Butter Pecan Shake – THM S

butter-pecan-shake-2

Maple, pumpkin, nuts, caramel–these are the flavors that I love year round. However, it is fall so I’m indulging in them even more now. Tonight I made a rich, butter pecan shake that was so good that I had to grab my computer and immediately share it. If you like this one, you might also like my Turtle Cheesecake Shake or Pumpkin Cheesecake Shake.

Butter Pecan Shake – THM S

2 tbsp chopped pecans

1/2 cup Daisy lowfat cottage cheese

1/2-2 cups of ice (depending on how much ice you like)

1 cup unsweetened original almond milk

2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

1/2 tsp vanilla pure extract

1/8 tsp maple extract

1/8 tsp butter extract

2-3 tsp of super sweet blend, or 4-5 tsp gentle sweet blend

1 doonk of stevia if needed or to taste

Blend cottage cheese and whipping cream first to get a very thick and rich base. Then add remaining ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. If you like it with a little more ice, blend for a shorter period of time. Finely chop a few extra pecans for a garnish if you’d like. Enjoy, and Happy fall y’all!

butter-pecan-shake-top

Meatballs and Gravy – Trim Healthy Mama Deep S Fuel Cycle

meatballs

This week I participated in another fuel cycle. For those of you new to Trim Healthy Mama, a fuel cycle is an occasional week or two within the plan with strict guidelines, that is used to boost your metabolism when you’ve hit a plateau.

One my last Deep S day of the fuel cycle, my family wanted meatballs for dinner, which they typically like with marinara sauce. I try my very hardest not to be a short order cook. I’d like most if not all of the meal I cook to be compliant with all of our food restrictions and allergies.

Since I was on a DS day, I couldn’t have tomatoes. I really wanted some Smarty Pants Stroganoff from the book, but the DS days of the fuel cycle also prohibits dairy so I couldn’t use sour cream. Sour cream is one of my very favorite foods. Unfortunately it is dairy and high in fat. That’s not to say that there isn’t a time and place for sour cream, but there are definitely times when I can’t use it. Now keep in mind that normal meals not on the special fuel cycle do not restrict your consumption of tomatoes or dairy.

I decided to do a little experimenting. I came up with these yummy meatballs that fit right into the THM fuel cycle restrictions. I am so excited to add another meal to my list for the next fuel cycle I do, but I’m hoping I won’t need another one any time soon.

Meatballs and Gravy – Trim Healthy Mama Deep S Fuel Cycle

2 lbs lean ground beef

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1-2 cups chicken broth

1 tsp glucommanan

1 tbsp heavy cream

Mix beef with seasonings and then roll beef into meatballs. Line raw meatballs into crockpot, stacking gently if you run out of room. Carefully pour chicken broth over meatballs. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours. Remove meatballs from broth and set aside. Whisk in glucomman. Then whisk in heavy cream. Add meatballs and stir to coat them.  Serve meatballs over Not-So-Naughty Konjac Noodles, zucchini noodles, or other non-starchy vegetables.

These meatballs were a huge hit with my family! I can’t wait to see how my metabolism has changed at the end of the week, and I’m so thankful to have discovered another meal I can eat during the fuel cycle.  Enjoy!!

Trim Healthy Mama Special Ingredients – Do I Need Them?

egg-944495_1920

Have you ordered your copy of the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook yet? It’s on sale right now for $15.49 which is a steal because the regular price is $27.99. The Trim Healthy Mama Plan book is also on sale right now for only $12.49! I wish I’d paid those prices, but then again I’m glad I purchased early. I have really been enjoying learning about the new special ingredients and updated information, and the new recipes.

How is the journey going for you so far? You’re probably thinking: Trim Healthy Mama special ingredients – do I need them?” As you may know, I started Trim Healthy Mama a few years ago. When I started the plan, I didn’t purchase any of the special ingredients for the first couple of months except Stevia. I wanted to see how the plan worked using basic ingredients. There are tons of recipes that don’t require special ingredients.  I was also worried about the expense of the special ingredients. I was completely successful without using the special ingredients, so rest assured that the plan works without them.

I made many of the recipes using simply the grains, meats, fruits and veggies, or dairy ingredients.  It’s really simple because you basically just read labels to stay away from off plan ingredients and chemicals. You make sure to pair the right foods from the lists with each type of fuel (fat or carb). If you find these recipes are simple and you want to kick things up a notch, you can find plenty of recipes that fall into these categories on Pinterest.  Sometimes recipes on Pinterest aren’t necessarily THM approved, so I’d be would be sure to post the recipe on the Trim Healthy Mama Facebook pages so that an administrator can let you know if it’s approved.

