Whew! It’s been a few years since I posted to this blog. I’ve decided recently to begin blogging my food intake for a couple of reasons.
One, to keep myself accountable. I’ve gained a tiny bit of weight I’d like to shed. (Helllooooo, perimenopause!) Two, to show how one can eat THM style without the book or buying specialty foods from the THM store.
These muffins are SO good, 2 are quite filling due to the egg whites and collagen providing protein, and I’m proud of myself for actually using up that bag of cranberries that’s been lingering in my freezer since last year!
Why is it an “E” meal? Because it’s fueled with healthy “slow” carbs instead of fats. I used maybe 1 T half and half in my Nespresso shot, which is 2.5 grams of fat, keeping this meal under 5 g.
This was leftover from last night’s dinner. Why is it an “E” meal? Because it has low-fat ground turkey for the protein source, along with beans and brown rice for healthy carbs.
This recipe gets rave reviews from hubby, and I love how frugal it is. If I can get all the ingredients from Aldi, I’m a happy girl!
If you didn’t know, I literally wrote a book on the topic.
Snack: Coffee with half and half, Aldi brand protein yogurt (identical to Oikos 000, just cheaper!) with a spoonful of all-natural, sugar-free peanut butter and Lily’s chocolate chips. Fuel: S
Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter?! Why is it an “S” snack? Because peanut butter and chocolate chips contain fat, and there is no substantial carbohydrate in this snack. The low-fat yogurt is a good source of protein.
Remember that with Trim Healthy Mama, all meals and snacks are anchored with protein to stabilize blood sugar.
Dinner: Pork Chops with Apple and Fennel, Green Beans Nicoise, Brown Rice.Fuel: E
The green beans had a bit of olive tapenade on them, but the entire recipe only used a couple of tablespoons so the fat fuel was still under 5g. That makes this meal an E for “energizing” (carbohydrate fuel), due to the apples and brown rice.
Also happy to have used up the leftover fennel I had in the freezer from my last Trader Joe’s trip. I love fennel. It’s great for digestion and the gut in general, and it’s delicious!
I tend to eat too few carbs when I’m doing THM, which can lead to fatigue and cravings. I think this is a common problem, judging by the posts in the THM Facebook group. The “S” meals are so yummy and satisfying.
So I’m proud of myself for eating more E meals today. Carbs are important for thyroid health. When we aren’t getting enough carbs, it can cause that late night craving for cookies. No bueno!
On my other blog, I talked about bodyweight exercises to do with your kids. I love bodyweight workouts because they’re faster than cardio, don’t require special equipment and they’re free! They also tone the body more than cardio and can be done anywhere, even a hotel room.
I don’t know about you, but when I hit the floor to do my push-ups, my toddler loves to jump on my back! Instead of moving away from him, next time I’ll incorporate some of these moves to have fun with him and increase the challenge of my workout!
I consider myself a Trim Healthy Mama “for life”. I will never NOT be on it. I have cured my sugar addition and enjoyed many non-scale victories and benefits as a result of THM. However, life sometimes happen and good habits slip. I found myself recently a few pounds heavier than my ideal weight.
Here’s the thing: as a Trim Healthy Mama, I know EXACTLY what to do to remedy this situation! First, why I gained a few pounds.
My life has become busier as a result of starting a new side hustle: my LipSense business has taken off faster than I ever could have imagined. That’s great! The bad news, however, is that I had allowed myself to eat a few too many fast food meals and justified it with my busy lifestyle.
There’s nothing bad about eating a cheeseburger without the bun, but as soon as you add those salty fries? You’ll see the scale creep up. I stopped tracking my meals and even meal planning started to slip.
The good news is, I signed up for the Trim Healthy Mama Membership. I love it! I resisted this for a long time, reasoning that I knew how to meal plan and didn’t need any hand-holding in that area. But as my business has grown, I have more income to invest in outsourcing (we also hired a house cleaning service!) and it just makes sense to do so.
Gaining (then losing) 5 pounds on TrimHealthyMama
So the first thing I did to lose those 5 pounds?
I started drinking The Shrinker again every day.
