Monday, December 28, 2015

THM Chicken Fried Rice

A yummy E dish for my THM friends out there...

1 1/2 - 2 cups brown rice, cooked
3 chicken breast, diced and cooked
1 small carrot, shredded or grated (like cheese)
1 cup peas
1/4 cup onion diced/minced
1 cup egg whites or egg beaters, scrambled
1 Tbls sesame oil (you could use veg broth, FF chick broth or water)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayanne pepper
1/2 cup liquid aminos (or to taste)

I use either my pressure cooker or the Alton Brown method for cooking the brown rice - I just place my chicken breasts right on top of the rice to cook.  **I have to add - I do not use the butter he recommends in the recipe and it turns out just fine** Once the rice and chicken are done cooking I chop the meat into very small chunks and set aside with the rice.  Meanwhile I've lightly sautee all the vegetables and spices in a pan with sesame oil (if things get too dry - you can add a Tbls of water and turn the burner down) and scrambled the egg whites/beaters.  I transfer these to the large pan or bowl with the chicken and rice and mix, mix, and keep mixing while adding the aminos to your taste (we love aminos and add - a half cup might be too much for some).

NOTE:  The above mixture was made with the frozen peas/carrots mix because it's what I had on hand, but I like using the fresh grated carrot much better.

I usually have one(ish) healthy cup(s) of this with a salad on the side.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 
                                                                                                       Isaiah 9:6

Monday, December 21, 2015

Things of Old

I love things of old.  I've said it before.  I don't much care if they hold antique value - I just love old.

I bought this old patchwork quilt at a garage sale in the spring - I consider it one of my few finds.  I love the hand crocheted coverlet that is under it.  I wonder how long it took for these things to be hand-crafted?  Things of old tell a story... and now I'm part of that story.

The chair was a $1 garage sale find too... it supports me every morning as I read my bible.  I wonder how many other people sat in this chair as they spent quiet time with God?

The shelf on the wall is another thing of old.  I'm sure this is not the first time it's held Ironstone china.  The rocking goose... how many hours of enjoyment has this simple toy evoked in the life of a child?  There are many more where those came from - for our grandchildren.  No - there's nothing to announce ;o)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Fail To Plan - Plan To Fail

Yesterday I posted a 14-day menu plan for my THM friends to see.  I received many questions via facebook and right here on the blog about the how's and why's, so I thought it might be appropriate to follow up with a short post regarding those questions.

I learned early on - if I fail to plan, I plan to fail.  I don't know exactly where this quote came from - I know the sisters used it in their books, but other than that it's just something that I know to be true - a personal virtue if you will.

chicken, bbq, cheddar, & green onion Perfect Pizza

I don't know why I can't just "wing it" and do fine on my food freedom journey, but I can't.  I started at the beginning of 2015 and went strong planning for a little over four months and then I decided I wanted to "freestyle" becuase I seemed to have the program down pat.  Let me just say I face-planted good!  I was off plan for a couple months - thankfully not gaining any weight back - but never-the-less off plan COMPLETELY.  I started to feel yucky, my skin wasn't as nice, and honestly I started stinking (I know TMI).  I jumped back on plan and with no delays started losing again - my body needs this lifestyle.

So now... I never forget my planning.  It is an essential of life - at least for a weight-losing-life-of-a-trim-healthy-mama.  Even if I don't have the time to sit down and do a full week all at one time, I make sure I have written down (and verified all the ingredients) my plan for the next day.  Then hopefully the next day I can finish the planning for the rest of the week. 

So, how do I decide what to have and why?

I was, at first, scared of E meals.  I'm sure this was because I had been brain-washed into thinking carbs were from the devil.  I started with a pretty heavy S menu.  Once the water weight was lost and my body became accustomed to no sugar - I stalled.  I read the book again.  EAT "E" MEALS the sisters wrote.  Well, if I intend to look half as good as either one of them - I thought I should do what they were suggesting (they're obviously the pros)!  I encorporated more E's and my size started dropping, rapidly.  Score!!!

From there with no rhyme or reason I started alternating E's and S's sporatically; E,S,E,S,S,E,S,E,E....  Then I considered fuel pulls.  The sisters ALSO said to incorporate FP, but no more than two or three a week.  Three (I thought, hmmm....); breakfast, lunch, dinner.  So one breakfast each week is a FP, one lunch per week, and then one dinner.  One of those usually being a fuel pull salad.  That really encouraged those fat cells to move out.  Even losing footing throughout the middle of the year - I've managed to lose a total of 95 pounds from my highest weight.

