November 3rd, 2009 | Posted by Alison Spath in Dinner Time

It’s Tuesday. That means it’s a magic basket full of snacks for me and one or more of the offspring. Today’s basket of packed goodness was for me and Ava. I was unexpectedly assisting in her homeschooling class today. Maxine stayed behind with Aunt Ellen while Ava and I forged ahead.

Tuesday Picnic Basket

I was of course excited to dig into my MamaBar and give it a real trial run. (i.e., not sampling it over the food processor bowl.) I chowed this puppy moments before getting out of the car to tackle a room full of 5 and 6 year olds for three hours. I needed every last ounce of coconut oil.


Dinner tonight was inspired by Justine from the Confessions of a SAHM. Curried Squash and Apple Soup.

It all started with a lone buttercup squash I snagged the other day. The produce manager told me buttercup is a very sweet squash, so I knew the perfect recipe to use it in when I saw Justine’s post yesterday.

Buttercup Squash

Halved, de-seeded and roasted with a sweet potato at 350 for about 50 minutes. When I could easily stick a fork through the skin, it was done.

Roasted Orange Veggies

What jumped out at me with this recipe was the addition of an apple! A large peeled crispin apple, sauteed with onion in extra virgin olive oil until soft.

Sauteed Apples and Onions

Squash and potato removed from it’s flesh, into the pot with the apple and onion and a couple cups of vegetable broth. A tablespoon or so of cinnamon and curry powder, and then cooked for a few minutes before moving the entire contents into the food processor. I usually leave some veggies in the pot to make the soup chunky, but decided today to go wild and puree the whole pot.

This combination of flavors was awesome, the sweet with savory was so good!

Sweet and Savory Squash Soup

Served by candle light with some garlic hummus on toasted Ezekiel bread with salsa.

Tuesday Dinner

So since tonight’s dinner was inspired by Justine, the queen of confessions – here’s mine.

My little calorie math project last night has me totally contemplating calorie counting again – or at the very least food journaling – for the month of November. For the past year now I’ve wanted to lose the last 10 “vanity pounds”, as Jillian Michaels puts it. I was reminded last night of how well calorie counting works.

Food journaling was what worked for me like nothing else ever had before. It allowed me to break through my plateau and go on to lose an additional 23 lbs in two and a half months. Writing it down and seeing the numbers is like balancing your check book. There’s no denying the numbers when they are there in front of you. It worked great for me and I’m suddenly feeling motivated to do it again.

I was in upper 120’s in the summer of 2008 and have been hanging out in the low 130’s for almost a year now. My clothes still fit but they fit better when I was in the 120’s – and I would love to get back there again. It’s what I’ve wanted for a year now! After trying everything Raw Food Detox Diet and Thrive, the bottom line is that I need to pay closer attention to how many calories I eat.

At the end of a day, it’s all about the math. Calories in have to be less than calories out and the weight will come off. If I want to see results I’ve got to keep track.

I hesitate to post this. It’s embarrassing. But it’s real so here it is. There’s no denying that it works – so I’m going to do it. I’m going to food journal for a month and see where I end up 4 weeks from now.

Confession over. Time to hit publish.

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23 Responses

  • Bernadette says:

    Kudos to you for putting it out there. Sometimes you just gotta be held accountable. What’s in it for me I ask?? New food ideas!! Woot Woot!

    I agree that the food journal definitely helps, I used it a while back and it just helped me get it all into perspective.

    We should all challenge ourselves this month- find something that we’ve been thinking about and just jump in… hmmmm

    Have a great evening!

  • Mallory says:

    hi. you read my mind.
    (ok, wait, don’t start shouting expletives at me, i don’t mean that YOU should think about starting up a food journal again… but that I should do it)
    i know i want to keep a lot of things from RFDD and Thrive (hellooooo juicing!) but i need to take a closer look at my portions and overall calories in.
    i’m down for operation time-to-get-hella-accountable… thanks for the push to actually start it!

  • Erica says:

    mmmm that soupy looks so good. I always serve my squash with a side of apples but have never combined the two together. I’m glad you posted about your journal-ing thoughts. I use FitDay every now and again as a check in to see how I’m doing. Its amazing how all the little things you munch on throughout the day can add up! I think its a good way to stay in check! Of course- I think you look fabulous at the weight you’re at now :)

  • Cindy says:

    oh gosh Ali! I am so where you are at…So THERE. I had to let go of my 10lb goal to finally learn how to eat intuitively… I still have my 10…and I too want it off…but I have learned SO MUCH this year…SO MUCH and I can’t believe that I can honestly say…if I lose it or if I don’t I am okay with me!

    however..just reading your goal, gives me that itch too to tighten the belt.

    I was trying to do it by getting my daily cardio consistent. I think I have to conquer that first.

    I am a former eating disorder girl…so much so that when Dad noticed I had lost wight (more toned up than weight) he gave me a face…a face and a hand gesture that said
    “are you taking that ephedra crap again”… NOPE POPS….TREADMILL and GOOD CLEAN FOOD
    I beamed
    He beamed
    and I knew just then that I would be okay….and that he was proud of me.

    You my friend are such inspiration and if food journaling and calorie tracking is a great too for you than GO FOR IT.

