Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Fast Five Wednesday Check In

We're holding steady folks!  I am actually pleased with holding steady.  I truly expected to gain at least a pound due to the increase of carbs in my diet yesterday.  

Yesterday was tough!  Detox flu was strong but although I ate some carbs, they were all on plan.  No sugar or wheat for me!  Today I am scaling back the carbs.  I did start my day with a low fat breakfast but I've been eating low carb for the rest of the day and so far no complaints from GB (gallbladder).

I will be traveling tomorrow to go visit my family and coming home on Friday evening so I will not be tracking or blogging for the next couple of days.  I will let you know how it goes on Saturday.

Number Roll:
Weight Loss - same as yesterday
Food - I started out with low carb (THM S) meal but switched over to low fat the rest of the day (THM E).  I did eat mostly in a 5 hours window.
Exercise - 20 minutes on the elliptical, 30 push ups, 30 sit ups
Numbers:  1741 calories, 113 g net carbs, 72 g fat, 113 g protein, 5884 steps

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Fast Five Tuesday Check In

Weigh in went as expected.  Maybe a tiny loss but it looks like the same number to me.  I don't have a fancy digital scale, just an old analog one so it's hard to judge those half pounds you know.

Today I woke up so hungry that I started eating at 9:00 which means my last meal will be at 2:00.  It's going to be a looooong night y'all.  My gallbladder is starting to protest as well so today I am actually adding in some carbs.  I'm hoping for a burst of energy from it.  So far it's not happening.

So here's my numbers today:

Weight loss:  no change but still happy with the 5 pound loss yesterday
Food:  Low Carb (THM S) I should mention that the THM Loaded Squash Calorie is calorie laden and watch your serving size!
Exercise:  Busy cleaning house which caused sweat loss but no formal exercise.
Numbers: 1555 calories, 16 g carbs, 113 g fat, 104 g protein, 4267 steps
Just planned on going out of town on Thursday and coming home on Friday.  I will try to keep within the five hour window or no longer than an eight hour window.  I will stubbornly refuse sugar and hopefully refined wheats as well.  But honestly, whenever I travel I just want to enjoy it, not be a slave to any diet.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Fast Five Monday Check In

Can I get a high five??  Yep, the scale was very nice to me this morning and I have lost the five pounds that I have gained lately.

I really do not deserve it.  Yesterday I was the biggest couch potato ever.  It's not often that my hubby comes in and we settle into a TV marathon but we watched a lot of Roadkill yesterday.  I know it's kinda a man show but I love it too and my stomach is hurting from laughing so hard and so long.

Here are the miracle numbers:

Weight loss: 5 pounds
Food:  All low carb (THM S) in a five hour window.  I was terrible about drinking water or sippers and indulged in Zevia sodas instead.
Numbers: 1464 calories, 22 g carbs, 115 g fat, 90 g protein 
Exercise:  I laughed a lot and had to get up and let the dog in and out several times.  I managed 2844 steps.

Likely the weight loss is water loss.  I've been eating low carb lately and my muscles were resting from the increased exercise. I'm hoping maybe a little tiny bit was fat loss.

Today was my day to run errands and I've been busy cleaning up the house after spring break so not planning on formal exercise today.  I really am not sure how long I can keep eating low carb before my gallbladder says no more.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Fast Five Sunday Check In

For the next week I have decided to check in daily here.  I'm trying out the Fast Five Fast and hoping it works!

Fast Five means I eat in a 5 hour window.  I try to only eat between 12 - 5 pm.  So far it has been keeping me satisfied in fullness but actually almost too much so.  My calories have been pretty low and I need find the sweet spot for weight loss.  I may need to open up my window in order to eat enough.

