October 28, 2010

Three Things Thursday: Tricks to Avoid Treats

Licking the screen is 0 points and won't get you to the
center of the tootsie pop.  It just makes you a freak.  
Last night....me in the basement, changing over the laundry, David pops on down to chat me up....

D: Did you see?
Me: See what?
D: The Halloween candy.
Me: No.
D: I hid it from you down here so you wouldn't find it.
Me: But you just pointed it out to me!

Halloween marks the begin of the all things food season. For me, it starts with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Years.

It's no wonder that according to a Tufts University Study, weight gain during the 6-week holiday season explained 51% of annual weight gain. For those of normal weight it's only about a pound over this period, not the 7-10 that people usually think, but for those already overweight it is closer to a 5lb gain. And unfortunately, it doesn't seem to come off.

So, in honor of Halloween, here are 3 things to avoid the over-indulgence of Halloween candy.

1. If candy is your weakness, buy it only on the day of Halloween and then give it away the day after - to places like Special Kindness in Packages, Inc. (SKIP) who will send it to our troops overseas.

2. Give out pencils and stickers and such instead.  Kids love stickers and parents might appreciate the lack of sugar (and hyperactivity) in the house.  Especially if THEY are ALSO trying to steer clear of the candy bowl.

3. Remember Halloween is just one day.  Thanksgiving is just one day. Christmas is just one day. New Years is just one day.  Mark those days on the calendar, and any other must-go-to-for-fear-of-jobloss/friendloss/inheritanceloss party, and plan for it.

Honestly for me this year, I am just not going to start. If I eat one pack of fun sized m&ms, I know me well enough to know I will eat 10. So, best not to start.

What tricks do you have up your costumed-sleeve to avoid treats?

October 27, 2010

Chunk it out

I wonder how many flex points that would be?

Recently I've seen people (myself included) set some pretty hefty goals, like:

.....I am going to lose 25lbs between now and the end of the year
.....I am going to stay complete on-plan for the whole month
.....I am going to hit the gym 6 days a week starting tomorrow
.....I am going to run a marathon this year
.....I am going to cook up every piece of CSA produce before it goes bad!

Ha! Not saying it can't be done, but that is a lot of goal to swallow.

So here is the thing.

When I put those kind of big goals out into the universe, they seem just so unbelievably overwhelming. Bumps are bound to happen.

Halloween candy anyone?

And it is amazing to me how one goal (say, a big work goal) can end up affecting other goals (say, weight loss goals.) 

Case in point.  Big projects are always overwhelming for me. And then I get stressed. And then it gets hectic. And when it it hectic, I scarf down food quickly, or skip a meal, and then the stress and emotions (for me anyway) make me turn to poor food choices instead of healthier alternatives.

With big work projects, some great mentors along the way helped me learn to "chunk it out" making smaller milestones to help get to the big one. The same principle applies to weight loss, exercise, a long run, a race, or really any goal. So instead of looking at the big long term goal, I break them up into digestible smaller ones, then celebrate those victories and then move on to the next one. Bite by itty bitty bite.

This week I am making some mini goals instead of the big OVERWHELMING goal. I like the “I didn’t snack between work and dinner” or “I planned my lunch menu before going out rather than picking off the menu willy-nilly” or “I wrote everything down this week” kind of goals.  I can celebrate them and it will get me to the big OVERWHELMING goal in no time.

My mini goal this week is to use up the food stocked in our freezer first before going for the quick sammich. And...since it is Halloween and I want to stay accountable, I will write everything down this week.  Got a fresh tracker and I'm ready to go. 

What are your mini goals you are going to crush this week?

October 21, 2010

Race Recap: Newport, RI Half-Marathon

Me and Sarah glowing from our post race high!
Recap - Funhouse
This race was fun with a capital F-U-N!  I had been sweating it on whether or not I would even be able to run it after getting sidelined after going a little too hard too fast with the toe-shoes back in September. But after Wednesday's good to go from the podiatrist I was ready to run my second half-marathon.  

Before I even put fingers to keyboard, I will warn you, this will be probably be a long post.  There are so many snippets and events to share. Good, funny and slightly funny in hindsight...but at the time not so much. So here goes...

Background - Run This Town
First off, my best running bud Sarah and I never actually met in person until this race. 


