Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My 20 Favorite Soups ~ THM Style

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As fall is about to begin next month and the weather will begin to inevitably get cooler, I figured this was the perfect time to do a round up of all my favorite soups. Soups are one of my most favorite types of food to make because they are comforting, budget friendly, large enough to serve a crowd and/or have plenty of leftovers. Even if you don't follow the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan this list of soups is guaranteed to wow your friends and family.



I have been following the THM way of eating for over a year now. One of the comments I get most is "so you must eat about 1200 calories a day and feel totally deprived". Quite the opposite actually. I found countless recipes of completely satisfying, comforting and delicious foods. Over the past year I've tried many, many soup recipes because I simply love soup so much. Also, I find that soup is a great way to get an E meal in, yet still feel satisfied after eating it.

Here's my list of my 20 favorite soups:

I hope you and your family enjoy these soups as much we do!

Looking for more great meal ideas? Take a look at my top 30 S meals, my top 30 E meals and my 20 favorite THM shakes and smoothies.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Meal Plan Monday: 8/25-8/31/14


Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals or drinks take a look at my top 30 "E" mealsmy top 30 "S" meals and my 20 favorite shakes, smoothies and cold drinks. Also, be sure to follow me on Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

Don't have time to read it all now? Pin it for later.

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday:
B - (2) Pumpkin Muffins with a side of strawberries (S)
L - Egg salad (2 hard-boiled eggs diced and mixed with mustard, mayo, salt and pepper) with cucumbers and blueberries on the side (S)
S - handful of peanuts and 1 oz. cheddar (S)
D - Slow Cooker Quinoa Tex Mex (E) ***Omit the corn. Instead of using 1 1/2 c. of mozzarella cheese I'm just putting a sprinkle of cheese on each serving.

Tuesday:
B - Green Smoothie (E) ***Omit the banana
L - leftover Slow Cooker Quinoa Tex Mex (E)
S - Pumpkin Muffin (S)
D - Hasselbeck Chicken with green beans and broccoli topped with butter (S)

Wednesday:
B - Brunch with friends (hoping to stay in S territory)
L - leftover egg salad with cucumbers and strawberries on the side (S)
S - (2) Light Rye Wasa crackers topped with wedge of Light Laughing Cow Cheese (FP)
D - Carne Asada with Tomatillo Avocado Salsa and cheese served over mixed greens (S)

Thursday:
B - Caramel Apple Smoothie (E)
L - Very Berry Salad with Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette (S)
S - (2) Peanut Butter Cups (S)
D - Cheeseburger Cabbage Skillet (S)

Friday:
B - Creamy Coconut Strawberry Smoothie (S)
L - leftover Cheeseburger Cabbage Skillet (S)
S - leftover (2) Peanut Butter Cups (S)
D - Pizza Casserole (S) pg. 327

Saturday:
B - (2) Scrambled Eggs with bacon (S)
L - Loaded Fotato Soup (S) pg. 294
S - Cottage Berry Whip (E) pg. 379
D - Burgers (no bun) with Bacon Cheddar Broccoli Salad (S)

Sunday:
B - Fruity Blend Yogurt (E) pg. 251
L - White Chicken Chili (E)
S - Thin Mint Shake (S)
D - Chicken Lo Mein (E)

Have a great week and happy eating!!!

Pumpkin Muffins (S)

I love fall! It is my favorite season. The chill in the air, beautiful color display of the leaves changing and wearing hooded sweatshirts all make my heart happy. Everything pumpkin makes my heart happy too.



Even though it's still August and extremely humid this week, I was in the mood for something that tasted like fall. Enter these yummy pumpkin muffins. They are grain and sugar free. My four kids gobbled these up as a snack, and they made for a satisfying breakfast for me. I warmed it up and put some butter on it, and oh my word it was delicious! The photos don't do them justice.

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Printable Recipe

Pumpkin Muffins           Makes 18-20 muffins

  • 4 eggs
  • 15 oz. can of pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie mix
  • 3/4 - 1 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 2/3 c. THM Sweet Blend OR 2/3 c. + 3 T. of Truvia (this is equivalent to 48 packets)
  • 2 c. almond flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1-1 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with olive oil. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs, pumpkin, oil and sweetener until it is smooth. 
  2. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the nuts if using them.
  3. Fill each muffin tin until they are 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 17-19 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Meal Plan Monday: 8/18-8/24/14


Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals or drinks take a look at my top 30 "E" mealsmy top 30 "S" meals and my 20 favorite shakes, smoothies and cold drinks. Also, be sure to follow me on Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

Don't have time to read it all now? Pin it for later.

My husband's sweet cousin is moving this week. I'm really bummed that she'll be on the other side of the country, but very excited for her family as they embark on their new adventure. She is an incredible gardener and had three plots in our community garden. She graciously has gifted me her garden plots and boy are they starting to produce quite the bounty. I've already picked 50 tomatoes and there are at least 150 or so more. I'm getting all the materials around to start canning this week. Thankfully my wonderful Grandma gifted me 50 canning jars!!! She's the best!

I've only canned one other time in my life, and I honestly don't remember much of how to do it because honestly my mother-in-law did most of the work. :) So I've been frantically searching Pinterest on "how to can diced tomatoes". God bless the creators of Pinterest! Seriously, life saver! I found this great tutorial that I think I'm going to follow. 

Since canning can be very time consuming, especially when doing it alone, I'm keeping our menu very simple this week.

