Oil Of Joy: 2015


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 THM Accountability and Challenge Group! JOIN ME!!

We are almost there!! The beginning of 2016!

Have you heard? I started an unofficial THM Accountability and challenge group? 
What will that look like??

We will have a WEEKLY challenge! 

Daily meal check ins!

Share our workouts!

Encouragement and friendship!


Join us as we begin the year off right! Rededicating our health journey or perhaps you are just starting out! We have a variety of ladies joining us, new and seasoned!

I am looking to regaining my weight loss goals and most of all, I am so excited to share this journey with others!!

You can find this group on facebook HERE!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Made with Love

I wanted to share a little more of my heart with you all today.

Something I noticed happening over this year was with all the craziness as mentioned in my previous post, was that cooking became a burden. It was just a chore I begrudgingly did because we needed to eat. I made THM treats so I could do my best to try to stay on plan, but it had lost it's joy.

Prior to my THM lifestyle change, I LOVED to bake. It was one of my love languages to my family. I would make fresh bread for my families sandwiches, breakfasts etc. Cinnamon rolls, cookies, cakes, muffins. I truly enjoyed making yummy foods for my family and I truly did it with love. Something therapeutic for me to feel the dough in my hands...my brain knows the food is done before the timer goes off....then watching their faces.....I love it all.

Then THM came in to my life. With my food intolerances I realized baking was going to be a huge learning curve now and I was really missing this area of my love language for my family. So, I dug in and played and experimented and guess what happened? Oil of Joy, my blog was born! I was having success, my family was enjoying my baked treats again and again I was making delicious things with love...and excitement!

Fast forward to 2015, such a hard year. I was in survival mode, which was appropriate for the time. I had to do what I needed to make it all work, and by the grace of God I did. But I am not there anymore. I am now free to enjoy making things with love once again, but I have realized that I am not. I am still making things because I have to, until this week. One evening this week I was just sitting and reflecting on the jobs that needed to get done around the house, making food was on that "job" list.

I wondered how it had become a job and not a love anymore, I realized that along the hard journey of this year, I had let that go but I want to reclaim it.

I want to encourage you (and me) to find the love of cooking and baking for your family, to spend the time not as a chore, but as an act of worship to the Lord, as an act of Love for your family and for yourself. When I make/bake THM foods for my family now, I know not only are they going to be satisfied by delicious flavors and happy tummies, but I am also nourishing their bodies. I also love and am so thankful I can be a full time mom. It's been a joy to be home with my children for these past 20 years! It's also so easy to feel like these daily tasks are meaningless, to not take pride in them or to just get them over with. However, I want to remind myself, I love to cook and bake. I love the creativity involved, the joy on their faces and the delicious sounds they make as they devour my latest creation.

Last night, before bed I was feeling inspired again, ready to enjoy the creative art of cooking and baking. I decided instead of just finding something to eat for breakfast, I would get up and create something delicious! I did.....I played with my S scone recipe and made cranberry orange scones with a protein london fog tea. It felt GREAT to enjoy the time in the kitchen, playing with ingredients, coming up with ideas. The house felt warm and the air smelled heavenly as they baked. Food really is one of my love languages, I am glad to have learned it in such a way as to heal and not harm my family.

Now it is time to start remembering why I cook and bake for my family. So it can be Made with Love.

With joy ~ Tina

PS - you can find that new addition to my scone recipe in the link above, I have added it as a variation to my original blueberry.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Trying again...an update in my THM Journey

I have thought a while about sharing this particular part of my journey, but I decided I wanted to share it for anyone else who has fallen but is getting back up to try again.

Sometimes I feel like I have not really fallen off the THM wagon, but rather I was drug along the side of it, bumping and scraping all the way. I am always on THM, I may have a few bad days or some off plan meals, but I am never fully "off plan". I don't think I could ever go back to my previous way of eating, it's made that much of a difference in my life. You can read my original story HERE. 

For those of you who have followed along on my blog, you may have noticed we have had a very hard year in our home. In the spring of this year my husband was diagnosed with MRSA in the bursa sack of his elbow. It was a very, very (stress VERY) hard time. He had to go on a series of antibiotics administered multiple times a day through a line installed in his arm. We are eternally thankful and give glory to God that he is 1. HEALED and 2. he only missed a total of one and a half weeks of work through that horrible ordeal . (We don't have sick time, so any time off is just lost money and I am a full time mom, so it makes an impact.) God was there. My husband ended up having a severe reaction to his antibiotics and was hospitalized for a day. While I share our hardships let me just say, I was gifted essential oils through a dear friends mother to help my husband through this time. We had friends praying for us as well. I am so very thankful for praying family and friends. To sum this story up, my husband has now recently had a follow up MRI to check if he needed surgery and he does NOT! So, we are finally finished (as of about a month ago) with that whole situation. Here is a post I did about what I make for my husbands lunches. In that photo he had just recently been diagnosed. That day I was smiling, but inside I was scared.

Shortly after my husbands ordeal my mom got very sick and entered the hospital with a diabetic wound that nearly ended up taking her life because of complications. Her story is found HERE and HERE. I then spent the remainder of this summer managing her care. Spending days at the hospital, then organizing in home caretakers, meals, grocery shopping, doctors appointments etc etc etc. I did this in addition to taking care of my own family and home. I am again, so thankful and praise God for saving her life, for healing her and preserving her foot and leg and giving her the ability to live again. She is continuing to improve every day.

I share all of this not to whine, but to get to the point, trying again. Let me share this little tidbit of information so you can see the full scope, one day my daughter and I headed out to finally get a grocery shop trip in, I had been managing our family meals day by day, moment by moment, it was all I could do. When we finally made it out to this particular planned shopping trip, my daughter looks at me and asked me, do you remember the last time we did this? She caught me by surprise, why was that even in her mind...so I told her no, I really couldn't remember. She told me it had been 3 months. Three months since I had meal planned and my family had sat down to a regular meal all together. Three months since I had my kitchen and pantry stocked like it usually is. It may sound silly, but it was quite a shock for me to realize that this one basic thing, had been so neglected for so long.

While I was busy caring for others for so many months this year, I had not been caring for myself. I would do the best I could to stick to plan, but I would have many days of way too many hours between meals or snacks, or too many crossovers or just sometimes I had to eat what I could get my hands on. I would have spurts of really good days and boy could I tell a difference in how I was handling things when I was eating well, but I just didn't have time to plan or bake or cook.

Sadly, although I have not weighed, I am pretty sure I have gained back my weight from where I started on THM. I don't want to weigh yet, it just feels like another burden I cannot bear at this time. Instead, I am focusing on regaining my momentum. I am meal planning, I am baking and cooking and prepping again.

I am trying hard to not look at this as a failure, although sometimes it's hard not to. I run a blog and motivational groups as well as a THM store. Yet, I couldn't hold it all together. I gained weight...I struggle with feeling like I am not the best representation of THM.

What I will say is this, I did NOT return to my old usual coping mechanisms for the most part. I would have looked for junk food during such a stressful season before THM. I now find I would rather have a cake in a mug than a store bought cookie. Skinny chocolate really does sooth a frazzled, teary heart, not just the tummy. I would also say, I have the best tool ever, THM to return to full force and I KNOW it works and I will lose this weight again and I will reflect on this season and hopefully be better prepared when a rough season is thrust upon me again. (Let's all hope and pray that is not for a VERY long time, ok?) So, I am trying again. I will be on THM for life, I already know that, I just hope I will spend that time maintaining in the future rather than trying to lose weight I have already lost before. I hope as I encourage others, I will also be encouraged and motivated and excited.

