Squash no substitute for pasta

Make Room in Your Diet for the Real Deal

I enjoy a varied diet, I’m a big fan of getting in extra veggies, I think my spiralizer is a fun kitchen tool and sometimes I think a grain can be replaced by a veggie instead. However, I cannot get on board with subbing squash for pasta.

Sure, it seems like a good idea when you hear the name “spaghetti” squash and see pictures of it in the blogosphere topped with marinara sauce. But, just, no. Don’t do it. I love squash. I love sauce, but they don’t belong together like that. The flavors just sit on top of each other and don’t mix well.

Now, this is a spaghetti squash recipe I can get on board with.

And as for marinara sauce, I’ll stick with putting that on top of my pasta, where it belongs.

Paleo, gluten-free by choice, low carb, etc I will never understand. I’m not saying load up on carbs or anything, but a diet without room for pasta is no diet for me. As long as it’s real food with quality ingredients, you shouldn’t have to give up the things you love in order to have a healthy diet.

This was confirmed last night when the hubby took stab at cooking my beloved broccoli rabe and orecchiette dish. There are few things better than a perfectly cooked pasta and he nailed it.

orecchiette pasta

Beautiful, don’t you think?

Sure, whole grains may be best, but they don’t make great pasta. As long as you’re eating a balanced diet, there’s plenty of room in there to enjoy a real pasta dish a time or two a week without feeling any guilt or worrying about your waistline.


Agree or disagree?

What’s your favorite pasta dish?

How do you feel about spaghetti squash with marinara sauce?


Proud to be working with Skechers to support the fight against breast cancer. Find out more here.

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Pumpkin Patch Family Fun Weekend

Despite feeling a bit under the weather, we enjoyed a weekend of pumpkin patch fun in temperatures that were mild enough to wear jeans. Thanks to our typical hot October weather here in Northern California, I haven’t had to cover my legs too much yet this fall, but I was glad to have the protection from the pokes of the hay bales at the pumpkin patches.

Family photo at the sea side pumpkin patch Northern California

I’ve been nursing a cold all week and only got in one day of cardio in addition to teaching my two Pilates classes, which is part of why I didn’t do my usual Sunday night post. The other part is because we were just having too much fun yesterday and I didn’t have time to post anything.

Even though my weekend included many cups of tea and a big bowl of pho, I was glad that I was feeling well enough on Friday to watch a friend’s son (tip: two four-year-olds are MUCH easier than one. For reals!) and then have their company for our front porch coffee date.

front porch coffee date with friends

The boys helped make the chocolate chip cookies and enjoyed foamed milk with cinnamon while we sipped iced cappuccinos. So glad to have a Nespresso Machine! And yes, Reece is dressed like a pirate. :)

Our pumpkin fun started Friday when we met up with a couple friends at Spina Farms, including one of Reece’s little friends we haven’t seen in forever. I wasn’t feeling 100% and the afternoon sun was intense, but I’m glad I powered through so the kids could have fun together.

Friends since birth at Spina Farms pumpkin patch Northern California

Yes, they are all the same age. Yes Reece is a little on the shorter side. :)

This is cute family fun pumpkin patch with a hay ride, train ride, petting zoo and pony rides, all for a fee (some reasonable, some not. We opted out of the $5 petting zoo and $10 pony rides!). It was pretty crowded since it was the weekend, but the kids all had a good time.


I discovered on the drive there that I had left my wallet at home! My friends covered the rides for us, but we held out on picking our pumpkins since we knew we were headed to a pumpkin patch at the coast the next day. Instead we helped our friends pick out theirs.
Emme helping out at Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch Northern CaliforniaOnce we got home, I crashed on the couch for a bit while Doug took the kids out front and made them a jump for their bikes.

Reece's bike jump

Emme gave it a try on her balance bike and even though she crashed the first time, she was brave enough to give it another try later on when no one had their camera ready. We might have to make it bigger next time since they took to it so well. :)

Sunday, Doug headed out for a bike ride to the coast with a friend and I loaded the kids up in the car to meet them there for lunch and more pumpkin patch fun.

The weather at the coast was much more enjoyable, especially for October. We followed our friends’ lead and picked a pumpkin patch that was on the sea side of the street.

Sea side pumpkin patch hay bale pyramid Northern California

Hay bale pyramid with a backdrop of artichokes and ocean

We all enjoyed the peace of this simple pumpkin patch–no trains or hay rides here. Simply ocean breezes, a hay bale pyramid and some of the most perfect pumpkins I’ve ever seen.




