Pumpkin This, Pumpkin That

This is the most wonderful time of the year.  While I love life and feel that there are other parts of the year that are wonderful, I just love the smell of the holidays. The warmth of those around you who are into festivities and giving.  Imagine a world where every day was Christmas (or Chanukah or whatever holiday you celebrate?)  Imagine more people gave to charity more, more people smiled more, more people reflected on their goals more?  More fulfillment would fill the air 365.  But either way, you might agree that this time of year surfaces so many childhood memories which tickle your soul as you dive into the season.  Even now; You go through places like Trader Joes and you are absolutely inundated with everything pumpkin, including pumpkins.  So while you might wanna buy this stuff, I encourage you to stay on track with your optimal eating plan and turn to these alternative options for ‘pumpkin yoself’ out:

     1. Pumpkin Cookies:  WHAT? YES!

Ingredients: 3 cups (appproximately) Almond flour – 1 small unsweetened apple sauce contai – coconut oil (2 tbsp) – egg whites (4 tbsp) – Enjoy Life Dairy Free chocolate chips – Vanilla extract – Pumpkin puree (3 tbsp) – Pumpkin Spice (Trader Joes makes this, otherwise sub with Cinnamon, ginger and cardamom) Baking powder –  A lot of Love

Directions: I just throw all the ingredients into a bowl.  Nothing fancy.  But before, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  I use about 1/2 bag of almond flour from trader joes.  All the other stuff I eyeball along with the servings I provided in the ingredients.  I add the chocolate chips in last.  You want the mix to never be too watery so start with less and add in as you go if need be.  Simple rule to follow.  Get ready to love me more after you make these cookies-hence why they are listed first.  BUT, only eat one at a time because otherwise too much will be too much fat since they are made of almonds.  (quick hint: there are 9 calories per gram of fat).  Wait, before I move on….You are wondering how big to make each cookie?  I will leave that up to you.  I like doing small cookies where I can get about 20 cookies to one pan.  Just make sure no matter how big you go, that you check the cookies periodically at the 10 minute mark, otherwise they burn.

        2. Pumpkin Soup:

Ingredients: Chicken or Vegetable Stock (low sodium) – Pumpkin Puree – Himalayan salt – thyme – garlic – fresh onion – peppercorns


  1. Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
  2. Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender.
  3. Return to pan, and bring to a boil again.
  4. Enjoy

     3. Unsalted Pumpkin Seeds and Fresh Picked Apple:

Ingredients: 2 fists of unsalted pumpkin seeds – fresh apple the size of your fist (any color is fine)

Keep it silly simple.  Grab a fist to 2 fists of seeds and grab an apple with it.  That is a snack.  Do I need to write directions of do you think you got it? 😉

     4. Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Stuff:

Ingredients:Mixed greens –  Persian cucumbers – baked squash squares (5 a salad) – baked brussels sprouts (halved) – baked broccoli – low sodium pumpkin seeds (1 fist is a serving according to the JZ FITNESS NUTRITION app which is also on ANDROID) – 2 tbsp tahini sauce or 2 tbsp of hummus as your dressing- white wine vinegar – lemon – optional cinnamon.  TOP your salad off with the PROTEIN of your choice.  Check out my app for protein ideas.

Directions: Start with the mixed greens, add in about 2-3 cut up cucumbers, and here is the easy part, set up 3 pyrex glass containers on one big tray and in each tray put in squash (From Trader Joes in the bag where they are already cubed for you), broccoli in another pan, after halving your brussels sprouts (or buying them already halved) in another pan.  You might opt to bake the seeds. I will leave that up to you. Get this; I even spice my squash squares with cinnamon.  Yum!  As for the protein, go to my app and see the options.  Keep it simple.  Cook the protein either on your BBQ grill or in the oven at 400 degrees for at least 15-20 minutes, depending on the protein.  Be sure it is fully cooked before consuming.  Once the salad is ready, you can mix some tahini sauce with white wine vinegar and squeeze half a lemon in.  Stir in and then sprinkle about 3 tbsp onto your salad.  If you do hummus, follow the same serving size.

     5. Pumpkin Fish or Chicken with Beet Salad: 

Ingredients: Choose WILD white fish or FREE RANGE chicken – Pumpkin puree – Pumpkin Spice – Beets (6-10 golden and/or red) – apple cider vinegar – Spinach (3 cups) lemon – garlic powder – himalayan salt – tri-color baby peppers

Directions: You will cook the protein (Salmon OR White Fish OR Chicken) in the pumpkin spice.  Half way through the cooking, you can add the puree, or you may opt to keep the puree cold to place on top of the protein, your choice.  You can even season the food with a dash of MCT oil OR Coconut oil along with the pumpkin when you cook it.

The beet salad is easy peasy.  I like to buy the beets pre-made in Trader Joes or you can boil them and start from scratch.  (Place the beets in a large saucepan and add water to cover and the lemon juice or vinegar. This will help to keep the beets from bleeding. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Place pot under running cold water and let rinse until beets can be handled.) Once you have your cooked and cooled off beets, grab a large mixing bowl: chop up about 10 baby bell peppers into tiny pieces and throw into the bowl.  Add in at least 3 cups of spinach.  Then, pour in the apple cider vinegar (about 1/2 cup) and add in the other things such as lemon, garlic powder, and a dash of salt.

So start with these meals.  They are so dang good. You deserve to get your pumpkin fix.  But you also deserve to feel great.  So choose your meals wisely and make this the most optimal year ever.  Get ready to shine in the New Year as a result of you starting now!