Category Archives: My journey

I’m Still Here

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Photo by Rithika Gopalakrishnan on Unsplash

With the start of a new school year I have been crazy busy. I took on directing our high school play and I am the freshman class adviser. Both my kids are involved in sports and my husband coaches a sport. So, yes, I have been busy. But I am still staying on plan.

Interestingly, I have to eat more and more crossovers now that I am back to work and moving around so much. I noticed pounds slipping off me and I am really at the bottom of my BMI and shouldn’t loose anymore weight. I don’t tell you that to brag but to say Trim Healthy Mama works.

Several ladies I work with are jumping on plan now. It’s fun to see their excitement and hear their stories (losing seven pounds in three weeks!!).

If you stay on plan and follow their tips you will have results. I never thought I would be getting on the scale to make sure I don’t loose any weight. That is just crazy to me.

Once life slows down I will get back to tracking my food, but right now I’m not going to worry about it and just enjoy where I am at right now.

Enjoy this fall weather!

Cholesterol Update

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Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

The whole reason I started on this healthy journey, just over a year ago, was to lower my cholesterol. I started working out and changed the way I ate.

I went to the doctors this summer for my “well-check” and had my blood work done.

I have lost 35 lbs.

But I gained 20 points in my cholesterol.

To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I nearly cried.

I have worked so hard, I’ve completely changed my life and on the outside you can see that. But apparently on the inside I’m not looking so good.

They wanted to put me on medicine right away. But honestly, my cholesterol is still lower then it was three years ago.

So I said no.

They said I should exercise (ha, ha, that’s funny) and do the Mediterranean Diet. I looked into it but I’m not leaving THM. I’m going to keep doing what I am doing and see what doing THM for a year does. I have only been doing it since March, so I want to give it some time. I have heard so many other people say their cholesterol went down doing THM.

I will eat less eggs, as I have been eating a lot and try to do more E meals for breakfast, which would be oatmeal or THM pancakes. But I’m not changing it that much. I love eggs!!

Just thought I would share. We’ll see what the numbers say next year.

It’s Snack Time!!

I hope these posts are helping if you are considering diving into THM.

Snacks don’t have to be difficult. You can honestly go to pinterest and look of THM smoothies are shakes, they are everywhere and make a good filling snack.

If you want something more grab and go here are a few ideas:

In the deli section you can buy cheese wrapped in salami, this is sooo yummy but it’s expensive. You can make your own but it’s just not as good, I tried this. This is an S

I have discovered if I buy block cheese and wrap it in turkey or eat with nuts I really like that. S meal.

You can also eat Babybel cheese.

Triple Zero Yogurt is on plan.

If you eat it with an apple that will be an E meal.

If you eat it with cheese it will be an S or Fuel Pull (I’m not really sure). Fuel Pull means there isn’t much fat or carbs, but I’m not sure with the yogurt and cheese if that has enough Fat to make is an S.

If you eat a Triple Zero with some granola that makes it an E too. I like the Nature Valley Protein bag, just make sure you stay in the serving size or you will go over the carb limit.

Of course if you go on pinterest you can find many recipes for cookies and muffins. I have many boards with recipes you can take a look at.

Hope this helps!

 

Let’s Do Lunch

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Photo by Eaters Collective on Unsplash

Last week I gave you suggestions for starting THM. Begin with breakfast.

Today will give you lunch ideas. Now honestly, I typically eat leftovers but once in while I will make something. Since we haven’t gotten to dinner yet I will give you lunch ideas but don’t worry about if you don’t mind leftovers. Once we get to dinners you can just heat up those if you like them. I know some people hate leftovers.

Lunch can be pretty simple if you want it to be.

S meals (Satisfying-high fat)

You can find a low carb wrap or pita. I have used Joseph’s Lavish or Pitas. I tried, for the first time on Sunday, Mission low-carb. The white ones have 6 net carbs, but the whole wheat of 4. I bought the white ones hoping my family will start eating those so I ate one. But really I would probably choose the whole wheat.