Crazy, right? We met through a weightwatchers running message board for couch 2 5k grads about a year ago and we talk....er...write just about every day - you know check in, see how we and our fellow grads are WW, food, running-wise. The girls are from all over the country and are a total hoot. Since Sarah is from Maine and her family is near Boston, we decided sometime this summer that what better to have our first face to face than over a race in the fall. I was hot off the trails of running my first half and already needed, NEEDED the next one, so some quick searching for New England fall races and we found beautiful Newport.  Perfect!

And then we had some setbacks.  Of course we did.

Me with my silly foot. 

Sarah with a silly race...see what happens when you bandit!  Heh. (I woulda done it too.)

But with the impeccable timing of the laughoutloud and inspiring book, Run Like a Mother arriving in Sarah's office the day after the yucky race and me following (for the most part) doc's orders to rest up the foot, we were ready to rock and roll! We WERE going to run this town!

Day/Night before - Gimme Gimme 'Smores
Part of the allure of Newport for the fam was that the kids (and me) would get our first overnight at G'ma & G'pa James' house.  Man, were the kids STOKED!  We headed down Saturday afternoon, picked up my number or rather, bib, (the kids LOVED calling it my bib.  Heh.) checked out some of the swag, got totally stressed out with crowds; have people never seen children in a stroller before?  Yes, Isabella managed to remove herself from the stroller, unhooking the 5point latches and start pushing it around while my back was turned for about 20seconds only to have me scoop her up and then chewed out by some lady that said Izzy "almost" ran over her foot.  Your a marathon runner; I'm sure your feet are pretty strong. Yet still I managed a slew of sorries. 

*Just a side note, if you ever see a stressed out parent trying to work with their kids, especially in a somewhat crowded expo, it is best not to say anything and at least seem sympathetic rather than give the parent guff.  Believe me, we get enough guff from our kids.* 

But a little retail therapy helped when I did manage to snag the last one of my new favorite running swag...a SPIbelt.  I ditched the fuelbelt for the race and went with the SPIbelt.  Awesome!  Sits low on the hips, holds my zune without my armband doesn't bounce around and there are even little bungy things to hold all my gus for the race.  Sa-weet!

Now on to gramma's.  James made me and the kids the most amazing pasta dinner.  Homemade mac n cheese like penne and american chop suey with penne.  Kids gobbled it up and so did I!  Since the 'rents were going to be taking the kids to the race in the morning, I went out to switch the car seats and then here is the timeline of next events:
  • 7;00 Kids have 'smores
  • 7:05 I walk in and see chocolate all over faces
  • 7;15 We head up to bed (more like bounce off the walls up to bed)
  • 7:18 I blow up aerobed & shove it in to make it fit between the wall and the futon.
  • 7:21 Kids turn on music; 
  • 7:22 Z monkeys jump on the bed.
  • 7:25 Mama gets up,  and bumps her head.  Yup.  I get up to turn off music and smash my face into the sloped ceiling not realizing it is not a wall. duh.
  • 7:25 I instantly realize that I react exactly like Simon, not letting anyone see my wound and go sulk, tears streaming in the bathroom. 
  • 7:32 I return to try to read books with an ice pack on my swollen cheek
  • 8:30 Kids almost asleep
  • 8:33 One kid, then the other needs to use the bathroom now for the 3rd time.
  • 8:58 Kids back to sleep.
  • 9:00 Head downstairs to get ready for tomorrow.
  • 9:30 Still deciding what to wear for the race: belt, no belt; gu or honey water; if gu, shirt with pockets or belt; logo t or plain color, teal or pink; which shoes
  • 10:30 I go to bed
  • 10:30-3;30 Afraid the kids'll wet the bed, I keep wondering if it was better if I should have brought pullups. I am so tired I want a pullup.
  • 1:00 Simon wakes me up to tell me he is going to g:o to the bathroom.
  • 4:30 Alarm goes off. (vibrating phone)
  • 5:00 About to go.  Kids come downstairs (TOO Early!)
  • 5:05 Kiss the kids, head out the door.
The race prep.  Though I ditched the fuelbelt and went
with my new fav running accessory - the SPIbelt. 
Race Day - Pump It
4:30 is too darn early to wake up when you are going to a race and spent the night worrying if the kids would wet the bed.  But I was up and ready to hit the road.  Chobani & granola packed, gear ready and planned stop at McDonalds for a cup of coffee is all in place. And then the kids wake up.  Sigh. Kisses. Good lucks and I am off.

And it is cold as a polar bear's nose.  (Only that isn't what I was really thinking.)

I get my coffee.

I get to the parking lot. Scarf down my chobani and granola in the car while listening to my race mix.  Getting pumped.

