I got home from Italy and the weather was perfect for RUNNING.
Ah, I love summer, but I LOVE RUNNING IN FALL. The weather is just....filled with personal records and fast times and beautiful, peaceful, meditative RUNNING. And its like all summer I struggle with acclimating to the heat and then VOILA one day I go for a run and its 1000 times easier to run and a 1000 times easier to run fast and I just feel extreme joy.
Around this time is also when my brain starts craving PUMPKINS ALL THE DANG TIME. Specifically, I crave pumpkin spice lattes, even though I do not even like them.
Here's the cycle. Every autumn I crave a Starbuck's PSL and eventually I cave and buy one...and then I end up taking 4 sips and tossing it because its SO SWEET and it makes me feel sick. Maybe this year I will actually avoid the cycle and never cave to my PSL craving.
I am a HUGE fan of canned pumpkin. Not pumpkin pie mix, but true-blue-100%-pumpkin.
First of all, lemme get all science nerd on ya. Did you know that canned pumpkin actually has greater nutrient density than fresh pumpkin?! The canning process actually improves our body's ability to absorb the carotenoids (vitamin A) from the pumpkin so we get EXTRA antioxidants from it. Runners do a lot of oxidative damage to our bodies and the extra antioxidants helps to protect our DNA from damage.
Forget about science. Canned pumpkin also tastes delish in everything. Yogurt parfaits? YUP. Oatmeal? YES. Soups? TRUE DAT. Its super convenient and inexpensive.
I made this pumpkin pie smoothie after a track workout and it HIT THE SPOT. Let me share its delicious-ness with you. It has the perfect ratio of protein to carbs to support recovery. If you're eating this and its not after a hard workout, you may consider adding less dates and a tablespoon of almond butter, to reduce the carb content and boost the fat to make it keep you fuller longer.
Stop what you're doing and go make this smoothie, get your pumpkin pie cravings honored with a nutrient dense alternative and just go pick some apples!! It's fall, yo'!
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Post Workout Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
serves 1-2 people
1 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt (Preferably vanilla flavored)
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/3 cup Pureed Pumpkin
1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 Pitted Dates (may increase or reduce to taste)
1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1. Combine ingredients in a blender and enjoy!