am excited to get back to weRow to take one of their signature classes! If you are local check them out (and they are on classpass too).

Holiday Hustle

And just like that we are into the holiday season – how does time go by SO fast?!

This past weekend I made a quick trip to Home Goods where it really hit me (as I stared at aisles of Christmas decorations) that the Holiday season is fast approaching. This time of year happens to be my absolute favorite, but also comes with a lot of added stress. Two months of jam packed family events, work socials, cookie swaps, decorating and endless amounts of shopping can take a toll on you mentally but also physically on your body.

Stress has so many immediate negative effects on the body. These effects can be both mental and physical. Stress can induce chronic disease, anxiety, depression, heart attacks, panic attacks, and other difficult health issues. Matter of fact, 90% of all chronic disease is caused by stress, and to make it worse, about 70% of the population knows that they are stressed out and only about 25-30% try to do something about it.

Is this ringing true to some of you?

Do you wish you could slow down during this time of year?

If so, I am here to help…

healthy holiday - stress free holiday

The Holiday season should be a special time, one where you can reflect on your year’s accomplishments and share genuine time with family and friends. So here is the trick, it’s so simple – just add mindfulness. You might be thinking “oh sure, that’s easier said than done” or “what does that even mean?”

The definition of mindfulness is;

mind·ful·ness
noun

1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”

2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Okay so how do you put this into practice? Here are a few examples of how easy it can be to add mindfulness during the holiday hustle;

  • Say No – You do not have to attend every holiday gathering you are invited to!! Seriously, it is important to prioritize your time. Choose to attend events that mean something to you or have friends or family you would love to see attending.
  • Self-Love – Schedule time for you. Your weekends might be fully booked but put some time on your calendar (literally block it off) on a Wednesday or Thursday evening just for you. You can simply do nothing – lay on the couch, read a book, take a bath. You could attend a yoga class, take a nap, or go get your nails done. This doesn’t have to be for long – even 20 minutes moms!! Tell your husband to play a board game with the kids and retreat upstairs. These little acts of self-love will allow you time to reflect and slow down allowing you to truly enjoy all the hustle and bustle that follows.
  • Give Back – This is what the Holiday season is truly all about, right?! Make an effort to schedule one event or activity to give back this holiday season – don’t just write a check to charity, really go out and help someone. The joy and satisfaction this brings is like no other.

I hope these three tips help you reset and head into the Holiday season with a different outlook 🙂

I am very aware that some of the Holiday stress comes from the endless events of eating and drinking (which may seem like a nightmare for those trying to stay on track or lose weight) so click here to read how to tackle those negative food guilt feelings!

Exploring New Studios: Tiger Fit Athletics

Happy Hump Day!

Let me start off by saying that I am having tons of fun testing out all the local studios here in MN! These sweaty adventures are keeping me (and Justin) very busy on the weekends and it is also a great way to meet new people, so  it is a win-win.

tigerfit

About a week ago, Justin and I decided on our next stop, Tiger Fit Athletics in Plymouth. We signed up for a Saturday 8am class called Triple Threat. This class  is extra long and combines spin, strength, and core. Heres the class description:

“best all in ONE quick-paced, high-energy class combining cardio, core and strength. The breakdown: 20 min cardio (ride + fly) + 20 min core + 30 min strength + 5 min stretching = 75 min of high-energy, calorie-blasting, sweat-dripping class…..ONE YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS. No two classes will be the same. All levels welcome. Limited spots. Are you ready to play?”

so we thought, go big or go home right?

We showed up early to sign in and get a quick tour before class began. The first 35 minutes of class was spin. However this is not your average spin class, Tiger Fit has WATT bikes which function opposite to how your typical spin bike does. These bikes force you to focus on pedaling with your backside muscles and not your thighs! It took a couple minutes to get in the groove but once I did, it was a killer workout. After spin ended, we headed into the studio room next door for 50 minutes of strength and core. The instructor pushed us to our limits with all sorts of crazy challenges. We used resistance bands, sandbags, heavy weights, and gliders to work all areas of the body. Class ended (90 minutes later) with a 5 minute stretch session and a little extra foam rolling in their studio.

tfathletics

So what did I think? I LOVED Tiger Fit! The studio is focused on true athletic training. The instructors are very knowledgeable and design all their classes accordingly. The class sizes are smaller and you get a lot of hands on help from the instructors. The studio offers a WIDE variety of classes – HITT, Arc Training, Treadmill Training, Spin, Core, Barre and Yoga!

I would join this studio in a second if it wasn’t for their membership prices, unfortunately a little too pricey for me. Luckily, they are a part of classpass so hopefully once I activate my membership  here in MN I can get back to Tiger Fit!