Butternut Squash Soup

24 pounds, boys and girls. Twenty-Four Pounds!

I am really psyched. When we started this, we had a goal – something that seemed nigh on impossible – but we had to aim somewhere. Today, our goal is not only realistic, but totally doable.

The gym is getting both easier and more difficult. I still can’t squat and touch the floor – hell, I can’t bend over and touch my toes – but I’m closer today than I have ever been. I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll be there within a month. I’m more limber than I have been in years – although I have a long way to go to get to where I need to be.

We’re both progressing well – although differently. Victor can squat and touch the floor – and does more weight on the leg presses.  He’s also much more limber and flexible than I am. I tend to be a tad more stubborn and get the other damned reps in without stopping. Usually. Today, in a sitting position up against a pillar with a kettlebell in my hands twisting from side to side, my legs were burning like you wouldn’t believe. Thirty reps – done in groups of ten. No way could I do thirty straight through. Hell – doing ten was murder! It still surprises me what we can – and can’t – do. And our Trainer knows what we can – and can’t – do. He keeps pushing the can’t. He’s good. Really good.

Here’s a little math for you to put weight loss in perspective… A pound is roughly 3500 kcal, so, to lose 2 pounds in a week, one must cut or otherwise burn 7000 kcal – 1000 kcal per day. That really can’t be done by diet, alone. Not only is it unrealistic, it sets us up for failure because it means we’re hungry all the time and tend to binge and make bad choices. And the metabolism slows, starts hoarding fat… It’s a vicious cycle. Diets are designed to fail, hence the multi-billion dollar diet industry in this country. Follow the money.

A vigorous exercise routine burns calories, so you can eat more and still lose. I mean… you see what we’re eating here. We are not skimping. Our portions are smaller than they were 4 months ago, but there is nothing we can’t eat if we so desire it. We’re not depriving ourselves. We’re paying someone to beat the crap out of us so we can eat what we want and lose weight at the same time. It’s a much more realistic approach.

And having a Trainer really is what’s driving this. There is just no way we would be doing this – to this extreme – without being pushed. It’s worth every cent.

So weight is down and spirits are up!

Also up tonight was a big bowl of Butternut Squash Soup. This is one of Victor’s excellent go-to recipes. He used our homemade chicken stock, fried peppers, and a jar of the beans I canned a couple of weeks ago. It’s really a simple soup with just a few ingredients, so make sure the ingredients are good!

Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 butternut squash – peeled and cubed
  • 2 qts chicken broth
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 hot pepper, or to taste
  • 1 can beans
  • Salt, to taste

Sauté  shallot and garlic in a drizzle of olive oil. Add squash, broth, and beans. Simmer until squash is falling apart-tender.

Puree in a blender until completely smooth.

Serve with a drizzle of good-quality olive oil.

The beans add a creaminess to the soup without having to add cream. You can also make it with water or vegetable broth to make it completely vegan. I added a few chopped scallions just for grins and giggles.

And we have enough for lunch, tomorrow!