What can you put it on it?

Well, remember S meals can have fat. So you can use fatty meat if you want, like roast beef or ham. I like turkey best but then I can add more fat other ways.

So you can put cheese on, mayo, non-starchie veggies, lettuce, spinach, avocado, or guacamole, bacon.

What if you don’t want a sandwich?

You can make a salad. Basically make it like you would a sandwich but with a lot of lettuce instead of the wrap. You can even put ranch on it but don’t go crazy, we don’t abuse calories. I have come to love olive oil and apple cider vinegar as a dressing on my salads with chicken, bacon and feta cheese and LOTS of veggies.

What about sides? I’m not full.

Have a Triple Zero Yogurt, or some berries, or a salad.

What if we go out for lunch?

Most places you can order a burger without the bun and they won’t even look at you weird. I did that at McDonalds and they put it in a nice bowl for me. You can get a salad instead of fries, voila, you have an S lunch!

E Lunches (Higher Carbs-Low Fat)

So for E lunches you want to remember to keep fat low. This means NO mayo or bacon or other fatty meat. Turkey or chicken, or even fish if you want to get fancy (I don’t) is what you need to focus on.

You can put this lunch meat on sprouted bread like Ezekiel bread. I find this a my local Meijer, I think most stores sell it. I think Aldi’s also sells a sprouted bread.

You can put Light Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese on it and some veggies.

You could also make a salad basically like above but no ranch. It would have to be a low fat dressing. I don’t have numbers for ya, I’m not that educated on THM yet but a vinaigrette would be best, something not oil based. You would need to add some carbs in with some quinoa or rice, or beans…

What about sides?

Triple Zero Yogurt works here too. You could probably have half of an apple or a few grapes, or a salad with a low fat dressing.

Going out for lunch?

E meals are harder to do when you go out to eat because the fries are not weight-loss friendly so you can’t really say you are having an E meal. If they have sweet potato fries or brown rice you can do that. But fast-food won’t have the option (at least none that I have been to). It’s best just to plan on doing an S when you go out and are just learning the plan, less to think about.

If you begin your day with one of the breakfasts from last week and then have one of the lunches above you are on your way to better health. Make sure you wait 2.5-3 hours before you eat again.

Next week we will tackle dinner.

 

Want To Try THM? I Can Help.

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Photo by Ali Inay on Unsplash

I have been talking about Trim Healthy Mama a lot. I love it. But I know it can seem overwhelming at first. I am an all in type of person but maybe that isn’t you.

I’d like to help you if you want to give it a try. So why don’t we try just having THM breakfasts for a week? It’s super easy.

You will be eating either S meals or E meals.

S means satisfying, and will be high in fat and low in carbs.

E means energizing and will be high in carbs and low in fats.

Protein is the center of every meal.

A Few Tips: If a recipe calls for Gentle Sweet I use Truvia. You have to use that actual brand Truvia because off brands add some filler that THM says is a no-no. So you will have to spend a bit more. Also, you can’t use the baking bags of Truvia because they too add the filler to bulk it up.

If a recipe calls for Super Sweet I use Stevia and just cut it in half-ish. You can make adjustments to your taste. Error on the side of less because you can always add more.

Ready?

Feel free to repeat S or E’s as much as you like. I do recommend switching it up between S and E every few days but it’s food freedom so do it your way.

Here are some S ideas.

S is so easy, you can basically fry or scramble two or three eggs in butter or coconut oil (not olive oil because it changes at high heat) and have two pieces of bacon or sausage. I buy the bacon and sausage I can just microwave to make it easy for me, and much quicker. But if you can’t stand then then go ahead and cook up some.

If you want more throw in some non-strachy veggies. Zucchini is great for bulking up a meal. I also love red peppers and onions. Again, make it your own.

You can also sprinkle a little cheese but don’t go crazy. If you don’t have any meat you could use more cheese. We don’t abuse calories but we do have freedom.

I also like to make casseroles, cut it into eighths and freeze it, then pull it out as needed. This is a huge time saver when I am working.