Here's the facts Jack:

weight loss:  none but at least no more gain
Food:  I ate a low carb day (THM S)
Numbers:  1389 calories, 58 grams carbs, 68 grams fat, 113 protein
Exercise: 30 push ups, 30 sit ups, 20 minutes on the elliptical, 6010 steps

Today is Sunday and I am planning on another low carb day but no exercise.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Am I Skinny Yet? Friday Check In 3/18/16

I really hate having to post this check in but to me this blog is about accountability so I have to.
Yep, as of this morning I have gained back the 5 pounds I lost a couple of check ins ago.  I'm trying to not stress about it because of two reasons I know that the scale just does not understand.  First, I have been exercising quite hard this past week.   Not run a marathon hard but for me, I have stepped it up a bit and my muscles are tired and holding water.  I think this because yesterday I weighed 2 less pounds than today.  I really worked hard on the elliptical yesterday and drank a lot of water.  Secondly, my clothes seem to fit better.  Losing inches is better than losing weight right?  I know, me too, I'd rather lose weight.  How crazy is that?

Here's a few stats for the number nerd in me.

150 push ups
150 sit ups
5740 average steps - a mixture of elliptical and outside walks.  This number is pretty much made up...I cannot get my Vivofit to sync but I know I've averaged over 5000 steps everyday and some days were in the 7000's.

I did not really track my diet very well but I will say that I ate too much pizza.  Did I really say that? I made pizza early on in the week and some how my husband missed out on it and requested I make it again.  I was more than happy to do so.  So lots of pizza and a bag of Ruffles did not help the weigh in at all.

Since completing my gallbladder cleanse I have been struggling in staying faithful to my diet plan.  Trim Healthy Mama apparently is still on vacation and 5:2 Fasting is in the principals office.  Seriously, I get so grumpy toward my family on my fasting days that I cannot even stand me.  The past few days I've been on the Fast Five.  Basically I only eat in a five hour window.  It keeps the grumpies away but not sure it's helping the weight loss department.  I will give it another week, hopefully with more control, and rethink it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Frugal Eats - THM Special Ingredients on a Budget

As I am reading the Facebook boards it seems a huge concern for many is the cost of starting and maintaining the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle.  Really, it is as expensive as you want to make it.  The plan itself can be successful with the foods you eating right now, minus the refined sugars and flour, simply by separating your carbs from your fats.  

Let's say you want to follow the plan a bit more closely than that but finding it's not fitting your budget, what can you do?  The first idea I have for you to consider, and this one might hurt a bit, is to step away from the new cookbook.  I know, I know, and I'm sorry to say it out loud myself.  I love the cookbook.  It's full of tasty recipes and it's fun to check in with your favorite online  groups and see what everyone is making and join in the fun.

The problem with the cookbook is that it uses so many special ingredients and the cost of the products can be enough to break the bank and when you add on to it shipping cost, because so many items can only be found online, then it becomes overwhelming. 

 OK, I feel that you are not loving this idea of shelving the cookbook, so let's work with it.  Here's a few suggestions.

 Be discerning when using special ingredients.  

The first item that comes to mind is collagen.  I kind of think people are overusing this one.  I see pictures posted of meals including eggs, bacon and coffee with collagen or whey added in.  The purpose of collagen or whey is to add protein.  If you already have bacon and eggs on your plate you have plenty of protein.  We each have different protein needs but for me, your average not-too-busy-stay-at-home-mom, my needs are roughly 20 grams per meal.  One egg is about 8 grams of protein.  Just so you know, when you consume more protein than you need, it can lead to a weight gain.  Now when you sit down to a bowl of oatmeal with no protein, by all means add that scoop of collagen or if you are making a shake or smoothie for a stand alone meal, get that whey powder in there. 

Gluccie is another ingredient that is not always necessary even when it's written in the recipe.  A lot of shake recipes call for cottage cheese, whey and gluccie or xanthan gum.  Uhmm, why?  All three of those ingredients will add creaminess and thickness to your shake and I find you really only need to choose one.  Yesterday I made a shake that simply had 1 small banana, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 cup nut milk and sweetener.  It was delicious.  Thick and creamy and I never even missed the whey or gluccie.  Play around with your recipes and find what works for you.  You can always add it in if you find you have to have it.

