Tag Archives: food

Buttercup Squash Soup

Hey guys,

So I’ve not posted here in a while but I have been busy. I was, sadly, laid off from my job a month ago, but have been using my time wisely. I’ve been heading to the gym a few days every week, working out at home, making lots of healthier meals, and possibly getting a contract that may allow me to start my own business.

I’ve done enough work with the gym and such that I’ve been able to lose 1 inch off my waist and 3/4 of an inch off my bust… it’s not much but it’s a step in the right direction.

I’ve been watching The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp episodes too for inspiration and exercize ideas. This show is super inspirational to me and I really get the urge to exercize after watching it.

Today I was in the grocery store and I was trying to think of something to make for quick grab lunches, since I’m usually cleaning the house or gardening around lunchtime and don’t really want to stop and make anything big. I’m also very picky, I don’t really like sandwiches, and I need to be in the right mood for a salad.

Then I saw the Buttercup squash. I’ve had Butternut squash before, but not Buttercup, so I figured I’d pick it up and make a soup out of it. I found a simple recipe online and went from there. I added in some extra spices, and some red lentils, and goodness this is SO good!

It’s not vegan because of the cream cheese, but all things considered, I don’t think you’d necessarily need it. Next time I may just leave it out. I don’t have a picture yet, but I’ll add one tomorrow when I have my lunch.

Buttercup Squash Soup

-6 T onions chopped
-2 cloves garlic diced
-2 T olive oil
-6 Cups Buttercup Squash peeled and chopped
-1 1/2 Cups red lentils rinsed and sorted
-4 Cups vegetable broth
-1 tsp marjoram
-1/4 tsp seasoning salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 T curry powder
-4 oz cream cheese

Saute onions and garlic with oil until softened. Add squash, lentils, broth and spices. Bring to boil and continue to cook 25 minutes, or until squash has softened, stirring occasionally. Place in blender, in batches, and puree with cream cheese until smooth. Place back in pot and heat through, do NOT boil.

Serves 10

I was able to figure out the nutritional info:

I need to figure out how to properly peel and cut up a squash because it took me about an hour just to do that… which could also be because I have pretty bad knives. The next time I make this I’ll probably leave out the cream cheese as stated before, and also use only 2 cups of broth and 2 cups of water to cut down on the sodium.

I ate a serving of this with a Tablespoon of sunflower seeds mixed in and it was heavenly.

I may have a new vice…

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More Pressure Needed

This weekend was my first anniversary. It got me thinking a lot. Last year at this time I was sitting in Hawaii, relieved because I didn’t need to worry about my weight any more. My dress fit (mostly) and I could stop restricting my diet in hopes of dropping those last few pounds.

To put it bluntly, I was an unhealthy dieter, as so many women are.

I decided that my best way to lose weight was to just eat subway subs, following the subway diet, I mean, it worked wonders for others, it would work for me. I watched Biggest Loser, I read diet books… but I didn’t use my head.

All things considered, I am not fat, I’m 160 lbs and 5’6″, I’m bigger than what “beautiful” is right now, but I’m comfortable in my skin, I’m proud of who I am, and I’m sick of feeling like I need to adhere to society’s ideal. Every woman is different and I’m trying to keep that in mind as I go through my day.

That being said, I have some issues that need to be dealt with.

My husband and I went away for the weekend. We pointed our car North and kept driving until we got to where we thought was good (it eneded up being 10 hours of driving each way). I have to say, the side view mirrors in cars are VERY unflattering. In any other mirror I don’t mind my face, but in those mirrors I have the double chin to end all double chins!

I took some stock of my life, where I am now compared to where I was a year ago. I haven’t gone up in weight, however I still have way too high of a body fat percentage.

I’m supposed to be at 20%, I’m sitting at around 35%, which is down from the 37.5% that I was at in November, which means I’m making some good steps forward, but I have to keep going.

Taking stock of my life I realize that I eat WAY too much fried foods, rich foods, snacky foods. I need to make better choices, and in order to do that I need to educate myself. I need to learn about good foods that I can snack on that don’t involve gallons of vegetable oil and pounds of salt.

I need to add more green, and maybe some orange and yellow to my diet. I was doing good at this last summer, but over the winter it dropped off. Now that the nice weather is back, I can start walking down to the grocery store and stocking my desk up with fruits and healthy snacks.

I’m also trying to work on my exercize. I used to think that in order to make my body look more the way I want to I needed to strength train. I’ve been educating myself here too, and I’ve realized that for the most part I’m pretty strong already (need to work on my upper body but it’ll come). What I really need to do is cardio, I need to work off this layer of fat that I’ve got and help it slim up.

I don’t want to become skinny though, I’m happy with the shape of my body, however I’m concerned with my health. My family history has a frighteningly long list of health issues, and a lot of them stem from weight. The majority of my family, including both parents, have weight issues, and I’m trying to break the mold with this.

