Pro-Tip, THM

Ready for Anything

The Trim Healthy Mama way of life doesn’t require anything other than a commitment to eating  in the way that is best for your body. That means you don’t need any specialty foods, ingredients or menu plans to make it work for you.

That being said, even when you are rocking your Trim Healthy Journey, if you aren’t prepared you can get blown off track. Taking the time to make sure your fridge and cuboards are stocked with good ingredients is the first step. After that, taking the time to pre-prep some things in bulk is the best way to assure that you aren’t going to get overwhelmed and opt for a burger and fries instead.

That is what my client and I did over the last week. We took the time to plan some of the things she wanted to make, made a good shopping list, bought all of her items and made up a bunch of things for her to have on hand.

Now that sounds like a lot of work, but we didn’t do it all in one day. She took a couple days going over recipes and I made some suggestions. Then she took another day to write up her list and I went over it to make sure nothing was missing and give some more suggestions on how to make the list the most economical. Shopping was done on another day, and on Saturday, we got together and cooked. Here are pictures of some of what we accomplished:

We made Oatmeal on the Go Cups, Trim Healthy Pancakes, Wonder Wraps, Salted Caramel Gluccie Pudding and (not pictured) Creamy Balsamic Dressing (this is a membership site recipe. You can buy a site membership HERE if you’d like). She is also set up to make the Easiest Breakfast Casserole and Marvelous Make Ahead Meatballs.

If you are looking for someone to help you make your Trim Healthy journey work for you I would love to be your coach! You can check out the services I offer on my services page. I would be happy to customize a package just for you!

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Motivation, Pro-Tip

To Cheat or To Treat?

We all know the deal. You’re doing good, you’re eating right, everything is going according to plan. Then you’re at work and someone brings in cake for a co-workers birthday. You can’t skip the celebration right? So you cheat. You have the cake. Because you had the cake you decide that today is a wash and you go out to pizza for dinner and finish the day with ice cream. When you wake up the next day you feel bad because cheating makes you feel like a failure. But what if there was another way? Well, I propose that there is.

I know that the words cheating and dieting go hand in hand. There are even whole eating plans that revolve around it, they have a cheat day built in. The 80/20 plan says you only need to make good choices 80% of the time. The meal logging app I use tells me constantly that “I don’t have to make 100% good choices all the time”. It is as if we’ve given up before we’ve begun. We can’t possibly live without cheating. But what would we think of someone who used that thought process in ANY other area of life? What would we think of the student who didn’t cheat on 80% of their tests, the businessman who didn’t cheat on 80% of his business deals? We’d call them pretty major cheaters is what we would do!

Cheating isn’t a good thing. Cheating is something you do when you’re desperate. Cheating is what happens when you think there is no other way to get you need. Cheating is a negative action and when we do it we think negatively about ourselves.

Let me give you another scenario. You go into work and someone has brought cake for a co-workers birthday. You consider the day and plan accordingly. When the time of celebration comes you purposefully choose to celebrate and have a small piece of cake and enjoy the party. After that purposeful treat you are back to your purposeful plan of good choices for the rest of the day. You wake up the next day feeling good, not suffering from residual guilt. You didn’t cheat. You made a purposeful decision and stayed in control.

Do you see the difference? When you think of cheating you are going to tend to over-indulgence. You will be thinking of the whole experience in a negative and unhealthy light. That will make you feel out of control. But when you purposefully choose to treat yourself then you are in control. You are thinking about what you are doing and planning for it. You will make better choices because you are in control.

There is more to this thought process than just taking control over your thought process when you have a very “unhealthy” treat like a regular piece of cake or ice cream though. You need to know how to treat yourself in a healthy way too, then the “unhealthy” foods won’t be tempting as often. We have to be honest with ourselves and know that even with the right mindset, eating cake and ice-cream everyday or even a few times a week is not the best plan. You have to find healthy alternatives that you love. Things you can have everyday that feel indulgent that won’t derail your healthy lifestyle.

When you learn to treat yourself to wonderful, healthy indulgences, the unhealthy ones will not be a daily temptation. You won’t feel deprived so you won’t be tempted to cheat. That is how I managed my recent vacation where there were sugary treats around me daily. I had my own indulgent healthy treats ready to enjoy and I didn’t feel even the slightest bit tempted to make poor choices. And when the planned outing to an ice cream parlor came, I had one scoop of ice cream that I enjoyed without guilt because I knew that I was making good choices the rest of the time.

