Cranberry-Orange Smoothie

With the weather getting warmer here in the south (temps in the mid-70s this week), I am all about smoothies! I love them more when the weather is warmer than when it is cold outside.

My niece Hannah over at Through the Lens shared this recipe for a delicious smoothie. I am heading to the kitchen right now to make it! I always love cranberries, but when matched with oranges, they are absolutely amazing.  Go ahead…give it a try! You know you want to!

Sunshine in a Jar

Many thanks to all my readers! Yesterday we finally passed the 20,000 views mark…which I had set for December 31, 2015. I am thankful for each of you who care to read what I write and even try the recipes that I share!

We all know that drinking water is very important for good health. Unfortunately, most of us don’t drink enough water to do our bodies much good. Oh, we drink fluids every day, but most of them contain ingredients that hinder good health! Sodas, coffee, and tea or other beverages can actually contribute to dehydration rather than hydration.

Following the Trim Healthy Mama plan for 18 months now has helped me to better understand the need to keep my body hydrated as well as healthy. Did you know that you should be drinking half your body weight in water every day? This means if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water daily. This is not easy to do!  THM has several all-day sippers to help us with our daily water intake. My favorites are the Singing Canary and the GGMS…good girl moonshine! I actually enjoy mixing them together instead of drinking each one alone! Because neither of these has enough carbohydrates or fats to sway them towards an S or and E beverage (in the THM plan), these can be consumed all day long without causing you to go ‘off-plan.’

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Doesn’t that look amazing? I love drinking it out of a Mason jar!

I have played around with the Singing Canary recipe and have made it my own! It is a delicious drink and helps to quench my thirst each day. This recipe makes half a gallon, and I end up making at least one gallon a week. It will probably be more during the hot summer months!

2-3 lemons (3 if on the small side)

1/2 gallon water, divided

4000 mg. Vitamin C  (I use 4 (1000) mg tablets)

4 pills Vitamin B-Complex (my bottle doesn’t give a mg/tablet)

1 tsp. turmeric

1/2 scoop whey protein powder

1/2 tbsp. powdered collagen

2-3 pinches salt

1-2 tsp. melted coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. truvia blend (I use Pyure)

 

Cut the lemons into small pieces and toss them into your blender (rinds and all)! Add about 2-3 cups water. Blend until the lemons are totally ground up. Pour mixture through a sieve and press the pulp to get all the liquid out. Toss the pulp and pour the liquid back into your blender. Add the remaining ingredients. Blend until you don’t hear the vitamin tablets much at all (usually about 60 seconds with my blender). You can also use a pill grinder for the vitamins and then add them to the mix before blending.  Pour this into a 1/2-gallon Mason jar and fill to the top with water.  Some ladies prefer adding ice cubes in addition to the water, but I like mine without ice.

Be sure to either shake or stir before pouring a serving or taking a sip if it has been sitting out. The ingredients will settle to the bottom. Store in the fridge!

 

 

Black Bottom Cupcakes

I discovered this morning that I am only 39 views away from the goal I had set for the end of 2015. I’m only 2 months behind…oh, well. I guess I shouldn’t have set such a lofty goal of 20,000 total views! This year I will be a little more realistic! Oh, and this is post #375! I guess that’s not bad for 5 years of blogging.

I also saw this recipe today and thought I would share it here with you. It looks so amazing!! I definitely need to give it a try. I think you all will enjoy it too!

Taryn over at Joy Filled Eats has created this dessert. I am new to following her blog, but if this recipe is any indication of her creativity in the kitchen, I will be making quite a few of her others!

Winter Weather and Low-Carb Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Monday, everyone! I can’t believe that we are on the last full week of January already! Time is flying by!

We enjoyed a bit of winter weather on Friday and Saturday. Now, I realize that we didn’t get the 14-38 inches of snow that our northern friends received, but here in the south, a few inches is a big deal. New-fallen snow seems to put everyone in a good mood, and what’s great about living in the south is that we can enjoy our few inches of snow and a day off of school or work and then go right back to our temperatures of 50-60 degrees within a day or two! We can enjoy the beauty of new, clean snow without the trials that come with northern snows!

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The one thing that we have missed the most while trying to eat a low-carb diet is cinnamon rolls or coffee cake. My sons reminded me of this over the weekend! I used to make sourdough coffee cake every Sunday morning. However, since it just doesn’t suit our eating plan, and we would eat way too much of it, I don’t make it at all any more.

