My Trim Healthy Mama (THM) Weight Loss Testimony

To finally be at the day where I am sharing my Trim Healthy Mama (THM) weight loss testimony is so hard to believe, because I never thought this day would come! *Note: I am not selling any product or business to you. This is just my testimony of my personal health journey.

The majority of my life I have been slender and I ate pretty healthy. Back in 2010 right after I got married, I gained about 15 pounds in those first three months of marriage. I had just started a new job at a cornea specialist doctor’s office where food was constantly made available in the kitchen to us by other doctors and pharmaceutical reps. I started working there around Christmas time which meant that sweets and treats were showing up in the staff kitchen every hour! I have never really had to say no to sweets before because I wasn’t around them as much, but in this case, I was not fully aware how often I was consuming high sugar foods. Plus it did not help that we wore scrubs as our daily uniform, which are very forgiving around the waist.

One day, when my favorite skinny jeans decided to split down the middle in the church parking lot, I realized I needed to do something. I started counting my calories very strictly, but I did not make changes in what type of food I was eating. I continued to eat whatever carb or sugar loaded foods were available at work and would count those calories on my app, which normally would leave me with hardly any calories I was able to consume for dinner. I found that for dinner most days I was stuck with eating a couple slices of turkey deli meat and pickles. I was able to get down to 4 pounds away from my original weight, so I stopped counting my calories and still continued eating the same way I was. Needless to say, those pounds came back on quickly and doubled in a matter of a few months. This started a spiral of constant dieting, depression, and a low self-esteem.

At one point I felt so desperate to lose the weight and I needed the accountability, so I joined a program that has a very strict way of eating and you are required to go into their offices three times a week and be weighed and show them your food log. I thought this would help me make wiser decisions knowing that someone would be checking me weekly, but it ended up throwing me into a deeper state of depression. I started feeling sorry for myself on all the things I wasn’t allowed to eat, and so I ended up failing miserably almost every single day and I became a clinical binge eater. On a daily basis, I would find myself giving in to my cravings and I would either go hide in the work bathroom and stuff my face with 8 ice cream sandwiches at one time (& consuming up to 20 by the end of the work day), or at church small groups I found myself in the kitchen when no one else was in there inhaling 20 Subway cookies. This became a deep time of depression for me. One full year on this eating program and over $1,000 spent on it, I was 60 pounds heavier than I have ever been in my life– and more depressed then when I started the program. At this point I was ready to give up!

Almost 4 years of being miserably unhealthy and overweight, hope presented itself. One day while sitting at my desk at work, a coworker friend of mine came by and was telling me about a healthy lifestyle of eating that she had started doing based off of a book she read. Her and her husband were dropping weight and feeling super healthy! I was very curious about it and she was so sweet to actually give me her only copy of the book. Here is where Trim Healthy Mama entered my life! I immediately started reading the book and could not put it down! This whole idea of being able to eat exactly the way God designed us to eat all food groups, and learning how to eat it in a balanced way and how our body metabolizes those fuels, was soooooo incredibly freeing to me! Learning that I can live a healthy lifestyle and lose all my extra weight while getting to eat delicious yummy foods and desserts but knowing how to do it in the right way was exactly what I needed! No more counting calories, and no more trying to eat a low carb diet or low-fat diet!! No more saying “no” to delicious desserts!! No more wasting money on a food program or special food/snacks!!! No more needing to spend hours and money at the gym!! From that point on I knew my life would never be the same!

I immediately started implementing Trim Healthy Mama (THM) and dropped 10 pounds that first week! Right after that week, we found out we were pregnant with our first child Harmony Dawn. I started developing food aversions to almost everything except peanut butter crackers and cheese. Because of this, I stopped eating the THM way just trying to make it through that first trimester. Looking back, I realize now that the best thing I could’ve done was continued to eat the THM way during my pregnancy, but since it was still so new to me, it was easy for me to give up and use my pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted again. I figured that once I had Harmony, I would go back to eating the Trim Healthy way.

In July 2015 after I had Harmony, life got really busy as a new mom trying to figure out my new routine. I did keep the principles of Trim Healthy Mama in the back of my mind when I went grocery shopping and made our meals at home from their amazing first cookbook and second cookbook! So I can say that we probably ate the THM way about 65% of the time, unless Christopher decided to bring home junk food on a whim. I did NOT stay on plan anytime we went out to eat or over to people’s houses or events. I had the mindset of as long as we eat mostly healthy at home then we should be ok. Unfortunately, there’s so many times that it’s easy to make an excuse to eat this dessert or that hamburger and fries this “one time.”

Over the next 3 and a half years and another pregnancy and the birth of our son Colin, I did slowly lose 40 pounds of my weight by making the healthier choices at home (which I’m at most of the time since I am a stay-at-home mom) as well as nursing my 2 babies. The last 20 pounds though, I knew were not going to come off by themselves unless I decided to fully commit to the THM lifestyle! I knew I needed the motivation and encouragement to get started, because every time I thought about committing 100%, I would get sad and feel like I would miss out on all the foods that would be at restaurants or at events and parties. That is when I decided to go back and listen to every single THM podcast. This was one of the most encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring times of my life! Being encouraged in my health, marriage, and faith by listening to every single podcast is what catapulted me back into my THM journey!

img_1854img_1250As of April 2019, I have been 100% committed to the Trim Healthy Mama way! The pounds and inches started falling off of me as I was so happy and content in eating healthy, non blood-sugar spiking foods! I felt amazing every time I made the choice to eat the right foods at restaurants and parties, instead of giving into my old way of eating!  It has been so freeing knowing that I can essentially go anywhere and find something that is on plan to eat! I eat off plan here & there, but I really try to keep it to deciding if that one cookie from a box is really worth my health. That helps me pick & choose special moments that I will eat off plan as opposed to on a regular basis. If I know there is going to be food that might be tempting somewhere that I am going, I usually plan ahead and bring something with me that I can enjoy while there. I have also found so many great food shortcuts that are available at my local Walmart that I can buy to help me stay on plan. I came up with my favorite, easy go-to meals that I can make when I don’t have time to make a full blown recipe (both of these are very good starting points for anyone who needs ideas)! I was also never a baker before I committed to THM, but now I love to make delicious desserts that are totally on plan and bring them to events! Not only has my health been affected, but my husband and kids too! My husband Christopher who is very slender by nature and has a very high metabolism, has been eating the THM way (at home and tries to stick to it when he is outside of the home) to feel good and have more energy, and it sure has worked! And to know that I am raising my kids up in knowing how to eat healthy for the rest of their lives gives me such a peace of mind for their future. We also love to work out together in our own living room for under 20 mins with the THM “WorkIns” exercise DVDs!  It feels great that we are moving our bodies and being active as God intended us to be, without having to overdo it. We are a Trim Healthy family! My passion to share about the freedom I have found through Trim Healthy Mama has made me decide to start a group at my church to teach the plan and go through the book, as well as cook through the recipes in the books!

img_5646I wish everyone in the world knew about THM and what it can do for their health and how much freedom it will bring into their lives! This plan is so easy to do in a frugal way— no need to over complicate it! We live on a one-income pastoral salary and I am not someone who likes to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I promise anybody and everyone of any lifestyle can do this! If you are reading this testimony and desire this freedom for yourself, click on the links that I posted throughout the blog, as well as visit the Trim Healthy Mama website and sign up for their free encouraging emails and read their testimonies. They also have a shop where you can buy different foods and ingredients that are also very convenient and helpful on your Trim Healthy Mama journey, but none of that is necessary to do the plan! Simply shopping at your local grocery store is all you need to do!!! You can also leave me a comment with your email address if you would like a free start-up guide that I have put together of the THM Plan. Also, check out my Trim Healthy Mama Resources blog post! I thank God and happy cry every single time I think about how He brought Trim Healthy Mama into my life and could not be more grateful!!!