I hope you will remove the thought of cheating from your mindset. It is a self-defeating thought process that you wouldn’t allow yourself in any other area of your life. You are not a cheater. You have the ability to control your eating choices. Choose to treat yourself well.

Motivation, Pro-Tip, Testimony

Blessed Routine

There is something cathartic about just getting back to the “everyday”. The past couple weeks have been busy and completely out of routine! I had a “preparation week” which involved a double work load to get ahead for a vacation week so everything extra had to be put on hold for a bit. But you know what didn’t go on hold? My commitment to be faithful to eating the Trim Healthy Mama way!

The past two weeks were the kind that would have derailed me in the past. They weren’t bad weeks, just busy, and I could have fooled myself into thinking that it would be easier just to hit the drive through. But I knew better, so I didn’t. I also could have gone on vacation with the mindset that “Hey, it’s vacation, indulge!” But I knew better, so I didn’t. Now that’s not to say I didn’t treat myself a bit. But I planned it and I didn’t stay in indulge mode all day every day. Here are my tips for those times when routine just isn’t on the menu! This is how I made the past two weeks work for me so that I wouldn’t have to spend the next couple weeks working to make up for them.

  1. Preparation is key!
    I feel like I have said that a lot, but the truth is, it’s the truth! You can’t just expect things to happen if you don’t prepare for them. I knew vacation was coming and I knew the week before it was going to be a doozy, so I planned accordingly. I made sure that I had easy, grab and go options ready for myself during prep week. There were no complicated meals that week. I kept it simple so the stress was low while I made more preparation for the vacation week to come. I made take along snacks for our 14 hour drive and I planned the menu for the next week. We were a group of 11 traveling and we were eating all our evening meals together and eating almost all of our meals in our condo. Only two of us were “on plan” but we all ate the same meals all week long so that kept things easier. I also made up “dry mixes”. For every THM thing I planned to bake I made up the dry mixes for the recipe, put them in a ziploc bag and wrote the “wet ingredients” on the bag. This way I was prepared with ingredients that I wouldn’t be able to find easily in a store but I also didn’t have to bring my big containers of special ingredients.
  2. Easy menu!
    I already said that I made my meals during preparation week easy to do, but I also planned easy, crowd pleasing meals for the week of vacation. My family of 3 had either THM pancakes or eggs and bacon (or a crossover combo of those two) everyday of vacay. Lunch was sandwiches on sprouted bread or FP rolls with veggies and fruit. These choices meant that every day I got at least one or two e-meals in! Dinners, where all 11 of us ate together were easy, crowd pleasing meals. Dreamfields lasagana, Chicken with rice and veggies, Taco bar night (I even made masa wonder wraps for the two of us on plan) and grill night where we had burgers and hot dogs. There was always lots of salad available too! The last night we finished off our left overs. Here are some pictures of what my meals looked like:
  3. Don’t forget the treats!
    It’s vacation, everyone wants brownies and icecream, you don’t want to be left out. So don’t be! There was no way I could indulge in off plan treats every day of vacation and not get way off track, so I went prepared with a delicious treat every day. While I made regular brownies and icecream for everyone else, I also made Transformer Fudge Brownies (page 403 in Trim Healthy Table, OH MY GOODNESS those are DELICIOUS!) and Brianna’s Scoopable Vanilla Icecream for the two of us on plan. I also made the Basic Cheesecake (Page 373 in the original THM Book) which everybody likes whether they are on plan or not. We never felt deprived when everyone was having dessert!
  4. Use helpful shortcuts!
    Walmart grocery pickup is my new best friend! I use it all the time at home but this was the first time I have ever used it on vacation and it was a lifesaver. We drove 14 hours to Myrtle Beach, SC. No one wanted to walk around an unfamiliar store after that drive to pick up groceries for a week where we were bound to forget things or impulse buy. So, a few days before we left we planned a grocery pickup for the evening of our arrival. All three of the families were able to pickup our groceries at one time and we never had to make another trip to the store!
  5. If you want to have an off plan treat, plan it and enjoy it. Make it a purposeful celebratory occasion, but not an excuse to go crazy and derail yourself. On vacation I treated myself 3 times. The first night (after that 14 hour drive) nobody was going to feel like cooking so we planned to eat out. We chose a “must visit” comfort food buffet. The way I described that should tell you that the meal was not going to be perfectly on plan. But even at this “southern comfort food” buffet I found ways to stay mainly on plan and still indulge a bit. I got a plate full of veggies (green beans, tomatoes and okra, collard greens and I had a salad) and I added some non breaded meat (they had pulled pork). After I found myself no longer starving I allowed myself a very small sample of chicken and dumplings, one spoonful of sweet potato casserole, and the best piece of fried fish I have ever had. All of those “treats” were small, but they were satisfying because I took the time to satisfy my hunger before I ate them so all I was having was a “treat” and not a big off plan meal. In the middle of the week everyone wanted to go out for ice cream at a highly rated ice cream shop so I had one scoop of ice cream without any guilt because I knew that I was making good choices the rest of the week. On the way home we stopped at a Pizza place that was a part of my childhood. Again, it was a planned stop. My first plate was a huge salad and pizza toppings. Then I ate 3 small slices of thin crust pizza. That’s it. I was happy, I felt indulged, but I was in control because I planned it. All three of those occasions were on purpose. I wasn’t swept up in a moment of indulgence, and believe it or not that makes all the difference.

