10/12/2012

Fitness Fridays: Expressing a deep admiration for C25K and healthy pumpkin breakfasts

TGIF, love bugs! The weekend is nearly here!
Today I'm joining my Twinnie Jen, and taking part in the Fitness Fridays
Now, before I go on any food pumpkin related rants, it's imperative that I take a minute to express my deep gratitude and appreciation for the Couch-to-5k running program. And as you can imagine, deep gratitude and appreciation are something, like trust, that must be earned. I don't just throw those emotions out there on a whim. No sir. But the well designed C25K plan, along with my personal C25K app trainer Billie (who I'm almost positive is really the voice of Jillian Michaels) has truly changed my life. It's the God's honest truth, my friends, that without it I would have never ever - not in a million years - been able to do what I did today. And that is run a full 3.80 miles (that's .70 over a 5k!) at a 9:12 pace without even feeling winded once. I nearly cried when I got home from my run and looked down at my phone to see those figures staring back at me. This is such an achievement and I could not be more proud of myself for staying committed and focused. I'm happier than a man sittin' on a feather sack. I am tickled. (I heard this saying on an episode of Cajun Pawn Stars and pretty much pissed my pants. From then on I've adopted it into my vocabulary, so expect to hear it again very soon). 
During my last Fitness Fridays post  I talked about how I'd discovered the significance of regularly incorporating bananas into my diet. I learned (the hard way, after a pitiful and disheartening couple of runs) that, for me personally, banana's (along with a good mental attitude) really boost my energy and give me the fuel I need to run longer and faster runs. I swear by them and I have a banana for breakfast every single day of the week. But over the past two weeks I've also adopted another staple into my diet which I'm really feeling the benefits of. 

I was introduced to yogurt and grape nuts when I was a little girl by my mother. As a High Schooler, Mom used to work in a local Nursing Home and talked about how she used to feed the elderly residents a bowl of vanilla yogurt with grape nuts mixed in every day for a snack. She introduced this healthy concoction to my sister and I one day and we quickly fell in love ( never realizing it was, in fact, good for us). All throughout my childhood/high school days it was a yummy snack I'd crave and enjoy from time to time. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when a random trip to our local grocery store meant that I accidentally stumbled upon Posts Grape Nuts in the cereal aisle. I was shocked more than anything to find that, for once, England actually had a food I'd loved end enjoyed during my childhood back in the states, and immediately scarfed a box off the shelf. Carl and I had recently discovered a coconut and vanilla fat free yogurt we were fans of, so I stocked up on those and hurried home to enjoy a bowl of Mom's famous Nursing Home hit. And a hit it still was. Since then I've had a banana and bowl of vanilla coconut greek yogurt sprinkled with grape nuts almost every morning for breakfast. Sometimes I'll  get fancy and add strawberries, or peaches or raspberries, but most of the time I enjoy it simple and plain, the way Mom used to make it, and it's always just as delicious as I remember. It's my breakfast of choice and I know it can always be trusted to fuel me for the day ahead and help lead me to a successful run. I highly recommend you give it a go too!
Like many people, I always find that this time of year I'm craving Fall inspired flavors and, as a result, I'm forever searching for some new and innovative way to incorporate my beloved pumpkin into my diet. Enter the always reliable Pinterest and it's endless array of pumpkin recipes. The other week, after pouring a piping hot cup of tea and plunking my ass in front of my laptop, I began scouring the deep dark crevasses of Pinterest where, within a measly 5 minutes, I'd effortlessly stumbled upon not one, but two delicious pumpkin recipes. Both of which incorporated my adored, tried and tested Greek Yogurt, and both of which were healthy. Jackpot!

It doesn't matter the time of the year, I always have been and always will be a big smoothie girl. They're delicious, super easy and extremely nutritious (if, of course, you bypass the 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream or Hershey's syrup). This deep seeded love of smoothies meant that I was immediately drawn to this Pumpkin Pie Smoothie recipe I discovered. A recipe that is simply too amazing (containing absolutely no stick to your ass ingredients) to keep to myself. And so, like the good friend that I am, I'm selflessly sharing it with you now.
1/2 frozen banana
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup plain Greek Yogurt
3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (or vanilla soy milk if you have a nut allergy)
a few shakes of pumpkin pie spice
4-5 ice cubes
Blitz in a blender until smooth and enjoy!

And because I'm a Greek Yogurt lovin' kinda girl, I'll be carrying on the pumpkin yogurt theme with this low-fat Pumpkin Yogurt Crunch recipe. It's full of pumpkin, yogurt, pears and walnuts. I drool thinking about how heavenly it must be and I am desperate to try a cup. I mean look at it? It's practically a freakin' pumpkin trifle! 
There's something oddly satisfying about sniffing out and repinning fabulous recipes on Pinterest. Especially pumpkin-filled-won't-make-your-ass-grow ones that you know you'll absolutely adore. I feel like Aladdin when he entered The Cave Of Wonders. In front of me I see perfect glistening cups of pumpkin treasures that I can't wait to create myself and devour. And I would, right now...If only it was as easy to find Pumpkin Puree in England is it was to find Grape Nuts.

3 comments:

  1. way to go on your run! before I was pregnant with Elyse I was following the C25K program and I was oh so close...of course then I found out I was pregnant and stopped moving all together! ha! maybe I'll get back into running someday...it's just not something I love!

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  2. You already know that I'm SO PROUD OF YOU for how far you have come with your running in such a short time. Seriously- you should be hugging yourself right now :) I LOVE pumpkin smoothies!! I add it to my protein shakes in the fall for that festive kick! love you Petal!!

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  3. Congrats gal! That is something to be SO SO SO proud of! I want to start running more and to ultimately do a race of some kind but with the wedding, honeymoon & moving I just haven't...yet! Thanks for the inspiration though, I need to get on it stat! As for the food I'm totally trying that soon!!! Where did you find the cereal? I'm still finding my way around the shops, as I'm sure you know it takes ages to start finding what you like and where you can find it ha! Hope you have a lovely weekend my fellow American :)

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