Thursday, February 25, 2010

Out Of This Box And Into That One

I began my lifestyle rehaul 5 weeks ago and I have lost 24 lbs! I can fit into the jeans in the pile in the back of the closet - the ones that either "used to" fit or the ones that I bought thinking they "might fit one day." Well, they do! I am noticing changes in my body; my arms, my legs, my tummy, it's all different! I've been slacking on the gym lately (school and swapping and crafting and blogging may have taken over my life), but I've still been doing 40 push-ups every morning and walking the dogs whenever I can. I am stronger, I'm sleeping better, I haven't had a headache in weeks (knock on wood), and I feel lighter, happier, healthier.

This is also a little scary to say, because I haven't really said it to anyone, much less myself, but that is a quarter of my goal. A few weeks ago, the scary part of that statement was the total number to go. Now, the scary part is that it's actually happening. For better or worse, being overweight, like being short or wearing glasses, becomes part of who you are and how you think of yourself. So, like with any big change, I feel the need to start re-evaluating those boxes I've put myself in. For example, I've already moved myself out of the "can't snowboard" box (read about it here). I have a feeling the other boxes may not be so easy to get out of, but I'll figure it out. ;)

I've also found a lot of foods that I LOVE, that I would probably never have tried before. Like spaghetti squash, roasted asparagus, snap-peas, and kale. But spaghetti squash is my favorite, by far. You can mix it with real spaghetti and get the feeling you're eating a ton of food, while drastically cutting back the carb intake. What I really like to do is just to eat it, with homemade spaghetti sauce (made by my sister). It tastes like spaghetti people! It feels like it, too! But it doesn't attach itself to your thighs the way that spaghetti does. :)

Here is a recipe I've been itching to try (maybe tonight is the night)!
all photos and text from Smitten Kitchen

Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash
Adapted from Gourmet
Cooking spaghetti squash in your microwave is super-quick, but roasting it isn’t much more work — I’ve made it both ways and it works equally well. This works great as a side, but I tried something different this time and bulked it up with canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed. We had it with couscous but if I had thought of it sooner, it would also be great with some sautéed greens.

Serves 4
1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) spaghetti squash
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, if you’re cilantro-averse

To cook the squash in a microwave: Pierce squash (about an inch deep) all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting. Cook in an 800-watt microwave oven on high power (100 percent) for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn squash over and microwave until squash feels slightly soft when pressed, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool squash for 5 minutes.
To roast the squash, two methods: If you’d like to roast the squash whole, pierce it all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting and bake it in a 375°F oven for one hour. If you are good with a big, sharp kinfe, you can save some time by cutting the squash in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds and roasting the halves face-down in an oiled baking pan for about 40 minutes in a 375°F oven.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it is barely golden. Stir in spices and salt and remove from heat.
If you have microwaved or roasted your squash whole, carefully halve it lengthwise (it will give off a lot of steam) and remove the seeds.
Carefully halve squash lengthwise (it will give off steam) and remove and discard seeds. Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating strands as you remove it from skin. Toss with the spiced butter and cilantro.

If you haven't tried spaghetti squash, I DARE you to try it this week. And then tell me all about it :)
If you have tried, what's your favorite way to prepare it?


  1. Congrats! Isn't that a great feeling! I lost 20 lbs a few months back when I changed my eating habits and excercise and have kinda lost track of where I want to be...

    I totally commend you for eating foods that you never would have in the first place, that's my hardest thing...I want to eat what I want and not weird stuff...LOL!

    Congrats again, and keep going!

  2. Wow, way to go. I keep saying I'll start tomorrow but you've motivated me to stop procrastinating and get on and do it.

    My husand tried cooking us the spaghetti squash one time but he didn't cook it long enough. Will definitely have to give it another shot.

  3. Congrats :) I know how hard it is to lose weight.

    Keep at it you sound like you are on a good course of action.

    Have a wonderful evening. T.

  4. that diet looks healthy, and yummy!

  5. That's wonderful news!!! Congrats :)

    I know what you mean about putting yourself in boxes, and trying to break out. Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing that recipe! Bookmarking it right now.

  6. I would love to try spaghetti squash someday but I've never seen it in a store in belgium. If you have some seeds and want to swap them please let me know.

  7. wow! congrats! that is a huge accomplishment!


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