Autumn Grilled Banana Sandwich

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You may now wipe the drool from your keyboard!


This is definitely my new favorite pumpkin recipe!  And it’s hopefully going to fuel me through a day of house hunting with the mother-in-law.


Autumn Grilled Banana Sandwich


Ingredients (for 1 serving):


2 eggs, beaten

  • Two pieces of whole wheat bread
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of crushed pecans




  • Grease and heat frying pan.
  • Make basic French bread by dredging the toast in eggs and placing on grilled.
  • Meanwhile, slice the banana and place on griddle to cook.
  • While the toast and banana cooks, mix pumpkin, chia seeds, honey, and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
  • Once toast has finished cooking, remove from heat and put bananas in between slices.  Top with pumpkin mix and pecans.
  • Drool.


I think the key to really amazing French toast is using really amazing bread. 🙂


I really liked the addition of pumpkin on top of my favorite breakfast.  Autumn, here we come!



Fun E-mail of the Morning


Maria wrote, “I have been following your blog and Operation Beautiful for a few months now. On post you did in July, announcing your decision to sign up for another marathon, I commented: "As someone so new to running that even 3 miles mildly freaks them out, I am so inspired by your courage to run another marathon – even knowing that you didn’t have the absolute best experience the first time around. I can’t wait to read every detail of your training plan. I almost signed up for my first 5K race yesterday, hesitated, but now I am most certainly going to do it!"  Your reply was, "Do it! What are you waiting for? Life is for living!"  So I did. 


I raced my very first race on Saturday, a 5K. Back in July, as I stated, 3 miles, seemed like "marathon" to me. But I dug down deep and realized that this was something I really wanted to do.

Maria 5K (57 of 77)

I trained, faced some injuries and frustrations along the way, and I finally raced. And guess what? I placed 2nd in my age group. I came in at 29:24 – a PR that ranked me 23rd out of 67 runners. And to think that I never would have experienced this bit of living if you hadn’t encouraged me to do so! Life IS worth living and I’m happy to say that I feel like I’m finally FULLY living it.”


Quote of the day:  “What lies behind me does not define me.”  ~ Brendan James



  • Holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 21, 2010, 8:37 am

    Caitlin I love your sandwich!

    And woohoo for Maria! I am so happy for you for finishing the race and coming in 2nd in your age group! That is wonderful!

    Sometimes all we need is a little bit of encouragement!

  • Gracie @ Girl Meets Health September 21, 2010, 8:45 am

    You are KILLING me with that breakfast!!! In the best possible sense.

    • Christine September 21, 2010, 9:18 am

      Totally! That looks good enough for dessert!

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) September 21, 2010, 8:45 am

    Aw, I love Maria!! Good for her!! I’ll be following in her footsteps soon with my first 5k

    & Wa-Hoo for pumpkin! PS- I like house #1 from yesterday 🙂

  • yummiee cupcake September 21, 2010, 8:50 am

    congratulations on completing your first 5k, maria!!

  • Heidi - apples under my bed September 21, 2010, 8:53 am

    wow – amazing breakfast. drool indeed 🙂
    p.s. well done Maria!
    Heidi xo

    • Kristy @ September 21, 2010, 8:55 am

      Oh, now you’ve done it! That breakfast looks incredible! 🙂

      Yeah, Maria! Congrats and keep it up, girl!

  • Kamaile September 21, 2010, 8:54 am

    Maria you are awesome! That is a great first 5K time!

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans September 21, 2010, 9:02 am

    I read Oh Healthy Day daily and I am so proud of Maria. I am really glad she overcame her doubts and did this because she has proven not only that she’s a runner but a pretty darn quick one! Great job Maria 🙂 Can’t wait to read all about your next race….

  • JenATX September 21, 2010, 9:04 am

    you reminded me of Barefoot Contessa with that line about the key to amazing french toast being amazing french bread.. totally sounds like something she would say!

