Lifestyle

THM October Recap: Week 2

by Vicki

I am currently attempting to enjoy a no-cheat 100% Trim Healthy Mama (THM) October. You can read about my journey so far here and here. If you are interested in what THM is you can go their website or purchase their plan book and cook book

Two weeks done! Phew 🙂

Week 2 was definitely harder for me than Week 1. I think that kind of makes sense with the human condition (or at least my human condition). I find that I am always pretty good with the first week of a change – all the adrenaline and excitement about my new choices seem to keep me accountable and in check. Then week 2 rolls around with the realization that change is work and work is hard and hard is tiring and well, I’m already tired with normal life and three children. So. There’s that.

I also struggled with some chocolate cravings this past week. Okay, you got me, a lot of chocolate cravings. I love me my chocolate and its hard to say “good bye”. I know that THM has lots of chocolate substitutes and that 85% dark chocolate is on plan (and I like these options!) but buying already made and cheap chocolate is just plain easier :).

I’m embarrassed to say that this week wasn’t a complete success. I never fully cheated, but there were little bites sneaked as I prepared kid’s snacks, 5 Costco fries eaten while waiting for the littles to eat their lunch, meals/snacks eaten in less time than the required (suggested?) 3 hour intervals, too many on-plan protein bars enjoyed (these are sooo good), and mixing of fuel sources (although those happened accidentally). I think some of the problem was that I wasn’t fully prepped for this week. I am following Jen Mason’s October menu to help keep me on track but last week I just couldn’t get it together. I was late in getting groceries, I didn’t follow the meal plan and just kind of “winged” suppers, and I didn’t do any prepping of healthy snack options for myself.

IMG_0800
I was better at preparing myself lunches this week, so that’s a win!

This coming week, in order to get myself more cheat-free and on track, I have come up with some goals. 1) I would like to implement the different sippers that are in the cookbook. These sippers are super drinks that help heal your internal body, combat cravings, keep you filled and fueled between meals, and are kind of yummy! 2) I also want to really strive to meet the 3 hour intervals between meals and snacks. I find this a little difficult because I often don’t get around to feeding myself breakfast until later in the morning (after feeding the kids, dressing the kids, organizing the kids, throwing in a load of laundry, doing a quick tidy up of some area or other in the house, etc. etc. etc.) so that pushes my entire meal plan off for the day. If I eat breakfast at 9:30, I have to eat lunch at 12:30, snack at 3:30 and supper at 6:30 (which is kind of late for the kids and makes our evenings less enjoyable). But 12:30 to 5:30 is kind of a long break between meals (for me) and I find myself craving an energy boost or pick-me-up mid afternoon. So, my plan is to try to make sure I feed myself earlier on in the day. Even changing my routine enough that I eat breakfast by 8:30 would help make the rest of the day run smoother and easier (food-wise, no saying it will have any affect on what I am able to accomplish or the amount of chaos created by the three kids ;D).

IMG_0816
Raspberry Zinger Goodgirl Moonshine – so yummy!

So, those are my goals for this week (in addition to continuing to follow THM and the meal plan laid out by Jen Mason): Drink more sippers (hydrate & heal) and eat breakfast earlier so that I can leave 3 hours (minimum) between each meal and snack. What are your healthy goals for this week? Are you trying to drink more water? Exercise more regularly? Go to bed earlier? I would love to hear your goals. I’ll help keep you accountable if you help me :).

On to Week 3!


This post contains affiliate links. It costs you nothing but may give us a little something. 

 

Lifestyle

THM October: Week #1

by Vicki

I have completed my first week of No-Cheat THM October!

The first week wasn’t actually that bad. I found having the accountability of this blog (and the friends I have included in my healthy lifestyle change) really helped to keep me on track. I guess accountability is key (just like they say it is!).