Quick call to Sarah.  They're already over there, packets picked up and freezing their tukkases off.  Giddy!

Hop on the school bus and then had to the pavilion. 

There they are.  Sarah in all her tall glory with a big 'ol grin on her face and flyaway curls that match her creative, quirky & spunky personality. And Carolyn, Sarah's sister in-law who looks not only fast, but like she just stepped off the set of Parenthood playing Monica Porter's half-marathon-running stunt double. 

Wonderful hugs ensue. Giddy as all get out. School girl shrieks. And let the chatterbox begin. Other than the 2 minutes apart during the portajohn visit, I think we were a non-stop gab fest.  Even on the hills we were chatty.  Sarah will say she wasn't then, but I think she managed a few questions (her prep questions for each mile.  I knew she would have talking points!)  I think she got all her questions answered and then some. :)

Ok, back to the report. 

Bag Check - Take it off
Line were long both at the portajohns and the bag check. To be expected, but there were still people waiting to check bags when the gun went off it was that long. It was also long because we were all waiting to the very last minute to shed the pants and jackets and what not.  It was bbbrrrrr cold!

And there goes Rudy.  From Biggest Loser. Yup, he was running the race too. (We beat him by 2 minutes. Heh.)  He didn't look quite the same as at the season finale, but we all know maintaining is tough.

Then we line up. And we are off. I whoop it up. Only to stop dead in our tracks with the bottlenecked crowd.  Giggling ensues.


Mile 1. Warm up, then Carolyn is off and on to PR.

Mile 2. Skip the water station. There is a line at the porta johns again. I always feel bad for the people that have to go that early in a race. I think how we met our spouses was the topic. And how all we have left is an easy 10miler. We can do that.

Mile 3. Through the town. Waving to little kids. Talked about the last long runs & training. Sarah said I could go on.  I just laughed. Um. No. 

Mile 4. The turnaround. And the water station.  We got all bunched up and I couldn't find Sarah for a second.  My first thought was shoot, we don't have our cells in case we get separated.  Seriously, that was about the scariest 25 seconds.  I think work was the topic. 

Mile 5. Gu. And this is where all the crazy huge houses were.  The next several miles we talked about our families and such.  I think this is the last topic I'll bring up.  I feel like there is this unspoken code of what is discussed on a run stays on the run. Ok, so I know that isn't totally true, but there is something about runs and pouring your heart out in them. Come run with me and or find a running bud, and you'll see.

Mile 6. The ocean smell....ahhhhh.  

Mile 7-8. Lots more Ocean, another water stop, cheering fans and more talking.  And whooping it up with the spectators. ( I think I shouted for them more than they shouted for us. Elmo! I even lost my voice that night.)

Mile 9. A tour bus?  What?  I thought the roads were closed?

Mile 10. The Breakers. Just a 5k left. 

Mile 11. More gu.
We can see the finish....

Mile 12. Sarah said I could go on again.  What?  No way.  I started this thing with Sarah, we are finishing it together. 

Mile 12.5. We realize that we are close to the finish and might be able to get Sarah's PR. I can feel her pick up the pace. 

Mile 13. I see James. And Mom.  And Thing 1 and Thing 2 sweatshirts.  

Saw the fam when we were coming down the home stretch.  
Cow bells a ringin' 
Signs a wavin'
Thing 1 and Thing 2 a Thingin'

Encouraging Sarah and me to the finish!
I start to cheer Sarah on promising food and post-massages, we're almost there...and I do this in front of 3 women running the full together.  I promptly switch to, "You're almost half way.  You're warriors!" 

Then we keep going, almost to the finish.
And away they go....

Started and finished as planned.  Together.  

Carolyn post PR, me and Sarah with our signs the kids made.
 (ok, with a little help from me!)
This was an awesome race.  Seriously, I never saw the photographers.  All those smiles on my face were just a perma-grin throughout the whole race.  So.fun.

So when's the next race?  

Love Love LOVE!

Three Things Thursday: Support

The race recap is coming, I promise....I am just waiting for more race photos from the event which assure us they will be up online by 5pm today.  In the mean time, I figured I would jot down a couple things on support.

So for Three Things Thursday, I give you support.

1. A friend in need...
There is just something about community, especially when it comes to weight loss, getting active, or for me, running. I love knowing that there are others that know what I'm going through, give me fresh ideas or talk me off the ledge. My community helps me stay accountable, gives support, creates mini goals and we laugh a lot.  It was the weeks/months/years that I didn't check in when the gains came.