Changes In Our Home to a More Natural, Simple & Frugal Way of Living

I have been on a journey since mid-2015 to transform my home to a cleaner, more natural environment free of chemicals. This also eventually led to me doing the same for my family’s beauty products. What we put on our skin (the largest organ of our body) is absorbed into our bloodstream and makes a great impact on our health. The beauty industry is not regulated by the FDA, so any number of toxins is allowed in our products, which has a detrimental affect on us. The rise in infertility and asthma is just some examples of the many things that are caused by constant exposure to the toxins and chemicals in our products that we put on us and breathe in our air.
In this same time frame, I have been on a journey of simplifying my life and making things easier and less hectic as a mom of young children. I am a perfectionist by nature, and when I started staying home with my daughter Harmony, my perfectionism went through the roof. Being home all day, surrounded by things and clutter was getting to me. I had very organized clutter, but clutter none the less. My stress level and anxiety over it was increasing every day, and I was desperate to change something. That’s when I started googling and discovered minimalism! It has drastically changed my family’s life. I wish everyone would know the huge freedom and impact minimalism has on your life if you just jump in to it! It is a lifestyle change… just like everything else that I talk about here. 
I knew that this way of a cleaner, more natural way of life that I was wanting to switch to could either be extremely expensive, or frugal and time-consuming. The frugal way would consist of me having to make everything from scratch myself all the time. I did not want to do that unless it was super simple. As I said before, minimalism and simplicity was my goal in mind, in all areas of my life (including how I clean and my daily beauty routine)! I have tirelessly researched and tested many different recipes of the DIY products that I do make. The natural products that I use to make my DIY products are extremely concentrated and go a very long way if used in certain ways. Also, not everything pre-made that I buy “off-the-shelf” is 100% natural, but it is pretty close and a lot cleaner ingredients. I will explain more with each product as you read on.

Here is everything I have switched to for my home and beauty products, as well as resources I look to consistently in regards to a more simple, minimalistic, and natural way of living. Enjoy!

***Word of encouragement for you: Do not get overwhelmed when thinking of all the changes to your health you are having to make!! This is a steady and slow process! It took me 4 years to officially make all the changes I needed to for our health. Concentrate on swapping out one thing at a time as you run out of the items in your home with a healthier-choice item! Simple swaps is what will get you to eventually where your whole lifestyle is centered around the health you desire! YOU CAN DO THIS!


HOME CARE & CLEANING:

Scent/Air Freshening: diffuse quality essential oils! Buy from Plant Therapy and get $10 off your first order of at least $25 at this link!They are some of the highest quality essential oils at a more affordable price with free shipping/returns. They are also personally approved by the essential oil safety “guru” and aromatherapist Robert Tisserand.

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Norwex microfiber cloths and Mop: you can use a natural cleaner or use only water if you want to, to clean and disinfect with these cloths! Clean absolutely everything in your house with them. Spills, dirty baby faces after eating, scrubbing surfaces, wiping down mirrors/windows, etc. Use the cloth dry to dust your house— dust is attracted to and trapped on the cloth through static. The mop- I am able to use with only water on any flooring and it cleans and disinfects everything (Buy here).img_0197


Cloth napkins to use while eating (saves a lot of money and the earth by not using paper towels).


Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap: There are 18 uses listed on the bottle. It is a multi-purpose all natural soap that can clean anything. Check out uses here. img_0218Order off of Amazon or even pick it up at Walmart in the health and beauty department where the “natural” products are sold. You will see all the ways I use it listed in this blog.


Thieves cleaner: Essential oil company Young Living makes this concentrated cleaner from essential oils (and all natural ingredients) that disinfects and cleans amazingly and smells like cinnamon.

In explaining the backstory of the Theives product, Young Living states, “In France during the 15th century, thieves would sneak into graveyards to rob from the dead and dying. Legend says they protected themselves by creating a special aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals. Today, Thieves essential oil blend is inspired by those tales of old. Combining Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Lemon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils, this blend is one of our popular products.”

You only use a capful for a large 32 oz spray bottle to clean EVERYTHING in your house. Windows/mirrors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, toilets, showers/tubs, floors, tables, furniture, EVERYTHING. I bought PET, BPA-free spray bottles off of Amazon that are tinted amber and cobalt blue to keep light from weakening the product. Put one capful of Thieves cleaner in the spray bottle and fill the rest with water. Shake well and use on everything and never have to buy a separate cleaner for anything again. I wipe everything down with my Norwex microfiber cloths after spraying the surface. Click to buy here. When you checkout, you can enter in My Sponsor ID: 15241729.


Dishwasher soap: So far I like this recipe from Dr. Axe’s website: “Just mix 8 ounces of castile soap with 1 cup of water and 3 teaspoons of lemon juice and shake gently. To use, add 1 tablespoon of the above mixture into the “open” compartment of your dishwasher and add 1 cup of white vinegar to the “closed” compartment. If you have hard water, add a little more vinegar.”  ***UPDATE:  after many trials of this recipe and other recipes, I was not able to find one that I was completely happy with that left my dishes residue free and clean looking. I have resorted back to buying Seventh Generation Free & Clear  dishwasher detergent powder.  My local Walmart does not carry it so I do you have to order on Amazon, but I have been happy with this in the past. I have decided that at least for now there is not a frugal way of making my own dishwasher detergent that I’m happy with. BA574490-1094-44CC-B3BB-16C241B204A1


Dishwasher Rinse Aid: hydrogen peroxide with lemon essential oil (10-15 drops per cup of peroxide). ***Update: I have found I like a newer recipe more than just the hydrogen peroxide recipe because it wasn’t drying my dishes as well. The new recipe is 1 cup white vinegar, ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide (3%), and 2 tablespoons citric acid (ordered from Amazon) in a squeeze bottle with a long spout that I got at Walmart for an easier way to squirt it in my dishwasher rinse aid spout. I also have been really liking this Ecover rinse aid I found on Amazon!img_3166126A93A4-05E6-4C07-9819-1C3E360B1755


Shower Spray: spray hydrogen peroxide after taking your shower each time to help ward off soap scum and mildew in your shower/tub. I bought a cheap plastic bottle from Walmart in the cleaning section and took the spray top, and it screws on perfectly onto a regular size hydrogen peroxide bottle. ***For  hard to scrub stains, I use Castile soap diluted in some water in a spray bottle and scrub after it has sat for a little while!


Neato Robotic Vacuum (Buy here)– Speaking of simplicity in life, I could not live without my Neato robotic vacuum cleaner that was given to me as a Christmas gift two years ago! I have so much more time on my hands because I never have to vacuum myself! I researched for weeks on the top robotic vacuum cleaners on the market, and I came to the conclusion that Neato was the best one for the price and the features that it has.  It cleans effortlessly on all floor types, and it’s one of the only vacuum cleaners on the market that has a square front to reach corners easily, and it can completely vacuum in the dark because of it special lasers. It is also the only one so far on the market that thourougly plots out your floor plan and vacuums a 15 x 15 perimeter, then will vacuum within that 15 x 15 perimeter, then move on to another 15 x 15 perimeter until the whole job is finished. If it gets low on battery in the middle of it cleaning job, it will stop and return back to it’s charging base and then resume back to where it left off. I have my vacuum clean every other night at midnight while we are sleeping in all the main living areas. It gets the whole job done in one hour and 10 minutes, including one charge cycle in between. The app connects to the robot through Wi-Fi and that is where you can easily schedule when you want the img_0221Neato vacuum to clean, have it manually turn on from there, set additional settings, set ”no-go” lines where you don’t want it to clean (like near your Christmas tree skirt), and also see a map after every cleaning of where it cleaned in your house.  About once a week we set Neato in each of the bedrooms and shut the door and have it clean in there. The only times I ever have to pull out a vacuum cleaner myself is for quick spot cleaning after eating in the kitchen or any other little messes—and for that I use my awesome Dyson v7 handheld (also a Christmas gift)!img_0220


LAUNDRY: 

DYI liquid laundry soap that uses only 4 or 5 easy ingredients (Recipe here). I put it in an old vinegar gallon bottle I had, which works perfect. The washing soda does clump together some after sitting a while, so you want to shake the bottle before each use. There will still be some clumps when you pour it into your measuring cup, but it all dissolves in the laundry while washing. The recipe says you can optionally put a tablespoon of thieves cleaner into the soap, which I did not do because I wanted to test the effectiveness of the ingredients without the thieves. I did add 40 to 50 drops of lemon oil just to add a fresh scent to the soap. My clothes come out smelling clean! ***Update: I now use Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Castile Soap (from Amazon) in the recipe which leaves my clothes smelling so good without having to add the essential oil! Highly recommend you trying this particular scented soap.


Stain remover: Liquid castile soap lightly scrubbed in with a toothbrush on any stains before washing clothes. Because the soap is oil based, I have found it takes out almost every single stain. If you did not pre-treat a stain before washing it, and it did not come out on its own in the wash, I will always pre-treat the stain again with the soap and let it sit 24 hours on the stain before washing it a second time. If it still has not come out all the way, I pour lemon juice on the stain and have it sit in the sunlight by a window throughout the day, then pre-treat the stain again with soap, and wash it again. I have always had luck getting out any of my stains that I forgot to pretreat after doing this with lemon juice.


