Finding the balance of physical and mental health through adventures and fitness

Tag Archives: healthy eating

I can’t remember the last time that I actively bought a box of pasta and had an Italian night in. Even when I go out, I stay away from pasta. It’s not that I eat low carb or don’t like pasta, but I don’t feel satisfied when I eat it. I do feel full when I eat it, but within 30 minutes I’m staving again; this could be because a serving size isn’t very big or that there isn’t much nutritional value in pasta. Regardless, I’ve sought out alternatives that are lower carb and higher volume so I can stay fuller longer. Spaghetti squash is a vegetable that I’ve used multiple times with a variety of ingredients to keep it interesting and provide a similar taste to my favorite pasta dishes.

Basic how-do cook spaghetti squash

What You’ll Need:

  • large pot
  • water
  • spaghetti squash
  • ice cream scoop


  1. Fill a large pot about 75% of the way with water and set to get it boiling.
  2. Wash the outer skin of your spaghetti squash and pat dry with a towel.
  3. With a large and sharp knife cut the squash down the middle, length wise.
  4. With an ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop out the seeds.
  5. Place the squash in the pot and cook until tender. Depending on the size of the squash this could take 20-30 minutes.
  6. Once it’s full cooked, drain the squash and with a fork scrap out the meat of the squash. it’ll cook out in strains, which is where it gets its name from.

Buffalo Chicken Bake

What You’ll Need:

  • cooked spaghetti squash
  • Frank’s Red Hot
  • cream cheese
  • shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • cooked chicken
  • casserole dish


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray casserole dish with a little bit of cooking spray. I used a mini bread loaf pan because I was making this for one serving, but you can use any size that you believe will fit all of your ingredients.
  3. Cut chicken into bite size pieces. I used left over chicken that I had already baked. *Make sure your chicken is already cooked.
  4. In a bowl weigh out your spaghetti squash. Since this was one serving, I used 100 grams of squash.
  5. Mix in each ingredient one at a time so they are all fully mixed.
  6. Add in Frank’s Red Hot to taste. I used 3 tablespoons because I like the kick.
  7. Add cream cheese. I used 1 table spoon of fat free cream cheese just a store brand.
  8. Add shredded cheese. I used Mexican cheese blend, but you could use cheddar or Monterrey Jack.
  9. Pour mixed into casserole pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350.


Italian Style Spaghetti Squash

What You’ll Need:

  • cooked spaghetti squash
  • Newman’s Own pasta sauce
  • cooked ground turkey
  • shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • small pot


This recipe is for one serving so adjust the ingredients as you feel is necessary to make a larger quantity.

  1. In a medium pot  heat up 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of pasta sauce. I used Newman’s Own because it has less sugar than a lot of other brands and therefore less carbohydrates.
  2. Add 150g of cooked spaghetti squash to the sauce and mix. Make sure that the squash is completely covered.
  3. Add in 4 ounces of cooked ground turkey. I cook my ground turkey like I do for Sloppy Joes, nice and crumbly. Also, make sure to drain the grease.
  4. Lastly, add in shredded cheese and mix so the it melts and is stringy.

I add spices to this recipes like basil or oregano. I also will add cooked onions, peppers and mushrooms too if I want more volume. Obviously, it doesn’t fully replace spaghetti, but the flavor is pretty darn close.

I’ve also tried Alfredo sauce and spinach with spaghetti squash, but I wasn’t that big of a fan. These are definitely my top two ways to cook it. It’s also good plain with a little bit of salt as a side too.

I love playing with alternatives and veggies. I hope you get inspired by these two combinations and get creative in the kitchen to think of your own!


❤ Cristina


It’s been almost a month since I last blogged. I have been busy working my butt off! Here’s a recap of what I’ve done since we’ve talked :]


I bought fun workout clothes :]


My transformation has surprised the hell out of me!



October 26, 2014: same shirt, 1 year difference



October 26, 2014 (night lifting): got called manly in the gym, pssh manly my butt!


October 27, 2014: 5 day out from show. 150 pounds.



From June to October: 24 pounds down!


I had a few rough weeks (Week 4th and 3rd out from show) where I was having a hard time mentally handlingmy contest prep. It took a lot of conversations with my friend Monolina and sleeping to get over it and push myself to the next level. I’m the lightest weight I have been in 5 years, and I’m a size 6 again, almost a 4. The last time I was a size 6 I weight 25 pounds lighter than I do now. My body composition is so different than it was before and I have a lot more muscle. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and what I have proven to myself that I can do. There’s a few shows this spring and since I’m 15 pounds away from my weight goal, I think I’m going to work over the winter to shed more fat, and then start training for a second competition.

I’m officially 4 days away, and while I knew in the beginning I wouldn’t be the smallest woman on stage, I’ve learned that my size doesn’t completely matter. This has been a journey about myself and trying new things. While the competition part is about my body, this is an experience not many can have. I’m 91 pounds down in 34 months and I couldn’t be happier.


❤ Cristina


Happy Sunday!

After a crazy week last week, I finally have some control over my days. Today I did some meal prep for the first half of the week. Lunches and dinners are prepared up until Wednesday. I may need to pick up some more produce, but I also have a sufficient amount of fruit to help supplement my food intake. Yesterday I made breakfast muffins, which might as well be coconut banana muffins. I tripled the batch because I had some ripe bananas in the fruit bowl and was able to make about 20 muffin. Bagged and in the fridge ready to be devoured!

Tomorrow I’m spending my morning doing some work in the gym :] And hopefully I won’t have to work tomorrow night so I can get my butt to Bikram in the evening too!

I’m going to really focus this week on getting back on track from the past two weeks of crazy and horrible eating. his is my plan for the next few days:


  • Morning Weights
  • Night Birkam class


  • Lunch run for endurance


  • Hour of Cardio
  • Food prep

This leads me to Day 13 of 100 Happy Days: Meal Prep.



This makes me feel like I have some control of my life, similar to making my bed every day. By making my meals ahead of time I know what I’m eating, I can get some extra sleep and I don’t need to panic about a meal a few hours from now. It’s all planned. #backontrack #paleo #100happydays #happinessdoesntcomeinajar #eathealthy #earnyourbreakfast

Have a great week!

❤ Cristina