Thursday, July 17, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama Update

I've been following the Trim Healthy Mama principles for a few weeks now and have lost 5 pounds with a LOT of cheating. Some of you may recall that I attempted this before I became pregnant with Nathanael but fell off the wagon rather quickly. I don't know what it is this time around, but it seems to be much more doable this time. Perhaps it's because THM has taken off in the "diet" world (though THM should be a lifestyle, not a diet) and is much more popular now than it used to be. This means there are tons of THM-friendly recipes out there on Pinterest, making meals much more doable and fun. My husband has NOT noticed a change at all in our meals. In all this time, there was only one meal that was not his favourite (it was a spinach and cheesy chicken casserole I found on pinterest. It wasn't my favourite, either!)

THM has been very doable for us this time because I have been cooking practically the exact same for our family with THM-friendly options for me. Here's an example of what this has looked like for our family:

Cheeseburger Pie (in Trim Healthy Mama recipe section) - My husband LOVES this recipe. It really is one of his new favourites. I serve this with mashed potatoes and a salad or veggies on the side. I skip the mashed potatoes.

Hamburgers on the Grill (S) - Everyone eats these as usual. I had mine in a crunch iceberg lettuce wrap to keep it THM friendly. I did not even miss the bun.

Steak on the Grill (S)- BBQ as usual. I serve potatoes with this usually and a salad. I just skip the potatoes to keep this in S territory.

Tacos (S or E) - I either make mine into an "S" salad and load it up with ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, full fat sour cream, avocado, cheese, and all the veggies I want but leave out the chips (or only 3 or 4 chips added, if I want to go slightly off plan). Or, I can make this into an "E" meal by using chicken, beans, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, low-fat sour cream, and a sprinkle of low-fat cheese.

Cocunt Curry Chicken (S or crossover) - This is one our family's all-time favourite meals. I usually serve it with brown rice on the side and broccoli or cauliflower. I will have either this over a small amount of brown rice for an S-helper meal, or up to 3/4 cup brown rice for a crossover. Crossovers are not off-plan - they are just combining healthy fats and healthy carbs and not as optimal for weight-loss, according to the book.

I ordered the Swanson natural whey protein powder a couple weeks ago. I really hesitated to do this as it's quite pricey for an item I don't usually buy (around 45 dollars for a HUGE container). However, this is one of the key things used on this plan (though the plan is workable without it), especially in the fuel-pull smoothies. I figured out that one big container should easily last me at least 3 months...and that's with using it every day, which I doubt I'll do. The health benefits of this stuff is pretty incredible, so I think it will be worth it to try it. I just used it to make my very first true-to-the-recipe Fat Stripping Frappe as part of my lunch (Egg roll in a bowl...super frugal, super quick to make, super tasty). I am SO THRILLED at how it turned out!!  I've tried making the Fat Stripping Frappe without the whey protein powder before, but the powder is what really makes this smoothie awesome, filling, and super fluffy. It's like a chocolate frosty/milkshake and does NOT taste at all like some some of the super nasty protein shakes I've sampled in the past. I was seriously so surprised. I actually think I could give this to my husband, and he would never guess what was in it....

Anyway, I will continue on with THM...I'm enjoying it so far, seeing some results, and it's much more doable now that I allow myself off-plan meals a few times a week.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Menu Plan

Oh, what a day it's been so far. What. a. day. I'm pretty sure I've been completely stripped of any shred of dignity that ever remained after having 3 children.  Moving on. (okay, so this was technically yesterday. There was no way I was going to finish this menu plan yesterday with all the shenanigans going on around here.) Thankfully, His mercies are new every morning, and we are off to a much better start today:-)

Here's what we plan on eating this week:

In case you are wondering...Yes, I am still following the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle...except for on the weekends when it all goes out the window, it seems...Please don't tell the Trim Healthy Mama folks what I had to eat on Sunday, but it may or may not have included an iced capp and a sundae. "Was it worth it?," chimes in the Trim Healthy Mama folks. Umm...yeah, it was worth it! Sorry, but it's true. Gotta live a little! Can you tell which of the THM sisters I identify with the most?? That would be Pearl, most definitely. Microwaves are friends, not foes. Haha!