Here is one (I haven’t tried it): Low-Carb Sausage Patty Casserole.

Or Bacon and Eggs Casserole. I would put less salt in it, it was way too much for me.

Don’t add hashbrowns if you are trying to loose weight, they are not weight loss friendly. I only add them because I am at goal weight. Adding a carb to a high fat meal makes it a crossover, meaning you won’t burn any calories because your body will busy working on the fat and the carbs. You only want to give your body one fuel (fat or carbs) at a time to burn.

If you don’t care for eggs you can do smoothies. Here are some I have found but not necessarily tried.

Pumpkin cheesecake. It calls for glucomanan but you can easily leave this out. Also, if you don’t have protein powder throw in some 1% cottage cheese to add protein, that’s what I have been doing and I don’t really like cottage cheese but in a smoothie I don’t really notice it.

Brownie Batter Shake. 

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Share. One of my favorites.

E meals take a little more effort but if you do overnight oats you can get those in the fridge the night before and take it out in the morning. Here are a few ideas that I like:

Blueberry French Toast Overnight Oats. You will need some special ingredients like maple and butter extract. It also says Super Sweet, which is a THM sweetener. I just cut it in half and use stevia. I also just used blueberries, not the jam. I threw on some Fat Free Redi Whip.

Creamy Maple and “Brown Sugar” Oatmeal. This is not an overnight recipe but was pretty good.

Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats. Redi Whip seems to make everything better.

Here are some shake ideas.

Low Fat Peach Smoothie.

Strawberry Banana Frosty. Lots of special ingredients are listed but I seriously wouldn’t worry about purchasing all of that. If you add some cottage cheese it will thicken it and give you the protein those others things would do.

Cherry Cobbler Smoothie.  I just tried this one and I LOVED it!! Don’t worry about not having the protein powder, add a little more cottage cheese.

Those are ones I have tried and liked or hope to try. I hope that helps you. Make a commitment for the next week to eat an S or E breakfast. Wait 2.5-3 hours before you eat your next meal.

We’ll move on to lunch next week 🙂

 

Interesting Observations

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Photo by Geert Pieters on Unsplash

I have discovered an interesting thing happening to me.

Now that it is summer and I am wearing shorts and I am also purchasing clothes that fit my new size more people are noticing that I have lost weight. Even though I have been doing it gradually for a year and have stopped loosing weight for the last couple of months.

That’s not the interesting part.

The interesting part is that a few people have acted like I must me sick or have an eating disorder. They approach me with concern in their tone and expression and ask if I am okay.

I can understand maybe asking once but when it is brought up multiple times it starts to irk me. Or when they talk to my kids or husband about my weight lose after they have said something to me, that really ticks me off.

The ironic part is the fact that we would never dream of saying anything to someone who has put on weight. We would never say, “Hey, I noticed you putting on weight, are you getting enough exercise? Are you overeating?” That would be considered rude.

So, why this? Why is okay to say something to someone who has lost weight but still healthy? I am within a normal weight for someone my size but we never call out over eating, or gaining weight, or the person who is sucking down pop all day long? But if I don’t put a bun on my burger something must be wrong with me?

I know I wouldn’t say anything either, but shouldn’t that be a concern for us? Someone is much more likely to have health issues if they are overweight. I have learned so much over the last year about health and long-term effects it can have on our body. But I won’t push my opinions and beliefs on anyone. If they want to know what I am doing I will share but otherwise it is their choice.

I don’t stand in judgement, it’s more sorrow. I am sad for what I see people doing to their bodies. My family isn’t perfect. I still buy junk for my husband and kids but I am trying to educate them a bit more. It’s very hard to reason with a twelve-year-old boy who loves all things sugar. I see some horrible habits with him that I am trying to break.

Anyway, I just thought I would share this interesting observation. Maybe we all need to be concerned for each other and support each other and encourage each other. Let’s celebrate with those are making healthy gains, no matter how big or small, a step forward is still a step forward.

