Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Typical Week of Trim Healthy Mama Meals (southern style)

In continuation with my previous posts about Trim Healthy Mama, I am going to break it on down to what it's like on a day-to-day basis (for me). I'm a southern girl, and love some southern food. We also like Tex-Mex and Italian. Tex-Mex is probably the easiest types of meals to convert over. You don't have to do a lot changing up, just nix the flour/corn tortillas and replace with Joseph's pita or lavash bread. So you'll see a lot of that in this list.

Let's start with breakfast:
  • Eggs, eggs, eggs. Eggs boiled, eggs fried (in butter or coconut oil). Egg casserole, omelets, etc. Load on the cheese, the sausage, the turkey bacon. Anything with whole eggs are "S". 
  • Smoothies. The book has some very tasty smoothy recipes, and there are also tons of recipes out on the WWW. They consist of ice and whey protein as your base, with almond milk, berries, chocolate, peanut butter, and even coffee (think McDonald's frappe) combined to your preferences. Yum! The type of meal depends on what you put in it.
  • Trim Healthy Pancakes. These are made by grinding up oatmeal into a flour, adding a few more ingredients into the blender, and cooking with a little butter. I eat them with either SF syrup or some blueberries that have been stewed down with a little water and Truvia. These are "E". 
  • There are other options like Cottage Berry Whip and Ricotta Cream Parfait, which are recipes from the book. They are cold, ice-cream like dishes that are great for hot summer mornings.
  • Muffin In A Mug: Also a recipe out of the book. This recipe is on my THM Pinterest board. It's made with almond and coconut flour, truvia, an egg, and baking powder (along with your flavoring of choice).
Onto lunch:
  • When I can afford it, I buy salmon in the can. Red salmon, not pink (this is greatly encouraged in the book). I brown it with a little butter in a skillet and eat it on a salad with a baked sweet potato on the side. I use a light vinaigrette dressing on the salad and put just a teaspoon of butter with some cinnamon on the potato. Very slimming meal. If you eat this 2 - 3 times a week, you will have speedy weight loss. 
  • Green salads with all your favorite toppings and ranch dressing. Add in some diced chicken breast with full fat Ranch--"S". Or use a lower-fat, higher-carb dressing, go light on the cheese, and you've got an "E".
  • Sandwiches--oh, my. Joseph's pita or lavash breads are a great substitute and make great sandwiches/wraps. 
  • Tuna salad, Egg salad, chicken salad. Either on a Joseph's bread or with some celery sticks. 
Supper: A Few of Our Favorites
  •  Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas. "S". Throw some chicken breasts in the crock pot in the morning with a little bit of butter and fajita/taco seasonings. By suppertime, they will be fall-apart tender. Drain off some of the broth and add a block of 1/3 LF cream cheese and a can of Rotel or Salsa (be careful that your salsa does not contain corn).  Save some of the cream cheese mixture and set aside. Using your Lavash bread like tortillas, spoon the mixture onto the lavash and roll up, placing in a casserole dish. Spread remaining mixture you put aside on top and bake until bubbly. Serve with green breans, squash, or another non-starchy veggie. 
  • Chicken Alfredo: "E". The key here is to find a good alfredo sauce that has 3 grams or less of fat per serving. I can't remember the brand, but there is one at Wal-Mart that works. Cook up a box of Dreamfield's pasta (from WM) and you have Chicken Alfredo! I consider this an "E" because of the pasta, although it is low-crab, it's still pasta! Since you've got your "E" going on, have a starchy veggie with it--peas, butterbeans, etc.
  • Cheesy Broccoli Casserole with Hot Wings and Cabbage. "S". You make the casserole by pouring a bag of frozen broccoli into a casserole dish, adding one block of chopped cream cheese, chopped green onions, bacon bits, and whatever other cheese you desire. Bake until hot, stir, cover with tin foil, and bake again until bubbly. My, my, my! Tastes just like a loaded potato! Cook your hot wings however you like 'em, and cook up a pot of cabbage. Don't add sugar to the cabbage--this would mess up your "S" flow :). 
  • Victory Garden Casserole: "S"-- This is kind of like hamburger helper, de-carby-fied. I brown 3 lbs of ground beef (or ground deer when I have it on hand), sautee onions and bell pepper, add a can of Rotel or spaghetti sauce and about 1/2 head of cooked cabbage. The cabbage is your pasta sub and it is delicious! You're gonna love it.
  • Brown Rice Stir-Fry: "E"-- Cook up your favorite stir-fry with a lean meat, and serve with brown rice. Only a 1/4 cup of brown rice per serving at first, and as you start losing you can add in a little more, but no more than 3/4 cup per meal. You can have any starchy veggie alongside this. 
Well, I hope this gives you an idea of what the food is like. There are also lots of snack and dessert options, but I think I will save that for another post! 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Breaking Down THM {Things You Should Know Before You Buy The Book}

I am, in the 10th month of my journey to becoming a Trim Healthy Mama. I am 52 lbs lighter and 3 sizes smaller than I was this time last year. While I am very, very proud of these numbers, the fact that I still have some 30 lbs to go lends a certain amount of restraint to my celebration. And lest I exult in my accomplishments, prematurely, I am often reminded (by well-meaning complimenters) that I "sure am looking good". Which, in Swahili means, "compared to what you used to be, you look a hundred times better, but you've got a long ways to go before you're there, sista, so keep on truckin'!" So, truck, I shall! And, I want everyone who has unwanted pounds to shed, to do it with me, my way!

