Thursday, June 4, 2015

Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins - THM {E}, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Low Fat

Summer has officially arrived at our house. My oldest graduated from Kindergarten this week! All A's and the Reading Achievement Awards... It was a proud Mommy moment. :-)

Having all four boys home from school for the summer means LOTS of snack requests. As we continue in our journey of healthy eating I am always on the look out for easy recipes to fill my picky eaters with nutritious snacks rather than empty calories. We have enjoyed this Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Muffin recipe in the past, with whole wheat and honey it is great for the kids as is. However, since I have been a Trim Healthy Mama (affiliate) since March 2014 I wanted to convert the recipe to be on plan and be able to enjoy some of these yummy muffins as well.  I am please to say they turned out great!

Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins - THM {E}, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Low Fat
Makes 12 Muffins


1 Medium Sweet Potato, Cooked

2 Cups Oat Flour (Ground Old Fashioned Oats)
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

1/3 Cup Liquid Egg Whites (or whites from 2 large eggs)
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Cup of Water
1/4 Cup Sweet Blend/Truvia

6 doonks* (1/32 of a Teaspoon) Pure Stevia powder
*We started with just the Sweet Blend and added the Stevia, 2 doonks at a time until the desired sweetness was reached

Cook Sweet Potato with desired method (I used the Potato Sensor Cook option on my Microwave - could bake in 400 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes)

Preheat (or reduce) oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tin with paper liners

In Large Bowl: mix dry ingredients.
In Medium sized bowl: Peel and mash sweet potato add wet ingredients; except Stevia Powder. Mix well (I blended mine with an immersion blender until smooth, because I got one for Mother's Day and I love it and use it for everything!)

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined.  Taste and add Stevia accordingly.
Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake in preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 12-15 minutes

The original recipe calls for a almond/oat topping, I left this out as to not have to worry about adding any fat to this recipe to keep it well within {E} boundaries. 
Also, you could use all Stevia with this recipe and leave out the Sweet Blend, I might try this next time and add 1/4 Cup more water to make up the difference in bulk if necessary.

Converting recipes is always an experiment. I am grateful for my Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle and how it has not only given me food freedom but also more confidence in the kitchen!

Enjoy and have a happy and healthy summer!

Until Next Time,

Friday, April 10, 2015

Caramel Apple GGMS

Having great options for food and drinks is one of my favorite things about being On Plan with Trim Healthy Mama.(affiliate)
Just wanted to take a minute and share my favorite way to make Good Girl Moonshine (GGMS).
For a 1 quart jar:
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cap full (approximately 1/2 tsp) Caramel extract
1 rounded doonk of Stevia
A few shakes of Apple Pie Spice
A pinch of salt
Swirl to mix well. Fill jar with water and ice enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Glimpse Into My Trim Healthy Life : My Current Go-To Meals and Daily Exercise Routines

I am overwhelmed by the response to My One Year Trim Healthy Mama Update. Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement! I love our THM community!

A few people have asked about my daily meal plans and workout routines. Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom I normally freestyle my meals and fuels. However I find that I mainly stick to the same foods for a few weeks and then change it up to something different. In the beginning I made Choco Pudding and Chocolate MIMs all the time! I still have "Martha Stewart" dreams of beautifully organized weekly meal plans and full course family dinners, complete with beautiful desserts, but for now reality requires something a little different. :)

Please remember, every body is different and I have been (and still am) Breastfeeding a beautiful chubby baby boy during my journey on THM. Now that we are beginning to wean I am adjusting my caloric intake as not to over eat since I am not automatically burning an extra 500+ calories a day.

My current daily routine looks something like this:

(6:00am) Breakfast: Old Fashioned Oats (microwaved and un-soaked, because I can never remember to soak them, even though I eat oats every morning) with a scoop of unflavored protein powder (or liquid egg whites) and Polaner Strawberry Fruit Spread {E} - I also have my cup (16oz) of coffee with 1 Tablespoon of Beef Gelatin and 1 Tablespoon Half-n-Half

On the weekends I like to change it up with Strawberry Shortcake made with a Vanilla Coconut MIM, frozen strawberries and cream {S}

