Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - THM Friendly

Wow....what a blessed weekend we had! The weather was beautiful and we had a busy, but fun-filled weekend spent with friends and family. On Friday, a friend called and came over for lunch and spent the afternoon here with her three little girls. We chatted away while our kiddos played together outside in our backyard. It was so refreshing and nice to have a relaxing afternoon visiting in the beautiful weather, chatting about home schooling and things.

On Saturday we attended a surprise 50th birthday party for a family friend and were able to catch up with some old friends we don't get to see very often. We had a good meal and then enjoyed eating cake, which my sister-in-law had decorated so nicely (she is very talented at cake decorating and party planning!)

Then Sunday we went to Sunday School and attended church. After church, we had lunch and an afternoon of fellowship with some friends, and we played Settlers of Catan (my first time playing it). We then came home for the evening and had our  friends/family over for a few rounds of Rook (card game) and munchies.

It was such an awesome weekend! I am SO excited for more weekends like these now that the nasty winter/roads are hopefully finished.

*As I finish writing this up Tuesday morning, it is currently snowing. sigh.*

Here's our menu plan for this week. I am going to attempt to keep my S & E meals on separate days. I will be eating lots of leftovers/similar meals, though, to keep it simple. Last week was not so great THM-wise. I haven't really lost any weight since the very first week I started, so I'm going to try my best to stick very much on plan this week and try full S days and full E days.

Sunday: Friends' house for lunch, out for supper

Monday: B - Steel Cut Oats & Cottage Berry Whip (E)
               L - Veggie Pizza on Artisan Bread (E) Cottage Berry Whip for dessert
               S - Leftover Artisan Pizza (I also made a "normal" pizza for rest of family). I had some Greek lemon yogurt and a few off-plan tortilla chips & salsa for snack)

Tuesday: B - 3 Eggs (S)
                L - Low Carb Pancakes topped with whipped cream and strawberries (try adding 1 tsp flax meal and 1 tsp baking powder to recipe) (S)...these were just okay...prob wouldn't make again. I didn't care for the cream cheese taste in the pancakes.
                S - Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole with steamed broccoli (S)
                Dessert - 37 Calorie Brownies (FP, I think ?)

Wednesday: B - Lemon Greek Yogurt (FP)
                      L - Caesar Salad (no croutons) & Spaghetti Squash with Butter (S), Cottage Berry Whip
                      S - Leftover Casserole (S)

Thursday:      B -  Greek Yogurt & Strawberries (FP)
                      L - Leftover Pizza (if it hasn't been eaten by then) or Moroccan Lentil Soup & Artisan  Bread (E)
                      S-  Leftover soup (E)

Friday:     B - Eggs (S)
                 L - Hamburgers on Oopsie Rolls (S)
                 S - Leftovers (S)

Saturday:  Not sure yet...possibly BBQ steak if the weather is nice for Asian steak salad

Friday, April 26, 2013

THM - Week 3 Progress (or lack thereof...)

Well this was an interesting week food-wise. I veered off the THM path a bit too much these past few days. Yesterday was especially bad - I pretty much just lost it. Not good. Let's just say it consisted of hot dogs, tortilla chips, guacamole, and coca-cola and a few other little goodies thrown in the mix. Not exactly a winner of a day food-wise. And yes, I felt horrible after.  For hours. Not worth it. Yuck.

Moving on...

I'm up 0.2 lbs from last week. No surprise, really. I need to be more disciplined to see if the plan really "works", which it most definitely does for those are are actually following it. When I follow the plan, I definitely feel better overall, which is encouraging.

Exercise needs to become a priority for me. It's a matter of figuring out how to best fit it in my day. I definitely cannot leave exercise time to the evening or later afternoon. It just doesn't happen. Once 4 o clock rolls around (aka crazy hour), I am pretty much toast energy/motivation wise. Yes, overall THM has most definitely helped my energy level (when I follow the plan!), but it just seems like 4 o clock is one crazy time around here. Don't ask me why. I think I remember Michelle Duggar talking about that crazy hour in her house, so at least I'm not the only one! :-). I'm thinking right now that I may fit exercise in at 11 a.m. and allow the kids to either exercise with me/play (if it's an exercise dvd) or watch a decent dvd or television show while I jog on the treadmill. Since spring has *finally* arrived around these parts, exercise is going to consist more of lots of after-supper walks and backyard soccer games, too.

