Thursday, April 2, 2015

Still winning the "Losing" Battle

Hi everyone!  I'm still here, just crazy busy.  I'm in the process of buying a house, so my focus is elsewhere these days.

BUT I'm dropping this post with fantastic news, I'm now down 30 pounds!  Woo-Hooooo!!

I'm still doing THM (Trim Healthy Mama for you newbs) and it is working great!!  I've added in some exercise and when I get more than a minute to post, I'll add it to my Workout tab.

Yesterday, I rode 9 miles on my bike.  It was lots of fun and I burned a bunch of calories.  It was around 10 mph average and total time was right at 50 minutes.

Well, that's it for now!  Sorry to post and run, but I just want to let everyone know I'm fine and outstandingly dandy =D

Friday, February 27, 2015

My New Love...

Fried zucchini.  Yes, I love zucchini.  I can not describe to you the awesomeness - you'll just have to take my word for it… Or try it yourself!  Wait, did you think I meant some other kind of "new love"?  Haha, I wish.  Still on hold in the prayer department for THAT sort of lovin'.  For now, I shall stick to food and it shall not stick to me - MU-WAH-Ha-ha-haaaa!

Anyway…  I saw a video with someone using a "spiralizer" and felt compelled to get one.  I know I can always use new methods to get veggies into my meals.  I bought mine HERE on Amazon (of course).  A few days later - had to go shopping first - I made my first bowl of Fried Zucchini noodles.  WOW!  All I did was sauté the "noodles" in a pan with some butter, salt and pepper.  They take a few minutes of stirring/flipping until they're done, but the results are soooo yummy.  Zucchini shrinks quite a bit when cooked, so I used 2 medium-sized zucchini to make a bowl full of noodles and fried it up one "spiralized" zucchini at a time for optimum cooking.

They may not look pretty, but they sure are tasty!
So far, zucchini is the only veggie I've tried "spiralizing" but I'm sure there'll be more!

Well, that's it for now,  just wanted to drop a quick post and say all is well.  I'm working diligently behind the scenes right now on new blog pages that will show my entire menu collection so far on my Trim Healthy Mama journey.  Can't wait to share it all!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Two Delicious & Healthy Drinks - THM Friendly

I cannot believe I waited this long to try the Shrinker.  It was one of the first videos that I'd seen from the Trim Healthy Mamas themselves - Serene Allison & Pearl Barrett.  I used to drink A LOT of iced chai latte from Starbucks - it was soooo good.  But it's got a whopping 42 grams of sugar!!  WHAT!?!?  Anyway, enter the Shrinker from the THM ladies… This drink has less than 20 calories and zero sugar added.  Oh my word it's me back in Chai land.  Ahhhhh =)

Initially, I shied away from trying this drink because of the key ingredient - Oolong Tea.  I'd never heard of it before and have yet to find it in a store.  I mean seriously - Oolong?  Even the name is funny lookin' right?  Well, a couple weeks ago, I saw a post about Prince of Peace Organic Oolong Tea being on sale at Puritans' Pride (and as of this post, it still is 2 boxes of 100 for $14.95).  Well, I took the plunge and ordered it.  I am so glad I did.

Today, I followed Serene & Pearl's video (and ignored the parts where they talk over each other) but ultimately, I had the most amazing "healthy" drink EVER!! It tastes so much like an iced chai latte, ohhhh so good.

The purpose of the Shrinker is well… to "shrink" you.  It's used between meals to keep blood sugar levels balanced and helps us stay full on liquids instead of getting all "snacky."  The health benefits are immense as well - some supported, some not, but if you're curious - do a quick search and check it out.  Well, enough of my rambling about that…

Later in the day, for my afternoon snack, I tried another beverage recipe:

The Snickers Smoothie.  Yes, it was a Snickers-like "milk shake" really.  Link to the recipe is HERE.

