Spaghetti Squash Gratin

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Spaghetti Squash Gratin

My (Sort of) Keto Diet

So, as I mentioned recently on Instagram, I’ve been sort of…flirting with the Keto diet lately. I don’t get hardcore about tracking my calories and macronutrients, because as someone who is in recovery from an eating disorder, that can be a trigger for me. I just eyeball my plate and make sure I’m packing it with lots of veggies, the right amount of protein, and healthy fats. I do still eat carbohydrates, I just make an effort to seek out things like squash, occasional potatoes, and other carbohydrates found in plants. A rule a lot of people in the Keto community use is “any vegetable that grows above the ground,” but as I mentioned, we also have potatoes sometimes.

This change in my eating is partially because I am trying to help my body fully recover from the process of giving birth to Sammi, including releasing the almost 70 pounds I gained during pregnancy. It is also partially due to a lot of digestive upset I’ve experienced in the past six months. Through doing a Whole30 elimination diet and some other tinkering with my food intake, I’ve learned that my body is not really processing carbs from baked goods and processed foods very well. Maybe it’s celiac, or maybe just another weird, postpartum hormone thing. In any case, this is the food regimen that’s working for me right now.

This spaghetti squash au gratin recipe is one we tried last night and really enjoyed! Here’s how I made it.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash, halved and cleaned of all seeds

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • 1 tsp Pepper

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 slices provolone cheese

  • 1/4 cup shredded mozarella cheese

  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 cup shredded gouda cheese

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced in half moons

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. On a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, place your spaghetti squash that has been halved and cleaned out. Brush the squash halves in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then turn the halves face down. Place in oven for 15 minutes.

  3. Remove from oven, turn over and roast for another 15 minutes with the hollowed side facing up.

  4. Remove, place the sliced onions in the center, and cover with the four types of cheese. Roast for another 15 minutes.

  5. Then, simply serve and enjoy!

I have seen some recipes out there for twice-baked spaghetti squash, and might try scooping out the insides after step 4 (making them look like “spaghetti”), placing them back in their shells, and then covering with the cheese next time I do this. If you do it that way, let me know how it goes!

What do you think? Is this a recipe you’ve tried or do you have any recommendations? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Willow Pump: Worth the Bucks?

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Willow Pump: Worth the Bucks?

If you’re a mom who pumps frequently, particularly a working mom, then the answer is YES!

Recently, I had the opportunity to try out one of the hottest new gadgets for mom…the Willow Pump! Thank you to Willow for sending it to me! This post is not sponsored, it’s just my two cents after having the chance to use Willow over a period of several months.

Using Willow pump in the makeup chair at a photo shoot. This would not be possible with a traditional pump!

Using Willow pump in the makeup chair at a photo shoot. This would not be possible with a traditional pump!

This is the Willow 1.0, which retails for $429.99 new. The latest version, the Willow 2.0, retails for $499.99. Because of the steep price tag and the fact that this pump is not covered by some insurers, moms are all asking the question, “Is it really worth the money?”

My answer is YES! But I have some caveats. Read on to see why I’m recommending the Willow Pump to breastfeeding moms.

Willow Gives You Freedom

One of the biggest issues I have with a traditional style pump is how limited you are during pumping. You can’t even hold your baby! Sammi and I had a difficult journey with breastfeeding, and I was pumping anywhere from 4-6 times a day for the first eight months of our breastfeeding journey. During this time, I was super limited. I had to be stuck in one spot, physically hooked up to this very restrictive machine during pumping. It was difficult to fit in a workout, errands, doctor appointments, household chores, and social engagements and stick to a pumping schedule. Once I was back to work, it would have been impossible to find places to pump on set tethered to a traditional pump. Because Willow fits in my bra, I was able to use it without issue! And with the Willow pump, you can do a wide variety of activities! You can even hold your baby while you pump. Imagine that!

Willow Stimulates Your Supply

One of my biggest concerns with trying Willow was getting adequate stimulation. The main reason that I continued to pump so frequently was in order to stimulate my supply, and I wanted to be sure that such a slick device was really going to give me the stimulation I needed. I was very pleased to find that Willow does deliver on this! I was able to get the same amount of milk (or more) than with my traditional pump! If you’re worried about maintaining your supply, Willow is a great option for you!

Willow Fits in Your Purse

This might not seem like a big deal. But it’s one of the most important factors about Willow that I think moms need to consider. Having to cart around a traditional pump for a year or more is a major lifestyle impediment. Whether for trips, or getting around town, or just going to-and-from your office, being able to travel light really affects your experience as a new mom. (Read my post on infant travel to learn more about my traveling light philosophy). Because Willow fits so easily into your bag, it’s much easier to sustain this aspect of your breastfeeding journey while also allowing you to balance other areas of your life.

As I mentioned, I do have some caveats to mention in regards to this device, which is a major purchase for most moms. If you are one of the lucky ones for whom breastfeeding has come easy and you don’t find yourself needing to pump very often, you’re probably okay without the Willow. If you are fine hanging at home and able to breastfeed frequently, you probably don’t need the Willow. And if the restrictions of traditional pumping don’t chafe at you and suck out your life force, like they did for me for eight months, then you probably don’t need the Willow.

What do you think—are you taking the plunge and trying Willow? Let me know in the comments!

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