I saw this recipe over on the THM Facebook page the other day and decided to give it a try. We all enjoyed it! Using mozzarella cheese in the dough is absolutely brilliant! The guys thought that the icing needed to be a little bit sweeter, so when I make it again I will add more truvia. I love the way Briana made brown sugar using a little bit of molasses. I think that I would double that for this recipe next time.

Spice it Up! (The Veggie Version)

Here we are in the middle of the first week of the first month of a new year! Last week I mentioned that I missed my goal of 20,000 total views to the blog in 2015. Well, somebody discovered my blog and did a lot of browsing on the 30th! I had 187 views in one day! It became my busiest day ever!

The hubby and I are fully back on track of eating the THM way this week. The junk food that was brought into the house during the holidays is gone and hopefully won’t return! Yesterday was our first full day back, and it went well! I just have to keep encouraging him to drink more water!

I came across a small chart recently that matches seasonings and spices with various veggies and meats. This is a very helpful tool for me since we are cutting the carbs out of our diet. We are also trying to use less salt. Veggies and meats don’t need to be covered in breading and deep-fat fried to taste good. By using the spices you have in your cabinet, you can make delicious meats and side dishes that are also good for you! And, according to my hubby, a little garlic or onion powder helps everything taste better!

We like to cook our fresh veggies in coconut oil and add these spices.

Here are spices you can pair with vegetables.

ASPARAGUS—-lemon juice and mustard or thyme or marjoram

BROCCOLI—-dill, lemon juice, mustard or nutmeg

BRUSSELS SPROUTS—-garlic powder, onion powder, or lemon juice with dill

CAULIFLOWER—-dill, nutmeg, parsley, tarragon, or rosemary

GREEN BEANS—-basil, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, or a touch of red pepper flakes

SUMMER SQUASH—-marjoram, parsley, or paprika

TOMATOES—-basil, chives, garlic, or thyme

I hope you give some of these a try, or experiment with your own ideas! Next post I will share spices for various meats.

Out with the Old–In with the New

I can’t believe that we are at the door of a brand new year! Where did 2015 go? To me it seems like just yesterday that 2015 began, and here we are at its close.

A new year is the time when everyone evaluates the past year, sets new goals, starts dieting and  starts working out at the gym. Reflection over the last year is a good thing. We need to see our mistakes and learn from them. And, we need to look ahead to see what we can achieve in the days to come.

As I look back over 2015, I see a few goals that I have actually achieved, and some that I didn’t.  Personally, I challenged myself to follow the daily Bible reading schedule developed by Robert Murray McCheyne in 1842. It is designed so that the entire Bible is read through once, and the New Testament and Psalms twice each year. While I always read a portion of Scripture each day, I knew that reading 4-5 chapters a day could prove to be challenging. However, I persevered and actually finished the schedule today…2 days early!

For this blog I decided to try to post more recipes which are THM friendly. I think that I did ok in this…not perfect, but not too bad. I definitely need to post more frequently than I did last year. There is just something about a new grandbaby that seems to slow the blogging down a bit! Mia was born in the fall of 2014, so a lot of 2015 was spent playing with her and watching her grow!

Another goal I had for the blog was to try to reach 20,000 views. This, I am sad to admit, did not happen. Each click on a post counts as one view, so one person could actually have many views depending on how many posts they read when they visit the blog.  I am 788 views below that goal as of tonight. And I don’t think that 788 views are likely to happen in the next 52.5 hours!   Facebook seems to have changed the way my posts appear once I publish them. If I have pictures on a post, Facebook friends can see that picture without actually getting to the post to count as a view. Not sure when that happened, but it did. Anyway, the goal of 20k was probably a bit ambitious! We shall see what happens in 2016.

The two most popular posts were my quick and easy pie crust which you can read here, and my post about mailing packages to college students!

How did you do with your 2015 goals? Are you setting new ones for 2016?

 

Low-Carb Flour Blend

Finding the right type of flour to bake with while trying to eat on the THM plan has not been easy. The family still loves baked goods, but wheat flour is full of carbs. After playing around a bit with mixing flours, I think that I have found one that works for us. I might still toy with it, but for the most part, this blend works. It has just 31 grams of carbs per cup as opposed to 88 grams per cup of all-purpose flour and 117 grams/cup of whole wheat flour. Lots of ladies over on the THM Face Book page have created their own flour blends, and there are quite a few on Pinterest. If you are wanting to cut back on your carb intake this holiday season, but still want to have yummy baked goods, give this a try…or create your own! It isn’t that hard at all!