Have you ever fallen off the THM bandwagon? Are you also looking for motivation. I would love to invite you to join me in my Facebook Accountability and challenge group. I will cheer you on and you can cheer me on!

Thanks for reading, I hope my story helps you get back on plan if you have veered off the path. <3

With joy ~ Tina

Thursday, December 10, 2015

THM Accountability and Challenge Group!


Hi ladies! I am just so excited! I decided to start a Trim Healthy Mama (unofficial) Accountability and Challenge Group!

What is it going to be like? Well, we will kick off officially on January 1, 2016. That's a Friday ladies, yes, are starting on a Friday and not waiting until the usual Monday start day!

Each week I will offer up a challenge for us all! On Sundays I will post a meme indicating our challenge and within that thread how we are all doing that week! I will be mixing it up each week and I have already written up the first 6 months of weekly challenges!

I will also post a daily meme where we can check in, offer encouragement and keep each other updated on how our journey is going.

I have already decided to start a pre challenge mini challenge - we will be doing a 4 day NO CHEAT challenge. December 20, 21, 22 and 23rd! A great way to kick some of that sugar out of our system and set our minds on our lifestyle and how GREAT we feel when we stick to the plan!

If you would like to join this group you can find it here:

You can also click on the accountability group picture above, it's linked too!

I am just so excited to get this kicked off! I am already encouraged just by planning our weekly challenges and watching you all join and share your stories and excitement!

If you need to stock up on THM items, you can order through me privately or you can shop through my THM store located here. Thank you for any purchases made through my affiliate link below! They help support my blog habit and bringing you yummy egg free creations! <3


If you are in need of the books they an be found here:

Thanks ladies! I am really looking forward to a happy, healthy new year!

With Joy ~ Tina

Saturday, November 28, 2015

My THM Cookbook Tips and Tweaks for the Allergy Mamas

Hello mamas!

Don't you just love the new cookbook? It has been a HUGE hit in my home. My family is loving the recipes so far! Since those of us who deal with food allergies, I thought I would work my way through the recipes as I can and create a resource here for you with my personal tips and tweaks. As much as I would like to help everyone with all different sensitivities, I am not able to, so this resource will be coming from my main issues which are eggs, wheat, some dairy, almonds, sunflower seeds and peanuts. Be sure to check back here regularly, I plan to keep updating this as I work on each recipe.

First, I use this recipe to replace the THM baking blend, I sub in hazlenut flour for the almond called for, I would imagine just about any nut or seed flour would work so you can fit this to your needs.


I feel this mix works very well as a direct sub for the THM Baking Blend, but I am able to customize it to fit my food sensitivities! There are many other wonderful mixes out there, I just feel this one has been a very good sub for the recipes in the cookbook.

I am not able to give you full recipes from the cookbook here because of copyright laws and well its just not the right thing to do. :)
So please, buy the cookbook if you don't already have it! It's so worth it!!

I will add pictures as I am able! I sure hope you find this list a blessing and again, check back often, I plan to update as I am able!

With Joy ~ Tina :)

On to the recipes!

Page 275 - Brainy Blueberry Muffin- The baking blend is a gamechanger for egg free mamas. As soon as I saw it in person I knew it was going to work so well for subbing in S recipes! I was so excited!! My sub for this and the MIM recipes when using homemade or purchased baking blend  is a chia egg. So simple, I heat up my tea kettle, I measure out 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds, add in 3 Tablespoons of hot water and let sit for a minute or so to allow it to thicken. In the dish I am making my MIM I first put the coconut oil in, I then pour my hot chia egg over the oil and stir to melt. Then I add in the rest of the ingredients adding in the frozen berries, if using, last. If your muffin is too dry, add in a Tablespoon or so of water to get to a mixable, but not watery consistency.  Works fabulously! (note, without egg, these never come out as fluffy and large as one made with egg, but this still comes out great and muffin like!!)

Page 283 - Chocolate Banana Muffins - I made these dairy free by using the applesauce sub listed in the recipe. For the eggs, when I combined all the wet ingredients, I added in 2 teaspoons of flax meal, mixed together and allowed it to sit for a few minutes to thicken a bit. I also subbed in 3/8 of a cup of sweet blend as my family loves it! (Sorry, that's the only photo I had of the muffins, pictured above is the Strawberry milk page 438 which I love with the muffins for breakfast, and the Stovetop Granola Crunch page 254, so yummy!)

Page 332 - Chocolate Berry Wedding Cheesecake - Oh mama. This cake is wonderful. This was the shining star at our thanksgiving dinner this year. I decided we would try this using the goat cheese  from Costco that comes in logs. This allowed the folks who are dairy sensitive in my family to enjoy this, cream cheese would not work for our family. So, I used 22oz of goat cheese in place of the cream cheese called for. For the eggs I subbed in 1/2cup of sprouted tofu. I placed the tofu in my blender with 2 Tablespoons of coconut milk and whirred it up. I then used between 6-8 Tablespoons of coconut milk to thin out the mixture while mixing it up in step 2. Mine didn't pour into the crust so much, it was a bit thicker, but still came out amazing!! For the crust, I used 1/2 cashew meal and 1/2 coconut flakes and followed the basic recipes on pages 323-324 of the cookbook.

I also made slim belly jelly on page 478 and I made this AMAZING chocolate sauce from Simply Healthy Home. http://simplyhealthyhome.com/dairy-and-sugar-free-chocolate-sauce/

That sauce recipe is a keeper for about a thousand other things...like eating off a spoon. :)

Page 177 - Super Salmon Patties - My family loves this dish, it's also very quick and easy. This one calls for eggs, I use a simple and basic chia egg, basically 1 Tablespoon chia soaked in 3T warm water until thickened. Depending on how much salmon I use, I use 2-3 of these just like called for in the recipe. I have also made this with the oat sub suggested and tonight I made them with the Run AmokMama baking mix sub. Came out great as usual!

Page 298 - Bust-a-myth banana cake - Oh, this is a YUMMY cake! My daughter was thrilled and said it tasted just like the banana bread I used to make! YAY! That's high praise, as in my pre THM life, I would consider myself a pretty good baker. :) (Part of why I needed THM, lol)

This cake calls for both eggs and greek yogurt, neither of which I or my daughter can have. In place of those I used 1 cup of applesauce and 2 scoops of collagen. Worked beautifully. This cake is a keeper! I have another banana cake on my blog here: Zucchini Banana Bread. Which is also yummy and quite a versatile recipe! So now you have some yummy options! Enjoy!

Linked below is my Affiliate - any purchase you make helps support my egg free baking habit and blesses my family. Thankfully it adds nothing to your purchase price and we are so appreciative of all who use it!

Friday, November 20, 2015

S - Stuffing ~ Dressing ?? Delicious for sure! Egg free, Gluten Free

*This post contains affiliate links. Using them costs you nothing extra but does give me a little kickback from the THM store. Thank you for your support, I truly love bringing you allergy friendly yummy recipes that help us all achieve our THM goals!*

I call it stuffing whether or not I stuff it in my turkey. Some folks call that dressing. Dressing is what I put on a salad. So stuffing is the bready, buttery goodness that makes me feel like it's Thanksgiving. It also makes my tummy incredibly happy.