Clothes softener: 1/2 cup of vinegar in a Downy ball acts as a clothes softener and freshener (it only releases the vinegar during the rinse cycle, and leaves no vinegar smell on clothes). I marked a line in permanent marker on the downy ball, so I know how much 1/2 a cup is every time I pour vinegar in it.


Wool dryer balls (bought mine off Amazon) in dryer to help clothes be softer, static free, and dry faster (you can also put a few drops of essential oils on each dryer ball to add a nice smell to your clothes). I personally use six dryer balls every time I dry a load, but you can use three dryer balls for smaller loads.


BEAUTY & GROOMING:

Hand soap: Dr. Bronner’s Castile liquid soap diluted in a foam pump. Mine pictured here is from Walmart.


Burt’s Bees makeup and chapstick (sold at Walmart). I love this make up and have no complaints! Most of Burt’s Bees products are 98% natural (or more)! They even go as far as telling you on each individual product what the exact percentage of the ingredients is naturally derived. They have come out with a huge variety of products for their makeup line recently, including highlighting and contouring products. The only tip I would give for their makeup is for their foundation. Make sure your face has been freshly washed and moisturized or spray your make up sponge with your makeup setting spray (recipe down below) and dab it on your face before putting on your foundation. This will make your foundation go on more evenly and not look cakey.


DIY makeup setting sprayRecipe here. ***I use witch hazel in place of the water in this recipe and I also add some aloe Vera in it for moisturizing!


Body wash and Shaving: Dr. Bronner’s Castile liquid soap (I love Lavender and Peppermint scent) in a clear foam soap pump you can buy on Amazon here. Foam soap pumps make your soap go a long way! I also bought PET, BPA-free foam pumps off of Amazon that are cobalt blue to block light from weakening any essential oils I might add to the soap for scent and other benefits. As far as shaving goes, you can also use coconut oil, but it clogs your razor easily. I have read olive oil is the best for shaving, but I personally do well with just the foam castile soap. Rub in the soap on the area you’re about to shave and let it sit for at least 30 seconds before shaving. This allows the hot water and soap to soften and moisten your hair and skin which makes shaving easier.


Shampoo: Dr. Bronner’s Castile BAR soap in Peppermint (which you can find on the exact same shelf at Walmart that has the liquid castile soap in the beauty section). Peppermint wards off dandruff, itchy scalp, and lice. The bar soap as opposed to liquid soap works best on hair. When you first transition from conventional shampoos to natural soap, your hair goes through a 3-4 week time period of adjustment, allowing your scalp to produce it’s own oils that conventional shampoo strips constantly from it. Your hair will feel greasier than usual during this adjustment period, so you need to have some patience with it. Here is an article that really helped me during this time. I now only have to wash my hair twice a week. 🙂 ***UPDATE: I gave the castile bar soap 3 months.  In the first month it worked great, but shortly after it started making my hair feel really greasy, heavy, and stringy. I couldn’t style my hair anymore the way I liked it. I kept trying different things in my hair routine like rinsing my hair with diluted apple cider vinegar, which would make my hair ends looks so much cleaner, but I couldn’t stand the smell while putting it in.  So then I switched to diluted lemon juice and it did the same thing as the Apple cider vinegar but smelled better. The problem was even though my ends were looking nicer, my scalp was still feeling very heavy. I would clarify it with baking soda the next time I washed my hair with the soap and that would help so much, but it would never reach a point to where it was consistently nice texture. I decided it was time to try something completely different. I got on Amazon and looked for a very inexpensive, natural shampoo that still had peppermint oil in it to help protect my scalp from dryness and lice (since my daughter is starting preschool soon). I can say I have been very happy with the Acure Peppermint & Echinacea shampoo. It was only $6 for a 12 ounce bottle.  That could be a little less frugal for someone who washes their hair every day, but since I trained my hair and I only wash it twice a week it works perfectly for me. It leaves my hair clean like regular conventional shampoo, but gives me the benefits of natural shampoo! It also leaves my hair so soft that I do not even have to use any conditioner!! Extra plus!C17B6795-42DB-419D-8914-02D6FE0E3AE9


Facial toner: Diluted 2 parts water, 1 part organic apple cider vinegar with the “mother” in a little spray bottle in the shower— use for a facial toner after washing your face! Apple cider vinegar is so healthy for your skin – nourishing it and it also fades scars and spots. Don’t worry… the strong smell goes away after a few minutes!


Acne treatment: roller bottle of diluted tea tree oil. I bought the roller bottle off of Amazon. Tea Tree oil is one of the most effective antimicrobial and antibacterial essential oils! ***Side note: this has been working wonderfully on my daughter’s toenail that has been “dead” looking since she has been six months old. Fungus had set in on the toenail and it had stopped growing for years until I started rolling this diluted tea tree oil on it every night. The toenail is starting to grow again and look more normal every day. You can find dilution information at Dr. Eric Z’s website. His website is one of the very few websites that I trust of the correct information on diluting essential oils! There are so many websites and companies out there that promote putting essential oil straight onto your body without diluting, and that is not only dangerous, but also wasteful! You can also check out Dr. Z‘s essential oil book that has all the basic information and DYI of essential oil recipes you need (Buy here). Burt’s Bees also has great Acne products like Acne Toner & Acne Face Scrub you can find at Walmart!052919C9-B79A-44C7-BF97-A8114C467E3B


Facial mask: coconut oil, raw honey, and lemon essential oil— Recipe here. You can even just put raw honey on your face which has antibiotic properties to it. It clears up acne very well!


Moisturizer, Hair Conditioner, Hair Styling Gel, Skin soother, After shave— organic Aloe Vera Gel: You can get this on Amazon. It’s important that you get organic Aloe Vera gel that only has natural preservative ingredients in it (like the one I linked above) or you can buy 100% organic Aloe Vera Juice that has to be refrigerated. For face moisturizer, you can try 1:1 of Aloe Vera & Almond Oil (which is full of Vitamin E great for the skin). If noticing it is breaking you out, use less ratio of almond oil. I have found that this combination is the best facial moisturizer I have ever tried on my skin!!! You could also use it as an all over body lotion/moisturizer, but I also like to use Burts Bees lotion as well!

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Honest Company free & clear hand sanitizer or Purell Naturals hand sanitizer gel, or you can make your own hand sanitizer spray from this recipe here (which is going to be the cleaner, more natural option).


DIY hairspray from this recipe here.


DIY dry shampoo: cornstarch and baking soda (can add cocoa powder for dark colored hair) in an empty glass salt shaker I bought from Walmart (Recipe here).


Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush— better and gentler on your gums and teeth then regular toothbrushes. You can buy generic replaceable toothbrush heads at Walmart that fit the toothbrush for very cheap!


Tom’s natural toothpaste at Walmart.  I recently read that you want to look for toothpaste that does not have glycerin in it because glycerin coats your teeth where your teeth cannot re-mineralize. The only toothpaste I have found that does not have glycerin is this one in the picture. There are DYI options on www.naturallivingfamily.com.


Everyone Natural spray deodorant or Tom’s natural deodorant (also in Women’s natural scents) at Walmart. There are DYI options on www.naturallivingfamily.com. *Note: With any products that I buy from the store like the toothpaste and deodorant, I take the “Think Dirty” app and scan each individual product I’m looking into buying, so I can see what the health rating is on it’s ingredients. Just because a product says it is natural, does not mean it is all natural. Some all natural brands still put ingredients in their products that aren’t the greatest for you. I try to pick the cleanest option available. My toothpaste and the Tom’s deodorant rate a three on a scale of 1 through 10 so it’s not bad. On the “Think Dirty” App, ratings 1-3 are still good.img_1229img_0210


Pacifica or Skylar perfume (Buy here for Skylar): Pacifica perfume you can get at Target in store, online or also on Amazon! It is super affordable and ALL natural and the smell lasts all day!!!! I personally will be buying it for now on. Another option: Skylar perfume is clean, hypoallergenic and mostly natural ingredients. They use some synthetic fragrances for the purpose of being hypoallergenic, but they leave out all the toxic chemicals that most perfumes do have in them. It lasts all day long and I prefer it over making my own perfume with essential oils. I highly recommend buying their $20 sample set to try out all their different scents, which then gives you a $20 credit towards your purchase of a full size bottle. My personal favorite scent is Arrow.