After I successfully lost weight and began to feel healthier, I decided it might be beneficial to buy some special ingredients. I have to admit that after drooling over pictures of the recipes on blogs and Facebook and reading about the health benefits in the book, I was dying to try them! I figured out which recipes I wanted to try and decided to purchase some.

There are many benefits to the special ingredients. One ingredient I felt I really needed to try was gelatin. I have arthritis and diastasis recti. Gelatin can repair tissue and it is very good for your joints. I put gelatin in smoothies as well as in blended coffee drinks. This adds more protein as well.

Collagen is another ingredient that is very beneficial for repairing and maintaining healthy tissues, muscles, joints. One scoop has 11 grams of protein so it is a wonderful addition to your smoothies, blended coffees, foods. Extra protein from collagen means longer lasting energy and a more filling meal. I’ve noticed a boost in my energy levels with the collagen, and I also love the fluffy texture it adds to smoothies! It is amazing!

As a busy homeschool mom, I am on the road quite a bit. I am always running, and many times I don’t have time to make a nice meal for myself. Smoothies are my go-to meal. When I started THM, I made the smoothie recipes that did not include protein powder because I didn’t understand the difference between the protein powders in the store and protein powder isolate. I also didn’t want to spend the extra money. However, I have to say I cannot live without my protein powder now. The smoothies I made without protein powder didn’t last very long; I was starving an hour later. There just wasn’t enough healthy protein. The protein powder also makes them nice and fluffy, which makes me feel like I’m drinking a milk shake. The health benefits are amazing, too. Protein powder is an immunity and metabolism booster.

I use protein powder and collagen in smoothies and blended coffees and other drinks. I also bake with protein powder. If I could only buy two ingredients, stevia and protein powder would be the two I would not be able to live without.

Actually, I don’t think I could limit myself to two. I must have peanut flour as well.  The great thing about peanut flour is it is defatted. That means I can use it in any setting. If I want to limit my fat and have an energizing E (carb meal) but I’m craving peanut butter, I can use defatted peanut flour instead. I also add it to chocolate smoothies, skinny chocolate, and nonfat Greek yogurt. Okay, so I can’t live without three of the ingredients!

One of the cool things about THM is the baked goodies. They are made of healthy ingredients so you can make cake, cookies, all sorts of goodies for yourself and your family for breakfast or meal time without the guilt. Baking blend is a perfect blend of flours for this.  Ever had your children ask you if they can have dessert first or if they can eat cake for breakfast? Now you can say “yes” and they’ll think they are breaking the rules. Only you’ll know they’re eating healthy foods.  Many of the flours used for baking THM recipes are an acquired taste. It just takes a while to get used to the texture of almond flour. It’s doesn’t taste like white flour, and now I’m so thankful for that. I recently made something for my husband who is not on the THM plan (I’ve tried but he’s too stubborn). Anyway, I made a cake with regular white flour.  Just looking at it made me sick. It was like baking with that paste we used to use in kindergarten. YUCK! THM baking blend makes healthy baked goods taste comparable to the old, unhealthy ones.

You can succeed at the Trim Healthy Mama plan without the special ingredients, but they sure do make life easier and they have made my journey a whole lot better. I am a lot less tempted to eat the junk food when I know I have ingredients to make the healthier and alternative. Now my body and taste buds are so accustomed to THM that many of the old unhealthy foods don’t even appeal to me anymore.

If you are interested in reading more about these special ingredients, just click on the ingredients within in the post above. They are typed in red text. You can also visit check out more products on the Trim Healthy Mama site here: Trim Healthy Mama products and on Amazon at this link: Trim Healthy Mama on Amazon. You can also visit my Trim Healthy Mama Store or my Amazon Store in the right sidebar of my blog.

I hope this post answers your question: “Trim Healthy Mama special ingredients – do I need them?” Praying you enjoy your Trim Healthy Mama journey. Keep me posted on your progress.

Thanksgiving the Trim Healthy Mama Way

cheesecake2Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love the colors, scents, and most of all the food.  I have always had a traditional Thanksgiving with all the trimmings.  This time last year I was feeling kinda down because I wanted the traditional menu but I was one year into my Trim Healthy Mama journey.  Trim Healthy Mama is NOT a diet.  It is a lifestyle, a journey to health.  I was feeling great and was having no symptoms of my SVT or hormonal imbalance.  I didn’t want to regress.  I knew if I ate those scrumptious (but unhealthy) Thanksgiving foods, I would spend my holidays battling illness and fatigue.  However, my taste buds really wanted the traditional menu and my sweet grandmama’s recipes. 

I prayed about it, and God was so faithful to show me some alternatives that tasted just as just as good.  I want to encourage you–you don’t have to cheat on Thanksgiving.  Unhealthy food is not a “treat” for your body.  When we succumb to this temptation, we are actually doing our bodies a great disservice.  You don’t have to give in to temptation, because there are other options.  Today I am sharing with you my menu for a traditional Thanksgiving the Trim Healthy Mama Way.