I'm 3 weeks in with 1 week to go in my THM challenge. No, I haven't followed it perfectly. No, I likely never will. Yes, I am actually seeing this as a possible lifestyle change, though, and I'm LOVING some of the THM-friendly recipes I've tried. Who knew that cottage cheese, xylitol, stevia, and frozen berries blended together until smooth could taste SO good? It can almost....almost...pass for my ice cream substitute. I'm not kidding. I also made these amazing low-fat oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. They weren't exactly THM-friendly because I used white sugar instead of a plan-approved sugar. I would maybe try using honey or maple syrup next time to make it a bit healthier but still okay for my kids & hubby....BUT the carb/fat counts of it still fit it within an E parameter. It used applesauce and only 2 tbsp of butter. My entire family loved this recipe, too. It's a keeper for sure. Then today, I tried this lemon yogurt for a FP snack, and it was crazy, crazy good. Before THM, I ate sweetened store-bought, full fat yogurt every morning. I really dislike the fat free and sweetened with sucralose or aspartame. But....plain 0% Greek yogurt with real lemon juice, vanilla, and stevia is where it's at. I am so pumped to actually really like some of these new foods.

Onto Week 4...and as crazy as it sounds...this little "challenge" might just continue on past Week 4. I am thinking about experimenting with alternating E & S days to shake things up a bit.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Good Read!

I recently finished reading Large Family Logistics. I LOVE this book. I got it from the library as I really don't like to spend money on books since most of the time they are only read once, but this is one I will seriously consider buying in the future. It is one of the most helpful Christian home management books I have read. The book is written by a busy homeschooling mom of 9 kids living on a farm. It has been SO helpful for me in trying to figure out a daily "system" for our family. (for example...when to fit in homeschooling, chore time, rest time, exercise, hospitality, meal & table routines, how to include kids in chore time, office-type work, running errands efficiently, cleaning routines & laundry, etc.).  I still feel like I haven't found my groove after having 2 kids, but I think Large Family Logistics will help me find my way. This book is beneficial whether you have 2 kids or 10 kids. If you already have a good system in place that's working wonderfully for you, or if you don't plan on homeschooling, you probably won't benefit as much from this book as I am. For me, though, it has been very helpful since my previous cleaning/laundry system wasn't working for me anymore and we are homeschooling. I am currently in the process of slowly implementing several of her ideas. As things have been rather disastrous and random around here, it will take some time to get everything in place, but the small changes we have made in the last few days have really been encouraging.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - THM Friendly

This THM thing is quite easy to do at home. It is an entirely different story when going out to eat or visiting....I do allow myself to go off plan a bit when out and about. Of course, if I was really disciplined I could bring (and eat) my own THM snacks...but...gotta live a little!

Sunday: 6 inch turkey sub on whole wheat for lunch (this was a crossover...but a healthy one!)
           : Quinoa, chicken, and fruit salad for supper (E)
           : Off-plan snacks when visiting. I even had an ice cream cone. It was delicious.

Monday: Breakfast: Steel Cut Oats with Cinnamon & a drizzle of maple syrup, watermelon (E)
             : Lunch: Spicy Chicken Waldorf Salad (I will go easy on the apple to keep this in "S" territory)
             :Supper: Stuffed Peppers (no rice for me), Salad with creamy dressing (S)

Tuesday: Spaghetti & Meat Sauce, Caesar Salad (over spaghetti squash for me and no croutons) (S)

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Moroccan Lentil Soup with Artisan Bread (E)

Friday: Homemade Pizza (Cauliflower crust for me), Veggies & Dip (S)

Saturday: Leftovers

*Linking up to Menu Plan Monday hosted by orgjunkie.com*

Friday, April 19, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama - Week 2 Report

I'm up 1 lb this week, which brings me to 2.8 lbs lost since starting the plan. I cheated a couple of times this week (twice I had a few tortilla chips, which are a no-no and definitely my biggest weakness. No way will I ever be giving them up totally, anyway!). The cheating a few times might be to blame, but I'm also realizing that, realistically, I may be closer to my ideal weight than I originally thought. I may have to let go of the idea that I can get back to where I was after I had Elianna.