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FOOD:

Produce wash: Dr. Bronner‘s Castile liquid soap (listed on their bottle as one of their 18 uses).


Circulon Hard-Anodized nonstick pots and pans (Buy here). Healthier, nonstick option that doesn’t leach chemicals into your food. We have done stainless steel in the past, but we really do not like how food sticks to the bottom of the pans, even after spraying it with oil.


Silicone cooking utensils– doesn’t leach chemicals into your food and will not scratch your cookware. Got mine from Walmart. 


BABY & CHILD CARE:

Burt’s Bees shampoo and body wash (tear free) in a foam soap pump (to make it last longer). You can find all Burt’s Bees products at Walmart!  


Shampoo (for school-aged kiddos): Dr. Bronner’s Castile BAR soap in Peppermint. Peppermint wards off dandruff, itchy scalp, and lice. Again, bar soap works better in hair than liquid soap.


Hello Bello or Burt’s Bees baby diaper rash cream and baby body lotion!

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Parent’s Choice diapers and wipes from Walmart are hypo-allergenic, fragrance free, and affordable. Honest Company also has clean diaper options, but is a lot more expensive.


Medicinal:

Zarbee’s Naturals works so great and is all natural! If there is any medicine in this brand, I definitely buy it!


*Special Note:  this blog is in no way to come across as that I am an expert on all things natural or holistic living! I’m just an avid researcher and was encouraged by a friend of mine to put all of my knowledge and the things I have read up on into one blog post so that people who do not like to do the research have one place they can get information from.  As I continue to research and more knowledge comes around, I will continue to update my post! I just desired so much a simple, frugal, more natural way of living for my family, and so this is the result of my searching!


RESOURCES I TRUST & READ:

  • Simple & Minimalistic living: 
  1. Joshua Becker https://www.becomingminimalist.com/
  2. Marie Kondo (KonMari method) https://konmari.com/
  3. Allie Casazza (Minimalism for Moms) http://alliecasazza.com/start-here

THM Snack Ideas:

Trim Healthy Mama is big about when we have a snack in between our meals (somewhere between 2 ½ to 3 hours after your last meal) that it needs to include some sort of protein with it. This will help sustain you until your next meal and also give your metabolism the boost it needs to keep going strong all day.

Here are some examples of snacks you can do throughout your day! There are really ENDLESS possibilities of snack pairings you can put together, but this will give you some ideas of my favorites! I will add to this list as time goes on!

Also, for more inspiration on easy, fast meals (not using recipes), food shortcuts you can buy at your local Walmart, or meal plan ideas, visit my Trim Healthy Mama section on our blog: Trim Healthy Mama | matthewfivefive.

***Word of encouragement for you: Do not get overwhelmed when thinking of all the changes to your health you are having to make!! This is a steady and slow process! It took me 4 years to officially make all the changes I needed to for our health. Concentrate on swapping out one thing at a time as you run out of the food items in your home with an on-plan, healthy food item! Simple swaps is what will get you to eventually where your whole lifestyle is centered around the health you desire! YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

◦ I LOVE this blog article with awesome snack ideas and recipes:

Easy Snack Box Ideas for the Trim Healthy Mama – Oh Sweet Mercy

 

 

FP- Fuel Pull means a low carb & low fat snack:

◦ frozen strawberries (or any other kind of berry) mashed into cottage cheese and a tiny bit of Stevia.

◦ Oikos Triple Zero yogurt with added berries if desire.

S- Fat snack:

◦ Handful of nuts & cheese stick

◦ Oikos Triple Zero yogurt with handful of stevia-sweetened chocolate chips!

◦ Whisps cheese chips & handful of nuts

◦ Slimfast Keto bar

-Homemade Cheez Its!!!! Get really thin cheese slices and cut into fours, sprinkle with salt and put it into the oven at 250° for 35 minutes. Broil it the last two minutes so it gets extra crispy. You can get really thin cheese slices from the deli and have them slice it on the thinnest setting, or you can buy the Sargento cheddar thin sliced cheese!

Image may contain: food and indoor
-Josheph’s Lavash Crackers:
You can make these sweet or savory depending on how you season them after cutting the Lavash bread into little squares, and then brushing or spraying olive or coconut oil or butter on them. You can use Everything Bagel seasoning or cinnamon & a stevia blend on top. Or maybe make them spicy! These turn out so good and easy! Just bake for 4-7 minutes at 400 degrees.
                    crackerscinnamon crackers

E- Carb snack:

◦ whole banana or other fruit (non-berry) and light mozzarella cheese stick

◦ cottage cheese with frozen strawberries with banana or other fruit (non-berry)

◦ Cottage cheese on sprouted-grain toast with garlic salt sprinkled on top

◦ Laughing Cow Light cheese spread on sprouted-grain toast with garlic salt sprinkled on top

◦ Salsa & handful of baked corn chips with Light mozzarella cheese stick

Example THM Meal Plan For A Week

Hey there Trim Healthy Mamas! I wanted to share with you an example of a THM meal plan for a whole week. My personal friend wrote this up for herself and sent it to me and said I could share it! I loved what she came up with– You don’t need a recipe for any of these and they can all be thrown together pretty easily!

You can also take a look at my favorite THM easy meals that I do frequently and my food shortcuts that you can find at your local Walmart! Enjoy!

***Word of encouragement for you: Do not get overwhelmed when thinking of all the changes to your health you are having to make!! This is a steady and slow process! It took me 4 years to officially make all the changes I needed to for our health. Concentrate on swapping out one thing at a time as you run out of the food items in your home with an on-plan, healthy food item! Simple swaps is what will get you to eventually where your whole lifestyle is centered around the health you desire! YOU CAN DO THIS!

THM Weekly Menu

 

Breakfast (S- FAT):

Coffee w/ cream & stevia along with:

1. Oikos Triple Zero Yogurt

2. Eggs with cheese

 

 

Lunch (E- CARB):

1. Progresso Light Soup (broth-based)

2. Ezekiel Bread (2 slices) with Lean Deli Meat,

Mustard or Laughing Cow Light cheese

Tomatoes, Sprouts, & lettuce

Pickle spears

 

 

Dinner (Various):

1. (S- FAT) Pork chops and green beans cooked in butter and pork fat

Salad w/ tomatoes, oil & vinegar

 

 

2. (S- FAT) Chicken breasts cooked in butter or olive oil,

Steamed broccoli w/ butter

 

 

3. (S- FAT, **see note below) Homemade meatballs in spaghetti sauce,

Salad w/ tomatoes, oil & vinegar,

*** Can have Garlic toasted Ezekiel bread (As is once a week Crossover/maintenance meal).

*** For Weight loss mode- take out Ezekiel bread & add steamed & Broccoli w/ butter OR sautéed & Fresh kale in butter or olive oil for S-Fat meal.

 

 

4. (S- FAT) Steak cooked in butter,

Green beans cooked in butter & steak fat

Salad w tomatoes, oil & vinegar

 

 

5. (E- CARB) Salsa chicken w/ black beans & Corn,

salad w tomatoes & Skinny girl dressing or Ranch

 

 

6. (S- FAT) Buffalo (lean meat) chicken

with broccoli cooked in butter,

salad w/ tomatoes, oil & vinegar

 

 

7. Leftovers w/ salad

 

 

My Favorite, Easy Trim Healthy Mama Meals:

I just wanted to share with y’all what I make on the daily for my THM meals! These are my go-to favorites and it can be a very good starting point for anyone who needs ideas!

I am not a mama who wants to spend hours in the kitchen or make a ton of things from scratch! I am also on a one-income pastoral budget so the frugal life is for me! 😂

***Word of encouragement for you: Do not get overwhelmed when thinking of all the changes to your health you are having to make!! This is a steady and slow process! It took me 4 years to officially make all the changes I needed to for our health. Concentrate on swapping out one thing at a time as you run out of the food items in your home with an on-plan, healthy food item! Simple swaps is what will get you to eventually where your whole lifestyle is centered around the health you desire! YOU CAN DO THIS!

To learn more about the plan and the resources they have to offer, visit my personal Trim Healthy Mama weight loss testimony here and my Trim Healthy Mama Resource page here! Also don’t forget to check out my favorite food shortcuts that you can get at your local Walmart!