We even celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend in Ottawa with the @threeteasandacoffee‘s entire family (there are 20 of us) at our parent’s house. I was able to stay on plan the entire weekend – even while my family enjoyed chocolate cake, snacks of fresh baked cookies, and thanksgiving dessert of fresh apple pies (made by yours truly!). It was hard but I knew I was doing this for a good reason and that made it all the more easy.  On the way home yesterday we experienced some traffic delays (5.5 hours drive took 8 hours) and ended up purchasing some snacks on the road: I stuck to some dark chocolate, raw almonds and sparkling water. I don’t think the dark chocolate was the required 85% dark, it actually tasted closer to 70%. I guess that is technically a cheat but I am counting it as a win because it was still dark, it wasn’t a donut or bag of chips, and it was the darkest available at the convenience store. We also ended up stopping for dinner at Boston Pizza where I ordered their House Chicken Salad. It was delicious and I left the restaurant feeling good…not bloated or queasy like I normally do when I leave a restaurant. So this weekend, which normally would have been very difficult for me, was a success! Yay!

image1 (2)

One of my favorite meals this past week has been breakfast. I enjoyed the Chocolate Mint Shake from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook a couple of the mornings (pg. 410). I found that it helped to fill me up for the three hours (recommended time between meals on this plan) and it helped to fulfill my chocolate cravings for the day. I also tried the Volcano Mud Slide Muffin (pg. 274), it was so good and I felt so fancy eating it for breakfast while still knowing I was on plan and being healthy.

I struggled with lunches. I am not typically a sandwich person, although I did enjoy my lean turkey sandwiches on sprouted wheat bread more than I thought I would. I stayed on plan with my lunches but I would love to find something that was easy and that I loved :). Does anyone have suggestions or lunch favorites they could share? I would love to hear your go-to’s and favorites!

On to week #2!


This post contains affiliate links. It costs you nothing but we may get a little something!  

 

Lifestyle

THM October

by Vicki

I, currently, am not my best self.

I am not healthy and I don’t feel healthy.

I want this to change. I need this to change.

I love my family, I do. But having three kids in four years does take its toll on a person. Also, dealing with depression and anxiety, and then adding postpartum hormones to that mix, can create some havoc on a body.

Aaaaaand, I like chocolate. And peanut butter. Especially when they are together.

I would love to feel healthy again. To have energy for the entire day. To be able to run with my kids. To feel good about myself. Maybe even to play soccer again.

These are tough things to accomplish. And I have a lifetime of bad habits to break to get there. But, I know that the only way to get there is to start.

So, for the month of October, I am making some BIG changes. I am going to start following the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle plan 100%.

Some of my sisters have been following the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) lifestyle for the past year (give or take some months). They have experienced some very positive results: more energy, better skin, weight loss, and an overall sense of better health. I have dabbled with the THM plan by making some of the recipes and having “on plan” days but I have never stuck to it.

One thing that the THM plan promises is food freedom. A person doesn’t need to deprive themselves of something they love, they just need to find a healthier substitute. That might mean making my own sugar free (but still tasty) chocolate and peanut butter desserts or eating tacos in salad form instead of on a wrap. One thing is for sure, I will need to start spending more time in my kitchen (not my favorite place in my house), but I am committed to giving this a try.

For the entire month of October, I will stay on plan. No cheats, no “Oh well, I’ll start tomorrow”s, and no excuses. I have been following and dipping my toe into this plan for so long that its time to really try it and see if I notice a difference. I am going to make my first month easier by using the monthly meal plans provided by Jen Mason from the blog Working at Homeschool. She is so amazing! She plans the entire month of meals and writes up the weekly grocery lists. I barely have to think! I will do some tweaking to the meal plans to make sure they are ‘my family-friendly” but for the most part I will follow what is planned. I am going to do two weeks of the September meal plan and the rest of the time I’ll follow her October meal plan.

I will also be using this blog to give myself some accountability. I’ll be journaling each week about my progress, my struggles, my successes, my food likes and dislikes, and any helpful tips or tricks I learn along the way.

If you follow this lifestyle I would love to hear from you (I would love to hear from you even if you don’t)! Give me your best advice for staying on plan! Or just drop an encouraging note – I could use it.

IMG_0542
Just one of the four reasons I am doing this ;).
Lifestyle

August Favourites

By Katie


Its the end of August.

{ insert comment about where has August gone?}

DSC_6593
Was August good for you?  Bank would like to know.

But seriously, where has the summer gone?

Because I know you are dying to know, here are my favourites from August.

Because I am living the life of leisure and am camping right now, this will be a quick list of my favourites of August.

20170810_095150

1.  I have started to feel the twins moving on a daily basis. It is an incredible feeling!   I have 2 anterior placentas so I wasn’t feeling the twins as soon as I felt Atticus and Vivien, but they are making up for it now.    I am concerned about how I will be feeling in 10 weeks with the 2 of them in there, but for now its a gentle, blessed reminder of their presence.