One week ago I felt like there was no way I could ever stick with this lifestyle....and that is still true, if it means following a strict THM plan. However, after Week 2 I am feeling like this actually might be a lifestyle shift for me. Not a complete change, but a shift...an improvement. Even if it's just a shift toward eating more complex carbs, more protein and less simple sugar in order to treat my blood sugar better. I am learning so much and trying out many new recipes, which I'm truly enjoying. It was FUN to make over my hubby's favourite Chicken Tikka Masala and make it THM-friendly (used fat-free Greek yogurt, left out the oil, cornstarch & heavy cream). He still LOVED it and didn't even really notice the difference :-D. I had mine over cauliflower "rice" and it was delicious. I honestly didn't even miss the basmati rice as much as I thought I would. The rest of the family still had rice.

My kids & hubby are not following this plan. They don't need to, and the plan isn't meant for growing kids who need their calories. If you know my bean-pole kids...they definitely need their calories ;-), especially Miss Muffet who barely eats enough to begin with. Low-fat foods are not allowed for them! It's been surprisingly easy for me to eat this way even though the rest of my family isn't.

 I only managed to do the 30 Day Shred 3 times last week; I really want to find a way to fit more exercise into my day. I have an athlete stuck somewhere inside of me, but I am still trying to figure out how to bring her back :-). I know that when I did get down to my ideal weight after I had Elianna, I was definitely exercising more than I am now and in great shape fitness-wise. That may or may not be realistic in this different stage of life I'm in now...

I'm feeling good about going into Week 3. The plan is to stick mostly on-plan, though veering slightly off-plan once in awhile is still okay with me :-).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Remembering A Friend...

Several tears have been shed this week as a dear friend of mine went home to be with Jesus recently after a 10 month battle with cancer.

She was my piano teacher for 10 years (or more!), encourager, mentor, dear friend, and sister in the Lord. When I look back on my growing up years, she stands out as one who had a significant impact on my life. 

I have known her my entire life and always felt we had a special bond, fellowshipping together in a very small church and sharing a love for music. It is evident she formed special friendships with many, many people because that's just the kind of person she was...incredibly caring and selflessly invested in others :-). She was a gifted musician and teacher and encouraged me to use whatever gifts I have been given for the glory of God. When I wanted to leave Royal Conservatory behind for awhile, she supported me in whatever music I was interested in learning at the time (improvising hymns and playing worship music, for example). Then when I decided I wanted to pick up classical music again, she was my biggest cheerleader as I studied for my piano exam. Often she would get a few of us girls together in the church and have us sing special songs for Christmas programs and things, and we had so much fun.  One of my favourite things she helped organize and invited me to be part of was a performance of the broadway song "Food Glorious Food" from Oliver Twist for the music festival. 

 I am exceedingly grateful that she took the time to invest in my life as a young girl & woman growing up. Full of compassion, kindness, and grace, she truly lived out the gospel, deeply caring for those whom society often ignores. An advocate for those with disabilities, she was incredibly compassionate and dedicated to her own daughter's well-being and the well-being of so many others.

At her funeral, they played a recording of her playing Summer Sunday by Marie Andree-Ostiguy. It is one of my favourite modern piano compositions, and I had the pleasure of hearing her play it live many times. It was the song I chose for my bridesmaids to walk down the aisle to at my own wedding. Of course, she was the pianist at my wedding :-). It is still my dream to learn to play that song myself someday. 

Going to the symphony together, sleepovers at her house, piano parties, church Christmas plays & ensembles, fun broadway songs she helped organize and invited me to be part of, lots and lots of laughs (her laugh was incredibly contagious), and spending hours choosing music together for my wedding are just some of the fond memories I have.

 I miss her very, very much and look forward to when I will see her again in heaven when we can make music together again for His glory. 

Menu Plan Monday - THM Style

Here's my THM-friendly menu plan for this week. Some of the recipes might need to be changed slightly to keep it on plan but most will work:

Sunday: Moroccan lentil soup & artisan bread (E) for lunch
           : Visiting parents for supper. I went off plan a little bit here...had ham & veggies with sour cream for an S meal  (I skipped the crescent rolls & mashed potatoes). Had 2-3 tablespoons of real fruit ice cream for dessert (this is where I cheated a bit) and a handful of popcorn seasoned with coconut oil & nutritional yeast. Also had some of my skinny chocolate and a zevia drink.