BREAKFASTS:

I LOVE these cheesy, yummy omelettes so much and it’s easy and fast to whip up. Enjoying my cinnamon, creamy, stevia-sweetened coffee with it as well!! This is a Fat (“S”) meal and you burn fat while eating it as long as you don’t pair it with carbs! 🥳 Cheese, pepper/onion blend, all purpose seasoning, butter, eggs. For the coffee, I heat up my heavy whipping cream with a little bit of cinnamon and “Super Sweet” (a THM erythritol & stevia blend), froth it, then directly pour my coffee into that mug & stir it together. I also add the cinnamon to my coffee grounds before brewing!


On those mornings where I don’t have time to make anything for breakfast because I’m running out the door, I love to grab one of these Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurts! 15 grams of protein and these are only $1 each with many different flavor options! I also will throw in some sugar-free chocolate chips into it for some extra yumminess!


LUNCHES:

 

 

One of my go-to lunches is a carb (“E”) meal with 1 piece of sprouted grain sandwich bread and Laughing Cow Light cheese spread on it, a little garlic salt sprinkled on the cheese spread, with turkey breast and lettuce. I love to have on the side a pickle or two with some baby tomatoes, and a small handful of on-plan chips (today being with baked organic blue corn chips and a little bit of salsa). If I still feel hungry afterwards, I sometimes will eat half an orange or apple.


For quick grab-and-go lunches, I will grab a Light Progresso (broth based) can of soup for a quick E meal while dipping one piece of sprouted grain toast in it!


Also one of my quick, favorite lunches is to shred up some lettuce on my plate, tear up some deli meat on top with cheese, some cheddar crisps (for more crunch), and cucumbers and baby tomatoes in my favorite dressing! Don’t forget about the easy, healthy benefits of eating huge salads!


DINNERS:

Some of my favorite go-to, “don’t have time to fuss over dinner” meals are Skillet Cabbage & Sausage, Veggie Spaghetti, Chicken Alfredo, Homemade Mac & Cheese, Pizza, Burritos/Soft Tacos, Taco Bowls, and Crockpot Salsa Chicken. All of them can be made into an S- fat meal, an E- carb meal, or a Fuel Pull meal depending on what you throw into it.

With my Skillet Cabbage & Sausage meal, I like to buy all natural beef sausage with only 1 carb (which makes it an S- fat meal or you could use lean turkey sausage to make it a Fuel Pull meal) and slice it up and put with ½ cup of water in the skillet. I let it brown with some all purpose seasoning while I shred or chop up some cabbage (or you can skip the chopping stage by buying bags of coleslaw). I then put in the cabbage with the sausage and cover it while the cabbage wilts down. Stir occasionally. It’s done in 5 minutes! The fat from the sausage seasons the cabbage and it taste amazing sprinkling some Parmesan cheese on top!


Veggie Spaghetti is my spaghetti-loving daughter’s favorite! Traditional spaghetti noodles is something that she used to love to eat until we introduced what we call veggie spaghetti. It is the already spiraled/cut zucchini noodles that you can find in the frozen section at your grocery store. Simply steam and toss them with a jar of spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce (which is lower in carbs and sugar). When using pizza sauce I throw in some Italian seasoning with it and it taste just like traditional spaghetti sauce. I either will cook ground beef or lean ground turkey to put in the spaghetti depending on if I want it to be a fat meal or a carb, or fuel pull meal. That way my sides that I have with it can vary. For instance, if I want it to be a carb meal, I will use the ground turkey for my meat and then I will enjoy sprouted grain toast on the side that I put a tiny smear of butter (less than a teaspoon to keep it in carb mode) and garlic salt on it. If I keep it as a fat meal, I will smother it in grated cheese and use the beef as my meat.


Chicken Alfredo is a new one that we recently added to our go-to dinner meals! I literally cook some chicken up in my instant pot if I don’t have some already made and throw a jar of light Alfredo sauce into it for a fat meal. Then I will steam up a side of broccoli or a side of zucchini noodles and stir it in with the chicken Alfredo. I also love stirring in cauliflower rice as well. This makes a really yummy, filling Chicken Alfredo dish and it has become my whole family’s favorite!


I mention this next recipe in my favorite food shortcuts you can find at your local Walmart!  This is such an easy 3 ingredient healthy version of mac & cheese! You can eat this mac & cheese (as a “Crossover” maintenance meal) in bigger portions with higher protein levels in it from the lentils. Buy the Lensi Lentil noodles (in the aisle where all the pasta is located) and cook it. Once the noodles are cooked, mix together melted cheddar cheese with a jar of Classico Light Creamy Alfredo. This stuff is so good and filling and it sticks to your ribs!

 


 

Pizza is one of my favorite things to eat!!! Scraping the toppings off of pizza and eating just that is yummy, but I love me some crust– thin crust especially!!! Cauliflower crust actually taste just like thin crust and is an easy way to make pizza!!! Buy this Caulipower brand crust from the freezer section at Walmart to make your own pizzas! You get 2 crusts in a box. If you want some already pre-made, for the same price you can buy the pre-made pizzas but only get one pizza. I find it just as easy and way cheaper to get the box of just the 2 pizza crusts, spread some pizza sauce on it, sprinkle garlic salt, and then shred some cheese on top then bake it! You can add whatever other toppings you desire! So easy and good!

***UPDATE: The THM journey is just that, a life-long journey. This means there will be mistakes made, but the point is to turn them around and learn from them! I was originally told by someone who was doing Keto that this particular brand of cauliflower crust was Keto friendly (which in turn meant it would be S friendly for THM). I took them at their word without ever looking at the ingredients or nutritional facts. I learned a good lesson from this recently when someone pointed out to me that the serving size was for ⅓ of the pizza crust (which I always ate the whole crust in one setting), as well as the flour wasn’t just cauliflower and cheese, but full of Brown Rice flour and White Rice flour (which neither are on plan because of the spike of insulin that happens from eating the flour in such concentrated forms). LESSON LEARNED: ALWAYS CHECK YOUR INGREDIENTS & SERVING SIZES!!! This crust is NOT on plan! Unfortunately there is not a cauliflower crust at our Walmart that I am aware of that is on plan as of right now. But next time, I will make my pizza with Joseph’s Lavash Bread on my pizza pan to get it nice and crispy. I heard this works well for most people.


Burritos/Soft Tacos are so simple!!! You just cook up some ground beef or turkey, or even chicken fajitas with seasonings, and then throw them into either Low-carb Mission tortillas, Joseph’s Lavash bread, or Joseph’s pita bread. Depending on whether you want it to be a fat or carb meal depends on what bread or tortilla you put it into and what meat you use. Also you can add all the fixings such as Greek yogurt (which taste like sour cream), shredded cheese (for fat meal), salsa, black beans and corn (if you’re doing a carb meal), lettuce, tomatoes, pico, etc. You can also just do a taco bowl with organic baked blue corn chips! It will stay in E-carb mode if you use lean ground turkey and leave off the fats. ***Side note: in this picture above, I show regular organic blue corn chips instead of baked, because at the time I did not notice they weren’t baked. Regular corn chips are fried in an oil that usually isn’t the best… even Sunflower oil. To stay on plan, we need to find either a baked corn chip (E–carb meal) or a fried corn chip in coconut or palm oil (which would be a Crossover–maintenance meal).


With my Crockpot Salsa Chicken, I put in my chicken breast with a whole jar of salsa on top of it. The last 30 minutes before serving dinner, I throw in a block of cream cheese and let it melt down if I want it to be a S– fat meal. If I want it to be an E- carb meal, I instead will throw in a can of black beans and sometimes some corn. You can also dip blue corn chips in it as an E meal. It’s also tastes super good over some cauliflower rice that I will quickly cook up before serving. You can find bags of cauliflower rice in your frozen section at the grocery store. A side salad is also great to add with it!


PLAN AHEAD:

 

Another easy thing you can do you is pre-cook chicken, ground beef or ground turkey all on Sunday night and put them in containers in your fridge, so when you come home at any time in the week and you need to get dinner started, you already have your main part of your meal cooked. The easiest thing you can do is pop in some frozen vegetables either in the microwave or in a pot on the stove and steam it in 5 to 10 minutes, and eat it as a side to your meat. Remember seasonings, healthy oils and butter (use these if it is a fat meal) is your friend when cooking vegetables! I also LOVE roasting a variety of vegetables in the oven that is tossed in olive oil and seasonings. It creates such a crisp, wonderful taste and is super simple! You can also grab lettuce and shred it onto your plate, then throw your meat on top and pour salsa or any other kind of dressing that you love and have a big, hearty salad!