Here's what I used:

1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein (didn't have any plain)
3 TBS Peanut Flour
2 TBS Cocoa (unsweetened)
1/2 tsp Caramel Extract
1/4 tsp Gluccomannan (optional if you don't have any - it's a thickener and also helps you feel full)
Pinch Sea Salt
2 TBS Sweetener (I used a Stevia & Erythritol Blend - pretty much the same as Truvia)
1 cup Ice

Blend it all together using my Nutri-Ninja cup and it made just over two pints.

I thought, as I was putting this together, that it might be a bit too powdery.  Nope.  Everything blended up nicely and for the first time, I was very happy about using the Gluccomannan.  It thickened this smoothie to the point of a creamy milkshake.  Imagine a straw-worthy, slightly melted Wendy's Frosty with a peanut-y/caramel taste.  Are there there?  Yes.  You should make this.  Even if you don't have the Glucomannan or Peanut Flour - use a TBS of natural peanut butter instead.  Peanut butter would add some fat, but seriously - it'd be worth it.

And moving on to the meals for yesterday and today:

B:  Oatmeal w/cinnamon & sweetener topped w/blended cottage cheese & frozen blueberries
L:  Turkey Swiss wrap w/salad greens & Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb (used Joseph's Lavash)
S:  Handful peanuts
D: Salmon Patties (a.k.a. "Crabby Patties") w/steamed broccoli, butter and cheese
S:  PB Cup - just one as it was late and I just wanted something sweet

B:  Oatmeal w/cinnamon & sweetener topped w/blended cottage cheese & frozen blueberries
L:  Ham & Cheddar w/mustard & salad greens on Joseph's Lavash
S:  Snickers Smoothie
D: Beef Enchiladas w/salad
S:  PB Cup - just one again - almost out - need to make more!!

That's all for today folks!  Thanks for playing Movie quotes with me last week.  Here are the answers in case you were wondering…

Sunday Feb 8 "Must Love Dogs"
Friday Feb 5 "Frozen"
Wednesday Feb 4 "Terminator" to name only one
Tuesday Feb 3 - "Matrix"
Monday Feb 2 - "When Harry Met Sally"

Have a great week!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

THM Really Works - Down another 2 lbs!!

I was so excited when I stepped on the scale this morning.  I try not to weigh in too obsessively and usually weigh-in on Sundays, but I was just wondering and...  YAY!

In my food world today, I didn't get the fruits and veggies I was aiming for and this morning it dawned on me why.  First, most of the fruit is in the freezer and therefore, out of sight, out of mind.  Totally forgot it was there.  I woke up late and didn't have time to fix the oatmeal - which is where my morning fruit usually is.  I probably could've put some frozen berries in the fridge overnight for my cereal - there's a thought.  Anyway, around dinner time, I realized my lack of anything green today, so I added a side salad.

Here's the details
B:  Uncle Sam Whole Berry Flakes & Flax Seed w/unsweetened vanilla almond milk
L:  Turkey breast with mayo on Joseph's Lavash
S:  Choc. PB Cups (from last night - yummo!)
D:  Pizza using Joseph's Pita w/sausage & turkey pepperoni and salad with cheese, ranch & turkey bacon bits
S:  Chocolate Cake in a Mug (THM Recipe) w/ chocolate cream cheese frosting 

New for today is a healthy coffee creamer.  I've been trying to find a coffee creamer to replace the last of the sugar in my life that resides in my coffee creamer.  I've found 2 that work with the THM lifestyle.  Here are the recipes:

Coffee Creamer
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
1 doonk (1/32 tsp) stevia extract
1 and 3/4 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
1 scoop Whey Protein Powder
1 tsp stevia/erythritol blend
Stir into coffee, sweeten more if needed with on-plan sweetener

"BulletProof" Coffee 
1 mug brewed coffee
1-2 tsp unsalted butter (pref grassfed)
1-2 tsp coconut oil (pref MCT)
vanilla or other flavoring (optional)
sweetener to taste
Blend 'til creamy (in a blender)
NOTE:  Shake and carefully unscrew lid to release air a few times if making in Bullet-style blender BEFORE actually blending to avoid messes.