Monday: Three Bean Chicken Chili (E) (limited toppings for me to keep it in the E catergory...)

Tuesday: Chicken tikka masala, basmati rice (cauliflower "rice" for me), veggies (S)

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Spaghetti & meat sauce (spaghetti squash for me instead of noodles), Caesar Salad (no croutons)  (S)

Friday: Parmesan tilapia, steamed veggies with butter, salad (S) & mashed potatoes for rest of family

Saturday: Leftovers

Alternative Meals: Taco Salad (S- no taco chips for me)

Breakfasts: The usual for the kiddos & hubby (toast, yogurt, fruit). Ideas for me...steel cut oats with maple syrup (E), Greek yogurt & strawberries (FP), spinach & feta omelet (S) in my Tupperware breakfast maker.

Lunches: For the kids: Homemade mac n' cheese (with tomatoes), grilled cheese sandwiches with veggies & dip, snack tray lunch (crackers, cheese, pickles, meat, fruit & veggies), THM pancakes or crepes with toppings. For me...various salads (E or S, depending on dressing & toppings), leftovers, quinoa & leftover chicken & balsamic roasted veggies (E), THM friendly pancakes or crepes.

Linking up to Menu Plan Monday hosted by orgjunkie.com

Friday, April 12, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama - Week 1 Progress Report

Progress: 3.8 lbs down this week and about half an inch lost in most places. What can I say...the plan works. I'm not really surprised that I lost since I ate wayyy healthier (and less calories) this week than most weeks. I am a bit surprised that it was over 2 pounds, though, since I wasn't even exercising much. I do have hope that this 30 day challenge will get me past my plateau and help me establish better eating habits. The first few days of the plan I felt pretty wretched...most people on this plan do go through detox since you cut out so much sugar and junk food. I think I did experience some of that since my whole body just hurt like crazy for a few days, and some of the illness was probably due to a minor cold/sore throat I had, too. However, I didn't have that weird lightheaded thing that I used to get most days (sugar highs/lows related?). My energy is good now, yes, better. Also, I never went hungry this week. When I was hungry, I ate. I had to choose sometime on plan, which maybe wouldn't have always been my first choice, but I didn't go hungry. This is not a "starve-yourself" plan, thankfully!

Read about Day 1, and Days 2, 3, 4. 

Here are some of the other things I ate this week:

Spinach, Egg Whites, & Feta Cheese on a 5 minute Flax Wrap for breakfast

Homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (cocoa, stevia, peanut butter, coconut oil). These were awesome  - pretty sure I had at least one a day. Will definitely make these for a healthy dessert for myself.

Low-Carb Meatballs (made with almond flour instead of bread crumbs). These were decent. Everyone like them. The only sad part was that the sauce I made (for mine) was disgusting...unedible.I had to thrown mine out. Hours later I still felt like throwing up...no joke. Served them with buttered broccoli & the rest of the family also had mashed potatoes. Gross meatball sauce led to the McDonald's smoothie cheat in the evening. On the plus side...it was fat free, so "just" a lot of empty carbs and simple sugar...bad for the blood sugar. oops.

Low-Carb Cabbage Rolls (good...the whole family didn't mind them) with Asparagus. I would definitely make these cabbage rolls again if I was doing the low-carb thing long-term. The rest of the fam also had mashed potatoes.

Moroccan Spiced Lentil Soup (with chicken). Loved this. Super healthy and the flavours were awesome. Will definitely add this one into my regular rotation. Can't wait for hubby to try the leftovers as I think he's going to love it, too.

Creamy Berry Dessert (cottage cheese blended with frozen berries & stevia). I didn't mind this. If I wouldn't have known it was cottage cheese, I probably would have liked it even more.

McDonalds Chicken Caesar Salad (no croutons). Good fast food choice, though I prefer their other salads, which aren't plan-approved. oh and fries. I sure did miss those fries...

I found out my 5 minute artisan bread is E-approved on THM if I make it with mostly whole wheat flour and let it sit in the fridge 3-5 days before baking. YES! Had this and dipped it in balsamic vinegar with my soup....soooo good.

