Pumpkin Smoothie

Brain Food – Pumpkin Smoothie

It’s officially fall, which means everything pumpkin flavored must make an appearance. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin bagels, Pumpkin Pie, all the pumpkins!

While we love them all, the downside to many of our favorite pumpkin treats is that they don’t score particularly high on the healthy meter. No worries though, there are healthier ways to get your pumpkin fix! A new addition to my morning line up is an awesome pumpkin smoothie. Made with raw pumpkin and other natural ingredients, it is a perfect fall touch for your breakfast routine. The fact that it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare is an added bonus.

I adapted this recipe from Corey over at Family Fresh Meals; check out the link for her original recipe. If you like your smoothies a little sweeter, her full tablespoon of honey may work better than my teaspoon.

So how do you make this delicious creation?

1/2 cup of pumpkin (actual pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling)

1 cup milk ( I used skim, you could swap for almond)

1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I added a touch more)

1 teaspoon honey

1 medium banana frozen (If you only have fresh Corey recommended a few ice cubes to get the smoothie really cold)

Add all of the ingredients in the blender. I like to put the frozen banana at the bottom so it blends quickly. Blend until smooth and delicious!

Each smoothie is 251 calories with 55g carbohydrates, 11g protein, and .6g fat.

You could placate all of your pumpkin cravings with this smoothie, but delicious as it is, I wouldn’t trade pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving for it. Everything in moderation! This will however, allow you to get your pumpkin fix more frequently.






staying fit

Monday Motivation 9.19.16 (Special Edition)

I don’t have an inspirational quote and a pretty picture for you today. In fact, I barely have time to write this post. However, I think that my busy schedule provides a great opportunity to talk about motivation beyond nice quotes and pretty pictures. Motivation is easy when it is wrapped in a pretty bow and presented as aspirational. Everyone likes to read a quote and say, “yes, I can do this.” But how many of us read those quotes without really thinking about how to apply their message? How many of us still find excuses to not do the things that we are “motivated” to do?

For example, yesterday was a gorgeous day in Detroit. Nice temperature, very sunny, but I spent most of my afternoon doing finance homework. Why? Because it had to get done and I didn’t want to be up until midnight this week squeezing it in. To be perfectly honest, I  was not happy to give up the pretty day to sit at a desk and run numbers through Excel. I was really unhappy when I was giving up that pretty day and then feeling like I wasn’t understanding part of the homework. Yet, as I went to bed last night, I felt good about what I had gotten done that day. I wasn’t behind on homework and I had plenty of time before class to figure it out. This morning I woke up and went for a run and realized that the details I struggled with in the homework suddenly made sense. If I had pushed off the homework until tonight or tomorrow, I would have been struggling closer to the deadline and added a lot of stress to my week.

The takeaway here is this, motivation does not come from pretty pictures, quotes, and hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. It comes from inside. You can like, retweet, and pin all of the quotes you want, but until you make the decision to act, those pictures are just empty promises.

Now, go take on the week!







Staying Fit In Grad School

Staying Fit In Grad School

Going back to school means that there is an essential reorganization of priorities that needs to happen. Homework rises to the top, social life tends to drop a few positions, Wine Wednesday ranks higher or lower depending on the week. With this reorganization there are causalities, some of which are things that should really remain high on the priority list. Sleep is the big one, but health and fitness is another that often gets overlooked when our schedules fill up. Fitness may seem like an item that can fall off the priority list for a while, but in reality it is a major contributor to maintaining health and balance during grad school. Since grad students can generally use all the help they can get to keep things in balance, here are six tips for staying fit in grad school:


Make Healthy A Priority

The first step to staying fit in grad school is to commit. You have to not only decide that you want to stay fit (or get fit), you have to commit to sticking with it even on the days that you don’t want to. We each have our own ways of making ourselves commit, whether that be a reward system, an accountability buddy, or sheer will power. Whatever your tactic is, kick it into high gear.

Have A Schedule

Sticking with a commitment becomes easier when you build it into your schedule. Plan for when you want to workout and then put it on your schedule. Blocking off specific time helps limit the amount of things that interrupt, distract, or dissuade you from working out. If you know you are prone to finding excuses after work, set your alarm a half hour to a hour earlier and get your workout in in the morning. Getting out of bed may be tough, but once you’re up you’ll be proud you got your workout in.

Pick A Routine

Some of us are fine to make up a workout as we go, others prefer a more structured approach. If you are one of the latter, do your research and find a program that fits your pace. You can choose a paid program, which for some may provide the extra motivation to stick with it, DVDs, or go the route of one of the various online trainers who post free content and workouts. If there are several that look interesting, try them all out and find which ones you like. Regularly changing your workout keeps your body guessing and prevents plateaus. Keep this in mind as you choose or design your workout routine.

Push Through

There will be days when the last thing you want to do is go for a run after work or drag yourself out of bed an hour early. When those days hit, don’t give in! Sitting on the couch or hitting snooze may feel awesome at first, but getting up and sticking to your goal will feel even better. The couch will be waiting for you when you’re done.

But Know Your Limits

Maintaining your motivation and pushing through is great, but you also need to be mindful of burn out or injuries. If you only got 5 hours of sleep the night before and are dead on your feet, skip the run and go to bed. Motivation is admirable, but pushing too hard can do more damage than good.

Get Enough Sleep

This may seem like a separate issue from staying fit, but it is actually closely linked. Sleep allows your body to heal and strengthen itself between workouts. When you don’t get enough sleep, your workouts become less effective and the risk of injury increases. Lack of sleep can also lead to an increase in the hormone cortisol, which can lead to weight gain.

Grad school is tough and it can come with some high costs, but your health and fitness do not need to be among them. Do you have any other tips for staying fit during grad school?

Commit to happy and healthy!

staying fit




Sunday Shenanigans 9/4/16

I will start with this, this will be a short post. I am running low on brain power and it is a gorgeous day out so I’d like to spend as little time as possible behind my computer screen. I’ve already spent a couple hours on Finance homework, so I believe my limit of indoor activities on a beautiful day has been met. My day hasn’t been all school though, Tucker and I played some tug o war this morning with his new toy and then took a long walk to enjoy the sun and tire him out so I could study.

This week’s class was much better than anticipated (minus the fact that it lasted until 9:30pm). The class will most definitely be tough, but my teacher clearly wants students to do well and works hard to make the material understandable. He also tries to crack jokes in class, and while they are weak on the execution, I appreciate the effort He knows he is dealing with grad students who have been at work all day and would love to be anywhere besides class. The one thing that has not changed about my expectations of this class is the amount of time I will need to dedicate to it. While we’re still covering fairly easy material, there is a lot of it and a lot of formulas that inter mingle and cross one another. I am glad that my teacher allows us a formula cheat sheet for the tests. I have a feeling that having one will be a huge help. I’d like to think that I can prepare enough where the cheat sheet will be only a minor crutch, but that is not a guarantee.

Ok, that is enough typing. I told you this would be short. I hope you all have a wonderful extended weekend. Go out and enjoy it!



Sunday Highlights

Sleep: 9 Hours

Work: Minor client monitoring (1 Hour)

Study: 2.5 Hours

Workout: Long walk with Tucker, Blogilates Booty Day, Paddle Boarding

Soundtrack: iPod on shuffle, never know what I’ll get