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Coconut Flour Pumpkin Cookies

We love pumpkin, and we love coconut!

This is the time of year where pumpkin-flavored everything is everywhere, and many of us are craving something indulgent. These cookies take out the majority of the unhealthy ingredients that come in most desserts, while still satisfying that pumpkin-craving sweet tooth!

Coconut Flour Pumpkin Cookies

1 1/2 Cup Coconut flour
1 Cup Honey
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
3/4 Cups Pumpkin Puree
3 Eggs
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
Chocolate Chips

Melt coconut oil in the microwave before mixing, and combine all ingredients! I found that it is best to roll the dough into compact balls and space them evenly on a cookie sheet. The dough does not spread very much, so you may want to press the dough down slightly (similar to baking peanut butter cookies).

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, cool, and enjoy!

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Color in Motion 5K has teamed up with the National Breast Cancer Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness Month! All month long we’ll be posting facts, tips and reminders about Breast Cancer and NBCF.

We’re also running a promotion where each time the code “NBCF2014” is used when registering for a Color in Motion 5K race, we’ll donate $5 to NBCF.

“NBCF’s mission is to help women now by providing help and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.” (from the NBCF website)

1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer at some point in her life. NBCF is doing their best to help more of these cases be diagnosed early and therefore be more likely to be treatable. NBCF provides free mammograms to women in all 50 states through a network of hospital relationships that they have. NBCF has provided more than 350,000 mammograms to women in the US.

Please join us in supporting NBCF and raising awareness for this terrible disease. Don’t forget to use the code “NBCF2014” when registering. If you’d like to donate an additional amount, please visit their website.

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Nutritious Pumpkin Oatmeal

Warm oatmeal is always a favorite as the outside temperatures start to drop, and anything pumpkin flavored is loved by (almost) everyone.

This recipe is a CiM5k original and comprises some of our staff’s most favorite ingredients! Oh, and it’s good for you!

Nutritious Pumpkin Oatmeal

¾ Cup Raw Oats (steel-cut would probably work just as well)

¼ Cup Pumpkin Puree

½ Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

2 Teaspoons Coconut Sugar

2 Tablespoons Vanilla Almond Milk

Handful Sliced Almonds

Cinnamon and Nutmeg- I use a lot. Like a lot. It gives so much flavor without adding a ton of sugar.

Cook oats on stove top as usual. After about 2 minutes, slowly add in protein powder, pumpkin puree, and spices, mixing well. Once it is a consistency you like (we all have preferences when it comes to oatmeal), spoon it into your favorite bowl, and top with the coconut sugar and almonds. I then pour just a little bit of cold almond milk on top, and it crystallizes the sugar perfectly. You can also skip the coconut sugar and use real maple syrup- delicious!

Trust me, this recipe for pumpkin oatmeal is excellent on chilly mornings- it really tastes like fall.

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Zucchini Recipes for Fall

I love fall. Not just because of the cozy weather and gorgeous colors, but because of the awesome recipes!

Yes, we can make pumpkin-flavored everything year-round. But squash, squash can be hard to come by!

Every year, I have a few family members that can’t wait to give away zucchini from their awesome gardens, and I gladly accept. And when I say zucchini, I mean zucchini. These babies grow to be as long as my arm! I love it!

While I love my roasted zucchini with garlic, I am always looking for new recipes to use it in, and have thus compiled my list of favorites!

Seared Zucchini with Garlic

1 Cup Zucchini (chopped)

Garlic (either fresh, or garlic salt)

Coconut Oil

Chop the zucchini into bite-sized pieces. If you have a gigantic zucchini, make sure you remove the seeds as they are not super tasty.

Place the zucchini in a pan with melted coconut oil and the garlic on a medium setting. Let simmer with a lid for about 20 minutes. Eat and enjoy!

Don’t forget to try these other great zucchini recipes!

Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie (doesn’t that sound delicious??)

Easy Zucchini Bites

Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Bread

Chocolate and Yogurt Zucchini Bread – Uhm, yum?

Zucchini Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies Tasty and nutritious!

Chocolate chip Zucchini Banana Muffins

VeganAthletes

Nutrition for Vegan Athletes

Finding the right nutrition plan while maintaining an active lifestyle can be tricky. There are many different options and opinions out there that can be persuasive, and even make us feel a little guilty about the lifestyle we are currently leading.

A lifestyle that I have always been curious about is the vegan lifestyle; how do they get the nutrients they need without getting bored? What do they actually eat? The stereotype is plants, plants, plants, but is that accurate?

Those who live a vegan life avoid foods and materials that involve animal byproducts. This means no milk, eggs, wool, honey, gelatin, or leather (to name a few). The goal of many vegans is to avoid animal mistreatment, and reduce their environmental footprint. Many also believe that is offers various health benefits.

So how can we ensure that we ensure nutrition for vegan athletes and see that they receive all the necessary nutrients while living an active lifestyle? It doesn’t seem that difficult, as many vegan food products are now available that fit vegan requirements. To those just beginning to make the change to veganism, however, it could be a challenge to find foods that fit your already-established tastes.

