About Dana

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I'm a dichotomy of blue jeans, pretty jewelry, frugalista, and Southern girl living the simple rural life. I want to live my life holistically, thoughtfully, economically, and most of all gratefully, and encourage other women to do the same.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Squash Pasta

It's hard to convince my family members that meat is not required in a meal. I really haven't persuaded them except with one dish. But I can only pull this meal out of my hat once every 45 to 60 days. Else....well, you know. The MEAT thing.

Give this a try if you want a filling, healthy meal that is super simple. Using spaghetti squash in place of pasta helps save carbs and calories and provides plenty of fiber.

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara

Cut squash in half (This is the hardest part of the entire recipe. Use a sharp knife!)
Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and place the two halves cut-side down in a roasting pan in about a 1/2 inch of water.

Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for one hour.

The squash should be tender when you take it out of the oven. Carefully (it is extremely hot!!), use a potholder to pick up each half, draining out any accumulated water. Shred the insides of the squash into a bowl by scraping a fork through it, pulling it into strands.

All you need to do from here is top with your favorite marinara sauce. It's great to make your own, but on swim team nights, I grab a jar of Paul Newman's marinara sauce (lowest sugar count around) and go to town.

Happy healthy eating!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Time to Grow Up

I know I'm not alone when I say I want to protect my son for as long as possible. Every mother reading this is thinking the same thing, too. We just stick together on things like that.

But at some point point our children have to work more than is comfortable for them, and they'll be in a place where they will feel a little bit of pain. Otherwise, they'll never grow up.

I was watching my son swim laps for an hour Monday night at swim team practice. The coach assigned him to swim lap after lap of the stroke he dislikes the most - the butterfly. Why does he dislike it? It is HARD for him, he runs out of energy, goes too slow, and it's his worst stroke. The others seem to come easy for him.

I watched him struggle lap after lap and could visibly see his energy lagging (imagine that in a 9-year-old boy). I knew if I was down in that lane, I would not have made it (fyi, I'm nowhere close to 9). It made me so tired just to watch, that I wanted to scoop him out of the water and say - "Nice effort! Now take a break." I knew he couldn't stop - it's the coach's rule that if you stop and interrupt the lane flow, you gotta get out and do push-ups. So I felt his pain from my spectator's seat, and I realized: this is just a small hurdle. There will be much larger ones for him. I faced them. He will, too. And there's no way I can make some of them easier. And there's really no reason I should.

Our job is to take these little munchkins and grow them into responsible, independent, contributing citizens. It takes a little adversity - and a lot of work - to accomplish the goal. Sometimes as parents we need to move out of the way.

My thoughts for the day! Do you agree?

Happy hump day,