Skinny Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

by Jen on September 26, 2016

A delicious and healthy version of your favourite Au Gratin recipe made with spaghetti squash!

Skinny Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin. A delicious and healthier version of au gratin.

Who doesn’t love any recipe with the words “Au Gratin” at the end?!

Au gratin simple means “sprinkled with breadcrumbs or grated cheese and browned.”

Anything sprinkled with cheese is a favorite in our house ūüėČ So why not add some veggies to it and call it day?!

I know potatoes au gratin is a pretty popular dish, but I wanted something a little more healthy and lower in carbs. Which is why I’m in LOVE with squash! It’s so versatile, plus it’s just so darn good for you.

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin! A low carb version of your favorite au gratin recipe!

WOW, I just have to say, this Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin was amazing!! I mean seriously, one of my new favourite side dishes! The kids and hubby loved it too because well, like I said, anything covered in cheese is a favourite.

Some other healthy substitutions I made was omitting the sour cream and using plain Greek yogurt instead. I also used a low fat cheddar and mozzarella cheese.

This side dish pairs perfectly with chicken, beef, pork, or fish! I added some Italian seasoning to it for some extra flavour, but you could add any seasoning to spice it up.

I hope you enjoy this Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin as much as we do!!

Skinny Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: serves 4

Serving Size: 1 cup

Enjoy this low carb and healthier version of au gratin.

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 2 tsp dried onion flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese (I used a mix of mozzarella and cheddar)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a square baking dish with coconut oil (I like Spectrum Naturals) and set aside.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Spray the insides of squash with coconut oil (or olive oil) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash face down on a baking sheet and bake for 40 - 50 minutes, until you can shred the squash easily with a fork. (alternatively, you could cook the squash in the microwave for 10 - 12 minutes.)
  3. Once the spaghetti squash is done, using a fork, scrape the squash away from the skin, separating it into strands of spaghetti and transfer to a small bowl.
  4. Combine the squash, onion flakes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and Greek yogurt and mix well. Transfer the mixture to your prepared baking dish and top with cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Notes

Cal: 83 Fat: 2.6g Carbs: 10g Protein: 6.8g Fiber: 1.6g Sodium: 103mg

21 Day Fix: 1 green, 1/4 blue

http://thefithousewife.com/2016/09/skinny-spaghetti-squash-au-gratin.html/

Skinny Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin. A low carb alternative to traditional au gratin. Healthy and delicious side dish.

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My All Natural Skin Care Routine

by Jen on September 22, 2016

I’m finally sharing my all natural skin care routine with you! My skin looks amazing and I’m saving hundreds of dollars!

My all natural skin care routine! I've swithced from using chemical laden skin care that costs a fortune, to all natural skin care that costs me pennies! And my skin feels even better! Here's how.

People often comment on my Facebook page that my skin looks amazing!¬†I guess I can’t take all the credit, it’s partly due to good genes and partly due to how I treat my skin.

When I was younger, I never used any products on my skin. I’m not even sure I washed my makeup off each night! And then I started breaking out more often, so I went to the makeup counter at one of the large department store chains and they gave me this whole speech on what I should be using on my skin to stop the breakouts and clean my skin.

So I bought all the stuff on the spot! My wedding was coming up and I didn’t want pimples all over my face if I could help it.

The products I bought did the trick! My skin cleared up within a couple of weeks. I was so excited!

Fast forward 14 years and I was still using most of the same products to clean my face and had tried some other high end products to try to “reduce” wrinkles and moisturize my skin.

This summer, I¬†was looking into trying a new and very popular skin care product, and I came across an article¬†that analyzed the ingredients in these popular products. My mind was blown! I could not believe the chemicals that were in these products, even if they claimed to be “all natural!”

Chemicals like:

OXYBENZONE –¬†has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage.
PHENOXYEHTANOL –¬†made out of carcinogenic and toxic compounds.
DISODIUM EDTA –¬†Skin Deep rates Disodium EDTA as a moderate hazard, citing neuro-toxicity and organ system toxicity hazards.
DIAZOLIDINYL UREA –¬†Skin Deep lists concerns including cancer, allergies, endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity and neuro-toxicity.
BHT –¬†There have been many studies which demonstrate that BHT accumulates over time in the body, having a toxic impact on the lungs, liver and kidneys amongst other negative effects.
PARABENS –¬†Parabens are found in breast cancer patients breast tissue.

And the list goes on….

So, if I’m putting that c*** on my skin everyday, I can just imagine what’s going on inside my body?!

Plus, I was using other chemicals daily like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide to help clear up any blemishes.

As I learned more about these chemicals, I knew I needed to get them out of my life! I’ve always been a health and fitness advocate and encourage people to change their lives through daily exercise and healthy eating, but I never really thought about the importance of treating our skin the same way.

I immediately threw out the products I was using. This was tough because I was literally throwing away $100’s of dollars in product!!! That s*** was expensive ya’ll!

Then I began to research all natural skin care products. And to my surprise, I already had most of the ingredients in my house!!