Personal secret I will share....I was a carb junky pre THM. My thanksgiving plate consisted of lots of carbs. The perfect plate had mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy and a nice fluffy roll. No turkey. That was a waste of precious tummy space for more carbs. Ugh....it makes me a little nauseous now to even think about the overload. Carb coma for sure.

Today it is MUCH different! I now enjoy some chicken breast (since turkey tends to give me sinus issues, weirdest reaction ever), I make a low carb cranberry sauce and this will be my first year to have an on plan stuffing! I am SO excited! Of course, it meant a huge sacrifice for me, I had to make a trial batch so I could share this with you before thanksgiving. Oh the struggles of blogging....(although sometimes the struggle is real when I mess up, lol)

This is a very basic recipe, you can jazz this baby up with some chicken or beef sausage, more herbs and spices etc. I like the basic simple kind of stuffing. It's what I grew up with...it tastes like Thanksgiving to me. Oh, and theres a good amount of butter...which makes this not dairy free...sorry folks if you are looking for that sub, perhaps refined coconut oil and some butter flavor?

Now, I also must say, it is HARD for this very amateur blogger/photographer to get a good picture of stuffing that doesn't resemble something like kibble. Sorry about that, you will just have to trust me, besides, stuffing isnt really pretty anyway, right? RIGHT!


On to the recipe!!

First you need to make a batch of Just Like Grandmas Rolls

Now, after they have completely cooled, or maybe even make the rolls the day before, chop them up into cubes as best you can. Place them on a baking sheet and broil for between 8-12 minutes until they are pretty much dry.

Basic Holiday Stuffing:

1/2-3/4 cup butter (you decide how buttery you would like this to be)
1 onion chopped
4 celery stocks chopped
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
3 teaspoons rubbed sage
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
approx 1-2 cups chicken broth (this can vary depending on how dry or moist you like your stuffing)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a dutch oven melt that beautiful butter. Saute your onions and celery until soft. Add in your seasonings, including salt and pepper. Stir in your dry "bread" cubes and coat them well with that seasoned buttery goodness.

Begin to add your broth, mix well, continue to add and mix until you have achieved the desired texture.

I know some folks like theirs quite soft, others like a little more texture, like me. So I have left you some variables here to play with, enjoy the art of making a wonderful stuffing!!

Pour your stuffing into a baking pan or just bake in your dutch oven if it is oven safe. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. Oh the smells are heavenly!

Happy Thanksgiving! I will share my cranberry sauce recipe with you early this week!!

With Joy ~ Tina

Y!ou can find my store HERE!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Biscuits, Beautiful Biscuits (FP ~ S)

Fluffy, Warm
Enjoying, Eating, Buttering, 
Fuel Pull, Satisfying, Rich, Golden
Melting, Drizzling, Pooling
Delicious, Joy

 ***Please note, I have affiliate links in this post, I thank you in advance for helping me bring more yummy egg free creations to you through your support! I also have an affiliate link to the THM store on the right side of my blog!***

I just made up a poem (a diamante to be exact, even if it is not technically perfect) about biscuits just for you. :)
I felt these deserved a poem, because they're beautiful and delicious and 2 of them are just inching in to the Fuel Pull category. However, if you want another one, just think of it as an S. A very Satisfying S. Enjoy these with butter, slather on some slim belly jelly....dip it in soup....mmmmm.....

These beautiful little biscuits are egg free!! They can be dairy free! These DO use baking blend and I do not know how to sub for that, I am sorry. Since I am unable to use the THM brand (I have a sensitivity to almonds) I made Run Amok Mamas version, it's wonderful! I subbed hazelnut flour for the almond.

Unbelievable Baking Powder Biscuits
Makes 6 biscuit
Serving size 2 for FP (edging close to an S)

1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons hard butter (very cold, straight out of the fridge) **
1/2 cup on plan milk of choice
4 Tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Combine dry ingredients. I use a cheese grater and grate my cold butter right into the dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Add milk and water, stir just until combined, but don't over stir!
I use a scoop and scoop out 6 beautiful biscuits. I use a baking sheet that has air in between two layers to help prevent burning. To keep from sticking I also use a Non Stick Silicone Sheet, or you can use parchment paper.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until just starting to get golden on top.

** I am sure you could cut in some coconut oil here for the butter, if you want that butter taste, add a little butter extract/flavoring to the liquids.

                             My favorite baking sheets are this style, they help prevent burning!


Thank you for shopping at the THM store through my affiliate link. Thankfully it costs you nothing extra, but it blesses me!! I also take sales through my personal retail store, message me through my facebook page for more information. :)


With Joy ~ Tina

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fluffkin Pie! (S)

Fluffkin pie? Fluffy pumpkin pie....mmmm....pie.....

I just love living the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle. Look at what I can have for breakfast if I want.

**Please note, this post contains affiliate links! Any purchase made through them helps support my blog and my family. Thank you for blessing us with your purchase!**

This lovely little pie is dairy free, gluten free, egg free...yet delicious. I decided to make a cinnamon pecan crust and top it with this delicious fluffy pumpkinny filling. Perfect for thanksgiving....or for breakfast.

Fluffkin Pie

1.5 cups pecans (use 2 if you want the crust to go up higher on your pie plate)
1 teaspoon Sweet Blend
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons melted butter (sub coconut oil for dairy free option)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place all ingredients in food processor pouring melted butter on top. Process by pulsing until the pecans are broken down and coming together, but be careful! You don't want pecan butter!

Pour into a pie plate, pat flat and up the rim with fingers, bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

1 15oz can cooconut cream (I buy at Trader Joes, or buy full fat, refrigerate, turn over and remove liquid, use solids left behind)
2 teaspoons Sweet Blend
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine cream, sweet blend and vanilla in cold mixing bowl Whip until fluffy and light, set aside.

1 15oz can unsweetened pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Sweet Blend
pinch of salt

Combine ingredients in mixer until well mixed. Fold in the saved coconut cream until well, but gently mixed.

Pour into pie crust and refrigerate overnight.

Wouldn't it look beautiful in this??

 With Joy ~ Tina

This post contains an affiliate link to my Trim Healthy Mama Store! Your support is very much appreciated!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Chicken Enchilada Casserole ~ E Can easily be dairy free!

**Please note, this post contains affiliate links! Any purchase made through them helps support my blog and my family. Thank you for blessing us with your purchase!**

Oh ladies, this is so yummy! In my house we L~O~V~E Mexican food, we could eat it pretty much every day! Tacos, taco salads, burritos, fajitas, guacamole etc etc etc.....it's just all so lovely and delicious!

A while back I ran across this recipe for an Enchilada Casserole, it was TOTALLY off plan, but looked so amazing, I decided it needed to be THMified!

Personally, I am not a huge fan of canned enchilada sauce, so although this is an extra step, in my opinion it's totally worth it. I have an OLD La Leche League cookbook that I found this recipe in years ago, I have adapted it to fit within both our allergy needs and THM.

Enchilada Sauce
1 Tablespoon oil of choice (olive, coconut, you can omit if you'd like)
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons sprouted brown rice flour (you can use regular and still be on plan here)
2 Cups water
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, whisking to make a smooth sauce, and bring to a boil, turn down and simmer for 5 minutes stirring frequently with a whisk.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Serves 8
2 cups uncooked sprouted brown rice (you can use regular brown rice)
4 cups water
salt to taste

2 cooked chicken breasts
1/2 a small onion diced into medium/small pieces
1 can fat free refried beans
1/4 cup frozen corn (yes, it's on plan in garnish amounts!) :)
Low fat shredded cheese optional.