I attemped this lemon curd dessert in an almond crust with whipped cream. Fail. Major fail. It was awful. I'm not always sure about this stevia stuff. Sometimes it makes things taste like garbage. Sorry, but it's true.

Exercise: I was actually sick for a day or two...feeling very, very lousy, so I skipped a couple of workouts. I probably exercised about 3 times during the week. I hope to get back on track next week.

Final thoughts after Week 1....I honestly cannot see myself sticking with this strict THM thing life-long. At best, I will use what I've learned and follow the plan half-heartedly (which is better than not following the plan at all, in my opinion.) It's a bit too low-carb for me, and the sugar thing is frustrating, especially when it comes to cooking/baking our favourite meals. For example, I could see myself using whole wheat pasta and whole wheat pitas/bread long-term but not using these  very special low-carb pastas and breads/pitas as they are super expensive and hard to find (mostly only found online).

I am glad for this 30 day challenge, though, because I am learning to think about food in a different way. I'm stretching myself to try new things and experiment with healthier foods (quinoa, steel cut oats, stevia, almond flour, coconut flour, etc), which is awesome. Some of the new foods  have been fantastic. Even my husband loves them. There are definitely things about this plan that I will try to work into our way of eating. I am going to try to use the S, E, FP philosophy when planning my meals and eat healthier treats and snacks most of the time. The hardest part for me is the no-sugar thing, though. I know there are other things like xylitol and erythritol, but they are crazy expensive compared to plain old sugar. Plus....I'm just not sure how I feel about them. I think I am more comfortable using "healthier" things like maple syrup and raw honey in place of these lower-calorie "weird-to-me-natural" sweeteners. Though I haven't read the book yet, my understanding is that once you are at goal-weight, honey & maple syrup are okay in moderation. The other sweeteners are preferable partly just cause they are zero or very low in calories and don't do a number on the blood sugar. Going out to eat while being on this plan is also pretty tough. I had a grilled chicken caesar salad from McDonalds without the croutons. I hear some people order a cheeseburger without the bun....I just can't do it...sorry.

3 weeks to go...I will likely be loosening up the rules for myself just a little bit for the next 3 weeks, especially with regards to the sugar stuff in cooking/baking. I will still try to stick pretty closely to the plan for the next 3 weeks, especially with regards to E, S, and FP meals.

Moving into Week 2...

Monday, April 8, 2013

THM - Days 2, 3 & 4

Just FYI, "S" stands for satisfied, meaning more fat-based and low-carb. "E" stands for energizing meal and is more carb-based and low-fat. "FP" stands for fuel-pull and can be paired with either E or S meals or stand alone. THM, in a nutshell, is spacing out fats & carbs by at least 2 1/2 hours to level out blood sugar. 

Day 2

Breakfast: THM Lemon Poppyseed Muffin in a Mug (no picture). This was definitely not my favourite. Probably wouldn't make it again. I added about 1/2 tsp of maple syrup to make it tolerable. "S".

Lunch: Leftover Quinoa with Balsamic Grilled Veggies & Chicken ("E").

Supper: Pizza on a Cauliflower Crust (topped with spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, feta and mozza cheese). The cauliflower crust is a bit labour-intensive, but it turned out pretty good. I really didn't mind it even thought it's not quite like a regular pizza crust. The rest of the family had "normal" homemade pizza. I also had lettuce with homemade light caesar dressing (made with fat free Greek yogurt instead of the usual mayo). "S"

Dessert: Skinny Chocolate & Cream Cheese "S"

Late night snacks: Handful of grapes and one small apple "E"

Day 3

Breakfast: Steel Cut Oats with a drizzle of maple syrup ("E"), pineapple, little bit of strawberries & greek yogurt. Coffee with almond milk & stevia. This was my first time eating steel cut oats, and I really like them! Hooray! I actually prefer them to the usual oatmeal packets I used to make. They are very different...more chewy, not mushy like regular oatmeal. I will definitely be making them more often.

Lunch: Leftover Pizza with Cauliflower Crust ("S") with Skinny Chocolate Cheese Cake Bite ("S") for Dessert

Supper: Chicken Lentil Barley Soup with Artisan Bread ("E"). I think the Artisan Bread isn't really allowed on the plan, but I am going to have one slice & keeping the carbs with the carbs, so it should be "okay" even though probably not allowed. The artisan bread does not contain oil or eggs, so it's probably low-fat and, thus, a better fit in my carb meal than my usual breads. I'm not sure if barley is a plan-approved carb, either.

