Praise the Gourd
Many people may look at me and think that I’m so healthy. Don’t get me wrong. I try to go to the gym routinely, and yes, I strive to have a varied diet. But baaaby…I love food and I love to eat! Like honestly, if I had to choose between mac-n-cheese or a quinoa salad—I’m getting down and dirty with the carbs and dairy.
One thing that I wish society would do is stop letting physical appearance dictate health standards. For instance, I’m a very skinny and tall guy. At a glance, I look like I’m checking all the boxes for a fit individual. However, I really do hate most fruits (it’s a texture thing) and describe lettuce as “watery crunch.” It’s a daily battle for me to drink more water, and don’t get me started on milk (yes, I have thoughts). Yet, someone who is huskier than me might actually be “healthier” if he or she is actively working out and has a well-rounded palette.
Long story short, I learned that you need to stop comparing yourself to other people. Everyone has different dietary and genetic setbacks; thus, your journey is unique to you. Embrace that and focus on yourself.
So what’s my point? I felt that I could improve my relationship with food and exercise. I went to a nutritionist (shout-out to Ashley at Nutrition Energy) and spoke with an expert about my goals. In my session, I was given some standard guidelines for what my meals should include—a fat, a protein, and a carb. Then, she asked me if I liked to cook. I love cooking! Similar to cleaning, cooking is a huge stress reliever for me. It’s the act of creation and completing a task that fulfills me. Rediscovering this passion opened my eyes and challenged me to tackle new recipes, even ones that include some of my least favorite foods.
Thanks to some new websites and my roommates, I started to expand my horizons with food. My apartment invested in an Instant Pot, and yo, did this purchase change the game! This gadget operates as a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, and much more. With winter finally blowing its blistering cold kiss across Manhattan, ‘tis the season for soups. I’ve always liked butternut squash soup, but never made it myself.
So, I went online and searched for a recipe until I found this gem. Ali at Gimme Some Oven created a recipe that’s easy to follow and includes ingredients that I normally wouldn’t use. Some quick suggestions:
- I had a little trouble picking a squash and ended up buying a half of one that was already peeled.
- Once I bought all my ingredients, I realized that I bought too little butternut squash. So I improvised and added another apple and more carrot to make up for the lack.
- The recipe said to season to taste. I love ginger and added it to the recipe and a little more than the recommended amount of cinnamon.
Lemme tell you, I made this soup last weekend and was blown away at how easy it was. If you have a slow cooker, it pretty much does the bulk of the work. Just dump the ingredients in the pot, let them settle in the jacuzzi to a mush, pop everything in a blender, and—voila! #praisethegourd and enjoy.