Healthy Recipe, Spaghetti Squash

Functional Aging

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Corpus Christi, TX 78411
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  1. Healthy Recipe, Spaghetti Squash

    Spaghetti squash is so named because its flesh forms long, tender strands when shredded with a fork after cooking. Its mild taste pairs easily with myriad ingredients. Plus, it’s low in carbs, gluten-free, and high in vitamin A and other essential nutrients—no wonder this pale-yellow, oblong-shaped squash is having a moment with fitness fans.

    This recipe, adapted from “Listen to Your Vegetables: Italian-Inspired Recipes for Every Season” (Harvest, $45), offers a handy trick for boosting its deliciousness in several notches. After the cut halves steam in the oven, the cooked strands are spread out on a baking sheet and returned to the stove, allowing the flavors to concentrate and caramelize as the moisture evaporates. Mixed with cheese and herbs and heaped back in its shell, run under the broiler until bubbly; it becomes your favorite spaghetti sauce’s new best friend. Sorry, pasta! Serves 4. RECIPE HERE. – Susan Puckett


    • 2 small spaghetti squash (2 to 2 ½ pounds each)
    • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for coating the foil
    • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or chopped oregano leaves, plus more for garnish
    • 4 ounces of burrata or fresh mozzarella torn into small pieces
    • Quick Marinara Sauce (recipe follows) or your favorite pasta sauce, optional


    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set the squash on a cutting board and nestle it in a folded kitchen towel to hold it in place while you cut it. With a heavy, sharp chef’s knife or serrated knife, carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise, rocking the knife gently back and forth after you cut through the skin. (If you’re struggling, you can zap it in the microwave for 3-5 minutes to soften it before cutting.)
    2.  With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard them.
    3. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush it lightly with oil. Season the squash halves well with salt and pepper and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil.
    4. Set the squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the squash skins are tender to the touch.
    5.  Remove the pan from the oven, leaving the oven on. Let the cooked squash rest for about 10 minutes, allowing it to steam as it slowly cools, then flip. With a fork, gently pull and shred the squash from the skins, forming spaghetti-like strands. Spread the strands on the oiled baking sheet. Set aside two of the squash skins for later.
    6. Return the baking sheet with the shredded squash to the oven and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized (but not burned) in places and dried out a bit.
    7. Place the double-roasted squash in a bowl and toss with 1 cup of parmesan, thyme, oregano, and plenty of cracked black pepper. (Squash may be kept at room temperature for a couple of hours before broiling.) divide the mixture between the reserved squash skins and top with the burrata and remaining parmesan.
    8. Before serving, ensure a rack is set about 4 inches from the heat source and turn the broiler high. Place the squash under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes or until golden and bubbling and the skins of the squash are slightly charred.
    9.  Remove from the oven, garnish with more herbs, cut in half, and serve with pasta sauce if desired.

    Quick Marinara Sauce
    Makes 2 cups

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic (or more or less), minced
    • Pinch of red pepper flakes
    • ½ cup finely chopped parsley (leaves and stems)
    • 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
    • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste


    1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes, if using, and sauté for a minute or until the garlic begins to turn golden. Stir in the parsley and sauté another minute.
    2. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, and oregano and lower the heat to a simmer, occasionally stirring, until slightly thickened, 15 or 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at

  2. Working Out Brings Better Sleep

    Millions of people don’t get enough sleep every night, even if they know how important it is to their physical and mental health.

    And as we age, some people have extra trouble getting the right amount of rest (which varies for each individual, of course).

    But here’s one thing everyone should know: Exercise will help you get more and better sleep. Studies show that regular, moderately intense exercise improves sleep length and quality. Whether it’s walking, running, weightlifting, yoga…

    “Sleep quality and quantity are two important aspects of reducing stress, improving mood, and providing lots of energy,” the Functional Aging Institute says. “Lack of sleep and stress go hand in hand.”

    The National Sleep Foundation adds, “Not only will getting your zzzs help you perform on a test, learn a new skill or help you stay on task, but it may also be a critical factor in your health, weight, and energy level.”

    After 65, sleep issues can increase accidents, falls, cognitive decline, depression, and more.

    Here are a few tips for restful nights.

    • Don’t exercise too close to bedtime since it can stimulate your brain and raise your body temperature, changes that can keep you up.
    • Maintain bedtime routines and schedules.
    • Get some sunlight every day.
    • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and free of electronics.
    • Avoid caffeine after noon and too much alcohol close to bedtime.
    • Don’t drink much of anything as bedtime approaches; it could make you need to get out of bed.
    • Talk to your doctor about chronic issues. You could have sleep apnea or another serious but treatable disorder.

    When you’re not sleeping, train with us at Your Personal Best Training Studio, where our functional aging experts can assist you with your health and fitness goals. Try our 21-Day Strength and Longevity Program to restore your strength and improve your balance. Guaranteed results.

  3. Experts Rank Mediterranean Diet as the Best

    For the sixth year, the Mediterranean diet has been ranked as the best for health and well-being, according to U.S. News & World Report.

    Concerns about healthy aging came into play this time, the magazine said – including bone and joint health and increasing quality of life.

    The phrase “Mediterranean diet” has been around for a while now, and it’s based on the eating habits of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea, including Greece and Italy. It features simple, plant-based cooking, a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and extra-virgin olive oil.

    It encourages the consumption of fish packed with omega-3 fatty acids while calling for less chicken and dairy than the usual Western diet Americans favor. Red meat is used very little.

    Various studies have said it helps lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, depression, and breast cancer. It has been linked to better bones, heart health, and longevity.

    And, since it’s more of a style than a “don’t eat this” diet, the Mediterranean approach is straightforward for many to follow.

    Which diet landed at the bottom? The “raw foods” diet was cited as lacking nutritional completeness and being difficult to follow.

    The report ranks 24 eating plans in various categories, such as the best “family-friendly” diet. Be sure to scroll through the list to learn more about healthy eating options.

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Your Personal Best Training Studio
Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087