Squash- The Other Spaghetti

Ok, before I expound on spaghetti squash, I have to give a quick update on my weight loss! This morning, I dared to try on a pair of my old size 6 jeans from at least 4 years ago. (They’re very cute bootcut jeans from Gap and they’re still in style, thank goodness!) That’s always a major risk to take and in years and months past, I’ve been disappointed when I still haven’t been able to get my pre-baby clothes to fit. Today, however, was a new day! They fit comfortably, even loose! Yippee! Happy dance! What an amazing feeling! (So glad I kept those pants!) So, I immediately grabbed my camera to commemorate this moment: (Excuse the post-shower hair.)

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Allright, allright. Moving on… Spaghetti squash! I have really enjoyed trying new recipes with spaghetti squash recently. One of my favorite ways to cook it is to boil it first, then sauté it with mushrooms, olive oil, garlic and herbs. It’s a great side dish. Or make a shrimp scampi with it. Super yummy and filling!

Yesterday, I ran across my favorite recipe yet: Deconstructed Spaghetti Squash Carbonara. Oh my goodness, y’all. I’m not even joking. I felt like I was eating an indulgent bowl of pasta. BTW, pasta is one of my favorite foods. I swear someone in my family tree has to have been part Italian. So, it’s been pretty tough not being allowed pasta on my diet. This is my solution! It is Paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free too! Just look at this:

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Bacon, shallots, garlic, and topped with another food I LOVE- a poached egg! Yowza! I must pass along this recipe from Popular Paleo:
Deconstructed Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

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Paleo Pancakes

I’ve begun exploring the Paleo diet lifestyle. I have a few friends who follow the diet plan and I have gotten a few cookbooks on my Kindle recently. I think it may be a good transition/way of eating after I finish my strict Sugar Control diet. We’ve already been eating mainly gluten-free and dairy-free for my kids’ health. I have a little experience cooking the Paleo way.

I have been eating eggs for breakfast every morning for the past 4 weeks. I’m almost at a state of rebellion. I try to change them up and add things to them to make it interesting, but I’ve about had it with huevos. I downloaded some new Paleo e-books and came across a Paleo Pancakes recipe. It’s only 3 ingredients: 2 bananas, almond butter and an egg. Super simple and I can have all 3 ingredients! Yippee!

First, you put them all in a blender.

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Blend it up to create a smooth batter.

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Next, heat a little coconut oil in a skillet and pour the batter in.

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Repeat this until the batter is used up. The recipe yielded 4 pancakes for me, which I shared with my 3 year old son.

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I was amazed that they turned out surprisingly like regular pancakes! Food science is interesting to me. Whoever decided that adding these 3 ingredients together would create a pancake-like consistency- way smarter than me. They were sweet, didn’t need butter and syrup (you could top it with those or fruit if you like). I felt like I was being indulgent and getting a treat! My son cleaned his plate too. It was a much needed respite from my omelet breakfasts!

Paleo Pancakes

1 Tbsp. almond butter
2 ripe bananas
1 egg

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Heat coconut oil in griddle. Pour batter on griddle and brown each side. (Don’t turn too quickly or the pancake will fall apart.) Repeat with remaining batter.

Recipe from “Paleo for Beginners” by Sarah Sparrow

Diffuser Love

It’s here! It’s here! My new Aroma Ready Whisper essential oils diffuser came today! It’s like Christmas came early!

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I’ve been waiting and waiting to finally get a diffuser to emit essential oils in our home and I finally got an opportunity to buy a great one for a discount! Some local people placed a bulk order and we all got a discount on them. I just set it up and got it working! Isn’t it pretty?

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You can turn the blue light off too.

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The setup was very fast and surprisingly simple. Literally a couple of minutes and I had it plugged in and working. So far so good. It has various settings for different lengths of time you want it to run. It’s also silent, which means you don’t even notice it’s running!

The germs are starting to spread at school and some of our neighbors are sick. Needless to say, I am extremely glad to be able to diffuse DoTerra On Guard protective essential oil through my house to ward off germs entering our home. This will be great to have through the winter cold season too. I’ll be able to diffuse other oils to help with breathing issues if they arise. I think I’m in love! 😍

Passing On the Legacy of Health and Wellness to the Next Generation

Tonight as I was putting my oldest son to bed (7 year old) I put a combination of lemon, lavender and peppermint essential oils on his feet. This has become a daily habit for us since his nasal allergies have been so bad lately. I was delighted when he asked if I would show him how to put the drops on his feet. He asked to do it himself. I put a drop of each on his left foot and then let him do the same on his right. (It may have been an overload of oils tonight, but hopefully those allergies will stay at bay through the night!)