Monday: Crockpot Coconut Curry Chicken over Brown Rice (crossover)

Tuesday: Creamy Tomato Pasta (I'll have mine over broccoli slaw). (S)

Wednesday: Picnic Supper (sandwiches & salad)

Thursday: BBQ Hamburgers (S)

Friday: Pizza (crossover)

Saturday:BBQ Salmon (S)

Sunday: Leftovers

Breakfasts: The usual (toast, cereal, oatmeal, eggs)

Lunches: The usual (sandwiches & leftovers)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Here's the plan for this week with my THM modifications:

Suppers

Monday: Taco Salad (I will skip the chips - S)
Tuesday: Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Veggies, Caesar Salad (I will skip the potatoes - S)
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Sweet & Sour Chicken over Rice (off plan - didn't get made last week)
Friday: Pizza (Using 5 Minute Artisan bread fermented 3 days to break down carbs - Crossover)
Saturday:Kommst Borscht (using leftover roast beef - I will skip potatoes in mine - S)
Sunday: Leftovers

Lunches

Flat Out Wraps with deli turkey, lettuce, mustard, mayo, cheese (technically off-plan as the Flat Out Wraps have slightly more carbs than allowed in store-bought bread...still, very close to being on plan S)

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches on regular bread for rest of the family
Leftovers

Breakfasts

The usual choice of regular toast, cereal, oatmeal, & fruit for the family

THM-Breakfast Options for Me
2 eggs fried in butter, Greek 0% yogurt with berries, sweetened with Truvia (S)
Volcano Mudslide Muffin (S)
2 Slices Low-Carb Sprouted Bread with Slim Belly Jelly, 0% Greek Yogurt  (E)
Oatmeal & Fruit (E)
THM Pancakes with either Slim Belly Jelly if E pancakes or Truvia-Sweetened Whipped Cream if making S pancakes

Snacks:
A whole lotta of the "Fat Stripping Frappes"...
Might attempt the secret agent brownies...

Monday, June 30, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Last week was a busy one. My menu got switched around quite a bit, and I ended up making quick things like Taco Salad instead of items on my menu. Many of the meals on this week's plan will look the same as the last few weeks since I haven't got around to making them yet and need to use up the ingredients I have for them!

My menu is mostly THM-friendly or can be easily adapted for the THM lifestyle. I have found that since starting to follow THM (I'm only following it about 60% of the time), the weight is starting to slowly come off again after being stalled for a couple of months, so I think I will continue what I'm doing and keep following THM principles the best I can, while allowing myself some off-plan meals once in awhile.

Monday: Cheesy Spinach Mushroom Chicken Bake (S), Brown Rice, Buttered Broccoli
               *I will either skip the rice to keep this "S" or only have 1/4 cup of rice for an "S helper" meal. Since I'm nursing, it's important that I eat enough carbs.*

Tuesday:  Tuscan Vegetable Soup and Sourdough Bread (E) / Leftovers for family

Wednesday: Stuffed Peppers (S) & Buttered Vegetables & Salad

Thursday: BBQ Steak & Caesar Salad (S) (also put potatoes on grill for rest of the family)

Friday: Pizza on the Grill...using sourdough bread recipe and reduced fat cheese (E or crossover)

Saturday: Sweet & Sour Chicken & Rice (definitely off plan...I'll just watch portion control! This is one recipe I will not be sacrificing for THM as it's a family favourite!! )

Sunday: Leftovers


BREAKFASTS
Baked Oatmeal Revised (E) (THM - style) topped with fresh fruit *Made this on the weekend, and it was very good! I love baked oatmeal, and this tastes very, very close to my usual non-THM recipe, so I'm pretty happy to have found a recipe for Baked Oatmeal that works for THM*
Eggs fried in butter and topped with cheese (S) X 2
Volcano Mudslide Muffin topped with Greek Yogurt & Berries (S) (X 2)
Stovetop Oatmeal (E)
Toasted Sourdough Bread with Scrambled Egg whites, Greek Yogurt & Berries (E)

LUNCHES
THM-friendly leftovers for me all week

Kids/Hubby
Leftovers X 2
Sandwiches X 3
Pancakes X 1
Mac N' Cheese X 1

THM DESSERTS/SNACKS (so I don't feel too left out when hubby is snacking on delicious things in the evening!)
Skinny Chocolate (S)
Popcorn (E or crossover with butter)
Berry Cheesecake Crunch (S)
Vanilla Crumble (S)
Celery & Peanut Butter (S)
Skinny Frappe (frozen coffee cubes, cottage cheese, truvia, almond milk, cocoa, vanilla blended. Sounds gross, but it actually tastes pretty good. Cottage cheese just thickens it up and addds protein since I don't have whey protein powder yet)
Cottage Berry Whip (FP)