Things like coconut oil and essential oils! SAY WHAT??!! You want me to put coconut oil and essential oils on my face?! Isn’t that going to make me break out?! Didn’t I need those other chemicals to keep my pimples away?!

But guess what? Adopting this all natural skin care routine has NOT made my skin breakout! In fact, it looks better than it ever has!!

So I’m finally writing this blog post and sharing with you exactly what I’m using for my skincare routine. If you suffer with breakouts or maybe you want to save $ and ditch the chemicals, then this may be something you want to try as well.

Evening skin care routine

CLEANSING:

NIGHTTIME: at night, I first remove all of my makeup using coconut oil! I put a small amount of unrefined, virgin coconut oil on my fingers, rub it together to melt it, then gently rub all over my face and eyes (just make sure not to get it in your eyes..it makes your vision cloudy for a while – trust me, it’s happened! HAHA) And don’t forget to put a headband on so you don’t get it in your hair.

Coconut oil as my makeup remover

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Such a nice look, don’t ya think?!

I then use the Norwex makeup remover cloths to gently wipe off the rest of my eye makeup. (and no, I’m not a rep for Norwex in case you’re wondering!) You could also use a plain facecloth or a cotton pad, whatever you like! I just like these cloths because they are so smooth and remove eye makeup very easily.

Norwex makeup remover cloths

Once I’ve massaged the coconut oil onto my face and removed my eye makeup, I then take a Norwex facecloth, get it nice and wet with warm water, and hold it on the bottom half of my face for about 10 seconds, flip it over, and hold it on the top half of my face for 10 seconds. This allows the coconut oil to absorb into your skin nicely. Again, you don’t need to use a Norwex facecloth, I just personally like the material they are made from.

Norwex facecloth

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After I’ve done that, I wet the cloth with warm water again and then gently wipe away any oil that is left on my face.

I only do this once a day, in the evening.

You can read more about coconut oil and your skin HERE! She gives some great tips ūüôā

TONING:

Now that I no longer use a toner that has salicylic acid in it, I wanted to make something that was going to have the same effect, but was all natural. When I researched “natural facial toner,” the answer that always came up was Apple Cider Vinegar! Again, something I already have in my pantry.

I found THIS recipe for your own natural facial toner. I had everything except the witch hazel, but I easily found that on Amazon.

Natural facial toner

I put everything into an old apple cider vinegar glass jar and keep it in my bathroom. I apply a small amount to a cotton pad and gently wipe it all over my face right after I’ve cleaned it with the coconut oil.

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This stuff helps remove any bit of dirt or makeup you may have missed, and it freshens and tones your skin. It actually feels very refreshing.

I apply this twice a day; once in the evening and once in the morning after I exfoliate my skin.

EXFOLIATING:

I used to exfoliate my skin twice a day, but I have done some research and have found that to be too much! Now, I just exfoliate once a day, in the mornings before I do anything else on my face. The reason I exfoliate in the morning is because I always workout first thing, so my face is usually covered in sweat!

To clear dead skin cells and keep my pores clear, I use my Clarisonic with some natural face wash.

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I then rinse off the face wash with some nice warm water and then apply the toner.

If you have dry skin or very sensitive skin, you probably won’t need to apply the toner twice a day.

MOISTURIZER:

I can’t believe I used to spend $100’s of dollars on moisturizer when the perfect moisturizer was right in my pantry! Coconut oil!

When I use the coconut oil to wash off my makeup before bed, it also penetrates my skin and makes my skin feeling silky smooth. But I also add an eye cream in the evening which is made up of….you guessed it, coconut oil!

There are also some other ingredients in it like frankincense oil and vitamin E. It’s so easy to make, and doesn’t cost you much at all. Plus, it lasts a long time. HERE is a video that shows you how to make it (they use rose oil instead of the frankincense.)

In the daytime, I use an all natural moisturizer from Rocky Mountain Soap Company. They are a local company that makes all natural facial and body products! This stuff smells great, works great, and lasts forever! I put this on after I put on my facial toner and before I put on my foundation.

SPOT TREATMENT:

You are really going to like this one…

I was so scared to switch to an all natural blemish treatment! I had been using benzoyl peroxide as a spot treatment with great success, however, it really dried my skin out.

So guess what I use now that works even BETTER than the chemical stuff?

Tea Tree Oil!!

I thought that was insane, to treat blemishes with oil, but oh my goodness, this stuff works better than anything I’ve ever used. I put a drop on a cotton ball and apply it to my pimple. The next morning, it’s almost gone! Just be careful not to overuse it since it can dry out your skin. A small drop goes a long way.

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That’s it! Pretty simple, right?! And, I’m saving TONS of time and money!!

It’s crazy to me that I used to think I needed all those chemicals to have beautiful skin when all I needed was right in my pantry and/or medicine cabinet.

TO RECAP:

Morning
1. Exfoliate with Clarisonic and natural face wash
2. Apply toner
3. Apply daytime moisturizer

Evening
1. Remove makeup with coconut oil and cloth
2. Apply toner
3. Apply eye cream

Do you have any natural skin care favourites? I would love to hear about them!

 

 

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