Warming Autumn Squash Recipe

Autumn is here and with it the cold weather! Living in Michigan the transition going in was definitely whacky. 90s one day and 60s the next. What the heck? I can’t keep up with this state and neither can my body. For the past few days I’ve been feeling a very tense energy and possibilities of a cold coming on, so take care of yourself during this time as we adapt to the changing of the seasons! This means grounding exercises, releasing what’s holding you back, hot tea and warming, nourishing dishes!

This Squash recipe is by far one of my new favorite meals. Acorn squash is full of vitamins and minerals, but most importantly- Vitamin C! Extremely vital for keeping your immune system running while the B vitamins help convert the food to energy. This dish also features pumpkin seeds to add some additional immune boosting power with their zinc content, cranberries for a little sweetness, and warming spices also for healing and comfort 💜

Autumn Squash

Serves: 1-2

  • 1 Acorn Squash
  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 3 Lacianto Kale Leaves
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1-2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • Cinnamon, Clove, and Fennel to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut the Acorn Squash in half and scoop out the insides. In a glass baking dish you may use oil to grease the bottom if desired. If avoiding oil, fill the dish 1/4 of an inch high with water. Place the acorn squash in the baking dish, inside facing down (if using water, cover), and bake for 45-60 minutes.

When the squash is halfway down cooking, prepare the quinoa according to the direction on the package. Typically it’s a 1/4 Cup dry per serving with a 1/2 Cup of water. Boil on low-medium heat until water is absorbed.

Rinse the kale leaves and chop then into 1/2 inch strips. I like to throw then into the pot with the quinoa once it’s halfway done absorbing the water.

When the quinoa is done, take it off the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Get creative here and adjust it all to your taste. I personally use generous amount of cinnamon, a few shakes of clove, and a sprinkle of fennel seeds (to be exact 😜).

Once the squash is done, take it out of the oven and “stuff” it with the quinoa mixture. I recommend mashing up the squash a bit before adding the mixture to allow it to release some of the heat first. You could also scoop it out of the skin if desired.

Plate it up, serve, and enjoy!!

I used a small squash so this served a very hungry me for lunch, but depending on the squash size and if you wanted to adjust some of the other ingredients (half cup for pumpkin seeds and cranberries) it could easily serve two.

Leave a comment below on what you think! If you try it send me a picture at spoonfulofgratitude@gmail.com ! I would love to see your creations and hear your thoughts. Happy Autumn!

Love & Light

Let’s Talk About Poop

If you’re anything like me, then nothing upsets you more than not being able to poop.

Imagine: You’ve gone a day or two…. Or three…. Without pooping. As more time passes and the more you eat, the more tired and irritable you find yourself. Finally the time comes when you get to go to the bathroom and release the load. Ahhhh, that release felt so good it makes you high for a moment. You’re relieved, filled with more energy and… ready to eat more. The cycle starts again, but you just can’t figure out why you feel like shit all the time. It might be because you’re holding onto so much!

My whole life I have dealt with digestive troubles, and especially, trouble going poop. For a long time I was going maybe once or twice a week. I was bloated, lazy, and in a bad mood around the clock. This went on up until the time I cut meat and dairy out of my diet. Even still, I wasn’t going poop as regularly as one should.

Recently I began paying more attention to how often I use the restroom in comparison to how much, and what, I have been eating. When I eat more, I poop less; no matter how healthy or fibrous my meal may have been. This is especially true if I spent the day mostly sedentary.

The human stomach, on average, is only .94 L, or a quarter gallon, in size. It is true that it can stretch and accommodate, but that doesn’t mean you should stuff it to maximum capacity. I’m not trying to tell you to starve yourself, if you’re truly hungry then by all means, eat! What I am aiming at though is that you should be mindful when you sit down for a meal, and tune into your bodies signals.

The digestive system is sensitive. Just as you need to take time to rest, so does your digestion. There are little things you can incorporate into your day-to-day life to give your tummy a break, and allow your system to ease its way back to normal. Below are some tips on how to slow down and make it a bit easier to follow intuition at meal times.

Skip Those Last Few Bites if You Already Know You’re Going to Pay For It.

Ever eat a meal that tastes so good you just have to eat all of it, but two-thirds of the way through you’re thinking about how bad your tummy will hurt if you finish the last bite? Just stop. Save yourself the pain. If you find yourself hungry again a while later, have at it.

Eat Slower to Allow Your Stomach Time to Say “I’m Full!” to the Brain.

This will also prevent the dreaded habit of over-eating. It takes approx. 30 minutes to tell when you’re satisfied enough to stop eating. Take your time with your food. Savor, enjoy, and experience it. When you stop rushing to eat and limit distractions at meal times, it becomes a lot easier to eat until you’re satisfied rather than stuffed.

Start with Smaller Portion Sizes to Prevent Over-Eating.

If you’ve waited a few minutes and are still hungry, have another small portion. It’s not about starving yourself, but pacing yourself.
If You Aren’t Hungry, Don’t Eat!

For a long time I would eat simply because it was breakfast/lunch/dinner time. As I’ve taken time to wait for my body to tell me if it’s hungry or not I’ve noticed myself eating less and retaining more energy. This also gives your body more time to clear out the last meal and prep itself for the next.
Differentiate Cravings from Real Hunger.

If you find yourself unable to tell if your hunger is real or a product of wanting that piece of chocolate because it just looks soooo good… take 10. Focus on breathing for a bit and if you still find that your tummy is demanding fuel after 10 minutes, listen and proceed to munching.


Minimize Intestinal Traffic

If you know it has been awhile since you have gone to the bathroom, take a break. Focus on drinking water and small snacks (if you absolutely need something to eat) like prunes or raisins to allow your digestions current residents to move out.

Drink More Water.

A no brainer. If you’re dehydrated, so is your colon. Imagine going down a water slide without the water. Think it would work as well?

Eat More Insoluble Fiber.

This is what is going to bulk and push out your load. Think prunes, raisins, flax seeds, apples, oats, and blackberries. It’s also a good idea to end your day with some vegetables to act as a broom, and clean up those intestines. Try a simple salad of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers.

For a dressing try:

  • ½ Avocado
  • 1 TBSP Coconut Aminos
  • 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 4 TBSP Hemp Seeds

Blend and add water to desired consistency. Keep in mind you don’t have to use it all!

Skip the Breakfast Bagel, Try a Green Juice.

Getting in the habit of a daily green juice is a fantastic way to flood the body with the nutrition it needs to function. They quickly absorb into the body, detoxify, alkalize, and aid in natural weight loss.

How You Feel Emotionally is Held in Your Body.

If you’re always stressed, anxious, or tense you will feel it in your body. When I stop taking time for myself to rest and recuperate, I find myself getting constipated. Then I stress because I’m constipated! Trust that your body knows what it’s doing. Take time for yourself. Your body, and your sanity, will appreciate it! Try meditating, a warm bath, a facial, or simply lay out on the couch and hum along to your favorite chill tune.

 

When the body is working harmoniously, your mind soon follows. You only have one body! Take good care of it and it will take care of you.

Want more articles like this? Be sure to comment below!

Thank you for reading,

Danielle