So uh… it appears that I walked away from my computer and didn't post this on Friday night.  Ah well, here is  a rare Sunday post for your perusal…  I may as well include my weekend meals too:

B:  Sausage & Cheese on Low Carb Tortilla (S)
L:  Steak Wrap w/cheddar, side salad with ranch (S)
S:  Handful peanuts (S)
D:  Spicy Beef & Broccoli over "Pasta Zero"(Recipe to be posted soon!) (S)
S:  Choc PB Cups (yep made more!) (S)

B:  Oatmeal w/whipped cottage cheese & blueberries (E)
L:  Turkey w/mayo on Joseph's Lavash (E)
S:  Nothing yet...
D:  Haven't eaten yet!
S:  Probably PB Cups LOL!

Oh and something else I've been doing… Sippers!!  These are between meal drinks that help keep you full and offer great health benefits to boot.

Here's one I've particularly enjoyed:
Tazo's Passion Tea brewed with sweetener added (I make a 2-quart pitcher and share that with the fam)

In a quart jar, pour a half a jar of Passion Tea.  Add 2 TBS Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 tsp powdered ginger and additional sweetener if you like (I've been adding about four drops of liquid stevia).  Stir.  Add ice to raise the liquid level to the top.  Enjoy!

Passion Tea Sipper
Hope you are enjoying your weekend!!  Live today as if it were your last because you never know when it might be.

Movie quote:  "The best place to meet a guy is at the supermarket.  You don't need to waste a lot of time there, either.  You see a guy holding a list, you know he's married.  He's in the frozen food section carrying a small basket, he's single.  I like to hang out by the fruits and vegetables, there's a better chance of getting a guy who's healthy."

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sugar Free Dessert of the Month

Quick post tonight since it's so late and I have to work tomorrow… 

Food for the day:

B:  Bacon & Cheddar Wrap (on low carb tortilla)
L:  Tuna w/mayo & mustard on Joseph's Lavash
S:  Choc. PB Cups (I mentioned these yesterday - OMG YUM! - recipe/link to follow)
D:  Chicken w/Broccoli & Cauliflower topped w/Sour Cream, Cheddar & Bacon Bits
S:  Cheated at Taco Bell - half a bean burrito and half a chicken soft taco

Didn't plan the cheat at all - we were driving home and dinner had been light and like 5 hours ago, and my stomach got the best of me.  Sadly, it was terrible - hence the "half" listed in the foods above.  Hopefully, I won't pay for it too much on the ol' scale.

I did get in some exercise today, so I'm 2 for 2 days in a row doing that.  Every little bit helps, right?  

Looking over these daily meals is a big help.  I can tell I'm still not getting in enough fruits and veggies.  I will make that my goal for tomorrow!  

Oh and before I forget… the original recipe for the choc PB cups… is here at The Sunny Patch.  You can checkout how I made them below.  

This recipe has just been dubbed (by me) as DESSERT OF THE MONTH Month month!!!  

Wow, did ya hear that echo?  It must be good.  Seriously though, you won't believe how tasty it is!  And best of all, sugar free!  My kids immediately started calling them the "frozen little Reeses' Cups".  Ohhhh so good.  This is something I'm gonna be making for a very long time. 

Sugar Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients I used:

For the chocolate (I used the Trim Healthy Mama Skinny Chocolate recipe): 1/2 cup coconut oil, 3 tsp stevia blend, and 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa.  Mix well and pour into a mini-muffin pan.  Freeze for approximately 10 minutes.  

Peanut Butter - 1/2 cup natural peanut butter, 1/4 cup coconut oil and a healthy squirt of Skinny Girl Stevia Extract - mix well.  Pour over top of the frozen chocolate and freeze again - another 10 minutes and these babies are all yours.  My batch made about 20 of these delicious little treats.

