Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake

Hey guys! I hope you all had a lovely memorial day weekend! Mine was great, and its always so hard getting back into the swing of things after a long weekend, isn’t it? I spent half of the weekend here with friends and half of the weekend on the Cape. I do wish the weather was a bit sunnier on the Cape but it didn’t rain and it was gloriously warm, so I couldn’t complain!

The best part of the weekend was probably eating thin crust, delicious veggie pizza from Siena WHich is one of my favorite restaurants! It was packed with roasted mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, goat cheese, mozzarella and fresh tomato sauce! Oh it hit the spot! Sorry I had no pictures, we were seated outdoors, and the pictures were all blurry and hard to see. Trust me, It was wonderful . see also : Apple Cinnamon Protein muffins

I pulled a Julie on the way home…JUST as I was driving back to Boston the sun came out and it really felt like ‘summer’ I couldn’t help but throw the sun roof open and turn up my tunes

Did I mention I stopped (ahem went out of my way about 6 miles) for the most delicious iced coffee?! I even took a different bridge home from the cape than I usually do JUST so I pass a Marylous. Mary Lous is a local coffee shop but most of the shops are on the south shore, Ma. The closest one to where I live is probably 40 minutes away. I Had to take advantage as I was coming home from Cape Cod (which is south shore) so thats just what I did. They have the craziest flavors such as “white chocolate chip, banana nut, Kahula, Hawaiian coconut, mocha cinnamon, mocha mint chip, butterfinger, cinnamon coconut, milky way, girl scout cookie” just to name a few….I went with the coffee Kahula. It was the most amazing mid afternoon drink. I wished it never had to end. Like, really.  The next time I will have Marylous is who knows when!
I have been enjoying my normal breakfasts! When it gets really hot out, I am going to have to maybe think of an alternative to my hot oats…but to be honest, I love it so much and truly is one of my favorite meals…I think I will still enjoy it throughout the summer but I won’t make it AS hot as I usually do. I threw on some coconut oil on top of my oats as soon as they were done cooking!
Refreshing salads are eaten almost daily! As I mentioned before, I cannot get enough of fresh spices. I am loving dill and basil lately, but I also always have scallions on hand to switch it up! This salad is covered in fresh dill. For my dressing I have been using Braggs Liquid Aminos, balsamic vinegar and mustard! When I have a huge salad like this, I always have a piece of fruit for dessert. Today it was a peach straight from Cape Cod! It was sweet and juicy.
I cooked up some lean ground beef meatballs as well! I love having these on hand in the fridge to heat up for dinner or eat cold on my salads.! My recipe for a healthy spin on meatballs can be found in my recipe sectionHERE I also have an awesome recipe for italian style turkey meatballs! 
Ok you guys, I have been on a smoothie kick lately, if you can’t tell by my many tweets and posts. I have been experimenting with different flavors, textures, protein’s, fruits, starches etc. This is BY FAR one of my favorites!

Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake


  • 1 scoop vanilla or cinnamon whey protein ( I used “About Time” Protein and “Muscle gauge Nutrition” Brand)
  • 1 serving sweet potato or butternut squash or canned pure pumpkin (I cook and freeze the sweet potato and butternut squash and throw it in the shake frozen!
  • ~1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1-2 packets of stevia or 2 tsp agave (optional)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1/2-1 C water (depending on how thick you want your shake)
  • pinch of xanthan gum (use this for thickening purposes + helps break the ice chunks)


  • Throw everything (ice, water, seasonings, protein, frozen starch, sweetner, almond milk, xanthan gum) Into your blender
  • Blend until all of the ingredients are well incorporated and enjoy! **add more water if it is too thick)
  • Tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass!


As a trainer, you can imagine the amount of questions I get asked on a daily basis. The main subject matter that I get asked has to do with improving ones body composition. How can I look more “toned” or how can I decrease my body fat and increase muscle? In addition to this, I also get a lot of questions (mostly from women) about how to tighten up the thighs, butt and leg area. “But I don’t want them to get bulky and big” is usually how they end the question.

Well I am here to talk about SPRINTING, which is arguably the best way to firm your legs and butt without incorporating resistance training.  And no, it will not make your legs bulky.  Yes, squats, lunges, dead lifts and leg presses are also amazing ways to train your legs and a leg routine should be a part of everybody’s training regimen BUT sprinting is the best alternative to these leg exercises—especially if you are traveling or aresomewhere where there is no equipment. The benefits of incorporating sprinting into your workout routine are endless, and it is FREE!  All you need is some empty space and some great workout tunes to get you pumped up.

