Aaaah, Sundays in Fall. There’s just something about the cool weather that makes a relaxing Sunday so much more enjoyable.
Plus, Sundays in Fall are the perfect time for a pumpkiny breakfast. My Sunday kicked off on a chilly note. After quickly downing a cup of coffee and rice cake topped with peanut butter, I scooted out the door into the 30 degree weather for a 4 mile run.
Not too shabby, but I realized my average pace on runs from 3-5 miles has increased dramatically since last year. Last Fall, I was averaging less than 8 minutes per mile on most of my runs. I really want to work on getting back to that pace over the next few months.
After my run it was time to refuel with a proper breakfast: Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
- 2 egg beaters or egg whites
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
- 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
- 3 TBS oats
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- enough water to reach desired “pancake-like” consistency.
- Whisk all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl
- Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray, set to medium-high heat
- Use 1/4 cup scoop to drop batter onto hot skillet
- Cook 2-3 minutes each side, or until bubbles begin to form
- Remove and top with anything you’d like!
I topped my cakes with frozen blueberries that were heated in the microwave, PB2, and Walden Farms pancake syrup! I know I’ve posted a similar recipe for pumpkin protein pancakes before. I’m pretty sure it was slightly different from this one.
The more you make protein pancakes, the more you’re able to experiment. It’s gotten to the point where sometimes I don’t even measure out the ingredients since I’m just going for a certain batter texture that I know will work.
Shortly after breakfast I headed out for Autumn Fest, an arts & crafts fair that tours the midwest, and is currently in Sioux Falls. This is not your typical arts & crafts fair. I spent nearly 2 hours at the festival and still didn’t make it to all the vendors. I left feeling stuffed from samples, and with some good food finds.
I told the lefse vendor I was shocked to find lefse in South Dakota. That’s when she told me they actually drove down from Minnesota. Figures. Naturally, I had to buy some, though I’m planning on freezing it until Christmas rolls around.
I’m also saving those tempting meats and cheeses for next weekend to share with Mike. There were a couple non-food related items that I picked up, but most of them will be gifts and I don’t want to spoil the surprised. Mike and I have plans for a virtual date tonight. We’re going to attempt to prepare the same meal while Skyping. Things should get interesting!
Even though Friday is technically my Thursday since I work Saturdays, I still feel like Friday signals the homestretch to my week. This morning began with a 30 minute cardio workout that consisted of some HIIT and steady state cardio.
- minutes 1-10: run at 7.8 mph for 2 min, walk at 3.5 for 1 min
- minutes 10-20: run at 8.5 for 1 min, walk at 3.5 for 1 min
- minutes 20-30: elliptical at level 5 resistance
Short and sweet!
Then it was onto breakfast — Pumpkin French Toast
- 2 slices sara lee 45 calorie wheat bread
- 2 servings liquid egg whites or egg beaters
- 1/3 scoop vanilla whey protein
- 2-3 TBS canned pumpkin
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- fruit or syrup for topping
- whisk egg whites, protein, pumpkin, and spice in a bowl
- spray a large skillet with cooking spray
- dip bread into egg mixture, coating both sides well
- cook each side over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes
- top with anything you want!
I topped my french toast with sliced bananas, frozen blueberries that I heated, Walden Farms pancake syrup, and PB2. Hit the spot!
I had the opportunity to visit the Autumn Festival Arts & Crafts Fair for one of my assignments today. This was not your typical crafts fair, let me tell you. It took up the entire ballroom space at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, and featured more than 350 vendors from around the country.
After briefly interviewing the event coordinator, I told her I would love to come back on Sunday during my day off to actually explore the fair. She was kind enough to give me two VIP passes for the weekend!
I have a feeling I’m going to score some early Christmas presents this weekend.
After working through the rest of the day, I made my way home for a dinner I had been dreaming about all day: Flatout Pizza
For those of you who are not familiar with Flatouts, they are one of the most versatile foods I know of. I use them as tortillas, wraps, tortilla chips, and obviously pizza crusts. By simply heating them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes, you can get them to a nice thin crust pizza texture.
