Fall Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie

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I’m not a big fan of pies, but I like adding pure pumpkin to plain Greek yogurt or smoothies. This is an easy breakfast that will keep you full for hours.

You’ll Need:
1/4C 100% pumpkin
1/4C skim milk (or sugar-free almond milk)
1 frozen banana (frozen gives it a richer texture)
1T cinnamon
Drizzle, honey
1 scoop, vanilla protein powder (I use Plant Fusion Vanilla Bean)

MAKE IT: Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy! Happy Fall!! Xoxo

Grey Ghost Bakery Chocolate Espresso Cookies

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I’m so speechless I don’t really know where to start. OMG. My “signature” dessert that I make is chocolate espresso cookies, I’ve been making them even before I started food blogging. I have such a love for the combination of chocolate plus espresso, it’s crazy. Because I am on a healthy diet plan, when I sample one thing/week outside of the diet it has to be worth it.

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These cookies get 10-stars and if I could give them more, I would. They come in chic packaging that would be PERFECT for gifting. The texture is soft but slightly chewy. Inside, are chunks of dark melted chocolate. Rich. Decadent. O.M.G.

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The split cookie..see the chocolate chunks??!! Nom, nom, nom, nom.

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I enjoyed it with an espresso. I didn’t eat that whole stack, don’t worry. Though, it took much persistence to say no after one!

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Grey Ghost bakery has a nice family history and it’s located near Myrtle Beach, my summer destination! I think they need to partner up with the hotel I stay at there so Grey Ghost cookies are in every room ;-) They have several other delicious flavors. I discovered them on my #1 website mouth.com but you can find their site at http://www.greyghostbakery.com

Matt’s Munchies 100% Natural Healthy Fruit Snacks

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I LOVE fruit rollups but most of them are loaded with corn syrup, sugar, dyes and weird stuff. I’ve seen all these recipes where you can make your own but who has time for that?! Like really, after I cook, clean, get ready for work…let me spend 2 hours making some freaking homemade fruit rolls. Not happening. Those delicious treats you see above (don’t they look like the homemade ones) are 100% fruit! No added sugars, stabilizers, colorings. My only complaint is I wish they sold them at a grocery store near me. The snacks above are mango topped with coconut.

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Huge variety, it’s easy to eat a bunch so just pace yourself…

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Natural flavors and low calorie & sugar.

http://www.mattsmunchies.com

Monday Morning Coffee, illy Espresso

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One of my favorite things in the world is espresso! I was excited to learn that on my Rachael Ray Show diet, espresso is encouraged! Even 2-3x’s/day! Just not with heavy cream (which I used to add) or sugar. You really do get used to it and you can taste the flavor profile of the espresso better. Plus, as long as I get my much needed caffeine fix…I don’t mind missing out on the extra add-ins. I never really liked the flavored creamer things, they kinda grossed me out. I’ve been drinking the illy no sugar caffe espressos above. Portable and tiny so I can grab and throw in my purse. And strong espresso tastes better cold. The problem is I’m daydreaming about pouring them over ladyfingers for tiramisu – will need to find a “lightened up” recipe ;-) I’m getting an espresso maker this week (don’t judge, some people like cars, shoes, clothes…no thanks, I like kitchen appliances -lol!!) and I’ll probably try the illy whole beans.

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The latte macchiato, mochaccino and cappuccino flavors are perfection. Of course I’m avoiding those because of the sugar (I cut out all processed sugars…7 days going strong, woohoo) but they’re only 100-120 calories if you do want a treat.

http://www.illy.com

Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser: The Skinny Rules

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These are the rules that I’ve been following in case you wanted to try it out too! So far, so good. The true test was going out to dinner…and I passed. No bread, tons of water, no alcohol. Once you get past the first 7 days, it becomes fun, it’s a way to challenge yourself. #18 and #19 have been kinda hard. I bought Tazo’s Calm Tea and that definitely noticed it helped me fall asleep quicker. I’m having a lot of fun making Bob’s recipes too…I tried the spaghetti squash casserole, zucchini noodles, pad thai. High protein, low carbs. Check him out at http://www.bobharper.com

When I notice that I do crave sugar, I eat Pure Bars (saw them in a fitness magazine as one if the best bars to buy):
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The blueberry is my favorite..they’re all gluten free, vegan and raw. Rich in antioxidants in vitamins and…the company was started by a Mom who turned vegetarian after going to the zoo with her child. That alone makes me want to support her company http://www.purebar.com

Apple Cookies, a healthy fall dessert!

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Ok, so they’re not exactly “cookies” but they fill you up and satisfy dark chocolate cravings. This is a great healthy fall dessert.

You’ll Need:
1 red apple, cut into slices
Organic, natural peanut butter
Dark chocolate chips, just a sprinkling
Sliced almonds
Chopped walnuts

Make It:
Spread each apple slice with peanut butter. Top with remaining ingredients and enjoy!