GOALS
Exercise 3 times
Baby/Books 1 hour
Photo Albums 1 hour

*Linking up to Menu Plan Monday hosted by orgjunkie.com*

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Menu Plan...A Little Late

Last week I did a modified version of Trim Healthy Mama. I am not 100% on plan, but I think this is what will work for me. The full-out THM way of eating is just not going to work for me. Been there. Done that. Major fail. However, I still think many of their principles work and are doable, so I'm willing to give some THM a try....but I'm going to be all rebellious and do it my own way. I wish I didn't have to even bother with THM, to be honest, but the weight this time was just not coming off with my usual counting calories & exercising. That always worked before, but this time, it did not seem to work very well. I got discouraged, stopped exercising, ate horribly, and it didn't even seem to make a difference (as in, I didn't seem to gain either). Weird. I was stuck at the same weight for 3 months, and if nothing changes...well, nothing changes. Thus, things must change. Profound, I know. And, I'm just not really loving wearing maternity clothes at 4 months postpartum. I'm far too stubborn and cheap to go out and buy new clothes, so I need to get this weight off, so I can fit into normal clothes again!  

Life has been overwhelming me in every way lately, and I've been feeling really, really s-t-r-e-s-s-e-d.  It seems as though I am truly working 24 hours a day with little to no rest (although that can't quite be true or I wouldn't be writing this! It HAS taken me 4 days just to write this, though. Little snippets, here and there :-). We hit the ground running around 7 a.m., and it's just go go go after that until I crash into bed at midnight (usually later) with a baby who enjoys an all night feast and sleeps very little. It's such a dichotomy that I can feel so fully blessed and incredibly stressed at the same time...
..."Such is life, Pip. Such is life."

I found Gwen's tips for busy mama's to stay on plan very helpful for planning on how to make this work without causing much extra work for me.

Monday:  Stuffed Peppers (S) (didn't get made last week), Tossed Salad with S dressing
Change of Plans....had a freezer spaghetti pie meal instead.

Tuesday: Steak on bbq (S) (didn't get made last week), Mashed Potatoes (I will skip these), Caesar Salad without the croutons to keep this (S)
Change of plans. Had leftovers.

WednesdayStuffed Peppers (S)

Thursday: Cheesy Spinach & Mushroom Chicken (S), Leftover Mashed Potatoes (I will skip these), Buttered Veggies (S), Broccoli Slaw Salad (S)

Friday:   Tuscan Vegetable Soup & Sourdough Bread (E), Cottage Berry Whip (E)

Saturday: Homemade Pizza on Gwen's sourdough bread (crossover but still on plan.)

Sunday: Leftovers

Breakfasts:
The kids and hubby will have their usual quick breakfasts (toast, fruit, eggs, cereal, oatmeal)
I will be having quick THM-friendly breakfasts.This was not an issue at all last week as I love eggs, cheese, omelets, cottage cheese, and 0% greek yogurt with berries sweetened with Truvia. All of these foods are on-plan, and I don't mind eating the same sort of things for breakfast every day.

I had a Volcano Mud Slide Muffin  topped with 0% yogurt sweetened with Truvia & berries for breakfast last week. This was surprisingly pretty good.  It only takes about 2 minutes to make, too, which is a pllus! I was really skeptical to make it as I had not had success with THM muffins last time I attempted them, but I have been having success with Truvia. It tastes so much better than plain stevia. I will definitely be adding this to my usual breakfasts.

Lunches:
*I plan to eat leftovers for lunch when possible since they are all THM-friendly or can be adapted to be THM-friendly*
*Lunches around here are quick. I add raw veggies & fruit to our simple and often not-so-healthy mains for the kids & hubs*

Grilled Cheese & Cream of Tomato Soup 
Hot Dogs
Ham & Cheese Sandwiches
Crackers, Cheese, Pickles, Veggies, & Fruit
Pita Pizzas
Pizza Pockets
Pancakes (on Saturday... I will probably try THM-friendly pancakes for myself and make usual pancakes for the rest of the family)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Brielle's Birth Story - Part 1

When I first found out I was pregnant with our 3rd child, I was very happy, excited, nervous, and a little bit scared/anxious, if I'm being completely honest. Our circumstances were quite different this time as we were in the middle of struggling and praying through some potential major changes in our life. We had felt ready and called to have a 3rd child, but then suddenly life got really crazy. We were stressed out. Big time. No, we'd better wait a bit longer, we thought. I doubted...but God's plan is perfect... at this point I was already expecting! :-). I'm sure my main prayer throughout my entire pregnancy was for greater faith


