Category Archives: spaghetti squash

Day 7: Cincinnati Chili over spaghetti squash

It feels odd seeing “day 7” again. I started the plan more than a year ago. I actually forgot to weigh myself this morning (Freudian issues?).

I rose relatively early for a Sunday and made myself some eggs and bacon. I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at home with the NYT puzzle.

We attempted to visit our daughter Cindy at the Ram’s Horn where she works. I was already trying to plan what keto offerings I could choose from, but, unfortunately, the restaurant was packed and her station was full.

On to a new Mexican restaurant we’ve never tried. In keeping with my new “no all or nothing,” non-perfectionistic attitude, I ordered a cheese/onion enchilada and a bean enchilada. Not keto. Okay.

Back to the plan: dinner was Cincinnati Chili over spaghetti squash. We haven’t had it in awhile and it sure was good!

I have no idea if this middle of the road kind of low carb idea will work. I guess I’ll find out soon.


Day 120: The secret to successful spaghetti squash

Total weight loss: 24.5 pounds

Tuesday morning started with a tasty low carb banana cream pie yogurt. The boss bought pizza for everyone for lunch, so I had the toppings off of three pieces and a healthy salad.

After work, we worked on the house, put down some more molding and a couple of thresholds, then called it a day. I decided to make Cincinnati chili over spaghetti squash, since I hadn’t had it in awhile.

The sauce was simmering and it was time to start cooking that difficult spaghetti squash. Half the time, it’s so tough that I can’t cut into it. Other times, it takes a really long time to cook, and one time, it blew up in the microwave.

This time my process worked like a charm. Here is my secret method:

1. Stab the squash with a fork about 10 times in various places.

2. Put it in the microwave for 6 minutes.

3. Take it out and find it is still hard.

4.Nuke it for another 6 minutes.

5. Remove with oven mitts and plop onto a large cutting board

6. Slice in half long-ways

7. While holding in place with hotpad, scoop out seeds and membranes with large serving spoon (don’t take too much; only the really obvious goopy stuff)

8. Put one half in a flat glass cooking “Pyrex-type” dish and put about an inch of water in the bottom

9. Microwave for approximately 10-12 minutes

10. Remove with oven mitts, place on cutting board and use the large spoon to scoop out the spaghetti

If you’ve done it right, the shell should be very thin and all the squash should be scooped out

Look at that delicious bowl of “spaghetti.”

I portioned some out for Rick and myself, topped it with Cincinnati chili, onions, grated cheese, and soy black beans. Yum de yum yum! And plenty of Chili leftover for tomorrow.

Day 103: Let the weekend begin!

Total weight loss: 24 pounds. Next weigh-in: Saturday, April 28th

Saturday morning began with a small breakfast of leftovers: the pizza squasherole with some almonds. I worked at home on the budget and some web design.

For lunch, we went to Del Taco. I must admit, after my bad weigh-in, I was a little frustrated. I ordered the mucho burrito and tossed the tortilla, but I was really really tempted to buy a churro. I thought about it, but decided that eating a cheat meal after a bad weigh-in is a bad idea. I need to thoughtfully, carefully, plan a cheat meal, or even a cheat day, not do it emotionally. I did have 4 of Rick’s french fries.

We worked on installing doors at the rental house, then went to visit my dad. It was late when we arrived home, and I, of course, had nothing planned to eat. I got out 3 pieces of sliced ham, spread cream cheese on them, and topped them with onion. I rolled each into a loose sandwich and that was dinner. Oh, I had some almonds as a light accompaniment.

Dessert was 2 pieces of 70% cocoa bar with peanut butter.

Day 102: Pizza “Squasherole” – and a bad weigh-day

Today’s weight loss: +2.5 pounds!

