The struggle is real…

It has been a few months since I posted and so much has been going on in my life. Lots of valleys and a few mountaintop experiences. Between the holidays and, well, life in general, I have succeeded in regaining most of the weight I had lost following the TrimHealtyMama lifestyle. The struggle is very real. On a positive note, it could have been much, much worse. Yes, I ate too many Christmas cookies. But the truth is, I totally did it knowing the consequences and there were many times that I chose not to eat the sugar filled ones and I made a few things that were totally “on plan”.

I wouldn’t have missed these moments for all of the world.

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See this pretty little gem below. This cheesecake is completely gluten and sugar free and….yes..soooo delicious. See, one of my Christmas gifts this year was an Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker!!! I made this cheesecake in the pressure cooker. It is the perfect size for two adults.

 

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I used a 7 inch spring form pan. It was amazing! It has taken me a long time to find the right sweetener for me. The struggle is real. I hate stevia! Splenda and Sweet and Low are horrible for you and I personally get a migraine if ingested anyhow. I have tried Swerve(erythritol) and while I didn’t mind the slight cooling sensation in the mouth, my husband did! Erythritol and Xylitol both measure the same as sugar. There is a perfect combo blend called Gentle Sweet in the Trim Healthy Mama  store. The Gentle Sweet is doable for me even though it has a slight bit of stevia in it but my preference is really xylitol, especially the brand called Xyla. I have tried a few other brands like Zint and Now and even the THM version, but Xyla is the only one that my stomach gets along well with…if you know what I mean…wink wink. If consumed in large quantities it can cause gas and diarrhea. The Xyla is the easiest on my gut, plus it has added medicinal value in tooth decay and believe it or not…prevention of ear infections and some forms of the flu…who knew??!! ****It is also toxic to dogs so if you have a dog in your family that eats table scraps…choose something else!****

Ok..so…I am going to sum up in a few short words how this way of eating works. It is based on fueling the body in order to avoid sugar spikes…aka glycemic load. The key is not to mix fuel types within 3 hours of each other. There are a few types of meals/snacks. ALL START WITH PROTEIN AND PREFERABLY NON STARCHY FRUITS AND VEGGIES OF CHOICE and then you balance it out by adding good healthy fats …picture bacon and eggs and maybe a cup of strawberries…coffee with real cream or moderate carbs and low fat…picture egg whites, turkey sausage and a slice of sprouted toast with no more than a tsp of butter…coffee with fat free half and half…. but not both at the same time. Basically, the guideline is you either have no more than 10 carbs with unlimited good fats or 45 or so carbs with fats limited to no more than 5 grams.  It is so much simpler than it sounds and I am on so many facebook groups where people try their best to make it so much more complicated! For more info, check out the books on THM site or go check out both the plan and the cookbook at the library! or watch this video by the sisters who came up with this idea!

I am happy to say I am back on plan and am in the process of transitioning my hubs onto it as well. He just got put on Insulin this morning due to diabetes caused by removal of most of his pancreas. He is a stubborn cuss so I can assure you if I ever say it is husband approved…it is awesome! The cheesecake above was husband approved!

Yummy Sugar Free and Gluten Free Cheesecake

for the crust you can use your favorite cookie plus melted butter but I used my SF/GF Shortbread Cookie recipe

2 cups almond flour or 1 3/4 cup THM Baking Blend

1/2 cup Xylitol or sweetener of choice

1/2 cup butter(softened)

1 tsp vanilla

Cream together butter and sweetener, add vanilla and mix in almond flour or baking blend. Form into a log, wrap in waxed paper and chill for half hour minimum. Then slice in 1/4 slices and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. You can also roll and cut or just drop by tsp and flatten a bit if you want to be lazy, which is EXACTLY how I did it especially knowing I was going to crumble them up for a crust anyways! 🙂

After baking you will use about 7-9 cookies and crumble up in Ziploc, add 2T melted butter and a dash of cinnamon if you like(and I do!) Press into bottom of springform pan and even go up the sides a little bit.