I forbade French Fries. Ok, realistically, I can eat french fries once a week if I’m staying on plan the other time, without it affecting my weight. But, for now I did a temporary ban!
I started paying better attention to separating fuels.
After just 3 days of this, my pants are looser in the waist again. YES! This is the first place extra weight goes on me, and it’s so uncomfortable! So as soon as my pants feel loose in the waist again, I’m happy.
Interestingly, I’ve noted since being on THM for over a year that sugar makes me very ill. Once in a while, I will take a bite of something sweet that my husband is eating, or eat a few bites of something off-plan (because of the sugar content). You know what? Within MOMENTS, I feel sick. It truly is amazing to me. It’s a negative reinforcement that keeps me on plan. I love it!
What do you do when the scale inches up because you’ve been lax on THM?
Looking for a Trim Healthy Mama Budget Menu to help keep your food costs down? Read on.
I’ll be honest here and admit something. Since I started Trim Healthy Mama, my grocery spending has gone up. I’m not gonna lie. It’s worth it. The sustainable weight loss I’ve experienced and the non-scale victories are totally worth it! I know that long-term, spending a little more on a better diet will cost less than the chronic disease that results from a standard (crappy) American diet.
Recently I’ve begun thinking more about how to lower my monthly bills. Since I have 7 kids, grocery spending is our biggest expense after housing. Therefore, spending less on the food budget has a quick impact.
When we think about creating a budget menu for Trim Healthy Mama, sometimes our first thought is, “How can I spend less on the food I’m buying?”. Truly, however, that’s backwards. What we should be asking is, “Which foods are inexpensive to start with and are on-plan?” Do you see the difference? The first approach will have you scouring for sales, coupons and coupon codes. The second is far less stressful.
Trim Healthy Mama Budget Menu: Start with Protein
Since Trim Healthy Mama meals are anchored with protein, let’s start with that. Which protein sources are least expensive?
A Google search turned up the following information on quite a few pages (most of them about bodybuilding, lol!). Budget sources of protein include:
Whey protein (this surprised me – maybe bodybuilders are using cheap whey protein. The THM whey protein is around .89 a scoop, hardly cheap – so instead, use cottage cheese or half a scoop instead. The Trimmy drinks only call for a teaspoon of whey protein powder.)
Frozen chicken breast
(You know what’s NOT on the list that should be? Gelatin! A tablespoon of gelatin has 11 grams protein. (A can of Great Lakes gelatin has 38 servings, making it around .50 a serving. The Trim Healthy Mama gelatin is a little cheaper. )
See anything cool here? These are all on plan! Try forming the bulk of your meals around these protein foods. Canned tuna is especially cheap and it’s a Fuel Pull. I love it with hot sauce sprinkled on. You can make it an S food by mixing it with mayo. A half can of tuna along with sides will fill you up for hours. Around here, eggs have been around a buck a dozen. That’s a dime for almost a complete meal!
Cottage cheese is also cheap. I love it with sweet potatoes instead of meat. (If you mash it into a hot sweet potato, it sort of melts and gets gooey!)
Trim Healthy Mama Budget Menu: Now for the sides
What about produce? We THM types like to eat a lot of non-starchy vegetables. Check out this list of the cheapest vegetables by month. Because there’s no way I’m going to remember this list when I’m at the store, I simply have a price per pound in my head that I’m willing to pay for fresh fruits and vegetables, and I don’t go over it. That price dictates what I buy. For fruit, it’s .99 a pound. That means I buy apples and bananas more than anything else unless something’s on sale.
Do the same for meat. Vow to never spend over .99 a pound except for special occasions. If you shop loss leaders, you can accomplish this easily. You might not have as much variety, but who needs a different type of meat each day of the week to be happy?
Frozen! Frozen veggies and fruits are almost always cheaper than fresh in my area.
Don’t forget your E meals and snacks. Since they’re fueled with carbs, and carbs are inexpensive foods, E meals and snacks help the THM food budget. See how to get enough E meals and snacks here. Oats, brown rice, sweet potatoes, fruit: all cheap!