  • Freya (Brit Chick Runs) September 21, 2010, 9:06 am

    What an amazing looking breakfast!!
    And congrats to Maria, that’s a huge achievement 🙂
    Good luck today!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman September 21, 2010, 9:06 am

    Wow, that looks so good. And super filling, too. I need to start loading up my French toast with warm fruit.

  • Sarah September 21, 2010, 9:08 am

    Yay, Maria! I just had a conversation with my husband on Sunday when I realized I’d been believing lies I learned during childhood. Eventually, I said,”It’s silly to live according to the past, isn’t it?” Such freedom when we don’t let past (untrue) beliefs dictate our present!

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! September 21, 2010, 9:09 am

    Great Post, loves all the stories you are sharing with us now……..thank you!

    I am running my 1st 15K this Saturday and can’t wait, a year ago it wasn’t possible but now it is. Isn’t it amazing what we can do if we put our mind to it. =)

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing September 21, 2010, 9:19 am

    That is an amazing story! Just shows that you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to!

  • Joanne September 21, 2010, 9:20 am

    Great job on her first 5K. Wow! If that doesn’t spur the desire to run more.

    I thought you had a good experience with your first marathon? – your foot was painful after but you ran with your friend and I thought you really enjoyed it even though it was 30 degrees or something like that?

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 21, 2010, 9:21 am

    Way to go Maria!!

  • Emily September 21, 2010, 9:26 am

    The recipe looks delicious. Thank you so much for posting that inspiring story; I can definitely relate to feeling as if a 5k is my marathon, but I am becoming totally inspired to push beyond that!

  • Teri [a foodie stays fit] September 21, 2010, 9:27 am

    um WOW. That looks amazing! I think I now have a reason to open my first can of pumpkin for the season.

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet September 21, 2010, 9:28 am

    wow love that breakfast!

  • Stacey September 21, 2010, 9:30 am

    Aw 🙂 What a great story. I’m really proud of her for going through with her first 5k. The first one always seems scary! What a great surprise to herself when she placed! You go girl 😀

  • allison @ thesundayflog September 21, 2010, 9:30 am

    ohhhhhhh myyyyyy godddd. im dying. can i rewind and go back to breakfast so i can have this???

  • Kristina @ spabettie September 21, 2010, 9:36 am

    YES – bread is KEY to a great french toast… I agree… however, if you made THIS with, oh, an old running shoe it’d still look good 😀 😀

  • Allie (Frisky Lemon) September 21, 2010, 9:40 am

    That. Looks. Phenomenal. I kind of want it right now…You’re so creative with the breakfast foods!

    Congrats Maria!!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 21, 2010, 9:45 am

    OMG you’re killing me, I want that sandwich now! Congrats Maria, that’s an amazing result and you should be so proud of yourself!

  • Lauren September 21, 2010, 9:48 am

    That breakfast looks absolutely amazing! I’m seriously hungry all over again. I love how creative you are with your breakfasts. It inspires me to branch away from my standard bowl of oats 🙂

    And I just read through your marathon training post and I think it’s very exciting! You seem to have a great base already, and I totally think you can be ready for the marathon in 6 weeks. Good luck with the rest of your training. I’m looking forward to seeing how both of your races go!!

    And congratulations Maria! You should be extremely proud!!

  • Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) September 21, 2010, 9:48 am

    Oh my gosh, that looks like the most amazing breakfast! If I ever find pumpkin here maybe I can try it! =)

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) September 21, 2010, 9:48 am

    Now that is the way to start the day! YUM!

  • Dori September 21, 2010, 9:52 am

    This is most certainly your best recipe ever of all time. I WILL be making this one.

  • Kathryn @ Foodies Not Fatties September 21, 2010, 9:52 am

    That sandwich looks delicious! It kind of remins me of pumpkin pie between 2 slices of bread! I think I may try a version of this with sweet potatoes! Yummo!

  • Natalia - a side of simple September 21, 2010, 9:56 am

    Oh Yum!! Thanks for this wonderful concoction, Caitlin.

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef September 21, 2010, 9:57 am

    wow! amazing breakfast. i want pumpkin! i’ve looked 5 places and haven’t found it yet- but i have heard that my town does have some… so keep your fingers crossed for me today! 🙂 and way to go, maria!