Wrap bottom of pan in foil…some springform pans say leakproof…I am a skeptic by nature..just sayin…and spray with coconut oil spray.

For Filling

2- 8 oz pkg. cream cheese softened

2 T greek yogurt or sour cream(room temperature)

2 eggs and 1 egg yolk(room temperature)

pinch of salt

1/2 cup xylitol or sweetener of choice

1-2 tsp vanilla

Cream together cheese and yogurt and sweetener. Add vanilla and salt. Mix in one egg at a time being careful to not overmix.

Pour into prepared pan. Tap on counter a few times to settle any bubbles.

Cover pan with folded paper towel first, and then secure the paper towel with foil. (The paper towel layers help keep water off the cake)

Make a sling for pan(trust me this makes it easier!!) by taking a piece of foil about 15 inches long. Fold in sides into a tri fold strip. Place pan on top and center of sling.

Add two cups water to Instant Pot.

Place trivet in pot along with foil sling,  then lower pan centered on sling,   making sure there is ample room around the sides of the pan for steam to rise.

Press Manual and cook on High Pressure for 40 minutes with Natural Pressure Release.  Lift cake out by sling handles and place on a rack to cool.

If there is any water on cake use corner of paper towel to absorb it.  For me,  there is usually a tiny bit of water on the finished cake but not much.

The cake will still jiggle perfectly in the middle,  as it should.  There will be no cracks.  It is going to knock your socks off!

**full disclosure_ I am sure you can make this in an oven but I will be honest…I haven’t done it!** Thankful for my Instant Pot! 🙂

 

Look forward to many more recipes both in and out of my Instant Pot! I am really going to do my best to post a blog at least twice a week.

the week the leaves began to fall….

We have all been there. You look around and think…”wait, how did I get HERE?” Last week, I pulled out of my driveway and saw for the first time since last autumn, leaves on the ground. We had one week of summer for the most part and it WAS last week! Odd, how it wasn’t the cold temperatures that precipitated the falling of the first leaves, but the nearly unbearable heat! Seems oddly parallel to my life right now.

This morning, I woke up at 2:45 AM…my heart is heavy. Today is September 11. 14 years ago, our world as we knew it changed on what seemed to be the perfect September morning. Skies blue, sun shining, life plodding on…and then evil landed in America on a level we had never seen before! But out of the ashes that day…came a unity that our country had also not seen in a very long time! Sadly, it didn’t last, the fire was too much for our pathetic souls to withstand and we all went back to the status quo. Only it was a new “bar” that had been set, a much lower bar, a bar that divided this country and shredded friendships based on ideology. 14 years later…the heat is still on! And, if you look around you, the fall out still crashing to the ground. The week the leaves began to fall…

I have a little heat in my own world right now. The details of which I will spare you. But, I am watching someone I love fight for his very life…from a distance. Fighting demons that I, too, once faced only, this time…I am powerless to help in the cause. I want to fix it…but it is not mine to fix. I have been asking God, “What can I do to save him?” and the answer is a resounding, “only I, the Lord God, can save him…” so instead, I fall to my knees….The week the leaves began to fall…

I saw a movie this past week called The War Room. It was a call to remember that our enemy is not flesh and blood but the principalities that are unseen yet felt so heavily on our minds and hearts. Satan is out to kill, steal and destroy. He is really good at what he does. But, we have one weapon in this fight. A weapon that is stronger than any arrow he can sling at us. Prayer. Consistent prayer. Crying out to a God who knows us, loves us and wants to fight FOR us! This battle is not a battle we can win on our own. This battle belongs to the Lord! We KNOW who wins in the end! But, in the midst of the fray, we must fall on our knees and let God do what only HE can do…and stay out of the way so HE can do it! It is our only hope…this week, as the leaves continue to fall.

 

 

Everything Bagel Dogs

To me, these look like a dream come true…and worthy of a guest blog post! Thanks so much for allowing me to share!

**update- I made this same dough into bagels…oh my yum!

So amazingly good! But be warned...very filling!

