Trim Healthy Mama-friendly recipe: Minestrone Soup

minestrone soup, TrimHealthyMama style
Please ignore the noodles in this picture. It’s a stock photo of Minestrone Soup. 🙂

[ ATTRIBUTE: Please check: to find out how to attribute this image ]

Minestrone soup is a favorite in my home. I always make it in a huge stock pot so we have leftovers. It’s also one of my favorite things to bring to a new mom. It’s nutritious, full of fiber, and everyone who tries it loves it. It’s also very budget-friendly, and all of the ingredients are available at ALDI.

In Trim Healthy Mama, this would be an “E” meal because of the healthy carbs in the beans, rice and carrots. (Alternatively, you can add beef or Italian-style sausage, leave out the rice and beans and make it into an “S” meal. OR, leave out the meat AND beans and rice for an FP soup!)
This recipe lends itself very well to substitutions. You can put nearly any vegetable in it, so experiment.
Minestrone Soup – Trim Healthy Mama “E” Meal
TrimHealthyMama-style Minestrone Soup
(Fuel type E with S or FP variations)


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 small or 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans cannellini or navy beans (can used dried, and can substitute kidney beans)
  • 2-4 cups raw spinach or kale (frozen is fine too)
  • 6 cups beef or chicken broth (boxed or homemade)
  • 2 cans stewed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste

optional: 2 cups chopped, cooked lean meat of choice

  • 1/2 cup brown rice (uncooked)

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil on medium heat, and add onion, carrots and celery (a bit of trivia a la francais, this menage a trois is called “mirepoix” (MEER-pwah). Isn’t that lovely?).

Cook until soft.
Add garlic, cooking for a minute or two. Pour in remaining ingredients, cover and cook on low-med until vegetables are soft and rice is done, around 45 minutes.
Serve with fresh grated parmesan sprinkled on top (limit the parmesan to a tablespoon for your portion, unless you’re ok with being in “Crossover” mode).
Lovely served with an on-plan bread.

What I ate last week on Trim Healthy Mama™ plan

Time for my weekly food journal post, a la Trim Healthy Mama.

A few notes about abbreviations and such:

BPC stands for Bullet Proof Coffee. I typically make it by adding heavy cream, a bit of grass-fed butter, collagen and MCT oil, then blending until frothy with my handy-dandy frother. Sometimes I drink this first thing in the morning, then have breakfast a couple of hours later, and other times I have it with my breakfast. Either way, it’s very filling, yummy and creamy, like a much healthier latte. 

(Google has tons of recipes for bullet proof coffee.)

HMV is homemade vinaigrette. I never buy salad dressing, preferring to make my own with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper (and herbs if I have them).

Clearly, my life is so hard.

I ate “dessert” for breakfast three days this week. Two days I had leftover Zapple Crumble, a zucchini-based crumb dessert from the THM cookbook, and the third time it was leftover cheesecake.

The Wedding Cheesecake recipe (shown above) is amazing, some of the easiest and tastiest cheesecake I’ve ever eaten, and it’s 100% sugar free. This is the first time I made it with the Pay Off Candy recipe drizzled on top (a brilliant idea posted on the Trim Healthy Mama Facebook page!) instead of berries and chocolate.

Even though I had dessert every day, and plenty of dark chocolate and red wine, I lost another pound. This plan WORKS.

Life is good!

I made my food journal into a chart this time, hopefully it’s easier to read.

Tilapia Veracruz – a quick, tasty, very healthy “E” meal. Served with brown rice and carrot salad. 

Fuel Type
2 fried eggs, 2 pieces bacon, BPC
Brown rice, *Fish Vera Cruz, veggies, carrot salad
*Trimtastic zucchini cake
½ hamburger patty, Cobb salad (greens, hardboiled eggs, bacon, avocado)
Scrambled eggs, bacon, BPC
Leftover Cobb salad, *Shake Gone Nuts
*Volcano mud slide muffin topped with coconut butter
*Pot roast with radishes, celery, onions
*Zapple crumble, coffee with cream
Chocolate overnight oats with berries, *Secret big boy shake
*Zapple crumble, small portion leftover pot roast
* Reuben in a Bowl
*Zapple crumble, coffee with cream
*Reuben in a bowl, green salad
½ c. 0% Greek yogurt with peanut powder, ½ apple
*Lentil soup, *strawberry muffin, *Bust a Myth cake
Scrambled egg, 2 bacon, sauteed veggies, 0% Greek yogurt
0% Greek yogurt
Green salad with bleu cheese, BPC, piece dark chocolate
Tuna made with paleo mayo (the purist in me doesn’t approve of canola oil!)
Two thin slices turkey, Happy farms light cheese (these are the ALDI version of Laughing Cow)
Burrito bowls (shredded chicken, salsa, brown rice, pico de gallo)
2 baked egg ham cups, BPC
small piece *BAM cake, 0% Greek yogurt w/stevia
BAM cake
*Troodle casserole, green salad with Bleu cheese and HMV *cheesecake, red wine