(9ish)Mid Morning Snack (one of the following):
  • Plain Greek Yogurt with Stevia and Berries {FP} 
  • 2 Slices of Ezekiel 4:9 (or Easy {E}) Toast with 1 Light Laughing Cow Wedge and Polaners Fruit Spread {E} 
  • Muffin In a Mug {S} ( if it has been a full 3 hours since breakfast)
(11:30-12pm)Lunch (one of the following):
  • Sweet Potato (microwaved) topped with a can of tuna, Greek Yogurt (or cottage cheese) and Mrs Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning and occasionally a sprinkle of skim mozzarella cheese. {E}
  • Brown Rice Bowl - Brown rice, black beans, steamed (or canned) veggies, canned tuna/salmon/chicken, greek yogurt and seasonings of choice {E}
  •  2 Hot Dogs (Premium Nitrate Free Turkey Franks) smothered in cheese wrapped in a Joseph's pita with a side of raw veggies and Ranch dip. {S}
  •  Just Like Campbell's Tomato Soup (page 292) with Grilled Cheese made on Bread In a Mug (page 265) {S}

(3pm-4pm)Afternoon Snack (one of the following):
  • Mixed Nuts and Oolong Tea {S}- usually thrown into a cup and eaten on the way to get my older two from school :-)
  • Apple Slices w/ 1 tsp Peanut Butter {E}
Dinner: A note about dinner time: Four nights a week my husband and I go to the gym, however our local gym does not provide childcare so we have to take turns after he gets home from work. So our week night dinners look a little different than the weekends. I also have four extremely picky eaters so most of the time I will fix the boys something and then use that time to clean my kitchen and then I will have a Whey Protein Smoothie after the gym.

(6:00pm) On non-gym nights:
  • Family Spaghetti Night (about once a week) made with Dreamfield's pasta, ground venison (cooked in bacon grease) and homemade sauce. {S}
  • Bacon & Cheesy Scrambled Eggs (or fried eggs on a bed of greens) {S}
  • Joseph's Pita Pizzas
  • Skinny Chocolate{S} (page 371)
  • Cake in Mug {S} (page 379)
  • Cheesecake Berry Crunch {S}  (page 373)
  • Frozen Berries with Cream {S} or Almond Milk {FP} poured over, let sit covered in the fridge for a few minutes and it starts to thaw the berries and freeze the cream... yum!
That is normally what my week looks like. I know I need to eat more greens and veggies but most times I am lucky just to have time to sit down and eat while my food is still hot! Sometimes I fill in the gaps with Earth Milk (Chapter 27) which is surprisingly really yummy.  I rarely eat {E} dinners because when I do I wake up starving in the middle of the night. Now that Spring is upon us our meals will probably change as we will be grilling out a lot more and the produce selection at the store increases in quality.


 As I mentioned above, my husband and I take turns going to the gym in the evenings. We tried for a few years to do the "home gym" thing but with four small children it just never worked out for us. As a one-income family of six, I debated for a long time about paying for a gym membership but as I began to seek God about it He opened the door and now I use that hour in the gym to be by myself (a miracle in itself) and recharge. It also is a reward of sorts for staying On Plan and continuing to pursue healthy living.

Since THM I have learned that it really isn't so much about calories in - calories out. It's about restoring your metabolism and fueling your body at the right times. So I don't worry so much about cardio-specific exercises. We go on hikes and walks as a family, so when I am at the gym I want to dedicate my time to strength training. So I lift weights. The real ones, where the guys normally work out. Because I want to be strong and have curves in the right places.

When I first started strength training (about 6 months after starting THM, when the bulk of my weight was off and I had tons more energy) I used this total body routine and really enjoyed it, however after 6 weeks I started to get bored and wanted to change it up. Since my husband is an avid body builder, he helped me plan out my current routine. I always make sure to research proper form and not lift too heavy. 