Which brings me to this blog post. I sometimes share my weight loss progress with my friends on Facebook, and over the past week, have received 2 - 3 PMs asking for more info on the plan. Of course, my first response usually is, "Buy the book", which is usually followed with "but before you buy the book". Because I realize that not everyone has $45.00 to spare, especially on something they are not 100% sure is going to be doable for them.

So, here are a few things you should know before you make that purchase:

  • You will have to say goodbye to sugar. Which means, if you like sweet things, there will be a process of trial and error before you find a sweetener substitute you are happy with. I started with Stevia--didn't love it, but lived with it--until I tried Truvia. Wall-a! So much better! I was happy with that for a while, but now I am using Swerve, which is even better (IMO). You can order a free sample here (just pay $1 for s&h).
  • Say goodbye to corn, white rice, white flour, white pastas, and white potatoes. What? Yes, I know that's like every single staple of our southern style of cooking and eating, but....that's also why we're all obese and riddled with diabetes by the age of 30.
  • You will learn to make delicious dishes by replacing the above-mentioned items with brown rice, coconut and almond flours, healthy pastas, and sweet potatoes.
  • Say "Hello!" to butter and coconut oil. Real butter, that is. I buy LuAnna brand coconut oil from Wal-Mart. It's relatively inexpensive and doesn't have the strong flavor that organic coconut oil is said to have. These will replace the vegetable and canola oils that you are going to give up :). 
  • Are you a cow's milk lover? You will replace this with almond milk (unsweetened) or coconut milk. I use Almond Breeze from Wal-Mart. I don't like to drink it straight, but use it to make delicious, slimming smoothies, cheesecakes, and puddings. 
As you can see, the plan does require a lot of change. A lot of trying new things, and letting go of those families "comfort foods". But if nothing ever changes, then nothing. ever. changes.  Kwim? It's baby steps. Do not try to jump in this thing with both feet in one day. Slowly introduce new things into your diet. Experiment with recipes from Pinterest and their FB page. It IS doable. Don't be intimidated by it.

Onto a few more points you should be familiar with:
  • You will have to learn some rules and some lingo. Your basically will eat two types of meals, the "S" and the "E". Each meal is based around protein (meat). 
  • "S" meal--S stands for "satisfying" and refers to a meal that is higher in fat, lower in carbs. Because fat is satisfying, right? When I say fats, I mean butter, cheese, mayo, sour cream, cream cheese, etc. Example: You could choose a fatty meat like steak and pair it with a cheesy broccoli casserole (delicious!) and some green beans. High in fat, low in carbs. 
  • "E" meal--E stands for "energizing" and refers to a meal that is slightly higher in carbs (good carbs), but lower in fat (think of a see-saw). Choose a lean meat, say a grilled chicken breast, and pair it with a sweet potato with a teaspoon or so of real butter on it, some cinnamon and salt sprinkled on, with a side salad topped with a low-fat vinaigrette dressing. OR diced chicken breast in some red beans and brown rice (beans are considered a carb, not a protein). 
To be perfectly honest:
  • They are going to introduce you to some pretty strange-sounding stuff in the book. Glucomannon,  konjac noodles, whey protein, who has ever heard of this stuff? It's OK, you can still apply the concepts without going full-fledged with all that. Although it is helpful.
  • The recipes are strange. Especially to people in southwestern Alabama and southeastern Mississippi. But, modify and roll with it. Be creative and make it work. If you want it bad enough.
So, is that clear as mud? I hope this gives you an idea how you will be cooking and eating on this plan. Please, please, do not feel overwhelmed. It takes little baby steps at a time, but once you get going, you will take off, I promise ya! The pounds will melt off so fast you will be amazed! Go ahead, take the plunge! 

Have questions? I'd love to answer them! Fire away!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Weight Loss Success With Trim Healthy Mama

*In reference to the above picture: due to the fact that I avoid the camera, I couldn't locate a "before" picture. Not sure if this is the best "after" picture, but here it is nonetheless*

After I had Josie (now 15 months old), I reached the point where I was past ready for a CHANGE. I've been overweight 85% of my life, and have bemoaned my dissatisfaction therewith to my husband for most of our marriage. He'd always say something like, "You're the only one who can do anything about it", then usually followed it with "but I love you just the way you are." The fact is, I did not love me just the way I was.

I joined Weight Watchers, which has always worked for me (up to about a 15 lb loss), but I got to the point that I was burned out with it. After 15 lbs I would start to lag and have to work harder at it, then I'd get discouraged and quit and the cycle would begin once again.  Then one day while reading an Above Rubies newsletter, I saw an advertisement for the Trim Healthy Mama book. It piqued my interest, as I have always had a lot of confidence in and respect for the wisdom of Nancy Campbell and her family. It was a little on the pricey side, but I saved up my birthday money that year and ordered the book.