I'm no expert at this plan.  I've only just learned what works for me.  I have 50 pounds to go to reach my "established" goal weight, but we'll see what happens after I get there.   And then there's the task of learning those crossover XO cousins - more trial and error I'm sure.

single serve cinnamon muffin in a mug with 000 vanilla yogurt

One last thing I'd like to include... don't be afraid of snacks, but don't think you have to have them.  If you're hungry - eat a snack.  If you're not hungry - don't force yourself.  And don't deprive your body of what you're so use to eating (sugar), make sure to schedule those yummy desserts so you (and your family) never feel deprived.  Learn to listen to your body and allow it to speak - this isn't a diet, it's a diet-change to a lifestyle.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

14 Day THM Menu

I've had incredible success with Trim Healthy Mama (THM) thus far and some Facebook folks have wondered what a menu plan has looked like for me - so I thought I would just post it here.  Here's what two weeks worth of meals look like in our house "thm style".

Monday:        THM Pancakes - E
                      taco salad - S
                      simple black bean soup - E
                      dessert: apple crumble (new cookbook pg. 338)

Tuesday:        blue-berry muffins - S
                      broiled mozzerella & turkey on Ezekiel toast - E
                      salsbury steak & mashed fotatoes - S (new cookbook pgs.174, 219)
                      dessert: butterfinger bars

Wednesday:   lowfat cottage cheese & peaches - E
                      fat-Stripping-Frappa - FP
                      empanadas w/peas & green salad - S

Thursday:      omelet; eggs, cheese, bacon, mushrooms, onions, salsa - S
                     quinoa goes cajun - E (new cookbook pg.69)
                     lazy lasagna - S (new cookbook pg.140)
                     dessert: cry no more brownies (new cookbook pg.314)

Friday:          Oat Berry Breakfast cake & Lemon Yogurt - E
                     fuel pull salad - FP
                     fooled ya pizza w/onion & green pepper - S (new cookbook pg.214)

Saturday:      satisfying granola & 000 vanilla yogurt - S
                    sweet potato oat soup - E (new cookbook pg.102)
                    bean burritos w/fat free plain yogurt, tomatoes, onions, salsa, cilantro) - E

Sunday:        apple cinnamon crockpot oatmeal - E (new cookbook pg.)
                    leftover sweet potato oat soup - E
                    leftover lazy lasagna - S


Monday:      cottage cheese & apple - E
                    hot dogs in a wrap, colorful coleslaw - S
                    white bean chicken soup - E
                    dessert: fat-stipping-frappa (split four ways)

Tuesday:      steel cut crockpot oatmeal - E
                    big boy smoothie - FP
                    turkey burgers, sweet potato, & cottage cheese - E

Wednesday: egg-filled Joeseph's pita w/turkey sausage & red peppers - S
                    THM pancakes - E
                    leftover white bean soup - E
Thursday:     leftover blue-berry muffins - S
                    broiled turkey & mozzerella on Ezekiel toast - E
                    tuna casserole & green salad - S
                    dessert: italian cream cake

Friday:          fried eggs in butter w/broiled turkey sausage - S
                     deli meat roll-ups - FP
                     pepperoni pizza - S

Saturday:      crepes w/berries & fresh whipped cream - S (old cookbook pg.220)
                    creamy chicken soup - S
                    quinoa salad - E
                    dessert: bust a myth banana cake (new cookbook pg.)

Sunday:        oatmeal w/ground flax, butter, 000 vanilla yogurt
                    taco soup - S
                    leftovers from the week - E or FP

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Couple Other Blogs

Because my daughter, Alisha, blogged a quick, simple, post regarding farmhouse kitchen renovations (that happen to be from OUR kitchen) I thought I would tag her and send you over her way.

Another noteworthy post by Alisha is her letter to her biological father (have tissues handy).

And just in case you're interested... Daniel posted his first blog post on the church blog.

Hope you're all having a wonderful week...  I'll be back tomorrow with two weeks worth of THM Recipes.  Yep - you read that right - a 14 day menu plan for you Trim Healthy Mamas.

Monday, December 14, 2015

THM Taco Soup

Sunday is my day "off" from the kitchen.  Therefore lunch has to be ready when we get home from church because we're always really hungry.  Taco soup has become standard for Sunday afternoons... this the version my family loves week after week.

