Fitness is only one part of good health! From recipes to quick snacks, we have plenty of nutrition tips to keep you energized for not just your workout, but your entire day.


Pumpkin Pie Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats


Serves: 4


1 cup steel cut oats

2 cups milk of choice

2 cups water

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Honey roasted pecans for garnish



1. Combine oats, milk, water, maple syrup and spices in a slow cooker and stir. 

2. Cook on low heat for 7-8 hours. 

3. Stir in pumpkin puree, divide among bowls and garnish with pecans and additional milk/maple syrup, if desired.

Oats can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.




Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at MakingLiftSweet.com


Featured Recipe: Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes


It’s officially pumpkin season!


Nothing spruces up a recipe better than the flavor of pumpkin. Did you know that pumpkin puree is low in calories and fat, not to mention it also contains vitamins and antioxidants? You will be in heaven with this recipe for Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes. They are full of great flavor, and super moist. Top these cakes with your favorite hot maple syrup, pecans, or a dollop of butter. 




1 cup all-purpose gluten-free baking flour

1 cup almond milk

1 egg

¾ cup pureed pumpkin

¼ cup buckwheat flour

2 Tbsp butter, melted

1 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla extract



1. Mix together the egg, sugar and vanilla until foamy. Add melted butter and pureed pumpkin and combine well.

2. In a separate bowl, combine gluten-free flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder and the spices. Add the combined dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture.

3. Add milk and stir until the batter is smooth.

4. Heat a frying pan and use a 1/3 measuring cup to pour the batter on the heated frying pan. Once the top of the pancake starts to bubble, flip the pancake and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully.

5. Serve warm with maple syrup or your desired topping, enjoy!

Healthy Alternatives to Sugar


Craving some sweetness? Don't go for the low-nutrient white sugar, or chemically-based fake sugar. Give one of these natural and healthier options a try!



A sugar alternative made from the herb stevia which is found in Central and South America. It is up to 40 times sweeter than sugar, but contains zero calories and won’t cause the spike in blood sugar.


Whey low

Made of three naturally-occurring sugars: fructose, sucrose, and lactose, blended together. The way that the sugars are combined makes it so that the caloric amount is not fully absorbed by the body, meaning there are only 4 calories per teaspoon. You can get whey low in varieties that are similar to granular sugar, brown sugar, and powdered sugar.



Xylitol is a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol that’s found in berries, beets, and corn. It is only partially absorbed by the body, resulting in 9 calories per teaspoon. Its sweetness is similar to sugar, but it has a lower glycemic index.


Agave Nectar

Agave Nectar is created with several types of agave plants to form a liquid sweetener.  It is much sweeter than sugar or honey, so you only need about a third as much, although it has more calories than sugar (about 20 per teaspoon).



A concentratred dose of antioxidants, honey is a sweet and natural alternative to sugar. Plus, there are more than 300 different varieties, from blueberry-flavored to buckwheat. 



Apple BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos



For the BBQ Sauce:

2 cups tomato sauce

1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple cider

6 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

4 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons paprika


1 1/2 lb. pork loin

1/2 cup chicken broth

11 ounces tortilla chips

1 green pepper, chopped

3/4 cup cheddar cheese

3/4 cup Monterey jack cheese



  1. Add all of the BBQ sauce ingredients to a small pot and whisk until smooth.
  2. Turn the heat to medium-high and once bubbling, whisk, turn the heat to low and cover. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until desired thickness is achieved.
  3. Place pork loin and chicken broth in a slow cooker. Drizzle BBQ sauce on top and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours. Shred with a fork.
  4. Preheat oven broiler. Line nachos on a cookie sheet and top with pork, green peppers and cheese. Broil until cheese is melted, about 3-5 minutes. Top with additional BBQ sauce. (You can reserve leftover sauce in the fridge for a few weeks.)





Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at MakingLiftSweet.com


The Skinny on Chia Seeds


You’ve probably been hearing a lot about chia seeds lately, and for good reason! We love them not only for their superfood qualities, but they can also help with weight loss! Check out some of the ways they can help you slim down below and add in some chia seeds to your weight loss program! 


Chia seeds are packed with fiber, which aids in digestion. You’ll feel less bloated thanks to your body being more regular.

Low Carb

An ounce of chia seeds has only 12 grams of carbohydrates, so your body will store very little fat in comparison to the amount that you eat.


Chia seeds are loaded with serotonin-releasing tryptophan and magnesium, as well as depression-fighting omega 3s. Less stress means that your body produces less cortisol, which is a win-win. Cortisol is not good because is causes fat to cling to your mid-section.


Just one ounce of chia seeds are loaded with 179 mg of calcium, making these a great option for those who don’t eat dairy.

Healthy Fats:

Good fats can burn body fat, as well as help you feel full! This means that you will be less likely to overeat.


Best ways to incorporate chia seeds into your diet

  • Mix with coconut milk and honey and let sit overnight. In the morning, add fruit and nuts and you’ve got a delicious and healthy coconut chia pudding for breakfast.
  •  Add 2 tablespoons chia seeds to 4 ounces of coconut water and a teaspoon of super greens for a nutritious Chia Green Smoothie that’s ready to enjoy right away.
  • Sprinkle a teaspoon of chia seeds on top of your yogurt to add in some healthy omega 3s.
  •  Chia seeds can also be baked into muffins or cakes to add in some nutrition.


Mix Up Your Trail Mix


There are hundreds of combinations for trail mix. Choose your favorite nuts to start and customize to your liking! You're guaranteed to never get bored.


Start with your nuts:

Salted peanuts

Toasted coconut cashews

Whole almonds, raw

Sliced almonds

Glazed pecans

Raw pecans

Raw walnuts

Cinnamon roasted almonds

Cocoa roasted almonds

Unsalted Cashews

Brazil nuts, raw

Hazelnuts, raw

Glazed walnuts

Pistachios, salted

Macadamias, raw


Add in some seeds:

Corn nuts

Dried green peas

Raw sunflower seeds

Wasabi peas

Edamame, dry roasted with sea salt

Raw pumpkin seeds


Make it Sweet:

Cacao nibs


Chocolate chips

Yogurt raisins

Dark chocolate espresso beans


Choose your Fruits:


Banana chips

Golden raisins




Dried kiwi

Dried papaya

Dried apricots

Dried apple chunks

Dried mango

Dried cherries

Dried blueberries

Dried strawberries

Dried goji berries


Get the Crunch:

Chocolate hazelnut granola

Rice Chex

Pumpkin flax granola





Sea salt


Pumpkin spice



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