This week’s Smart Fuel: Acorn Squash
Winter is a wonderful time to enjoy drier, more dense vegetables, seeds, nuts and squashes. This week we’re highlighting acorn squash.
Acorn squash is considered a winter squash, but it’s actually classified with zucchini and other summer squashes. No matter; it is delicious no matter what you call it. Try it baked or stuffed; you can also fry it up with onions, meats, garlic and other savory additions. One acorn squash is usually less costly than an artichoke and can either serve as a delicious light dinner for one or a versatile, hearty side dish for 2.
Acorn squash is rich in beta carotene, though not as much as other winter squashes. However, acorn squash has generous amounts of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium. Plus, halved and hulled, acorn squash makes a perfect easy portion.
Anxiety Culture has a great piece on worry that really stirred my pot. Anxiety is a persistent problem in our culture, and it seems to strike the affluent and poor, healthy and unhealthy, male and female, young and old alike. Anxiety is a particular breed of that umbrella term we toss around, stress, and it’s really insidious for a number of reasons. For one thing, as the piece notes, we’re sort of acculturated to be worriers. Worrying is seen as a really responsible, adult thing to do. If you’re nonchalant and fancy free, something surely must be wrong with you. Just as we give great credit to being overworked, underpaid, stressed, tired, busy, and overwhelmed, we give worrying a lot of authority.
It’s not natural, it’s not healthy, it’s not even moral (our Puritan ancestors are turning in their graves). There is no great moral imperative or increased value that worrying can confer upon you, yet we all act as if this were the case. In fact, I think worrying is a pretty immature reaction to life’s challenges. And because worrying – anxiety – is so self-perpetuating, it can quickly derail into a vicious, even neurotic cycle.
Here’s a great safety hack I picked up recently: adjust your car mirrors to capture more of the blind spots. From the authors:
“For years, we’d been setting our side-view mirrors so that they gave us a view of the back corner of our cars. This is the way it’s been done for generations – from grandfather, to father, to us! But we finally discovered something very interesting. The back corner of the car never moves. It always stays in the same exact place. So there’s really no reason to keep an eye on it.
Ultimately, optimal health is more about what you put in your body, not how much. But “how much” does matter to some extent, regardless of what you are eating. A grass-fed steak may be one of the most nutritious foods on earth (bring on that saturated fat), but it shouldn’t cause your grocery cart to list to one side.
I eat about 50% of my calories from fat these days, and I’ve never been healthier or leaner. Eating so much fat keeps me sated so I don’t crave huge portions or plates piled high with goodies. That’s a nice side effect of eating for my health first and foremost. If you’ve adopted the Primal Health philosophy of consuming plenty of natural fats, protein and produce, you’ve taken care of the “what” part of eating, and your body will benefit for years to come because you’re eating for your body’s blueprint.
© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple
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