 

2.  We spent time with a lot of family this month. We went to Safari Niagara with the Will’s family earlier in the month, visited Kara, and had visits from Danielle’s family, and Nana and Papa.  Now we are camping with the whole VanGrootheest clan.  September is going to be lonely!

20170816_172901

3. Our vegetable garden is giving us a lot of produce – more than we can handle! The kids love harvesting and eating the veggies on their way inside.  The chickens are getting their fair share as well – without permission.  I only have one pumpkin though.  I have not been a great pumpkin grower for some reason….

 

4.  Flowers.  ‘nough said.

I hope you had a wonderful August.  Get ready for September!

Lifestyle

Preparing for camping the Trim Healthy Mama Way

By Katie


This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.  It doesn’t cost you anything, but may give us a little something.


 

I like to camp.

And, depending on who you are talking to, we rough it in tents or we glamp with access to flush toilets just down the road.  It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?

Every Labour Day weekend the 3 teas, our parents, all our kids and spouses, and I go camping.  It has been a tradition for a long, long time.  It is a great way to re-connect as a family and enjoy time together.

20160901_095152
This is from last year when we went to Killbear Provincial Park.  The littles are little bigger this year!

Over a year ago, I started Trim Healthy Mama.    It was a pretty radical shift from my normal, unhealthy eating patterns and I lost over 60 lbs.  (I am quickly gaining most of it back with this twin pregnancy.  I’m not feeling discouraged.  Nope.  Not. At. All.)

Anyways, back to the post, I thought I would share my THM camping eating plan, what works for me, what doesn’t and if it’s ok to eat that s’more (spoiler: it’s always ok to eat the s’more.   But maybe just one.)

My main rule of thumb is simple and repetitive meals.  If you are a foodie and love food variety, this will not work for you.  I’m not a foodie, and though I  do enjoy variety, I prefer not to spend my holiday prepping, cooking and serving food.   It’s just not my cup of coffee.

Breakfast:

  • Pancakes (E, or XO) – I make the batter in advance and freeze it. It gives me an ice pack and we make them when they thaw.  If you make them according to the recipe in the Trim Healthy mama cookbook they are an E and freeze really well.  One night I wanted pancakes for dinner (no judging) and was half way through making them when I realized I had no egg white.  Instead of cracking a bajillion eggs to get enough egg white I substituted whole eggs.  The result was delicious! I now do half egg white and half whole eggs, which make it a cross over, but I am ok with it.
  • Granola (E or S)- I premake 2 types of granola and eat it with yogurt or cashew milk.   The E granola is the Stove top granola found in the THM cook book. The S granola is a granola someone once posted on a thread in the THM facebook page.  I don’t know who made it or where credit goes to.  If you came up with the recipe, let me know, and I will credit you and/or your blog.  The recipe can be found on the bottom of the post.
  • Bacon and eggs (S) – pretty self-explanatory. We have this a lot because it’s easy, delicious and has little prep.
  • Oatmeal – For the kids.  I don’t like it.

My kids will eat cereal as well.  Not on plan, but they are young and have great metabolisms.

Lunch:

Lunch is more haphazard when camping.  For the kids, I have veggies and crackers with cheese.  I pack a couple tins of soup in case it’s a bit chilly.  We also will have bread with Sugar free peanut butter.  My lunches include:

  • Mary’s Crackers with cheese (S if you have less than 7 crackers), veggies,
  • Deli meat and cheese with veggies
  • Granola with yogurt
  • Fruit
  • Snacks (See list below)

Dinner:

This one can be the killer.  I will admit that I do a lot of personal choice items to make it easier.  You can stay as clean as you want, but I don’t like cooking.  I do a variation on these meals for the whole camping trip.

  • Hotdogs with no bun, sugar free ketchup, veggies
  • Tortilla pizza – I use ½ of a Joseph’s lavash bread, pizza sauce, cheese and veggies
  • Porkchops/chicken/steak with caulirice – i take a bag of frozen caulirice and fry it in my cast iron with some seasoning
  • Chicken Fajitas – Use the other half of the lavash bread

Snacks:

This can be where everything derails (and if I’m telling the truth, where I am derailing on this pregnancy…..)  But there are options!  And remember, the whole THM lifestyle is based on grace: if you want the s’more, eat 1, and move on.

