Sleep and Sphaghetti Squash: @drplasticpicker believes a High Fiber Diet leads to better sleep! More Fiber and more sleep, less plastic too!
Janaury 8, 2020
It’s 11pm and Mr. Plastic Picker woke me up. He was putting away the folded laundry very martyrish. Please know dear readers that it is his parents that do the laundry, not him. Then our daughter could not find her PE shorts, and between Mr. Plastic Picker’s antics and wanting to make sure my daughter had her shorts – I got my drplasticpicker body up out of REM stage 3 sleep and went to her room. I turned on the lights and the bright light shocked my cortisol up and my melatonin plummetted and I cleaned out her whole closet in 7 minutes and found her shorts.
But since I am a real-mother and now my husband woke me up, I had to clean her entire closet and refold her clothes. I hung her wet towels up. Sorted through clothes that were too small for her to put aside for her cousin, and gathered her dirty dishes (not sure why she has food in her room) and brought them downstairs. When my daughter called out (because she is sleeping in the extra bed in our room), “mommy, why don’t you go to sleep?” I said back in a loud whisper, but definitely loud enough for Mr. Plastic Picker to hear, “I am going to clean the kitchen.” Now I am going to be a martyr.
I am sitting at my computer in the kitchen, and even our crazy black poodle-mix has abandoned me. Before I start cleaning, I am taking time to do some parenting and blogging first. Our high-school son is finishing up his bathroom routine and I see his light still on. Usually at this time of night, since I am up so early cleaning the earth, I am fast asleep and Mr. Plastic Picker gets the kids settled. But Mr. Plastic Picker made a rukus and now I am awake and will make sure high-school son is in bed and as I always tell him, “Good night. Don’t do bad stuff. I love you.” I checked on him just now and asked about his bowel movements. I have always been good about keeping track that they are soft and regular.
Did I every tell you that I was a reserach fellow and did research on sleep? Yes. I co-authored a very obscure article on depressed women and bone density and sleep. Obscure I know. But I did learn a lot about sleep before sleep became the topic de jour in medicine. Since that year, I have always valued my sleep.
But I might as well take this opportunity to write to finish a blog post on Sphaghetti Squash! I have a theory that High Fiber diets can improve sleep. I just did a quick pubmed search, and there are ZERO research articles on it. If I was younger, I’d definitely do a study. But I am middle-aged and we have only 10 years to avert climate change, so I’m okay with stating this as truth on my blog and instead spending my time picking up ocean plastic.
Today drplasticpicker accomplished something so easy. If drplasticpicker can do it! Anyone can do it! I have written extensively (aka two blog post) on the Pediatric Fiber Deficit https://drplasticpicker.com/squeasy-gear-1-tackling-the-pediatric-fiber-deficit-with-real-fruit-and-not-plastic/. There is a Pediatric Fiber Deficit, a Pediatric Constipation Crisis, and a Pediatric Sleep Deficit. And all this lack of fiber, lack of soft glorious bowel movements and not sleeping is partially caused by plastic encased food and results in all of us being so discombobulated during our waking hours that we reach to fill our bodies with more plastic encased foods and drinks fueled with caffeine and plastic. The maddness needs to stop and it can stop with eating more Sphaghetti Squash!
So we were at Costco last weekend because Mr. Plastic Picker insisted. Mr. Plastic Picker is a closet shopaholic so this less-plastic life has been difficult for him. But he is living the difficult reality of a less wasteful life with me, and embracing it. Yet we still have to go to Costco once in a while. Now I’m thinking back and I’m not sure we really had to go? I think he wanted to buy some sunglasses for our high-school son. The Less Wasteful Christmas was the right thing to do, but I think Mr. Plastic Picker was acting out a bit by doing some meanginless shopping https://drplasticpicker.com/how-did-our-greener-christmas-go-10-ways-we-changed/. In the end we had a much less consumeristic holiday season.
But it was meant to be, because I found these! They were encased in plastic mesh. I have seen them at Sprouts but I have never purchased them. But the price of $2 a piece was too good. I thought, I will try them! So I took a chance and bought them.
The grandparents were very curious when I they saw the two squashes. And we discussed what they were and we walked by them for the next few days on the kitchen counter. But today after a wonderful day (I have a half-finished blog post about today), I had defrosted some sustainble tilapia https://drplasticpicker.com/trying-to-eat-sustainable-seafood-is-hard/ and the Sphagetti Squash were bekoning. So rather than my standard dinner of a bit of brown rice, and microwave steamed Organic Normandy Vegetable Mix with the tilapia – I did the Sphaghetti Squash.
How Dr. Plastic Picker Cooked Sphaghetti Squash
- Cut in Half: this was the hardest part. Really hard. Because it’s tough. I’m glad Mr. Plastic Picker was not home because he does not trust me with a knife. But between our big knife and my daughter’s Dough Scraper I was able to cut that tough thing in half.
- Stick in Oven at 400 Degrees: I did preheat the oven and put it on a cookie sheet. The directions on-line said put a bit of water and cover with aluminum. We didn’t have any alumnium so I just cut a bit of water in it and stuck it in the oven.
- Wait 40 minutes: The directions said 40 minutes so for good measure since I only half waited for the oven to preheat I waited 45 minutes.
4. Scoop: Then you scoop and the sphaghetti squash comes out stringy like sphaghetti.
And that is it. Sphaghetti squash roasting done. Instead of pasta which is 100 calories for about 1 cup cooked and 1-2 grams of fiber (depending on the brand). We had sphaghetti squash with was 42 calories and 2.2 grams of fiber. The kids ate about 2.5 cups each so 5grams of fiber but this is plant based fiber! The grandparents had some too and they were amazed. Even Mr. Plastic Picker had some at home and praised my cooking. We paired it with the Kirkland brand Pesto sauce and the tilapia I had quickly sauteed with butter on the stovetop.
The kids loved the Sphaghetti Squash and gave me high mommy points today! This was also a win for the environment because according to that cool graphic from the LA Times, it takes much more water per ounce in the world to produce grains than squash.
Pasta: 16.6 gallons per oz
Squash 1.9 gallons per oz
But then I had a cup of tea and one Medjool date for desert. I’m now looking that up and dates require 273 gal./lb. to grow, so about 17 gallons per oz of date. Oh well. At least I know a date which has 3 grams of fiber per date was better than a processed cookie made with Palm Oil and the tea was better than coffee for the rainforest. Overall, it does show how complicated trying to eat right for the environment is. There are so many factors to consider. But in general plant-based food that is whole and real and cooked at home is better. The the sphaghetti squash was a winner and so easy with some pesto and lean protein. We will definitely repeat this dish next week!
I just checked in the fridge and my serving for lunch tomorrow is still there! So I will have the sphaghetti squash for lunch paired with some pesto and turkey, and probably an apple. Come stop by the lunchroom tomorrow if you want to see evidence that I really cooked it. If Dr. Plastic Picker can do it, than anyone can! Now I will go to sleep and sleep deeply because I had some good plant-based fiber at dinner from the Sphaghetti Squash and the date. And I did not drink coffee at night. I will tell all my patients about Sphaghetti Squash tomorrow.
Craving carbs and less fiber. Still healthy! Check out this post about Arroz Caldo https://drplasticpicker.com/arroz-caldo-saves-the-environment-and-also-time-from-rehydrating-patients/