Saturday, April 14, 2012

Artichoke Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Misha and Bailey enjoy nap time on fluffy sleeping bags and pillows
I am one of those 75 percent of the population who is chronically dehydrated. After reading Your Bodies Many Cries for Water (by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.), I am working to get more energy and feel better by simply drinking water. Chances are you are dehydrated too as three out of every four people are.

Dehydration is one of the greatest health issues facing the western world, according to Batmanghelidj.
Your body responds to inadequate water consumption by rationing whatever water is available. The result: some body functions are disturbed in order to maintain others. With chronic dehydration, some persistent health issues may arise. Drinking sufficient water may actually make some chronic illnesses get better or even go away, Batmanhelidj writes in his book.

Looking back, I developed bad habits of  not drinking water when I was a fourth-grade teacher. I avoided drinking because the "pee" breaks were few and far between. By the end of the school day, my body was crying for water but I misinterpreted my thirst as hunger. And worse, I grabbed a diet soda or coffee for stress relief.

My teaching days are past but I still have had a reluctance to drink water because of having to go to the bathroom too often. As a cyclist and avid exerciser, I seldom pass the pee test (your urine should be clear and pale yellow).

I guess I should have been following my fur babies' examples. They drink water like water buffaloes. This week I have been working to change my hydration habits. Following Batmanghelidj's plan, I have been drinking half my body weight in water every day. I don't count any other beverages, and if I drink any caffeinated beverages, I need to add more water (10-12 ounces of water per 6 ounces of caffeinated beverage or alcohol).

I wasn't expecting a miracle by drinking more water. I was hoping my plugged-up nose from seasonal allergies would maybe unplug a bit. After just five days, I have more energy; my digestion has improved; and my nasal congestion due to allergies has gotten better. If you are one of the dehydrated ones, Batmanghelidj's book is worth taking a look at.

Bailey and Misha really take their napping seriously
I'm pretty proud of myself. I've actually been sipping on water rather than tea while writing this blog. So, remember drink more water as mild dehydration is the No. 1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

Artichoke and Pumpkin Seed Pesto on Spaghetti Squash

My supply of spaghetti squash from last year's garden is getting smaller but I still have a bunch. This week I had spaghetti squash with Artichoke and Pumpkin Seed Pesto and Kale and Avocado Pesto.

Artichoke and Pumpkin Seed Pesto on Spaghetti Squash (serves 2)
  1. 1 baked spaghetti squash
  2. 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  3. 1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
  4. 1/4 tsp. roasted ginger powder
  5. Optional: 1 large garlic clove
  6. 1/4 cup olive oil
  7. 2-3 cups baby spinach
  8. 1 T. pumpkin seeds for topping
  9. 2 T. fresh cilantro or parsley
  10. 1-2 T. lemon juice
  11. salt and pepper
  1. In a food processor, combine the seeds, artichoke hearts, optional garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, spices, salt and pepper. Pulse until ingredients are chopped and have a thick, pastelike consistency.
  2. Toss spinach leaves with hot spaghetti squash noodles. Serve topped with artichoke and pumpkin seed pesto and a dash of pumpkin seeds.

Kale and Avocado Pesto on Spaghetti Squash
(1-2 servings)
  1. 2 cups kale leaves
  2. 1 avocado
  3. 2-3 T. lemon juice
  4. 2 T. pumpkin seeds
  5. 1 T. hemp seeds + 1 T. for topping
  6. salt and pepper
  7. spaghetti squash noodles
  1. Pulse everything except spaghetti squash in a food processor.
  2. Serve pesto over spaghetti squash noodles with additional hemp seeds on top.
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