85% chocolate

BPC, *cheesecake
2 slices crustless pizza, green salad, leftover *Troodle casserole
Green salad with grilled chicken, Bleu cheese, berries, pecans

Red wine, dark chocolate




Recipes with an * asterisk come from Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook: Eat Up and Slim Down with More Than 350 Healthy Recipes

The Reuben in a Bowl recipe was a HUGE hit with the family. I love a good Reuben sandwich, but haven’t eaten one in years due to my gluten-free diet (rye bread is a no-no). This recipe will be on the rotation frequently!

This was also my first time making Bust-a-Myth banana cake. I hate calling it a cake, because it’s more like a very dense, filling banana bread. Barely sweet at all, but everyone loved it. I served it to the kids with butter or peanut butter on it. It’s called Bust a Myth because some people think you cannot have fruit on Trim Healthy Mama, but that’s… well, a myth. Life without fruit? Quelle horreur!

We also really enjoyed the Troodle Casserole, made with zucchini “noodles”. I bought a vegetable “spiralizer” at ALDI the other week for a couple of bucks, and I can see it’s going to get much use.

Trim Healthy Mama-friendly recipe: Zucchini Rolls

Ah, zucchini! If you’re eating the Trim Healthy Mama™ way, it’s probably one of your most-used vegetables. If you and yours are getting tired of using zucchini to make vegetable “noodles”, try this recipe instead.

I haven’t made this recipe in a while (which is why I don’t have a picture, my apologies!), but when I do it’s a huge hit. This recipe serves 2-3. I always triple it.

And all of the ingredients are available at ALDI.

Prosciutto-Mozza Zucchini Rolls


  • 2 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise into long, thin strips
  • 6 oz prosciutto rolled with mozzarella cheese
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, basil
  • one jar (sugar free) spaghetti sauce or large can pureed tomatoes

Preheat oven to 425F.

Season zucchini slices with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Blot moisture from zucchini.

Pour olive oil into pan and cook zucchini in single layers until golden brown, adding more oil if needed.

Set zucchini slices aside until cool enough to handle.

Unroll or slice prosciutto/cheese slices, and top each zucchini with a piece of prosciutto and cheese cut to fit.
Roll each stack into a pinwheel and spear with a toothpick to hold. (If you don’t have toothpicks, place each roll into the cup of a muffin tin.)

Pour tomato sauce into a square baking dish (or into muffin cups). Place zucchini rolls side by side in dish and remove toothpicks. Sprinkle with basil.

Bake until cheese is bubbly, about 10-15 minutes.
Enjoy with a green salad or other non-starchy vegetables.
This is an “S” meal in Trim Healthy Mama because of the fat in the prosciutto and cheese.

Friday Trim Healthy Mama weigh-in

Every week, I’ll post an update of my Trim Healthy Mama™  journey.

I’m not quite at goal weight yet. Even when I am, I think it will be informative (for me, and hopefully for others too!) to see how going completely sugar-free has impacted my health and well-being.

Here is a pic I snapped today. My first THM goal was to fit into my old, pre-pregnancy jeans. Done! These are a size 6.

(Sorry for the cheesy bathroom selfie. I live with 8 people, not a photographer in the bunch.)

I felt a tiny bit concerned about over-doing the carbs last night with dinner. I had an “E” meal with chicken, black beans, sweet potato and brown rice, and I was afraid my portions were a bit too large. But when I stepped on the scale, I had lost a pound.

Yes to being able to enjoy healthy carbs!

I still have a bit of extra “love handles” to get rid of, but I’m pleased. So far I’ve lost 10 pounds on Trim Healthy Mama, almost 2 dress sizes, and I never feel deprived or like I’m “dieting”. Because I’m not… THM is a lifestyle, not a diet. It’s a forever eating plan that is healthy and sustainable.

Can you do Trim Healthy Mama gluten free?

My answer to this question is a resounding yes. While THM isn’t a gluten-free diet (sprouted breads containing gluten are “on plan”), it is very easy to do Trim Healthy Mama gluten free.

In fact, people who are already gluten-free might find that the transition to THM is easier because they’ve already given up many of the blood-sugar spiking foods that contain gluten (pastas, breads, cookies, crackers, etc).

