HAPPY FRIDAY! October is here and fall flavors are officially IN! Although I’m from Florida, and it’s still in the 80s, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying what the season offers! I started drinking my Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea from Tazo in early September and bought my first pumpkin last week…you might say I love fall 😛 But aside everything pumpkin and cinnamon flavored, there’s a lot of benefits to other fall flavors too! I recently have gotten to love the pre-cut butternut squash from Trader Joe’s and it has seriously come in handy to add to salads, a snack, a soup, or as a DIP! I wanted to do something with it differently then just to eat it as is, so I figured I’ll puree it! I ended up using a few ideas off pinterest, but ultimately created my own butternut squash dip recipe. I didn’t measure everything out completely (in fact I just kinda threw things in lol!) but you’ll get the idea. I love the thick creamy texture it has, yet mild flavor. I basically could eat this with a spoon!! LOL! The best part is that this is a VEGETABLE and very versatile! A great way to keep on hand during the season too. Use with a side with pita chips (bonus points if you make your own) or whole grain crackers. I like Crunchmaster’s Multi-Grain Sea Salt Crackers for a mild, crisp taste!
Butternut Squash Dip
1 package of Trader Joe’s Pre-Cut Butternut Squash
2-3 palmfuls of crumbled goat cheese
Dash or two cinnamon and nutmeg
Salt and Pepper
Either roast or microwave squash according to package directions then added to food processor and puree together until smooth. Add goat cheese and salt and pepper. Continue to puree for about 30 seconds. Feel free to add more salt/pepper depending on your taste. If you’re going for presentation, garnish with fresh herbs. Enjoy!
Another good, easy idea I had this week was even more simple then the dip! Including basic fall spices such as pumpkin spice, nutmeg, and cinnamon into your YOGURT! I love Fage’s Plain Greek Non-Fat yogurt since you can do a lot stuff with it. I recently have been putting in cinnamon and pumpkin spice into it with a tablespoon of peanut butter. A great and easy way to change up your breakfast, in case you tend to be a creature of habit like me haha.
In terms of the workouts lately, if you read my last post on rest, I kind of overdid it with training. I learned my lesson that week, but gained variety when it comes to cross-training. What is cross-training and why would I bother to do other forms of cardio if I love running/biking/swimming the most? Cross training is another form of added cardio to help develop and strengthen weaker muscles, give your body a break from routine exercise, while keeping cardiorespiratory fitness up. Think: running, swimming, biking, rowing, etc. It’s important to add variety to your program since your body does get worn on the muscles you use the most during that activity. Keeping it fresh with other forms of cardio challenges other muscle groups that might not get the same attention and could be under-used. Cross-training gives your body and mind a chance to catch-up and those muscles a little break from that same motion. Only doing the same form of cardio day in and day out, could set you up for overuse injuries and no one wants that!! Strengthening the body through other forms of movement is beneficial your body as a whole while focusing on strengthening other, maybe weaker, areas. RESULT: efficient, improved, and stronger body!
Since I was resting more, but wanting to get in some kind of exercise, I hopped on the bike, both the spin bike and my real bike and worked my legs without the impact. I’ll be honest, I didn’t LOVE it like I do running, but convincing myself that cross training is important and will HELP my running is a good reason to add to my program. I usually do the rower since it’s a great all around cardio workout, but with the tenderness of my hamstrings, I decided to try the bike, and I’m glad I did!
How Long and Often do I cross-train for??
-One to two times per week, minimum of 20 min, max 45 min to an hour
Do I HAVE to go to a gym to do it??
-Nope! That is the beauty of cross training! It can be done anywhere: outside, a group fitness class setting (spin class), on your own, etc.
What are some other forms of cardio that you do?? Any good fall flavors or recipes you wanna try this season?!