  • Kelly September 21, 2010, 10:00 am

    Aww I am totally in the same boat as Maria! You, and other bloggers like you, have totally inspired me that I can do it! I am training for my first 5k and just ran 2 miles for the first time today and it didn’t seem that bad!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie September 21, 2010, 10:02 am

    Whoa that’s awesome! I remember my first 5K and how empowering it was. It totally changed my life!

  • Kelly September 21, 2010, 10:06 am

    Aw what a great email! Good luck house hunting today!

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day September 21, 2010, 10:11 am

    Oh wow! I didn’t think my email would reach you 🙂 So glad that my humble little story is inspiring others to start racing! Pretty sure that if I can do it, anyone can!

    The best part about this recipe: Looks fancy, but is super easy and well, it contains pumpkin!

    • Amber K September 21, 2010, 10:37 am

      Congratulations Maria!! That is so cool! And definitely inspiring. 🙂

  • Jami @ Runner In The Baking September 21, 2010, 10:16 am

    I saw this and thought of you.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) September 21, 2010, 10:24 am

    i saw a shirt this weekend that i think you and Krisien need to make – it said “Sticking it to the man, one needle at a time” and it was an acupuncture clinic shirt! totally thought of you guys when i saw that one 🙂

  • Courtney September 21, 2010, 10:27 am

    Where do you get Chia Seeds? That looks so good but I dont have bananas this morning.

    • Caitlin September 21, 2010, 9:28 pm

      i got mine at whole foods! you can buy them online too

  • Maren September 21, 2010, 10:27 am

    What a great story! and wow… you were right about the drool on my keyboard. that looks soooo yummy!!

  • Angela September 21, 2010, 10:30 am

    Yum! That pumpkin topping looks awesome. I just bought pumpkin butter and its pretty good, but I think I’d prefer to make my own. The chia seeds would probably do a nice job of thickening it up.

    I love Maria’s story. Its so inspirational reading about people new to running, especially because I still consider myself new to running. She has a great attitude – thanks for sharing!

  • Amber K September 21, 2010, 10:36 am

    That sandwich looks soo good! Totally wish I’d had something like that for breakfast. Something in mine must have gone bad, because it just tasted weird. And I just had the same thing the day before yesterday and it tasted fine!

  • Chelsea at Striking Balance September 21, 2010, 10:39 am

    That breakfast looks to die for! So many good breakfasts around blog world today!! Yum!

  • mac September 21, 2010, 10:50 am

    You keep talking about these grilled banana things! I’m going to have to try it. Isn’t it nice to be inspiring to other?

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter September 21, 2010, 10:52 am

    What a great story! It’s unbelievable to me that I can run 3 miles as well.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg September 21, 2010, 10:59 am

    Ahhh, this breakfast is so beautiful!!! Talk about getting a good start on the day!

  • Val @ Balancing Val September 21, 2010, 11:09 am

    How in the world did you grill those bananas so well? Secrets please 🙂

    • Caitlin September 21, 2010, 9:27 pm

      grease the pan a lot and don’t move them except to flip!

  • Wei-Wei September 21, 2010, 11:15 am

    That is the most beautiful breakfast. Ever.

  • Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice September 21, 2010, 11:18 am

    I’m having a hard time keeping up with all your pumpkin recipes that I want to try. This one really looks amazing. I DID have to wipe my drool off the keyboard 😉

  • Nicole, RD September 21, 2010, 11:19 am

    What an awesome email! And that breakfast…oh my gosh! YUM! You guys are always moving…I could’ve sworn you just moved in to a new place 😉 But a house…how exciting! GL!

  • Jess @ atasteofconfidence September 21, 2010, 11:23 am

    that looks delicious!

  • Erika MC September 21, 2010, 11:26 am

    So proud of Maria! I stocked up on pumpkin this weekend so I’m ready to start cooking/baking! One question that has nothing to do with this post: I recently started going yoga. I don’t really know all the different types of yoga and what type is best for me. I’m also a runner so I was looking for something to counter balance with that. Suggestions?