I will continue to add to my easy, favorite meals as I make and discover more! Continue to check this blog periodically!

My Little Hero! (Boy & Girl Versions)

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This book is dedicated to my second born, my first son Colin Alexander Meek. The world gained a HERO on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 4:06 PM.

May your life be blessed as you serve the Lord and live up to your name: “victorious defender of mankind.”

Colin, I don’t want you to ever grow up feeling a pressure or a standard set upon you to be a strong, perfect, super or everyone’s hero. I simply like to use a superhero theme over your life because I know that God has big things in store for you, my son. God can use you to do supernatural things on this earth to advance his Kingdom! He can use you to do mighty things— where everyone will look at you and see that there’s something special about you. Something “superhero-ish,” if you will. That one thing will make you different; that one thing will make you stand out in the midst of everyone else is that you will have the one true hero (Jesus Christ) as your Lord and Savior (Matthew 5:14-16). Everyone loves a hero. But even heroes have problems that they must face. I want you to hold firm to the truth of God and His word. He promises that you will never face your problems alone. He promises to remain faithful to you. He promises that He will never leave your side (Psalms 24:8 & Matthew 28:20).

”Be strong and brave. Do not be afraid. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God, I will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

You will always be my little hero.

Love, Christopher Meek

(a.k.a. Daddy—your biggest fan)

Buy both boy & girl versions here!

 

Favorite Parenting Resources

CC738D36-13BE-49A8-85B9-CF7A7C5111B4I’m a huge believer in positive & attachment parenting, and fostering a deep loving, connection & relationship between you and your child while still discipling and teaching them what is right. Here are all of my favorite parenting resources that I use and refer to often!!


BabyCenter- All things pregnancy, infancy, and toddlerhood (receive weekly or monthly emails with tips and developmental milestones):

https://www.babycenter.com/


Dr. William Spears- pediatrician and Attachment Parenting expert:

https://www.askdrsears.com/


Batya the Baby Sleep Expert:

http://batyathebabycoach.com/


Positive Parenting and Discipline by Dr. Laura Markham (child physiologist):

https://www.ahaparenting.com/


“Jesus, the Gentle Parent” book:

https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Gentle-Parent-Christian-Parenting/dp/0988995840

 


“Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide (The Positive Parent Series)”:

https://www.amazon.com/Positive-Parenting-Essential-Guide-Parent/dp/0143109227


“Fresh Start Parenting Show” podcast:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fresh-start-family-show/id1451431159?i=1000429255746


Minimalism for better parenting by Allie Casazza:

http://alliecasazza.com/start-here


Motherhood: inspiring blogs:

https://www.mother.ly


Leslie Ludy’s Set Apart Motherhood blog:

The Collection | Set Apart Motherhood

Trim Healthy Mama Food Shortcuts

If you are wanting to do the THM plan and it be pretty simple without having to make everything from scratch, here are some finds from Walmart that you can buy to help you stay on plan!! I am a mama on a one-income, pastoral budget so all these items are pretty affordable! These are all the ones I use personally. 

Also, be aware as you are looking at items in the store to ALWAYS check the ingredients and serving sizes, which will help determine if what you are getting is on plan. Items (as you will read further in this blog post) can be super tricky and make you think something is on plan until you take the time to look at the actual ingredients and serving size it pertains to. Even something as simple as gummy Vitamins can be chock full of sugar when that may be something you would never think to look at the ingredients for. One daily serving of your vitamin could be giving you up to 8 grams of sugar!!!! Time to switch if that is the case! The THM Food Analyzer App will also be your best friend in figuring out what individual ingredients are on plan and how.

***Word of encouragement for you: Do not get overwhelmed when thinking of all the changes to your health you are having to make!! This is a steady and slow process! It took me 4 years to officially make all the changes I needed to for our health. Concentrate on swapping out one thing at a time as you run out of the food items in your home with an on-plan, healthy food item! Simple swaps is what will get you to eventually where your whole lifestyle is centered around the health you desire! YOU CAN DO THIS!

To learn more about the plan and the resources they have to offer, visit my personal Trim Healthy Mama weight loss testimony here and my Trim Healthy Mama Resource page here! Also check out my favorite easy THM meals to make! 


BREAD:

This Pepperidge Farm whole, sprouted grain bread is my favorite, affordable sprouted grain bread our Walmart carries. Ezekiel bread is organic and more healthy (which is located in the Healthy Food freezer section), but for the price, this Pepperidge Farm bread is my favorite option. Good with any E meals or sandwiches. I normally eat one slice at a time while cutting or folding it into a sandwich.img_1049-1EF88A0FD-6354-4675-A371-3D5A74005DA0


Joseph’s Pita bread or Lavash Bread (my personal favorite of the 2) for Fuel Pull (FP) sandwiches, wraps, pizza crusts or crackers. I personally tear the lavash bread in half when I am making sandwiches or wraps. You can also use Mission Low Carb Tortillas.


Veggies:

These zucchini spirals and cauliflower riced veggies from Green Giant in the frozen food aisle (where you find frozen veggies at) are perfect for any meal that you want to make for S, E, and FP meals!


At your frozen section at Walmart, you can find two different brands of pepper and onion blends that are already chopped up for you! This makes it extremely easy to throw these into your yummy, cheesy egg omelettes for breakfast, meatloaf, casseroles, burritos or fajitas, or into soups or anything else you can think of.  Serene and Pearl mention this in a lot of their recipes as well. One of the brands calls it Seasoning Blend.  I am so grateful for these bags because it adds so much flavor and veggies to your food and you did not have to do any prep work. F8249CA8-4F15-4849-8511-8134ACAA766C.jpeg


CONDIMENTS & SIDES:

 

The Laughing Cow cheese is perfect for spreading on E and FP style sandwiches or wraps, mixing into an E and FP style salad or casserole, or any other E and FP meal you make!


Smuckers all natural peanut butter or even the organic all natural peanut butter is the best way to go for S meals! For jelly, use the Polaner All Fruit spreadable fruit jelly or Smucker’s Simply Fruit which is sweetened only with fruit juice and natural fruit pectin for E meals or any Simply Fruit jelly brand. Combined together with sprouted bread makes a Crossover meal (maintenance meal).


G Hughes smokehouse sugar free barbecue sauce, Skinny Girl dressings & Walden Farms calorie free dressings use a little bit of artificial sweeteners in both of these but it is one of the last few ingredients, so there is not much. They both work for any style meal. Almost any other dressing that does not have added sugar to it like ranch is good for S style meals. I check the back of the bottles to look for a dressing that has hardly any preservatives. Primal Kitchen dressings, ketchup & mayos are great completely on plan dressings and condiments.


Great value sugar-free syrup also uses artificial sweeteners but even Pearl from THM uses it! Can use for any style meal.


MEALS:

Light Progresso soups (that are broth-based and not cream-based) are perfect for any E or FP meal!


For healthy already-made pasta options (E meal if you eat just one serving size and not the whole bag), these Birds Eye Veggie Made Vegetable Pastas are made 100% from veggies and real cheese or marinara sauce! They are kept in the frozen vegetable aisle at Walmart!! They make several different kinds of these pasta meals and they are all great!

4FB4DF4C-9901-4A77-9DEE-73D4E25EEDCCFD17C130-EB01-43F6-A2B3-ACAFC5F85F846BC66A14-F53F-4769-AF70-2AFB3701D29C


Happi Foodi Bowls (Frozen)


I mention this next recipe in my favorite THM easy meals!  This is such an easy 3 ingredient healthy version of mac & cheese! You can eat this mac & cheese (as a “Crossover” maintenance meal) in bigger portions with higher protein levels in it from the lentils. Buy these Lensi Yellow Lentil Penne noodles (in the aisle where all the pasta is located) and cook it. Once the noodles are cooked, mix together melted cheddar cheese with a jar of Classico Light Creamy Alfredo. This stuff is so good and filling and it sticks to your ribs!


Pizza is one of my favorite things to eat!!! Scraping the toppings off of pizza and eating just that is yummy, but I love me some crust– thin crust especially!!! Cauliflower crust actually taste just like thin crust and is an easy way to make pizza!!! Buy this Caulipower brand crust from the freezer section at Walmart to make your own pizzas! You get 2 crusts in a box. If you want some already premade, for the same price you can buy the premade pizzas but only get one pizza. I find it just as easy and way cheaper to get the box of just the 2 pizza crusts, spread some pizza sauce on it, sprinkle garlic salt, shred some cheese on top then bake it! You can add whatever other toppings you desire! So easy and good!

