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Even Though You’re Not Very Into Pumpkins, You’ll Crave For Them After Reading This

Even Though You’re Not Very Into Pumpkins, You’ll Crave For Them After Reading This

Pumpkin season is upon us. You can pretty much find a pumpkin version of any meal, snack or dessert out there. There is an abundance of pumpkin recipes flooding the internet at this time of the year.

But why is pumpkin so awesome?

First of all, it’s a seasonal staple that reminds us of warm family gatherings involving pumpkin pie and other delicious treats. Secondly, pumpkin is basically a super food. It’s packed with fiber to keep you fuller longer, aid digestion and help you lose weight. It has loads of potassium—even more than a banana, so it’s perfect for refueling after a tough workout. It also boosts eyesight and protects skin with its beta carotene that our bodies convert to vitamin A.

Pumpkin even contains a large amount of vitamin C which many believe can fight off sickness which is perfect for cold and flu season. Interesting fact about pumpkins: the beta carotene found within is a type of carotenoid which makes you turn orange when you’ve eaten too much. (You’ve been warned.)

Lastly, pumpkin is a very versatile food. Pumpkin recipes range from breakfast items, savory soups and of course the classic pumpkin desserts.

1. Pumpkin Spice Protein Pancakes via Dashing Dish

pumpkin spice pancakes

    With all the health benefits of pumpkin, why not add it to your breakfast? These pancakes look so fluffy and delightful with only 100 calories and 14 grams of protein per cake.

    2. Mocha Pumpkin Spice Latte via Dessert for Two

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    Mocha Pumpkin Spice Latte

      So you have all heard about the pumpkin spice latte, I’m assuming. You know, one of the main pumpkin recipes floating around the interwebs. When the pumpkin spice latte graces the scene, you know it’s Fall. But check out this chocolate version. Chocolate makes everything better.

      3. Pumpkin Almond Chocolate Chip Muffins via Skinny Fitalicious

      pumpkin almond chocolate chip muffins

        Speaking of chocolate making everything better…these muffins look to die for. They also look pretty darn healthy from perusing the ingredient list (and blog name).

        4. White Chocolate Pumpkin Mug Cake via The Almond Eater

        white chocolate pumpkin mug cake

          How about the white chocolate chip? I don’t know why, but I’ve never thought of pairing pumpkin and white chocolate before now. It sounds divine! This is a mug cake recipe so you can whip it together in minutes!

          5. Single Serve Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake in a Mug via Diary of a Semi-Health Nut

          single serve chocolate chip pumpkin cake in a mug

            While we’re talking mug cakes, we might as well talk about the chocolate chip version. This one even includes pumpkin spice coffee creamer..yum!

            6. Pumpkin Parfaits with Coconut Whipped Cream via The Law Student’s Wife

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            pumpkin parfaits with coconut whipped cream

              Those crumbly items layered in between the whipped coconut and pumpkin are gingersnaps…wow.

              7. Pumpkin French Toast via Averie Cooks

              pumpkin french toast

                I think every pancake or french toast recipe looks ten times better drenched in syrup. What do you think?

                8. Flourless Pumpkin Pie Muffins via Running with Spoons

                flourless pumpkin pie muffins

                  I cannot get over how good these look. It’s not surprising that this recipe got pinned over fifty thousand times. I’m very intrigued by the way the chocolate looks on the top. I may just have to make these to see if I get the same results!

                  9. Pumpkin Carrot Cake Cupcakes via Mom on Timeout

                  pumpkin carrot cake cupcake

                    Pumpkin and carrot in one cupcake? That’s just showing off. The decadent frosting on top probably helps mask the healthy goodness of the cupcakes. Just beware of all the carotenoids involved so you don’t eat too many and turn orange!

                    10. Skinny Pumpkin Pie Martini via Sinful Nutrition

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                    skinny pumpkin martinis

                      Oh yes you can put pumpkin in booze!

                      11. Autumn Spiced Vegetarian Chili via Hummusapian

                      autumn spiced vegetarian chili

                        You can also put it in chili. This is something I need to try because I plan on busting out my slow cooker very soon.

                        12. Savory Pumpkin Rolls by Flour Arrangements

                        12 Pumpkin-Roll

                          These are simply adorable! What’s funny is that the author of the recipe made them by accident—she was making kaiser rolls and her daughter thought they looked like little pumpkins.

                          13. Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Bagels via Food Pleasure and Health

                          13 pumpkin-spiced-pumpkin-bagels

                            I’ve never made bagels before, but I though it was crazy how they boiled them before baking them. Nevertheless they looked marvelous when done and referenced a couple other pumpkin recipes that boiled them as well! You learn something new every day, right?

                            14. Pumpkin Pie Spiced Almonds via Clean Eating Chelsey

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                            14 pumpkin spiced almonds

                              This is yet another way I would never have thought to use pumpkin! The author said she ate this whole bowl in one day so they must be good!

                              15. Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups via Ari’s Menu

                              15 Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-Cheesecake-Cups-glutenfree

                                This is a lovely way to cap off the list. These little guys are adorable..especially with the straw. I’m sure they taste incredible too with the gingersnap crust and cheesecake middle.

                                So which of these amazing pumpkin recipes will you be trying first?

                                Nutrition Sources:

                                Pumpkin Health Benefits on Huffington Post

                                Antioxidants on Cancer.gov

                                Phytonutrients on WebMD

                                Featured photo credit: Pumpkin Recipes via Diary of a Semi-Health Nut via semihealthyblog.com

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                                Amanda DeWitt

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                                Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                                18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                                18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                                The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

                                1. Understand Yourself Better

                                Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

                                Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

                                2. Keep Track of Small Changes

                                I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

                                Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

                                3. Become Aware of What Matters

                                As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

                                You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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                                4. Boost Creativity

                                The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

                                When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

                                You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

                                5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

                                A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

                                Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

                                6. Process Life Experiences

                                When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

                                Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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                                7. Stress Relief

                                In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

                                Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

                                8. Provide Direction

                                Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

                                One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

                                9. Solve Problems

                                Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

                                Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

                                When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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                                10. Find Relief From Fighting

                                Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

                                Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

                                11. Find Meaning in Life

                                Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

                                12. Allow Yourself to Focus

                                Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

                                13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

                                When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

                                14. Let the Past Go

                                I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

                                15. Allow Freedom

                                Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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                                16. Enhance Your Career

                                Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

                                Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

                                17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

                                All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

                                18. Catalog Your Life for Others

                                No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

                                We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

                                Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

                                Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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