    • Caitlin September 21, 2010, 9:27 pm

      i think hot vinyasa is the best because its cardio based so it will help you with running both for stretching and cardio 🙂

  • Camille September 21, 2010, 11:27 am

    Go Maria!
    See Caitlin, you are a giant inspiration! 🙂

  • Teacherwoman September 21, 2010, 11:55 am

    So drooling after reading that. MUST TRY IT MYSELF!

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) September 21, 2010, 11:56 am

    I think the key to every great tasting dish is great tasting ingredients. If everything tastes good before it goes it… the results are always fabulous.

    Your first picture is making me want to give ‘sweet breakfasts’ a try again. Serious.

  • Sarah for Real September 21, 2010, 11:57 am

    That is so inspiring because I’m running my first 5k this Saturday! It feels like a marathon to me too. Only about 30 minutes I keep telling myself. I had a dream last night that I couldn’t find the race site!

  • faith @ gracefulfitness September 21, 2010, 12:03 pm

    yes, indeed, that breakfast looks UNBELIEVABLE! thanks for another great recipe.

  • Victoria September 21, 2010, 12:04 pm

    Congrats Maria! I also just recently ran my first 2 5K’s in a matter of 2 weeks. My first one was on Sept 11, I finished 23rd overall and 5th in my age group with a time of 25:24. Then, on Sept 19, I ran another 5K, and totally blew myself away. I finished 56th out of about 300 people, I finished 7th in my age group and set a PR of 22:33. That’s almost 3 minutes better then a week before! And I really have your blog and Operation Beautiful to thank. =) So, thanks! BTW- I did slightly drool when I saw that breakfast.

  • Jaclyn September 21, 2010, 12:24 pm

    Yum that looks amazing 😀

  • Tina September 21, 2010, 12:29 pm

    Congrats to Maria! She’s an awesome chick. 🙂

    And that sandwich looks phenomenal. Now that I FINALLY have pumpkin in my possession I just may have to recreate it.

  • Whitney September 21, 2010, 12:31 pm

    Hi Caitlin! This is totally unrelated to your post, but I ran across a recipe for Roasted Parsnip and Apple Soup ( which sounded like something you would love (and perfect for fall!).

    Have a great day!

    • Caitlin September 21, 2010, 9:26 pm

      oh that sounds good!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 21, 2010, 12:42 pm

    oh my goodness – that sandwich looks amazing.

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine September 21, 2010, 12:54 pm

    Looks. So. Good. Pumpkin has been popping up EVERYWHERE lately- good thing I’m making a grocery run this afternoon. Hope they have pumpkin!

  • Lisa September 21, 2010, 1:21 pm

    That sandwich looks INTENSE. Dang I need to try making it!

  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black September 21, 2010, 1:39 pm

    This looks great!

  • Carolyn @ lovinlosing September 21, 2010, 2:54 pm

    Congrats, Maria!! I remember being so proud when I completed my first 5K without stopping! 🙂 I have my 6th 5K this Friday (an evening race) and my 7th scheduled for next month followed by my 2nd 10K.

  • zestycook September 21, 2010, 3:19 pm

    SO Caitlin, I was surfing your blog as I usually do and then I came across the title in this post… and well loved it! The sandwich looks brilliant and amazing!


  • virginia September 21, 2010, 4:54 pm

    :O sweet baby jesus, that sandwich looks SO good! And yes, it’s amazing how much of a difference good bread makes in french toast!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) September 21, 2010, 5:23 pm

    I need to make this breakfast….STAT!!!

  • Faith A September 21, 2010, 6:46 pm

    I can’t wait to try that recipe…I was just thinking about other ways to use up my ginormous can of Libby’s other than pie or oats. 😉 Perfecto!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 21, 2010, 6:57 pm

    Aww yay, way to go Maria! Not only did you run your first 5K, but you killed it! You should be super proud. 😀

  • Shelley September 21, 2010, 11:41 pm

    Awesome work Maria!

    I love today’s quote too I may just use it for some much needed motivation.

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