Take it from me, who really never performed solid sprints prior to training for my show. I always had a love for running which started at a young age. For 6 years I spent my summers at my childhood camp, and without a gym there, I found myself running about 3 miles 5x a week. I loved it and it was something I truly enjoyed. Years later, I started getting very bored with running and not only that, but I wasn’t seeing the changes in my physique that I wanted to. When I started studying exercise physiology, learning about fast twitch vs slow twitch fibers and studying up on interval training—my whole mindset changed.  Still, I kept long distance running ‘scared’ to try sprinting.

Well, as part of my competition workouts, I decided to bite the bullet and try sprinting which was done on my HIIT cardio days. I fell in love immediately. I started slow and not AS intense so my body could get used to it. After a few months, paired with some great resistance training leg workouts, sprinting not only helped give my quads, glutes and thighs definition that I had never seen before, but it was FUN. I loved challenging myself with different sprint workouts-and it gave me something to look forward to when I hit the track, street or treadmill.


Improves anaerobic performance,

Increased and/or maintaining maximal strength,

Reducing overall body fat

Improves athleticism

Reduces stress.

Maximize calorie burn and create a post burn

When you sprint, you train at a higher intensity (short bursts) for a shorter period of time which burns more sugar and less fat during the workout. When a high intensity burst of exercise is performed, the body burns more relative amounts of sugar, but burns more fat and calories after the workout. It burns calories anywhere from 16-48 hours after the workout.

Benefits of Sprinting

1) Sprinting will reduce body fat and strengthen you far more than steady state cardio (SSC)When you sprint; your body is getting maximal recruitment of muscle tissue. After only about 8 seconds, sprinting sends acid signals to the muscles, which activates the fast twitch fibers. Fast-twitch fibers grow in size and can respond much quicker when activated by the right type of training regimen.

2). Sprinting creates major metabolic changes in your body. When training at a high intensity, this will burn calories long after your workout is complete, where as jogging for 30 minutes at one speed will burn caloriesjust performed during your jog.  Sprinting also increases your body’s ability to increase Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Human Growth Hormone is your body’s natural fat burning hormone. If you were to perform only low intensity exercise, you most likely will not cause a spike in your body to release HGH.  This means that you will burn less body fat if you only stick to lower intensity, long duration work

3) Sprinting strengthens your cardiovascular system with brief bursts of high intensity followed by long periods of recovery. You strengthen your skeletal muscles by doing heavy, low-repetition sets with long recoveries. You should strengthen your heart the same way. Since you are working with recovery and all out work, sprinting doesn’t cause the continuous stress on the heart as it can with low intensity

4) Sprint workouts FUN, can be done anywhere especially being as it is super nice out due to the warmer weather. Find a local track, open space or backyard!

How to Do a Sprint Workout

Start your sprint workout by warming up for about 5 minutes. This can be anything from a dynamic warm up, to a light jog. Make sure you are all warmed up BEFORE starting your sprints.

After your warm up, perform 2-3 sprints at about 75% effort to get your body used to the new “sprint stride” that you will be using.  If  you are used to jogging, new to sprinting or haven’t performed sprints in a while, concentrate on, even over-exaggerate, getting your knees high, leaning your body slightly forward and pumping your arms in conjunction with your sprint strides. Stay on the balls of feet, and try to bounce a little as you stride.  You don’t want to feel to heavy on your feet and stay on the balls of your toes

First Workout: Aim for between 6-8 sprints  and be sure to take advantage of those recovery periods , even after the first 1-2 sprints where you may not need that full recovery period. Be patient.  Because of the complex way the body fuels itself during this kind of activity, you want to condition your body to work efficiently along the lines of this work-to-rest ratio. Don’t focus on a distance, but on the time you spend sprinting. Sprint 20 seconds, rest 60 seconds

Yes, your total time sprinting comes out to 2 minutes (if you performed 6 sprints) but the intensity level that you place on your body is VERY beneficial to improving your overall level of fitness rather than steady state cardio such as jogging.

Sprints are an efficient and effective form of cardiovascular training. If your body allows, I highly recommend having sprints a regular part of your routine!

How Often to Do a Sprint Workout? Limit your sprint workouts to 2x/week especially if you are incorporating other forms of exercise throughout the week such as weight training, body pump, Pilates etc. You want at least 48-72 hours between. If you are an advanced exerciser and sprinting is your only source of cardio, you can perform them 3x a week.

To change it up—I like to add all sorts of fun workouts into my sprint training on the track as well!

20 second sprint

20 second walking lunges

20 seconds high skipping

20 seconds backwards sprints


20 seconds butt kicks

20 seconds moving squat jumps

20 second sprint

20 second walking lunges

Repeat 2x



Do you change up your food habits due to seasonal changes?

Have you tried sprinting? What is your favorite form of HIIT training?

Tags: #dessert recipes #Pumpkin Pie #Pumpkin Pie recipe

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