HAVE A CYCLING FRIENDLY HALLOWEEN
There’s nothing quite so scary to me as Halloween. Huddling in the house with the lights off, hoping and praying no kids knock on the door–dreading the influx of candy and the outflux of my waistline.
But, alas, now that I’m a parent, I’ve given in to the whole Halloween scene . . . although I still do try and funnel the candy out of my house before it can cause dozens of hyper-active laps around the living room–and I try to keep my kids calm too.
Since many of us are trying to avoid putting on extra poundage over these food-related holidays, I thought I’d share a few things to help build your energy on the bike. These extra energy foods for your next training ride (or run or swim) are made from pumpkins and pumpkin seeds, and all the stuff you’ll have left over from Halloween pumpkin carving.
Cycling & Triathlon Pumpkin Carving Stencils
Here’s perhaps the most popular bike stencil I’ve seen around, as originally posted by GamJams. Click the image to the left to link to the GamJams original stencil. I think this one is pretty cool–flames or no flames.
OK, so I saw this and thought, “That’s nothing. I can totally make one of those stencils.” Well, I think I realized why there are very limited options for bike related pumpkin carvings online.
I think a tongue-in-cheek “Nailed it!” is in order here. Take a look at what I came up with, have a hearty laugh, and try to carve this if you feel like ruining a pumpkin:
If any of you do try this, or you fix it, let me know. I’ll be interested in seeing how I ruined your Halloween experience this year.
LifeHack Has the Answers
Of course, if you’re feeling adventurous, LifeHack has some great ideas for creating your own, intricate carvings. And yes, they give you more info than you ever thought you’d need, but if you want the ultimate pumpkin experience, check out their post.
Use The Pumpkin Guts for Cycling Energy Bars & Snacks
Starting with the seeds . . . probably an obvious one here, but a great idea nonetheless. For a simple snack that you can actually take on the bike (which I’ve done before, and they’re kind of nice when you want something to chew on a less intense but longish ride) or simply snack on in place of all that candy your kid dragged home. Here’s a pretty simple way to toast them:
- Make sure to wash all the guts from the seeds. The cleaner the better.
- Spread them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with your favorite seasoning. I go with sea salt–a good thing if you lose a lot of salt when you’re exercising.
- Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or so to desired toastedness.
These little seeds have some great vitamins, minerals, Omega 3s, and other good things that will help keep you feeling great.
Pumpkin Energy Bars
I also came across a great recipe for energy bars by Dan at The Health Nut. This uses the seeds mainly, but you can also use the pumpkin guts (I don’t actually know what that stuff is called) as well.
He equates them to Clif Bars minus the super sweetness, so if you’re a fan of sweeter bars this may not be for you. I tried these, and, while they’re great for energy, I do find myself wanting a bit more sugar. But that’s just me.
Finally, here’s another recipe by Christal at The Nutritionist in the Kitchen who serves up energy bars using the pumpkin puree that you might otherwise just toss in the garbage can. The coolest thing about this recipe? It’s got the option for protein!
And you know how we like to add protein to stuff. Check out her recipe, and let me know what you think. Sweet enough? These work great for packing up and sticking in a jersey pocket. Plus, you’ll feel a little better about ruining that pumpkin with my stencil, right?
SHARE YOUR HALLOWEEN CREATIONS
Hey, if you’ve taken the pumpkin carving challenge, or you’ve made some energy bars, snap a picture and share it with us!