‘Tis the season of overindulgence and guilt-induced New Year’s resolutions, although people never keep them, and all across the blogosphere people are pinning and stressing over pictures of washboard abs and unrealistically skinny women. You know what I mean. I’m one of them. Up until my Jezebel-induced epiphany the other day, I was stressing myself to the point of tears nearly daily about the weight I have gained from having to be so busy and dedicated to school as of late.
So, after you read the article I linked to above, let me share my epiphany with you. Go read it. I’ll just dream about butternut squash while I wait for you to go read it.
Here is the epiphany: There is a major difference between “fat” and “unhealthy.” You can be overweight and live a very healthy lifestyle, and you can be of normal weight (or underweight) and live an incredibly unhealthy lifestyle. What we need to strive for is health, not weight. While it may be healthy for some people to cut down on McD’s and load up on the veggies to lose some extra pounds, it doesn’t mean that all people who are overweight do not care about their health. Often one’s size has nothing to do with what you eat, because, as has been reiterated constantly throughout history, WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME.
Huh…who woulda thunk it?
So this holiday season, focus on being HEALTHY. When Christmas shopping, park your car as far from the mall entrance as you can (there will probably be more parking there anyway). Limit your intake of holiday cookies…but don’t stress yourself to oblivion if you indulge here and there. I bet we’ll all be better off when we stop stressing about our weight and start being satisfied about our healthy lifestyles. Don’t live a healthy lifestyle? Maybe that should be your New Year’s resolution. It is a lot easier to get into the habit of feeling good about yourself than it is to get into the habit of beating yourself up for being too “fat.”
On that note, here is a nice healthy recipe to get you started.
Curried Butternut Soup
Adapted from the December 2012 Cooking Light.
1 2.5 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2″ cubes. Use a ruler, as the size is important. Kidding.
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 cups reduced fat and sodium chicken stock
4 tsp red curry paste (sold at specialty stores AND our local Hannies, so you should be able to find it)
1 head green swiss chard (or other dark leafy green vegetable)
1 can light coconut milk (for those of you who hate coconut, you can probably substitute normal milk)
1. Preheat the oven to 450 while you hack apart the butternut squash. Toss the squash with olive oil and a few shakes of salt and put it on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Once the oven is preheated, roast the squash for 35 minutes or until golden and tender.
2. While the squash is becoming yummy, heat some olive oil in a Dutch oven or other soup pot and sauté the onion and red pepper until soft.
3. When the squash is done, add it to the pot along with the chicken broth and curry paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. While the soup simmers, wash and trim the leafy green vegetable. Add it and simmer for 5 more minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and add the coconut milk, stirring to combine. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
6. Puree in batches in a blender.
7. Serve with crusty bread and cilantro for garnish.