Ease up on the fats. Since fats are the most expensive, ounce for ounce, of any foods we buy (nuts are more expensive than steak), try eating more Light S meals. Avocados, nuts, cheese are all delicious, but they’re easy to overdo and can cause weight loss plateaus or stalls (which is why they’re not on the Fuel Cycle plan!).
Bulk it up. If you eat a lot of a particular food, say brown rice or oats, price that food in bulk quantities. I get my oats, brown rice and beans in 25-50 pound buckets. This is a bit of an investment up-front, but the price per pound is better than what I can get at the cheapest grocery store. I get my bulk stuff from Amazon. Two good brands are Augason Farms and Honeyville.
I haven’t investigated warehouse clubs. Many frugal bloggers love them though, so it’s worth checking their prices.
Go NSI. No Special Ingredients – these recipes are marked in the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook because they contain no special, fancy ingredients (just an on-plan sweetener in the case of desserts).
Shop your local Scratch ‘n Dent. I don’t have one nearby, but I do have a Bargain Hunt, and I find THM-safe food there every time I go! I’ve bought flavorings, teas, canned food, protein bars and other things, all at a discount.
Shop at ALDI if you have one nearby. ALDI prices just plain beat everyone’s. If you have to drive a long way to get to an ALDI, it might be worth it to stock up once a month. They have awesome prices on unsweetened almond milk, 0% Greek yogurt, eggs, shredded cheese, produce and meat. Here is a free ALDI shopping list for THM. See all the pages tagged “ALDI“.
Eliminate Convenience. Anytime a human or a machine does something to process your food, you’ll pay. So romaine hearts are cheaper than bagged salads. Whole fruit is cheaper than cut. Blocks of cheese are cheaper than shredded (though not always – check prices per pound!). Riced cauliflower is more expensive than whole. Salad dressing can be whipped up in a minute and is cheaper and healthier than store bought. A large jar of Slim Belly Jelly is a fraction of the cost of all-fruit jelly. When eggs are cheap, it’s less expensive to separate them yourself rather than using boxed egg whites. Etc.
Learn to love pure stevia. THM pure stevia powder is the most budget-friendly sweetener they offer. It’s fine to start with Gentle Sweet if you begin THM as a sugar addict, but slowly acclimate your taste buds. Put your big girl panties on!
Stock up when the Trim Healthy Mama store offers a sale. Guess who ordered 3 bags of Baking Blend when it went on sale for 3 for 16.99 even when she already had two bags in her pantry? Yeahme. If you’ve ordered from the girls before, you’re on their list and they’ll email you when a sale hits. Take advantage!!
Eat smaller portions. Yeah, I went there! Just because we’re on Trim Healthy Mama and have food freedom doesn’t mean we need to eat on plates the size of a small parking space. Look at your grandma’s plates from the 50’s. They were probably 9″ in diameter, whereas modern plates are up to 15″! This is insanity. SIZE MATTERS. French women don’t get fat, and neither did our grandmothers – because small portions! Keep in mind that a portion of protein should be the size of a deck of cards. A portion of cheese? Two dice. Etc. Here’s a nice visual using your hand to help you remember this.
Fill your plate with non-starchy vegetables! The THM authors don’t just tell us this because it helps us stay thin. It also costs less!
Start a price book and use it to guide purchases and meal planning. This can be as simple as keeping grocery receipts for a few weeks. Write in a notebook or computer document the items you buy most often and the price you pay. You’ll start to see patterns – what’s a good deal (stock up!), and what’s not (eat something else).
Sample Trim Healthy Mama Budget Menu
Budget THM Breakfasts
Oats with berries and 0% Greek yogurt or cottage cheese for protein (I like to blend my cottage cheese with a dash of vanilla extract and stevia to make it extra-creamy, almost like cheesecake!). E fuel.
2 scrambled or fried eggs with sauteed vegetables or greens – hold the expensive cheese! Enjoy your eggs Deep S.
1 large ground turkey patty with stewed apples (cook them in a very small amount of butter and a bit of water, add cinnamon and stevia). E fuel.