Total weight loss: 24 pounds. Next weigh-in: Saturday, April 28th

DAMMIT! Gained again!
Saying I lost 26 and half pounds sounds WAY better than 24. I’m guessing it was the 10 or so alcoholic drinks I had last week. They were no carb, but I think they play with my hydration and loss. I did have that one carb-laden muffin, and I skipped a few meals. All in all, I need to get back on track with some healthy eating.
Yesterday was Friday and the end of a stressful and depressing week. My dad is still in hospital, although he is doing better. Rick and I are also trying to finish up the rental house repairs so we can sell it and recoup our investment. I’m back at work, plus we’ve been doing brochures and business cards for our clients.
Enough complaining…yesterday, I wasn’t hungry for breakfast, again. I waited until around 11 a.m, then had 2 Beddar Cheddar smoked sausages.
After work, we went to see my dad, then went back to Albert’s to have some more drinks on the patio, but this time, I ordered the steak bites with teriyaki sauce. They were good, but the 2 wings with blue cheese dressing that Rick gave me were even better.
We didn’t stay late, since the weather turned overcast and cold. Since I’d only had 2 meals, I was hungry by 8 pm. Rick was eating little pizzas made on English muffins. I couldn’t do that, so I decided to improvise and create a meal that would appeal to my need for comfort food.
I heated a small portion of spaghetti squash, then layered it into a glass dish. I topped it with 1/8 cup of pizza sauce, a layer of grated cheddar/mozarella cheese, then a layer of chopped onions. I topped that with a few dabs of cream cheese and I baked it in the oven with Rick’s pizzas for about 7 minutes at 350 degrees. I think I’ll call it “pizza squasherole.”
It turned out pretty good, not great. I ate about 3/4 of it, then had 2 squares of 70% cocoa bar with peanut butter for dessert.

Day 75: Hostess donettes are not worth the carb intake

Total weight loss: 21.5 pounds   Next weigh-in: Sat., March 31st

Yesterday’s weigh-in put me in a happy mood. It’s slow progress, but the months add up and soon 21 pounds will be 42 and so on.

After weighing in, I had to get ready for work, and I didn’t have time to prepare for breakfast. Brandon picked me up and we went into work at 10. I did something extremely out of character. I went into the kitchen at work to get some water and there was a bag of Hostess chocolate donettes on the table for anyone to eat.

And I ate one!

This is the first time I’ve succumbed to a temptation like that in 10 and 1/2 weeks! It was gone in two bites, and I recorded it in my daily food diary: 8 grams of carbs.

Well, that was certainly anticlimactic. Those 2 little bites of processed junk food were equal to a hearty meal in carb count and were definitely not worth eating. I guess I had to get that rebellion out of my system. A lesson learned.

On to lunch time. The boss bought pizza for all of us Saturday OT workers. I ate 2 pieces with chicken toppings and one with pepperoni and Italian sausage. Of course I threw away the crust.

Later that evening at home, I made spaghetti squash and creamy alfredo and shrimp topping. The squash was tough to cut so I put it in the microwave for a few seconds, and…BLAST… the door flew open when the squash exploded. I salvaged what I could and cooked the rest properly in a pyrex dish AFTER cutting into pieces.

Dessert was sugar-free lime/cream cheese “cheese cake.”

I stayed up til nearly 3 a.m., I am really a nocturnal creature and I enjoy doing that every couple of weeks. I got hungry around midnight and ate 3 pita chips (now THAT’s control) with about 4 tbsp of crab dip. That filled up the rest of my carb allotment for the day.


Day 59: More of the same

Weight loss: 17 lbs; next weigh-in: tomorrow

Yesterday began with eggs at work. For lunch, I heated leftover taco meat and assembled 2 tacos in Mama Lupe tortillas. They made for a delicious and filling meal.

I left work at a reasonable hour and had an early dinner. I used the spaghetti squash I had prepared earlier in the week as a base for  Cincinnati chili. It was just okay. I think something happens to the texture/flavor of squash after a few days in the fridge.

We were out of cocoa, so I made sugar-free lime jello with cream cheese mixed in for dessert.

Day 53: Weigh-in day did not disappoint

Today’s weight loss: 3 pounds
Total weight loss in 7 weeks: 17 pounds (woot!)

I had been assuming that today’s weigh-in would not go well. Not because I went off, or went over carb count, but because the past few weigh-ins have been so disappointing. I know my clothes are looser, and I have lots of energy, but the more I thought about only losing 14 pounds in 6+ weeks, the more this keto plan didn’t seem like the quick weight loss dream I thought it would be.

I know 2 pounds a week is a safe and practical amount to lose. But when one accomplishes a 14-pound weight loss on day 39, and that hasn’t changed by day 46, it becomes frustrating.