Combine rice, water and salt, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until down approximately 45 minutes.

While the rice cooks you can start the enchilada sauce, chop the chicken and onions.
When sauce is finished cooking add the refried beans, chicken and onions, stir well to combine.

When rice is finished add the enchilada sauce mixture and combine well. Spread in to a 9x13 baking dish, I topped mine with 1 cup of shredded low fat cheese and 1/4 cup frozen corn sprinkled over the top.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until bubbly! I am serving this with a side salad, chopped carrots, grape tomatoes and snap peas would also be a great and easy side with this dish.

With joy~ Tina

Monday, September 7, 2015

My Weekly Meal Plan!

I am not sure I will be able to do this for you every week at this point, but I do plan to post one as often as I sit and make a plan. Truthfully, I would LOVE to post this every week, it helps me so much to stay on plan when I have a plan! So for now, I will do the best I can and post my meals with links when I do make time to create this.

Breakfasts - always egg free:
FP - Big Boy Smoothie - I will make mine with strawberries, I plan to have this twice this coming week
FP- Overnight oats with blueberries - recipe coming soon! I plan to have this twice as well.
E - Cinnamon rolls....I am HOPING to have a recipe for this one!
S - Goat yogurt with berries and walnuts, I will have this twice this week.

S - Beef hot dogs with cauliflower and shredded cheddar cheese
S - Leftover Taco Salad
S - Salmon fillet with sauteed cabbage, I will have this twice this week.
S - Sandwiches on Just Like Grandmas Rolls and lean deli meat, lettuce tomato, bell pepper slices. I will have this twice this week.
FP - Leftover Cabbage taco soup, I will have this twice this week.

S - Taco Salad
E - Sloppy Joes
FP - Chicken breasts cooked on the BBQ (I always buy a large family pack and cook them up for quick additions to snacks or meals) broccoli and cauliflower side dish
FP - Fat Burning Cabbage Tortilla soup - I am adding some of that chicken we will BBQ this week to this meal. I can then turn it into an E buy slicing and baking corn tortillas, or adding cooked brown rice OR an S by adding avocado, cheese and sour cream, or goat cheese for a more allergy friendly version. I will decide that night what I am in the mood for.
E - Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole with a salad (recipe coming soon!)
E - Slow Cooker Chicken Quinoa Chili (be sure to omit S ingredients to keep this an E), salad
We will be planning to eat dinner out one night this week, YAY! :)

S - Goat Yogurt with berries, I will have twice this week for snack just like for breakfast
S - skinny chocolate I will have twice this week
E - Banana Zucchini Cake I will have three times this week

FP - Cookie Bowl Oatmeal with Strawberries I will make a double batch and have this twice this week
S - Chocolate chip cookie bar, I will have this twice this week
E - Zucchini Banana Cake, I will have this twice this week (it makes a big pan)
S - Cheesecake berry crunch, I make it with goat cheese!

I use the Trim Healthy Mama Oat Fiber in my Chocolate Chip cookie bars, personally I have found it to be the best of all oat fiber options and the only one to be certified gluten free! I also use my preferred sweetener, Sweet Blend by THM in my cookies as well. Best flavor! I have just started playing with the Gentle Sweet and hope to have recipes coming out soon! So far, I LOVE it!
If you are interested in trying it, I would appreciate your purchase through my affiliate link, it costs you nothing extra, but helps me create more yummy goodness!
Shop at Trim Healthy Mama!

With joy ~ Tina

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Zucchini Banana Cake - a scrumptious E!

**Please note, this post contains affiliate links! Any purchase made through them helps support my blog and my family. Thank you for blessing us with your purchase!**

 It's certainly zucchini season around here, a sweet friend of mine gave me a HUGE one and so far I have been making zucchini brownies with it....and I still have a lot left! I also happen to have several bananas that needed to be made into something wonderful so I decided, let's put them together and create a lovely cake!

I baked this today while dinner was cooking and had to run out right away when it was done. It wasn't until I got back home and the cake was fully cooled that I cut off a little slice and gave it to my daughter....she's always one of my official testers....I waited...she proclaimed, "THIS TASTES LIKE WHAT YOU USED TO MAKE!"

I love that kind of reaction, I love it when I THMify a food to the point that it's so delicious my family wants it just as much if not more than the old sugar and fat laden goody. (My old cake was made with flour as well, which we don't eat anymore due to sensitivities.) So, I am so excite to share this with you. I am thinking this is a great dessert or even a wonderful breakfast on the go! It would be a good idea to add a little trimmacino or my London Fog tea to make sure you are getting enough protein with it.

Egg free, dairy free, wheat free, nut free!

On to the recipe!!

Zucchini Banana Cake (E)
Serves 4


1-1/2 cups oat flour
1/2 cup oat fiber
a slightly heaping 1/4 cup of Sweet Blend
2 doonks stevia optional if you like it sweeter
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/4 cups on plan milk
2 teaspoons flax meal
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 medium to small ripe banana
1/2 cup shredded zucchini


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the first 8 ingredients well. I use a whisk to make sure they are well combined and free of lumps.

Combine all the wet ingredients EXCEPT the zucchini, place in blender or I used my large cup in my magic bullet. Blend until all is combined and banana is smooth. I think I did it for around 20-30 seconds. Add wet to dry and NOW add in the shredded zucchini. Stir until all combined.

I poured this into my 9x9 baking pan that is non stick so I didn't need to grease it and it came out BEAUTIFULLY!
Bake for 45 minutes or until done.

With joy~ Tina

***Note, this post contains affiliate links...which means when you purchase by clicking on my link, I receive a small commission and it costs you nothing extra! It blesses my family and helps me bring out more yummy egg free recipes! Thank you so much! :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

My weekly Meal Plan

I find that I do so much better if I have a plan! On my Facebook page this week I posted my meal plan and a few of you said this might be helpful to you as a blog post with links to recipes. So, here goes!!

*(E)I made a yummy cinnamon apple baked pancake...recipe coming soon! (It was supposed to be a surprise!)
*(S)Goat Yogurt (I buy mine at Trader Joes), vanilla stevia and strawberries
*(E)Energizing Oat Pancakes I top with either all fruit jelly or berries. I usually make a tea with added protein to make sure it lasts me three hours.
*(S)London Fog tea and chicken or beef breakfast sausages (Walmart carries the beef and Trader Joes carries the chicken)
*(FP)Overnight oats - I follow this recipe: Oatmeal 1/4 cup of old fashioned oats 1/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk 1/4 cup of 0% fat Greek yogurt (I use goat yogurt) 1/2 tsp of vanilla 1 tbs of Truvia (or use another plan approved sweetener) 1 tsp of chia seeds 1 tbs of Vanilla Protein Powder top with berries(keep under 1/2 cup if you use blueberries) Make sure to let them sit 6 hours or overnight. Simple :)

*(S)Salmon fillet over sautéed cabbage - I just pan fry a salmon fillet (frozen) and while that cooks I sautee up chopped cabbage in a little butter. When finished I drizzle a little sesame oil on top and place the finished salmon fillet on top. YUM! Beautiful deep S lunch, easy too!
*(S)Sandwiches on Just Like Grandmas Rolls, I usually pick up some lean chicken deli lunch meat and make 2 little sandwiches. I will also have something like cucumbers or bell pepper slices on the side. A couple of pieces of dark chocolate go wonderfully with this!
*(S)Chinese chicken salad....this is coming up soon in a blog post, sorry, you will just have to wait a little bit!! SO GOOD!
*Leftovers! Economical, quick, easy and always on plan!