I’m trying to go jogging, or for walks at least, on my lunch. I’m making a point of heading to the gym on Saturday mornings at least, with the reward of going knitting afterwards. I figure I’ll work on my cardio as I have time throughout the week, and I’ll work on my strength training, with some cardio, on Saturdays.

I’ve also started up my SparkPeople account again. I’m tracking my food and I’m going to be reading a bunch of the articles on there to learn about healthier options for foods. I know about dried fruits and things like that, but I want to delve deeper and start making a good life change.

For starters, I need to eat more than just Cheerios and Milk for breakfast, add some cheese… a banana and apple, it might be a good breakfast… I just need to balance out my meals.

Oh… and I definitely need to skip the snack machine.

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Status Update

Went to the gym last night, and I’m working on making healthier meals at home which include more beans and legumes and rice.

Last night we had chicken with seasoning salt, oregano and lemon juice squeezed over top, then roasted in the oven till just done. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to make the rice, so I made instant mashed potatoes (not that healthy, but better than just chicken and peas….) Tonight I’m making a hamburger meal with salsa, carrots, onions and navy beans mixed together, served over rice.

Trying very hard to not snack… snacking is my bane!!! I love chips and chocolate and the snack machines at work are $0.50 for ANYTHING!!! So I’ve stopped having change on me and started bringing berries with me to work to snack on.

The good thing is that I’m not putting on any weight, the bad thing is, I’m not losing any weight. I’m hoping to go to the gym later this week to do some cardio on the treadmill (and get my weekly tv watching in… I love TV but we don’t have cable at home, so I go to the gym to watch it… especially the food network… mmmmmm).

Probably my biggest issue with food though is my LOVE of processed foods… I was raised on Mac & Cheese, Hotdogs, frozen dinners and such, or the cheapest real food my mom could buy (a normal dinner would be dry hamburger, peas and instant rice… not the healthiest or yummiest meals out there). I have been hankering for Kraft Dinner SO MUCH lately, especially the white cheddar kind… ugh. It’s so hard…

Maybe I’ll try and make a healthier version.. I found a recipe for home made vegan mac and cheese that uses nutritional yeast and butternut squash in the sauce…

To top it all off, I’m trying to cut back my gluten intake, not cut it out entirely (not sure I could do that) but at least not eat white pasta, white bread, things like that. I’ll have pitas, or eat things with wheat sometimes, but I’m trying to really cut back on all the breads I’ve been eating. Working on filling that part of my diet with healthier grains like quinoa, red rice, and spelt. We’ll see how well I do.

I feel pretty much fine with my body all things considered, but I’ve had my fat % checked at the gym and I’m sitting at around 37 % which is almost double where I’m supposed to be, so that’s what I’m working on now more than losing weight.

So I need to hit the gym more, do some more cardio, work off these fat stores that I’ve built up and just keep on keeping on.

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Dessert for breakfast – the healthy way

One of my favourite food blogs to haunt is Oh She Glows. Ange makes some of the most delicious looking recipes ever!!! Every post is something new, something droolworthy, and to top it off, she’s showing me new blogs to watch with her Vegan Recipe Link Love, I don’t know if my poor blog reader can handel the strain!

Not long ago, Ange tried to make a recipe with kasha, that flopped. I have had similar experiences with kasha, and when I wrote to Ange, asking her if she had any kasha recipes, she replied that this was her first time trying it.

Today, while I was pondering breakfast, I was (not surprisingly) flitting through Oh She Glows, drooling over the sweet potato oatmeal she made. Using these two meals as inspiration, I decided to see what I could come up with that involved Kasha, and could have dark chocolate chips on it. An added plus, before I put milk on it, it’s completely vegan, which doesn’t happen often with my breakfasts.

The results were delicious!!

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal with Kasha

1/2 c Kasha
1/2 c Oatmeal
2 c water
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 banana
handful of dark chocolate chips

Bring water and salt to a boil. Rinse kasha well, then add with oatmeal, chia seeds and cinnamon to water. Turn heat to medium. Allow to simmer until thickened. Slice banana on top and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

I ate it with some milk on top and a side of green tea, it was delicious!

 

I also decided to play around with flavours as I had a can of cranberry sauce in the cupboard. I added about 1/4 c of cranberry sauce to the recipe, and left out the bananas and chocolate chips. It wasn’t as sweet but it was still good… I might try adding a touch of ginger with the cranberry sauce next time.

I think the main problem for me with the kasha is the texture, and by adding the oatmeal in with it, it made it less mushy. The flavour was still a bit different, but I think that’s more about getting used to something new than anything else. I’m working at trying new foods lately, different veggies, grains, and beans. I’m hoping to widen my pallet, because otherwise, I’d be eating a lot of tomato pasta, pizza, steak and potatoes and chili… and not much else.

I’ve got a taste for quinoa, I really like beans and chick peas, and I’m starting to try different fruits (dragon fruit is amazing!! but expensive…). I’m hoping by getting a wider range of foods I enjoy eating, I’ll be less bored with food and more open to making healthy choices.

Even if it takes longer to cook.

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