It caught me off guard that he asked to do it by himself, but the more I’ve thought about the prouder I am! This is exactly what I hope for for my children! I think that one of the best gifts we can give our children is teaching them how to take care of their bodies and health. Hopefully by teaching them early on about good health, wellness, nutrition and exercise they can avoid many of the problems some of us have experienced as adults.

In my adult years (I’m 32), I have taken crash courses in vitamins, supplements, chiropractic, essential oils, nutrition, and naturopathy. The path I’ve been on with my own and my children’s health issues have lead me to explore all these areas of wellness. It’s been a long, windy road with many ups and downs, successes and failures. It is a fact that through all of our experiences and all I’ve learned that we are healthier because of it. I hate to imagine what condition we all would be in if God had not led us down the road we are on.

My kids have been on various supplements since they were infants. Taking vitamins is a normal part of life for them. We’ve had to be extremely mindful of the foods we eat. Now we’ve taken up essential oils as part of our healthcare regimen. I am continuing to learn about nutrition and am working to feed my family the best I can give them. We never stop learning and I am really enjoying this crazy roller coaster ride because of how much I’m growing in my knowledge and experience. I love that my family is healing and becoming healthier.

It is my hope that I can teach these things to my children and spare them many future health problems and from having to relearn to care for their bodies as adults. Start guiding them from the ground up. Be a good example. Teach them that their bodies are a temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and to love and care for them appropriately. To be their best selves. It has become a big goal for me as a mom and I am overjoyed that I can see the fruits of my labor every once in a while!

Paleo Halloween Treats

Well, it’s the month of Halloween and you know what that means- candy and junk galore! This always present a challenge for me since my kids struggle with food allergies and sensitivities. They don’t eat a ton of sugar but I want them to be able to participate in all the trick-or-treating and Halloween parties. It’s certainly not fun when all your buddies get to dive in to their buckets of sweets and you can’t eat most of it. It’s literally taking candy from a baby. 😢

So, I ran across this book on Amazon.com this weekend. The Paleo Kid’s Halloween

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I’m loving looking through the recipes and am determined to make some of these for my 2 boys to enjoy this Halloween. I want them to have just as much fun as their friends and not feel deprived or left out. I’ll be sharing the finished products with you once I make them. Pumped for trick-or-treating this year! P.S. – the e-book is FREE right now!! I got it for my Kindle. 😉

Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallot Soup

After the cold front that blew through this weekend I got in the mood for soup! I love soups in the fall! Soups are such a good way to get your veggies. I found this soup from Cooking Light and tried it out for lunch today. I can eat on it all week. So delicious, light and healthy! Here’s the recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallot Soup

First, you roast the butternut squash and shallots:

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Since I couldn’t find pre-cut fresh squash and didn’t feel like cutting up my own, I bought 2 bags of frozen cubed squash in steamer bags. I cooked them in the microwave first, then proceeded with the recipe. Also, since my diet prohibits me from having chicken currently, I used fat-free beef broth. It turned out very yummy! It’s very light because it has no cream in it.

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Delish! It would go really well with a side salad or a sandwich too. Happy fall y’all!

Tea Time

Since my recent doctor’s appointment and beginning my diet regimen, I’ve stopped drinking any sodas, sugary drinks of any kind and stuck to water, coffee and teas. I really enjoy my nightly ritual of chamomile tea or a “bedtime” tea. I addition, I drink green tea or plain iced tea during the day. I had a rude awakening today though when I saw a post about “Do You Know What’s Really In Your Tea?” Yikes! No, I really don’t… I will be thinking more carefully about the teas I buy now! I had to pass on this post.

Do You Know What’s Really In Your Tea?

Gluten Free Caramelicious Peanut Butter Bars

Ooh, I’d love to try these!

Goodies & Yum x Immaculate Baking

Is it true? Could it actually be? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you are NOT mistaken, we did in fact just came out with a NEW Gluten Free Peanut Butter cookie dough! This makes for our THIRD gluten free cookie dough, and the following recipe is proof that you can go gluten free and still enjoy a caramelicious treat!

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The Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies are pretty out-of-this-world all on their own, but oh boy, wait till you try this recipe, you’ll never go back to any regular peanut butter bars!

To make your own Gluten Free Caramelicious Peanut Butter Bars, you will need:

Cookie Base
1 package Immaculate Baking Co. ® Gluten Free refrigerated peanut butter cookies
Filling
1 bag (11 oz) caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup peanuts or cashews, coarsely chopped
Topping
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Coarse sea salt, if desired

And here’s how…

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