Can you do Trim Healthy Mama™ gluten free?

I began eating gluten-free years ago when lab tests confirmed an allergy to wheat. I began my THM journey in December of 2015.

trimhealthymama gluten-free
TrimHealthyMama-friendly gluten-free Dutch Baby Pancake

Pictured: a gluten-free Dutch baby pancake, Trim Healthy Mama fuel type “S”

I keep things very, very simple in my Trim Healthy Mama gluten free diet. I don’t scout for on-plan gluten-free breads or crackers or bake complicated recipes. I find that I don’t miss bread, crackers and such, and giving up gluten-free bread was probably helpful in my weight loss, because I often craved bread before THM. While I was better off on a gluten-free diet than before, I still craved carbohydrates and sugar, which was a struggle.

peanut butter swirl brownies, TrimHealthyMama gluten free
These peanut butter swirl brownies are from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook, and they’re gluten-free, as are all of the baked treats and desserts.

One of the reasons I love Trim Healthy Mama so much is that because of it, I was able to kick my lifelong addiction to sugar. Since gluten-free breads often contain starch (tapioca, rice starch, potato flour, etc), they cause a blood sugar spike, which leads to a vicious cycle of craving. Many of the gluten-free products I used to purchase were delicious, but they were making me gain weight. No thanks!

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook has several gluten-free bread recipes in its pages, and dozens and dozens more gluten-free muffins, cakes, pies, candies and more.

There is even a Trim Healthy Mama “Allergen Free” Facebook group. It has dozens of files with recipes, tips, product recommendations and more, as well as many members who are gluten-free (and who have other allergies as well).

I don’t need toast with my eggs, but I do enjoy a gluten-free Trim Healthy Mama muffin or Bust a Myth Banana Cake or Banana Nut muffin or French Toast in a Bowl or Volcano Mud Slide muffin, all of which are far healthier and much more filling than gluten-free bread anyway! (All those recipes are available in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.)

I don’t need to sandwich my tuna or lunch meat inbetween slices of bread. I like to add more veggies to my plate, so I eat my tuna with cucumbers or in yellow or red bell peppers, or roll up slices of deli meat around pickles, sauerkraut or cheese. Or, I wrap all the ingredients in a large piece of Romaine lettuce. Delicious!

For dinner? My family doesn’t eat pasta, but we love lasagne made with spinach or zucchini instead of noodles. I even bought an inexpensive vegetable “spiralizer” so I could make zucchini noodles that are delicious in recipes that traditionally contain pasta. And of course, we eat brown rice with our “E” meals.

Note: the Trim Healthy Mama Baking Blend is gluten-free, and so are many of the other baking flours available in the THM store.

See also: my Trim Healthy Mama menu plans (all gluten-free).

Trim Healthy Mama: What I ate last week

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Since I began eating a la Trim Healthy Mama™, I’ve been keeping a food diary. I highly recommend this practice.

It’s very enlightening to write down what you actually eat each day. It helps you eat less, for one. Also, I think it helps you eat a more balanced, varied diet since you can see, at a glance, the food you’ve consumed over a period of time.

(Pictured: overnight chocolate oatmeal with berries)

In addition, if you note the times you ate, you can see where you may need to make changes. If you felt starving at 3 and kept snacking every hour all afternoon like the Very Hungry Caterpillar (even though you ate lunch at 12), you can quickly spot that you didn’t eat enough protein at lunch, which caused you to feel too hungry later.


Here’s what I ate last week, Trim Healthy Mama style.

Breakfast – 1 fried egg, 1 piece ham, coffee with cream @ 8:30 a.m. – “S” meal
Lunch – *Berry Crunch Bar (starred items are from the THM cookbook)  @ 11:30 a.m. – “S” *Shake Gone Nuts – “FP”
Snack – Oatmeal – “E” with *Trimmy Light Cocoa @ 2:30 p.m.
Dinner – Beef stroganoff, steamed broccoli, creamed cauliflower, stevia-sweetened chocolate, small glass wine – “S” @ 6:30 p.m.

B: 2 cheese sticks, 2 fried eggs, 2 slices ham, sauteed spinach @ 10 a.m. – “S”
L: *Egg Roll in a Bowl, Peanut Butter Whip @ 1 p.m. – “S”
D: Sauteed fish in a garlic-butter sauce, fennel, parmesan and pear salad, roasted asparagus, 1/2 grapefruit, small glass wine, stevia-sweetened chocolate – “XO” (crossover) @ 6 p.m.