    I know you’ll accomplish your goal!
    and I will too…and so will everyone who is here, fighting the good fight, one Kale Chip and one run at a time!

    Luv ya!

  • Kristin says:

    That soup looks DElish!

    I think all of us start to feel that desire to lose those last 10 vanity pounds before the holiday season begins – because we know trouble is just around the corner! November is a hard month – especially for those of us who live in the colder areas – our bodies always crave comfort foods which tend to be a little higher calorically!! I know you will reach your goal and I’ll be here to support you!


  • i saw justine’s soup too and was like yum…now you made a version, double yum!

    good deal on the mamabar action, woo hoo!

    calorie counting and math. yes, less input than output and you will lose weight. Do what works for you and what you feel you need to do!

  • Mama Pea says:

    Just don’t let it make you crazy. I did it for so long it made me kind of nutzo. Oh, wait that was Calliou.

  • Amy says:

    I’ve got the same confession – I’ve been considering going back to spark people and logging the food. I just don’t want to become obsessive. I need to find balance.

    Your soup looked great! Amy

  • Nicole says:

    thanks for your honesty!! If you are looking for a good online journal, (the daily plate) is an awesome way to journal your workouts and food intake. It is important to keep track of your activity level too! Good luck!!

  • Nicole says:

    I think that you look great though!!! :)

  • Lizzy says:

    Buttercup squash is the best isnt it? My momma has one sitting in our kitchen that teases me all the time! I love it so much!

    I’m giving you a round of applause because A- you posted your goal and B- you know what works for you. If something works for you then all the power to you! Alison your an inspiration to me (i hope you know that) so i have no fear that these next 4 weeks will be both a challenge and empowering! Those last 10 pounds don’t stand a chance! Love you girl! :)

  • Julie says:

    I’m right there with you sister.

  • Justine says:

    I am glad you liked the soup Mama!! :) I never thought to try it with the buttercup. I have a sunshine squash and its really sweet. Maybe I will make it again with that one. That soup also left me surprisingly full :).

    I think calorie counting can be a good a refresher. I don’t like to do it, I mean who does? Really? But sometimes its a good thing to do to keep you in check. I probably run to my computer and do it about 1 or 2 x’s every couple of weeks just out of curiosity.

    I highly recommend using Daily Plate. It is amazing and almost addicting (just ask Heab’s) hehe.

    Are you going to be posting your counts? I am right there with you on losing the last 10 except I think its creeped up to about 15. Oops!


  • Heather says:

    That soup looks amazing. And what do you know, I have a buttercup, apples and sweet potatoes sitting in my produce basket. Hmmm…

  • Jennifer says:

    Don’t feel embarrassed about counting calories again. I think it’s good to do that every once in a while while you are maintaining so you can make sure you are still on track. :)

    I’ve never heard of a buttercup squash before. That soup sounds really good. I bet the sweet and salty were a great combo!

    Love the candles, too. (hehe)

  • Whit says:

    I agree, calorie counting is where it’s at! If the calorie police come around, I have your back, don’t worry.

  • Erin says:

    I also love the candlelight! How festive :)

    I hear you on the calorie counting front. I feel like I JUST learned, after years of trying to get there, how to seperate calorie counting as a tool to lose weight, and calorie counting as an obsession/part of my life. I have learned how to make it about losing weight, and being positive about that, vs. letting it control my every thought and food choice! And I cannot believe you lost 23 pounds in 2.5 months! You must have been a machine!! Totally motivating.

    Oh wait, I guess that’s you regardless. So yes, I can believe it.

  • My sister and I used to have a food journal of where we kept track of everything, and I mean everything from calories and food we ate to how many calories we burned. It was good at first for us though it created a lot of un-wanted stress and almost ruined our sister-ship. So now with eating raw foods we don’t keep track of anything and have actually lost a few pounds without even trying. Though, we still suffer from digestive issues due to our sluggish colon, so we are starting a new type of food journal – mainly to keep track of what we ate and how we felt. This way we can see what foods make our tummies happy and what ones upset it. It all depends on your goal of the journal and where you are in your life. I think give it a try and see where it leads you. Good luck!

  • Holly says:

    you know, calorie counting DOES serve a purpose because at the end of the day, you do need to burn more than you consume. just don’t let it consume YOU – that’s all i am saying. other than that, i am cheering you on girl! WORK. IT. OUT.

    i have been feeling off track too – i need to clean some things up, get back on a schedule and WORK. IT. OUT. with you. ya heard?

    love you mama!

  • Shari B. says:

    I totally agree with Nicole about the Daily Plate (free) at — it rocks. I used it for a while back when I counted calories and found it WAY better than other counters I’d used, partly because they had a LOT of the healthy stuff in their database already (like supplements) that were lacking in other programs.

    While I don’t count calories currently, I completely understand where you are coming from and recommend calorie counting for my clients when they have a “number” they want to reach. I believe that the only way to TRULY be able to control what you lose (and when) is done when you know your calories in and out. When you have a specific goal in mind, it’s the way to go.

    I think you look great already, but will cheer you on for sure. Don’t stress about it though! You have a lot on your plate already with you upcoming move!

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