If you are struggling to make healthy choices take it one day at a time, don’t think long-term (yet), think of today. What is one thing you can do for your body today? Then do the same thing tomorrow. Before you know it you will want to make the healthy choice because it’s normal and it feels good.

Do I Still Love THM?

51GvXSzd+SL._AC_US218_Do I still love Trim Healthy Mama?

Oh yes I do. I have been a THM since March.

I eat much yummier and indulgent food then ever before and I am maintaining my weight. Yes, I have finally found a balance and have maintained my weight within a few pounds for the last couple of months.

I love Pearl and Serene (the founders). They are so encouraging and realistic about doing this plan.

This is a lifestyle for me not a prison. I am not depriving my body of anything (except sugar but I don’t feel like I am even missing out on that with all the desserts I eat).

I do have to plan ahead. Especially now that we camp all summer (pretty much). I have to make food at home that I can freeze and take with me but that means when I am camping I am not cooking. I just pull my yummy snacks out and eat.

If you have tried everything else and nothing has worked I really encourage you to try THM. It works. You have to stick to it but it really does burn the weight off. It makes sense because you can do this for life. Most everything else isn’t something you can maintain for your life because you are completely taking out a food group and more than likely you will put the weight back on.

Even if you don’t need to lose weight but just want to eat healthier I highly recommend THM.

I do think you need to read the books to fully understand the program, otherwise you will be missing important information and buying products that you might think are on plan but aren’t.

Here is a link to the book I think you should start with, it’s not as long at their first one (although this is still lengthy). Click here. 

Or you can get the book from the library, that is what I did. My friends in Michigan can go to Mel.org and request it if you have a library card to another library and it will get sent there. Perfect!

I’m going to try to be better about blogging now that it is summer and share things I am learning.

 

My Journey to Better Health Part 10

51GvXSzd+SL._AC_US218_From January until March 24 my life was the musical I directed, with practices almost every day during the week. During that time my son was on a basketball team with practices during the week and games on Saturdays. My daughter is on a club volleyball team with practices twice during the week with full day tournaments on Sundays.

I tell you all this to put into perspective that I started THM during this time of craziness for me. I was really silly and started it the last three weeks before the show. There were times I thought I might cry (I probably did cry) from stress and trying to eat healthy and cook meals for my family. But I made it through.

The biggest thing you can do to be successful in trying to live a healthy lifestyle (in my opinion only) is plan ahead. If I didn’t have a plan I would never have been able to do it. 

During busy times this does mean sacrifice. There were nights I got home from practice and was in the kitchen making dinner for the night and then prepping for the next day. I didn’t even sit down. I just went to bed when I was done.

Now that I’m not so busy it is definitely easier but I still write everything out. I get groceries every two weeks and I have a menu with everything I will be eating for lunch and supper. I look ahead the day before to see if there is anything I need to make ahead of time, like if I am going to have a soup for lunch and I have to work the next day I have to make the soup the night before.

If you’re someone who struggles with this organization (and I am not organized at all) this will be a challenge for you. But it’s so worth it when you start to feel better.

I have been getting my menus from The Laundry Moms. If you sign-up you will receive each week, for twelve weeks, a full menu with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I don’t do their breakfast but I do follow their “fuel”, S or E and I make a breakfast I can freeze from one of my cookbooks, I don’t have time to make breakfast on days I have to go to work.

If you look at my What Did Eat posts you’ll see what I eat for breakfast. All of that is prepped, except for when I have two eggs, hashbrowns etc. But everything else gets pulled out of the freezer and I buy the pre-cooked sausage so I only have to heat it up.

I also kind of free style my snacks but make sure I’m not crossing fuels (again, if you aren’t a THM you don’t know what I’m talking about, sorry).

If this sounds interesting to you I recommend reading their book, Trim Healthy Mama Plan. Don’t be overwhelmed, it can sound that way at first but it’s really so do-able, especially if you follow The Landry Mom’s menu to begin, then you don’t have to think about it.

