The only spaghetti squash recipe you’ll ever need

The only spaghetti squash recipe you’ll ever need

Spaghetti squash is by far one of my favorite healthy meals to make. I’ve talked to plenty of my friends who just don’t like it and I’m convinced it’s because they don’t make it the right way…. and I don’t blame them. Most of the step x step how to recipes you find online are all very similar and I do it totally different.

I cut my spaghetti squash right down the middle width-wise, not length wise, which is different from all the other recipes I’ve seen. Two reasons for this: 1) you get much longer strands, and 2) it’s way easier!

I season the inside with a little bit of olive oil spray, garlic powder, salt and pepper. You can opt to take out the seeds before or after you roast it. I find it’s easier taking them out after roasting it in the oven.

Then I grab an oven safe glass/bakeware dish, put the spaghetti squash in there, flat side up (noodles side up), and put it in the middle rack of the oven. Once it’s in the oven, I turn it on to 460 degrees (which is higher than any other recipe that I’ve seen) and it works perfectly every time. No pre-heating necessary.

I cook it for 40-50 minutes. If you have a smaller squash, you may want to check on it after 30 min.

After 40-50 min, I take it out, let it sit to cool. It comes out sweet from the natural sugars in the squash that caramelize and it’s beautifully roasted, never too watery.

Then I typically buy my favorite Trader Joe’s clean marinara, add everything but the bagel seasoning to it and let it cook in a pot until warm and serve the spaghetti squash with that. I also use my favorite pesto from Costco sometimes too!

Let me know if you try this and how it comes out!

Weaning my LO off breast milk

Weaning my LO off breast milk

My baby girl is almost 11 months old, my milk supply is dwindiling and I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on what milk to give her next.  For my own personal reasons, I’ve never wanted to give her formula so I am extremely thankful and grateful that I’ve been able to produce my own milk for her this long.

I’ve read time and time again about all the different milks.  Oat milk, rice milk, almond milk, goats milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, flax milk, etc.  The biggest thing for me is that I don’t want to make my own milk.  I want to be able to buy something clean for me to just give her, but not create it from scratch.

I’ve been cows-milk-free for nearly 9 years.  I still eat cheese from time to time (usually just feta and goat) but not really.  I myself drink coconut milk and almond milk and I make sure it doesn’t have any added sugar, I make sure it doesn’t say “natural flavors” on the ingredients list (yuck to beaver secretions) and definitley, definitley make sure it’s carrageenan-free.

My mom used to make me my own almond milk (and bone broth) throughout my entire pregnancy.  She would blend measured overnight-soaked almonds, water, sea salt, vanilla extract and dates.  It was the most delicious almond milk I ever tasted but I know you aren’t supposed to be giving babies almond milk prior to 12 months (and it spoils extremely fast.)

Recently, I gave my daughter some coconut milk (in her chia seed pudding) and she loved it. Right away, she loved it.  So I had to compare my favorite brands which are Trader Joe’s, Vita Coco and Califia Farms.

These are the ingredients from Vita Coco:  Coconut Water from Concentrate (Water, Coconut Water Concentrate), Water, Coconut Cream. Contains less than 2% of Stabilizers (Cellulose Gel and Cellulose Gum). Fortified Vitamins and Minerals: Tricalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Vitamin A, Zinc Sulphate

These are the ingredients from Califia Farms:  Coconut Milk (Water, Coconut Cream), Coconut Water, Calcium Carbonate, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum

These are the ingrediends from Trader Joes: Organic Coconut Base (Water, Organic Coconut Cream), Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Phosphate, Guar Gum,  Xanthan Gum, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D2, L-Selenomethionine (Selenium), Zinc Oxide, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12.

At first glance it may look like Califia Farms is the winner, but it has 2 types of gums without telling you how much, they add salt to their milk and it has Potassium Citrate which isn’t great for you at all.

Trader Joe’s brand has one ingredient I can’t even pronounce, it has guar gum and xanthan gum and folic acid?

Vita coco is the one I went with. It explains it has less than 2% of the gel/gum and everything else is pretty healthy for us.

I’m leaning towards coconut milk because she loves it already! I am not looking at this to be a source of calcium, protein, or Vitamin D, for her… more of just a treat because she’ll still be missing a creamy milk.  So far, I’ve been mixing one date per 12 oz of Vita Coco coconut milk and she’s been guzzling down 1 bottle every day for about 4 days now.

She still drinks about 24oz of breast milk, 9oz of water and other foods daily. She has a super clean, super nutritious diet consisting of sweet potatoes, pineapple, beets, blueberries, A LOT of brocolli, leeks, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, mango, peaches, A LOT of spinach, pears, peas, apples, oats, rice cakes, dates, blackberries, strawberries, A LOT of avocados, prunes, zucchini, and chickpeas.

With that said, I’m not really worried about her lacking any nutrients. I just want to transition her easily from breast milk to another milk (as a treat) and plenty of water (which I’ve successfully done.)

How did you wean your baby?  What age were they?  What milk did you change to?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Late to the party..

Late to the party..

So.. I just got hip to chia seed pudding.  I’ve heard about it, but never enough to really give it much thought.

Recently, my friend in LA was telling me she makes it in the morning and it keeps her satiated until the afternoon.  I decided to try it.