After leaving the pumpkin patch, we stopped to check out a beach where our friends like to kite board.

Reece overlooking Waddell Beach Then we swung by the small town of Pescadero to pick up some fresh and hot out of the oven artichoke garlic herb bread. So soft and warm and stuffed with artichoke hearts.

Pescadero artichoke garlic herb bread


We also brought home a loaf of partially-baked olive bread. I love those because you can cook them just so they’re warm and still leave them a little undercooked. Yum!

After not falling asleep at all during the day even though we did a good amount of driving, the kids finally succumbed to sleep on the way home, but not without a fight. We transferred their sleeping bodies to bed early for the night and finished the weekend with a peaceful night at home.

It was a good end to a good weekend, so good in fact that I barely remember how sick I felt for some of it and the screaming in the car is almost a faint memory. Almost. :)

Did you enjoy any fall family fun this weekend?

If you eat mostly paleo, do you make exceptions for amazing deliciousness as pictured above??

Linking up to Marvelous in My Monday!


October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I’m proud to be a part of the Skechers campaign to fight this disease with their line of breast cancer awareness apparel. I love my super comfortable breast cancer awareness running shoes. Proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society.

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Who Will You Wear Them For?

Thank you, Skechers, for sponsoring this post, and supporting breast cancer awareness. All opinions are my own.

Breast cancer runs in my family. My paternal grandmother died from it and my mom was a breast cancer survivor.

Wearing Skechers GOrun 3 breast cancer awareness shoes

I wear these shoes for them.

Due to my family history, there’s a chance that I myself might be diagnosed with breast cancer someday. I think of my daughter and how it would be wonderful if this could be something she doesn’t have to worry about for herself.

Emme trying on my Skechers GOrun breast cancer awareness shoes

I wear these shoes for her future.

The first time I went out running in my Skechers GOrun 3‘s was through a nearby cemetery with my son on his bike. We frequently go through the cemetery because it’s peaceful and mostly free from cars, but wearing shoes that support breast cancer awareness changed my perspective that day

I wondered how many buried beneath those stones had passed from breast cancer. I wondered about the loved ones they left behind.

Running in Skechers GOrun breast cancer awareness shoes

I wear these shoes for them.

How Skechers Supports Breast Cancer Awareness

Skechers Performance Division proudly supports American Cancer Society in the fight against breast cancer with a special collection of products. In addition to the “Awareness” footwear and apparel line, Skechers Performance Division is supporting American Cancer Society in several ways, including hosting San Francisco’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.

For the month of October, they also have an in-store donation program you can take advantage of. Customers can round up their purchase to the nearest whole dollar to benefit American Cancer Society for the entire month. If consumers donate $5 or more, they will also receive a 20% off discount for their next visit. Furthermore, Skechers Retail stores are offering a gift with purchase (of either a breast cancer awareness canvas tote bag or pink water bottle) for customers who purchase a pair of limited-edition Awareness shoes.

The Shoes That Support Breast Cancer Awareness

The biggest thing that stands out to me about these shoes is how comfortable they are. I’ve worn my Skechers GOrun 3‘s a few times now for running, walking and various other going about my day activities.

Wearing Skechers GOrun 3 breast cancer awareness shoes at the park

They are incredibly lightweight so that it barely feels like I’m wearing shoes. Better yet, they are the first shoe that I haven’t had to break in–they were comfortable right from the start. I think it’s because of the roominess of the toe area.

Here’s what Skechers has to say about them:

• Improved breathability and flexibility
• Roomy forefoot. 3 layer Power-prene mesh on front panel allows for support while offering ample room for toe splay
• GOimpulse sensors offer flexibility and feedback for a responsive running experience
• M-Strike Technology™ promotes a midfoot strike
• Custom Fit insole is removable for an even more minimal feel
• 4mm Heel Drop to bring you closer to a natural barefoot experience
• Resalyte™ Midsole – Proprietary lightweight injection-molded compound with memory retention helps absorb impact
• Nearly seamless flexible mesh upper with lace up front

Stretching after a run in Skechers GOrun 3 breast cancer awareness shoes

I’m proud to wear these shoes and support breast cancer awareness along with Skechers.

Who will you wear them for?

Keep in touch with me:
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