The biggest thing, no matter what “plan” you’re following, is plan ahead!!! It’s a must for success.

 

My Journey to Better Health Part 9

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Today I will share with you what I do to substitute some of THM special ingredients.

The only things I have purchased was their Baking Blend and Gentle Sweet. I went through that super fast, so after some research this is what I use now and these are the only special things I have purchased.

When a recipe calls for THM Baking Blend I use 1:1-Golden Flax Meal, Coconut Flour and Almond Flour. THM Baking Blend is what they call a Fuel Pull, what I make is considered an S (Satisfying). But I use it anyway.

When  recipe calls for Super Sweet is use powdered Stevia.

Instead of Gentle Sweet I use Truvia.

Do make sure you buy the brand name as the off brands have fillers that are not THM friendly.

So far these substitutions have worked great for me. Stevia does have a different taste but once you get used to it I don’t even notice it.

I also purchase Xanthen Gum from Amazon because it was pretty cheap, this helps thicken some sauces up, or when I make the THM syrup I use it in that.

That’s it. That is all I have purchased. Some recipes call for only Golden Flax Meal, or only Almond Flour and then I have it on hand. So I don’t mix up the baking blend all at once.

I do plan on getting Collagen and a few other things as time goes but you can leave those things out of most recipes (not all) and I do.

I purchase all of these things at my local Meijer here in Michigan, but Walmart has all of this and usually a better selection. They have a great selection of extracts, which THM recipes use a lot of those (and this is how I make my creamer with my coffee) so I purchased almost all of my extracts from Walmart.

Next week I’ll share how I did all of this during the most busy time in my life 🙂 If I could do it while working full time, directing a musical, taking my kids to basketball and volleyball practice and attending volleyball tournaments you can too!

 

My Journey to Better Health Part 8

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Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

About six weeks ago at the store they were doing free cholesterol checks. I wanted to see what mine was since I had lost all this weight. I was super excited, certain I would be in healthy bounds.

I wasn’t.

It’s still higher then it should be.

However, I don’t know what it was before, so it might have dropped from what it was last summer. The doctor never gave me a number, I should have asked. I didn’t.

But it wasn’t crazy high six weeks ago and it was in the middle of the day, so probably not super accurate. I am hoping by this summer and going to a lab it will show better results. I do know cholesterol can be genetic and both my parents are on meds for theirs. Ugh. Time will tell.

Anyway, back to the journey…

I had lost thirty pounds and was happy with that but wasn’t sure how to maintain, so in that process I have lost another five pounds (a total of thirty-five). I am very serious about trying to stop loosing weight because I am at the lowest I have been since high school and honestly the lowest someone should weigh for my height and age.

I feel bad saying that because I know so many people struggle to loose weight and now I am struggling to stop. But I have worked hard and been very diligent in taking care of myself. You can do it to!!

I think switching to THM will help me maintain because I know what to eat to loose and what to eat to maintain. Like throwing in a few hashbrowns with my breakfast is considered a crossover meal and helps maintain my weight. I am also increasing my portion sizes slightly.

There is a fine line and I don’t want to cross it. I have worked so hard and feel so good. But the temptation to go back to what I was eating and how I used to be is not there at all. I have no desire to eat things that will hurt my body. Yes, once in a while I give in but it never becomes a thing I have to give into all the time. I never envy others for the things they are eating.

Actually, I feel bad for them because they are harming their bodies. I want to tell them to stop drinking the Diet Coke, it’s not better for you. Stop eating a 500 calorie diet, you can’t maintain that and it harms your body. God didn’t create us to eat imitation food. He created our bodies to eat real food.

The other thing I want to say is top dieting and start “lifestyling”. I just said Friday at lunch with some co-workers that I don’t diet. How I eat now is my lifestyle. If you hate what you are doing you can’t maintain it.

I love all the things I get to eat with THM. I rarely ate smoothies for snacks and now I do at least two times a week. It’s such a treat.

But it takes work and being intentional.

I will share how I do that next week.