Dear Reader,

The summer is quickly coming to an end. Particularly for those of us who live in the colder states (ahem...New Hampshire) this means outdoor activity becomes limited, bulky sweaters come out of the closet and many of us eat more than usual to deal with the winter blues. Even if you live in a warmer state, the holiday season makes sure to sabotage your efforts to stay trim and lean. Most of us automatically fast-forward in our minds to late November when we think of the holiday weight-gain. In reality it creeps up earlier than that. Halloween is the official start of the holiday weight-gain season. As a result, many of us are slowly packing on the pounds before we even realize it! It is estimated that 26 pounds of candy is consumed per capita in America yearly. I believe that a large portion of the candy is consumed around Halloween. That is a lot of candy to consume in a short amount of time! And it only starts at Halloween. The sweet confectioneries last the entire span of fall to winter from candy corn and gummy worms to snowman shaped marshmallows and Christmas tree-shaped chocolates. I know, I know, stop it already. Many of us are think we are lucky and may not gain more than 1-3 pounds during the holiday season compared to those who may gain 5-10 pounds. However, most of us never lose the pound or two we gain and continue this every year. Ten years later, we are 20 pounds heavier! The key is to control what goes into your body. Stop consuming processed sugar and fat-laden treats like there is no tomorrow. There are delicious alternatives to the typical junk we eat every holiday season. I've given you just a few recipes that are delicious below. My personal favorites are Pumpkin Pie Smoothie and The Pumpkin Bars. They are easy to prepare and make good treats for the family. I hope you take out the time to try these tasty recipes and battle the bulge this holiday season.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Sign up for our Transform in 4 Challenge to add more structure to your eating. We can all use a bit more help 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup pumpkin pureé
  • 1 scoop Beverly Vanilla or Graham Cracker Protein
  • pumpkin spice (for topping)

Mix together all ingredients (except pumpkin spice) until well combined. Place into molds, I used the small silicone muffin pan. Ice cube trays work great too! Sprinkle with pumpkin spice and place in freezer until firm (about 2 hours). Let thaw a couple minutes before enjoying.

I wonder what Angel Food Cake protein would taste like here.

Pumpkin Bars

  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • ½ cup butter

  • ½ teaspoon cloves

  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups milk

  • 3 eggs

  • 5 scoops UMP Vanilla

  • 2 cups pumpkin

Heat oven to 350. Place butter into a 9×13 pan and let melt in oven while it is preheating. In the meantime mix the oats, flour, and the brown sugar. Pour over the melted butter and press down with a spoon. Bake for 12 minutes. While crust is baking, scald milk and the spices. Stir in the pumpkin and then the eggs followed by the protein powder. Pour this over the crust and bake for another 20 minutes or until the pumpkin filling is firm to the touch.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

  • 1/3 cup pure pumpkin, canned
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or walnuts, almonds, flax, chia, etc)
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Ice 

Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth and creamy. Pour immediately into a large cup. Eat with a spoon or a large straw. 

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats (do not substitute quick cooking, instant, or rolled oats)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk, any kind you like (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal (or swap an equal amount of chia seeds, hemp seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For serving: chopped toasted pecans, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, peanut butter, or any other mix-ins you enjoy with pumpkin

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 scoop UMP Vanilla protein powder
  • 2 TB almond butter
  • 1 TB raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • Sea Salt, a pinch

Blend all ingredients, except chia seeds, until smooth. Place the blended mixture into a reseal-able large jar (or 2 smaller jars) then add chia seeds. Seal jar and shake.

Place in refrigerator overnight or for at least 3+ hours. Feel free to shake jars once or twice in between to make sure they didn’t become too gelatinous. Breakfast, snack or post workout recovery is served!


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