What about sweeteners?  Recipes in the cookbook can call for any of 4 or 5 different sweeteners and often a combination of them.  Is this necessary?  I don't think so.  Personally I only use stevia (Better Stevia), copycat blend of Gentle Sweet and raw honey. I find pure stevia is best in cold food and drinks and bearable in my coffee.  If I am cooking, baking or anything with chocolate (for some reason stevia is like kryptonite to chocolate), I use Gentle Sweet.   When I am making sauces I love to use raw honey.  I'm not comfortable feeding a lot of stevia to my five year old or husband so when I make pasta sauce, ketchup, salad dressing and the such I use raw honey.  I know it will spike my blood sugar a bit more but it is nutritious and I don't have diabetes so I will chance it.  

Baking Blend it's your turn for me to pick on you.  Personally I love using my copycat version of Baking Blend.  But do you have to have it?  Nope.  You do not even have to have the expensive nut flours.  There are tons of recipes online that simply use oat flour.  Just whiz up your rolled oats in the blender and you have oat flour.  Nice, easy and inexpensive but oat flour can only be used in an E setting.  I saw on a blog earlier tonight that said you can replace oat flour for the baking blend 1:1 in the cookbook.  If you are looking for cheap S recipes, try to master coconut flour.  It's tricky but the least expensive of nut flours and again, there are tons of recipes online. 

Extracts and spices - Uggh, I have a spice rack full of regrets.  I have spent and wasted so much money because I had to have that extract for that recipe or that expensive specialty spice. Seriously give it some thought if you actually need that extract or spice.  Can you use vanilla extract instead or find a way to use the spices you already own to make a masala blend?  One day maybe I will actually make Buttah Chicken...

What are my must have speciality items?  MCT oil, gluccie and whey powder are items I use daily.  The months that I cannot afford them I simply use coconut oil and cottage cheese. If I could only have one, I would pick MCT oil.  Mainly because I am a sipper junkie and I like how it helps the the sippers to emulsify.  

What about you?  Any hints or tricks to help the mama's out?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Am I Skinny Yet? Friday Check In 3/11/16

Confession: I am way too chicken to check in today.  For the past two weeks I have been struggling with my gallbladder and I still feel very bloated.  I did complete my cleanse so things should start feeling better but not today.

I decided that instead of checking in today, I would just claim it as the official restart of my diet.  The Iditarod Dogsled Race is being ran right now in Alaska and they always have a restart so I decided to be cool like that.
If I did have the nerve to check in it would look something like this:

Meals fueled by Trail Mix and Cheez Its- all of them

I did do a bit better with exercise.  For a week there I was killing it with sit ups, push ups and the elliptical.  And due to that I do feel like my clothes are fitting better.
Here's my battle plan for the coming week to get back on track.
1.  Separate my fuels Trim Healthy Mama Style
2.  Fast 2 or 3 days.
3.  Exercise keeping my steps over 5000 if stuck inside or over 7500 if the weather lets me get out.  I use a Garmin Vivofit fitness band to track my steps.

Ready, Steady, GO!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Daily Eats - Easy THM meal ideas!

I don't know about you, but sometimes I just need to eat.  Nothing fancy just satisfying.  I must confess that I am  also not crazy about cleaning my kitchen all day and dragging twenty different ingredients out just to make one little meal.
Considering all this, I am  happy that I am a person that does not mind eating the same foods over and over.  With that in mind, I am sharing my short list of daily foods I eat, over and over again.  I usually eat at least one of these meals everyday sometimes more.  They take minimal time, dishes and ingredients which is a win, win, win!

You will notice two things here.  I have a love affair with Laughing Cow Cheese and I also love my cast iron griddle.  I cook everything on this griddle and all it takes to clean it is a swipe of a paper towel. 

1. Toasted Turkey Sandwich:  2 slices sprouted bread (Alvarado Street is my favorite), 1 wedge of Laughing Cow cheese, 2 slices deli meat.  Lightly spray one side of bread with coconut oil spray and lay down on griddle or skillet.  Spread the laughing cow cheese on the dry side and lay down your deli meat to warm up.  Once the bread is toasted, assemble the sandwich and add any veggies you want to it.  This is a THM-E meal. Great paired with an apple!