My Current Lifting Routine:

Back - 4 Sets of 12-15 Reps - 30 second rest between sets
  • Lat Pull Down
  • Upright Row
  • Seated Row - Narrow Grip
  • Back Extension
Biceps - 4 Sets of 12-15 Reps - 30 second rest between sets
  • Barbell Curl
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curl
  • Reverse Curl
  • Hammer Curl - Drop Sets
Chest/Shoulders: 4 Sets of 12-15 Reps - 30 second rest between sets
  • Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Cable Flys
  • Shoulder Press - Drop sets
  • Lateral Raises - Drop sets
Triceps: 4 Sets of 12-15 Reps - 30 second rest between sets

  • Cable Machine Rope Pressdowns
  • Cable Machine Overhead Extensions with Bar
  • Bench Dips to Failure
Legs & Butt: 3 Sets of 12-15 reps - 30 second rest between sets
  • Deep Squats
  • Sumo Squats
  • Stiff Leg Dead Lift
  • Glute Bridge
  • Leg Press
  • Sideways Leg Press
  • Walking Lunges (20)
  • Leg Extensions
  • Leg Curls 
Calves : 3 Sets of 12-15 Reps - 30 second rest between sets (one set toes pointed straight, one set toes pointed out, one set toes pointed in)
  • Seated Calf Raise
  • Standing Calf Raise (on Smith Machine, use step)
  • Leg Press Calf Raise
Abs: I currently am in the process of healing my Diastasis Recti - I am down to a 2.5 finger gap and am able to do more advanced core workouts.  I am currently using this one.

So that basically sums up my week! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. However, don't copy me, find what works best for you and your life on this healthy journey. Your Trim Healthy Mama (affiliate) Book is your best resource. Email the staff at THM or visit one of the Facebook group pages because I know from personal experience, the THM community is always there to help with questions.

Until Next Time, Enjoy Finding Your TRIM!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How I found My Trim : My One Year Trim Healthy Mama Update

I almost don't even know where to begin. ONE YEAR! I'd say I can't believe it, but every time I watch my 14 month old attempt a new milestone, I am reminded how fast the time has gone. He is running after his big brothers now, and thanks to Trim Healthy Mama, (affiliate) I can too!

I began this journey in March 2014. Two months postpartum with my fourth (and final) little boy. Having topped the scale at 212 pounds during my pregnancy I was very disheartened at the idea of beginning a weight loss plan. I knew (or I thought I did) from previous experience, how difficult it was going to be to watch what I ate and find the time to put in those hours burning calories on the treadmill. Thankfully my friend Jesi didn't give up on me. She just kept mentioning her success with this book she had about switching up fuel sources and cutting out the sugar. Looking back now, I'll have to blame my delay on our long distance relationship. Because when you see a person shrinking before your eyes it's hard to argue with the results. However her persistence finally broke through my hesitations and I bought the book. You can read about my first six months and an overview of the book here Food Freedom: My Six Month Trimaversary.

The last six months have continued to bring forth more health and freedom. I can't say I have reached my goal weight, only because I never set one. My goal is: To be in the best shape of my life, by my 30th Birthday. I still have one year left to reach that goal but thanks to THM all I have left to do is tone up this trim and healthy body. Officially, I have lost 65 pounds and gone from a size 18 down to a size 4. My only regrets are not starting sooner and not taking my measurements. Since THM is a protein centered lifestyle, inches fly off faster, and more consistently, than pounds because you aren't losing your muscle along with the excess fat.
The wonderful thing about THM (besides eating chocolate and bacon and shrinking without effort) is that it's designed for life. So now that I am nearing the end of my loosing phase I am slowly transitioning over to maintenance. I am beginning to incorporate both carbohydrates and fats in my meals to maintain a healthy weight and satisfy my dietary needs. I may still have a few inches here and there to loose but I am discovering that I feel better with some S-Helpers and Crossovers added to my week.  Some of my favorite go to foods are Gwen's Nest, Easy {E} Bread, Skinny Chocolate (Page 371), Choco Pudding (Page 366), Joseph's Pita Pizzas, Vanilla Coconut Muffin In A Mug, Frozen berries topped with heavy cream, Oatmeal with Polaners All Fruit Spread, Bacon, Peanut Butter Yogurt... this list could go on for a long time. So I will stop here and say, whatever you are craving there is a high probability that you can satisfy that craving and stay 100% On Plan. There's no need to cheat when you love the foods you are "allowed" to eat.

One of the greatest joys of being On Plan with Trim Healthy Mama is being able to inspire others to begin their journey to health. My success has made a positive impact on my family and friends and I can joyfully announce I will be celebrating my One Year Trimaversary by facilitating my first THM group session with a number of the ladies that have been watching me shrink this past year. I love that THM not only opens the door for physical health, but spiritual health as well. God desires us to glorify Him with our lives, wholly and completely, including how we steward our bodies. He provides us with grace and healing through community and fellowship and I am looking forward to being used by Him to encourage others who have joined me on this journey.