*(S)I always buy a family size tray of chicken, breasts, drumsticks, thighs, whatever. Then one day  for dinner my hubby will BBQ the whole bunch! I season simply with salt, pepper and usually garlic powder so I can use leftovers for anything! Nice big yummy salad, I love adding olives, avocado, veggies and pine nuts to the top. I make a simple "honey" mustard dressing that I love!
*(S)Meatloaf and mashed cauli - should I write this up as a post??
*(CO)Carne Asada tacos. I made this marinade Carne Asada "Darn" Good and let it marinade overnight. I will serve this with corn tortillas (2 regular or 4 sprouted). I will also have avocado, salsa and refried beans. We love our tacos and I would rather enjoy them fully as a crossover than feel cheated with a  single fuel source. :) We are serious taco people. LOL
*Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs - easy, clean spaghetti squash thoroughly, cut in half place cut side down in crockpot, pour in 2 jars of no sugar or homemade sauce. I add in chicken Italian sausages and turn it on low all day. Remove, clean and shred squash, serve with sauce and meat. I will have a salad with this. Probably have some Just like grandmas garlic butter rolls too.
*(S)Big Mac Salad- this has great reviews, I am excited to try it!
*(E)Sloppy Joes on Sweet potatoes, side salad. YUM!

*(E) Cinnamon rolls...again, trying something for the blog, SORRY!!
*(S) Briana Thomas' Fudgy Brownies
*(E) Sheri Grahams no bake cookies - I omit the peanut flour and add in protein powder or cashew butter, both work great!
*(S) Cheesecake berry crunch, I use goat cheese that comes in a log for the cream cheese and I sub in pistachios for the almonds. SO YUM!

*Dark chocolate, I LOVE Trader Joes brand of dark, great price too! I will often have a small handful of nuts with that
*Light string cheese with a piece of fruit, thankfully being on THM has helped heal my gut enough I can now enjoy some cheeses!
*Big Boy Smoothie, one of my favorites
*BP tea (I am not a coffee drinker, just love me despite my flaws)

If you are in need of any THM food products, please check then out through my affiliate link

HERE! Thank you for your purchase!

That's the plan for the week! I hope you find this helpful for your own THM journey!!

With joy~ Tina

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Oil of Joy ~ Trim Healthy Mama Retail Outlet WHAT??

Once upon a time a homeschool mom of two prayed and asked God to plan a career for her in the future, something where she could still be in charge of her daily schedule and preferably be her own boss. She also asked Him to be in ministry as well as be involved in something where God could still be an active part of her work. This homeschool mom had a lot of requests, but she asked her loving Abba in heaven and would remind Him now and then as the years went by.

Then one summer day this homeschool mom and her husband decided to attend a local conference and had the fun idea of hosting a Trim Healthy Mama table in the marketplace. It will be fun she thought! I could meet lots of folks and share this incredible plan with other ladies searching for food freedom and joy in eating guilt free!

So, she wrote an email to Trim Healthy Mama asking for their help to sell product at the conference. They wrote back and to her surprise they asked her if she was interested in becoming a retail outlet! WHAT?? She thought....open a store? Is that possible?

She prayed, a lot. She thought about her grown son who was now in college and the one year of homeschool left with her daughter. The timing felt right! She decided that this was a gift from her Abba and signed the contract and mailed it back. A new adventure has begun!! :)

Welcome to my Oil of Joy Trim Healthy Mama Store!!
I am so excited you guys! Truly, I never would have thought this would be a possibility for me! It was never even an inkling or hope! I have been so blessed by THM, I can whole heartedly stand behind THM, the book, the principals, the foods, everything! There are very few companies I think I could truly say that about!

My hope and prayer is to someday attend ladies meetings where I can share about the basics of THM, encourage and help people implement the plan. Share recipes and have shared meals. I have all kinds of ideas and I truly do hope God blesses this adventure and it will be a business I can help support my family with at some level as well. I really do feel so very blessed! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Trim Healthy Mama for my Mama

With my moms permission, I am sharing her progress toward healing and how Trim Healthy Mama has been an integral part of this journey toward regaining her health.

In my previous posts I have given you a bit of information about what happened with my moms current health condition. I will give a brief summary along with sharing how Trim Healthy Mama has been a huge blessing in her recovery.

Six weeks ago I went to my moms house and found she was really struggling with her health. I didn't know what was wrong, but she was taken by ambulance to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a serious infection that started from a diabetic wound on her foot. When she entered the hospital her blood glucose levels were in the mid 400's. After three days of the hospital diabetic menu as well as insulin shots (for her very first time ever) multiple times per day, they had her blood sugar in the 300's. I decided it was time to put my THM knowledge into action. Get that blood sugar down and stabilize it! I asked some of my fellow admin friends who have diabetes or knowledge of it, and armed with that specific information as well as my knowledge of THM principals, I went through my moms menu at the hospital and placed stars next to all the foods she could eat. In addition, I brought in premade protein shakes that were low carb and filled with good ingredients, Zevia pops, Sobe and Vitamin water zeros. She had plenty of yummy things to drink and a menu she could work with.

Within 24 hours her numbers dropped over 100 points and by the next day she was under the target blood glucose number of 140!!! It was amazing. She was under and holding in her goal range. It was really exciting! Almost a week later she went in for a surgery, they said that often blood sugar numbers will also rise with sickness and traumas to the body such as surgery. While she had some slight spikes, overall, she continued on keeping her numbers under 140. A couple of days after her surgery, the head surgeon (she had 4) came in and asked her who put her on the diet she was on, she told him her daughter did. He paused and said "whatever she tells you to do, do it!!"! That was such an exciting endorsement! I only wish he had asked more about the plan, what was she doing and why it was working. Unfortunately the medical community doesn't seem to work that way. Maybe someday...

After a full 10 days in the hospital my mom was released home. We hired caregivers to come in and care for her 9-10 hours a day. They were instructed to follow only my food guidelines. I have been teaching caregivers how to make Big Boy Smoothies, which they all love. I have given quick summaries of the plan to occupational therapists, and as it turns out, her physical therapist is a THM!! I have stocked her freezer and fridge with good foods that they can make easily for her.

Now fast forward a couple of weeks. She goes to her primary physician for a follow up. They get her stats and vitals, and then the visit with the doctor. My mom asks if she can go off of her insulin and try controlling her diabetes through food alone. (Please, check with your doctor if you are interested in doing this, don't just quit!) He agreed to a two week trial! She quit her insulin that day, we went and created a full THM menu plan for all meals. She was now "on plan" 100% of the time.

She checks her blood sugar levels 5 times per day. Every day, every number, was right on. She was eating mostly S meals, but she still had her E's and a few S helpers as well. It was really exciting to watch her numbers come completely under control and her blood sugar stabilize without the insulin.

Fast forward two more weeks, another follow up doctor visit. We have a log of all her numbers day by day to bring to the doctor. We go in and again, they take down her stat and vitals. Everything is looking great. They read over her glucose numbers and were SO IMPRESSED!! Our next big surprise was over the 2.5 weeks since her last doctor visit she was down 24 POUNDS!! Everyone was so happy and cheering! We had not gone in to this with weight loss as the goal, but it was sure a wonderful side bonus!

