Tag Archives: healthy eating

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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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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A Dilemma

Yes I’m still here, and yes I’m still working on my health and I am still following Shay and trying to remember “Time and Pressure”. I have been writing stuff out but it’s on a personal blog that I keep all posts private on. It’s a place where I write things to me, for me and I don’t worry about putting myself down or saying things that may be taken wrong because no one else can see what I write.

I was going through some of my old posts, as I am wont to do so that I can see how I’ve changed, and I noticed this little list that I made up back in September. I figured I would do an update on that list to see how I’ve been at keeping up with it.

– go to bed at 10 pm

I’ve been…. so-so at keeping up with going to bed at 10… I get to bed somewhere between 10 and 11, and for the most part, it’s closer to the 10 mark. This has helped me be able to get up in the morning better, though I still feel like I need more sleep, I’m not missing the alarm as often as I used to.

– eat breakfast at home

This one is a complete success. I have been eating breakfast at home for about 95% of all mornings. Weekends are a little touch and go as to WHEN I eat my breakfast, but I have greatly decreased my “grab on the run” breakfasts, or worse, “forget to eat at all” breakfasts.

– make special lunces on the weekend

I will admit, I have not done this. This is something I hope to get into the habit of doing more often. Having something that’s in the fridge or freezer that I can just put into a bag and head off to work with is something that I really need to have. I usually eat leftovers for lunch, and my hubby is very good at making enough food for me to have at least one meal, however, there are days when we don’t have leftovers. On those days, I’m left scrambling and I usually take either an unhealthy lunch, or no lunch at all requiring me to run across to the gas station to grab something quick, cheap, and even more unhealthy.

– increase her fruit/veggie intake

This is touch and go too. I’ll do REALLY good for a month, then… it… falls off. Right now I’m doing good, I’ve been trying to eat a salad a day (whether big or small, lots of ingredients or just spinach and blackberries with sesame dressing… just something), and we have fruits and veggies in the house. This has also bumped up Hubby’s veggie intake which is always a good thing.

– do 50 crunches when she gets home from work

*Falls on the floor laughing* Did I really list that I would do this… whoops… well I think maybe that went well for 1 day, though I have been hitting the gym/wii fit more than I used to, so there is some bit that’s better there. I completely failed on the crunches part though.

– make real food snacks for everyone

Still working on this one. Basically, this is saying “I need to bake good munchies that aren’t so processed/filled with crud/at least a little healthy” because I live in a house with 2 boys who ALWAYS have the munchies, they’re growing boys, what can I say. Hubby and Roommate go through a box of cookies in 1/2 a day on the weekends if I don’t watch them and comment on it… I’ve been good at keeping fruit, yogurt, veggies, and granola in the house, but I still have to fight the cookie/chip monsters, and will continue to do so.

– harrass Hubby the night before for what tomorrow’s meal will be

Hmm not too successful on this either, but we’ve been trying to make a meal plan and stick with it. Partly because our budget can’t tolerate us eating out all the time, and partly because that way grocery shopping is much simpler. However me not reminding hubby about food for the next day has resulted in us not having meat ready and having to deviate from our plan, but we’re working on it.

– clean the kitchen right after dinner

Hmm not so successful on this one either… I’ve been trying to keep the kitchen clean more, and hubby has been very helpful with running the dishwasher, but I have been falling behind. I’m hoping to get a good amount of the dishes done tonight, and I’m pretty good at catching up mostly on the weekends. The problem is, if hubby has no room to cook, hubby doesn’t really cook… so that’s why having the kitchen clean is so very important.

Looking over that list, I think I’ve done pretty good on it all things considered… It’s been about 6 months since I wrote it and I have made some improvements in my life, even just by writing it down and working on it.

Now I have the Dilemma mentioned in my post title, and it’s this. I could never, ever be Vegan, I’m sorry, I just can’t. I love meat, cheese, yogurt and such way too much, however I do not ever claim that the obvious health benefits aren’t there.

I would love to cut down on my animal product eating, if not cut it out entirely, however the problem is the two wonderful men who live with me, one being Hubby, the other Roommate. Both of these guys do not worry about their weight (for the most part…) Hubby is a bit watchful of his, but last summer he had health issues that dropped him WAY too low in weight and is now working on getting back up to a healthy level. Roommate just doesn’t really care. This means that when one member of the household is trying to eat healthily, it is very difficult. Especially when that one person is not the main cook in the house as she is the last person to get home after work.

Now I am not belittling, or speaking against Hubby making dinner. I am HUGELY greatful that he’s willing to have dinner ready, or at least in the process of being made by the time I get home at 6:30 pm. The alternative would be to eat at 7:30-8 pm and go to bed around 10… so this way we are eating at 7 and have a bit more time after dinner. However, this does also mean that I am at the whim of the cook. I try to make meals healthier, this last Monday we had Spaghetti, and I was able to add onions and red peppers to the sauce. I also made  a salad. However, there are other meals that aren’t so healthy, that I can’t really change (Breakfast for dinner being one, eggs, steak, hashbrowns… I try to add fruit, but if I don’t have any in the house I’m kind of stuck).

Now there’s another issue as well, price. I know that right now, it’s not financially feasible for me to go Vegan. At least not while keeping a fully balanced diet. You have to admit that a lot of the alternative stuff out there (almond/soy milk, earth balance butter substitute, wheat grass) is all pretty expensive. So I know that if I was willing to give up meat, milk, eggs and such entirely, I would either go further into debt, or be missing a lot as far as getting all my nutrients and vitamins.

That being said, I have been massively drooling over the recipe posts that Ange over at Oh She Glows has been putting up. I think I’m going to need to make sure that my kitchen is clean so that I can go through those recipes and get my freezer stocked.

At the top of my list is:

Super Veggie Lentil Taco Meat by Ordinary Vegetarian (I’m a huge fan of Taco Salads)
Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes by Eating Bird Food (Travel Sized!!)
Baked Sweet Potato Falafel by Bran Appetit (Falafel Pita’s are my favourite!!)
Quinoa Pizza Balls by Newlywed, Newly Veg (SERIOUSLY must make these!!!)

I’m going to add one thing to my list that I did in September, and maybe in 6 months or so I’ll come back and see how I’m doing again.

I’m going to try and make at least half of my lunches every week Vegetarian/Vegan, this may not seem like a big deal, but for me it is. I eat a lot of very processed foods, though I am better than I used to be, and I need to work on cutting that out.

I know there’s probably no one who reads this, but if you have any favourite Vegetarian/Vegan recipes that freeze well, please let me know in the comments, and until next time, I’m going to be stalking Oh She Glows for more delicious recipes!

Oh, and another thing that makes things difficult for me to change my diet… I’m a very picky eater. I’m finally getting to the point where I’ll eat black olives, but it’s taken a while… maybe I can eventually get myself to like avocados in something more than guacamole….


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