Acorn Squash Sweet Salad

I am on a Pumpkorn kick. I cannot get enough of these delicious pumpkin seeds!

Today I incorporated a big handful of the honey ‘n’ flax flavor into my lunch .

Acorn, Pumpkorn, Cranberry Relish

Last night I prepped an acorn squash by piercing it before microwaving it for 5 minutes on one side and three minutes on the other. I used all the yummy flesh in my acorn squash salad today. I added several scoops of homemade cranberry relish for extra sweetness.

My afternoon snack is more Pumpkorn. I think I’ll be digging into my sea salt Pumpkorn sooner rather than later… not because I’m hungry, but because I’m obsessed.

Have you ever tried pumpkin butter? What’s your favorite kind of nut butter?

On random foodie Web sites I’ve seen pumpkin butter for sale and have always wanted to try it. Sounds delicious to me. My favorite nut butter is… duh… peanut butter!

I want to eat you!

I really love the honey nut peanut butter grinding machine at Whole Foods where you can grind your own honey nut peanuts into the most amazingly creamy and sweet nut butter. Whoa, is that a puddle of drool I see on my desk?

Peanut Butter Fingers Confession

I have an embarrassing peanut butter confession. About two weeks ago I was eating one too many peanut butter fingers. Ryan was about to leave for a soccer game and I thrust the peanut butter jar at him and told him to hide it from me so I wouldn’t eat the whole dang jar.

Let me just say I am one of the most curious people in the world. I’ve always tried to find my Christmas presents before Christmas (sometimes I’ve succeeded!). Ryan actually hid my engagement ring in his car for fear I’d find it. (Disclaimer: I don’t snoop unless I know someone’s planning to give something to me. I just wanna know what it is NOW!)

Anyway, about an hour after Ryan left for his soccer game, I felt my curiosity kick in. I promise you it wasn’t just another peanut butter craving (believe me I know how to identify this feeling). I knew he hid the peanut butter jar in the spare room of our apartment. After some digging, I found it in his closet and rewarded myself with another peanut butter finger! šŸ˜€

Naturally I placed the jar back in the closet and shut the door to hide my embarrassing lack of control over my own curiosity. When Ryan went to change after his shower he immediately said “Hm… someone found the peanut butter!

Caught! Ah! Apparently I didn’t place the jar back in the closet exactly as I’d found it. Note to fellow snoopers: return your finding exactly as you found it. Don’t get so excited about enjoying another peanut butter finger that you place the jar in the closet vertically when you found it horizontally. I’m so embarrassing.

Mail-Inspired Breakfast

I love getting mail! Packages, magazines, letters… I love it all! Yesterday I received a free sample package of Nature Valley Nut Clusters and knew I wanted to use the nutty/granola mixture in my morning Greek yogurt.

Nut Clusters

That’s just what I did and boy was it tasty!

Yogurt Topped with Nut Clusters

The clusters were oh-so-nutty and had the perfect amount of sweetness. I’m quite a fan.

Tuesday's Breakfast

I wolfed down this breakfast and a hot tumbler of my gym’s free coffee. Today’s flavors: Barnie’s French vanilla, hazelnut and cinnamon butter cookie coffees all mixed together.

Boss and a Leader

Please notice the fancy-schmancy tumbler in today’s breakfast picture. It was a freebie gift given to Ryan at work about a year ago at a training on leadership development. I feel ready to lead today!

True story: every night at dinner when I was growing up my dad would ask me and my sister what we did that day to be a boss and a leader. We always had to have something to report, whether it simply be that we answered a question correctly in class or that we got first place in a sporting event. The first one seemed to happen frequently,Ā  though I’m not sure the second one ever did. šŸ˜‰

Neck Update

Thank you for your well wishes about the worst crick in my neck I’ve ever experienced. I’m going on day three today, but fortunately I can now look to my right! Hooray for some mobility. šŸ™‚

I had to keep my workout light and relatively stationary since the ol’ neck can’t handle running. I did 50 minutes of machine-based cardio: 10 minutes on the stair master and 40 minutes on the elliptical.

Pumpkorn Giveaway Winner

Using RANDOM.org’s true number generator the two winners of the Pumpkorn giveaway are:

Spotty Prep and Mellissa!

Please email me (pbfingers@gmail.com) with your address so I may send you your Pumpkorn samples. As stated in the giveaway post, Spotty Prep you’ll receive three packages of Pumpkorn (sea salt, honey ā€˜nā€™ flax and adobo chili flavors) and Mellissa will receive two packages of Pumpkorn (dark cocoa and original tamari garlic flavors).

Apple Pumpkin Bowl

I was cravin’ something sweet and crunchy for lunch today.

I figured a random concoction using cottage cheese, pumpkin, sweetener and an apple would hit the spot.

Crisp and Crunchy Apple

I stirred together the pumpkin, sweetener and cottage cheese before topping the mixture with a chopped cold and crisp apple.