The doctor said she needs to share what she is doing because it is working SO WELL! The doctor ordered an in house A1C test to check her long range blood sugar readings. When she entered the hospital she was at 8.3, after 15 minutes we learned her A1C was now (can you stand it??!! Drumroll please.....................)      6.7       !!!!!!!!!!!!!!Wow!! This was AWESOME news! We fully anticipate for her number to drop below 6 by her next visit. Praise God!!

He loved her numbers so much that he agreed she did not need insulin, she was doing a fabulous job controlling her numbers through diet alone, than you Trim Healthy Mama and God who guided me to it. We were all so very happy with all the news we received.

In addition, when my mom left the hospital she left with a fancy wound vacuum on her foot wound. It was quite large and deep, to the bone. They told her that she would need that wound vac on her foot for approximately 3 months. One thing I have learned is the importance of protein in healing the body. Wounds and tissue repair occur so much more efficiently when there is adequate protein in the diet. Truly, it's astounding the difference it makes. Well, 6 weeks after she left the hospital her foot wound no longer needs a vac!! It was removed and she now has just a surface wound that will now finish healing with proper care! AMAZING! What they projected to be a 3 month issue, minimum, was cut in half! God is so good!

I am so very thankful for the knowledge I have gained through Trim Healthy Mama. I feel like God filled me with the needed guidance to help my mom heal in this time. I am looking forward to continued good reports from the doctor and for my mom to grow stronger and be even healthier and more energetic before this whole episode.

If you struggle with your health, would like to control your blood sugar, whether you are diabetic or not, I would love to share with you about THM. It has made such an impact in my life, my husbands and now this additional incredible testimony for my mom. I am a THM'er for LIFE!

With Joy and Gratitude ~ Tina

Monday, July 27, 2015

Update - I am still here!

Hello my friends! I have not completely disappeared! I am still here, just so very busy with life right now. I hope to have a new recipe up very soon! I have ideas rolling around up there....just need to find a little time.....

My last post was all about hospital food and I touched on my moms hospitalization. I am thankful to say that she is out now and recovering at home. It has been quite a journey for her, but she is making progress each day. I am believing she is going to be even better than before she had this infection! She will be restored to wholeness!! “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. 14 I will put My [Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord.’”

Through this whole ordeal I have come learned some lessons.

One, THM is really such a blessing. My moms issues are due to diabetes getting out of control, I have now seen the ravages of this disease when it goes unchecked first hand. It's horrible.

Two,  the importance of controlling our blood sugar has become quite real to me. It's so easy to ignore it and pretend we are not really damaging our bodies when we flood it with sugary foods and see no real affect other than a sugar high and the crash that comes after. It's easy to think that's it, no damage done. It's easy to be in denial. The reality? You could lose your life. It's that simple. It will kill you if you let it go and fail to take care of it. For me, THM is for life. A healthy life.

Three, it's a beautifully humbling thing to reach out to friends to help you through difficult times. It's so easy to be the one to always be there for others. To come to everyone elses aid, to be the one others can lean on. Boy, it's such a different thing to admit that I am not able to do it all and I need help. I have beautiful friends and I am so blessed. I had friends come to the hospital with me when my mom first went in. I had friends and my AMAZING son help get my mom home when I was unable to. Her care was given freely by dear friends in her first few days at home and the rest of her care was provided through dear friends recommendations. Amazing. Truly, so amazing.

Four, God is in control. This has been the biggest lesson I have received this year. The weekend my mom was discharged from the hospital was the weekend my husband and I went away to our conference. I was so conflicted, part of me felt I should definitely stay and help my mom, everyone else, including my mom insisted I go away for our trip. Such a hard thing to do. We left Friday morning, about an hour into the 4.5 hour drive I received that call that she was being discharged! I had hoped they would keep her at the hospital over the weekend, but nope, she was coming home! Thank God for cell phones. I spent the next couple of hours coordinating care for my mom and helping as much as I could by phone. My 19 year old son stepped up in an incredible way. He picked his grandma up from the hospital, learned home care from the nurses, coordinated all needed extras for her and made phone calls to those who could come and help him. He was truly amazing. This young man stepped in and handled the whole situation with such incredible maturity. I am so proud as you can imagine. Because I was absent and not able to be here to manage everything, I was able to see God's hand at work. Others, such as my amazing son and precious friends, were able to step up and shine, to show the skills they have and the opportunity to bless my mom. I cannot do it all, I am not God. It was a wonderful reminder. Truthfully, in my absence, everything was handled, my moms care was not lacking and so many people were able to come and show their love for my family and my mom. It's such a blessing to see that and a reminder that we are not alone. It's good to step away and allow God space to work. I miss His hand working when I am so busy moving my own. He has been so good to us.

Five, Surrender. Four leads me to my main lesson that God has been teaching me. Surrender. It is what I am working on. Completely surrendering to God and His will. While at the conference we visited with a dear friend we only see every few years. We had a lovely talk and he told me I needed to surrender to find shalom. I have since been praying about surrendering. My friend also told me to go and read Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the LordAnd He will give you the desires of your heart." At first I was not sure why he gave me this verse, now I understand. I have been asking the Lord to help me find shalom for my soul through life's ups and downs, that is the true desire of my heart. I am now giving Him the first part of my day even before I reach for my phone or my feet hit the ground. I am delighting myself first in Him each day and remembering Him each night as I drift off to sleep. He is my delight and He is giving me my desire, the ability to surrender to His will. It's been an incredible journey for me, and I am in awe of how He continually works in my life. I have spent so long struggling to be free when all I had to do was let go and surrender. I feel like I was Jacob wrestling an opponent I could never defeat, why did I struggle so long? Now that I surrendered, I am feeling free in a way I have never experienced before. <3 I pray my walk will forever be changed and obvious to all who see me.

So, for now, I have been learning how to coordinate caregivers schedules, learn how to do payroll, plan THM meals for both my family and my mom. I have been able to see my mom a lot and get to know some pretty incredible people. Caregivers are a unique group of folks, beautiful hearts, their job is to not only take care of the physical needs but so far, from what I have seen, they really are there to also LOVE people. To give their hearts and their love to people in need of care.

It's a beautiful thing.

With joy ~ Tina

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hospital Food and Trim Healthy Mama

Sadly, last week my mom got very sick and had to go into the hospital. She had a major infection and was in need of a lot of care. Thankfully, I can say she is improving each day and we are hopeful she may be out of the hospital either later this week or early next week. I am so thankful for that as well as the love and care and the many prayers people have offered. Truly feeling blessed.

As you can see by the picture above, I am sharing with you the foods offered at the hospital where my mom is staying. They list both the sodium and the carb count of foods next to them. My mom is a diabetic as well, so she was having serious issue with her blood sugar being too high. My mom was eating the hospital approved, diabetic nutritionist approved diet plan. Her numbers were still way too high. About her third day in the hospital she asked me to help her implement THM again. I took her menu and put a star by everything she could have on plan. I also brought in drinks for her, Vitamin Water Zeros, Zevias, Kombucha and protein shakes. She was drinking the hospital approved light lemonade, after I did a little research I realized the "light" drink was made with high fructose corn syrup! We couldn't believe it! Hence, my purchase and bringing in her own drinks. She didn't need any of that!

