The Connection Runners + [YOGA]

"Baby You're Jacked- I'm Scared of You!", Daily Eats, and Pumpkin Pie Brownies

Hello everyone! Who's ready for the weekend? (hand raised). I'm so happy the weather has returned to semi-decent for the next few days- the rain was a total mood killer. Today I thought I'd talk about what I eat on a regular basis (I'm not too keen on photographing all my meals and most of them are consumed on the bus to work or in a crowded cafeteria), give you a recipe for the pumpkin pie brownie I just made for my last day at my peds clinic, and share my funny workout pic with you in honor of October- Breast Cancer awareness month! First thing's first,

Please ignore my ridiculous face! My dad sent me this "BreastFest Philly" t-shirt in honor of breast cancer awareness month (my grandma is a survivor and my college teammate, Erin, is battling the disease now- you can follow her journey at Erin's Caring Bridge Journal ).
Hubby took this pic and told me "Baby you're kind of jacked- I'm scared of you!" Laughing fits ensued..
I wore the pink shirt to spin class today and sent this pic to my dad (who's muscles I could never compete with lol) He has a penchant for sending me goofy shirts such as this one:

Yes, that IS Rob Pattinson. My dad forgets that I'm not 12 sometimes ;-).

Moving on...
This blog may make it seem like I eat baked goodies all day, but I'm sure you've figured out by now that this is not (always) the case! Here are some of my typical meals (i.e. most days except weekends):

Breakfast:
Greek Yogurt (pretty much always), unless I'm out- then I use Kefir
Spoonful of pumpkin butter, jelly, or maple syrup
Toppings: granola, cereal, rolled oats, nuts, berries
Side: apple, banana, pear

Snack: nutrition bar (recently it's been Kashi Pumpkin Pecan bar)

Lunch:
Veggie salad- typically spinach, carrots, cukes, peppers, tomatoes
Beans- chickpeas or black beans
Greek Yogurt- TJ's Blueberry or Pomegranate (I know, I really love greek yogurt)

1 Hardboiled Egg or Easy Egg Salad

OR
Peanut butter and banana sandwich
Fruit- berries, apple, etc
oats or granola for yogurt

Snacks: fruit, nuts, 1-2 pieces of whatever baked good I have around, cereal (I love Kashi and MeandGoji)

Dinner:
Tofu dish

OR
Tempeh dish

Veggie salad

Grilled Cheezus (anyone see/love the last episode of GLEE?)

O
Quinoa dish
Baked fries- sweet potatoes, butternut squash

Health(ier)y Pizza
Soup

After Dinner/instead of dinner:
Every once in awhile I supplement with a fruit and veggie smoothie, mixed w/ Amazing Grass powder and/or protein powder.

This one was from awhile ago, but typical ingredients include:
- Frozen spinach
-frozen blueberries
-frozen strawberries
-1/2 frozen banana
-scoop chocolate or vanilla whey protein powder
-packet amazing grass (berry or chocolate)
-squirt maple syrup and pinch of cinnamon or vanilla

I also do a lot of this:

As well as my favorite workouts:
-Circuit training
-Exercise vids (<3 Jillian Michaels)
-spinning
-dancing (Zumba's my new fave!)
-yoga
-pilates

I typically workout 6 days a week for 45 mins- 1hr.

Last but not least, I hope you're still with me, cuz here's a tasty recipe for dessert... adapted from here

I made this for the wonderful ladies I've been working with for the past 2 weeks at the peds clinic. I did use sugar in this recipe (I usually use splenda), cuz I don't need to force my healthy lifestyle on everyone, I just wanted to show my appreciation and use a recipe that's still "me." I had a minor slip up and dropped the pan (luckily face up!) but was able to salvage the brownies so they don't look too in-edible ;-)

Pumpkin Pie Brownie

Ingredients:
For the brownie layer
4 ounce bittersweet chocolate, melted (I used Baker's Semisweet)
1 cup canned or pureed pumpkin
3/4 cup cane sugar (or splenda, regular sugar)
1/4 cup canola oil (or any oil you have)
1 teaspoon vanilla stevia (or extract)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or any other)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
1 tablespoon arrowroot (or corn starch)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the pumpkin pie layer
1 cup canned or pureed pumpkin
2 tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstarch)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy)
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla stevia
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 tsp each of nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon)

To decorate:
A handful of chocolate chips, sprinkles (I used yellow and "black" for Steelers- that's the favored team at this office)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9X9 inch baking pan (I used circular)
To make the brownie layer:
Melt the chocolate
In a large mixing bowl mix together pumpkin, sugar, oil and vanilla. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, tapioca, baking soda and salt and stir to combine, then mix in the melted chocolate.
To make the pumpkin layer:
Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
To put it all together:
Use a spatula to spread the brownie layer into the prepared baking pan, taking care to bring the batter to the edges of the pan. Pour the pumpkin layer over it, leaving a little room at the edges if you can. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pumpkin layer looks fairly firm (a little jiggling is okay) and has cracked at the edges a bit.

Let cool, then decorate as you wish!

Also- my Me and Goji cereal came today! I'll share that with you tomorrow/this weekend :-)

Have a great one! TGI almost F,
Allie