Truthfully, I do not really enjoy being pregnant. Some people feel wonderful being pregnant - I am not one of those people. Though I am grateful and feel blessed to be able to carry a child, and I have enjoyable moments being pregnant, I struggle throughout my pregnancies. I actually knew I was pregnant before I even took the test because I was so horribly nauseous right from the start. After experiencing awful morning sickness with my first pregnancy and not wanting to endure that again, I headed straight to the doctor for a pregnancy test and prescription. I likely would have had awful, debilitating morning sickness with this pregnancy, but I took medication (the highest dose) for it right from the start to ease it, though I was still glued to the couch and feeling quite sick for the first 4 months. It would have been far, far worse without the medication, though.  I think I gained 30 pounds in just the first trimester. Hardest of all, though, was the depression that I struggled through (and blogged a bit about) during the pregnancy. Our stressful circumstances combined with the hormones of pregnancy really tested me and stretched my faith throughout the pregnancy. I had not experienced that kind of emotional and mental turmoil since middle school. Nearly every day I fell in a heap in the bathroom sobbing my heart out before the Lord. I truly felt as though I was in a pit that I could not get out of unless God would pull me out. It was difficult. I didn't feel like "myself" at all. I didn't want to be around anyone...not even closest friends and family....because I just felt so....off. I just wanted to be alone all the time, but I knew that that would only make things worse, so I forced myself to try to spend time with people even when I didn't feel like it.

My due date was set for February 14. I felt that likely my "real" due date fell somewhere between February 8 and February 14, but because I seem to go way overdue (11 days and 9 days) and after calculating things out, we set it for February 14. My midwife was leaving town on February 14, and we joked that I would go into labour the day she was leaving as she had missed Nathanael's birth, too. (My 2nd midwife ended up delivering him, and I had a great experience with her).

Around February 8, my Braxton Hicks contractions started picking up and becoming quite strong. I remember attending my husband's grandpa's 80th birthday party and being distracted by them. I was hoping the spicy Chinese food we ate for supper would trigger real labour :-).
We did not attend church the next day because I felt that I wouldn't be able to hide when I was having the B.H. contractions (and we have to drive out quite far to get to church). For the whole next week, I had strong Braxton Hicks contractions that would wake me up at night. It was reminiscent of my pregnancy and labour with Nathanael, and I knew this could go on for weeks yet, so I wasn't too concerned as they were definitely not "real" labour-like contractions.

On February 14th, I woke up around 4:30 a.m. with contractions, but unlike the strong Braxton Hicks contractions I had been experiencing for the past week, these ones hurt...like "real" contractions. They affected my back, front, and legs. They came in waves with definite peaks of intensity/pain. Those who have experienced labour know what I'm talking about. They started off coming about every 9 minutes, like clockwork. Then, every 6 minutes. They were getting more painful and closer together and lasting longer. Once they started coming every 5 minutes and lasting for a minute, I called my parents to come drive in. About 45 minutes after calling them the first time, I called again, asking them to hurry because now they were coming every 3 to 4 minutes and were getting much more painful (My parents still had a bit of a drive to get to our house and the intensity of the contractions had me a bit concerned that if things kept picking up, I could be entering transition soon.) My parents arrived, and I called the midwife to let her know I was in labour. I was convinced this was the real deal. We decided I would call the midwife again in 2 hours to check-in unless I could not handle it at home before then. At this point, I was breathing through them and not able to talk during the contractions. My whole body was even shaking through some of them (which was kind of freaking my sister out, I think). I was sure baby was on her way, likely to arrive that day, possibly even that afternoon. Through the contractions I would think about Brielle and remind myself that "God is my strength," which is the meaning of her name.

To be continued...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Menu Plan

Monday: Cream of Broccoli Soup & Biscuits (double and freeze some for a friend)

Tuesday: Cheeseburger Pie & Mashed Potatoes

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Stuffed Peppers

Friday: BBQ Steaks

Saturday: Homemade Pizza (or possibly pack sandwiches for a family picnic)

Sunday: Leftovers

My goals last week were to potty train Nathanael and get back to exercising. Neither happened, though I did get a bit more prepared for potty training Nathanael (bought him some more underwear.)

My goals this week:
Exercise 4 times
Make homemade pizza pockets
Get freezer meals ready to take to a friend in need for next week
Eat a bit more THM style this week. (just myself...I will aim for THM friendly meals for myself for breakfast and lunch and a few suppers).
Finish thank you cards
Try to donate/sell a few items
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