Within 24 hours of implementing THM foods as best as she could with the options available, her numbers dropped 100 points! We were all thrilled! Including her doctor who told her to keep on doing whatever it was I told her to do because it was working so well!! Talk about a great testimony! My mom is now convinced I need to have a meeting with the hospital nutrition department so they can be educated properly!! LOL! I just LOVED that!!

So, with all that said, if you need to be in the hospital or you have a loved one needing care, there are ways to support them with good food choices during the stay. I found the lowest carb food options I could find, as well as whole grain and fruit options, asked for sandwich fillings such as the turkey, tuna etc in a bowl instead of on bread. They did have a brown rice option, lean protein options such as salmon and chicken breast. Vegetables were all steamed with no added fat so they could be added to any fuel type, although I have not been as concerned that she is not having crossovers, but rather eating the best foods she is able to during this season.

By purchasing her own drinks, bringing in protein drinks and I also left her a couple of Quest protein bars, she has snack options that are on plan and aiding in her healing.

We also brought in her vitamins, fish oils and probiotics. All I had to do was talk to the doctor and he will write an official prescription for them and she will now be able to receive these added nutrients daily until she is released.

As for what I ate, I just did my best to plan ahead. Thankfully I had rolls on hand and was able to make quick sandwiches to take, light string cheese, cashews. I also had baked oatmeal bars and made sure to make up GGMS or singing canary to take with me each day. I just brought my little lunch bag and was able to stay on plan each day and keep my own health up to more fully support my mom!

I'm always so thankful for THM and the knowledge I have gained through implementing the plan in my own life and helping others on plan as well. I was prepared to help my mom through this medical crises in my own way, through supporting her body and healing through nutrition. I love my mom. :)

With Joy ~ Tina

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Energizing Oat Pancakes! EGG FREE! DAIRY FREE!

**Please note, this post contains affiliate links! Any purchase made through them helps support my blog and my family. Thank you for blessing us with your purchase!**

This is such a simple and inexpensive recipe. I try to make these fairly often. When I am tired of eating oats, this is a definite go to! My whole family enjoys them and I hope you do too!

Energizing Oat Pancakes

1 Cup Oat Flour (grind your own or I buy mine already ground for convenience)
2 teaspoons Super Sweet (1 Tablespoon any other plan approved sweetener)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup liquid of your choice, water or on plan milk
1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil (you can omit if you want them fat free, texture will be slightly chewier)

Combine the dry ingredients.
Add in the liquid and melted coconut oil, mix until combined.

Allow this to sit for a few minutes to thicken up.

Cook in on a griddle or preheated fry pan set to medium, if you have a good non stick you shouldn't need any extra fat, I cook mine on a dry skillet. These do not bubble like a traditional pancake, so after a few minutes I peek, if it is becoming golden, I flip and cook a few more minutes.

2 Pancakes is a serving. I add a FP trimmaccino to this for boosted protein. It isn't necessary as oats can stand alone for breakfast, but Im a busy mama and need the little bit of extra these days.

In other news, I am opening my own THM STORE!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!! I am just so thrilled, it is an exciting season in my life and I am very much looking forward to this new adventure. I will try to take some pictures when my inventory arrives and share a bit of this new phase in my life. God has been so good to me. I am blessed.

With joy ~ Tina

Monday, June 29, 2015

Lemon Poppyseed Breakfast Cookie Makeover! ALLERGY FRIENDLY! (S)

**Please note, this post contains affiliate links! Any purchase made through them helps support my blog and my family. Thank you for blessing us with your purchase!**

Carolyn over at All Day I Dream About Food comes up with the most incredible and delicious recipes! Sadly for me, most of the recipes have eggs or dairy that I cannot tolerate. Yet, I want the yummy delicious looking treats I see scroll on my screen nearly daily!

I had this idea, I don't always need to reinvent the wheel right? I have become pretty good at playing with recipes and creating something that works for me and my allergy issues. I decided that once in a while I would take a delicious looking recipe and share my allergy friendly tweaks so you could enjoy it too!!

To begin with, here is her original recipe, I will only add my changes in this blog post, so please be sure to click on over and show her some love!!


I would like to note, my cookies came out a little darker because I used some hazelnut meal in them. If you used all cashew flour, they would be lighter in color and prettier.
*For the almond flour I subbed 1/2 cup cashew and 1/2 cup hazelnut flour
*Instead of cream cheese I used goat cheese, the kind that comes from Costco in a log.
Little tip, I pop the whole log in the mixer with a little on plan milk and whisk it up until its creamy like cream cheese! I would guess that an equal amount of coconut cream could also be subbed to make these dairy free!
*I subbed in 1/4 cup Super Sweet
*For the egg I used 1 heaping teaspoon beef gelatin mixed with 3 Tablespoons cold water, let gel.

I also baked mine about 5 minutes longer than called for. These are delicious!

I hope you can now enjoy this breakfast cookie too!

With Joy ~ Tina

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Trim Healthy Mama Journey

**Please note, this post contains affiliate links! Any purchase made through them helps support my blog and my family. Thank you for blessing us with your purchase!**

I avoid being overly wordy in my blog posts. I prefer just to get to the lean meat and on plan sweet potatoes. :)

However, I realized I had not yet shared my THM journey with any of you, I hope some of you find it encouraging to your own journey.

In April of 2013 I had been a member at Weight Watchers for a year and finally reached my goal weight! I lost 13 pounds in one year. ONE YEAR! It was the most frustrating year, losing ounces at a time. Working so hard each week, watching the scale barely or never move. But I did it, I lost the 13 pounds and reached my goal weight. (Which I chose the highest possible weight I could so I could at least work towards my Lifetime membership and stop paying $10 per week for attending meetings.)

A month later my local meeting closed down. The closest meeting to me was now 25 minutes away. I am a homeschool mom, I have things to do, places to go and spending a couple of hours (half of that in commute time) plus gas wasn't really an option. I quit Weight Watchers.

Within 3 months of quitting guess what. I gained it all back. ALL OF IT. Every single stinkin ounce I had battled to lose. Of course I wasn't stopping there either! I was working my way up the scale and I didn't see me slowing down!

Then I heard about THM, it was like a ray of sunshine, beautiful and sparkly! I saw rainbows and twinkling lights and fairy dust! My eyes had been opened for the first time!!

NOT!!! What I saw was another BANDWAGON!! Another "thing" that was taking the women by storm, hype and hoopla. Pulease. I was not interested. My girlfriends were talking about it and I was digging in my heels that it wasn't even worth pursuing.

You see, when I was growing up I watched my mom battle her weight my entire life. I KNOW what the struggle looks like. I have seen pretty much every diet out there. I have watched my mom go up and down on the scale and I have seen it in my own life. I used to joke around and tell my husband, when I turn 60 it's all on. I am going to eat what I want when I want and stop battling food everyday, every meal of my life. I am going to give in and just enjoy without guilt!!

You know what that's like? Thinking about food when you wake up? Regretting what you overindulged in the night before? Wondering why you keep making the same stupid food mistakes over and over and feeling like there is no hope of ever really finding the promised yet so elusive "food freedom"? Not being a slave to cravings, not giving up because you already blew it at lunch so what's the point "I'll start over tomorrow". Or, I fight too hard anyway to lose pounds, why not just enjoy my life!!?? All of these thoughts have run through my head and oh so many more. I know I am not alone in my journey, I know many of you have thought and felt exactly what I have gone through.