Here are a couple challenges/ideas I like.
  • Find a group (real or virtually) to check in; I like online message boards, daily mile, emails to friends, and weightwatchers@work as my go to for check ins. 
  • 2500 challenge - Each week we try to burn 2500 calories; we wear a heart rate monitor (I have a Polar FT4) and post our daily/weekly burns
  • Tracking challenges - did you track? Um. no.  Well get tracking! 
  • Find a work out buddy.
2. Been there done that
Once you reach your goal, whether it is weight loss, or a PR on your race, find someone to help get their goal.  I love how good it feels to help someone else accomplish their goals too.

3. Live at the Improv 
And the winnner for best supporting actress is....random headband! Yesterday, I planned on a 4miler at lunch, but as I took my running gear out to go change, I realized I forgot something vitally important for the girls.

So in a pinch, headbands work to support the girls and keep them in place on a 4miler. I wouldn't recomend it for much longer.

Note, I must have a very large head or....nvm. Sigh.

October 15, 2010

Friday's Drawers: Silky, Smooth....


I just have to write this down now so I don't forget.  Seriously, I wanted to drink this soup with a straw it was so dern good.

Ok, I actually did take a small sip with a straw. 

Whaa....I couldn't find my spoon and it was there.  It was clean.  Don't judge.

2 butternut squashes peeled & cubed (about 8ish cups)
2 onions chopped
1 big carrot chopped
1 apple peeled and cubed
3 T. butter
5 c chicken broth 
3/4 c. half and half
salt & pepper to taste

  1. Melt the butter on med high heat and sauté the squash, onions, carrots and apple for about 12 minutes.
  2. Pour in the chicken broth  and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Blend with a emulsion blender 
  5. Stir in the half and half.
  6. Salt & pepper to taste.
Makes 12 cups.

Chicken Broth - I used my homemade broth - simmered chicken parts, leeks, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper

Emulsion blender - best investment ever for soups and post run smoothies...I use a Cuisinart. Local peeps, I get Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off coupons all the time.  E me if you want one.  The coupon I mean.

You can lighten this up by only doing 2 T of butter and 1/2 c of half and half, but I tried it with a little less and wanted it just a touch creamier.  

Oh yeah, and here is this week's share.

Romaine, kale, spinach, baby bok choy
buttercup squash, onions, green peppers
sweet potatoes, (no clue), apples, potatoes
I am so psyched for the return of the sweet potato.  There was something I was thinking of making with those as soon as they made their fine return and for the life of me I cannot remember right now.  

If anyone has a clue what that big 'ol white thing is in the middle, please fill me in.  It looks too big to be a parsnip and was such a solid white inside. It wasn't on the list that I could tell and it is new to me. 

Buttercup squash is a new one to me too. I think I have an untried recipe for those.  Though I am thinking about using the same recipe above for one or two of those ugly bad boys. Note to self....need more carrots.

Guess I have me some cooking to do....

October 14, 2010

Three Things Thursday: Double Trouble

Is it really Thursday already?  That means my race is *GASP* only 1...2...21/2 days away!

And my three things...

1. DoubleWhew. NO STRESS FRACTURE!!! Woot! Had the x-rays done yesterday and the doc said it is probably a strain. The taped compression moved the pain away from my tendons and up to my ankle & arch, but he expects it to subside & heal over the next 2 weeks as long as I stay in shoes (not flats) pretty much all the time. So no VFFs for awhile me thinks. Then s-l-o-w-l-y back into them. (Please help keep my honest on this one! My over enthusiastic self got the better of me.) Oh and he said I had strong runner's feet. Ooo la la.

This also means I am good to go for the half marathon on Sunday in Newport, RI.  Anyone want to come cheer me and my bud Sarah on? I guarantee a sweaty hug just for you. Remember, I have sex-ay runner's feet. Oh yeah, he said strong. Same thing.  

I wish I had a pic from yest, Simon and Izzy
were in their Thing 1 & Thing 2 sweatshirts.
2. Double Stroller Nightmare. On the heels (heh. I slay me.) of my non-run-threating diagnosis, I took the kiddos (5 & 3) on a run in the new-to-me double jogger. What better way to celebrate than to push 100 lbs of kid + stroller around my neighborhood, right? At about 2.5 miles in we hit a bump in the sidewalk and BAM! the front tire came off, the frame pierced the wheel, the kids jerked forward then back since they were securely strapped in and my shin hit the back frame leaving a hefty bruise (yes, on the SAME leg that just got cleared from the stress fracture.) 