Tonight, I topped mine with a ricotta-tomato sauce base, fresh spinach, turkey sausage, and fat free mozzarella.
Flatouts. Check ’em out!
Beetlejuice is on ABC Family, so I know what I’m doing with my night!
Sunday was SUCH a blast. Mike and I began the day at a local Sioux Falls diner that I’ve been wanting to try for brunch before heading off to Newton Hills State Park. The park is located about 40 minutes south of Sioux Falls in the middle cornfields. Pretty much like everything else in South Dakota! That’s why I was so surprised to find more than 6 miles of trails through hilly forests.
Upon arriving, I got my Garmin ready to go and then we were off on our adventure!
We covered just over 3 miles in about an hour. Some of the terrain was pretty steep, which provided a great incline workout. I still can’t get over the fact that this gem is hidden in a sea of cornfields. It definitely got me excited to explore more nearby hiking trails and state parks around Sioux Falls!
After our hike, it was onto the pumpkin patch. Unfortunately, the temperature dropped from a comfortable 55 to an icy cold 40 in a matter of about 30 minutes. By the time we got to the pumpkin patch, we couldn’t stand to be outside for more than about 10 minutes, and rushed through the pumpkin picking process.
The pumpkin patch was pretty picked over, but we found some good ones. Mine is the big one, and Mike’s is the sickly looking green guy. On the way home, we stopped by HyVee to pick up a take and bake pizza. We ended up landing on an original crust supreme pizza that left us feeling over-stuffed.
We made the decision to stick with thin crust next time. So…much…dough. We rounded out the night with some football watching and pumpkin carving. Definitely a winning combination.
Mine is the creative NBC peacock (I work for an NBC affiliate). Mike’s green pumpkin actually turned out pretty darn good. Before Mike headed back to Minnesota on Monday, we made time to visit the Sioux Falls mall (quite the hot spot) and hit up HyVee for my weekly groceries.
I checked out some running shoes while at the mall. I have been in the market for new running shoes for about a year now, but just can’t seem to seal the deal on a new pair. I found a pair of Asics Nimbus 15s that were super comfy.
At HyVee I spotted some interesting looking cake mixes.
Aren’t these the coolest?! Although blueberry flavored cake doesn’t really appeal to me on many levels, I would get a kick out of whipping up a blue cake. The zebra one kind of just looks like marble if you ask me. Still, pretty neat!
Mike left later that afternoon, which is always tough, but we’ll actually see each other in less than two weeks when I head to Minneapolis. This weekend was definitely better than I could have hoped for.
After getting done with work around 6:30 on Friday, I rushed home to prepare for Mike’s arrival! Naturally, I’d had the dinner menu planned for several days already. Mike got in around 9:00, and we kicked off the night with pumpkin cheesecake dip, a recipe I’ve wanted to try ever since I read about it on pbfingers.
This dip is so delicious and simple. It’s just 5 ingredients! Canned pumpkin, low fat or fat free cream cheese, honey or any other sweetener, pumpkin pie spice, and crushed candied pecans. YUM! We used braided honey wheat pretzels and ginger cookies for dipping.
Then it was onto the main course, which was another pbfingers recipe I’ve been wanting to try for some time. Meatball Casserole.
I altered the original recipe just a hair by adding some fresh spinach to the cheese mixture, and by using low fat ricotta instead of goat cheese. It was absolutely delicious and could even be made without the baguette for a lower carb option.
I kept dessert simple with some mint chocolate chip ice cream, or peppermint bon bon as Mike and I call it.
Mike also surprised me with a couple goodies he picked up in Chicago last weekend!
A Dunkin’ Donuts Mug along with their Pumpkin flavored coffee.
Sadly, there are no Dunkin’ Donuts anywhere remotely close to Sioux Falls, and I find myself missing their coffee and sweet treats almost every day. Starbucks just doesn’t cut it sometimes!
I was on call Friday night, which means I am up listening to the police scanner until the wee hours of the night, so Mike and I just stayed in. Yesterday was such a blast I want to devote a whole post to recap the day. But first, I’m off for an evening run before dinner!