Breakfast / Fitness / Food

Fitness Faux Pas and Frightenly Good Pumpkin Granola

I had a moment yesterday…one of those moments where I almost embarrassed the crap out of myself in the gym.  In front of a good number of people.  Recipe for disaster = elliptical machine, corded headphones, iPhone, and a clumsy me.  I like to run…it clears my head.  But I also realize that I need to cross train in order to not overwork certain muscles.  My top 2 choices are elliptical and bike.  I decided elliptical yesterday as my bum was tired from sitting all dang day.  So, off I go…fire up my iPhone with some rockin’ tunes and open my Kindle App. Bah, Humbug by Heather Horrocks. Good fun read, FYI.>  My deal with these machines is they bore me, gotta have music at least.  Most of the time it’s also a great time to get my read on.  I typically listen to upbeat, pop/rock, fast tempo stuff.  It fuels my fire, drive, and especially pace.  The faster it goes, the faster I go.  I bee-bop along to it.  (I find myself irritated when I forget to tie up my hair as it “swings to the beat” and ends up smacking me around.  It makes me feel like one of the overzealous, bubbly, bouncy trainers from workout videos.  Annoying!)

It went down something like this:  funny read, fast pace, and both hands not holding on.  The book was getting good so I swiped quick to the next page, bee-bopping along, and my hand comes down on the swinging headphone cord.  iPhone goes flying, I almost fall catching it, and I am chuckling about the book…it lasted maybe 3 seconds.  It was the longest 3 secs I’ve had in a very long time!  My saving grace is I wasn’t on a treadmill that keeps going.  This machine stops when you do.  Thank goodness.  But it must have been a sight to see me go from bouncing along to almost falling and juggling my iPhone.  I was having a good chuckle from the book too which was quickly lost in my utter embarrassment.  I tried very hard to just start back up, not making eye contact with anyone, and act as if it nothing happened.  Probably nobody noticed, right?

I gave my official notice yesterday at work.  😦  I think that’s part of my blues from the last few days.  It’s always hard to move, to leave friends and co-workers, and lose a job.  Especially when we don’t know what’s ahead of us.  I don’t do change well.  (Just ask my mom.  She knows all too well.)  It’s gotten better with age but still rears its ugly head when I’m not paying attention.  I just have to keep reminding myself that it’s an adventure!  We will make new friends, hold onto the ones we have here via the many and varied social media routes, and, I hope, get a new job.  (It’ll be hard to top this one…the people have been wonderful!)  My continual solace is I get to learn to scuba!!  Oh yeah, let’s just stop to think about that for a bit…



Photos courtesy of:   “Another World” Sea Fan Paradise, Kerama- by Jim Winter

Ahhh, now my nerves are a tad calmer.

Frightenly Good Pumpkin Granola (GF and Paleo opt)

Frightenly Good Pumpking Granola


  • 1 cup GF oats (leave out for Paleo)
  • 1/2 cup almods, sliced is easier
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cashews, pulsed in blender or Ninja until mealy/small chunks
  • 1/2 cup Sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Salt, to taste
  • OPT: dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, etc), GF chocolate pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix your pumpkin, coconut oil, maple syrup/honey, vanilla extract, and spices.
  3. Add your nuts, seeds, and cashew chunks and mix well with your wet ingredients.
  4. Place on parchment paper or Silpat on a large cookie sheet and pour your mixture on top. Spread out evenly but not too thinly (some bigger chunks are what make the granola grand!) so everything will cook through.
  5. Place in oven and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring the granola around half way through to ensure it doesn’t burn.  Watch carefully in the last 5-10 minutes as it can burn quickly.
  6. Allow to cool completely before storing.  Granola will harden as it cools down.  Stir in add-ins.   (You can add the dried fruit while it cools and even the choco pieces if you want a little coating action.)
  7. Store in an airtight container, if you have any leftover.

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