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!
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.
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.
I hope you had a wonderful year and met your weight loss goals with the help of TrimHealthyMama. I thought it would be fun to share the most popular posts on this blog for 2016. If you’re new here, you might have missed one of these.
(And if you’re new here, be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter by entering your email address to the right. You’ll get instant access to a free ALDI meal plan and other exclusive content to help you in your THM lifestyle.)
Are you wondering how to fill up when eating Trim Healthy Mama E Meals? That’s one of the challenges for people new to the plan. It was certainly the case with me.
Eating healthy, moderate carbohydrates (“E” fuel) is important for the metabolism and energy levels. This is what makes TrimHealthyMama different from low-carb diets. Low carb diets often cause fatigue because they can mess with thyroid function. This happened to me, which caused me to drop low-carb, thankfully I found THM! Eating low-carb for even a few days causes me to have debilitating fatigue. And no, it’s not “low carb flu”. It never goes away.
Eating carbohydrates in your E meals and snacks prevents this. But some THMers struggle with E fuels, either because they find that E meals don’t fill them up, or because fattier meals (our “S”, or satisfying fuels) are more delicious! But eating too many S meals can cause a weight loss plateau and even mood changes (you need healthy carbs for brain health, it’s the abuse of cheap carbs that cause problems).
Getting enough “E” meals and snacks also helps you stay in your budget, since E foods (rice, fruit, on-plan breads, sweet potatoes) are inexpensive.
Here are a few tips.
Trim Healthy Mama E Meals: how to fit E meals into your THM diet
Devote one meal or snack per day as your “E” fuel.
I love having cream in my morning coffee, so I eat an S fuel breakfast every day so as to avoid a crossover. Because of that, I chose my lunch as my E fuel, since in the middle of the day is when I need the most energy for taking care of and homeschooling my kids.
Yours may be different. Maybe a lighter E breakfast works for you (you can enjoy a Trimmy beverage with your breakfast if you like a hot caffeinated drink in the AM).
On-plan granola recipes, oats, egg white omelets with fruit on the side or fruity smoothies are all E fuels. Or try a brown rice pudding – cooked brown rice topped with a little almond milk, vanilla extract and a bit of stevia is delicious for breakfast, especially in cold weather.
I also love having E suppers occasionally since for me, supper usually is a lighter meal. (I prefer to eat most of my calories early in the day and have a light evening meal.)
Lately, I’ve been making a lot of pork chops or pork tenderloin with a fruity glaze. For example, yesterday I cooked pork chops in a pan with a little chopped pineapple and soy sauce for flavor, served over brown rice with half a small sweet potato. It was so delicious!
Pork tenderloin is also low in fat, quick and easy to cook, and perfect as a protein source with E meals. Last week I made “caramelized” pork tenderloin by glazing it with soy sauce, garlic and a bit of stevia and baking it. So yummy and easy with vegetables.
Trim Healthy Mama E Meals: How to fill up
Get enough protein with your E meals and snacks
Protein is the missing link in making sure your Trim Healthy Mama E meals sustain you!
If you have oatmeal for breakfast, try serving it with Cottage Berry Whip. Or have a Trimmy beverage (FP) with collagen and/or whey protein with your E snack. Have a serving of 0% Greek yogurt after your E lunch, with a dab of stevia and freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice as a light dessert.
For lunch, try tuna with hot sauce or lemon juice as your protein, or a fish fillet pan-fried in a skillet with just cooking spray.
Keep gummy snacks made with gelatin on hand for dessert after an E meal. They’re usually Fuel Pulls so add few calories, but provide protein to fill you up.
Chicken tenderloins are handy for easy, fast “E” lunches and dinners. These can be purchased inexpensively frozen in large bags. They’re easy to season (use any spice you like; from Cajun to Herbes de Provence to lemon-pepper, or make a simple mustard sauce with a little white wine) and cook fast.
Cook low-fat ground turkey (browned, then rinsed) and store in portion-sized containers for quick and easy protein for meals. Just add brown rice, beans or a sweet potato and you’re all set.
And don’t forget cottage cheese, one of my favorite super frugal proteins. I like to whip mine in the blender so it has a creamy mouth feel.
Brown rice (don’t forget this tip to cook brown rice in half the time, I always cook extra to reheat for the next day) with dinner, with a low-fat meat (pork chops, pork tenderloin, shrimp, chicken breast)
*Quinoa Goes Cajun
*Egg Roll in a Bowl (made with ground turkey, cooked and rinsed, served atop brown rice)
White Chicken Chili with beans
*Orange Creamsicle Shake (I loved this in summer especially, so refreshing!)
Apple slices dipped in *peanut junky butter
An orange for dessert (or a *Creamsicle shake)
Tacos with low-fat ground turkey and beans
Chili prepared with low-fat ground turkey
Vegetable soup with chicken breast and garbanzo beans or other white beans (such as a Minestrone soup)
Popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast
Stir-fried shrimp and veggies on brown rice
Brown rice for breakfast: warm it and add vanilla, stevia, almond milk, and egg whites for protein. It’s a THM-safe rice pudding.
