Black Beans, Guacamole, and Spaghetti Squash

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All family photos by Manzanita Photo, Rebecca Caridad

I managed to gain a decent amount of weight being pregnant with Calen.  Not too much but definitely enough.. I gave birth a 9lb 10oz baby.  Despite having a big baby I did exercise regularly throughout the second and third trimesters and felt strong during that time.  I noticed muscle tone starting to come through and it was nice to know I wasn’t just gaining baby weight but also muscle mass.  So now that I’m a few weeks postpartum it’s time to pick back up with some exercise and healthy eating habits.  I’m blessed to have no issues with milk production or nursing so we are well established in this department.  I know now is the time to start implementing these routines into my daily lifestyle.

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I didn’t exercise much during my first pregnancy with Cia.  I was pregnant through the winter and wasn’t inspired to do much in the physical activity department.  But once Cia was a few months old and the weather was nice I started to run.  I always new I wanted to be physically and nutritionally healthy with my family.  And it felt good to embrace and commit to an activity.  Being a parent I think it’s important to lead by example and to take a little time to do things for you, not just for your kids.

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I think a lot about the example I want to set for my children.  We live in an amazing place with plenty of options for outdoor fun and I want to be able to share as many experiences as possible with them.  I want to give them the opportunity to explore numerous avenues finding their passions.  And of course I want them to experience optimal health from a young age, and what better way to implement this than to experience it myself.  So as I begin this journey with two little munchkins I’ve started to cut back on carbs filling my calorie intake with fruit, vegetables, protein and healthy fats.  I don’t actually count calories but I do have an idea what I should and should not be consuming.  Processed foods and lots of carbs are definitely not to be a majority of my or my family’s diet.  And with the fall season what better time to start eating plenty of squash as a substitute for grains and pasta.

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This meal was inspired by one I saw on Oh She Glows.  Rice and beans is a staple of ours and one of Josh’s favorite meals.  It’s delicious but has more carbs and protein and minimal vegetables.  Using spaghetti squash instead of rice was the perfect way to balance this out.  I do believe that at least 1/2 a meal should consist of vegetables, but with the American style diet this definitely takes a conscious effort.  Josh and I love to eat and I love to cook.  So I will never deny myself the chance to enjoy and indulge, but for me it’s all about knowing how to cook majority of your meals to balance out these indulgences.

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Black Beans, Guacamole, & Spaghetti Squash

  • medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 15oz cans black beans
  • medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • s&p
  • chili powder
  • oregano
  • cumin
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • olive oil
  • cilantro, chopped
  1. Bake spaghetti squash.  I like my strands to have a little crisp to them and I have found the only way to achieve this is to bake the squash whole.  Stab skin of squash with a fork a few times and bake in a 350° for 40 minutes or until you can lightly press in skin with finger.  Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile in a sauté pan heat up a tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the onion and garlic cooking over medium heat.  Add in the cans of beans, liquid too, and seasonings.  I used about 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Once beans come to a simmer turn heat down to low and continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes until liquid has been absorbed by half and beans have softened.  Taste seasonings and adjust if necessary.
  3. Make guacamole.  Mix avocado, tomato, lime juice, and a drizzle of olive oil.  Season generously with salt.
  4. Serve spaghetti squash topped with beans, guacamole, and plenty of cilantro.

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