Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli, Sundried Tomatoes, and Shallots
(First off: it’s really hard to make what is essentially a pile of sauteed veggies look aesthetically appealing.)
Okay! First recipe from this week’s menu. If you’ve never had spaghetti squash before, let me be the first to introduce you to this magical vegetable. When it’s cooked, its flesh comes apart in thin noodle-like strands. It also has a faint sweet taste and takes on other flavors well, making it a perfect vehicle for other veggies, sauces, and seasonings! This meal is a GREAT way to get your veggies in without that ugh-shoveling-yet-another-salad-down feeling (not to dis salads!). It’s warm, flavorful, and has so many textures going on, not to mention it comes together in about 15 minutes.


Small spaghetti squash
Sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil
Broccoli
Shallots
Pesto
Spices: sea salt, pepper, garlic powder (not shown)

First you’re going to hack the spaghetti squash in half length-ways. When I say hack, I mean it. Spaghetti squashes are notoriously difficult to cut. BE CAREFUL. That said, if my dollar store knife can cut through one, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem. Once it’s cut, take one half and place it upside down in a small, microwavable casserole dish. Add water to about an inch high and poke holes in the squash as air vents. Microwave about 6-8 minutes, checking to see if a fork can easily go through the flesh. Mine took 7 minutes.

While the squash is microwaving, chop one head of broccoli into bite-sized pieces, about a cup total. Add it to a skillet with a couple tablespoons sundried tomatoes and quarter cup water. Season with salt and pepper and let steam for a couple minutes until the water is absorbed.


Go ahead a dice half a shallot and add to the skillet, along with a tablespoon pesto and another spoonful of water. Cook on low.


Meanwhile, take your cooked spaghetti squash, scrape out the seeds, and use a fork to scrape the strands of squash from the skin. I had a scant two cups of cooked flesh. Add this to the skillet with another spoonful of water on medium and saute. Season with spices (I added a lot of garlic powder—I’m Italian after all!) and add two more tablespoons pesto. Cook until hot and serve up!

This is HUGELY flexible. Add diced, cooked chicken breast or crumbled bacon if you want meat, serve with Parmesan, or make vegetarian/vegan by using a pesto without the Parm. But I can tell you right now it is super filling and so tasty as is!
Per serving (whole recipe, about 2 cups total): 342 calories; 21 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated), 4 milligrams cholesterol, 433 milligrams sodium, 34 grams carbs (8 grams fiber, 12 grams sugar), 9 grams protein. Vitamin A: 35% Vitamin C: 160% Calcium: 18% Iron: 15% 
Note: the high fat count in this recipe comes primarily from the pesto. If you’d like to reduce it, use less pesto and add in dry herbs and garlic powder.

Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli, Sundried Tomatoes, and Shallots

(First off: it’s really hard to make what is essentially a pile of sauteed veggies look aesthetically appealing.)

Okay! First recipe from this week’s menu. If you’ve never had spaghetti squash before, let me be the first to introduce you to this magical vegetable. When it’s cooked, its flesh comes apart in thin noodle-like strands. It also has a faint sweet taste and takes on other flavors well, making it a perfect vehicle for other veggies, sauces, and seasonings! This meal is a GREAT way to get your veggies in without that ugh-shoveling-yet-another-salad-down feeling (not to dis salads!). It’s warm, flavorful, and has so many textures going on, not to mention it comes together in about 15 minutes.

Small spaghetti squash

Sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil

Broccoli

Shallots

Pesto

Spices: sea salt, pepper, garlic powder (not shown)

First you’re going to hack the spaghetti squash in half length-ways. When I say hack, I mean it. Spaghetti squashes are notoriously difficult to cut. BE CAREFUL. That said, if my dollar store knife can cut through one, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem. Once it’s cut, take one half and place it upside down in a small, microwavable casserole dish. Add water to about an inch high and poke holes in the squash as air vents. Microwave about 6-8 minutes, checking to see if a fork can easily go through the flesh. Mine took 7 minutes.

While the squash is microwaving, chop one head of broccoli into bite-sized pieces, about a cup total. Add it to a skillet with a couple tablespoons sundried tomatoes and quarter cup water. Season with salt and pepper and let steam for a couple minutes until the water is absorbed.

Go ahead a dice half a shallot and add to the skillet, along with a tablespoon pesto and another spoonful of water. Cook on low.

