Thursday, June 30, 2016

Planning a Trim Healthy Mama 4th of July

The 4th of July is fast approaching, and I've compiled a list of some great dishes you can make to help you stay on plan through the holiday!  ***Recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook unless otherwise noted.***


Cheese and Nut platter
Roasted Chick Peas
Sweet Potato Fries
Green Fries
Deviled Eggs

Main Dishes:

Wipe-Your-Mouth BBQ
Slim Sloppy Joes
Taco Time
Zucchini Canoes
Cheeseburger Pie
Sausage Balls
Bangin' Ranch Drums
JalapeƱo Onion Burgers
Grilled Cheesy Bacon Chicken from Joy Filled Eats
So Simple Fuel Pull Sloppy Joes from Pray Eat Love Read Create Save

Side Dishes:

Waldorf Cottage Cheese Salad
Not Naughty Mac 'N Cheese
Sweet Creamy Coleslaw
Cauli "Potato" Salad
Bacon Ranch Cheddar Broccoli Salad from Joy Filled Eats
Berry Ambrosia Salad from Mrs. Criddle's Kitchen
All American Pudding from Pray Eat Love Read Create Save
No Bake Berry Cheesecake Pudding from Nana's Little Kitchen


Cilantro Lime Pesto, Dip, Dressing, and Mayo from Joy Filled Eats
Ranch Yogurt Marinade from Joy Filled Eats
Zesty Tomato Vinagrette from Nana's Little Kitchen
Salted Caramel Whipped Topping from Chrissy Benoit In Love
Sweet Southern BBQ Sauce from Mrs. Criddle's Kitchen
BLT Dip from Joy Filled Eats


Wedding Cheesecake
Trimtastic Zucchini Cake
Key Lime Pie
Fruity Summer Delight from Mrs. Criddle's Kitchen
Sugar Free Strawberry Pie from A Home with Purpose
Rockin' Roll Cake from A Home with Purpose
Lemon Sunshine Poppy Cheesecake from Pray Eat Love Read Create Save
Choco Butter Bars from Wonderfully Made and Dearly Loved
Coconut Cream Pie from Mrs. Criddle's Kitchen


Sugar-Free Lemonade
Sweet 'N' Slender Iced Tea
Lemon-Lime Trim Pop
Root Beer Float
Apple Pie Sip

I hope you have a Fantastic, Patriotic, Fireworks-filled 4th of July!!  My family usually has a BBQ and then, since my kids are small, we watch the 4th of July celebration on NBC.  I cannot wait until my kids are old enough to go to the fireworks!!  (Also, it gets dark really late so they are usually in bed.)

*Here are the links to all of the lovely blogs I have linked in this post!  Mrs. Criddle's Kitchen, Pray Eat Love Read Create Save, Nana's Little Kitchen, A Home with a Purpose, Chrissy Benoit in Love, Joy Filled Eats, and Wonderfully Made and Dearly Loved

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WCW: Women of Faith Series #2

Today we are going to be learning about Idelette Calvin, wife of reformer John Calvin.

Idelette married Calvin after becoming a widow. He asked friends to find him a wife who was, "chaste, obliging, not fastidious, economical, patient, and careful for (his) health".  She bore a son and a few daughters but they all died in infancy.  She was instrumental in tending to his many illnesses so that he could further his reforming work in the church.  She tended the sick and welcomed those running for their lives because of their faith into her home.  She survived the Plague, but died after enduring a long illness in 1549.  She praised her Lord and Savior on her deathbed.  She said,"O God of Abraham, and of all our fathers, in thee have the faithful trusted during so many past ages, and none of them have trusted in vain. I also will hope".

*Quotes come from this website:  Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Monday, June 27, 2016

How I Meal Plan with THM

I am not one for calculated planning.  I'm more of a spur-of-the-moment kind of gal (which drives Hubby nuts).  My meal planning is mostly thinking of 6-7 meals I want to make that week and making a list of all of the ingredients I need.  Seriously.  The most magical part of all of this is that IT WORKS FOR US!!!  It really does!  So, let me break it down for you...

To start, I look through my Trim Healthy Mama cookbook for recipes I want to make.  Some weeks are exactly the same as the previous ones.  (hey, when you find recipes that everyone loves why change?)  I then make a list of 6-7 meals I want to make that week.  It looks something like this:

Chicken Alfredo

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Eggroll in a Bowl

Homemade Pizza

Coconut Thai Chicken

Taco Salad

Cabb & Saus Skillet

I then look at each recipe and make a list of every ingredient I need to buy.  I usually have the staples such as spices, baking blend, Dreamfields pasta (yes, I am aware of the lawsuit), canned tomatoes, etc., so it's mainly things like meat, cheese, fresh veggies, and such.  Mondays are my grocery shopping days.  Once I have my groceries, the fun part begins...

...Because I don't actually PLAN my meals!!  I wake up that morning and decide then what dinner we are having.  Now, don't panic...because there is a method to my "madness."  I usually choose the meals with the fresh veggies first.  Depending on if I am working out at the Y that day, I will usually do a crockpot meal, which has to be in the pot by 1:00pm.

