Lifestyle

THM October Recap.

by Vicki

First of all, I am sorry it took so long to get this month-end recap. Its been a crazy two weeks here for us. We just returned home after being gone for approximately 2 weeks (first visiting Katie and her family in Kingston and then house sitting for my in-laws). It was a nice two weeks, but it is SOOOOO good to be home. I am definitely a home body. And a bit of an introvert – and I introvert best at home.

Anyways, to my October THM recap:

The month of October went by very quickly. I was worried it would drag on because I was trying something new and difficult, so that was a happy surprise. I was also surprised to find that I actually enjoyed the healthier lifestyle. I felt so good the entire month. I had energy (even though I am sleep deprived), I was in a better mood, and I didn’t struggle with feeling bloated or crampy.

I would say I had approximately 3 cheat days in total all month…which I am counting a win! It was hard to stay on plan away from home. In Katie’s house she follows the THM lifesytle so that wasn’t a big challenge, but at my in-laws I found I felt out of place without my different ingredients. I could have packed them but that also felt kind of overwhelming. I decided to give myself grace and just eat what everyone else was eating (and don’t get me wrong – my mother-in-law’s kitchen was filled with delicious foods, so it wasn’t hard to convince me to go off plan).

What I wasn’t expecting was how truly horrible I felt when I went off plan. My body felt like it was rebelling against my food choices. That surprised me, but it also made me wonder: is that how I always felt and I had just become used to it? Yuck! If nothing else that realization has given me a renewed sense of purpose when it comes to THM. Even if I don’t see a change in my body…I feel one. That’s a good enough reason for me to continue.

So in November I am continuing my THM journey…just delaying my start date to tomorrow (my first full day back home). I am very much looking forward to being on plan again and having my body re-detox (is that a word?) so that I can start to feel healthy again. I am going to continue trying for no cheats – people say that it takes a good 6 months of no cheats to really detox and feel 100% (so that’s my BIG goal). I also want to incorporate some exercise into my weekly routine – a couple of times a week. I am still not sure what that is going to look like. If you have any ideas for some exercises that can be done at home (with a husband that is gone early morning and comes home around supper/bed time I have a hard time getting out of the house to ‘work out’…I mean I could go in the evening…but I would rather spend time with my hubby). Anyways, pass along any of your exercise ideas! This momma wants to get healthy – AND I would love to be able to play soccer again next Summer. Dreaming big here;).

Have a healthy November!

 

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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.

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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).

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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!


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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!

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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!


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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.

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

Preparing for camping the Trim Healthy Mama Way

By Katie


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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.

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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
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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.



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Lifestyle

Our Very First Post

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Welcome to our very first post. Please, come along on a journey with us.

Imagine, if you will, that you have driven up to any one of our houses on any one of the rare days that we are all together. You would enter the house and, depending on the season, would be greeted with 10 pairs of small sandals and flip flops, damp towels and swim suits draped over chairs or hanging on hooks, or, you would see 10 pairs of wet boots strewn across the floor, snow suits hanging up to dry and many, many pairs of mismatched mitts lying all over the ground.

If you were able to navigate safely through this obstacle course you would enter into a home where you would hear little voices squealing with delight, shouts of victory as a game or competition is completed, belly laughter as big cousins make little cousins laugh, voices rising and lowering as a detailed game of house or cats or Playmobil or train is dictated to each other, the occasional squabble, and the general hum of happy children who love each other, and love playing together.

You would smell numerous aromas from oil diffusers, to fresh paint, to dirty diapers, to wood burning fires, to fresh baking or supper cooking, to paint and glue from kids’ crafts, to the sweet smell of fresh babies.

You would look around, and depending on whose home you had entered, would notice a 100 year old farmhouse being lovingly restored, a small townhome filled with DIY, a bright farmhouse with years of family history, or a raised ranch nearly completely renovated and fresh. Each house has different styles and decor, but each house feels like a home where people live, love, and grow.

If, after all of this, you haven’t been taken down by the tiny army we created, excited to tell you their latest stories or include you in one of their numerous games; if you haven’t been distracted by a project on the go, or a book left open on a couch; if you haven’t stopped to see what oil is diffusing or to sit and enjoy the warm fire, you would come to the dining room. And there, sitting on top of the table, you would see three teas and a coffee. And, when one of us isn’t changing a diaper, or settling a toddler dispute, or feeding a baby, you would see four sisters.

Four sisters completely different and yet very much the same.

You would see 10 years between the oldest and the youngest.

You would see 350 km stretching from the eastern-most home to the western-most home.

You would see a teacher, a modern-day pioneer, a planner, and an aspiring psychologist.

You would see a mother of 4, a mother of twins, a mother dealing with postpartum, and a brand new mother of one.

You would see university degrees and career diplomas.

You would see laugh lines and messy buns.

If you took some moments to listen you would hear laughter over childhood memories, emphatic (but kind) political debates, discussions about disciplining children, tears as heartaches and struggles are shared, encouragement for new journeys and for journeys that feel never-ending. One would tell of her chickens’ latest antics, another the latest stories in her classroom, another of her latest room “re-do”, and another of life as the wife of a student. You would listen as they discussed family budgeting tips, meal prep and planning ideas, vacation dreams and plans, and stories from last week. You would hear them share their favourite products, books, foods, and TV shows (for binge watching while cluster feeding babies). You would see them share their love for their Saviour and hear as they discuss their churches and latest devotions.  Even though their lives are different, they would, for that day, do life together.

You would leave feeling like you had witnessed something beautiful and messy, peaceful but chaotic, intricate and yet simplistic.

Our hope for this blog is that we can use it to experience these sister visits more regularly than just once every few months. We have something special in our sisterhood. Something that encourages, stretches, challenges and grows us.  What we want for this blog is to share our lives and to connect, with each other and with you.

We are four sisters. This is our one blog. Please join us.

Much love from, All of us.