Friday, January 25, 2008

Happy Meal: Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

It is cold and dreary and blah here. I'm thinking it's a day for a big warm bowl of soup.

I'm going to make this soup tonight or this weekend. It's a little work, which stinks because I'm feeling very lazy right now, but it'll be worth it. It is spicy and sweet and yummy and thick without being full of fat. It's Weight Watchers friendly, high in fiber, and just all around good. Mmmmmm soooooup ...

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Makes 14 cups at 3 pts/cup

2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs olive oil
4 cups chopped large yellow onions
2 Tbs mild curry powder
5 lbs butternut squash (2 large)
1 1/2 lbs sweet apples, such as McIntosh (4 apples)
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly
ground black pepper
2 cups apple juice or cider

Warm the butter and olive oil in a large stockpot over low heat. Add the onions and curry powder and cook, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot.

Peel the squash, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into chunks. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut into chunks.

Add the squash, apples, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes until the squash and apples are very soft. Puree it coarsely in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade or run it through a blender.

Pour the soup back into the pot. Add the apple juice and enough water to make the soup the consistency you like; it should be slightly sweet and quite thick. Check the salt and pepper and serve hot.

This recipe makes a LOT of soup, but it freezes well. I usually serve it with grilled/broiled chicken or a small steak along with a salad or steamed green veggie.

Do you guys have any favorite healthy recipes? I need to get back in the groove of cooking, and new recipes motivate me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Free stuff = good stuff

Please stand by for a moment while all my cheap shines through:

Check out Roni’s new contest! I can win a Nutrition Smart Scale from Eat Smart and so can you! Click here for details!

Yay! The potential for free stuff always makes me happy.

Now I have to go give blood for MaNiC MoMMy's contest. I tried last week but I was turned away. Iron schmiron I always say, but apparently the vampires don't agree. I'm being more diligent about taking my vitamins and eating big ol' steaks , so hopefully when I try again my blood will be worthy.

Have you given blood? If you can give, do give! And send MaNiC MoMMy a picture. And you'll win miiiiillions of dollars and be rich and famous. Or something like that.

(Warning - segue missing. Sorry.)

Did you notice? I'm back in the 130's? Wooo hooo!!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Making a plan & the Healthy You Challenge

The scale has started drifting back down after my out-of-town gain. Come on little scale! Lower, lower!

Yesterday I had a good on-plan eating day, and last night I had a great workout at the gym with my trainer, husband and friend. (For those of you just tuning in, I go to a trainer with my husband and a friend of ours once a week.) Now I just have to keep on keeping on.

I'm still not 100% back in healthy living mode. Eating is going all right, but otherwise, I'm not where I want to be. We're three weeks post New Year's, and although I'm doing OK I'm not where I was pre-Christmas. It is time to get myself back in the mindset! Now!

It. Is. Time.

I'm a little bit of an anal-retentive OCD type, so the best thing for me to do is make a list of ways to get back in the groove. If I make a specific list of things to focus on over the next few weeks, I bet I can make it happen.

Get My Ass Back in Gear List

  1. Force myself to work out even when I don't feel like it. I have my sights set on going to either a cardio/strength/stretch class or a beginners yoga class tonight. I have to get back to my pre-Christmas workout level. I was doing cardio 3-4x per week and strength training 2-3x per week. That is completely doable.

  2. Stock the fridge. I can't eat right if I don't have healthy options around, and right now the cupboard is bare. After the gym, I'm off to the store.

  3. Continue to build a support system. You guys are the greatest. Every time I look at this blog and the comments it lifts me up and keep me going. Thanks for being out there. And the more the merrier, I figure. So, I decided to join the Healthy You Challenge. It seems like a great way to connect with even more folks who are working towards health and fitness goals. Hello, Healthy You Challenge folks! Welcome!

Here's the official "look, I'm in the challenge" button. I'm not posting any specific weight loss or non-scale victory buttons yet. I'm curious to get your opinion. Should I set my weight loss starting weight at around 152, where I started eating right and getting fit again last fall? Or should I set my starting weight around 167, where I was when I first lost weight back in 2003?

Re-gaining weight makes things complicated. I need to be sure to avoid that this time.

Anyway, what do you think? Do I go with 152 or 167? Hmmm ...

Monday, January 21, 2008

... Aaaaand then back to the 140's

I'm back from my trip out of town. So much for the 130's! Ah well, I expected a gain. Some of this 140-ness is water weight, and the rest I'll work off before much time passes. It's definitely not all water weight. I made some not-so-smart choices this past weekend in terms of eating. But it sure tasted good!

On a completely unrelated note, after taking a business-related trip this past weekend and working a big chunk of the weekend before that, I'M TIRED.

I need to plan a vacation soon. One that involves lots of relaxation in a bathing suit. That'll be motivation!

My husband and I are considering a couple options. Anyone ever been to the Big Island of Hawaii?