***UPDATE: The THM journey is just that, a life-long journey. This means there will be mistakes made, but the point is to turn them around and learn from them! I was originally told by someone who was doing Keto that this particular brand of cauliflower crust was Keto friendly (which in turn meant it would be S friendly for THM). I took them at their word without ever looking at the ingredients or nutritional facts. I learned a good lesson from this recently when someone pointed out to me that the serving size was for ⅓ of the pizza crust (which I always ate the whole crust in one setting), as well as the flour wasn’t just cauliflower and cheese, but full of Brown Rice flour and White Rice flour (which neither are on plan because of the spike of insulin that happens from eating the flour in such concentrated forms). LESSON LEARNED: ALWAYS CHECK YOUR INGREDIENTS & SERVING SIZES!!! This crust is NOT on plan! Unfortunately there is not a cauliflower crust at our Walmart that I am aware of that is on plan as of right now. But next time, I will make my pizza with Joseph’s Lavash Bread on my pizza pan to get it nice and crispy. I heard this works well for most people. ***There is now a frozen pizza you can buy that is on plan, Quest Pizza in the freezer section.


DRINKS:

For those of you who are obsessed with sodas or just don’t like drinking plain water, Ozarka Sparkling Water (made from spring water which is the cleanest water), Bubly (my favorite sparking water brand) because or any other sparkling water in lime or lemon flavor with a “donk” (1/32 of a teaspoon) of stevia added to it sure makes a nice version of sprite! Our family has grown to love many different flavors of sparkling water. We don’t even sweeten it now and it completely quenches the thirst of wanting a soda! The Bubly cherry flavor reminds us of Dr Pepper. Our personal favorite is Ozarka Sparkling Pomegranate Lemonade!


Any of the Bai Drinks & Vitamin Water Zero drinks are amazing!!


So this is not at Walmart, but it’s worth mentioning. I LOVE THESE Better Stevia flavored drops in my coffee with my frothed heavy whipping cream!!!! They are on amazon for $7 each but there are 203 servings in each bottle and you can use up to 8 drops for each serving. I only used 6 and it was perfect for me— so it will last me longer than 203 servings each bottle!!! Worth it! Tastes like Peppermint Mocha. The Cinnamon Vanilla one is also very good. I am going to give the other flavors they have a try!Better Stevia.jpg


Stur drops located at Walmart are soooooo good to add to your water or sparkling water! They are sweetened with on-plan sweeteners and all natural! They taste amazing and are inexpensive.

Stur drops.png


Do your kids love Capri Sun? I found this Hapi Water at our local Walmart a few months ago right next to the Capri Sun, and it is an all natural organic water that taste just like Capri Sun! It is over $2 for a box of 8 pouches, but when you save it for special times or let your child only drink one a day, it can last for a little while. 5D468363-4CD9-4AB7-8EBC-56326949898E


***For those who have a hard time drinking plain water, not only is the sparkling water an option for you, but adding fruit to your glass of water and letting it infuse in your water all day long as you keep refilling it with water is one of the healthiest and easiest ways to flavor your water!! You can also add a splash of lemon juice to your water, but be aware that continued use of that overtime will weaken the enamel on your teeth. Anybody can change your taste buds overtime to love water! It’s a matter of trying it!
Other drink ideas are: Iced tea sweetened with stevia or coffee with frothed heavy whipping cream (S-fat mode) and Stevia/Erythritol blend are other options you can do in a healthy way! Herbal hot teas with a teaspoon of raw, local honey is great to help with allergies (or you can just sweeten it with stevia as well). I’ve also made ice water with half a teaspoon of baobab powder (which you can buy on THM’s website), and it taste so good like some sort of fruity, tangy juice! Baobab powder has the highest source of antioxidants you can get anywhere! It also boosts your vitamin C! This is great for an immunity and weight loss boost!4942A480-D2E8-401A-BF95-BBD863E7923E


For those of you who want to use nut milk in your recipes without having to buy it… You can make a pint of almond milk for about 2 cents using this recipe! I love it because I always have almonds in my pantry (the sea salt roasted kind for snacking) and I can throw it in my blender with some water and strain it out and have instant almond milk!!! Give it a try!!homemade-almond-milk.jpg


SNACKS & DESSERTS:

 

Oikos Triple Zero Blended Greek yogurt in any flavor is absolutely wonderful tasting and stevia-sweetened. It is perfect for any S, E, and FP meal, dessert, or snack, and has 15 grams of protein at only $1 each!


85%-90% Cocoa bars (Lindt is really good) for a good, quick chocolate bar you can buy that keeps you on plan with S meals. THM has amazing stevia-sweetened chocolate bars that are so pure available on their website, but these are good for a grocery store find!


Anything “sugar-free” at the store that isn’t made with just Stevia or Erythritol or Xylitol, is more in likely made out of some sort of artificial sweetener (like diet sodas or sugar free desserts) that is bad for your health (linked to cancer) and can overtime start spiking your blood sugar just like sugar does.  You really want to keep artificial sweeteners to a minimum as much as you can! That being said, these sugar-free Hershey’s chocolate chips work good in moderation for any THM S dessert recipes you want to try! Again, THM has amazing, pure stevia-sweetened chocolate chips that you can buy as well, but if you need something quick from Walmart, these work. They use a sugar alcohol in it, so just be aware that if you eat too many it may cause some stomach issues. Maltitol sugar alcohols have a Glycemic Index of 36 which is not that great and will spike your blood sugar over time. Moderation is key! Ordering stevia-sweetened chocolate chips from Amazon or THM’s chocolate chips is the best option!


For meal bars and candy options (S) that are on plan, try the Slim Fast Keto collection located in the Pharmacy aisles of Walmart! They taste good and help with quick chocolate fixes you need!


One of our favorite snacks is POPCORN! We bought this silicone microwavable popcorn bowl and pour our kernels into the bottom, put butter and salt all over the top of the kernels and then microwave it. You can find any similar microwavable popcorn bowl on Amazon here. You can keep this in E-carb mode if you only use a teaspoon of butter on the kernels (just 1 teaspoon of any fat in a carb meal will keep you safely in weight loss mode!)! Get creative and flavor your popcorn anyway you like! If you are craving a sweet popcorn, you can sprinkle cinnamon and stevia over your popcorn kernels before microwaving it!


For an S style chip, you can get Whisps and Parm Crisps which are made 100% from cheese (the non-flavored ones). For an E style chip, get the Baked Organic Blue Corn chips! ***Side note: in this picture below, I show regular organic blue corn chips instead of baked, because at the time I did not notice they weren’t baked. Regular corn chips are fried in an oil that usually isn’t the best… even Sunflower oil. To stay on plan, we need to find either a baked corn chip (E–carb meal) or a fried corn chip in coconut or palm oil (which would be for a Crossover–maintenance meal).


Quest Protein Chips & Great Value Keto Chocolate Trail Mix are great snacks on plan too! The chips are high in protein and taste similar to Ranch Doritos, and the trail mix does have sugar in the chocolate, but its the max amount allowed on plan in one setting.


For an E style chip, you can also get these Popchips! They are super yummy and more natural ingredients. They are not perfectly on plan, but I found I was able to lose weight easily even having a small handful of these everyday with my E–carb lunch. Everyone’s body reacts differently, so be aware if you have these and use them sparingly. UPDATE: Not only does it include white rice flour, they also include Maltodextrin in the spices, and when I researched what Maltodextrin does (which is a derivative of corn), it spikes your blood sugar almost just as much as sugar!!! I was shocked. Keep an eye out on what you buy that has that ingredient in it. Since I have looked further into it, I do not recommend Popchips on plan.img_1969


Cookies & Brownies & Pancakes:

Quest has Protein Chocolate Chip Cookies that taste pretty good! Duncan Hines now has Keto Cake in a cup mixes that you can microwave in 60 seconds. Birch Benders has a good Keto pancake mix that just needs water as well as individual pancake, cookie, and brownie in a cup mixes.


Ice Cream:

Rebel ice cream in ANY flavor is amazing and completely on plan!

If you need a dairy free version, So Delicious No-Sugar Added Butter Pecan made from coconut milk is really good.


I will continue to add to this blog post as I find products on our Walmart shelves that I start to use regularly! God Bless!

