As I sit out on my back deck this afternoon, wrapped in a hoodie and my trusty NorthFace jacket, I fear it’s officially official…the time has come that we all must surrender to the change of season. I am a total summertime junkie. My heaven is a place where tan skin, green grass and bodies of water optimum for swimming in are constants. Also, temperatures that allow for my default wardrobe to be worn comfortably day in and day out is also a plus. However, California is just too expensive for the Riley’s; we discovered that this summer. So, as we must endure all the seasons here in the Midwest, it’s now that time of year when the temperature drops and the lady bugs penetrate the cracks of your home. ..when there is a festival or community social event every weekend for the next 3 months…when you see an influx of IG posts of boots, pumpkin spice lattes and foliage with #nofilter from all the girls that “can’t even”…it’s summer’s naughty twin sister, FALL!

Random question: is it autumn or fall to you? Autumn, to me, is like a girl’s name. It sounds way more fancy and like an actual thing. Fall is more short and to the point, however it’s also a verb that describes what I do often times on box jumps.


It’s more what we are taught as kids I think, unless you’re from somewhere more sophisticated than Sullivan, Illinois. Maybe Ill start taking a poll and asking people. Anywho…

I try and be a glass half full kind of girl; I try and see the positives in all situations. Sure, I’m sad my tan lines have faded, but I get the trade off of some of my favie autumn time joys. Yoga pants on the reg, inappropriately carved jack-o-lanterns, scarves that make any outfit “dressy,” saving money on electric because its neither heater or AC worthy temps, and gross amounts of Reese’s pumpkins are the major things that come to mind. Yet, I would have to say, like any dietitian you might expect, that the seasonal FOOD is my favorite part of fall. Last year I wrote about squash, which holds a special place in my heart forever and always. But I’m going with the masses on this one and have to talk about PUMPKIN LOVE for this post.

I honestly think I like pumpkin flavored things more than the average person. In fact, Ill go as far to say that I love pumpkin as much as my dog loves sticks…

emomw emom

…and that’s a lot.

Taking advantage of this orange-y delight I have gone ape sh*t on pumpkin recipes the past few weeks. NOTE: I’m not promising any of these to be PALEO, GLUTEN FREE, CLEAN, HEALTHY, WHATEVER DIET RESTRICTION YOU HAVE, so please, proceed with caution. I let the naughty thoughts take over here and made some pretty deliciously bad for you stuff…#sorryimnotsorry. However, a few healthy yummies squeaked in.


Pumpkin Pie Puppy Chow
IS this for real? Like, seriously….who invented this and why did it take me 27 years to find out about it? With 3 ingredients it doesn’t get any simpler. I took the liberty of adding chocolate chips in my melting process…so technically, this is Chocolate Pumpkin Puppy Chow. Damn I’m good. The only catch is that these Pumpkin Spice kisses only come out seasonally…GET ‘EM WHILE THE GETTIN’s GOOD!

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
It just makes sense…as cinnamon is a total complimentary/necessary spice in any pumpkin recipe. I’m not ALL that cray cray about canned pumpkin pie….I’d rather use canned pumpkin puree and add my own ingredients. Something about “eat it right out of the can” food just makes me wanna vom. However, when you’re in a pinch, do what ya gotta do. The one thing I learned with this recipe is ALWAYS WORK WITH COLD DOUGH. These GORGEOUS (obviously kidding) looking rolls were so gooey and stick and falling apart its a miracle they even worked. I let the crescent roll dough sit out too long. #rookiemistake However, another rule of “don’t judge a cinnamon roll by it’s shape” was also learned because despite their mangled appearance, these mugs were GOOOOOOD!!


Pumpkin Laraballz
This recipe was healthy enough to qualified for my website recipes! Yeah, I try not to look too gluttonous while promoting healthy and wholesome lifestyles. Luckily, these yummy lil ballz are both nutritious AND delicious! The ingredients read closely to that of a Larabar, one of my favorite snacks on the go, hence the title. I plan to do some experimentin’ with these in the future, making some delicious spin offs, but for now, enjoy the pumpkin experience!


Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal ( steel cut oats)
This is probably one of my most favorite recipes I’ve made to date. Steel cut oats are ALL THE RAGE (said in valley girl voice) today. High in protein and fiber, these whole gains are as grainy as its gets. Good roughage, if ya now what I mean…Β  Oats (any kind) are HUGE in my world- a clean eating carb that really helps keep those glycogen stores in check when going SO HARD on the reg. Again, this recipe earned my #recipesforrecovery hashtag on my site, as it’s great fuel for a hardworking body!


I would love to know if you try any of these recipes, let me know! Post it up on them social media sights like Spacebook (Facebook), Tweeter (Twitter), or that Instant Gram (Instagram) those kids are all talking about. Just tag @itskenzieriley or #recipesforrecovery! I’d love to know what ya’ll think!


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