Driving Fitness this Fall

by | Nov 4, 2015 | Dining, Health & Fitness, Nutrition, Recipes

As the seasons change and the holidays approach, it can be difficult to stick with a workout routine. Autumn is a time for pumpkin spiced everything, cool weather, and shorter days. As wonderful as these things can be, they can also be a challenge. It is important to maintain your motivation, even as the nights get colder and longer, and it gets ever harder to get out of bed for that morning run.

Some ways to hold on to your fitness drive this fall:

Find a workout buddy.

Working out with a friend is a great way to stay motivated. Statistics have shown that working out in a group or with a partner can help you reach your fitness goals. It is a lot harder to cancel your workout when you know you’ve got your buddy counting on you to be there! Friends don’t let friends lift alone.

Eat roast pumpkin, not pumpkin spiced lattes–

— Or really, make moderation your mantra when it comes to your diet this fall. Everywhere you look, it seems everything is pumpkin spiced. Once in a while is fine, but over indulgence can derail that hard fought fitness routine you established this summer. To avoid the temptation of pumpkin breads, muffins, lattes and cookies, replace them with healthier pumpkin (or squash) options. Adding unsweetened pumpkin puree to a smoothie or protein shake, replacing spaghetti with some spaghetti squash, putting cinnamon or nutmeg on a baked sweet potato are all great ways to incorporate warm fall spices and gourds into your diet. See recipe below for Roasted Spiced Kabocha Squash Slices.

Mindfulness is Key

The holiday season can be a very stressful time of year. Work, family, and financial pressures are all triggers for anxiety. With the shorter daylight hours, it may feel like you just don’t have a spare moment for your workout. Remember to balance your time and to be mindful of your choices. Try incorporating a short, two minute meditation. Find your center. Your hard work will pay off, but no one is perfect and every day is a new chance to make healthy choices.


Roasted Spiced Kabocha Squash Slices

Prep Time: 10 min            Cook Time: Approx. 20 min


  • 1 Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin) sliced into wedges, about 1 in. thick
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil

Spice Mixture:

  • 1 tbsp. Cumin
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Nutmeg
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the kabocha wedges on their sides. Using a basting brush, paint both sides of the squash slices with coconut oil. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the wedges.

Roast until the squash begins to brown, about ten minutes. Turn slices over roast another ten minutes or so. Kabocha slices should be soft in the middle with a slightly browned exterior.

Enjoy hot or at room temperature.


-by Reyna Abraham

Downtown Magazine