It works for us, it just does!  Before I started this method, (which was before THM) I sometimes would fall behind on my meals if something came up and I didn't have time, or something would spoil before I made the dish because I would forget to plan out the meals according to food spoilage dates.

Trim Healthy Mama was instrumental in helping me develop my dinner schedule!!  I know it's going to be a THM meal, and with THM we use a ton of fresh ingredients.  I never have spoiled veggies in my fridge, spoiled dairy, or spoiled leftovers!!  My favorite part of the THM recipes is that it is made for large families!  I don't have to double the recipes for's already done for me.

*I would love to hear some tips on menu planning from you lovely ladies!  Please share in the comments below! 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

What to do with a THM Recipe Fail

Yes, even in the Trim Healthy Mama kitchen magic things go wrong.  Sometimes it's the recipe itself, which was printed wrong.  Most of the time, it's just a recipe that looks or tastes disgusting.  What do you do when you have yourself a THM Fail? 

So, you decided that something in the cookbook looks really good and you want to make it!  Great!  But 45 minutes later, you have a flop.  This happened to me recently.  Let me share...

It was a lovely, summer day, and Laura decided she really wanted to make a vanilla, yellow squash Trimtastic Cake.  She shredded the squash, blended the rest of the ingredients, and put it in the oven to bake.  It smelled wonderful.  It looked fantastic!  She waited anxiously as it cooled.  Later that day, she tried getting it out of the sprayed pan, but it just fell apart.  Then, she noticed that it was super moist almost uncooked.  She took a teeny bite off the edge, and it was sort of ok.   *sigh*

Ok, so honestly, I was let down by the cake flop.  But I just turned around and made a delicious Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Cake!!  (The whole family loved it, too!)  And that is my point...


It really is that easy.  There are SO many recipes in the books, on Facebook, and on Pinterest.  You can find anything you want. 

I understand, that some of the ingredients are expensive, and that not everyone can afford to replace them easily.  For those mamas, I suggest polling the THM community for tried and true recipes that are guaranteed to not fail.  I use a DIY baking blend that is more cost effective than the THM brand.  I purchase most THM plan-friendly foods on Amazon where I can get free, 2-day shipping.  (I am an Amazon Prime member.)

The most important thing to remember is that it does not defeat your on-plan journey.  It does not mean you should quit.  So many mamas complain and rant in the Facebook group about recipes that were terrible, and how they are just going to quit because they can't find anything good to make.  I hope that all of you lovely mamas will give the cookbook recipes or Pinterest recipes at least one try!  I have discovered so many lovely, on-plan alternatives to my favorites...(can you say Coconut Cream Pie??? Bless you, Mrs. Criddle!!)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Trim Healthy Mama When You're in a Pinch

This last Sunday, I had a package of chicken breasts in the fridge, and no time to make the crockpot dish I had planned on!  But, the THM sisters, Serene & Pearl, gave us a lovely cookbook, so I got mine out, and perused the pages;  looking for ANYTHING I could make.  Lo and behold, I found a gem!  It was Creamy Herb Chicken.  I had all of the ingredients!  So I whipped it together, and put it in the oven.  I then went on the hunt for side dishes I could muster together.  Thirty minutes later, I had a full, delicious, on-plan meal!  Creamy Herb Chicken with a side of Let 'Er Rip Salad topped with homemade Ranch dressing, and my very own concoction, Berry Cheesecake Whip. 

So, when you are strapped for time, didn't get home in time, or just plain can't figure out what to make...CHECK THE COOKBOOK!!  There are so many little recipes hidden in there!  This one was a HUGE hit in the family. 

Really, what is easier than ripping a head of lettuce, and putting dressing on top??  (Nothing!)  It is now my go-to side dish. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

3 Things You Need to Know When You Fall off the THM Wagon

Ok, so I must admit that I have fallen off of the Trim Healthy Mama wagon recently.  Here are 3 things you need to know when you fall off of the THM wagon.

1.  It happens.  No one is perfect.

 Everyone messes up.  Everyone gets hungry and is running late and stops at Starbucks.  I have 6 kids and sometimes when out and about, it is just easier to grab a burger along with your kids.  I get it...I'm sure everyone gets it.  But don't feel guilty.  Having one burger here and there isn't going to throw the Plan out the window, because of the Food Freedom of the Plan.  You can start over in 3 hours!!

2. It doesn't mean your day is ruined.

You can restart the Plan in 3 hours!  So, you caved and had a Hardees' El Diablo burger...(not that I've EVER done that...)...3 hours later you can restart by having a delicious S meal.  (Hardees DOES have an All-Natural (grass-fed) burger and you can Low Carb-it by having it between lettuce leaves.)

3.  You should not beat yourself up about it.

I cannot stand when ladies tear themselves apart because they slipped on the Plan.  No guilt...this is Food Freedom, Mamas!!  Give yourself grace and move on.  So many ladies on the Plan struggle with food addiction, but it can also go the other way.  Obsessing over food, whether healthy or not, is wrong.  I also cannot excuse ladies who tear apart other ladies for falling off Plan. That is wrong.  We should extend grace to other mamas.