2. Breakfast Burrito:  1 low carb tortilla, 1 wedge Laughing Cow Cheese, 2 scrambled eggs, hot sauce.  On griddle scramble eggs in coconut oil.  While eggs are cooking spread LLC on tortilla.  Once the eggs are cooked, place eggs on tortilla and put tortilla on the hot griddle to get warm and toasty.  Squirt in some hot sauce and roll and eat. THM S (Bonus points if there is enough coconut oil on griddle to actually fry the tortilla)
3.  Deviled eggs:  Boiled eggs, mayo, salt and pepper.  All that an a generous squirt of sriracha sauce...THM S 
4.  Wasa crackers topped with Laughing Cow Cheese and Slim Belly Jelly or your favorite sugar free jelly.  You can have two crackers, 1 LLC and jelly for a Fuel Pull snack or double it all for an E snack.  Awesome for when you want something crunchy and sweet!
5.  Meat, Cheese and Olive plate.  Assemble your favorite slices of deli meats, cheeses and olives add a sprinkle of nuts and munch away.  I love this dinner when we are having a family movie night.  To appease your conscience feel free to add some raw veggies.  THM S
6.  Sweet potatoes - Baked with a side of cottage cheese or sliced into fries.  Instant happiness. THM E
7.  Breadless Breakfast Sandwich.  On griddle or skillet, fry eggs over medium or however you like them.  Add your favorite deli meat (ham, bacon, turkey) to warm up on griddle.  Once the eggs are cooked layer the deli meat, thin slices of cheese, spinach and top with eggs.  THM S

So there you have it.  I'd like to defend myself and say that I usually eat these dishes with a side of veggies.  I keep a large dish of steamed veggies in the fridge at all times as well as coleslaw.  I know there is a lot of heavy S meals with the cheese.  Feel free to change things up to suit your taste and omit the cheese if you are looking for Deep S meals.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Amazing BBQ Sauce with THM Modifications - Favorite Recipes

For many, many years I tried to make the perfect BBQ sauce and failed so many times I was ready to settle for just an edible sauce.  The foodie in me was stubborn and unwilling to try a ketchup based sauce so I kept on buying my favorite Sweet Baby Rays.  But one day, I relented and made this sauce and have never looked back.  It is amazing and made with a ketchup base but so amazing the foodie in me just doesn't care anymore.

Amazing Bar B Q Sauce

1/4 cup diced onion
1 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic (or more to taste) or equivalent granulated garlic

2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (I sub Braggs here)
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Saute onion in oil until soft.  Add garlic and saute another minute.

Add remaining ingredients to blender along with garlic and onion mixture.  
Puree until smooth.

Yes, it really is just that simple.  

THM modifications:  Substitute with sugar free ketchup. There is a good recipe in the THM cookbook for ketchup or you can buy one.  Make sure you use blackstrap molasses and I like to use coconut oil to saute the onion and garlic in. This would be an E recipe.

I wish I could give credit where it is due, but I really do not know who created this recipe.  I've been making it for years so I'm guessing I found it in a cookbook and not pinterest. If this is your creation, I thank you from the bottom of my BBQ loving heart.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Am I Skinny Yet? Nope! Friday Check In 3-4-16

I actually am skipping this check in and I am bummed about it because the diet experiment was going so well.  Thanks gallbladder.
I have a sluggish gallbladder that requires some maintenance a few time a year.  After doing a lot of research, I decided to try and keep it for as long as I can, even though it can be a pain.  I have blogged about it in the past, so if you are curious about how I do this click here. You really may want to read it if you have any of these symptoms.

It does impact my dieting and fasting for this next week.  I am chugging apple juice like there is no tomorrow to help soften the stones before I evict them.  I drink well over 500 calories a day in juice alone so fasting is not going to be effective and I am eating a low fat diet (bye bye pizza) and I'm constantly hungry.  I cannot wait to have this over.

