Monday, December 3, 2012

Elf for Health

The eating season has officially arrived and I think I have a pretty good plan for how to survive the holidays.

I definitely splurged this Thanksgiving, but I have done a lot worse in previous years and even got in a workout on Thursday and ran once will at my mom's. So, I'm calling it a win! Now onto the hard part...surviving the weeks of temptations leading up to Christmas!!

So, I have signed up for a healthy living challenge for that began on last week. Elf for Health is the brainchild of bloggers Nutritionella and Lean Green Bean. Everyone gets paired up with another "elf" to help support them during this season. If you are interested, I think signup opens back up for the last four weeks!

Last week's challenges:

Monday: Go meatless (Easy and did it Tuesday as well! One of my go dinners to take to work has become a burrito bowl with black beans, brown rice, veggies, salsa and sometimes guacamole.)
Tuesday: Send a handwritten note (Sending a note to my grandma.)
Wednesday: Try a new workout (While my husband was playing volleyball, I tried a tabata-like ab workout from Hard, but good!!)
Thursday: Meditate for 10 minutes in the morning (It was nice to take a few minutes to chill and stretch before my run.)
Friday: Make your food colorful (i.e. all different kinds of veggies... I did the best I could with what we had at home. Make a veggie-tastic salad with spinach, peppers, mushrooms, beans and tuna. I also worked in a banana in my oatmeal and apple as a snack.)

The weekend challenge was to clean out your closet. I have already done that since most of my clothes are too big for me now. I have finally hit my goal weight (58 pounds down!) and have moved on to maintaining now. Anyway, I have a bag of clothes set aside to give to family or a friend who can wear them.

So, far this week we have been focused on fiber... 42 grams on the docket today!! Click on the Elf for Health logo if you are interested in joining for the last two, two-week sessions.

Wishing everyone a healthy holiday season!!!

Beth :)

Pumpkin crazy

Baked oatmeal!!
So, I have been meaning to share my pumpkin baking adventures in several posts, but times has gotten away from me. I think pumpkin things are seasonal even through Christmas or you guys can at least get ideas for next Thanksgiving!!

Pumpkin baked oatmeal

I took a recipe I found via Pinterest and tried to make it lighter. I think I succeeded! The recipe was for Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal... yum! I eat lots of oatmeal for breakfast and I was looking for a way to try something new and pumpkiny.

I changed the recipe in a few ways:
• Used unsweetened applesauce
• Egg whites
• Light soy milk
• Reduced sugar craisins
• Cut it up into six servings

My only complaint is that it wasn't pumpkiny enough. It tasted just fine - and I ate it all week - but a tad on the bland side. The second day I ate it for breakfast I sprinkled some extra cinnamon and nutmeg on my serving that helped. I made the whole thing on a Sunday evening and just reheated a piece each morning to have a nice warm breakfast.
Click the link in the title for the recipe I used!

Pumpkin oat bars!

Pumpkin oat bars

Recently, I also made some pumpkin, oat bars from

Next time I will grind up the pumpkin seeds... they were two big and chewy. I may have gotten the wrong kind of seeds. The blogger used pumpkin seeds that were called pepitas and look smaller than what I got. Also, make sure to freeze what you may not eat in a week. Mine started to get a little moldy after a week. That is the price you pay when you are making things from scratch!


Pumpkin bread (Also from

Very simple and very tasty! Three ingredients: Spice cake mix, can of pumpkin and two egg whites. (Note: I buy the carton of liquid egg whites for baking and cooking.) The batter was quite sticky so be prepared for that. I baked it in a bundt pan instead of loaves and used the cake box instructions as a guideline for time. Be sure to check often you do that...mine was done early!

Not exactly health food, but it was tasty and hit the pumpkin spot. I think once a year I can handle that!!


No-bake Pumpkin Cheesecake (

This turned out great! I had some pumpkin leftover from my other adventures and didn't want to let it go to waste. I had plans to make this for Thanksgiving, but that was three weeks away. So, I took a chance, made it and stuck in the freezer until I needed it. I think the crust was a little soggy due to the defrosting process, which is my only minor complaint. The taste was great though and the filling was very light... not sure if the texture would've been any different without freezing involved.

Happy baking!!

Beth :)