So, how did all of that pay off? Well, today I got on the scale and found that I am down another pound. That’s 14 pounds in the last 7 1/2 weeks! So was all that prep worth it? You bet! And it really wasn’t that hard. I had plenty of time to rest and relax, play on the beach, swim in the pool and just enjoy my friends and family because I was prepared. So don’t think of your preparation as work, think of it as insurance. You are insuring both your success and your time to relax when you are in the moment.

Drinks, FP, Pro-Tip, Recipe

Pro-Tip – GGMS Concentrate

If you have a serious diet soda addiction (like me) you probably know that it isn’t doing your health any favors. But it tastes so good! I mean, I can avoid a lot of things if I can just have a great big diet Dr. Pepper or diet Mountain Dew…I digress. I’m trying, really I am. and I’ve told you before that THM has a drink that helps with soda addiction – Good Girl Moonshine. I’ve shared with you my favorite recipe, but what I want to share with you today is how I make it easier for me to drink this each day.

Here’s the deal. I don’t like to have to put a lot of work into a drink. I just like to grab and go (thus why diet soda is so appealing to me). So I am always looking for a quicker way to do things. Enter GGMS Concentrate!

GGMS concentrate

There it is! So simple! I don’t even have to dirty a new container to keep it in!

A couple notes about this…I like my GGMS with 2 TBS of ACV per quart. If you are new to GGMS you might want to start with 1 TBS at a time. I am not a huge ginger fan so I use 1/4 tsp per serving. And to give things an even bigger super food boost I add baobab!

GGMS Concentrate (This makes 8 servings)

16 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar*
2 tsp ginger powder
4 TBS Baobab Boost Powder (this is not part of the original recipe, but I like getting it in!)
3/4 tsp stevia
4 tsp pure cherry extract
4 tsp pure lime extract

Put all ingredients in a jar (I use an old ACV jar) and shake till mixed. Store in the fridge. Use 2 1/2 TBS of concentrate per quart of water. I like to use my soda stream to make sparkling water, then I don’t feel like I’m missing my soda! 🙂

*If you want your GGMS with less ACV use 8 TBS instead of 16 and use 1 1/2 TBS of the concentrate when making your quart of GGMS.

Pro-Tip

Pro-Tip (Preparation)

One of the biggest hurdles when switching to a healthy way of eating is taking the time to make your meals. Now the truth is, it is really just a mindset change. Preparing a healthy meal doesn’t really have to take more time that sitting in a drive thru, but it does take more thought and there are ways to make it go even faster.

This is one of the things that is a game changer for me. It really adds no more than a minute or two more to what I am already doing and it saves a ton of time for the rest of the week.

veggies

This is probably a week’s worth of veggie prep. I did not take extra time out of my day to prep veggies. I needed to make a salad to take to a friends house. So instead of just chopping enough for one salad, I chopped everything (with the exception of a few snap peas for snacking 🙂 ).

Now for the rest of the week I have veggies ready for omelettes, stir-frys, salads and anything else I want. I don’t have to fret getting out the cutting board and knife each time because the “work” is done. Taking the time to get things like this prepped ahead, just by doing a little more than what you need for what you are already preparing, can make all the difference in choosing health over simplicity.