August 2013 - I have a gift card to Amazon from a friend. I suspiciously eye this book, I read reviews such as Gwen's Nest and others I find online. It seems interesting, but seriously $35 for ONE BOOK??? WHAT?? Well, without that gift card, I could not justify that at all. Way too much money is all I could think. I had that gift card, and nothing else was as pressing to me as getting my weight loss journey back on track. (I'm only in my 40's I have a few more years to hold it together before I completely let it all go, LOL) I will give it a try. Worst case scenario, I sell off that over priced book later and recoup some of my loss. Truthfully, I was not very hopeful as you can gather. I had lost hope in ever really being free or finding joy in food unless it was laced with guilt and self condemnation later.

The book came. I started to read. Then I began to devour it. AMAZING. Truly life changing. Light bulbs were going off in my head, someone finally had culminated all my journey into a book that made sense to me!! I understood why I took a year to lose 13 pounds!! When I ate on WW, my whole day was made up of carbs. Fruit was free!! I ate a lot of bananas. A LOT of BANANAS.  I ate minimal protein and almost no fat. Fat cost a lot of points so I didn't even bother with it. I didn't need it and it made you fat anyway. Haha!! Looking back I crack myself up now, I was eating the skinny food, carbs etc (in my pea brain) and I wasn't losing!! I had a lot to learn, but it was really making sense!!

August 29 was my first meal "on plan". I ate soaked oatmeal. First time I had ever tried that, it certainly wasn't hard, and I was still enjoying my beloved carbs. I only ate breakfasts on plan for the most part that week, but I remained mindful of my meals thinking about changes I could easily make to get them on plan as well. I lost a pound and a half in my first week!!!! I was THRILLED! I did in one week what I couldn't do in a months time on WW.

However, here is my entry (I kept a journal in the back of the book as I went): "Stayed on plan 9/1-9/6 - so far loving it. Weighed in, 1.7 pounds down! OH MY GOSH! Happy, but still skeptical....."

Cracks me up to read that today. My next week I went up .8 of a pound. "....we will see...." was my entry that day. A week later, down over 3 pounds!! I was thrilled and starting to really let go and believe there could be help for me. My weight overall had a downward trend, but I had weeks where I would gain a little, stall but more often lose....that's just what I needed. :)

By October, I had lost the 13 pounds I had regained!! I just couldn't believe it. Just about 3 months I lost what took me a year on the other plan. I was completely sold out. I am now a THM'r for life. What I thought was a ridiculous sum of money for a single book, I can now look back and realize what a fool I had been. I spent over $400 to lose 13 pounds in a year, had I known about THM I could have a fun new wardrobe with that money that would have been left over. This has got to be one of the best bargains out there. I think one of the most incredible things I realized, I was physically smaller at the same weight on THM than I was at that weight on WW. Incredible Almost a full clothing size smaller! Crazy good!!

My story doesn't end there.....several years ago I was diagnosed with food allergies. My list is:
Wheat, dairy, almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, turkey, eggs. (oh, eggs was a super sad one)
This made THM challenging for me. Everything had eggs, a lot of the fun foods I now couldn't have. Well, a challenging situation can be turned into a challenge to overcome, and that is what I chose to do! I started playing with these new ingredients and creating yummy things. It has been a slow process, but that is how this blog was born. I saw other mamas struggling to enjoy THM without certain foods and thought I would share what I have created for myself so others could eat fun and yummy treats too.

As I continued on my THM journey, I realized I was feeling so much better physically. It was incredible. I decided to try adding in some of my food allergens, I started with cheese, to my surprise, I could tolerate it! I have incorporated so many healing foods into my life I have found that I am literally healing from the inside out! What a great blessing that I would never have found on any other plan.

Now for my biggest surprise of all, a completely unexpected result, not even something I would have even hoped for on any eating plan. Emotional health. I don't know why, I was quite familiar with nutrition before THM, but I never made the link in my own life, that I could literally find emotional health through food. I ate and craved all of those carb filled options because of the physical and emotional response I would feel. I can remember moments of high stress, anxiety sadness and I would choose a carby sugar laden treat and literally feel better. However, that moment quickly passed and sadly, the emotions plus guilt would ride in like a wave. It was an awful cycle.

I have struggled with an anxiety disorder for many years. I have gone to counseling, which has helped for sure, I had joined a recovery group for adult children of alcoholics (Celebrate Recovery), which also helped, A LOT. Pieces to my healing puzzle were missing and while I still have seasons of struggle, I now have a whole new powerful tool in my tool box! Food that doesn't just help me lose weight, but it heals my body and nourishes my brain which leads to a much more peaceful soul. I praise God that I was not so stubborn as to bypass this gift I feel is from Him to me. <3
Please understand, I know my healing is from God alone, however caring for this vessel He created is integral in being the best I can be and serve Him as fully as I am able to through taking care of not just my soul through His word, but through nourishing this body so it is able and ready to serve the Lord of Hosts!

I would like to share an eye opening moment I had while on THM, perhaps you can relate...
I was experiencing a very hard and stressful day, something very emotional had happened and I desperately wanted to use my old coping technique of fatty/carby food to soothe my stormy soul.

I opened up the refrigerator and was scanning for that perfect treat that would help me "feel better". What I saw was a batch of skinny chocolate and a jar of cashew butter. I literally stood at my refrigerator, pulled a piece of skinny chocolate, slathered it with cashew butter and popped it into my mouth. Repeat x 5. Then the light bulb moment arrived. I stood there for a moment and realized I felt satisfied. (I got what the S meant in that moment as well.) I was completely satisfied. I didn't want or NEED another piece. I felt calm and in control again. If that had been a Hershey bar, no matter the size, I would have devoured it and been looking for more. This was an incredible moment for me. I had never experienced anything like this with food before. I soon realized how deprived my body and brain had been of nourishing fats. What a difference they made. Along with eating protein, I was becoming a healthier person in every way!

So, how has my journey been? Honestly, up and down. I have regained some of the weight I originally took off. Life with all of it's ups and downs has shown on the scale at times. I no longer feel trapped or hopeless. I am filled with hope when it comes to eating now, I feel I have the secret key all women are looking for. I want to have my cake and eat it too and on THM I can! I have tools now I have never had. I can and am losing the extra weight I had regained, I know how and I can enjoy the journey! I have never felt this way about any diet before THM. These other diets always like to say it's not a diet it's a lifestyle. Not even close. THM is now my lifestyle. I still enjoy off plan items once in a while, but really, I love sticking to the plan, feeling healthy in every aspect of my life. I am overjoyed to share THM with my daughter, she will have tools that will serve her for her life, even if she doesn't choose THM as her primary eating style. She will have tricks and tips that she can implement forever to be healthy and enjoy food.

So, the journey continues. I am now in the process of opening a retail outlet store for THM. It was such an utter surprise and I feel a true gift from God. I have in the past run small businesses as part of being a stay at home mom, but none that I felt I could so completely stand behind and feel proud of. It's an exciting season in my life and a happy outlook to my future of sharing this incredible plan, wonderful treats and fellowship with other women. A ministry unlike anything I had ever anticipated.

If you feel inspired now to check out Trim Healthy Mama I recommend the following books!

You can also purchase all of your THM food needs at my Affiliate Link HERE!

With Joy ~ Tina

*photo courtesy of Shaggy Studios - my incredibly beautiful and talented daughter :)