One of the main concerns about switching to a vegan diet, is not getting enough protein to balance out your level of activity. What many do not realize, is that great sources of protein can be found in plant-based foods, as outlined in the list below:

  • Beans

  • Lentils

  • Nuts/Nut Butters

  • Soy Products

  • Seeds (did you know that pumpkin seeds contain almost 10 grams of protein in just ¼ of a cup??)

Calcium is the second main worry that many new vegans worry about. It is essential in maintaining healthy bones so that your body can hold up to activity. Plant-based foods that include decent amounts of calcium include:

  • Calcium-fortified almond and coconut milks

  • Broccoli

  • Spinach

  • Plain Almonds

  • Fortified Orange Juice

Other nutrients that need to be kept in mind for vegans include vitamin B-12, iron, and iodine. It is recommended that vegans take B-12 supplements to ensure that they receive nutrients to support the brain and nervous system. Sea salts and sea plants, as well as beans a legumes include iron and iodine, which help support the thyroid, and healthy blood cells.

If you are looking to go vegan, load up! Make sure you are taking advantage of these awesome nutrient-dense foods that provide so many good things for our bodies!

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Protein Powder Recipes

Did you know that protein powder isn’t just for drinks?

One of my favorite ways to make my recipes more nutritious is to throw in a scoop of vanilla protein powder. It enhances the benefits my family receives from baked goods, and even adds flavor! I enjoy using Jay Robb Vanilla Egg White Protein- it’s delicious and I love what the company is about.

Below are some of our favorite protein powder recipes- some of them are from our very own CiM5k recipe cache!

No-Bake Mini Energy Bites

Granola Bars

High-Protein, Low-Sugar Blueberry Muffins

Peanut Butter Cups

3 Ingredient Protein Pancakes

Mint Chocolate Chip Protein Fudge Brownies

Pre/Post Workout Protein Cookies

What is your favorite protein powder to use?

ArmWorkouts

Killer Arm Workouts

Just because the swimsuit season is winding down, doesn’t mean we should neglect our arms and hide them under long sleeves! Below are links to our favorite arm workouts and believe it or not, you don’t always need a ton of gym equipment to get your arms working.

 

6 Trainer’s Favorite Exercises for Stronger, Sculpted Arms

Music Monday: Arm Workout

No More Jiggle Arm Workout

9 Bicep Sculpting Moves For Sexy Summer Arms

9 Minute Arm Workout with Dumbbells

5 Moves for Chiseled Arms

 

Healthy Cooking and Baking Substitutions

We all have recipes that we love to eat, but perhaps we don’t love how unhealthy they might be for us.

Instead of feeling guilty for indulging in our favorites or avoiding them completely, why not find ways to make them a bit better for us? There are (almost) always ways to satisfy our cravings and still allow ourselves to eat the food we love.

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Uses of Coconut Oil

Have you been caught up in the coconut oil craze? If you haven’t, you should be!

I may be slightly biased, as I have a (not so slight) love for the uses of coconut oil. It’s a natural skin moisturizer, healer, protectant, and provides numerous benefits when ingested.

We’ve touched on the benefits of coconut oil in posts on Keto Living and the Paleo Diet, but what about the amazing ways that coconut oil can be used in daily life? Explore the list below and tell us about your favorite way to use coconut oil!

Cooking

  • Use coconut oil as a substitute for butter and other unhealthy oils.

  • Add coconut oil to smoothies, yogurt, or warm drinks. It adds both flavor and nutrients!

Beauty

  • Condition your hair

    • Use as a mask to heal split ends and moisturize hair. Not to mention boost the strength of your hair to avoid breakage, without using chemicals.

  • Moisturize your skin!

    • Use your favorite cleanser, then finish off your nightly beauty routine with coconut oil instead of a cream moisturizer. I’ve been doing it for months and my skin rarely breaks out, as coconut actually works to remove dirt from your face as well as hydrate it.

    • You can also combine a little bit of coconut oil with some brown sugar to create an exfoliating body scrub.

  • Toothpaste!

    • Combine some coconut oil with a little bit of baking soda and voila! You have homemade toothpaste that will strengthen the enamel on your teeth and leave them brighter.

So really, how can you not love coconut oil? It’s tasty, useful, and natural. What are your favorite ways to use coconut oil?

Banana Nut Bran Muffins

How often do you end up with brown bananas on your counter? For me it is almost every time I buy bananas. I only like eating them when they are still kind of green and just barely turning yellow. After that, I can’t stand the texture! But I love baking with brown bananas. Luckily, banana bread is a great solution for not letting those go to water. These Banana Nut Bran Muffins are delectable and super easy. Bran is high in dietary fiber and vitamins, so it helps increase the nutritional value of these muffins.

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Banana Nut Bran Muffins
adapted from Kelloggs
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
2 cups Kellogg’s® All-Bran® Original cereal
1 egg
1/4 cup oil (coconut, olive, or vegetable)

1. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, smash the bananas with a fork or potato masher. Pour in the milk and All-Bran and let stand for 2-3 minutes until the cereal softens. Mix in the egg and the oil.
3. Add the flour mixture, stirring only until combined. Use an ice cream scoop or measuring cup to scoop the batter evenly into sprayed or lined muffin tins.
4. Bake at 400° F about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Serve warm.