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Healthy Living

Stuffed Delicata Squash + Healthy Aging Tips

by Marissa on September 12, 2014

anti-aging tipsWith another birthday on the horizon, I’m reminded that as I get older, my health is even more important. I wish I could say that I’ve fully embraced my thirties but truthfully, I’m self conscious about aging. I often find myself wishing I didn’t have to get older and thinking about everything I took for granted in my 20s.

I truly want to embrace myself at any age – and every line and wrinkle that comes with each passing year, but it’s not always easy. The other day, at a routine doctor’s appointment, the doctor was amazed at how young I look for my age, which was surprising so I guess I’m doing a few things right. Just goes to show we really are our own worst critics. 

Since September is Healthy Aging Month, I figured there’s no better time to share these healthy aging tips so you can age both healthfully and gracefully.

  • Eat a Healthy Diet: Are you sick of me saying this yet? Eating a healthy diet — no, not just kale — but a variety of foods will work wonders for your skin, hair and nails. Focus on carotenoids found dark green, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, vitamin C, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Include vegetable juices in your healthy diet and eliminate sugar as much a possible. Some studies have shown that a highly nutritions, anti-inflammatory diet may lower the risk of certain diseases like macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s. See below for a really simple anti-aging recipe that incorporates many of these foods.
  • Drink Lots of Water: This one is on every list of anything but it’s true that the more hydrated you are, the more supple your skin will be, which basically means fewer wrinkles so drink up!
  • Eat Fermented Vegetables: Your digestion breaks down with age, but the catch here is that a healthy digestive system can prevent disease and illness (70 percent of the immune system is located in and around your gut). You can always take a probiotic but I enjoy adding raw, fermented vegetables to my meals also.
  • Wear Sunscreen and a Hat: Oh how I wish I had taken this advice in my 20s when I worshipped the sun with hardly any sunscreen protection. These days I’m way more careful about sun protection and especially shield my face with sunscreen in my moisturizer and extra coverage when I’m in the direct sunlight plus always a cute hat for the beach or the pool.
  • Moisturize: I have a moisturizer with SPF for daytime and another one for night. I invest in the best moisturizer – and eye cream – I can afford without parabens, phthalates and sulfates.
  • Lift Weights: Cardio is great and you should do it, but weight bearing exercise will help keep you standing upright and your skin from sagging.
  • Get Lots of Sleep: I need at least, at least 7 hours but 8 is best for me. I’m strict about my bedtime because I found without sleep, I’m not myself, I don’t do things well and I get crazy cravings for sugar.
  • Be Happy: Frown lines turn into wrinkles so smile, keep your stress levels low, do facial yoga and keep the blood circulating in your face to prevent wrinkles.
    Stuffed Delicata Squash
    Serves 2
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    Cook Time
    50 min
    Cook Time
    50 min
    1. 1 medium to large delicata squash, sliced length-wise and de-seeded
    2. 1 medium carrot, shredded
    3. 3 stalks of kale or Swiss chard, chopped
    4. 2 Tbsps. olive oil + 1 tsp.
    5. 1 clove garlic, minced
    6. a few sprigs of fresh thyme
    7. 1/2 cup millet + 1/2 cup amaranth (or 1 cup quinoa)
    8. salt and pepper to taste
    9. crushed red pepper flakes to taste
    1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Rub the inside of the squash with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Place on a parchment-lined pan cut side down and roast for 40 minutes.
    2. While the squash is cooking prepare the grains either on the stovetop or in a rice cooker.
    3. Heat 1 tsp. olive oil plus a little water in a pan on the stovetop and add the garlic, sea salt, black pepper, and red chili flakes until the garlic browns slightly. Add the carrots and thyme and cook on medium/low heat until carrots are tender. Finally, add the chard or kale and cook until wilted but still bright green. If the pan starts to get dry, sprinkle in a little more water.
    4. Once the grains are finished, fluff with a fork. Transfer the carrot and chard mixture to a bowl and add 1 cup of cooked grains.
    5. When the squash is fork-tender, remove from the oven, flip over so the cut side is face up and spoon the grain and vegetable mixture into the squash boats. Return to the oven and cook for 10 more minutes.
    6. Let cool and slice each half into halves to enjoy as a side dish.
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