Seasonal ;)

Last night, I went to Body Specs for a class with my friend, Steph. Given that I need someone to literally force me to strength train, I figured this was a good option. I also discovered how horribly out of shape I am. Sure, I can run a bazillion miles, but the muscles behind those muscles don’t have a whole lotta power.

shockingly weak

Body Specs’ programs focus on sports performance. The class I did was 30 minutes of circuits. We warmed up, then did 2 rotations of the following 2 minute circuits (please excuse my crappy descriptions):

Weighted lateral raise w/jump + squat jumps

Twisting jumps on a step + elevated pushups

Side crunches on a bean shaped ball

Kettle bell squats

Chain runs

Medicine ball throws

Balancing on this skateboard-ish thing and rolling side to side (first on hands, then on feet)

Squats

Step up lunges

Weighted tall sit ups/side to side sit ups

Congratulations if you can decipher what any of that means. I can tell you exactly what it means to me: pain. I am one weak chicky over here! Fortunately for me, I think that weighted lateral raise with a jump was the hardest one, and I started with it. I was dying after the first set! But—I say fortunately because I got it out of the way, and everything else didn’t seem so bad by comparison.

I also felt like a semi-retard (pronounced Hangover style, of course—GAH soooo funny!) because I couldn’t remember exactly what I was supposed to do at each station. So I kind of just stood there and tried to look like I knew what I was doing until the instructor called out my name across the room and told me what to do. Not embarrassing at all.

stick to running

Anyway, pride aside, I really liked the workout! I need someone to kick my butt like that, and it made me realize just how much stronger I could be. I might be able to run far, but I need to get some power behind those miles. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate it with a fiery passion, but I do see the benefit of lifting weights.

baby steps

Oh, and I can barely walk today. Who doesn’t love that???


Obviously, I’m digging the whole seasonal foods thing right now, especially in pumpkin form. This week, I’ve already had Pumpkin Oatmeal and a Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip muffin, but I have to confess that I’ve been holding out on you.

Sorry.

Both of these recipes are based on things I saw on the fabulous Brown Eyed Baker. She always has amazing recipes posted, and everything I’ve ever tried of hers has always been spectacular. I did a few modifications of my own on both of these, and they came out pretty fantastic if I do say so myself!

First, I whipped up these Pumpkin Pie Bars. The original recipe has been camped out in my Delicious queue for a year, and it was high time I get my butt in gear and crank out a batch!

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Pumpkin Pie Bars

Modified from this recipe.

Makes 12 bars

Whisk together in a small bowl:

1 cup flour

2 t. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 t. salt

In another bowl, mix:

1/2 cup melted butter flavor shortening (or butter)

1 cup brown sugar

Add and whisk in:

1 egg or 3 T. egg substitute

1 t. vanilla

1 cup pumpkin

Add dry to wet and fold in just until incorporated. Transfer to an 8X8 pan sprayed liberally with nonstick spray. Spread out evenly and bake at 350* for 35-40 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely and cut into bars.

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These taste exactly like pumpkin pie. So amazingly delicious! I had to give some away so I wouldn’t eat the entire pan. And now I wish I hadn’t . . . typical.

Then, for lunch yesterday, I whipped up a batch of soup. So amazingly easy, this came together in no time, and I worked while I was making it. Easy peasy.

Apple Pumpkin Soup

Based on this recipe.

Makes 3 cups of soup (2 servings)

1 t. olive oil

1/4 cup diced onion

1/2 an apple, peeled and diced

1/2 t. sea salt

1 cup broth (I used beef because I had it, but chicken or vegetable would be better)

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 t. each white pepper, poultry seasoning and thyme

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 T. brown sugar

2 T. skim milk

Heat the oil over medium low heat. Sauté the onions and apples with the salt for about 5 minutes. Add in the broth, applesauce and seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes more, until apples are soft. Add in pumpkin, brown sugar and milk, and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender. Cover the blender tightly and place a kitchen towel over the top (don’t want that sucker flying off on you!). Blend until smooth and serve.

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Rich, velvety, and pretty much perfect for a blustery fall day. Loved it!

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So good that I actually didn’t mind working through lunch! Winking smile

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Time to hold on tight—work is about to get CRAZY for me. Still planning on blogging, but if I go MIA at any point in time, you can find me chained to my laptop. Open-mouthed smile

What’s the best new recipe you’ve tried this season???

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12 thoughts on “Seasonal ;)

  1. Oh good lord, those pumpkin pie bars look amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Good job with strength training. I keep saying I need to get back into it. About all I’ve been lifting lately are cookies to my mouth. 😉

  2. There is nothing that says Fall like a nice warm apple pie. I have found a great way to make this all time favorite even better. Personal peices of pie:) All you do is make your pie as normal but instead of it getting put into a pan to bake you simply put the shell and stuffing into a cupcake pan. Only 6 are allowed at a time for spill over. This way there is no cutting and everyone gets just the right size/hand held peice of apple pie:) Or any other treat you don’t want to spend time cutting!

  3. Thank you for your post, I was sad that I was not able to make my pumpkin soup like I do each year! Instead I made squash bisqu…YUMMY!!! All you do is boil 1 med squash, 1 carrot, ( I used 9 baby carrots) 2 cups of chicken or veg broth and 2 cups of water. Once soft put into blender and blend. Serve with a swirl of milk or cream!! So good:) we had warm bellies before trick or treating this year!

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