Leftover brown rice, warmed with a dash vanilla, cinnamon, almond milk and stevia for Hot Breakfast Rice. (Add a protein source like a Trimmy with collagen and whey protein, or put egg whites in the brown rice while you’re warming it.) E fuel.
Any of the smoothie recipes (sub 1/3 cup cottage cheese for whey protein)
Trim Healthy Mama E pancakes (made with oats, egg whites and cottage cheese)
Budget THM Lunches
Waldorf Salad from the cookbook
Any of the single serving soups from the cookbook
Tuna prepared how you like it, with a side salad and homemade dressing
Sweetie on steroids (cottage cheese, cooked chicken or ground turkey for protein)
Cajun-style rice and beans (with ground turkey or low-fat chicken sausage for protein)
Creamless Creamy Chicken (over cabbage)
Egg Roll in a Bowl – especially if you buy your cabbage whole and cut it yourself! Cabbage is super cheap.
Budget THM Snacks
Glucomannan, since only a tiny amount is required, is quite cheap. Therefore, recipes that call for it are usually inexpensive. Gluccie Pudding is an example. – FP
Apple slices with peanut flour/0% Greek yogurt dip – E fuel
Last week was my first Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle. I promised to post the results here. Since I only did a one-week “mini” fuel cycle (the typical one is for two weeks), I wasn’t expecting any radical results.
Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle Results
When I stepped on the scale this morning, I was surprised to find that I hadn’t lost ANY weight.
But then, I grabbed a tape and measured my waist. I lost a full INCH from my waistline. Success! I don’t care about the number on the scale. I’m more concerned with how my clothes feel. So I’m very pleased with the results.
I’m glad I tried the Fuel Cycle. Not only did I realize that I can eat more Fuel Pull meals and snacks without feeling deprived, I now know that my body really likes them! I felt more energetic on my two Fuel Pull days. Maybe those “lighter” types of meals are a bit easier to digest? I’m not sure of the reason, but I know I need to add more Fuel Pulls into my life.
My results from the fuel cycle weren’t extreme, but I bet if I did it another week I would lose a bit more. I’m happy with the outcome for now. I plan to continue staying “on plan”, increasing my number of fuel pull snacks and meals, and incorporate more Deep S meals too (not eat so much cheese, lol!).
Something else I learned from my Fuel Cycle week? That I really can fill up when I eat more non-starchy vegetables. I love vegetables, but sometimes get into lazy habits. My body seems to thrive when I eat fried eggs with greens for breakfast, for instance. (A Deep S meal.) I haven’t been doing enough of those.
I’m also happy to have found a couple of new snacks I love. Gluccie pudding (FP) and Hot custard (Deep S) are my new friends.
Have you ever done a fuel cycle? What were your weight loss or other results?
Breakfast 7:00 (woo, it’s the weekend- I slept until 6, late for me) I had a Trimmy (with butter in it!), chicken sausage and eggs scrambled in butter. Ahhhh, fat. I’ve missed you! I feel like kissing my KerryGold butter (it’s Irish – get it?).
Snack @ 11:15 Fried egg, Luscious Lemon Cake (a mug cake recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook). Instead of the usual cream cheese frosting, I mixed butter, Gentle Sweet and lemon juice for an icing. I LOVE this cake. If I’m craving one of those Iced Lemon Pound Cake slices from Starbucks, I have this instead and it nails it. (See more Starbucks Copycat Recipes for THM here.)
Snack @ 2:30 – a Chocolate Fat Stripping Frappa
Dinner @ 5:30 – this was supposed to be an E meal, but today got a little crazy. We’re busy packing up for a move right now, and my dryer is broke. We had to grocery shop, visit the coin laundry, run some errands…
I ended up eating a Hardee’s natural burger, no bun or cheese, with lettuce and tomato. It was delicious. Technically I messed up here, because the 7th day of the fuel cycle was supposed to end with carbs but instead ending up being a Deep S. Oh, well.
Tomorrow I’ll let you know the results of my fuel cycle week!
Note: I chose a one week fuel cycle instead of two weeks, because I only had a little bit to lose. And also because I just wanted to try it out, to see what a fuel cycle was like.
