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Get Back on a Healthy Track with Jack This Halloween

By HERWriter
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take a healthy track with Halloween's Jack Auremar/PhotoSpin

Halloween is not just about candy, it is also about Jack -- Jack O’Lantern that is. The tradition of carving a Jack O’Lantern came to America from Ireland. Since Ireland had no pumpkins, on All Hallow’s Eve, Irish Celts carved turnips and put burning coals in them in order to ward off evil spirits.

When you grab your knife for a creative carving, make sure you take full advantage of Jack's healthy insides. The health benefits of pumpkins are numerous. Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber, since it has three grams of fiber per one-cup serving. Pumpkin also only has four calories, so you'll stay full longer on a low number of calories.

The Huffington Post said that pumpkin can help after a hard workout. Its potassium content helps the body to restore its electrolyte balance and to keep muscles at peak efficiency.

Below are some of my favorite original pumpkin recipes:


2 cups of pumpkin puree
½ cup of stevia powder
½ cup of raw brown sugar
½ tsp. of vanilla
½ tsp. of cinnamon
½ tsp. of nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 cup of Greek yogurt
½ cup of almond milk

Combine all ingredients together in mixing bowl and fill pie crust.

Pie Crust
1 cup of ground almonds, mixed with 2 tbsp. melted butter and raw brown sugar. Press firmly into pie plate.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.


2 tbsp. of almond milk
2 tbsp. of canned pumpkin or pureed pumpkin
1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder
2 tbsp. of mascarpone cheese
4 tbsp. of light whipped topping
4 tbsp. gluten-free ginger snaps crumbled
1 tsp. of stevia powder

Mix milk, pumpkin, whey, and half the stevia powder. Set aside.

In separate bowl, mix cheese, whipped topping and the other half of the stevia powder. Fill dessert cups with alternating layers of pudding mixture, graham cracker crumbs and cheese mixture.


1 cup milk of choice (almond, coconut, rice, hemp or non-fat)
1 scoop vanilla whey
1 tbsp. of canned pumpkin or pureed pumpkin

Blend in blender until smooth.


1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp. organic butter, melted
2 cans chicken broth, diluted
2 cups of pumpkin puree, cooked
½ cup of raw brown sugar
½ tsp. of vanilla
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup of Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl combine pumpkin, yogurt and all seasonings. Mix together with soup broth.

Chop onion extra fine and sauté in pot with melted butter. Let simmer until savory and almost boiling.


“History of Jack O’Lantern – Pumpkinnook.com.” Pumpkin Nook. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

“Health Benefits of Pumpkin – HuffingtonPost.com.” The Huffington Post. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist and Publicist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.

Joanne's fitness plans, recipes and lifestyle advice are available globally on her website www.happiwoman.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and son, where she runs her fitness and publicity business, Fitness Answer, LLC.

Reviewed October 29, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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