Day 4

Breakfast: Steel cut oats, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt with strawberries

Lunch: 1 bowl of chicken lentil soup & 1 slice of artisan bread

Snack: cheese and cottage cheese

Supper: Taco salad (with 4 chips)...this is where I might have ventured into the crossover range. I was SO hungry tonight when supper came around. At first I did not have any taco chips in my salad. Then, I saw I could have up to 10 grams of carbs without crossing over too much. So, I added 4 chips because I was craving them so badly :-). Then, I realized my sour cream and salsa also contained some carbs. With my dessert (cottage cheese, frozen berries, stevia blended together...actually not that bad), I think I probably went a bit over my 10 grams of carbs allowed with my "S" fat-based meal. Oh well...

Dessert: 2 skinny chocolate cheese cake bites.

I am feeling a little nasty today. I kind of feel like I'm coming down with head cold or something :-(. Not sure if some of it could be sugar detox related, perhaps? Time will tell. No exercise on Day 2 & 3 because I generally take Saturday & Sunday off from exercise. Today I did Workout 1 for the 30 Day Shred.

Probably won't update again until Friday, which marks 1 Week following Trim Healthy Mama and will be my progress report :-).

Friday, April 5, 2013

THM - Day 1

 Trim Healthy Mama Experiment. Day 1.

The food was fabulous. I seriously can't wait to get the book so I can get all the great recipes that I'm seeing on facebook. The only time I felt "deprived" today was when my kids enjoyed an ice cream sundae, which I would normally "share" with them. Oh, and I longingly looked at my all-time favourite almond chocolate chip cookies I packed in my hubby's lunch. Thankfully, skinny chocolate saved me from giving in to that temptation :-D

Breakfast: Fat free plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 tsp peanut butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla, sprinkle of stevia to sweeten, and fresh strawberries. SO good! This is "Fuel-Pull", I think.

Lunch: BLT on a homemade flax wrap with homemade avocado lime dressing. I also had a cheese string and small piece of the homemade skinny chocolate (coconut oil, cocoa, stevia, flaked coconut) for "dessert". This was also very, very good. "S" meal. The rest of the family had it on regular bread with regular mayo. 

Supper: Quinoa, Balsamic Roasted Vegetables, & Chicken (from a store-bought rotisserie chicken). These veggies were AMAZING. Seriously...a new favourite. Mixed veggies (zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, peppers) tossed in 1/2 tsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper) & roasted at 425 F for about 20 minutes or so. I could eat this meal every week. 

For snacks: this evening I had another piece of the skinny chocolate (that stuff is awesome! I need to make some more tomorrow). I was a bit hungry still, so I made myself a smoothie with frozen mixed berries, fat free plain Greek yogurt (a THM staple), stevia, and a splash of almond milk. The only thing I wasn't too sure about today was the almond milk. I had it in my coffee this morning, too, and it's a little...weird.

For exercise, I did Workout 1 of the 30 Day Shred this evening.
I'm feeling great but am anticipating the possibility of some not-so-nice sugar detox side effects in the next few days.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

30 Day Trim Healthy Mama Experiment

With a bit of trepidation, I am going to embark on a 30 day food experiment, loosely following the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan. I am also planning to complete the 30 Day Shred exercise dvd. All this is an attempt to stabilize my blood sugar, increase my energy levels, and hopefully feel a whole lot better overall. Oh yes...and hopefully get a good start to shedding the lingering 10-15 pounds of baby weight, which are ridiculously stubborn and did not respond at all to my 9 week bootcamp attempt...sigh.
I have not read the Trim Healthy Mama book yet, so I won't be following their plan exactly (and likely wouldn't anyway.) I'm just guessing as to what things are considered E & S meals based on my very limited knowledge. The "E" meals are supposed to be energizing...meaning more carb-based. The "S" meals are satisfying....meaning more fat-based. "FP" are fuel-pull meals with are low carb & low-fat, so they are supposed to be for times you are less hungry or need a weight-loss boost. My understanding of the plan is to not mix large amounts of fats & carbs in the same meal. Very little sugar is allowed...most things are sweetened with stevia, which I just purchased last week. Coconut oil is also used a lot as a healthy fat, so I bought myself a jar of that, too. Glucomannan is supposed to be used for thickening things like gravy and desserts, but I'm not going to be using that. I am cheating a bit with some of my meals, but realistically, I could never follow THM exactly for my whole life. Never have a baked potato (carbs) with sour cream & bacon bits (fats) again?? Forget it! It's still gonna happen, people! :-D