Breakfast @ 6:00 – For breakfast I had a Berry Gummy, and a little creation I invented myself. I made the sweet Swiss Bread (it’s for the Bread Puddin’, but I ran out of almond milk so couldn’t make the pudding, so I had to come up with something to top it with). I ended up making a batch of Slim Belly Jelly, so I topped my bread with that, then a vanilla Oikos 000 yogurt. It looked pretty!
Snack @ 10:30 (wow, my breakfast lasted me a while eh?) a Fuel Pull spice cake (Sheri Graham’s recipe), topped with a vanilla Oikos 000, coffee with half and half, a Berry Gummy
I need to keep these berry gummies on hand at all times! I used to make them frequently but had gotten out of the habit. They’re incredibly filling, easy to transport, and quick.
Lunch @ 1:30 – Loaded Fotato Soup and a chocolate Fat Stripping Frappa
At around 3:30 I was totally starved so I had another Berry Gummy (since this has NO fat whatsoever, I think I’m okay here!)
I’m scared. I always have a fear of being hungry, even as a child I tended to gobble my food and eat frequently. Sadly, that let to a lot of stomachaches. I’ve been working on slowing down and reminding myself, “Carrie, this is NOT your last meal!” for years, it seems.
To get ready for the Fuel Pull days of the Fuel Cycle, I added new recipes to my Pinterest Fuel Pull Recipe board. I also created a new one named Fuel Cycle and began pinning to that too. I bought extra celery, cucumbers, salad greens – and treated myself to several 000 Oikos flavored Greek yogurts (a bit pricey, but I needed the emotional security of having them on hand!). I also made two Salted Caramel Gluccie Puddings to keep in the fridge.
Breakfast @ 5:30 – I had an Oikos 000 with Fuel Pull Overnight Oats topped with 1/2 cup strawberries. From this recipe. Small coffee and a teeny-tiny bit of half and half (under 2 T keeps you well under 5 grams of fat).
Snack @ 8:30 – A Salted Caramel Gluccie Pudding and a Hot Chocolate Trimmy (with just 1 tsp MCT oil)
Aaaaand it’s 9:42… and I’m starved. This is when this thing starts to feel like a diet and not food freedom. Good news is, I could definitely tell a difference in my tummy when I got dressed this morning. I wore a shirtdress to work today that I’ve never worn before. It looked great! I realize I should have added berries, veggies or some other non-starchy thing to fill me up. Will do better next meal!
I made an Earth Milk Sip (with no MCT) to distract me from my hunger.
Lunch (praise be!) @ 11:30 – Loaded Fotato Soup with Swiss Bread. I doubled the recipe so I would have some for tomorrow. I ate a hearty serving of the soup along with berries topped with 0% Greek yogurt.
I may have repeatedly moaned with pleasure while eating lunch! Food tastes SO good when you’re really hungry.
Note: I didn’t have Laughing Cow cheese for the recipe, but I wondered if I could use low-fat (Neufchatel) cream cheese. An ounce is 6 grams fat. So I had to find out, what’s an ounce of cream cheese look like? As it turns out, an ounce of cheese resembles a pair of dice. So I cut a little less than what looked like a pair of dice and popped that into my soup before pureeing. 🙂
Snack @ 3:30 – I guess I ate enough this time to fill me for 3 hours. 😉 For a snack I had a turkey-wrapped pickle, a few berry gummies (from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook), celery sticks dipped in peanut junky butter mixed with 0% Greek yogurt, and a Trimmy Light.
Dinner @ 6:30 – Egg Roll in a Bowl, FP version.
Whew! I made it through today. I actually felt quite “light” and energetic today. I don’t know if it had to do with all the fuel pulls or not, but I do know I need more of them in my diet. And my beloved Baking Blend and Oat Fiber arrived! That means that tomorrow I can enjoy some Fuel Pull chocolate cake. 🙂
Except I’m out of cocoa powder.
Ah, the life of a Trim Healthy Mama! Always at the grocery store. 😉
It’s day 4 of my first Trim Healthy Mama fuel cycle week! And like yesterday, it’s an E fuel day. This morning when I put on a favorite skirt, I noticed it was easier to zip. Woo!
