• How do you cook spaghetti squash? You can do it a few ways but I like to keep it simple. I slice mine along it’s equator (less to cut through… it’s hard >:[) and then place it face down on a baking sheet that I’ve sprayed with a nonstick spray. So the rounded part is sticking up. Then I bake it in the oven at 375 F for 40-50 minutes depending on the size of the squash. Usually it’s closer to 45 minutes. You’ll know it’s done because the squash should have softened up all the way through. Then scoop out the seeds from the center with a spoon and throw those away. The actual squash you want is the stringy part, which you just remove with a fork. By scooping it out with a fork, it automatically makes “spaghetti.”
  • How do you roast your kabocha squash, acorn squash, any other squash? There’s two ways I like to cook my kabocha squash – baked whole or roasted in pieces. To bake it, slice in half. Place face down on a baking sheet and bake at 375 F. But usually after around 30-40 minutes (when it’s ALMOST done and soft), I scoop the seeds out, then place it face UP on the sheet, and bake another 10-15 minutes. Overall, it depends on the size of the squash. When I roast it, I scoop out the seeds from inside the squash while it’s raw. Then chop it into pieces. Place it on a baking sheet with spices (usually cinnamon) and bake at 425 F for 20 minutes, flip, and bake another 5-7 minutes.
  • How do you cook your sweet potatoes? I wash them and then place them whole on a baking sheet. I let them bake at 375F for 60-80 minutes, depending on the size of them. Basically I let them bake until a sweet, sap-like liquid begins to seep out. It’s like a liquid straight from the sweet potato gods.
  • How long did it take you to lose the 65+ pounds? About 8 and a half months.
  • Why “The Coconut Diaries”? As I mentioned in my about me, I’ve had a past of various kinds of disordered eating. For a while, I found myself struggling with orthorexia, which is basically a fear of certain foods because you think they’re “bad.” I really had no reason for avoiding these foods. For example, I believed almonds were the only type of acceptable nut to eat. Why? I couldn’t give you a single good reason. The list was really extensive, and sometimes I’d be in situations where I’d go hungry rather than just eat whatever was at an event, or a friends house, or in some sort of unfamiliar situation. Coconut was on that list of food. Slowly over time, I tackled these foods and once I had coconut I fell completely in love. Coconut butter, coconut shreds, coconut tea, coconut coffee, coconut peanut butter, coconut almond milk,… etc. You get the point. Once I overcome the initial fear, I realized how silly it was for me to think it was bad. So I created my site with that domain as a little reminder and tribute to how far I’ve come and how I’ve been able to tackle the disordered habits.
  • What protein powder do you prefer? My favorite is Cellucor. I also use Optimum Nutrition sometimes. For more sensitive stomachs though I would recommend About Time or Sunwarrior.
  • Where do you buy your ______? More than likely, I got it on iherb.com. The “special” products I get that are harder to find, come from iherb.com. That’s where I get my coconut flour, peanut flour, Walden Farms products, SweetLeaf Stevia drops, nut butters, and more. If you want to shop on iherb.com, you can use my discount code to receive a $10 discount on your first order – GIK407. Everything else comes from local grocery stores (Publix, Ingles, Kroger) or Walmart and Target. I get my la tortilla factory tortillas from Kroger and Publix.
  • Do you count calories/macros? When I was losing weight I did count calories but not macros. Then I stopped. And I accidentally lost too much weight. When I began a lean bulk phase, to add on mass, I began to count macros (April 2013-October 2013). As of now, October 2013, I no longer count calories or macros. It became too mentally damaging for me to do for such a long time. There are more important things to me in life right now than how many grams of protein I ate 4 days ago. I just eat healthy and when I’m hungry.
  • Do you have the nutritional information for a recipe? Unless I post it, no. I do not have the time to add up the nutritional information for every recipe I post. If you need the nutritional information for a recipe, I suggest you use myfitnesspal to enter in your ingredients. It’s how I count mine when I do. It’s easy to use and can be used as an app or on their website.
  • Do you recommend Walden Farms products? Some. I think the chocolate, caramel, and pancake syrups taste wonderful. The BBQ sauce is also really good. The dressings I’ve tried were meh and I wouldn’t buy them again. The marshmallow fluff and peanut butter are horrid and I threw them away immediately. In regards to their “healthiness” of it, that will be up to you and what you define healthy. Yes, it is zero calorie and can help you diet when you have a craving 1-2 times a week. But yes, it is just a bunch of chemicals bottled up together and there is nothing nutritional about it. So ultimately it’s your judgment. Personally, I use mine once a week or less.

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