Monday Lunch

It looks kinda gross, but it was tasty! Sometimes I just want something sweet for lunch and a wrap or salad simply won’t do. Combining several of my favorite ingredients to create this lunch bowl satisfied my sweet craving in a nutritious and delicious way!

Pumpkorn Giveaway

If you haven’t already, be sure to enter my Pumpkorn giveaway. I’ll be announcing the winners tomorrow morning.

Pumpkorn Breakfast and Giveaway

This morning I woke up with a serious crick in my neck. Yesterday I had the same pain and today it decided to stick around. Ick.

Needless to say, I skipped my typical Monday morning BodyPump class in favor of my own total-body weight routine (coupled with 25 minutes of light cardio) that didn’t put stress on my neck. I feel like a goober because I cannot look from side to side. When someone tries to talk to me, I have to completely turn my body. I’m so creepy today!

Breakfast was tasty! I enjoyed a cup of Chobani Greek yogurt topped with dark cocoa Pumpkorn and Dorset Cereal.

Dorset Cereal

Ryan’s mom sent him to Orlando with this cereal for us to try. It’s pretty good! The only sweetness I tasted is from the dried fruit in the cereal.

Cocoa Dusted Pumpkorn

The dark cocoa Pupkorn tasted like a treat in my yogurt! I love chocolate for breakfast. šŸ™‚

Monday's Breakfast

Pumpkorn Giveaway

I am so excited about this giveaway! I adore Pumpkorn products and haven’t tried a flavor I didn’t like. Alex from Pumpkorn agreed to offer a giveaway on my blog, giving readers a chance to win packages of Pumpkorn.

Pumpkorn Packages

Since I have five packages to give away, I figured I would split the winnings in two so two readers will have the chance to win. Gotta love extra winning opportunities, right?

The first winner will receive three packages of Pumpkorn (sea salt, honey ‘n’ flax and adobo chili flavors). The second winner will receive two packages of Pumpkorn (dark cocoa *my favorite* and original tamari garlic flavors).

To enter simply comment on this post saying which Pumpkorn flavor you’d most like to try. I’ll announce the winners tomorrow morning.

Cyber Monday

I am a huge online shopper and am lovin’ Cyber Monday. Since Victoria’s Secret feels the need to email me with special offers daily, I figured I’d share this awesome deal with all of you!

Choose three sweaters for $30 and receive a free scarf!

VictoriasSecret.com Free Scarf!

You can also save 20% with the code vssave20. To receive the three sweaters for $30 use the code 3FOR30 at checkout. To get the scarf for free use the code scarf09.

Happy shopping!

14%

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 14 percent of American adults eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Health experts recommend five servings of fruits and veggies a day.

I try to sneak fruits and veggies into my main meals, such as today’s lunch… a big fat BBQ chicken salad!

Veggified

Veggified

Many people find other foods more convenient and easier to eat, allowing fresh fruits and vegetables to fall to the wayside. It’s easy to grab a granola bar, pour a bowl of cereal or cook up some pasta.

Chopping, roasting or sauteing veggies seems like work! To me, the extra effort is worth it, and doesn’t really feel like work at all anymore. Sure dicing up the veggies for my salad wasn’t amazingly fun, but with Ryan in the kitchen quizzing me on questions out of the 1,000 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married book (a lovely gift from my friend Laurel), it didn’t seem so bad.

I like to incorporate veggies into my meal staples… adding strawberries or fresh fruit to my Greek yogurt enhances my morning breakfast. Adding tomato slices, spinach or broccoli slaw to a pita pocket or wrap makes my lunch more filling. Enjoying roasted brussels sprouts, spaghetti squash or steamed green beans adds beautiful color and taste to my evening meal.

Today’s salad was full o’ veggies! I topped a bed of broccoli slaw and fresh spinach with diced carrots, celery, plum tomato and leftover BBQ chicken from last night’s dinner.

Gettin' My Servings

Gettin' My Servings

The serving size for most fruits and veggies is a half of a cup (or a piece of fruit), or one cup for leafy greens such as spinach or lettuce.

This salad probably contained almost a full day’s worth of veggies! I had two cups of broccoli slaw as the base for the salad and with all the other veggies as my toppings, hitting the recommended serving of veggies wasn’t too hard.

My salad was topped my salad with balsamic vinegar (love this stuff) and I shook it up so everything was evenly dispersed.

vinegar

All Dressed Up

All Dressed Up

I love a good veggie-full feeling. There’s just something about knowing your belly is full of fresh, healthy and nutrient-rich foods.

Don’t worry, I didn’t neglect my fruits today.

I added some fruit toppers to my mid-morning Greek yogurt snack.

Fruity Greek Yogurt

Fruity Greek Yogurt

I topped the thick yogurt with strawberries, Brothers-All-Natural apple crisps, honey ‘n’ flax Pumpkorn and slivered almonds.

Apple Crisps

Apple Crisps

Tasty!

Tasty!

Also, in case you were wondering, Washington, D.C. residents apparently eat the most servings of fruits and veggies while poor Mississippi ranked last for produce consumption. Eek!

Question: What are your favorite ways for sneaking fruits and veggies into your diet?