4) Don’t forget your non-starchies when you eat E meals!
Eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables with your Trim Healthy Mama E meals is also key to filling your belly and not getting hungry again before 3 hours is up.
To make things easier, I keep frozen bags of veggies on hand. I often can’t take the time to wash and chop veggies, and I find that the convenience of pre-chopped frozen produce means I eat far more vegetables, which is a good thing!
Stocking “seasoning blend”, which is onion/bell pepper/celery, as well as “fajita blend” (onion and bell peppers) makes things easier and faster. I also like Asian mix (for stir fries), and Cali mix (carrots, cauli, broccoli) and Normandy mix (cauli, broccoli, carrots, squash). Bagged, pre-washed salads are also super easy and convenient.
With lunch, I often chop up cucumbers and tomatoes to eat with tuna (tuna is an E fuel as long as it’s not packed in oil, and I mix it with Tabasco instead of mayo). Bubbie’s pickles are my favorite to have with tuna or low-fat turkey (on a *Swiss bread sandwich), and they are probiotic foods. I love them, as they’re real pickles, made with a natural fermentation process instead of with vinegar.
What are your favorite E meals and snacks? How do you make sure you get enough E meals on THM?
This banana “cream” oatmeal is a clean E in TrimHealthyMama parlance. If you are in weight loss mode, you can choose to leave the banana out, adding flavor with banana extract. But if you’re in maintenance mode (or if bananas don’t cause you to gain), go ahead and add the banana!
I have always loved oatmeal, but it didn’t like me. After eating it, I would be ravenous within half an hour. With TrimHealthyMama, this is no longer the case. I can now enjoy oatmeal without my blood sugar crashing. The key, of course, is protein!
Banana “Cream” Oatmeal Recipe – THM “E”
Cook 1/2 cup (dry) oatmeal with 1 cup water, a dash of salt and 1/2 teaspoon butter or coconut oil.
While it’s cooking, put 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese and 1/4 banana into a blender (or, skip the banana and just use banana extract). Add 1/2 tsp gluccomannan and stevia to taste, a dash of banana and/or vanilla extract.
This recipe keeps me full until I can eat again 3 hours later. Enjoy it with your favorite Trimmy beverage.
Again, if you’re still losing and want to avoid bananas, leave it out entirely and just add the banana extract. Also, you can leave out the butter or coconut oil and instead add up to 1 Tablespoon chopped nuts.
How do you like your oatmeal a la TrimHealthyMama?
Note: You can get banana extract at WalMart and some other large grocery stores. I prefer to order my extracts from OliveNation because they have great prices on organic (with no propylene glycol!) flavorings. And to save money, I buy oats in bulk, shown below, from Amazon. This works out to be half the price of buying it even at the cheapest grocery store, per pound. Since my large family uses oatmeal every day, this is a smart move for us.
I made this forgotten dish for supper recently, and it reminded me how easy and delicious it is. I love artichokes, and this casserole is another way of getting them into my diet. Not only are they delicious, but artichokes have many health benefits.
Chicken-artichoke casserole is a Fuel Pull fuel if you serve it alongside non-starchy vegetables. However, I serve it over rice for an E fuel. It makes a lot of delicious sauce and the rice helps soak it up. The almonds are optional but add a nice bit of crunch.
Artichoke and Chicken Casserole – THM “E” or “FP”
Preheat oven to 350. Assemble:
2 tsp olive oil
1 pound chicken breasts, sliced thinly
1 tsp diced garlic
1 10 ounce package frozen artichoke hearts (if your store doesn’t have these, use two jars of canned artichokes – I use the quarted artichoke hearts from ALDI)
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 cup almond milk
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried tarragon and 1 tsp dried basil, or 2 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 tsp sea salt
3 T chopped almonds (this amount won’t take you over 5 grams fat per serving)
Heat oil and cook chicken pieces until golden brown. Add mushrooms, garlic and artichoke hearts to the pan and cook for a few more minutes.
In a mixing bowl, combine the almond milk, tomatoes, herbs, salt and stir well.
Combine chicken mixture with milk and tomato mixture, stir well.
Grease a baking pan with cooking spray. Add all ingredients to baking pan, then sprinkle with chopped almonds.
This garlic-lime chicken recipe has been a favorite of my family’s for years. Everyone loves it, and once I tweaked the recipe just a bit, it fits into a clean “E” fuel. I serve it with sauteed vegetables (squash, zucchini, broccoli, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes), black beans and rice, and salsa.
Garlic Lime Chicken – THM “E”
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed dried cilantro leaves, or 2-3 T fresh cilantro leaves, diced 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 – skip the broth in the marinade if your chicken already includes it, otherwise the recipe will turn out too “wet”)
Combine all marinade ingredients in a resealable bag. Add chicken to bag and refrigerate overnight.
You can then cook this chicken in the slow cooker on low for 5 hrs. Or if you prefer, cook in a skillet with 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil, or substitute coconut oil cooking spray. The amount of fat in the finished product will still be less than 1 teaspoon, making it an “E” fuel.
