Thanksgiving is right around the corner and so are the “holidays”. Challenges with this time of the year sometimes cloud the magic of it all. I see my clients struggle with the schedule chaos, change to colder, wetter weather, “treat” and unhealthy food options, extra opportunities for cocktails and alcohol and expectations with holiday meals around Hannukah and Christmas. You can empower yourself through this wild time of the year by making time and space for your health. Batch cook recipes like Pumpkin Cranberry Spice Muffins so that you have a healthy go-to when you’re on-the-go.
I baked my own sugar pumpkin for this recipe just because I had one from my ugly fruit and veggie box. It was really easy and quick. There are a lot of how-to’s online but I do like this one by Oh She Glows. Pumpkin has so many health benefits. It is packed with fiber and nutrients like vitamins A, E plus a variety of B vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. I blended a bunch of the leftovers up and stuck them in the freezer to use in the future. And I also made Salt&Pepper Pumpkin Seeds while the pumpkin flesh was baking. I hope you get to try it yourself and that you enjoy my simple Pumpkin Cranberry Spice Muffins. But before you go, I have some tips for holiday success this season….
My top tips for surviving the holidays this year
- Unpack your schedule: As your calendar fills up this November and December, put some blocks in it and schedule in some down time. You may need to say no to a dinner, date or party here and there but
- Make time for working out: Schedule in your workouts like you schedule in meetings and other important events. If you need an extra push this season, get a trainer for the month or sign up for a paid program like OrangeTheory where if you miss a session, you get charged anyway. Why wait ’til January when the gyms are packed? Make fitness a priority NOW.
- Plan ahead for healthy food: There’s no time like the holidays for batch cooking and planning ahead. For some people this means grocery shopping on the weekend and spending time on a Sunday afternoon putting things together for the week. For others it means utilizing grocery delivery like Instacart or even meal delivery programs for support. For me, it is a combo and I’ll also stock up on healthy frozen meals to keep in the freezer at work for busy afternoons. Pumpkin Cranberry Spice Muffins are fabulous to grab for a breakfast or snack throughout the week.
- Give yourself a drink limit: A glass of wine or cocktail is part of many people’s holiday celebrations. My fridge is packed with bottles of anticipatory champagne right now. But if you end up drinking a few holidays cocktails several nights per week, activities like making time for workouts and planning ahead healthy food can slip away. Too much alcohol can also disrupt sleep which is even more critical during busy times. Set a limit for yourself whether that’s one drink per event or five drinks total per week – whatever is best for you – so that you have a goal in mind and feel confident in your plan.
- Make time for fun: If all you do is run around to dinners, parties and work events, you may miss out on what the holidays mean to YOU. Love to decorate gingerbread houses? Crave a baking day? Want to see the Nutcracker? Desire a night out to drive around a see holiday lights on people’s houses? Make sure to schedule in some time for the things that mean the most to you this holiday season. This can help you prioritize your own desires and let go of expectation just a little bit.
Enjoy! And Happy Thanksgiving
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (I roasted a pumpkin and made my own!)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Heat oven to 400°F. Line a 12-count muffin tin with paper baking cups.In large mixing bowl, blend flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Blend wet ingredients into dry just until moistened then gently fold in cranberries. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.
- Bake your own sugar pumpkin for recipes this fall! http://ohsheglows.com/2012/09/10/how-to-roast-a-sugar-pumpkin-make-fresh-pumpkin-puree-a-step-by-step-photo-tutorial/