(Note: This wasn’t a planned crossover. The reason it happened is likely because I went 5 hours between meals here, meaning I was too hungry and my willpower was gone! The food was all healthy so I don’t mind, but still… this is why a food journal can be so enlightening.)

B: 1 fried egg, 1 turkey bacon, sauteed onion/green/red peppers, parmesan cheese @ 8 a.m. – “S” meal
S: 1 grilled ChickFilA chicken nugget, a few almonds @ 10 a.m. – “S”
L: Oatmeal, sliced pear and apple, 0% Greek yogurt with *Slim Belly Jelly – “E” at 12:30 p.m.
S: *Fat-stripping Frappa, Peanut Butter Whip “S” @ 3:30 p.m.
D: Sauteed chicken with white wine/parsley/butter sauce, green salad with homemade vinaigrette, peas, creamed cabbage, Peanut Butter Whip – “S” @ 7 p.m.

B: Overnight oats with pear, banana, flax seed – “E” @ 8:30
L: Leftovers from dinner last night – “S” @ 1 p.m.
D: *Wise Shepherd’s Pie, steamed broccoli, *Shake Gone Nuts, 3 *Chocolate Truffles – “S” @ 6 p.m.

B: *French Toast in a Bowl, 2 turkey bacon slices – “S” @ 8:30
L: 2 eggs, sauteed spinach with onions/red/green peppers, pancetta, *Chocolate Truffles – “S” @ 11:30 a.m.
S: 0% Greek yogurt with *Slim Belly Jelly and peanut powder, *Secret Big Boy shake – “FP” @ 2:30 p.m.
D: Egg, pancetta, spinach, onion Frittata with turkey bacon – “S” @ 6:30 p.m.

B: *Banana Nut Muffin, 1 fried egg, spinach/onion/bell peppers, slice ham, parmesan cheese – “S” @ 8:30 a.m.
L: Vegetable balls with quinoa, sweet potato puree, black beans, steamed veggies – “E” @ 12
S: *Trimtastic Zucchini Cake – “S” @ 3:30
D: Sausage Chicken Kale soup, small glass wine, stevia-sweetened chocolate – “S” @ 6:30

YES, you can have chocolate on Trim Healthy Mama! I buy Lily’s Stevia Sweetened Chocolate. Wine, as long as it’s dry and in moderation, is also ok. I often have a small glass with dinner. By small, I mean 4-5 ounces.

Recipes with an * asterisk come from Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook: Eat Up and Slim Down with More Than 350 Healthy Recipes

What does a Trim Healthy Mama buy at ALDI?

Looking for a Trim Healthy Mama ALDI shopping list? Look no further. THM and ALDI are a match made in heaven as far as I’m concerned. Why?

One of the objections I hear about Trim Healthy Mama™ is that “I’ve never spent more on groceries!“. That may be true. Unfortunately, real, whole foods are often more expensive than junky, fake, cheap carb-loaded ones.

One of the ways I keep my grocery budget under control is by doing the bulk of my Trim Healthy Mama food shopping at ALDI.


Trim Healthy Mama ALDI shopping list

What does a Trim Healthy Mama buy at ALDI? I’m so glad you asked! I’ll lead you through a virtual tour of my local ALDI store, aisle by aisle, and list what I purchase there that is “on plan”.

(Note: I do buy more than these items at ALDI each week, because my family isn’t strictly on plan as I am, and my (seven) growing kids need lots of crossovers.)

Your ALDI store may be laid out a bit differently, but you’ll get the general idea. Most ALDI stores have the same floor plan, I’ve noticed.