It’s going to be 90 degrees today, with a heat index near 100. Lately, I find that I eat a small meal at around 3 pm and even though I cook dinner for the family, sometimes don’t eat again in the evenings.
It’s just too hot to heat up the kitchen and too hot to eat!
When it’s too hot to cook, summer meals can look a little different. Here are some ways you can lighten up and cool down dinnertime in the summer.
Avoid using the oven and other hot appliances
This means cooking more with your slow cooker or toaster oven (a rice cooker comes in handy here too, as do Instant Pots and other nifty kitchen appliances that use less energy and don’t heat up the house). When it’s really hot here, I sometimes put my slow cooker on the screened-in back porch so the heat stays outside.
Of course, grilling out is a great way to keep the heat outside where it belongs. Just don’t do it too often, as grilled meat is carcinogenic.
Prepare cool food
Instead of a meat-and-three, why not keep it simple by preparing food that’s served room temperature or cool? Some ideas:
Main dish salads – Chef’s salads and other salads with beans and/or meat are filling and the crunchy-cool texture is just right in summertime. Don’t forget, up to a 1/2 cup berries are fine in “S” fuel setting.
Sandwiches (yes, THM types can eat sandwiches!) – the variety is nearly endless. Chicken salad, tuna, egg salad, traditional meats and cheeses, avocado and tomato are all easy and cool.
Raw vegetable crudites with homemade dip (try mixing your favorite herbs or spices with sour cream or 0% Greek yogurt, there are also delicious dip recipes in the THM cookbook). Hummus is lovely too, but make your own with less olive oil to keep it a clean E fuel.
Cottage Waldorf Salad – an easy, refreshing light meal from the THM cookbook
TrimHealthyMamas can choose from an endless variety of smoothies. These don’t just have to be for breakfast or snacks!
Sometimes nothing goes down better on a cool day than a bowl of cool 0% Greek yogurt with fresh fruit (E) or peanut butter or nuts and berries (S). You can even top your yogurt with a THM-safe granola recipe.
Make overnight refrigerator oats in small Mason jars for breakfast – no cooking required.
Cottage Berry Whip – sometimes I have this for a meal because it’s cool and delicious (and filling!)
Cook a large piece of meat (whole chicken, beef roast) in the slow cooker. Then, cool and shred or cut into fine slices. Use this all week for cold protein with your meals.
Eat more E meals and snacks
Our bodies seem to crave lighter foods in summer – foods with a high water content such as melons and fruits, chilled bean salads, fruit salads, crunchy green lettuces. No doubt this is due to our bodies requiring extra Vitamin C in summer.
“The ascorbic acid in vitamin C helps keep your sweat glands in good working condition. Vitamin C is also a preventive step toward protecting your body from heat strokes and heat rashes during the summer months.” – Source
A few delicious, light E meals and snacks:
Orange Creamsicle Shake – this one is so nice when you’re coming in from the pool. It’s reminiscent of an Orange Julius
Omelettes are a main dish, and although we don’t often think of them outside breakfast, in France omelettes are not eaten in the morning but rather for lunch or supper. They’re on the table in less than 5 minutes so no heating up the kitchen! With a green salad you have a well-rounded meal.
Speaking of the French, how about a charcuterie platter? It’s simply a collection of meats, cheeses, bread and fruit laid prettily on a plate. No cooking required. Of course, it needs to be modified slightly to be THM-safe. No jams here unless they’re homemade and sugar-free (the berry jam in the THM cookbook is delicious and so easy to make), and choose berries instead of grapes if you want to stay safe in S fuel mode (or just enjoy the Crossover).
Quesadillas (using a sprouted grain tortilla or Joseph’s bread to stay on plan) and stir-fries (here is an easy THM stir fry recipe) also cook quickly and won’t have you sweating over a hot stove all evening.
Shrimp cooks in just a couple of minutes and is a Fuel Pull, so it’s an ideal protein to eat in the summer. Serve with lemon juice and herbs atop zucchini noodles (which don’t need to be cooked at all, or just warmed in a non-stick pan with a little coconut oil spray. Or pour boiling water over them in a colander and allow them to drain), or an on-plan pasta or brown rice, along with plenty of non-starchy vegetables.
Three Bean Salad with Artichokes
2 cups white beans (Great Northern, navy or Cannellini), drained (canned beans are fine – use one can for each) 2 cups garbanzo beans, drained 2 cups black beans, drained 1 jar artichoke hearts (marinated or not), drained and chopped roughly 1 can Italian-style diced tomatoes, drained 1 T minced garlic 3 T olive oil (this amount keeps the fat content below 5 grams per serving, keeping it an E fuel) 3 T red wine or balsamic vinegar 1 tsp Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, etc) ½ tsp black pepper sea salt to taste
optional: 2 cups cooked green beans, drained
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate, ideally overnight, before serving. Lovely served on top a bed of green lettuce.
How do you prepare meals in summer when it’s too hot to cook? Please share in the comments.