Remember:  No one is perfect, but everyone can give and find grace.

 Now, pardon me while I go enjoy a delicious crossover breakfast of sprouted toast, scrambled eggs, and coffee.   

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I'm Back!

Hi, Everyone!  I took a small "vacation"  from blogging, but I am back and ready to go!  I have made a list of post ideas I cannot wait to share with you.  Thank you for your patience! 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

10 Things You Didn't know about Me

Hey there!  I thought I'd do a fun post today.  I'm going to share with you 10 things you might not have guessed about me.  Some of these may surprise you, some are funny.  Enjoy!

1.  I was 17 when I got married.

I'm serious.  I met my husband in '07 when I was 16.  We courted for 3 weeks before he proposed.  We were married 2 months later.

2.  I have 3 biological siblings who are all deceased.

My mother lost her first child at 2 months gestation when she was 15.  She had me 2 years later.  A year after that she had my brother and sister, Brian and Sierra.  They were only 5 months along and they died 4 days after their birth. 

3.  After school I was going to major in nursing (obstetrics) while minoring in forensic science and  performing arts.

I wanted to be an OB nurse so I could then become a midwife.  I also loved forensic science.  Since I was a violinist and a drama queen, Performing Arts just seemed a natural choice. 

4.  I hate seafood.

Yes, I cannot stand seafood.  Any kind.  I have tried lobster, which is tolerable.  My in-laws would probably disown me if I wasn't married to their son.

5.  I love horses.

Horses are the most beautiful creatures on this earth.  My oldest daughter has inherited my love for equines.  My favorite breed is Fresians, and favorite color is Black.

6.  Bram wasn't the only guy to want to marry me.

When I was 14, a young man at our church approached my parents and asked them permission to be my friend, with the intention of the friendship blossoming into something more later on.  They tentatively agreed, but shut it down once it became apparent he wanted to move it along much faster than anticipated.

7.  My uncle invented the Cheesehead. (if you're not from Wisconsin, you might not know what that is) 

Have you seen the Packers fans sporting slices of cheese on their heads??  Yeah, my Uncle invented them!!  His company is called Foamation.  

8.  I was an advanced violin player before I married.

I took 5 years of violin lessons.  I was pretty good.  I had memorized and perfected a 7-page song for a concert.  I practiced 3 hours a day.  I loved it!  But having kids will sort of put music on the back burner, but I occasionally pull it out and play.    

9.  I am a bookworm.

I love books!  I can read a 400 page book in an hour if I am not interrupted.  My favorite genre is Christian romance, and I also love a good mystery.  

10.  I love food. 

Seriously.  I just love food.  I love eating.  I love tasting all the yummy goodness and yummy flavor combinations.  I'm happy when I eat.  But, I don't eat tons of food every day.  I'd be a whale if I did that.  I just like that I can take food, put it together with other food and make something so delicious, so tasty, that everyone enjoys it.  It's fun.

So, there you have it!  What about you?  What are some interesting facts about you?  Please, feel free to share them in the comments.

Friday, June 3, 2016

3 Tips for Fitting Exercise into Your Busy Life

I'm very blessed with a husband who actually WANTS and encourages me to work out.  Mostly to help me train for my Dirty Girl and Tough Mudder runs in August and October.  He watches the kids for me so I can go for my runs or go to the Y to do my R.I.P.P.E.D. classes.  How do I fit exercising into my busy schedule?

1.  Make the Time

I make the time to work out.  I know as soon as I wake up that I will, at some point, be working out that day.  I then chose which type of exercise I want to do that day and then work my schedule to make it happen.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are R.I.P.P.E.D. days (5:15-6:05 pm)  If my husband is working second shift, I go to my classes on Monday and Wednesday at 8:00am.  Every other day (Mon., Wed., & Fri.) I go on a run. 

2.  Find a Partner

I have an amazing workout friend!  She motivates me to challenge myself in ways I didn't know I could.  "D" is the one who introduced me to Zumba, then PiYo, then R.I.P.P.E.D.  Working out is so much better when you do it with a friend!  When you have someone to talk to, laugh with, and rib; it just puts you in a great mood. 

3.  Find Exercises that You Want to do

I encourage you to find exercises that you like.  I have no desire to be a body builder, so I don't lift weights.  It just doesn't appeal to me.  But, I really LOVE kickboxing!!   I like mat work like PiYo.  I LOVE dancing, so I do Zumba and Just Dance with my kids.  Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't try new things, but if you try something and find that you just don't like it, don't do it.  You should AT LEAST give things a little bit of time before stopping.

I do encourage anyone who isn't working out to start.  It feels great, and as I tell myself whenever I don't feel like it, No one has ever regretted working out.  Your body might feel sore, but it is really worth it.  

I cannot wait to do my Dirty Girl run in August!!  I wish I had someone to do it with, but my workout bestie can't do it.  I am SO glad I can do Tough Mudder with my husband in October.  It should be fun...should be.  

*For more information on PiYo and R.I.P.P.E.D. please visit their websites here:  RIPPED and PiYo