A Fit and Festive Fall

Pumpkin-fever sweeps the country each fall. Most notably is the Pumpkin Spice Latte made famous by Starbucks, but pumpkin has many more possibilities than just a five-dollar drink.

One cup of pumpkin has more vitamin A than a cup of kale, more potassium than a banana, more fiber than half a cup of quinoa. Here are three, healthy ways to use a can of pumpkin puree.

  1. Add to chili and soups: try a pumpkin bisque with low fat milk or pumpkin chili.

  2. Make a spiced pumpkin latte smoothie: in a blender, combine:

  • 1 frozen banana, peeled

  • 1/2 cup of pure pumpkin puree

  • 1/2 cup cooled coffee

  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/2 cup milk or vanilla yogurt

  • 1 cup ice

  • Pure maple syrup or sweetener to taste

Add additional protein with one scoop of vanilla whey protein or, for the true pumpkin lover, try a Pumpkin Spice whey protein.

3. Replace butter or oil in baking: pumpkin puree does have a distinct flavor but it can work as a substitute for oil and butter in many baked goods. Try it in muffins, quick breads, and some cookies and brownies. It adds depth to chocolate products like brownies. Substitute pumpkin puree for up to 3/4 of the amount of oil or butter called for in a recipe. Add it in when you add the other wet ingredients. The product will bake a little faster so check if it's done ten minutes early.

Fall is the perfect time to refocus on your fitness routine. Try taking on a new challenge like one of the following:

75 Hard: 75 days that will change your life! Not for the faint of heart, this challenge will put your mind, body and will to the test and develop your discipline, grit and confidence.

1st Phorm Transphormation Challenge: you'll get workouts that fit your needs, a nutrition plan and ongoing support to reach your health goals through this free app.

4-week Fitness and Weight Loss Challenge: try websites like DietBet.com to bet on your own success. The goal of this 4-week kickstarter program is to lose 4% body weight in 4 weeks.

30-Day Yoga Challenge: challenges like this one from Shape.com require little to no equipment and can be done at home or on the go. In this challenge, each week, you'll master six poses, then put them all together on Fridays. Go to shape.com to check it out.

Listen to the full episode for 5 tips to stay healthy and avoid cold and flu bugs this fall.

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