Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe and Battling Postpartum Depression

Easy recipe for roasted delicata squash with homemade seasoned salts - EatingRichly.com

At the end of autumn we got several beautiful squash that I didn’t recognize in our CSA box. They were long and thin, varying in shades of yellow, orange, or green, with darker lines outlining the indentations between their gentle ridges. After a bit of research, I discovered that these were called delicata squash, and that you can even eat the skin of the delicata because it’s so, well…delicate.

While I found all sorts of recipes for delicata squash on Pinterest, I decided to start by simply roasting one with some of my homemade seasoning salts. Roasting a new (to you) vegetable is a great way to try it for the first time. You get to experience the flavor and texture of the vegetable, and can then better understand it and how it might work in other recipes. This was my plan for the delicata squash, but we ended up liking this method so much, that we did the exact same thing with all 10 squash that we ate!

The past couple of weeks, I haven’t much felt like cooking, but seeing the pyramid of delicata squash in a bin at the grocery store, reminded me how good they are. So I had to get one and share this recipe with you.

The reason I’ve been struggling to cook, and haven’t had a post up, since sharing the Snowman Cheeseball with you on Christmas, is that I have been dealing with postpartum depression.

I’m nervous even posting this, because everyone and their mother seems to have an opinion on postpartum depression, or depression in general. But I try to live a very transparent and open life, and believe in keeping it real here, just like I try to in person.

I do hope that anyone commenting would be respectful and encouraging, because I don’t feel like I can handle anymore guilt. Yep, turns out that’s one of the symptoms, which is what finally helped me figure out what was going on.  I thought I was simply going through survivor’s guilt, and maybe sadness from my Grandmother’s passing. Plus, of course, the basic exhaustion and feelings of being overwhelmed that every new mom faces. I just kept telling myself that everything I was feeling was normal.

Then I started having days that I didn’t want to get out of bed, or I would call Eric at work and start crying that he needed to come home because I just couldn’t take it anymore. That would be followed by all consuming guilt because I have an incredible, adorable, amazing little baby boy and the most supportive husband you can imagine, and I was obviously taking them for granted by wanting a break from my life.

cute-baby-fedora

After a morning at church of repeatedly responding to friends’ greetings of “how are you?” with “I really don’t know. I think I’m broken or something”, I spent the afternoon rocking Corban, crying, and praying. Then it suddenly hit me. Look up the symptoms of postpartum depression. “But I can’t have postpartum depression. He’s almost a year, that’s too late.” But again I felt this overwhelming need to look it up.

So I googled it. “What are the symptoms of post partum depression?” Turns out, I fit every single one I found. Depression during pregnancy? Been there, done that, wrote the blog post. Binge eating, or not eating? Check and check. Unable to sleep? Yes, to the point that I was getting 1-3 hours a night. Feelings of guilt? More than I could keep up with. Feeling inadequate to take care of baby? So much so that especially difficult nights found me screaming for Eric to take him away. (Wow, that’s really hard to see in writing).

Let me take a moment to clarify something. I HAVE NOT HAD THOUGHTS OF HARMING MYSELF OR MY CHILD. I am SO thankful that I do not have postpartum psychosis, which is different and even scarier. But I have been so overwhelmed and sleep deprived that I am sometimes incapable of rational thought. It’s been really hard to realize that there are days that I cannot make myself believe what I know to be real and true, over what I’m feeling. I’ve never had that experience before and it is a big black hole that sucks you in and seems to go on forever.

Now for the good news, because you know I always try to focus on the positive.

I saw my doctor, who also had me see a naturopath, and am trying some new prenatal vitamins with a lot more iron and higher doses of other nutrients as well. We also started using techniques from “The No Cry Sleep Solution” to help Corban go to sleep more easily and sleep longer through the night. They were working really well (until we all got gastroenteritis and Corban got two ear infections in a row!) and I now feel hope for more sleep in the future. In addition to better sleeping habits, I also find that exercise makes a big difference. I try to exercise at least three times a week (which only happens when everyone’s healthy) and find that it can really affect how I’m doing emotionally.