Meanwhile, take your cooked spaghetti squash, scrape out the seeds, and use a fork to scrape the strands of squash from the skin. I had a scant two cups of cooked flesh. Add this to the skillet with another spoonful of water on medium and saute. Season with spices (I added a lot of garlic powder—I’m Italian after all!) and add two more tablespoons pesto. Cook until hot and serve up!

This is HUGELY flexible. Add diced, cooked chicken breast or crumbled bacon if you want meat, serve with Parmesan, or make vegetarian/vegan by using a pesto without the Parm. But I can tell you right now it is super filling and so tasty as is!

Per serving (whole recipe, about 2 cups total): 342 calories; 21 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated), 4 milligrams cholesterol, 433 milligrams sodium, 34 grams carbs (8 grams fiber, 12 grams sugar), 9 grams protein. Vitamin A: 35% Vitamin C: 160% Calcium: 18% Iron: 15% 

Note: the high fat count in this recipe comes primarily from the pesto. If you’d like to reduce it, use less pesto and add in dry herbs and garlic powder.

It’s not very often that I plan out my meals in advance—not these days, anyway. I used to do so quite obsessively on the verge of compulsively, but that was a few years ago. Now I only make up menus when I need to get back on track after a lot of junk food.
Above is a pretty simple menu plan for the rest of this week! Three meals, a snack (because I’m a grazer by nature), and dessert (because life’s short). I’m not a vegetarian, but I focus on eating lots of fruits and veggies as well as non-meat sources of protein, like eggs, cheese, nuts, and legumes. I’ll be drinking LOTS of water (somewhere around a quart), iced tea, and plain coffee too. Meals with asterisks * beside them are my own creations which I will post recipes for throughout the week!   
I didn’t plan for the weekend because, let’s be honest, it’s unrealistic. I’ll be out and as long as I eat fairly sensibly, it’s fine to cut a little loose. I have other things to do than worry about sticking to a chart! :)

It’s not very often that I plan out my meals in advance—not these days, anyway. I used to do so quite obsessively on the verge of compulsively, but that was a few years ago. Now I only make up menus when I need to get back on track after a lot of junk food.

Above is a pretty simple menu plan for the rest of this week! Three meals, a snack (because I’m a grazer by nature), and dessert (because life’s short). I’m not a vegetarian, but I focus on eating lots of fruits and veggies as well as non-meat sources of protein, like eggs, cheese, nuts, and legumes. I’ll be drinking LOTS of water (somewhere around a quart), iced tea, and plain coffee too. Meals with asterisks * beside them are my own creations which I will post recipes for throughout the week!   

I didn’t plan for the weekend because, let’s be honest, it’s unrealistic. I’ll be out and as long as I eat fairly sensibly, it’s fine to cut a little loose. I have other things to do than worry about sticking to a chart! :)

(Source: fit-fab-fun)

A better butt in thirty days? Ooohkay! ;)

A better butt in thirty days? Ooohkay! ;)

(Source: be-healfit, via peanutbutterandsquats)

(Source: fitnessmc, via naturaltann)

You thought: I don't need to eat today; I had enough calories yesterday.
That's like: I don't need to breathe today; I had enough oxygen yesterday.
Mocha Banana Smoothie
This is my last week home before heading back to school! It’s a pretty exciting time, and busy too—my family took a trip to visit my mom’s side over the weekend, my little brother starts seventh grade today, and my older brother goes to law school this Thursday up North. Not to mention me packing up all my belongings…of which there are many *sigh*. So I knew this morning I needed something quick with a caffeine boost and chocolate (because, chocolate is always a good thing). A smoothie sounded good, but so many chocolately smoothies have SO much sugar and SO many empty calories.
Enter this smoothie! I typed banana coffee smoothie in on Pinterest and found this one. Fun fact, I’ve never actually had a chocolate banana vivanno smoothie from Starbucks, so I can’t vouch it tastes like that. I can vouch, though, that with my adaptations (namely more coffee and more cocoa), this smoothie tastes AWESOME. And, just as awesome, this bundle of chocolaty-coffee goodness comes just shy of 300 calories, packs natural protein, fiber, and nutrients like calcium and iron (which women in particular seem to have a hard time getting)! 
Note: 15 grams of the sugar occurring in this smoothie are from the banana, but if you feel that it has too much added sugar, feel free to cut back a teaspoon or two or use a nonsugar sweetener.