So amazingly good! But be warned…very filling!

The Primitive Palate

Low carb & keto friendly bagel dogs! Gluten & grain free!

After moving out of my parents home at age 18, my first job was a baker at an Einstein Bros. Bagels. At this point in time we were still using the old food pyramid…which states a healthy diet should consist of a whopping 6-11 servings of bread & grain a day. So naturally, my brain said “bagels are healthy!”

Wrong.

I gained 40 pounds the one year I worked there. It was terrible, but I really had no idea how to eat healthy as a teenager. One of the items I used to make there were bagel dogs and they were delicious! Basically, it was a kosher dog wrapped in bagel dough and the rolled around in seeds, spices and cheese.

Normally, I am not a hot dog fan at all. But these make me so happy! With about 6 net carbs, they are also great for keto…

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The truth about gaining..and losing weight. (the lies we believe)

It seems as though I have been on some form of diet for most of my life. When I look back to my sophomore year in high school, I remember my drama coach telling me, as I tried on my costume for a solo, that I would be so pretty if I just lost a lot of weight. I weighed 152 pounds. That, was 40 years ago. 40 years. And I still remember that comment as though it were just yesterday. Today, I would give anything to weigh 152 pounds.

Romeo and Juliet aka Lori and Greg 1977

Romeo and Juliet aka Lori and Greg 1977

It is so funny how little comments like that can have such an impact on one’s life. I come from a family riddled with anorexia and bulimia and other drastic forms of losing weight (some which shall remain nameless). I was one of the few in my family that didn’t resort to drastic measures…unless of course you call overeating drastic..and let’s face it, it IS an eating disorder! I was always made fun of by others..today we would call it bullying…about my weight. I tried as far back as I can remember to lose weight. And I did. The funny thing is ….by today’s standards…I was really just where I needed to be. Only no one would let me believe it. That is the curse of our society. Trying to make others believe that they are less in order to make yourself feel better. We are all guilty of it in some form or fashion. And thus begins a yo yo, roller coaster ride to obesity for me. Lose 10 pounds, gain 20, have children, gain 70, lose 30 …blah blah blah….

It has taken me 40 years of dieting and illness and research and experience to finally get to where I am now. I don’t care so much about the number anymore. I want to be healthy. I want to eat good, real food. I want to enjoy good, real food. I want to leave a legacy of modelling that for my family. Sounds easy, right? Wrong!

Today’s world is full of fake food. Read a few labels. Can you pronounce all of the words? Do you know what that stuff is? How much of the food in your cupboards are boxed, bagged, preserved?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of diet plans on the market today. We are all looking for that easy answer, that magic plan, that golden ticket. But here is the simple truth…it doesn’t exist. What got you to where you are today, is eating too many empty calories without enough real nutritionally dense foods. Period. Want to blame it on someone? Look in the mirror. Want to have someone fix it? Look in the mirror. This is going to require some extra work on your part. I realized as soon as I cut out most processed foods that I had to become the PROCESSOR! A little extra time in the kitchen will pay off! But it won’t be easy..it will be worth it! **shout out to my mom, dad, and grandparents who were the processor before there WAS processed foods!

It really is about you. No one else. Just do it!

I am currently about 40 pounds away from where I would like to be, somewhere around the point where I was when I was told I was fat. But that number doesn’t daunt or haunt me anymore. I am choosing to eat real foods and trying to keep my blood sugars stable. I am eating good fats, healthy fats, you know the ones that we have been told for decades will kill us…coconut oil, butter, lard and the like? Turns out they were wrong. Our grandparents knew that..they didn’t process their food into forms that were one molecule away from plastic(i.e. margarine). They ate bacon, eggs and butter and yes, even raw milk! (now outlawed in many states including my own) God gave us all we need for our bodies to heal themselves. We have screwed it all up royally.