2 c. oat flour*

1 c. coconut flour

1 c. almond flour

1/2 c. ground flax

Mix together and keep in a labeled container. That’s all there is to it! Enjoy some low-carb baking!

*I buy old fashioned oats and grind them in my Ninja to make oat flour.

Low-Carb BBQ Sauce

Yesterday was the hubby’s birthday. He has now caught up to me! I was having trouble deciding what to prepare for dinner last night and finally decided to do something with chicken. One of our grocery stores had chicken breasts on sale, so I was able to get several packages for a great price. Barbecue chicken was sounding pretty good to me.

Since we’ve been trying to eat the Trim Healthy way for over a year now, I have not bought any barbecue sauce. Most of the BBQ sauces on the market today are full of high fructose corn syrup. If you do some research, you will discover that high fructose corn syrup is NOT good for the body!

I did a little web searching and found this recipe that I thought I could work with since I had most of the ingredients on-hand.

I had no unseasoned tomato sauce, but I did have a small can of tomato paste. I mixed it with water to get my tomato sauce. Probably should have used less of it, but it turned out ok.

The recipe also calls for a chicken wing sauce. I asked Sam which of the hot sauces that we have would be the best for this recipe, and he pulled one out for me. He did warn me to be careful and not use a lot since it is very hot. I cut back on the amount, but it was still too hot for me. Thankfully, Tim and the boys don’t mine hot and spicy foods!

For the sweetener, I used a THM friendly truvia instead of Splenda.

Our Trim-aversary!

Well, we made it!! We have passed the one-year mark for eating the THM way!! It has not always been an easy road, but we stayed on-plan for the majority of this last year.

For those of you not yet familiar with Trim Healthy Mama, this post gives a wonderful explanation of the way of eating.

While the hubby is slowing down on his weight loss and even gaining some weight back, he understands how much better he feels when he is eating in a healthy manner. Although I mentioned some health benefits in a different post last week, here they are again.

  1. No more snoring!
  2. No more symptoms of sleep apnea.
  3. No more acid reflux.
  4. More energy to do physical activities.
  5. More strength to do physical activities.
  6. Less joint pain (for me).
  7. Fewer over-all aches and pains.

This is truly amazing! Hubby used to get out of breath just walking from the car to the front door of the house. Last summer on our road trip, he struggled with all the walking we did at the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. Now he has the stamina to hike and walk/jog a 5K.

Here is our “before” picture taken last summer at the Grand Canyon:

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And here  is a picture taken in May:

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I don’t have a recent pic of just the two of us, but here is our family pic taken 2 weeks ago at Sweet Thing’s first birthday:

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He is still looking good, still has energy, and is continuing to work out 3 times a week.

I strongly recommend giving THM a try if you need better health! It isn’t just for moms!

Fried Salmon with Avocado Sauce

This particular recipe came about the other day when I realized that I still had some avocados in the fridge that had to be used. They were slightly soft when I bought them, and they had gotten pushed to the back of the fridge and almost forgotten. Does that ever happen to you? I seriously hate wasting food, so when I discovered that the avocados were still there, I knew I had to do something!

Salmon was already in the works for dinner, so I decided to make it a little different and figure out a sauce with the avocados. Normally, I coat the salmon in seasoned almond flour before frying it in coconut oil. This time I didn’t coat it at all. After heating the coconut oil, I placed the fresh salmon pieces in the skillet and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. I fried them gently on both sides and then covered the pan and removed it from the heat while I created the avocado sauce.

I totally winged it with this sauce…just created it as I went along. It actually worked! At least Ben and the hubby liked it! It is very similar to the guacamole that I make only smoother.

2 avocados

2 tbsp. sour cream

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper

dash of lemon juice

Split the avocados and scoop out the flesh into a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until very smooth. Adjust seasonings to your own preference for flavor.

This makes enough for 4  medium pieces of salmon.

Suggestion for left overs: spread the avocado sauce on a low-carb wrap in place of mayo. Layer meat,cheese, lettuce and tomato and roll up the wrap for lunch!