Turkey – This is our favorite turkey recipe from Food Network:  Good Eats Turkey, but you could really use any simple roasted turkey recipe with seasoning and aromatics.  Beware of turkey glazes, pre-marinated or glazed turkeys. You have no idea what is in the ingredients.

Dressing – Make this paleo cornbread muffin recipe from Empowered Sustenance: Paleo Cornbread, cool cornbread and then crumble or chop in chopper.  Then follow the recipe below to make delicious THM dressing.

  • 6 cups crumbled paleo cornbread
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces melted butter
  • 1 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 cups finely chopped celery
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tbsp dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients together.  Bake in greased rectangular baking dish for 30 minutes.

Sweet “Potato” Casserole – If you want to lose weight even on Thanksgiving, try this recipe that tastes JUST like sweet potatoes without crossing over your fuels of fat and carbs.  However, if you don’t mind crossing over (which inhibits weight loss but is still on plan).  you could use any sweet potato casserole recipe just omit any ingredients with sugar like marshmallows, brown sugar, etc.  Sub sweet blend instead.

1 Cauliflower head, steamed and pureed in blender
1 c. Pumpkin Puree
1 tsp. Sweet Blend
1/3 c. melted butter
1/3 c. egg white
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 c coconut milk
3/4 tsp. Maple or caramel extract
Couple pinches of  salt
 
Topping:
1 c. chopped pecans
Puree Cauliflower.  Mix in pumpkin and all other ingredients. Bake in greased pan on 350 for 30 min.  Mix all ingredients for topping in a small bowl.  Sprinkle topping over top of casserole.  Bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until golden brown.
 

Macafoni and Cheese

  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 16 oz bag cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg

Steam cauliflower.  Using a food processor, gently pulse cauliflower to make it a little smaller, about the size of macaroni noodles.  On stove or in microwave melt butter, cream and 1 cup of cheese.  Mix well and add remaining ingredients.  Bake in greased baking pan on 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Cranberry Sauce – This is an amazingly delicious recipe for cranberry sauce:  Laundry Moms Cranberry Red Sauce.

You must have more than one dessert! So here are a few of my favorites:

Layered Chocolate Cheesecake topped with Ganache

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake Shake

Italian Cream Cake

THM Pumpkin Cheesecake

Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Whole Foods – Tips on Shopping for Dairy & Saving Money

DSCN2371

 

Good morning! If it’s not morning when you’re reading this, then good afternoon or evening as well. I’m writing this post on Saturday morning from my back porch with a nice, hot cup of coffee. Pull up a chair and join me. Let’s talk grocery shopping!!!!!!! Notice the punctuation? I’m trying to get you excited about grocery shopping. I know, I know…grocery shopping tends to be a very tedious, mundane, and sometimes even dreadful task. I admit I don’t even enjoy grocery shopping. I never have. I have four children I call my blessings. When they were small, I would leave them at home with my husband while I shopped for groceries. It was one of the rare moments I had to go somewhere and do something all by myself. I didn’t even get excited about it then. Food is such an essential part of our lives, a necessity. God created it for our survival and for our enjoyment. We really should take it more seriously, and find a way to make it more fulfilling.

Anytime I get together with a friend or a group of ladies, the topics of food, recipes, and grocery shopping eventually come up. We end up asking each other if we got the latest deal on beef or milk, or sharing our newest culinary masterpiece (or flop if you have a picky family like me). It’s interesting to hear so many opinions on food, shopping, and saving money. Every family has different needs, different circumstances, and different budgets. What works for some doesn’t work for all. I’m asked quite often what I buy, where I shop, and what I eat. So, I’m going to try to answer a few of those questions in this post. To keep it as brief and organized as possible, here is my post from last week introducing this topic: Where Do I Shop for Whole Foods?.  I’m also going to write in a series of posts.  to have all four food groups and then some in one post is way too much information to process at one time.  So I’m going to start the series with whole foods – tips on shopping for dairy & saving money.

I’m going to list the food items I purchase on a regular basis, where I purchase them, and about how much they cost. Keep in mind that I don’t purchase all organic foods, and that I do make compromises at times in regards to clean foods versus budget constraints.  However, I’d say about 85-90% of what I purchase is clean, whole food.