Now, if you're thinking that these ingredients are too weird and that you'll never find them, well, you'd probably be mistaken.  All these ingredients are available at Walmart.  I listed a link with the stevia blend because that's where I buy it, but the Truvia (stevia and erythritol) blend is the same stuff.  And I just picked up a new brand I found (also at Walmart) called Pyure - also a stevia and erythritol blend, also organic and certified non-GMO, AND it's less expensive than both.  Anyway, my point is that you could eat this tonight if you so desired…

And finally, I'll sign off with the easiest movie quote ever - I thought of this especially for all you folks up north…

"Do you wanna build a snowman?"

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Trying New Foods

I think we get nicely tucked into our comfort zones when it comes to food, don't you think?  But given that our taste buds can change and given that it's important to remove processed sugar from my life, I'm finally, after several years of staring change in the face and doing nothing, finally I'm ready to try some stuff outside of my comfort zone.

Recently, it was a soda called "Zevia" and if you couldn't tell by the name, it is sweetened with stevia.  Also has zero calories.  I stumbled upon these at Publix, tucked away on the bottom shelf.  Well, I was feeling adventurous, so I bought 2 six-packs - one Orange flavored and one "Dr Zevia."  Any guesses to that flavor.

Well, we all tried them and were promptly disappointed.  You know how (back when you used to drink regular road) a fountain drink tastes when it's running out of syrup and you get more carbonated water than actual flavor?  Yeah, that's how these taste.  Not good.  I mean, I could drink them if I had to, but even a Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi would taste better.  So I will hold on to these until my tastes have adapted to stevia over sugar.

Today, I was also adventurous and tried the "uh-oh order" from Amazon (my fault not theirs) the Sweet Leaf Vanilla Creme stevia.  I had the thought that those Zevia drinks just needed a little more flavor and what if that flavor was Vanilla Creme?  Maybe it'd be like an Orange Creme Soda right?  And it was SOOOOO much better - I added a wee little dropperful - well not even a dropperful really, more like 1/3.  Wow, what a difference.  So much so that I'm taking the Dr Zevia to work tomorrow and see how that does with some Vanilla Creme.  I will certainly report my results.

Let's talk about the food side of things today…

A quick low carb tortilla wrap with some bacon and cheddar (this really holds me for awhile - half the time I have to set a reminder to eat!  Much different than Oatmeal days where I'm hungry in a couple hours.

Leftovers from dinner "Egg Roll in a Bowl"

(Another recent new try) Oikos Triple Zero Coconut Creme, mixed with a TBS almond slivers and a half serving 56% cacao chips.  It's like an Almond Joy, but healthier.  I had been using Chobani in the past, but alas, those were sweetened with sugar.  They called it "Evaporated Cane Juice", but we all know what that means - sugar.  Yeah, had to stop eating those.  Then I heard about Oikos new line "Triple Zero" Zero added sugar, Zero Artificial Sweeteners and Zero Fat.  Awesome combo.  I actually think this one tastes better than Chobani - it's more smooth and every so slightly sweeter along with the typical Greek yogurt "bite"being much more subdued.  Wow, sound like I was tasting wine, not yogurt.  Longest snack entry - ever.

Taco "Rice" Taco-seasoned ground beef over steamed cauliflower chopped and pretending to be "rice".  Yep, I don't have a better name for it yet, but I like throwing out the air quotes to the kids when they ask what's for dinner.  Then they go, "so what is it really?"  HAHA it's fun having kids, even if they are college students.  Anyway, the taco seasoning is homemade (or at least "home combined" as opposed to the little packs of sodium attacks at the grocery store.  Also made a topping with some equally mixed sour cream and Picante Sauce.  I was very happy with how it turned out. - the kids added more salsa and/or hot sauce.

Ahhhh, this one was a hit!  It's from Pinterest.  Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.  Oh. My. Word. These were AMAZING.  What a success - Pinterest is hit and miss for me, but this one - keeper.