I want to encourage you that you can make a difference in your own life. I want to encourage you to look in the mirror and believe that you are worth fighting for. I want to tell you that it is because of YOU that you are where you are. I want to encourage you to join me in the journey to get back the plunder that the devil has stolen from you. I want to encourage you NOT TO BLAME any diet, any person, any budget, any circumstances for where you are. Step up. Ask God to help you be all that you can be. Eat the foods that He provided. Stop eating processed foods. Eat fruits and vegetables and meat. Cut out white sugar and white flours. Moderate your gluten intake. Eat REAL foods. Eat LESS CRAP! Stop buying into the standard American Diet…S.A.D.

There are two sisters who have written a book called Trim Healthy Mama. I have learned a lot from this book. One of the coolest things I have learned is that the guidelines are there in the Bible for what we should eat. And while I am still struggling with the “sweetener” issue, there are other options than white sugar…like coconut sugar for example. I am reading and gleaning a lot of good solid info here and I am down about 25 pounds. Today, I am having my husband hide the scale. It is only a number.

TRUTH

TRUTH

So here is the truth about gaining, losing and gaining and losing…only you can change it. Believe that God wants you to be healthy and whole and I am pretty sure He would like it if your food was healthy and whole as well. Join me on this journey and commit to making it happen. Not for anyone except that person you see looking back at you when you gaze into a mirror. The answer does not lie in a pill or a diet, but in changing your lifestyle. Eat better food, move more..and remember to play!

Let’s do this!

ohmyyum! Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Coffee Cake {low carb, sugar free, gluten free}

Lazy Sunday afternoon after a powerful message at church and a delicious lunch…well fed indeed.

While mindlessly going through Facebook, I came across a picture of a chocolate chip cake and although, I didn’t have some of the ingredients, I jumped out of the chair and began to try to harness that concept with the ingredients on hand! Sometimes, these moments of creativity end up being disasters…but not today!

I have to say this is truly one of the best desserts I have had while doing the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle. This would qualify as an S…a very scrumtious S!

Who doesn’t like cake?? The beauty of this one is that it is not overly sweet…think scone flavor with coffee cake body… 🙂

First blending wet ingredients in blender..or just use your mixer making sure all are softened if not using blender..I was too impatient to wait for butter to soften…it’s how I roll…

Mix dry ingredients together and then combine. Put half of dough in bottom of greased 8 inch square pan and sprinkle with cinnamon/sweetener mixture(I use equal parts swerve/xylitol) then sprinkle with chips.

using scoop or tablespoon, put remaining batter on cake

using scoop or tablespoon, put remaining batter on cake

press down gently on dollops and then sprinkle with remaining cinnamon/sweetener and more chips!

press down gently on dollops and then sprinkle with remaining cinnamon/sweetener and more chips!

Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top.

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Low Carb Chocolate Cinnamon Coffee Cake

cake batter:

2  cups THM baking blend

¼ cup whey isolate protein powder

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 cup lowfat cottage cheese

2 T grassfed butter

¼ cup heavy cream

1/3 cup erythritol/xylitol

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

 Filling/topping:

3 tbsp erythritol/xylitol

2 tsp cinnamon

3 oz Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips (sugar free)

Frosting:

2 oz softened cream cheese

3 T softened butter

2 tsp sweetener

1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together and set aside

Directions:

preheat oven to 325 and spray 8 inch square pan

For filling, whisk together the cinnamon and sweetener, set aside.

Mix together baking blend, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Blend cottage cheese, cream, butter, sweeteners, vanilla extract and eggs together.

Combine wet and dry ingredients

Spread half of the batter into the pan, then sprinkle half the cinnamon/sweetener mixture and half the chocolate.

Evenly drop the rest of the batter randomly on top and press down lightly. Add the rest of the cinnamon/sweetener mixture and chocolate on top.

bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Frost while hot. ( I put mine in ziptop bag and snipped corner to make it pretty!)

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Enjoy! I sure did!

I scream you scream! YES it’s yummy Ice Cream! Easy..no machine required!

