Pumpkin

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Do you remember growing up watching Sesame Street and they’d be like “Today’s show is brought to you by: the letter P”? Anyone? Maybe it’s just because I see Sesame Street on a fairly regular basis with my side job as a nanny. It’s at the surface of my brain along with the theme songs from Curious George, Caillou, and Thomas. Oh, and Wild Krats, but I actually kind of like that one…don’t judge me. Back to my point. I feel like that that’s what this post should start off with. Like, “This post is brought to you today by: pumpkin!”.

It’s that time of year folks. It’s officially fall. The leaves are changing. The weather is cooling down (ok, we’re pretending it’s cooling down). Everyone is getting all hyped up over sweaters, scarves, leggings, and boots. And the pumpkin spice craze is in full swing. I feel like every time I turn around, something else has been pumpkin spice-ified. They’ve stepped up their game this year. Pumpkin spice is longer just food and drink related. Make-up companies are coming out with pumpkin spice shades of eyeshadow and whatnot. What really stopped me in my tracks was the mention on the radio the other day of pumpkin spice toilet paper. I’m sorry, but that just straight up crosses the line into inappropriate execution of pumpkin spice. Please, if you use this or created it, get help. Admitting you have a problem is the first step. 

While back in the day I did enjoy a daily trip to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, I’m no longer quite so pumpkin spice obsessed. My husband is rather anti-pumpkin spice, so it’s probably for the best that the entire house doesn’t smell like a Bath & Body Works pumpkin spice scented candle (do those even exist? I’m assuming they do). My love of pumpkin spice is focused mainly in the form of baked goods, which my husband approves of from afar. They smell great and taste heavenly (like really who doesn’t love a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie?? I mean, besides my husband who hates pumpkin…). It brings a special acknowledgement of the changing seasons, and I’m all about that. What I love even more about pumpkin spice is the main orange cinderella carriage super star (that was probably a few too many words…sorry I got excited), PUMPKIN! Anytime real food from nature gets to take center stage, I get jazzed. It’s the nutritionist in me. But what exactly is so great about pumpkin you ask? Well, let me give you the run down! 

Beta-Carotene 

Pumpkin is jam-packed with beta-carotene. This little powerhouse is a carotenoid, which is a precursor to Vitamin A. So in English, beta-carotene is a substance found in plants that has been found to be a beneficial nutrient that the body can transform into Vitamin A. It’s also what gives pumpkins their orange glow. Once beta-carotene becomes Vitamin A, it functions as an anti-oxidant that protects the body from environmental pollutants and disease. It also acts as an immunity booster that fights off infections. It’s great for various parts of the body including the eyes, skin, lungs, sinuses, and even the GI tract. And it aids in the production of new cells, which means it supports reproduction and growth and is found to be anti-cancer. Need I go on??

Fiber 

Pumpkin is also loaded with fiber, which is a huge plus if you like to be full after you eat (I’m sorry, but who really enjoys being hungry 30 minutes after you eat?). Your digestive tract will love you, I promise. Pumpkin is also a low-glycemic food, which means the carbohydrates won’t spike your blood sugar, which is great for anyone trying to maintain diabetic control, lose weight, or just avoid the lovely blood sugar spike and crash (like back in the day when you were a kid and had all those pieces of Halloween candy in one sitting, you couldn’t sit still much to your mother’s dismay and then maybe 30 minutes later collapsed into a pile of candy wrappers…ahem).

And I must confess that I’m a bit behind in the picture department. I actually haven’t been able to get to the store yet to buy my pumpkins. Thankfully, I was able to snag a fantastic picture of our friend Tim’s pumpkin harvest (not to mention a bunch of other goodies-YUM!) from his garden. (follow him on Instagram @timbarstadcreates) How legit is that to have your own garden/pumpkin patch?? I missed the timeframe to start one in our backyard, but hopefully next year it’ll happen. And if you have any lingering questions or wonderings on how to roast a pumpkin, check out this post from Elana Amsterdam. She breaks the process down beautifully. 

Bottom line, even if you don’t wanna jump on the pumpkin spice bandwagon (and I don’t blame you), go ahead and get on board with pumpkin. You won’t regret it! 

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