Wait. What did I just read? It was only one week later that I weighed in and had a zero weight loss? And, now, a week later, I’ve lost 3? That isn’t bad at all!

I’m guessing most of the frustration developed in that week between day 39 and day 46, when I was weighing myself daily. Now that I’ve settled on a weekly weigh-in, it should show a little more progress than tiny increments of weight loss per day (or no weight loss per day). I’m still doing well; I think I’m just used to seeing those big numbers the contestants accomplish on The Biggest Loser. Even in terms of a 2 pounds a week goal, I should only have lost 14 by today, so I’m 3 pounds ahead. I think I’d better focus on continuing with the plan and not focus so much on the scale.

C’mon 20! [Okay, not focusing on the numbers is going to be difficult.]

Yesterday, I had some errands to run and things to accomplish before starting work at 10. We didn’t have time for Rick to cook, so I bought 2 McDonald’s sausage, egg, and cheese, breakfast sandwiches (on sale for $3 for two). Of course, I removed the delicious smelling biscuits. I’m glad I ordered two, because after the biscuit removal, and with no hash brown patties, one would not have satisfied me.

At 2pm, I discovered that I did not have a yogurt in the fridge. Oops. I ate 2 ounces of almonds and a beef stick. Yum.

After work, I was pretty hungry, but we needed to get groceries. Usually Rick goes without me, but I was interested in looking over the health food aisle to see if there was something I was missing out on. I bought some soy hummus (1 carb per serving) and some almond “peanut” butter – $9.99!!! This had better be good.

Rick has some kind of whole grain bread that he buys, and he said it was only 5 carbs per slice if I ever wanted a tuna fish sandwich or something. I’m not willing to sacrifice 10 of my 20 grams of carbs for a sandwich, but I did decide to toast one piece and top it with the almond butter to stop the hunger pangs while I started making dinner. The almond butter had about 1 1/2 inches of oil on top and I could not get it to mix in with the thick and dry substance below it. Maybe at 10 bucks a bottle, no one is buying it and it sits on the shelf awhile. Rick manage to dump the whole thing in a bowl and use his formidable muscles to stir it into a nice gloppy, spreadable butter. It was pretty good.

I thawed some chicken breasts for Indian butter chicken, and mistakenly started getting the spaghetti squash ready. Then I realized that I use chopped cauliflower as a rice substance. I finished cooking and forking out the squash anyway, so now I’m ready for another dish that uses that.

I had leftover cauliflower rice (“crice”) from the Mexican rice recipe, so I heated that, topped with microwaved butter chicken and enjoyed a delish meal. Dessert was the usual chocolate mousse. It never gets old. LOL

Oh yes, I almost forgot. My low carb food order from came in. That was very quick. Almost tops Amazon. I now have some experimenting to do: low carb “Carbquik” for pancakes and other pastries, those odd shiritaki pasta, Mama Lupe low carb 7-inch tortillas, barbecue sauce, and Margarita mix (I couldn’t resist that last one). Let the experimentation begin!

Day 35: 12-hour workday; planning ahead pays off

Lost:  +.5  Total weight loss: 12 pounds

ARRRRRRRRRRRGH! This is going backwards! I ate under 20 carbs, yet again, and the pounds are going up, instead of down. I did only have 5 glasses of water yesterday. And I ate dinner at 10 pm. Otherwise, I am eating according to plan, so this is quite a downer. [except pants, fresh out of the wash, fit much, much better!]

I’m sure glad I planned ahead Sunday, because yesterday I had no time to cook.

Breakfast – eggs/sausage/cheese in a bowl. We had two long meetings at work, so I didn’t get a chance to eat until 11 a.m.

We had a print deadline at work, so I stayed at my desk until 8:30 p.m. At around 4, I started getting hungry, and lo and behold, I had leftover Cincinnati chili. Actually, it wasn’t leftover, since I hadn’t eaten any since I made the batch in preparation for the week. It was a small bowl, but it filled me up so I could keep working.

I had some habanero almonds for a snack a couple of hours later. I miss the chili lime. I have to buy some next chance I get. A couple of us were comparing almond prices. Meijers has them in one pound bags for $6. Amazon sells 3 one-pound bags for about $20. Neither tops the 2 for $4 sale they had at Walgreen’s. I hope they have that again soon.