Til tomorrow!  Hope your Thursday is spectacular!!  In the words of Arnold  "I'll be back."  Anyone know how may other movies he said that or some variation of it?  Seems like it was more than ten.  Anyway,  g'nite!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Trying out Liquid Stevia

I'm in search of a sweetener that is natural and has zero calories, but most importantly, tastes good.  I don't like the aftertaste of artificial sweeteners like Equal and Sweet n Low.  I've tried Splenda and it's just ok - still not sold.  I tried stevia a few years ago and threw out the whole box - it was so bitter!  Then I tried a stevia brand guaranteed not to be bitter - guess what… it was still bitter to me.

I used to enjoy a soda every once in a while and Mtn Dew was a fave.  Well, with a new lifestyle of no processed sugar, Dew went out the window.  Diet sodas never appealed to me either - same problem - aftertaste.  I did find that Diet Dr Pepper and Vanilla Coke Zero are tolerable and eventually likable.  Problem is both have aspartame - I don't want to include aspartame in my sugar-free lifestyle.   So apart from an occasional need for both caffeine and soda during the work day, I stay away from diet drinks.

This just makes me more determined than ever to find a suitable substitute for soda.  For a REALLY long time, my caffeine and sugar fix came from sweet tea.  I'm from the south ya'll and the only way to drink tea is sweet.  In fact, when you order it from a menu and you want UNsweet, you better say so, or else you'll get sweet.  The rest of the country is the other way around.  Here's my problem, if I can't have the tea taste the way it's tasted my ENTIRE life, I'd rather just do without.  But I know there is a solution, I just have to find it.  Until then, there's that nasty diet soda crap.

But wait!!  There's good news.  I found a recipe for a DIY soda that is supposed to taste similar to Mtn Dew.  It uses a liquid-based stevia.  Hmmmm, liquid.  Good concept.  So I ordered some online and it arrived today!  Yay!!  But it was "Vanilla Creme" and I thought I ordered the plain, non-flavored stuff. Well, I checked my order and sure enough, it was my fault.  That's ok, I found some recipes for it so it won't be thrown out.  But now I was back to not having the sweetener I needed.  I had already checked 4 grocery stores near me and none carried what I was looking for.  What I need is a natural or whole foods store.  When I lived in Colorado, I had several to choose from.  Here?  Few and far between.  The closest Whole Foods is like 45 miles away.  But I did remember seeing a small mom and pop type somewhat closer, so off I went - in search of liquid stevia.

I found the store!  It's so cool!  And it's a co-op.  Membership is $50/year and if you are a "working member," you get even more of a discount.  How cool is that?!?  A "working member" works in the store 4 hours a month - either all at once or whenever.  I'm so totally in!!  Serendipity - looking for stevia, found a co-op.

AND I found the stevia among bunches of other stuff I've been wanting to check out.  Woo-HOOOO!

I made the fake Dew recipe and it wasn't bad.  Here's what I used:

I'm callin' it "MtZ" >>> Pronounced "Empty-Zee"

2 liter bottle of carbonated water (aka "seltzer" or "soda water" etc)
4 TBS Bragg Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
4 TBS Lime Juice
12 droppers-full Sweet Leaf Sweet Drops

It doesn't look like Mt Dew at all, nor does it smell like it.  But it does indeed have that citrus-y flavor.  I can live with it for sure.  Way better than a diet soda!

Oh yeah and a quick input for what I had for food today:

B:  Oatmeal w/cinnamon, sweetener & almond milk, topped w/blended cottage cheese & blueberries
L:  Ham & Cheese wrap with mustard
S:  Handful of peanuts
D:  Egg Roll in a Bowl (<<<< you have got to check out this recipe - it was FANTASTIC!!)
S:  Pumpkin Pie in 2 minutes flat (greatly improved recipe with shorter cooking time and pecans!)

We may have added a touch of Fat Free Reddi Whip too!  This could seriously become a habit.

Alrighty then, that's it for tonight.  I'm off to dream world.

Oh and here's another movie quote - not too hard at all…

"There is no spoon."

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