Trim Healthy Mama (THM) Resources


Trim Healthy Mama website with info & testimonies:

www.trimhealthymama.com


Trim Healthy Mama (free) Food Analyzer App for iPhone:

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/thm-food-analyzer/id1434887504

& for Android phones:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.trimhealthymama.foodanalyzer&hl=en


Trim Healthy Mama Plan book:

https://www.amazon.com/Trim-Healthy-Mama-Plan-Easy-Does/dp/1101902639/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?crid=CCXYU09HPE1X&keywords=trim+healthy+mama+plan+and+cookbook&qid=1555339466&s=gateway&sprefix=trim+healthy+mama+plan+&sr=8-3


“Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook” that partners with the Plan book:

https://www.amazon.com/Trim-Healthy-Mama-Cookbook-Recipes/dp/1101902663/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?crid=CCXYU09HPE1X&keywords=trim+healthy+mama+plan+and+cookbook&qid=1555339466&s=gateway&sprefix=trim+healthy+mama+plan+&sr=8-2


“Trim Healthy Table” (2nd) cookbook that has a review section of their plan:https://www.amazon.com/Trim-Healthy-Mamas-Table-Delicious/dp/0804189986/ref=sr_1_1?crid=DI623WAZ3OCS&keywords=trim+healthy+table&qid=1579222503&sprefix=Trim+Healthy+Table%2Caps%2C229&sr=8-1


Trim Healthy Mama encouraging podcast that comes out weekly on Wednesdays— Listen to episode 153 “THM vs. All The Diets!” to hear a breakdown of how the THM Plan works!

https://cms.megaphone.fm/channel/trimhealthypodcast?selected=ADL8486171648


Trim Healthy Mama products/online store:

https://store.trimhealthymama.com/


Trim Healthy Mama “Workins” exercise DVD set:

https://store.trimhealthymama.com/product/workins-9-dvd-set/


Trim Healthy Mama YouTube channel where they upload tips and tricks, recipe videos and more:

https://youtube.com/user/THMOfficialVideo


THM Facebook page:

https://facebook.com/TrimHealthyMama/


THM private Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/trimhealthymamas/?ref=share


THM Pinterest:

https://pin.it/zw5nmhikvmy6qn


THM Instagram: @trimhealthymama


“The Well Planned Kitchen” blog mentioned in the THM Plan Book for helpful meal plans, “Start Here” tips on a budget, recipes and more: https://thewellplannedkitchen.com/

Life Lesson #15: A New & Fresh Start

(Originally written on 12-12-13, but some minor details edited for today.)

goodbyeoldhellonewI have grown up in church all my life.

I gave my life to God when I was very young, and was water baptized at the age of 8.

I have learned the “Christianeese” lingo, read the Bible through and through over 9 times since I’ve been in college till now. I have seen healing take place right before my eyes (one, God saw fit to use my hands). I have seen manifestations of demonic powers and deliverances right before my eyes. I’ve been on several missions trips with my hometown youth group. I led worship in my hometown youth group till I graduated and went off to college.  I went to Christ For The Nations (in Dallas Tx.) for three years of the School Of Worship program. Lead worship for multiple churches since graduating, became a children’s pastor and have been one for almost 8 years now, and have spoken at multiple locations and services.

But through all of this… at times, I can’t help but shake the feeling that my relationship with God isn’t growing like it should at. In fact, there are many times I am feeling like I am at a complete standstill. It feels as though I have “seen and heard it all” so to speak (even though I KNOW that is not true.)

That leads me today’s Life Lesson:

Maybe you can relate with what I’m saying.

  • My prayers feel like they hit the roof.
  • I open the Bible and I don’t seem to be engaged.
  • I try to read a daily devotional, but can’t help but feeling like I’m going through a ritual (because I’ve done that my whole life too)

Maybe you, just like me, have grown up in church and have “seen and heard it all” which is also resulting in a standstill relationship with the Heavenly Father.

Personally, in my life,—- I have finally pinpointed the result of this issue—–

I can’t help but notice I have a spark of jealousy in my heart.

Jealousy of others who did NOT grow up in church, OR if they did grow up in church, they turned away from their Christian beliefs and later in their adult lives returned to their Christian roots, and have become radically transformed by God’s Spirit.

These changed people know Bible scriptures in and out, love to worship, love to read the Word, and they seem to have a deeper relationship with God than I do in general, and I have known about Him longer.

What’s up with that?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Have I become so familiar with God’s Spirt and His presence that I have lost the sense of respect and honor for Him?!?

I found this jealousy by praying what David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24 (and NO, an answer did not come right away. I had to continually think about this.)

“Search me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is anything in me that offends You, and lead me in the path of everlasting life.”

Once God opened my heart and eyes to see what has been holding me back I had to confess it to Him.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”John 1:9

I believe in the Bible and what it says. I believe that it is the whole, written Word of God. That there are no missing books, chapters or verses, and that it is 100% truth and fact.

newness

And I also believe that even though God’s Word, the Bible, may be old, and even though I have read/heard certain scriptures countless times in my life, I still believe that God will use one of those verses to impact our lives in a time where you’re not expecting it, or in a time where you need it.

“For the word of God is alive and active…”   Hebrews 4:12

I’ve been reading a book, by Dale Forhand called, “Often Told, Rarely Trained.” It’s a training guide to help men become the godly men, husbands, sons, brothers, and fathers they are always told to be from pastors, wives, ect., but are rarely trained to become that man.

In it, he reminded me that:

“Sin breaks our fellowship with Christ and binds us from freedom.”

Jealousy is a sin.  Comparing my relationship with God to someones else’s relationship with God is wrong.

Just like a loving father has a special connection with each of his children, he never favors one above the other. At the same time, his relationship with his daughter is a different relationship than with his son. And the relationship with his first son, is different than his relationship with his other son. Again, he never favors a relationship above the others. The same is with our Heavenly Father.

So why am I comparing myself to others!?

I feel like the older brother in the Prodigal Son story. (Luke 15:11-32)

When his younger brother came back from living a wild life style, and lost all of his portion of his inheritance, his father forgave him and gave him a huge welcome home party. When the older brother found out about this he was furious and confused. For he had never left his father and lived a wild and crazy life, yet he told his father, “you never once gave me a party with my friends, yet you killed our fatted calf for a BBQ Party for your son who disgraced your name!?”

And I am reminded of the father’s response… GOD’S RESPONSE to how I have been feeling….

““My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.'”(verse 31)

So….. even though all this time I have felt at a standstill, my prayers feel like they bounce right back to me, and my heart seems heavy with jealousy like the older brother, God is saying, “You are always with Me, and everything I have is already yours too?”

Then the father said one last thing to wrap up the story, “But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”(verse 32)

I need to be glad and find joy in the knowledge of these changed people. For they have gone a way, but have turned back to God. OR, for those who have never known the gift of Salvation in God as a child, but now do. I should take pleasure in knowing that they are rocketing through life with a deep relationship and knowledge of their Savior.

But I STILL DESIRE that for myself!!!! something-new

So—– this is my conclusion about that…..

Dale Forhand (Author of the book earlier mentioned) says:

“Who doesn’t like new things? Who doesn’t want some new ways? Who wouldn’t want the newness of God in their life? Thats what you have right now– the chance to start over, to start NEW. As I write this, I am overcome with a sense that men will read this and become undone. There are men who feel so beat up, so beat down, so tired and worn out that the truth of being made NEW is truly uplifting to their spirits. Christ is offering you NEWNESS today. Claim the verses below for your life, and then live in their truth!

Psalm 40:2-3

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a NEW song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.”

Isaiah 43:19

“See, I am doing a NEW thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.”

Ezekiel 36:26

“I will give you a NEW heart and put a NEW spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Romans 6:4

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a NEW life.”

2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the NEW creation has come: The old has gone, the NEW is here!”

Revelation 21:5
“He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything NEW!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”————I am walking in this NEWNESS today! In-fact, I am having to walk in this NEWNESS everyday. “Transformation is a process, not a formula.” Dale Forhand says. It will take time. But if you are going through anything like what I am, I pray that you will be encouraged in God’s Word and claim this NEWNESS. Ask God for a fresh start.

I deeply desire for that fire of passion to burn in me once again. A passion for His name, His love, His Word, His people, His healing, His mercy, His grace, His love, and His relationship. I want to have the overwhelming sensation of Salvation that I felt when forgiveness washed over me for the first time.My heart’s cry is, “God….. make me NEW.” Christopher Meek