Another blessing THM has shown me is how to celebrate Non-Scale Victories. Here are some of mine from this past year:

  • Being able to wear my wedding rings again
  • Feeling full on a "diet"
  • Comfortably crossing my legs
  • Being told I don't look like I've ever given birth, especially to 4 babies in 6 years.
  • Being called "A Tiny Little Thing"
  • Confidently wearing horizontal stripes
  • Feeling skinny 
  • Contentment
I could continue this list for pages! I can truly say Trim Healthy Mama has changed my life. I feel good, even when life gets in the way and I am stuck eating something off plan, there is no guilt, maybe some bloating and indigestion, but no condemnation. Just a few hours until I get a fresh start and I can reward myself with something good for me. Because my mindset has changed; I truly believe it is more fulfilling and rewarding to eat On Plan than have a "cheat". Thanks to Trim Healthy Mama, and the persistence of a good friend, I have found my trim and gained a lifetime of food freedom.

Until Next Time,

(If you are interested in learning more about Trim Healthy Mama feel free to contact me or visit any of the links on my page)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

40 Bags in 40 Days 2015 Decluttering Challenge

Tomorrow I am officially starting the 40 Bags in 40 Days 2015 Decluttering Challenge!

A family of six can accumulate a very large amount of stuff! We are so blessed to have more than we need in every area of our home. The excess makes it difficult to keep the house clean and impossible to organize. I find myself shopping for more organizational tools when really I should just get rid of what I don't use! By nature it is difficult for me to let go of items for fear of the "what if" but God has not given us a Spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7)... so now I am looking forward to spending a moment each day for the next 40 days to cut back on the unnecessary and find freedom in a simplified lifestyle. 

Follow my progress on Instagram and join the challenge yourself!
join the decluttering revolution! Challenge yourself to simplify and get rid of 40 bags in 40 days. #40bagsin40days 

Until Next Time... Enjoy some Decrapifying! :)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

DIY Liquid Laundry Soap: Effective, Easy, and Cheap.

Four boys produce endless amounts of dirty laundry. This is a fact I am slowly coming to terms with and I am finding new ways to make laundry day(s) more enjoyable. I started with my laundry room makeover and I love my laundry room now. I am always reminded to be grateful to have a place to tackle the (sometimes overwhelming) task of cleaning clothes and a door to hide the mess when I just don't have the time to get to it!

Laundry soap was another area I have been looking to change up; from buying store bought to making my own. I have tried a couple different recipes and after a few months of use I have found this one to be faithful and true. Not only is it super easy to make it, it is very cost effective and WORKS SO WELL!

I have tried it on my toughest jobs (like dried on blueberry stains!) and each time the boys clothes come out clean and fresh.

What you need:

  • 3 Tbsps Borax
  • 3 Tbsps Washing Soda
  • 2 Tbsps Blue Dawn Dish Soap
  • 2 Cups Hot Water
  • One Gallon Container
Find a one-gallon container with a tight-fitting lid. I reused my store bought detergent dispenser and it works perfectly. Pour in the borax, washing soda and liquid Dawn. Add two cups of very hot water. Apply the lid and shake until the soda and borax have dissolved. Now fill the container the remainder of the way with cold water. That's it. You now have highly effective laundry detergent and you didn't have to grate/cook/blend or wait for anything.

This recipe multiplies well. I made 1.75 gallons (the size of the store bought detergent dispenser) using this conversion which is slightly more concentrated, so you can tweak it to your needs:
  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1/2 cup Washing Soda
  • 1/2 cup Blue Dawn
I use the cup that came with my store bought detergent and fill it 3/4 full for most loads (it comes to approximately 1/2 cup). I also add 1-2 Tablespoons of Oxiclean to all my laundry. If I remember or happen to catch a stain I try to pretreat with Shout, but it doesn't always happen. I also use Cleaning Strength Vinegar in my rinse cycle. I add it directly to my fabric softener dispenser in my washer. This helps soften and prevent potential soap build up in the clothes.

As I go about detoxifying my home I am planning on making this recipe with Pure Castile soap in replace of the Dawn, but for now this works great and saves a lot of money!

Until Next Time, enjoy saving some time and money and getting clean clothes!