Delicious & Creamy Plant-Based Butternut Squash Soup

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Now that the weather is getting colder and the leaves are changing, this is the perfect soup to enjoy! Warm your soul with this delicious, healthy, plant-based soup.

While making this soup, I had an unfortunate incident with the squash sap and ended up with some sort of reaction or Squash Dermatitis when I was peeling the squash. Squash, particularly young squash, release a sticky sap-like substance when they are cut/peeled, to help protect itself from trauma. This sticky sap can get on your hands and cause a reaction. The sap can also be very difficult to get off of your hands. For me, my hands went numb and my skin started peeling within a few minutes of contact with the squash. It is recommended to wear gloves while peeling squash if you have this sort of reaction. To get this stick sap substance off of your hands, you can soak your hands in warm water, or take off the sap with a sticky piece of tape. If you would like to watch my adventures making this recipe, please check out my YouTube video below:

And now onto the recipe details!

Delicious & Creamy Plant-Based Butternut Squash Soup 

Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 35 – 40 minutes
Servings: Approximately 8

Ingredients

  • Olive oil (1 tbsp)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated (or 1 tsp ginger powder)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/2 tsp fresh or dried, cut finely
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 3.5 cups soup stock (vegetable, chicken for non-vegan option)
  • 3/4 cut milk (coconut milk or almond milk for vegan option, milk or cream for non-vegan option)

Instructions

  1. Heat a pot to medium heat and add olive oil.
  2. Add the diced onion, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and thyme, saute until onion is transparent
  3. Add the butternut squash cubes and stir the mixture
  4. Add the vegetable stock and stir to combine (you may need a little more/less stock depending on size of squash, liquid level should be slightly lower than the squash)
  5. Add lid and bring soup to a boil, once boil is reached turn down to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes (squash should be tender enough to pierce with a fork)
  6. Remove soup from heat and add the milk
  7. Puree the soup with a blender or hand-held blender
  8. Voila! Serve and enjoy your delicious soup! You may store leftovers in the fridge/freezer. Consume within a few days.

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Target Your QUADS During SQUATS!

Hey everyone!

In my latest YouTube video, I share with you some strategies to target your quadriceps while performing squats.

1. Regular Squats

Performing regular squats is a great way to target the quadriceps, as they are responsible for performing knee extension. When performing regular squats, you typically want to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, brace your core, and sit back into the squat until you knees are approximately 90 degrees. Slowly raise your body to a standing position and finish the movement by squeezing your glutes and your quads.

There are many variations to performing regular squats, and changing up your stance width will change the muscles that are being activated throughout the squat. This is true, however there are some misconceptions about stance width and quad activation.

MYTH: Narrow Squats will Build the Quadriceps More than Other Stances
It is true that when we take a narrow stance during squats, the most active muscle is the quadriceps muscle, however, it is no more active during a narrow squat than during a normal squat or a wide squat. The difference between these three squat stances is that a narrow stance targets less muscles, while a wider stance recruits more muscles to perform the movement. What this means is that when we take a narrow stance, the other muscles that help to perform a squat are less active than when we take a wide stance. Therefore, stance width does not make the quads “more active”, rather it influences the number of muscles that are active. Therefore, your quads produce the same amount of force regardless of the stance you take, so opt for the stance width that feels the most comfortable. Depending on your goal, if you want to target less muscles, a narrow stance is the better option, but if you want to target more muscles, a wide stance is the better option.

2. Goblet Squats

In order to load the quads during squats it is important to shift the load forward, by front-loading the body. A goblet squat is a great squat variation to shift the load to the front of the body, increasing the work performed by the quadriceps. This squat variation is very versatile, as you can us a dumbbell or even a medicine ball to front load your squat.

3. Front Loaded Barbell Squat

Another option to load your squat is to use a barbell, however to target the quads, you should perform front-loaded barbell squats. Since the barbell is placed in front of the body, it displaces the load forward, forcing the quadriceps to work harder to resist that load. The benefits of front-loading squats is that it reduces the force placed on the knees, so this is a great squat variation for those who have knee issues.

4. Elevating Heels During Squat

If you are more advanced, elevating the heels could be an option for you to target your quads during a squat. To elevate your heels, choose something stable to put your heels on, such as a plate (or two plates). Elevating the heels not only shifts the load forward, but it also changes your body mechanics of the movement, as it limits the amount of hip flexion you perform, while increasing the amount of knee flexion that you perform. Since the quad’s primary movement is knee extension, elevating your heels helps to increase the range of motion of the quadriceps muscle, helping to target the quads. As a safety precaution, this exercise should be performed by individuals who are more advanced and do NOT have knee issues.

5. Leg Press Machine

5fa8177f04157b17a633c6dfc3195f9cTo target your quads on a leg press machine, you simply lower you feet on the leg press machine. This changes your body mechanics similarly to front-loading a squat, therefore increasing the stress placed on the quads.

 

 

 

I hope this video was informative & helpful! Best of luck to you on your own health journey.

xoxo,

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The Sliding Filament Theory of Muscle Contraction

Hello Everyone,

I decided to make an explainer video about the Sliding Filament Theory over on my YouTube channel. I have learned about the Sliding Filament Theory in multiple courses throughout my undergrad, but was always confused about it because I found that not a lot of videos actually broke it down into steps. For those who are having the same struggle, here you go!

How To Grow STRONG Biceps | Simple Exercises and Techniques

Hey everyone!

It’s been awhile since I have posted to my YouTube channel, so I thought as my first video back I’d talk about how I developed strong biceps. Over the past year I have learned many simple techniques to change up my regular bicep curls, help with overall growth, AND keep things interesting (and challenging 😉) in the gym.

Feel free to check it out and leave me a comment of your favourite biceps secrets!

xoxo,

Heather