Breakfast @ 6:30 – Oatmeal with diced apple and collagen, soaked overnight in a little almond milk. I sprinkled on a little stevia and cinnamon, then topped it with a Vanilla Gluccie Pudding to help fill me up. Had a small cup of coffee with a dash of half and half.
Snack @ 9:30 – Trim Healthy Mama E waffle, topped with 0% Greek yogurt and strawberries and two strips turkey bacon. Chamomile tea. Did you know what two strips of turkey bacon (at least the ALDI brand) contains only 3 grams fat?! That means I stayed well under 5 g.
Tip: When I make pancakes, waffles or oatmeal (in other words, something I eat warm), I like to put a few strawberries, sliced, into a small bowl with some Super Sweet and microwave it for 1 minute. It makes a nice juicy strawberry sauce!
Lunch @ 1:30 – Broccoli stir-fry. It was rather delicious and I made it up on the spot. And it’s a Fuel Pull so I’m definitely remembering this. I could serve it over rice for E fuel, or make it with beef for S. I simply browned lean ground turkey with red onions and broccoli, then sprinkled on ginger, garlic, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes and a dash soy sauce. Yummy!
For dessert I had a microwave Apple Crisp. (This is what gave me my E fuel, the broccoli stir-fry had no carbs.) I tried to cook it in my toaster oven, but it started burning on the top, boo! So microwave it was. I also pretty much made the recipe up on the spot. I sliced a small apple and topped it with 1/3 cup oats, a dash almond milk for moisture, dash salt, stevia, cinnamon. I would have added a little vanilla but I ran out.
I really hope my order of Baking Blend and Oat Fiber arrive today, because it will be hard to do two days of Fuel Pull without them!!! Note to self: never, ever run out of either of those things. I really wish Trim Healthy Mama had autoship. I was forced to order those from Amazon because THM’s shipping is slower.
I sipped on a Caramel Roobios Shrinker today. I made it with two Roobios tea bags and added caramel extract. Yum!
Dinner @ 5:30: Sweet Potato Oat Soup
Bedtime snack @ 7:30 – Half an apple with apple dip (from the THM cookbook)
I’m a little nervous about the next two days, which are Fuel Pull days. I’m concerned that I’m going to feel hungry all day! We’ll see how it goes. 🙂
Breakfast @ 5:30 AM – For breakfast I enjoyed an Apple-Cinnamon muffin, with an extra half apple and Salted Caramel gluccie pudding: a lovely combo and it kept me full for the entire 3 hours! Plus a small coffee with a tiny amount of half and half.
Snack @ 8:30 – Vanilla Gluccie Pudding – again, I love this stuff! So glad I finally tried it, and it’s Fuel Pull!
Lunch @ 11:30 – Half a sweet potato, ground turkey patty, sauteed onions and zucchini. GGMS to drink.
Snack @ 3:30 – I made a Trim Healthy Mama “E” waffle and enjoyed it with mock maple syrup (recipes for both are in the THM cookbook) and a couple of sliced strawberries. I had a cup of half decaf coffee with 2 T half and half (which has only 3 grams of fat, keeping me well under 5 grams!).
And would you believe, I discovered I had run out of oat fiber AND baking blend!? For me, running out of baking blend especially is an emergency. I was craving Sheri Graham’s Fuel Pull chocolate cake which calls for oat fiber and couldn’t make one! Plus, with Fuel Pull days coming
Dinner @ 6:00 – Another ground turkey patty, this time with a salad and half a sweet potato. For dressing, I stirred together a bit of 0% Greek yogurt, a dash mustard, a bit of stevia for a “honey mustard”. It was good.
Tip: one of the ways I save time while doing Trim Healthy Mama is to cook several things at once for use them later. For example, I cook several sweet potatoes at a time and eat one every day until they’re gone. Or I cook Bust-a-Myth banana cake or Trimtastic Zucchini cake, cut into portions, and freeze so I have an easy snack or meal. I often make a family-size portion of muffins, freeze and do the same. Etc.