I *almost* let Simon go with just the lap straps; he was struggling with the shoulder belt, but I had both kids in shoulder straps thank goodness! That could have been way worse than just a bruise. (PSA: Always fully strap the kids in and check the tires. This goes for quick release bikes too!)

The kids were so good when they got out so I could fix the jogger. They listened to the iluv player - Dynamite over and over (which Izzy had me sing to her as she fell asleep. Ahh the joys of a mothah runnah play list) while I put the flatten wheel back on (very, very securely) and headed home.

Running and pushing 100lbs of kid + stroller is tough, but doing it with a flat front tire, that is just.....(Enter choice words here.)

Eh, between the adrenaline and the pushing, I burned about 150 more cals than normal on a 4miler. Does that negate the pumpkin pie I ate? :-/

3. Double your batch - Call it carb loading or just plain mmm mmm good. But I am loving LOVING my ho-made chicken noodle soup these days. I snapped this pic and sent to David so he could stop at the store and know which containers to pick up to freeze up some of these bad boys.

Note, these containers totally rock for several reasons. 1. you get portion controlled soup. (2 cups is my meal.) 2. They stack easily. 3. Twist offs are easier to deal with after being frozen. 4. When you give away soups, you can give perfectly portioned and select varieties. Call it soup tithing. :)

October 12, 2010

Friday's Drawers - I'll gladly post on Tuesday for a....

It doesn't seem right to make a cheeseburger reference when I am looking at such a fine lot of fresh veggies.

Check that.

Who am I kidding?  I can always dream about cheeseburgers.

Mmmm cheesburger (Instert best Homer Voice here.)

*snap out of it!*

....Oh yeah, blog post.

The beauty of posting on a Tuesday with Friday's produce is that I can write what I DID rather than what I planned to do.  (Along with the confession of the items that ended up sacrificed to the golden dirt aka compost pile. Whoops.)

First, the broccoli; steamed and De-Vour-Erd by my kiddos. I didn't even get to snag a bite. Simon thinks broccoli is dessert.  Hey, I'm good with that.

Oh wait, I hope he doesn't think that because it is just an occasional thing.

Anyway, with a piece of pumpkin pie in front of him (BJs, Wellesley Farms, 4.99 with a 1.00 coupon off this week. Just sayin'.) Simon asked if he could have his pie.  Yes, he finished his chicken and broccoli.  He can have pie. And just as he said "Ok" he reaches for another spoonful of broccoli from the serving bowl.  Alrighty then.

Next.  Da' leeks. And potatoes. You guessed it....totally made yummy potato leek soup.  Enough to puree some and leave some chunky like.


The other leek made the most amazing chicken broth with the leftover roasted chicken for some home made soup.

Chard - So I tried the chard with lentils; real lentils this time.  I usually use red aka Masoor Dal.  Man-o-shevitz did that smell just awful!  Ick. I left it simmering on the stove and headed upstairs.  I had to interrupt bed time with the kids to go down and check to make sure the kitchen wasn't burning down it stank so bad.  I don't know if it was from the lentils (the noob didn't wash 'em; could that be it?) or something else in the pot, but...blech.  (Guess you won't want this recipe from me.)


Of course I a too much of a cheapass to waste it, so I containerized and had it for lunch today.  It was eh. I guess. Definitely going back to my red lentils for this soup.

I am in a total soup making mode.

I haven't made up the butternut squash, but that is next tonight. I need to wipe out the stench from the lentil debacle.

Oh yeah.  I forgot the confession.  Heh.

Sooo, I had the brilliant idea of plunking the chard, kale and arugula in a little container of water to keep it fresh a bit longer.  I wasn't in much of a cooking mood this weekend.

The chard was awesome.  Totally worked.  Leafy, fresh, not wilted at all.

The kale. Not so much.

Yesterday, it was almost completely yellow.  Same with the arugula. Ugh-rugla more like. Sigh.

Ideas on keeping kale fresh longer? Or motivation tips for cooking when I don't wanna? Or what might have happened to my lentils - Do they stink when the cook?  Or saving/freezing kale? Arugula?  Post 'em if you got 'em.

October 08, 2010

Sweet Christmas!

My new favorite drink.

Pumpkin pie a la mode.

Shipyard Pumpkin Ale
Shot of Absolut Vanilla Vodka (Ok, I think I put a little more than a shot in here...whoa!)
Brown sugar on the rim

Must be served in a Luke Cage glass.