I have to be honest with you--at first, I was a little intimidated. The book has "more pages than the Bible", as a friend of ours recently put it, and it taking in all that information seemed a little daunting. So I put it to the side. That was in January of 2013. A few months later, I noticed my brother and sis-in-law saying things at the Sunday dinner table like, "We can have the sweet potatoes, but just not combined with a fat." I also noticed my brother, who has carried around extra weight as long as I have, dropping weight like lightning. This, of course, was due to their implementing the Trim Healthy Mama plan. So, I picked up my book and dove in. I read it a couple of times, then started to experiment with different recipes. In mid-September, I took the plunge and went all the way with it.

By Christmas, I had already lost 35 pounds! And never added up a single point, or counted a single calorie. I ate things like fried eggs (in coconut oil) for breakfast, a fajita-steak wrap for lunch (complete with sour cream and cheese), and grilled chicken with parmesan crusted zucchini for supper. And these are just a few examples of the delicious foods that I eat every day while the pounds melt off. Since Christmas, I have lost about 15 more pounds, putting me at a round-about total of 50 lbs.

My goal is 80 lbs, so I still have a ways to go. I have now reached that "donkey weight" that doesn't want to move, and I am probably going to have to include an exercise regime to get the rest of it off. Yes, I have lost 50 lbs in 7 months without exercising consistently (although THM strongly recommends it).

I cannot say it enough. I LOVE living the THM lifestyle!! It's the best thing I have ever done, health-wise, and I am never looking back! I have changed my lifestyle for good. There's no need (or desire) to go back to my old ways. I eat delicious, satisfying meals, snacks, and desserts every day and they are all working for me to bring me to that goal weight.

A couple of months ago, I was walking across the church parking lot when a friend yelled from her car, "Hey, girl, you look good! What have you been doing?" I replied, "T.H.M." She looked at me with a confused look on her face, then yelled back, "G.O.O.D!" (lol). And yes, it is soo good!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Josie Amelia Turned One!

Um, back in January, that is. Better late (posting) than never, right? We had an awesome party and celebrated in style! You'll just have to use your imagination! Ha!

Josie is a little bundle of joy, and every single one of us are crazy about her! She has been walking since she was about 9 1/2 months old, and so by now she is a live wire and can climb like a little monkey! Her favorite things are playing outside, reading books, and giving her Daddy all her good sugars! She is also the "church baby" and gets spoiled by everyone at our church, including her pastor, who is one of her favorite people. She brings smiles and love to our home every day and we are so thankful God gave us this special little girl to call our own.

Back in March, John's awesome-photographer sister Wendi took some pics of our little Stinker and I was thrilled with how they turned out!  Oh, you'd like to see them? I'd love for you to! ;)

If you're in the Moss Point, MS area, look her up! She's on Facebook under Wendi Wood Photography.

He's Alive! (and so is this blog).

It's not very often that I get a chance to sit down and blog a spell, but every now and then I come out of the woods and re-enter civilization long enough to pick up the laptop and connect to the wide world of the web. Out in the backwoods of Mississippi, we neither have cell phone nor internet service, believe it or not. It's been an adjustment, but I kind of like it! 

My husband was sent to the big city of Jackson this week for training, and Jo-Jo and I tagged along. John did  not give me much choice. He said, "You need a break and you are going with me." He even sweet-talked my Mom into keeping the other three kiddos while we are gone. Poor Gran! She will be needing a vacation now!  I must admit it is rather nice to sit back and relax, let someone else wash my dirty towels and prepare my meals. Having uninterrupted screen time is icing on the cake.

We had a very nice Easter Sunday. We visited my "home" church (although it is not where we attend, it will always be "home" to me) with my parents and brothers' family. Afterwards, we drove about 20 minutes south and joined my Mom's bustling family (she has 6 siblings) for Easter dinner. My cousin Beverly's home was bursting with aunts, uncles and cousins. The food was abundant and delicious and of course we all ate too much. Even though all of that is wonderful, it's not what "makes" Easter so special. Being a born-again child of God, the Easter holiday stirs me like no other. I love Christmas, but Easter comes in a pretty close second. As a blood-bought, born-again child of God, I can't get over the significance of His resurrection.  He is alive! He is ruling and reigning from His heavenly throne. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, and whatever it brings with it.  I can face death, whether my own, or of a loved one because He has taken away the sting. He conquered death and all its darkness and pain and grief.  He is my glorious overcomer, and now I have nothing to fear!

So that is why we get all dressed up for Easter Sunday. It's certainly an occasion worth donning our best, to show that this Resurrection Sunday is special and significant to us. And we do clean up pretty good, if I do say so myself!

                                                                      Our Family, Easter 2014

The Cooper Grandkids! All ten of them!


My Parents and I

Josie Amelia's First Easter


My Four Sweeties, My Whole World
Elijah shucked off his Sunday duds and climbed a fence post the first chance he got!