October is here! It’s time for some new recipes! I really enjoy eating pumpkin, but it’s harder to find outside of the fall season. I purchased two cans of pumpkin last week and decided to do something with them. I made a healthier version of pumpkin bars that are easy to make and have a good amount of protein. I added chocolate chips because I just love chocolate. You could substitute the chocolate with nuts or blueberries. These are great pre or post-workout.
- 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder
- 1/4 cup of flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
- 2 whole eggs (can substitute egg whites)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil melted (or leave out for less fat)
- 1 can of organic pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 cups of ground instant oatmeal
- Enough almond milk to wet the mixture to the consistency you desire ( you can also use water)
1. Spray a square glass baking dish and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Take about 2 cups of dry instant oatmeal and grind in the blender until it is the consistency of flour. Measure out 1 and 1/2 cups of the ground oats and place in a bowl. Add the baking soda and protein powder in the bowl with the oatmeal. Add the flaxseed meal. Mix.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the canned pumpkin, vanilla extract, eggs, coconut oil, and chocolate chips. You can also add in stevia if you want more sweetness.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until blended well. Slowly add in the almond milk to make the mixture smoother, but it should still be a little thick.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Check often and make sure it doesn’t dry out too much.
6. Take out and cool.
7. Cut into 10-12 squares.
It’s easy to eat clean when everything is going perfectly and there are no outside stressors involved in your life. It’s easy to workout when you have slept for eight hours and are well rested and prepared for your training session! But if you’re like me, the stars seldom align “perfectly” on your behalf to make life a piece of cake.
There were a few times this week when I became frustrated for various reasons. A few situations at work and also being a little tired in the morning. I am finally getting back into a regular routine of lifting and cardio after floundering around a bit regarding what type of training I wanted to do after my competition. This week I could have easily fell off the wagon. The first thing I want to do when things don’t go my way, is grab a comfort food…candy bar, ice cream chocolate, basically anything sweet.
One day I came home this week and I looked in the cabinet…it was like I was searching for something “bad” to eat. (Fortunately we don’t really keep junk food in the house). Everything looked good except what I was supposed to be eating. I almost grabbed the box of Cheerios to pour myself a big bowl (or 2) but then I thought about it. I said “Wait a minute. Who is in control? Are you in control? Are you going to let what happens at work effect your life so much that it interferes with your goal?” I thought longer, sat on the couch, and then made myself some peppermint herbal tea.
You never feel good after you go on a binge. You feel like crap. You also keep yourself from progressing to your desired goal. I just can’t keep allowing that to happen and neither should you. Take control of your diet…remember that it is okay to eat junk once in a while but don’t let it be your stress reliever.
Here are a few tips for preventing junk food binge madness when you are stressed out and tired:
- Always have healthy food ready to eat. If you have to cook it you will more than likely choose a processed/junk food option.
- If you have a sweet craving drink some herbal tea or diet hot chocolate (I like Swiss Miss…only 2 carbs and 40 calories)
- Eat one small square of dark chocolate, 72% or higher
- Open the bible or some other spiritual book and read it. That is what it is for…to help you in times of need.
- Pray (Yes…cravings are so bad sometimes you have to pray! LOL)
- Drink a diet soda (not the best solution but at least its calorie free)
- Drink carbonated water (I love the Sparkling ICE brand… you can usually pick it up for $1.00)
- Chew Gum
- Talk a walk or do something to keep you busy.
- If you must eat something, eat vegetables or a small piece of fruit or drink a protein shake.
- Don’t keep junk food in the house. If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it.
“To enjoy good health…one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.’ Buddha