After trying it and liking it, I started thinking how easy it is to make as a go to snack while you’re traveling/staying in hotels.  You just pick up coconut milk, chia seeds and maple syrup.  Every airbnb and hotel has cups/glasses and a fridge.  If you’re always hungry like me, it’s nice to have a little option like that.
I made the pudding a few times I was in Miami for the Miami Open.

I put 3/4c – 1c coconut milk, 2-3 tblsp chia seeds, some cinnamon and I add maple syrup until it’s just sweet enough for me.

Online, it says let it sit 3+ hours but I find it tastes much better when left over night, so I just make sure to prep 2 at a time and keep the cycle going.

While the pudding doesn’t keep me full too too long, it’s delcious and full of fiber, omegas, fat and protein.

People like to add raw cacao podwer, oats, berries, different kinds of milk, you should add whatever you want!!

What’s your favorite chia seed recipe?  Comment and let me know!

Interesting facts about breastfeeding/pumping

Interesting facts about breastfeeding/pumping

  • Your breast milk is changing to suit your baby’s needs.  When his or her saliva enters your nipple, your body reads it and produces the right “formula” for your baby for that specific point in time. The nutritional profile of the milk changes and grows with your baby.
  • You get no period while you’re breastfeeding! BUT you can still get pregnant, so be careful!  We’ve all heard of Irish Twins.
  • A pumping bra exists.  I went 3 months pumping without knowing of a pumping bra.  I know, I know right.  3 months holding the cones and bottles for the entire 15-20 minutes.  Get yourself a pumping bra STAT.
  • I used to pump for about 10 minutes until it seemed as if my breasts were completely emptied out and then I’d stop, when in reality they weren’t completley emptied out, it just felt like it. Then I found this great article about pumping and how you should pump at least 15 minutes, if you can swing 20, do 20 minutes.  You do not want to rush this.
    The reason for this is because another wave of milk comes in as you’re pumping.  It comes in right at about 14 minutes, you’ll feel another round of milk coming in and you want to pump long enough to feel that and pump that out.  I always set a timer for 15 minutes and right at almost 15 minutes is when I feel this so be patient. Waiting the full time also signals to your body that you need more milk production!
  • The size of a woman’s breasts have nothing to do with the amount of milk she produces.  A woman with large breasts can make little milk and a woman with small breasts can make an abundance of milk.
  • Breast milk contains naturally occuring cannabinoids in it that promote sleep and calmness in babies.
Top three baby foods

Top three baby foods

Why I love Peter Rabbit Organics, Ella’s Kitchen Organics and Plum Organics, and use no other baby brand foods (yet, anyways).

Peter Rabbit, Ella’s and Plum have super clean organic non-GMO ingredients with nothing else.

While other baby food companies such as Happy Family Organics, Gerber, Wellsley Farms Organics, Go & Grow OptiGrow Organics and Earth’s Best have ingredients such as:
-Citric Acid
–┬ád-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate
-Ascorbic Acid
-Corn
-Oil

So even if they’re organic and/or non-GMO as most of these brands are, you want to be mindful of the ingredients and ask yourself if your baby really needs certain ingredients added into their food while you have other options.

While other companies such as Peter Rabbit, Plum and Ella’s kitchen have the fruit and/or the vegetable in the pouch as their only ingredients along with lemon juice. *BTW* Plum Organics has a Just Prune stage 1 food avail, which can help a backed up baby! — See my article on babies with constipation.

I’ve also read and heard great things about Once Upon a Farm and Sprout Organics, but have yet to try them.

Have you tried them? What are your favorite baby foods? Do you make your own? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Brain food smoothie

Brain food smoothie

I swear pregnancy and becoming a mother has been changing me for the better. I am trying to be my healthiest, fittest, self-loving version of myself for some cute little thang looking up to me now.

I created a smoothie recipe that tastes pretty good, includes some super nutritious foods and contributes to anti-brain aging, improvement in athletic performance, it’s high in fiber and rich in vitamin C and K.

1 cup organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 medium sized organic beet (cut up so it doesn’t get stuck in the blender)
2-3 cups of (frozen) spinach (I use half a bag of the organic baby spinach from Trader Joes)
1 tablespoon organic flax meal
lemon juice to taste.. (i add a lot)
3-4 cups of water

I blend all these ingredients into my Ninja blender for a good 3-5 minutes, starting with level 3 and ending in level 1 to make it super smooth.

This is an easy peasy way to get your brain food in while giving you an energy boost!

Enjoy!

Perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs (taking off the shell is easy too!)

Perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs (taking off the shell is easy too!)

Hard boiled eggs are the easiest breakfast choice for us in our family. Always on the go, easy to eat anytime, anywhere. We sprinkle a little salt on them and they’re ready to go.

Bring a pot of water to a boil
Once boiled, place your eggs in the pot.
Once the water is boiling again, put a timer for 6-7 minutes.
Once the timer goes off, let your eggs sit for 1-2 minutes.
Dump the water out into the sink.
Give the eggs a few tosses in the pot so they all crack a little at the same time.
Put a good amount of ice in the pot and fill the pot up with cold water.
Wait 2-3 minutes.
Dump the ice water and start cracking.

Enjoy!!