I'm planning to do the cleansing fast on Monday which means Tuesday will be spent expelling the stones and life gets to resume on Wednesday.  I will let you know next Friday just what the damage was.  The good news is that the bloating and weight gain usually goes away pretty quickly.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My Top 20 Favorite Trim Healthy Mama Recipes (with page numbers)

I really hope people do not think I am hating on the Trim Healthy Mama Plan. I'm not, if anything I just hate that it didn't work for me.  It was worth it all just to come away with some awesome recipes and here are my top 20 THM recipes, with page numbers, and in order of awesomeness.

20.  Speedy Thin Crust (pg 278 No More Fads Book) For a cheese crust, I appreciate that they tried to lighten the fat load, unlike the recipe gem I posted below.
19.  Waldorf Cottage Cheese Salad (pg 190 cookbook) Crunchy, creamy and sweet.
18.  Sweet Potato Fries (pg 217 cookbook) Actually sweet potato anything, particularly chili fries.
17.  Fat Stripping Frappas (pg 418 cookbook) I love the salted caramel version the best and the choco chip baby frap is brilliant on fasting days.
16.  Creamy Cheesy Chicken Crock Pot Meal (pg 314 No More Fads Book)  Easiest. Meal. Ever.  We love it with jalapenos.
15.  Mozzarella and Turkey Toast (pg 239 No More Fads Book) I love toasted sandwiches.  I love them for breakfast and lunch and dinner.  
14.  Loaded Fotato Soup (pg 294 No More Fads book) The most satisfying FP meal known to mankind.  You get to eat tons of this on a Fuel Cycle!
13.  Winter Wonderland Sipper (pg 405 cookbook)  Christmas in a jug everyday!
12.  Creamy Pearlchilada Bake (pg 143 cookbook)  Yes, it's worth making wonder wraps for.
11.  Mini White Cake with Butter Cream Frosting (pg 294 cookbook)  Great for the times you NEED cake, you know, like from the bakery.


10. Cookie Bowl Oatmeal (pg 232 No More Fads Book).  It really does taste like a no bake cookie.  I prefer the recipe in the old book.
9.  Lazy Lasagna (pg 140 cookbook) Pretty much the easiest lasagna you will ever make and you don't miss the noodles!
8.  Singing Canary Sipper (pg 398 cookbook) I drink it almost everyday and I do think it gives you an energy boost.  Confession: I have never made it with fresh lemons *gasp*
7.  Slim Belly Jelly (pg 478 cookbook) I eat this a lot and get edgy if I run out of it.  A great FP snack is 2 Wasa crackers, 1 wedge on Laughing Cow Cheese divided on the crackers and a smear of Slim Belly Jelly.  Feels fancy with a cup of tea.
6.  Luscious Lemon Cake (pg 289 cookbook) It's a party in your mouth!
5.  Strawberry Cheesecake Shake (pg 412 cookbook)  I use this as a basic recipe and I often sub out flavors for the strawberries.  I have used lemon juice, cherries, pumpkin pie and it's all delicious.
4.  White Wicked Chili (pg 37 cookbook)  Utterly delicious and it's an E meal!
3.  Cottage Berry Whip ( pg 379 No More Fads book) When the rest of the family is eating ice cream in front of you, this may help...  It's also delicious paired up with a bowl of oatmeal.
2.  Pumpkin Pie Sipper (pg 401 cookbook) Hands down my favorite sipper. It's delicious and fills me up.   
1. Praline Protein Bars (pg 391 cookbook)  This is the single reason I buy special ingredients and it uses all the special ingredients.  You will never be tempted to buy Quest bars again.

You may be asking where the Cry No More Brownies and Good Girl Moonshine are at?  I haven't made the brownies due to my aversion to un-fried okra and GGMS just doesn't do it for me.  

I have also been struck with the thought that if you are not a follower of the Trim Healthy Mama Diet, this post probably sounds greek to you.  So I'm throwing in a recipe here for you.  My gallbladder actually groaned when I saw this one.
This post is to love on Trim Healthy Mama.  I came from a low carb lifestyle before THM and have other recipes that I love and I will share in the future.