I saw this recipe posted on Facebook and decided to try and make it lower carb! Sugar free..and I must say amazing! It originated on this site

http://www.superhealthykids.com/homemade-orange-creamsicle-ice-cream/

 peeled and a bit of the zest! Freeze til solid on pan

peeled and a bit of the zest! Freeze til solid on pan

The ingredients and recipe are pretty simple!

I use an equal mix of Swerve and Xylitol(from Birch NOT corn) as my sweetener of choice in almost everything!

I use an equal mix of Swerve and Xylitol(from Birch NOT corn) as my sweetener of choice in almost everything!

Easy, simple, delicious!

Place in freezer safe container once blended

Place in freezer safe container once blended

Seriously, this is so good! There are probably 6 servings.

Dreamy Creamy-sicle Ice Cream

2 large naval oranges, peeled and sectioned

a few slices of the zest(just the orange part)

1 can full fat coconut milk

1.5 T Swerve

1.5 T Xylitol

2 tsp. real vanilla..no sugar added

Peel oranges and save part of peel. (adds a little depth of flavor). Lay flat on pan and put in freezer til solid. Put sweeteners into blender and grind for about 10 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and if you have a vitamix just blend on high until fully incorporated. I also added 6 drops of wild orange essential oil.

Creamy Deliciousness!

Creamy Deliciousness!

Put in freezer safe container until desired consistency! I love this! Pretty sure the grandkids will too!

Who is up for a challenge? Fit Feisty Mimi(who is following Trim healthy mama plan) teams up with Bikini Bottom Mommy(free exercise workouts)

Recently, I started a new facebook group called THM Simple Support(unofficial) because the beauty of Trim Healthy Mama plan is food freedom. In a few of the groups I am in, the freedom part can sometimes get forgotten and micromanaging how others do the plan takes over. I have a group of friends who do this plan, each one a little differently, and each one according to their own judgement and lifestyles. We are all different ages and body types with our own unique health challenges.

In one of the posts, someone mentioned Bikini Bottom Mommy exercise videos. And me..being the queen of google, found the site and watched a few videos! They are free, have modified versions for those of us who may or may not be “of age”…so I want to do the 90 day challenge! Ask to join our group, if you would like to join us.

http://bikinibodymommy.com/90-day-challenge/#prettyPhoto/3/

**disclaimer..no judging allowed in our group! We are there to simply support and encourage and cheer each other on! https://www.facebook.com/groups/THMSimpleSupport/

***Bikini Bottom Mommy is not endorsed by Trim Healthy Mama. Again, as is our freedom to do so, I have just found an exercise program I would like to incorporate on my own personal weight loss journey. again…#dontjudgeme

Fiesta…….Quinoa style!

Have you ever found yourself in front of your pantry, door open, staring aimlessly at all the cans…shaking your head and saying…”nothing SOUNDS good…”? Then you wander over to the fridge, open the door, look at your eggs and say, “oh heck no…” then you wander back to the pantry and again…look at all the same stuff again…oatmeal catches your eyes…”really? for lunch?” Some days are less inspired than others for sure. I nearly succumbed(which wouldn’t be terrible) to just going with a Fat Stripping Frappa…but then, I remembered…although it is May 19, the temperature feels more like February 19. That is when my eyes landed on the little bag of sprouted quinoa.

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I have had this bag for a few months. I have also NEVER made quinoa here at home. I have prepared it at work and cannot say I am a huge fan. But, it has protein and is supposed to be good for you..so the thought process began. Should I make just one serving…no. I have been wanting to try some of the quinoa recipes in the Trim Healthy Mama book anyway. So, I made 4 servings the recipe on the package called for. Now, comes the balance of trying to make this an E meal…this means between 20-45 carbs, 5 gr fat with a solid protein source. And here is what I came up with! OLE!

Fiesta Chicken Quinoa

1/2 cup prepared quinoa

1/4 cup rinsed black beans

1/4 cup no sugar added salsa

1/4 cup white chicken meat

1 Tablespoon of Shredded cheddar

sprinkle of garlic and onion powders

Combine all but cheese  and after sprinkling on cheese, microwave for 30 seconds or until cheese melts!

