Spaghetti Squash and Marinara Sauce Recipe

Have you ever used spaghetti squash as a spaghetti substitute? I feel like I have seen recipes for it all over lately, so I decided to finally give it a try myself! I used my basic marinara sauce that I have been making for a few months now. I add whatever I feel like or have on hand, and make it nice and spicy! Again, I eyeball my ingredients, and make everything to taste, so I did not include exact measurements below. It turned out really well! Both me and the boy thought the texture and taste of the squash resembled a lot like noodles, and the sauce tasted great with it! I think it was a healthier substitute for us, and helped us stay on track and feel less guilty since we have been eating low-carb low-sugar lately!

Recipe 

Simple Spicy Marinara

Ingredients:

  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • Chopped garlic
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 5 mini red/yellow peppers
  • Olive Oil
  • Italian Spices
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 spaghetti squash

Sauce Directions:

Cook the the onions, peppers, garlic and spices in olive oil until tender. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute or too. Add red wine now if you would like. Add Crushed tomatoes and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste and add spice to taste.

Squash Directions:

Cut squash in half and scrape out seeds. Drizzle flesh with olive oil and place face down on a baking sheet. Cook at 400 degrees for 50 minutes. Scrape out flesh gently with a fork. Pour sauce over squash and enjoy!

I served mine with some fresh parmesan on tip and a simple tomato cucumber balsamic salad on the side. It was delish!

Your’s Truly- M

Wanted: Beginner’s Running Advice!!

Hey everyone! Hope you are having a great morning! The weather in CNY has been BEAUTIFUL, sunny and in the 60’s this week. Because of this beautiful weather, my boyfriend and I have started running outside! I have never been a runner my whole life, dreading the 1 mile run in gym class, and just HATING running. But, as of this New Year, we have been making an effort to get the best exercise for us, and I know that running really is the best workout, and it allows you to spend time outside! We have an amazing 5 mile trail through the woods, along the lake only one block from my apartment, so it is really crazy to not make the most of it. (I stole a picture of the trail above from this website)

So, we have been trying to get into it, and so far so good! My first goal was to be able to run a mile straight without stopping to walk at all. Sounds pretty easy, but as someone who really hates running, that was hard for me. I am proud to say that last night I DID IT! It felt really good, and now I am looking forward to a new goal.

I have downloaded map my run, and so far really like it, but I know I need some more gear. My nike sneakers are approximately 3 years old and worn out. My headphones are always falling out of my ears, and I just really don’t know what I am doing. Should I focus on speed? Should I focus on distance? Help!

So this is what I need from the blogosphere:

What kind of running sneakers should I look for? 

What kind of new goals should I set for myself? 

Is there any gear that I NEED to have? 

Do you have any general tips for someone who is just starting to run? 

Your’s Truly- M

Packing for a winter vacation

So this Saturday , I am glad to say that I will be heading to Cozumel, Mexico for a week with my family!! I just wanted to give a few tips on what and how to pack for a tropical vacation when it’s the dead of winter.  

  1. Use a carryon- avoid the hassle and cost of checking a bag and pack light. Chances are there is nothing that you need they won’t sell at your destination.
  2. Know the liquid requirements- nothing worse than watching customs take your bottle of tequila from you because it’s too big.
  3. Bring extra quart sized plastic bags. If your liquids bag tears or rips the officers may require that you need a new one. I try to keep on in the outside pouch of my bag so I’m not digging for it in the security line. 
  4. Pack comfortable, practical, layers. If you don’t wear it at home you won’t wear it there. Comfortable shoes are really important, and bring some loose fitting tshirts for when you get a sunburn and everything hurts.
  5. Leave your “baggage” at home. Try your hardest to stay off your phone and devices. Tell your coworkers ahead of time you will be unavailable. Try your best to experience new things, have fun, and relax. 

Well I hope that was helpful! I will be back after the 15th!! 

Do you have any travel or packing tips? 

Your’s truly-M

What’s up Wednesday :)

Hey everyone! I just wanted to pop in and share with you a new habit that have adopted lately. Lemon water and tea! I used to be the first one out the door for an afternoon iced-coffee run or digging through my desk for a piece of chocolate or something sweet. But now that I am off sugar, I have replaced those treats with a hot cup of green tea with a slice or two of lemon. It is a great way to get a little pick me up during that 2/3pm slump. When I am feeling like I want a snack or just chilled from the -temps as of late, lemon tea is just the trick. I will sometimes add a little bit of fresh ginger if I am feeling under the weather too.

What is your afternoon habit to get you through the day? 

Yours truly- M

How can you be a Low-carb, Low-sugar Vegetarian?

Currently, I am battling this question. I have been a vegetarian for almost 6 years now, what started as a diet I was going to try for a month in high-school turned into a lifestyle choice. This means that I do not eat meat or fish, but I do eat eggs and dairy. I have tried a few different diet changes in my life. I was on Weight Watchers for 6 months and lost some weight, I have tried buying low-fat, low-calorie foods, and I have adapted to a whole foods diet for a short time. My goal has always been to feel healthier, to have more energy, and to maintain a positive mood. But recently, a really health-conscious friend suggested cutting out sugar. I started to research sugars impact on our health. I came across the documentary Fed UP (watch this if you haven’t!) and did a little reading and my perspective slowly changed. Sugar is so addictive, but most diets focus on cutting calories and fat.

So I cut way down on sugar for a few weeks (no soda, juices, candy, sweets) and I felt GREAT! I became less addicted to sugar and caffeine, I craved them both less. I used to always feel sluggish and awful mid-afternoon, and I would turn to coffee or a sweet to perk me up, and suddenly I was able to power through my afternoons. So after the holidays, when my boyfriend and I were feeling super motivated to eat well, I came across a lot of good evidence for low-carb low-sugar eating. So…we are giving it a shot. For the month of January we are going to be keeping our carbs and sugar super duper low (mostly no bread, pasta, grains, sweets or sugary drinks). But I am finding that as a vegetarian, most of what I eat contains a lot of carbs (even beans, veggie burgers and fruit!). So rather than going by any specific number of carbs we have to stay under each day, we are just cutting out the really high-carb highly-processed foods and seeing how things go. We still have a lot to learn and I would love any and all advice and information!

Now that I am a couple weeks in I have found that I faced a lot of challenges I never faced while eating healthy before. In the first week, we were eating eggs for breakfast, salads for lunch, apples and bananas for a snack, and soups and stirfrys for dinner.We ate NO bread, pasta, or grains. Honestly, I felt like shit. I had no energy, my mood got worse and worse throughout the day, and I just felt sick. So now, we are incorporating small portions of whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and barley and beans into our lunches and dinners. I feel SO good! I never realized exactly how addicted to sugar and refined carbs I really was. I am currently reading Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar, and I highly suggest it. While I am not following her program, there is a lot of great eye opening information and advice, she also has a blog/podcast that you can read online as well.

So for now, I am feeling good! But I would love any and all advice from anyone who has attempted a low-carb, low-sugar diet before!

Your’s Truly- M