Finally, I am not staying silent about this, and the support I am experiencing has blown me away. The women of my Mops group have been helping with meals, childcare, words of encouragement, and housework. So have family and other friends. Every time I talk to someone (and by that I mean someone who is emotionally safe and encouraging) about what is going on, I feel like the depression has less power over me. It seems a little more manageable.

I’m not out of the darkness yet, in fact it’s been pretty hard this week (although I feel amazing right at this moment, since I just got finished with a massage and facial for my birthday!!!), but I absolutely see a light. I even feel a renewed sense of excitement over my hobbies, which I hadn’t been interested in for a while. I know I’m going to make it through this, and a big part of that is because of the wonderful support system I have around me. So thanks to all of you who are a part of that.

I’m really curious, have any of you every suffered from postpartum depression? How long did it last? What helped you through it?

Easy recipe for roasted delicata squash with homemade seasoned salts - EatingRichly.com

Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: ½ squash
  • Calories: 82
  • Fat: 6.75
  • Saturated fat: .93
  • Carbohydrates: 5.25
  • Sugar: 2.25
  • Sodium: 350
  • Fiber: .75
  • Protein: .75
  • Cholesterol: 0
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Beautiful delicata squash is roasted in olive oil and herb salts for a simple, flavorful, vegetable side dish.
Ingredients
  • 2 delicata squash
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash and dry the squash. Cut them into ½ inch wide rounds, and cut each round in half.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the squash with the olive oil, and then the seasoned salt.
  4. Spread squash in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time. Squash is done when it is very easily pierced with a fork and brown around the edges.
Notes
Approximate cost/serving: I've been finding the squash for less than $2 this winter, so this ends up costing me about $1 a serving.
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: This is both, and vegan as well. Just make sure, if you're using a store bought seasoned salt, to read the label as some contain gluten.

 


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6 Responses to “Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe and Battling Postpartum Depression”

  1. Mindy
    January 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    Wow, I’m sorry to hear what a rough time you’re having. I’ve had three kids, and by the grace of God, I never experienced any depression. Rough days, yes. Too many. But never that low that seems impossible to get out of. I’m happy to hear you have a good support group around you and that you’ve identified the problem. That’s a great start to getting back to “normal”, I would imagine. Sounds like you’re on the right track. Good luck!
    And the squash sounds delicious. I’ve never cooked that type before, but I’ll make sure to watch for it in the stores.

  2. Tonja
    January 21, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    Yummy, I just discovered this squash this past fall and “fell” in love with it!

    I too had postpartum depression. It didn’t help that I had never been around babies before I had my own and my husband worked nights and I had to go back to work at 7 weeks. I was overwhelmed also. I too screamed and ranted and raved, but never hurt my baby, but felt guilty for what I was feeling. I was ready to walk out on both of them and never go back. By the grace of God I got over it. You too will get over it with prayer and friends and family. I will keep you in my prayers.

  3. Gretchen
    January 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    Hi Diana, I’m so sorry to hear that you have been struggling with postpartum depression. My little sister went through that last year and it was so difficult and scary for her! What a blessing to have MOPS (love my own MOPS group), family and friends to help carry some of your burden.
    My sis ended up using St. Johns wort which helped her heal. It sounds like you are on the path to getting better!

  4. Kay B
    January 30, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    One thing I look back on now, that I realize about my baby crying, a lot of the crying babies do, has to do with their tummy, either they are crying because its not full or they cry because its too full, or because they have gas or they need to poop . This is not just newborns this is referring to 1 and 2 yr olds as well. Give them a bottle, or the breast, if you have to just feed them and be done with the crying. You’ll sleep better and they will too.

    • Diana
      February 7, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

      Thanks for your insight Kay. I definitely feed on demand (breastfeed) and think it’s the best for our whole family. We just found that Corban has his third ear infection so are wondering if perhaps this has been the cause of all the sleeplessness.

  5. Julie Zeh
    March 24, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Oh honey, I’m so sorry to read about your rough time. I suffer from depression, but was given about a 2-year reprieve during my pregnancy and infancy of each of my two boys (kind of the inversion of postpartum depression, I guess). Sending prayers your way.

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