The book was finally ready, and I gladly left work at 8:30. By the time I got home, I was pretty hungry. I had another plate of chili over squash at 9:30. Rick and I ate the last of the lime jello “cheesecake” for dessert.

I need to find some lavash bread that Brandon let me try today. It’s a huge piece of pita-like bread that only has 8 grams of carbs for one. He made something like a quesadilla with one and it was big enough for a meal. I’ll have to get the name and brand from him and pick up some soon.


Day 27: The Superbowl snacks that never were

Lost: 0   Total weight loss: 13.5 pounds

The scale seems stuck; however, my clothes are looser, so I try not to let that bother me.

Yesterday, I planned to make some cool keto snacks for Superbowl Sunday, but the day got away from me. I ended up noshing all day after a thrown-together “leftovers” breakfast.

I was up by 9, but got busy doing things before breakfast. By noon, I was very hungry, but we only had one egg! I reheated the turkey Cincinnati chili from a couple nights ago, and spent more than 20 minutes trying to get a leftover piece of spaghetti squash to cook. While waiting, I peeled the eggs I made yesterday and created another dozen deviled eggs. I also slow cooked a pound of bacon that Brandon and Lindsey picked up for me at the Eastern Market Saturday.

The chili/spaghetti squash was to be the only meal of the day. Lunch was on the run, so to speak. I had work to do for clients, plus it was house cleaning day. In the midst of vacuuming, I was famished, so I had some almonds, 2 deviled eggs, and 2 pieces of the bacon.

Once the house was clean, my stepson George, wife Beccy, and granddaughter Danielle showed up for the big game. Rick made them little pizzas.

I did take some time to makes some FAILED mozzarella cheese sticks (string cheese, halved, battered in pork rinds and fried in olive oil). The original recipe called for a parmesan cheese crust, but I thought the pork rinds would make them more authentic. Turned out not to be true: they were gooey and clumped together when I pulled them out of the pan. To me, they tasted like melted cheese mixed with pork rinds, or, in other words, GAK. Rick and the others said they liked them. Not sure if they were just being polite.

I ate 2 more eggs, more almonds, and whipped us up some chocolate “mousse” from heavy cream and added strawberries. It was a hit! I had to make up a second batch.

Still well under my protein, and with some carbs to go, my last snack of the day was 2 pieces of bacon and a glass of almond milk. I need to set aside some time to plan this week’s meals, because grabbing food willy nilly isn’t fun. I’d also still like to try the snacks I planned to make, including some crispy cheese puffs and lime cheesecake.

I learned about a new vegetable while searching out Superbowl snacks: marrow. I plan to try frying up some low-carb marrow chips this week.

vegetable marrow
Cultivated in England, this green, oval summer squash can grow to the size of a watermelon. It’s closely related to the ZUCCHINI and can be cooked in any manner suitable for that vegetable. Because of its bland flavor, vegetable marrow (also called marrow squash ) is often stuffed with a meat mixture. It’s available in limited supplies in some specialty produce markets during the summer months. See also  SQUASH.

Day 24: Loving those almonds

Lost: 0  Total weight loss: 13.5 pounds

Fridays I work at home, but I had to go into work for a few hours. I began with my usual Rick special: eggs, sausage, Dubliner cheese, and taco sauce.

For lunch at home, I cut up a summer squash and sauteed it in coconut oil and butter, then topped with grated cheese.

The bright spot of the day was when my son let me taste my new favorite snack: flavored almonds, in particular the hot habanero almond. I had seen some excited postings on the night before: a picture of a sale aisle in a store where almonds were 2 cans for 4 dollars. Brandon and Lindsey told me it was Walgreens, and Linz had me taste the honey Dijon flavor next. The habanero almonds are 2 grams of carbs for 28. The honey Dijon are 3 grams for the same amount. Either way, I was sold.

I stopped by Walgreens and got 3 cans. I’ll be back, hopefully, before the sale is over. I counted out 28 almonds into small ziplock bags, so I’m not tempted to overindulge. I ate 56 yesterday.

Dinner was spaghetti squash alfredo, and this time, I added tons of shrimp since there are no carbs. I was at my limit by the end of dinner, so I skipped dessert and drank water the rest of the evening.