DAIRY

  • Milk – Friendly Farms Whole Milk – Aldi $2.79/gallon – This is not organic milk, but it is free of growth hormones.
  • Almond Milk – Unsweetened Original –
    • Silk – Wal-Mart – $2.98 – This is my top pick.  I buy this whenever it is on sale and/or I have coupons making it cheapest price (prices vary usually under $2 with sale and coupon) because they use non-GMO almonds and carrageenan free.
    • Trader Joe’s Brand $2.99 – This is my next pick if I don’t want to venture into Wal-Mart.  It’s cheaper than Silk when there are no coupons or sales.  It is also carrageenan free.
    • Friendly Farms – Aldi – $2.49 – I buy this when our budget is squeezed tight.  Unfortunately, it does contain carrageenan.
  • Butter – I buy 100% stick butter, not margarine and not spreadable butter because it is simply cream.
    • Trader Joe’s Brand – $2.99 – This is usually my top pick.  It is hormone free.
    • Challenge Butter – Bi-Lo – This past week Bi-Lo had challenge butter on sale for $3.00 which makes it cheaper than WM.  However, in every box of butter there is a $0.55 coupon and our Bi-Lo doubles up to $0.60.  So I took all 5 of my coupons and purchased 5 packs of challenge butter for $1.90 each which is cheaper than a box of regular butter that is not hormone free!!
    • Challenge Butter – Wal-Mart – $3.55 (I believe) – This is my next choice when I don’t have 40 minutes and/or gas to drive to Trader Joe’s.  I would spend the savings in gas money.
    •  If my budget is tight and I have to compromise, I usually purchase butter from Aldi.  They do have it on sale this week for $1.89, but as I mentioned it is not hormone free.  So why quibble over a penny per box of butter?  I’ll save a lot more in the long run by not causing health problems from the hormones.
  • Cheddar Cheese – I only buy Block cheese that is 100% cheese. I shred or grate it myself by hand or in a food processer.  It ends up being cheaper because you get more than you do in a bag of pre-shredded cheese.  Pre-shredded cheese has fillers like starches to keep it from sticking together.  You pay for cheese by weight, so when you get 8 oz of shredded cheese, you aren’t getting 8 oz.  You are paying for the weight of the starch as well.  It doesn’t take long to shred your own cheese.  In fact, if you have a food processor, you can simply use the grate blade and you can grate several blocks of cheese in minutes.  It also tastes 100% better.
    • Trader Joe’s – This cheese is hormone free and it is only $3.98/lb-$4.49/lb. They come in blocks around 8 oz, sometimes a little more.
    • Aldi – $1.99/8 oz block. This is not hormone free, but when I am cannot travel to Trader Joe’s I buy cheese at Aldi.
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese – The information I have for this tasty cheese is the same as that of cheddar mentioned above.
  • Cheeses like mozzarella, parmesan, etc. – I buy these at Aldi and they vary, but that is the cheapest place I know to find blocks of cheese. These specialty cheeses are more at Trader Joe’s.
  • Nonfat Greek Yogurt – Plain – $3.98 – Aldi – Friendly Farms.  I buy this for swirls with yogurt
  • Nonfat Greek Yogurt – Flavored single serve – Dannon Oikos Triple Zero – $1.00 – Wal-Mart or grocery store on sale.  LOVE this yogurt.  It has no sugar and contains all natural stevia instead.
  • Cottage Cheese – Daisy – Wal-Mart – I buy Daisy Cottage Cheese because this is the list of ingredients:  Cultured skim milk, cream, salt.
  • Sour Cream

    • Daisy – Wal-Mart – The ingredients list speaks for itself:  Grade A cultured cream
    • Friendly Farms – also only has cream and enzymes.
  • Heavy Cream – I have a hard time with this one.  I use heavy cream for my coffee, but I haven’t found one without carrageenan.  If you know of one, please let me know.
  • Half and Half – Trader Joe’s Organic – Sorry I’m not sure about the price, because I don’t buy this regularly.
  • Eggs – I have saved eggs for last because this is an extremely complicated issue.  Ideally, you want to buy pasture raised eggs.  This means that the chickens are openly free to roam, they eat an organic diet of worms, insects, and organic feed, and they are not given hormones or antibiotics.  However, we go through several dozens of eggs per week.  So, I cannot always afford pasture raised eggs, nor do I have a conveniently located store that sells them.  These run anywhere from about $8-10 per dozen.  I buy what I can afford at the time.  I try to at least buy eggs fortified with Omega-3.  When I can afford it, I buy organic eggs which at least ensures there are no antibiotics and pesticides.  The cheapest place for organic eggs is Wal-Mart.  When our budget is really tight, I buy eggs from Aldi.

I hope you jotted down these tips on shopping for dairy & saving money; and I hope that this helps you on your clean eating journey.  What quick tips do you have to share?

For more information on whole foods and clean eating, you may be interested in reading the following posts:

Whole Foods. It’s Overwhelming!  Where do I Start?
How Do I Shop for Whole Foods?
Where Do I Shop for Whole Foods?
Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Meat & Saving Money
Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Breads & Grains and Saving Money