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This was so filling I cannot even tell you! Would be great with a couple of the Trader Joe’s baked blue tortilla chips! No room left to have any fruit with it but seriously delicious!

Now, I am sure that others have probably tried this combo…surely, I can’t be the only one…but today…I am patting myself on the back for two things…filling lunch and…I have finally found a use for quinoa!! 🙂

Let’s have a little “moonshine”…

One of my favorite parts of the Trim Healthy Mama programs are the yummy drinks that we affectionately call Good Girl Moonshine! Sounds naughty, but not so much. It is actually very good for you! There are so many benefits to Apple Cider Vinegar (the kind with the Mother) and in some cases the type of tea you make it with! For instance, oolong tea has been shown to increase the metabolism enough to burn about 60-70 calories per cup! I am in! Oolong also has caffiene so you have to make sure you drink those bad boys in the am..if you have any issues with caffiene keeping you up at night! *i do!

This recipe was shared on Facebook by Sue Shavers

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Watermelon Berry Lime Moonshine

3 watermelon lime tea bags
2 C. Water
2 T. ACV
2 doonks Stevia( or sweetener to taste
1/2 tsp ginger
4 frozen strawberry
Handful of Ice

Brew your tea in 1 cup of water. Mix together in blender and enjoy!!!

** Haven’t tried this one yet, but all of the Zinger teas have never disappointed!

My most recent favorite is one I call Peach Cobbler Moonshine

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I love all things peach!

2 Tazo Peach Cobbler bags

2 Prince of Peace Oolong bags

1 Harney’s Invigorating Tea bag

1.5 tsp swerve sweetener or any on plan sweetener to taste

1/2 tsp ginger (fresh or powdered)

2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

2 oz. of Harmless Harvest 100% percent raw coconut juice(I get mine at our local DC Meats!)

Brew Oolong and Tazo for five minutes in 2 cups of boiling water in a quart jar. Remove tea bags and add the Invigorating tea bag for 10 minutes. Add ACV, sweetener, ginger and coconut water..fill with ice and enjoy! For an extra zing, I sometimes add a drop or two of orange essential oil (only therapeutic grade and safe for ingesting) contact me if you would like to know what brand I use….and have been known to also float a few slices of peaches in there as well 😉

There are so many options! Will keep you posted!

Lemon Berry Slush 2.0

So before I give you this magical recipe, let me say that in my former “life”, I lived for Sonic’s Happy Hour. There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a large container of Sonic ice filled with overwhelming amounts of sugar and just to make you feel better about yourself, they throw in some real strawberries and call it a Lemon Berry Slush!

Enter Trim Healthy Mama. A book that changed my life! Long story short…giving up all white sugar, mostly all gluten, anything that will spike blood sugars. I have lost 15 pounds and as many inches in little more than a few months! The trickiest part for this lifestyle is you also have to give up all artificial sweeteners that…well, basically will kill you! Not a problem for me, because I have always had a reaction to them and have stayed away from them. The sweeteners allowed are stevia, erythritol(for me Swerve, and Xylitol. I have never liked stevia..not in any shape or form…I discovered through this Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle that not only do I NOT LIKE it..it actually makes me angry! Like…UGH angry when I taste it! Through trial and error, I have finally found what works for me. It is a blend, equal parts of Swerve and Xyla(Non GMO) sweeteners. It works for me, and more importantly, it works for my diabetic husband.

Now back to the Lemon Berry Slush! I have remade this into my own..on plan..version which will be hitherto known as Lemon Berry Slush 2.0

The recipe is as follows

Lemon Berry Slush 2.0

Juice of one lemon( I use this one to juice and its amazing)

water to equal 1 cup with juice

2-3 fresh or frozen strawberries

2 T of Swerve/Xylitol mix

7-8 ice cubes

Blend and Enjoy!

Lemon Berry Slush 2.0

Lemon Berry Slush 2.0

You are welcome!