This one will pile drive you if you aren't careful.  Don't drink and past. I mean post.

October 07, 2010

Three Things Thursday: Me. Alone. In the office. With Brownies!! *&%$

Probably not a news flash here, but I love sweets.

Especially chocolaty ones. Fresh baked brownies, cookies, cake. Really anything with anything chocolate. Say...nutella. Straight from the jar. With a spoon. Which is why I don't keep chocolate in the house.

Except the nutella.


And if I bake, I do what my co-worker did to us today. Bake then bring the rest to work.

Wait. That's what I do.

Shoe's on the other foot today. Argh.

Normally, I would say I have some exercise options so a brownie wouldn't be so bad, but I am still working off the freak out, eat everything in sight like spoonfuls of nutella because I am so friggin' frustrated gain from not running for 10 days.

No brownies for you! (Said in my best soup nazi voice)

And I don't know about you, but for me, there is something about being alone with food that is makes it even worse.

If no one *sees* me eat it, it didn't happen right?  The worst eating is the kind that happens at the fridge or pantry in secret.

Which brings me to the three (of many) things that I do to keep from face planting in a plate of brownies especially when alone.

1. Plate it.  If I am going to have a treat, I really should plate it, take it to the table and eat it (and enjoy it) rather that eat standing at the counter, pantry or with the freezer door open and a cold spoon in my mouth licking up all the evidence.

2. Do something with my hands. *Ahem* I don't care what I am doing, but they better not be going for the food.  I cannot tell you how many baby and prayer blankets I crocheted while trying not to think about the ice cream treats that were in the freezer. One friend (check that...hawt friend) said she is working on her sex-ay little Halloween costume. Sex-ay and little is keeping her mind on her goal weight and bedazzling it at night when the cravings hit is keeping her hands occupied.  Of course she is making Katy's cupcakes....Wouldn't that increase your cravings, Em?  Right now I am blogging. So that works. Typing is keeping me away from said brownies. Now I must avoid picking one up on the way out the door.....

3. Gross myself out.  Did you ever read She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb?  (Side note: If ever there was a man that could write like a chubby chick; it's Wally.) There is this scene where she describes how she imagines food she doensn't want to eat. I won't give it away because it is pretty gross, and well, I do like food but I want to like good for me food.  I guess you could argue that all the additives and chemicals and whatnot in box mixes is pretty gross, but if that doesn't work, I think of communal food as covered in cold, germs and ickyness. This also usually works (usually) for my kids pb crusts and other 1/2 eaten things that I go to pop in my mouth.

Forget about will power.  This is definitely *want* power.

I want to stay at goal.

I want to eat other things that won't make me feel sluggish and crave even more.  There is no way I can eat just one. uh-uh.  not.gonna.happen.

I want to put energy in my body that is going to help me think, run, and feel good. But dang they do smell good!

What kinds of things do you do to keep from face planting in your treat of choice?

October 01, 2010

Friday's Drawers - Acorny question

Now THIS is a good fall box.  There are still openings for an East Coast share with Enterprise Produce....just sayin'.

I see borcht, vegetable stew, potato/apple/dandelion green concoction in our future....

But I also see those yummy acorn squash over there.  Mmmmmm.....

Now this is a question for all the WeWa peeps. See, we get vegetables for "free" - zero points, right?  And summer squash and zucchini fall into those zero point range (Whoo hoo!) Winter squash on the other hand is one of the random veggies like corn, cooked carrots, lima beans (STILL don't like those. blech.) that costs me a point. Dang it!

But wait...

According to wikipedia, the entry for acorn squash says....

"Although considered a winter squash, acorn squash belongs to the same species as all 'summer' squashes"

I don't do WeWa online, so I can't look it up.  Really, I am just curious.  It isn't like one extra point of squash is going to stop me from still enjoying IT, the buttah on IT or that extra swig of "mama's favorite soda."

ooooh oooooh ooooh!!

*lightbulb moment*

Do you think Pumpkin Beer counts towards my veggies?

Probably not, huh?

Here is what I am going to do with the acorn squash tonight, add some quinoa and and enjoy with said pumpkin beer a.k.a. "Mama's favorite soda."

Baked Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash, cut in 1/2
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Scoop the seeds and stringy pulp out of the squash cavities and discard. In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, syrup and salt and pepper, to taste. Rub the squash cavities and cut sides of the squash with the butter mixture and place them on a baking sheet, cut side up. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Serve 1 half per person.