  • Skinny pop – you can buy a big bag at Costco and a serving is 2 cups.
  • 85% chocolate with pecans
    • If you want to go fancy, fry pecans (or your favourite nut) in a skillet for 6 minutes, pour in a bowl, top with 85% chocolate and Himalayan salt.
  • Fruit
  • Pepperettes
20170821_180049 (1)
Me and my Earth Milk. If its the same colour as grass, its gotta be good for you, right?

Sippers:

I find I stay on-plan better when I have a sipper.  And everyone is so impressed when I walk around with a mason jar filled with green liquid (Earth Milk).

  • Make ginger juice (blend a ginger root with water. Voila, ginger juice) and take Apple Cider Vinegar and stevia. Make one Good Girl Moonshine a day.
  • Before you leave make concentrated batches of Earth Milk and freeze in individual portions.
  • I did the same thing for the Singing Canary, but I found it didn’t taste as good thawed. I won’t be making it again to take camping.
  • I also take a buckie of collagen for my coffee.

 

That’s what I eat when I camp.  It’s not exciting, but it keeps me on track.  I rotate through my meals so I don’t need a ton of different ingredients.

I hope this can help you if you are planning on taking a vacation somewhere.  If you are prepared, you can stay on track 😀

If you are interested in learning more about Trim Healthy Mama, I suggest getting the plan book.  There is an earlier book that is about 15,000 pages that may be a little daunting.  I would recommend the plan book: it is more concise and less “chatty.”




S Granola:

1 c sunflower seeds
1c slivered almonds
1 c pumpkin seeds
1c large unsweet coconut flakes
1/4 c chia seeds
1/2 c gentle sweet
1/3 c egg whites
1t vanilla
1t mineral salt
1/3 c oats
1/2 c pecans
1/2 c peanuts
2 t cinnamon
Mix all. Put on parchment paper cookie sheet and bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes. Stirring every 5 minutes, Cool and store.  This granola crunches up as it cools down.  Don’t overcook it, even if you think it isn’t crunchy.



This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.  It doesn’t cost you anything, but may give us a little something.
Lifestyle

The Simplest Pulled Pork

By Kara


mde

I love to bake. And I love to cook. And I love to spend a day in the kitchen baking and cooking. So I thought every once in a while I might post about something kitchen-y. I am by no means a professional chef; in fact, most days, I can’t think of a single thing to make for supper. I’m hoping that will change, and that my kitchen-y posts will become more interesting, when I (hopefully) begin taking a cooking course next month! Today, I thought I’d share one of my favourite, less-inspired supper ideas: pulled pork.

I’m not a huge fan of Crock-Pot meals. They do make the house smell wonderful, which is a huge plus, but I usually find the vegetables mushy, the meat dry, and the flavour a little ‘off’. But I LOVE pulled pork, and it’s made in a Crock-Pot.

All the ingredients that I use for this recipe are from Costco, even the spices. I buy a big pork loin, cut it into 4 or 5 pieces, and always have some in the freezer for an easy meal. When I plan a pulled pork meal, I simply thaw one of the pieces, put it in the Crock-Pot, cover it with garlic powder, paprika, barbecue sauce, and a little bit of maple syrup. After 5 hours on high, I pull it apart, mix it in the sauce, and we have a delicious supper.

I don’t know if this is actually the ‘simplest’ pulled pork. But its simple, and its delicious. Even if this doesn’t inspire you to be super creative in the kitchen, I hope it reminds you of an old favourite that you can add to your meal rotation!

 


 

The Recipe

For Quick reference, here’s a list of the ingredients 🙂

Pork Loin – enough to feed your family
Paprika
Garlic Powder
BarbeQue Sauce
Maple Syrup
Water

I don’t measure any of the ingredients; I just base it off of how much pulled pork I’m making. Simply sprinkle the paprika and garlic powder on the pork. Then cover it with BarbeQue Sauce, add about a tablespoon of Maple Syrup, and about a cup of water.

Cook on high for 5 hours. When its done, it should pull apart easily.

Once its pulled, you can add some BarbeQue Sauce and maple syrup if you’d like it to be more ‘saucy’.

Enjoy 🙂