Jenna: Flourless Pumpkin Muffins

Fall is here! This past weekend was the first one in quite some time where I didn’t have a jam packed agenda. I took some time to cook and bake some delicious food. Here’s one of my favorites from the weekend: Flourless Pumpkin Muffins.

These will NOT disappoint. They were all of my favorite things: simple, clean ingredients and absolutely delicious. No flour, butter, oil or sugar (honey is used to sweeten).

pumpkinmuffin1

Flourless Pumpkin Muffins (Adapted from this recipe):

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 Tbsp. honey (the original called for 6 Tbsp, but I didn’t think that much was necessary. Mine were plenty sweet.)
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F and prepare a muffin pan by spraying 6-9 cavities with cooking spray.
  2. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high until oats are broken down and batter is smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each cavity until it is about ¾ full.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, (this will depend on how full the muffins are. Mine took a bit longer) until the tops of your muffins are set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for ~10 minutes before removing. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.

pumpkinmuffin2

Deliciousness! Enjoy.

Rose: Just Because

I did a lot of things this weekend just because.

Work has been crazy. Side projects have been due. And I’m either running or participating in a bunch of fitness groups. I’ve been exhausted.

During a run over the weekend, I listened to a podcast on properly unplugging. This is something I have to remind myself often, and I know I’m not alone. Americans are overworked, stressed out and tired. With the advent of smart phones and other technology has come the need to constantly be on, plugged in or around.

It was for that reason that I had a just because weekend. That’s why M and I went to a winery on Friday, sat outside under twinkly lights and had a heated discussion about the future of society. :)

photo[6]

Saturday night there was a football game in town. We made up some burgers on the indoor grill, ate some delicious kale salad and hit the mean streets of Princeton. Even though We left after three quarters, the game was still super fun. This is me and my friend Jenn, decked out in Princeton garb.

photo[5]

Before the game was one of those days when I hate being an adult. I spent the morning at the DVD, followed by an oil change followed by a car wash. BLECH. But I guess it’s not that bad when you only do car maintenance every so often. To cheer myself up, I bought $3 sunflowers at Trader Joe’s.

photo[3]

The cats are still eating them.

On Sunday morning, I was feeling the need for a little cardio. Admittedly, I haven’t gone running since the half marathon in May. I hate summer running and prefer to sweat indoors where there is A/C. I let myself jog at whatever pace felt comfortable. I walked when I needed to. And for once I didn’t worry about getting home or setting a record or even getting to a certain mile. It was glorious.

photo[4]

What did you do just because?

Rose: Reasons to Love Jersey

Yesterday was my one-year anniversary at my job. It’s hard to believe I’ve been in New Jersey for more than a year now. I still remember how quickly it all came together — the interviews, the job offer and acceptance. In just a few short weeks, my life completely changed in ways I hadn’t ever expected. In many ways, it was a gigantic leap of faith. But it was all worth it.

Now I live in one of the prettiest towns with M, I have a great group of friends and I have the best job I’ve ever had. While I hadn’t ever planned this for myself, it’s probably better than I would have dreamed up. I’ve been reflecting on this quite a bit during my evening walks home. On these walks, I’ve seen such pretty landscapes and scenes in this small little Jersey town.

photo[2]

Carnegie Lake might be one of my favorite features of Princeton. It’s expansive and full when kayaking, and it provides beautiful views from the Washington Road bridge overhead. Last week I paused to snap this pic. I even saw someone taking a picture of it from their car while driving (scary). But that must show how beautiful it is.

photo

Last night, I caught this unique perspective. Sometimes the sun streaks through the trees and creates a mirrored effect with the leaves. Now that fall is settling in, the leaves are beginning to turn, and the world is looking quite beautiful. This photo doesn’t quite do the entire thing justice, but I tried. Just imagine this x 10 more amounts of pretty.

photo[1]

And this is where I live. This is the sidewalk and trees leading up to my place. I am forever thankful that I live so close to nature yet only a drive away from the stores and shops I need. I never expected to love a suburban/rural area so much, but it makes sense. It reminds me of home. And I think I’ve finally found my own little home in this great little state of New Jersey.

Rose: Why I Love Fall

Someone recently asked me why I love fall so much. So, in no particular order, here is a short list. I welcome the new season tomorrow with open arms and a big heart!

photo

* It’s a sense of beginning. The academic year always begins in September, which, for me, is a time to start fresh. There is a newness in the air all around, and everyone seems refreshed and recharged from a summer away.

* I love the fashion that comes with fall — scarves, boots, big sweaters, comfortable pants. Endless possibilities.

* Walks (or runs) in the fall. You don’t get sweaty. You get to bundle up a little bit. You get to hear the sound of leaves crunching under your feet. It’s just peaceful.

* Thanksgiving. It’s a time to gather together and be thankful. I love the gratitude associated with the season.

* Festivals. They seem to be everywhere. Arts and crafts. Food festivals. Wine. Pumpkin patches and corn field mazes. Many can be super cheap and even free (if you don’t get sucked into buying anything!).

* Memories. I always associate October with when I first fell in love with M. I remember all the little trips we took when we first started dating. A lot of them happened in the fall.

* The leaves are just so beautiful! I love going on long drives to see the colors changing.

* Speaking of which, I also just love the colors of fall: orange, yellow, red, brown. So warm and comforting!

* Anddddd, speaking of warm and comforting, did I say hot cocoa? There’s nothing I love more than bundling up on a cool, crisp autumn day with a book, some sweatpants and a sweatshirt and a good book outside.

Why do you love (or dislike) Fall? Share in the comments.

Rose & Jenna – The Balancing Act

A reader submitted this question, and we’re pretty excited to answer it. While we haven’t yet mastered the art of staying healthy while traveling, we sure try our darndest. And we’re looking forward to hearing you chime in at the comments and letting us know how you stay balanced while away from home.

You guys both seem to travel quite a bit. How do you stay healthy while not at home? I immediately fall off the wagon, especially if there is pressure from others. Any tips to help me stay on track?

image

Here are a few tips:

1. Start your day off right — whether that means drinking your morning Shakeology or getting in a work-out. Get up before everyone else and get it done. You’ll feel much better later.

2. Don’t be afraid to pack your workout gear. Thanks to programs like T25 and Turbofire, you can literally work out in your hotel room. There’s no excuses.

3. Remember that you don’t need to indulge. Take your time sipping a drink. Or get a seltzer water. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you can booze it up every night. Pick your drinks and calories wisely.

4. In terms of food, think: clean. Try to find the options that look the least processed. For example, don’t get the linguine in cream sauce. Opt for a salad with chicken instead. Or the whole wheat pasta with olive oil and veggies. Always go for the healthier choice.

5. Try to plan your indulgences. When traveling for work, do your best to scope out menus so you can plan your choices. If you’re on vacation and want to splurge on dessert at your favorite ice cream place, be sure to fit in a workout and some cleaner choices during the day.

6. Pack snacks. Always have some healthy, portable snacks in your bag. This way you won’t be grabbing for the bag of chips or candy while running through the airport. Luna and kind bars are life savers.

7. Think about how you’ll feel after. My stomach doesn’t tolerate a lot of heavy options or alcohol these days. I try to really focus on how I’ll feel after and weigh if it is worth the choice. Chances are it isn’t!