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef; cooked (or drained and rinsed otherwise)
  • 1 full quart bag (4+ cups) homemade chicken broth
  • 2 pkgs cream cheese
  • 1 can original rotel tomatoes with juice
  • 1 small onion; diced
  • 5 cloves garlic; minced
  • 1 Tbls cumin
  • 1-2 Tbls chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)

I put all ingredients in the crockpot before I go to bed on Saturday night (I do not turn the pot on yet). When I get up on Sunday morning - I turn the crockpot on low and allow to cook until we get home which ends up being about 5 hrs.  I do have to whisk the soup briskly before serving to encorporate the cream cheese.  
On the side I serve cold pinto or black beans, cold rice, fresh diced cilantro, sour cream, and chips for others to decorate with as they please. (the reason I serve these things cold is to cool the very hot soup) 

**I usually add a very, VERY small amount of beans to my bowl along with sour cream and cilantro (don't want to crossover).
**I've made this with chicken and turkey (ground and breast) and everyone is in agreement that it just tastes better with beef.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Farmhouse Christmas Tree

Ok.  So maybe I'm glorifying this in saying it's a "farmhouse" tree....
I have an inner hidden passion for wirey-natural-Charlie-Brown-type trees.  My family doesn't quite share in my passion, but this year I spotten one and KNEW that was the tree I wanted and they tolerated humored my werid love this year and allowed this unwanted spindly thing as our tree.  It really does look quite country.  Reminds me of the song " when country wasn't cool...".  So not "cool", but unique.

We all did our part to decorate the tree.  Of course Daniel not only fell the tree, and trimmed it, and carried it inside... he is the lights person - this job gave him a run for his money.

The girls strung popcorn.

Oh... and tinsel... what's a country tree without the messy, striny tinsel that glistens in the light?  That was my job... I threw the shredded tinsel all over the living room tree, tied little, red bows on each limb, and hung bitty red ball ornaments.

Our dog, Nickerson, is also doing his part... behaving himeself.  He wants to eat the popcorn - so far no kernals as missing (keeping fingers crossed). 

Monday, December 07, 2015

Allowing Our Children To Form Their Own Opinions

As most of those who read my blog know, I've been divorced once and married again, to Daniel.  The best thing that came out of my first marriage was Ali... my (our) oldest daughter.  

When I met Daniel, her biological father fled the scene - never to be seen again.  In all honesty, that was probably the best thing for Ali, but never-the-less a hardship for any child to go through.  My family was insistent that allowing her to have ANYthing to do with him (while he was still around) was the wrong thing to do, but that still small voice said something different.  I'll never regret the decision made - to allow him "in".  I was not going to be made the bad guy.  I was not going to be the scape goat for him.  I was never going to do anything that she could harbor ill feelings against me regarding the absence of her father.  I never talked bad about him (never lied for or about him either - she heard the truth), I allowed her to talk if he called, allowed her to go - if ever he asked, etc....  I just had faith that she would form her own opinion regarding him, in time.

It's been almost twenty-one years since she was born and nearly sixteen since she last saw him.  Sad reality, but there it is....  She's talked with us about meeting him again, someday - her decision.  I've given her my opinion on the matter and that would be that she waits until she's married; for protection, support, and reassurance.

But I'm always amazed at how God takes control of a situation, if only I get out of the way :o)  
She recently posted on her blog - her heart on this very matter - and I couldn't be more proud of her!  And I have to just say... I'm so glad I listened to the Spirit so long ago prompting me to allow her freedom in forming her own opinions on this matter.

If you're interested in hearing from a sweet, young adult heart sharing about her absent parent - I encourage you to grab a box of tissues and head over to Alisha In Progress; Do You Think of Me?

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Farmhouse Main Bathroom

Well, this is a long-awaited post... not only for those of you reading here, but for me!  Our main bath is finally finished!!!!!!   We worked throughout the month of November, diligently, on this itty-bitty room, but alas the work has paid off.

We worked...

and worked... 

and worked... 

and worked... 

and finally made some progress... 

a little more... 

late into the night...

Until finally... this is what you see from the hallway.

Beyond that green door is the shower room - it's 85% done, but we're taking a short break.  It needs the floor tiled and the bead board on the walls, and the shower tiled.  That'll all happen later this winter. 

I made the small sign, one evening, from a piece of old wood someone gave me.

Excuse the incredibly crooked pictures... the bath is SO small, getting a good (straight) picture is nearly impossible. 

A little bit of winter/Christmas decor... 

I found the old green door at the ReUse store for a song and thought I was going to paint it, but decided to live with it for a little while beforehand - everyone else likes the contrast and I have to admit I think I do too.  At least as much as it takes for me not to paint it, right yet.

I've had the antique medicine cabinet since this past Spring.  It was a birthday present from my dad and his wife - I've been counting the days to put it up.  LOVE IT!!!!! 

needed a little more storage for toilet paper and we happen to have one "extra" board - so we took some mesurments and Daniel built me this little shelf for the necessaries. 

Then I took an extra piece of material, cut it rough, and tacked it on for a curtain.  All it has to do is hide the uility of the shelf.

I love the new bathroom!  It's a FAR cry from what it use to look like

**wall color: Valspar Quail Egg
**bead board & trim:  Ben Moore Simply White

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