Playgrounds, chocolate chip cookies, and pumpkin spice for days

When life hands you pumpkins, incorporate pumpkin into every meal you prepare during fall. When life informs you that you have been living across the street from the world’s best cookies, you better put together one darn good workout and reward yourself with one of those cookies. After all, life is too short to not enjoy pumpkin spice goodness and eat freshly baked cookies!

954884_10151927082044380_1005393160_nLife is also too short to not rock bright, funky sunglasses and milk the summer like weather
in October we’re experiencing here in the city. Colorful trees, crisp mornings, and warm sunny days…
I think I’m getting spoiled this fall, I love this weather!

Why am I talking about pumpkins and cookies today? These were my motivation to get through my training for this past week especially since my playground circuit workout with CeCe on a hot, humid October morning required extra motivation. We had already picked out our inspiration, and it wasn’t just to condition ourselves for the Urbanathlon. We needed something a little sweeter, something a child would crave after running around on the playground for a good couple of hours. Mom’s freshly baked cookies! Since our moms couldn’t be there to do the trick, we were finally able to give Levain Bakery a try to see what makes them “The World’s Best Cookies”. But first, we had to get through our playground circuit. Don’t be fooled by the phrase “playground” and think this is just a simple, fun workout. Fun? It can be. Simple, anything but!

We started out our workout early, hoping to beat all the kiddos to the playground and beat the heat. Central Park was gorgeous, absolutely stunning as the sun started to peek through the trees revealing the first glimpse of fall painting over the city. We started out with a 2 mile run and then headed to the park for another 45 minute sweat sesh.

6028playground_swing

Go through each circuit 3 times. If you do this with a partner, have one person run while the other person performs the circuit and then switch. As we were finishing, a little girl came with her dad and wanted to join in on our workout, but not before asking CeCe why she was all wet. It was definitely one of those “did you just get out of the shower, or have a really vigorous workout?” An exercise like this should definitely be followed by rewarding yourself with cookies or your treat of choice!

With the humidity, neither of us were craving something super sweet, especially at 9:00 in the morning. We decided to still go get our cookies and at least take them home.  Of course we had to try their signature cookie, chocolate walnut and chose the oatmeal raisin cookie as well. It’s funny because you wouldn’t think a world famous cookie would be tucked away in a little tiny basement café. The verdict? We both loved the oatmeal raisin the best as the chocolate one had just a little too many chips for our liking. I know, weird! I took mine back to my  apartment and froze it so it would keep longer. Later in the day I had worked up an appetite though and thought I’d try a bite of it. Because it was so moist on the inside, it tasted AMAZING frozen. Kind of like an ice cream sandwich. YUM! That’s going to be self control at its finest since the bakery is literally a 2 minute walk from my apartment.

LevainBakeryCircuitWorkout

While on the topic of cookies, I’ve been obsessed with putting pumpkin in everything lately. I do believe pumpkin has replaced my watermelon addiction. It goes in my oatmeal, protein bars, smoothies, cookies, I even want to try a pizza recipe with it. Like I said, slightly obsessed. Good thing pumpkins provide many health benefits including being a mood booster, rich in potassium, heart healthy, good for the skin, and strengthen the immune system.

pumpkinspiceoatmealcookiesDirections: Combine the dry ingredients first. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients and then mix the dry and wet ingredients together. Refrigerate for about an hour, then preheat the oven to 375. Roll into small 1/4 cup sizes and bake for 10-14 minutes, depending on your oven’s power. Then, turn up your favorite feel good song (mine was The Proclaimer’s- I’m Gonna Be {500 Miles}) and get ready for your whole home to fill with the smell of fall goodness!

What’s your favorite part about the beginning of fall?

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