I hope I can stick it out because I know I'm really going to miss my pop & chips...and french fries. I love french fries. Like, really really love french fries. Oh, and I'm a carb-a-holic. This plan is pretty low-carb. I hope I'm not setting myself up for failure. 

30 days. I can do this. I think. I start tomorrow. Will blog my progress (or lack, thereof). If I commit to 30 days on the plan and see significant change in my overall health, perhaps I will look at THM as more of a way of life and a different way of thinking about food rather than just a "diet".
Wish me luck :-)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama

Have you heard of the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) book that is all the rage right now? I heard of it several months ago and didn't think about it too much until just recently. Bloggerland is filled with so many positive reviews, testimonies, and "it changed my life" claims that it's really piqued my interest lately. TONS of people are having success with the program, and now I'm seriously considering jumping on the bandwagon. Here's one review that goes in depth into what the plan is about.

I've never, ever tried any sort of diet "program" in my entire life. Okay....maybe there was this one time I did the pita pocket diet for a week... I have loosely counted calories before (just estimates...no weighing of food or calculations) and had great success with that after Elianna was born, but I've never followed some sort of Atkins, South Beach, etc. type of thing where you pay attention to what types of foods you are eating and when and in what combination. Of course, Trim Healthy Mama is not supposed to be a "diet" but a way of eating for the rest of your life.

I requested the book at the library but am thinking it's going to be awhile until my turn comes for it since it has a few holds on it. After reading all the reviews and joining their facebook page,  I feel like I have an okay grasp of the plan. Don't mix fats and carbs at the same meal. There are certain "S" meals (satisfying) that are more fat-based. There are certain "E" meal (energizing) that are more carb-based. The idea is to balance blood sugar. It looks to me that following the plan loosely would mean that with slight modifications, I can eat almost everything I have been eating, but just not in the same combinations. Oh, and I can have desserts, coffee and chocolate, too. I like that.

There is much more to the book than just an eating plan & recipes; it goes into hormone balancing, skin care, etc., so I think it will be an interesting read.

When I mentioned this to Craig, he was like nooooooooo.....I like the way you cook!  HAHA. Well I can promise you this....if the food tastes like garbage, we won't be sticking with it. I hear we can't have white potatoes on this plan (at least not at first).  I guess by "we" I really mean "I" since mashed potatoes is my hubby's all-time favourite food.  After skimming several recipes, I'm pretty confident I can make most of the recipes suit our tastes without straying too far from the plan. The plan uses stevia instead of sugar for sweetening, and I'm not sure how I feel about that....yet. We'll see. I'll be sure to cook up a big pot of mashed potatoes once in awhile to keep hubby happy. :-). It's pretty likely I will loosely follow the plan if I decide to try it. I'll allow for cheat meals and not worry about eating at other people's houses and things.

Why do I want to try THM? My body has been acting up lately...Without going into too much info, let's just say that I've not been feeling my best on many different levels.

I'm trying to be patient as I wait for my book. In the meantime, I'm having a lot of fun scoping Pinterest for some THM meal ideas and recipes.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

We just returned from an awesome holiday to sunny St George, Utah. We were gone for about a week, and our kids had a great time with their grandparents while we enjoyed some kid-free time. More about that some other time once I get through all the pictures.:-).

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Sunday: Family supper

Monday: Family supper (I'm making a cabbage salad)

TuesdaySweet & Sour Chicken with Bell Peppers over Rice

Wednesday: Hamburger Vegetable Soup & 5 Minute Artisan Bread (this is our new favourite!)

Thursday: Leftover Soup & Oven Toasted Ham Sandwiches (on artisan bread)

Friday: One Pot Mac n' Cheese (with diced tomatoes mixed in), Veggies & Dip

Saturday: Homemade Pizza & Caesar Salad
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