Trim Healthy Mama ALDI Shopping List

Aisle One

  • 85% dark chocolate – may as well start with the most important things! Ooh la la la…
  • Organic salsa – chips aren’t on plan, but you can enjoy salsa with many other things. One of my favorite ways to eat it is inside an avocado (remove the seed, fill with salsa), or on top of fried eggs.
  • Spices – ALDI has wonderful prices on herbs and spices. They’ve ruined me!
  • Extracts – ditto
  • Cocoa powder
  • Chia seeds and flax seeds (these are seasonal)
  • Nuts – all on plan, in moderation. Buy regular old nuts without any sugary coatings.
  • Mustard and mayo – Duke’s mayo is on plan, and we love the Dijon mustard
  • Coconut oil and coconut oil spray – coconut oil, that metabolism boosting super oil!
  • Natural peanut butter – no sugar added, bien sur.
  • Steel cut oats and old-fashioned oats
  • Pickles – a pickle wrapped in lean meat is an on plan Fuel Pull snack.
  • Olives
  • “Tabasco” style hot sauce
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Sweet Additions Stevia packets! – I keep these in my purse for convenience. The large bagged stevia “baking blend” is NOT on plan, but these packets ARE.
Aisle Two
  • Organic canned tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, Mexi-style tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce and tomato paste
  • Mexi-style corn – ok in small amounts
  • Diced green chilies – available seasonally, stock up!
  • Broth: chicken, vegetable, beef – the Simply Nature line have no added MSG
  • Beans, dried and canned – you need these healthy carbs for your “E” meals
  • Chickpeas and lentils – ditto
  • Corn tortillas – ok in small, infrequent amounts
  • Canned tuna (packed in water) and salmon
  • Brown rice – (Brown Basmati is my favorite, so fragrant and flavorful)
  • Spaghetti sauce – a few varieties are sugar free
  • Quinoa and other ancient grains
  • Plain seltzer water and La Croix flavored seltzer water
  • Unsweetened applesauce
Aisle Three
  • Sprouted whole grain bread (available seasonally)
  • Paper products – haha, you don’t eat these, but the prices on paper towels and toilet tissue are low.
Refrigerated Items
  • Sour cream
  • Heavy cream
  • Butter
  • Eggs and egg whites
  • Shredded parmesan / colby / mozza
  • Cheese: block / sliced / cubed
  • Happy Farms light cheese (spreadable cheese similar to Laughing Cow)
  • Bacon, sausage, turkey bacon
  • Spinach / bagged salad
  • 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1% cottage cheese
  • Unsweetened almond milk (be careful, Aldi has two types of almond milk, one sweetened, one not)
  • Neufchatel (low fat) cream cheese
  • Artisan cheeses that would meet the approval of une fille francais: take a look as they are “special buys” and seasonal.
  • “Never Any!” lunch meats (free of preservatives and additives)
  • Grass-fed ground beef
  • Meats – nearly all if they’re unprocessed and have no frills – ground turkey, whole chicken, chicken breasts and tenderloins, pork tenderloin, stew beef, chorizo, beef roast, etc


  • Frozen fish fillets and wild-caught salmon, scallops, shrimp, clams
  • Frozen non-starchy vegetables including broccoli, peas, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, California mix, and more
  • Frozen berries


  • Nearly all (except white potatoes) – what I buy most regularly at ALDI is cauliflower, sweet potatoes, organic tomatoes, cucumbers, organic apples and bananas, berries, avocados, lettuces, cabbage, lemons, limes, asparagus, onions, radishes, zucchini, celery, bell peppers, garlic
And there you have it. A shopping list fit for a Trim Healthy Mama!

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What does a Trim Healthy Mama Buy at ALDI?


Since I’m a Francophile (and struggling beginner Francophone), I decided to name this blog La Slim Femme, a Franglish name that roughly translates The Slim Woman, and which happened to be available for a Blogger blog. 😉

This blog will document my Trim Healthy Mama™ journey, which began in December 2015. I plan on posting what I’m eating each day, meal plans, questions and answers about The Plan, and other tips and bits of advice as I learn them. (I found that I absorbed the basics of The Plan very quickly, and found it very easy to be 100% “on plan” after the first week, and would like to help others who struggle with implementing it.)

A bit about me before we go on.

My name is Carrie Willard. I’ve been writing online for about 13 years, currently my main blog is at

In December of 2015, I started changing my eating habits after reading The Slim Healthy Mama book. The biggest change was giving up sugar entirely. While I had always eaten healthfully, sugar remained my nemesis, and I was thrilled to have broken hold of its shackles forever.

In the first 9 days on The Plan, I lost 7 pounds. My goal was to get to my pre-pregnancy weight (I have 7 children, and still wasn’t back into my old jeans after my last baby, now one, was born).

I met that goal quickly! The weight continues to come off, slowly but surely, about a pound a week. I weigh 131 pounds at the moment, and I’m 5′ 4 1/2″. I wear a size 4 or 6, depending on the brand.

I don’t much care if I lose more weight, although I think I would love to be 125 again! I’m happiest about being able to successfully quit sugar. I don’t plan on ever eating sugar again for the rest of my life, with ONE exception: when I go to Paris, I will eat pain du chocolat. And baguettes. 

But other than that… it’s a forever lifestyle for me. 

I decided to start this blog so I could talk about Trim Healthy Mama™ without the topic taking over my main blog.

And since I have a fascination with all things francais, especially French women and their eating habits, I will add my own spin on the topic.

There are many blogs that are written by people on the THM plan, but I am the only one who has that certain je ne sais quoi and will write about how to eat like a French woman while staying “legal”.

Thanks for reading!