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Third Week of #WakeUpWinter

When squash gives you seeds, make a pesto.
When squash gives you seeds, make a pesto.

 

Week 3 of my Six Week Wake Up Winter Challenge is off to a great start thanks to some uplifting workouts at Uplift Studios, including my first Strength class with Jess this morning (hello my arms are so sore and happy) thanks to the MLK day holiday. While my “salad-a-day first” week goal and “better sleep” second week goal are ongoing, this week’s special focus goal is “eating to nourish.”

  • Focus on eating to nourish–even when it comes to snacks and dessert. There is nothing wrong with snacking and eating dessert but there are “snack foods” and “dessert foods” that won’t help me feel my best. For this 6 week challenge, I’m getting a grip on the salty, sugary, and processed snacks and instead focusing on whole-foods and nutrient-dense snacks. This means that the foods hard to stop eating are just not coming home with me this challenge. Sorry, Trader Joe’s Inner Peas–you’re going to have to wait since I can’t be trusted not to eat the whole bag of salty, crunchiness alone. Why? They may feel comforting for the few moments we’re eating them, but processed sugary and salty foods can leave us feeling groggy, lethargic and more likely to end up on the couch for hours.

This week I am well stocked on fresh grapefruits, blood oranges, hard boiled eggs, hummus, and ingredients to make my next batch of butternut squash pie (I’m addicted to this pie right now–only sugar is about 1 Tbsp honey per pie but tastes so decadent and naturally sweet!). I took the squash out of the slow cooker and scooped out the seeds. Usually I roast them but this time I decided to try a new use for them: winter pesto.

You can try it out too! Instead of eating it on crackers or chips, I’m going for the eat-to-nourish focus by pairing it with unprocessed, whole foods like on roasted veggies, corn, eggs, and on salads.

Winter Pesto

INGREDIENTS

– Left over squash seeds from one or two squashes (you can include the little bits of cooked squash, no need to rinse)
– Whole bunch of parsley (I used a mix of curly and flat leaf)
-1/4 cup olive oil
-Juice from one lemon
-3 cloves fresh garlic minced (saute first to bring a warmer, milder flavor or try raw for a sharper flavor)
-Optional: 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast or fresh grated Parmesan

METHODS
Combine ingredients in a food processor or in a large mason jar to use an immersion blender. Blend until smooth. Add fresh ground pepper to taste.