1 medium banana
1/2 packet Starbucks Via Iced Coffee, or 1 teaspoon instant coffee + 2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons sweetener (I used raw sugar)
2 tablespoons yogurt (I had honey banana Greek on hand!)
2/3 cup milk or milk alternative (I used soy)
1/2 tablespoon chia or flax seeds (optional but a nice nutritional boost)
6-9 ice cubes, depending on how thick you like smoothies

Place all ingredients in your blender and blend away! If you’re feeling fancy, top with a banana slice and sprinkle with some more cocoa powder!
Per serving (whole recipe, about 2 cups, made with soy milk, raw sugar, and chia seeds): 299 calories; 5 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 1 milligram cholesterol, 101 milligrams sodium, 60 grams carbs (8 grams fiber, 40 grams sugar—15 naturally occurring), 11 grams protein. Vitamin A: 9% Vitamin C: 17% Calcium: 29% Iron:16% 

Mocha Banana Smoothie

This is my last week home before heading back to school! It’s a pretty exciting time, and busy too—my family took a trip to visit my mom’s side over the weekend, my little brother starts seventh grade today, and my older brother goes to law school this Thursday up North. Not to mention me packing up all my belongings…of which there are many *sigh*. So I knew this morning I needed something quick with a caffeine boost and chocolate (because, chocolate is always a good thing). A smoothie sounded good, but so many chocolately smoothies have SO much sugar and SO many empty calories.

Enter this smoothie! I typed banana coffee smoothie in on Pinterest and found this one. Fun fact, I’ve never actually had a chocolate banana vivanno smoothie from Starbucks, so I can’t vouch it tastes like that. I can vouch, though, that with my adaptations (namely more coffee and more cocoa), this smoothie tastes AWESOME. And, just as awesome, this bundle of chocolaty-coffee goodness comes just shy of 300 calories, packs natural protein, fiber, and nutrients like calcium and iron (which women in particular seem to have a hard time getting)! 

Note: 15 grams of the sugar occurring in this smoothie are from the banana, but if you feel that it has too much added sugar, feel free to cut back a teaspoon or two or use a nonsugar sweetener.

1 medium banana

1/2 packet Starbucks Via Iced Coffee, or 1 teaspoon instant coffee + 2 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 teaspoons sweetener (I used raw sugar)

2 tablespoons yogurt (I had honey banana Greek on hand!)

2/3 cup milk or milk alternative (I used soy)

1/2 tablespoon chia or flax seeds (optional but a nice nutritional boost)

6-9 ice cubes, depending on how thick you like smoothies

Place all ingredients in your blender and blend away! If you’re feeling fancy, top with a banana slice and sprinkle with some more cocoa powder!

Per serving (whole recipe, about 2 cups, made with soy milk, raw sugar, and chia seeds): 299 calories; 5 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 1 milligram cholesterol, 101 milligrams sodium, 60 grams carbs (8 grams fiber, 40 grams sugar—15 naturally occurring), 11 grams protein. Vitamin A: 9% Vitamin C: 17% Calcium: 29% Iron:16% 

(Source: microwaveguru, via heyheyhannahalexandra)

Myth no.1 - When I am skinny, I will like my body: When you accept your body for all its wonderful quirks and imperfections, you will like your body.
Myth no.2 - Losing weight will make me happy: Following your dreams, surrounding yourself with people you love and appreciate and forgiving yourself and others will make you happy.
Myth no.3 - A healthy lifestyle means working out every day and never eating bad food: No food is bad, and a healthy lifestyle is doing what's good for your heart as well as what's good for your body. Even if that means lying in bed all day and eating chocolate sometimes.
Myth no.4 - All thin girls love their bodies: Every person, no matter what they look like, has their insecurities. Embrace your own, and know that you are not alone.
Myth no.5 If I eat x, y or z and follow x, y or z celebrity's workout regime I will look like them: No. No matter how you eat or how long you spend in the gym, you will look like you at whatever weight you are at. You can't replicate another human being's body in your own.
Myth no.6 - It's always unhealthy to have a bmi above 25: BMI scales were invented for the convenience of insurance companies, not as an accurate measure of health. Your healthy weight is determined by your body type, composition, lifestyle and diet, not by a made up chart.
Myth no.7 - If I was smaller, I could wear a bikini and short shorts and strapless dresses: You can wear whatever you like, whether you wear it in a size 0 or a size 14. Your beauty is not defined by the clothes you wear.
Myth no.9 - I can solve my problems using my body: You have to look deeper - your problems do not stem from the circumference of your thighs or the amount of fat on your stomach. They are deeper than that, and the solution lies deeper than that as well.