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday:
B - Fruity Blend (E) pg. 251
L - BLT wrap on a low-carb tortilla with a side of strawberries and cucumbers (S)
S - celery with peanut butter (S)
D - Grilled steak seasoned with Montreal Steak seasoning with green beans and broccoli both with butter (S)

Tuesday:
B - Big Boy Smoothie (FP) pg. 242
L - Salad topped with leftover steak and Ranch (S)
S - Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies (S) pg. 387
D - Crockpot Balsamic Roast with Baked Parmesan Zucchini (S)

Wednesday:
B - Reese Peanut Butter Cup Shake (S)
L - leftover Roast and Zucchini (S)
S - leftover Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies (S)
D - Burrito Bowl - pinto beans, chicken cooked in taco seasoning, salsa and lettuce (E)

Thursday:
B - (2) scrambled ham and cheese eggs (S)
L - leftover Burrito Bowl (E)
S - leftover Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies (S)
D - Cauliflower Chowder (S) ***Substitute almond milk for regular milk.

Friday:
B - French Toast Protein Shake (FP)
L - leftover Cauliflower Chowder (S)
S - Hummus and veggies (S helper because I'm using garbanzo beans) pg. 405
D - Deep Dish Pizza (S)

Saturday:
B - (3) Ham and Egg Breakfast Cups (S) ***This recipe includes hash browns, so omit the hash browns.
L - Better than Chef Salad (S) pg. 305
S - leftover Hummus and veggies (S)
D - Loaded Cauliflower and Chicken Casserole with a side salad (S)

Sunday:
B - Ginger Bread Cookie Protein Shake (FP) ***Do not use the maple syrup that is listed as one of the optional ingredients
L - leftover Loaded Cauliflower and Chicken Casserole (S)
S - Peanut Butter Cups (these are without the chocolate) (S)
D - Cheeseburger (no bun) with Broccoli Cauliflower Salad (S)

Have a great week and happy eating!!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meal Plan Monday: 8/11-8/17/14


Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals or drinks take a look at my top 30 "E" mealsmy top 30 "S" meals and my 20 favorite shakes, smoothies and cold drinks. Also, be sure to follow me on Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

This week I'm trying to avoid going to the grocery store if at all possible. I overspent at the grocery store the last few weeks in hopes of restocking the pantry and freezer a bit. All the meals I'm making this week are made with ingredients that I already have on a hand, or are being picked in our garden this week. Zucchini anyone??? I've had to get a little creative this week, but that always keeps things exciting!

Don't have time to read it all now? Pin it for later.

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday:
B - Thin Mint Shake (S)
L - Very Berry Salad with Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette (S)
S - Peanut Squares (S) pg. 377
D - Steak with Sauteed Zucchini and a side salad with Ranch (S)

Tuesday:
B - (2) Eggs scrambled with strawberries on the side (S)
L - Loaded Fotato Soup (S) pg. 294
S - Peanut Squares (S) pg. 377
D - Chicken Quinoa Soup (E) ***Substitute boneless, skinless chicken breast for the chicken thighs. Sub olive oil for the canola oil.

Wednesday:
B - Blueberry Cheesecake Protein Shake (E) ***Use a Lite Laughing Cow cheese wedge instead of instant pudding.
L - leftover Chicken Quinoa Soup (E)
S - Cottage Berry Whip (S) pg. 379
D - No-Noodle Zucchini Lasagna (S) ***I add ground beef to the sauce.

Thursday:
B - Reese Peanut Butter Cup Shake (S)
L - leftover No-Noodle Zucchini Lasagna (S)
S - Cilantro Lime Dip with assorted veggies (S)
D - Cumin Steak Lettuce Wraps (S)

Friday:
B - Berritastic Smoothie (E) pg. 248
L - leftover Cumin Steak Lettuce Wraps (S)
S - Cilantro Lime Dip with assorted veggies (S)
D - Zucchini Pizza Casserole (S)

Saturday:
B - (2) Scrambled Eggs with strawberries on the side (S)
L - BLT on a low-carb wrap with fresh veggies on the side (S)
S - apple with 1 tsp. peanut butter (E)
D - Chicken Lo Mein (E)

Sunday:
B - Zucchini Fritter (S) pg. 217
L - Cheeseburger (no bun) with side salad with Ranch (S)
S - Fruity Blend Yogurt (E) pg. 251
D - Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup (E)

Have a great week and happy eating!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Meal Plan Monday: 8/4-8/10/14


Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals or drinks take a look at my top 30 "E" mealsmy top 30 "S" meals and my 20 favorite shakes, smoothies and cold drinks. Also, be sure to follow me on Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

Don't have time to read it all now? Pin it for later.

This Thursday marks one year that I've been eating the THM way! I'm so thankful for this way of eating and the health that it has restored to my body. All told I've lost 30 lbs, many inches (I'm still kicking myself that I never measured), down 3 pant sizes and 1 shirt size. I would like to lose a few more pounds, but overall I'm happy with the way I look and feel that I'm not overly concerned, it will come in time. 



My best tips for being successful on THM are:

  • Plan, plan, plan - I can't tell you how invaluable it is to have a meal plan each week, and I'm not just saying that because I have a blog the revolves around it. :) If you have everything mapped out and are prepared for the week ahead you will succeed at eating right.
  • Stick to your plan - It's one thing to make a plan, but and another thing to actually stick to it. If you're going to go to all the work of making the plan you might as well stick to it and follow through. 
  • Enjoy the freedom! - THM is about bringing freedom to the way you eat. Yes, there are restrictions on the amount of fat or carbs you can eat, depending on the meal setting, but don't let it become all consuming. There is a learning curve, but this is a lifestyle and not a diet so embrace it! Don't be afraid to try new foods, even ones that you don't think you like. You'll be amazed at the way your taste buds can change once you get rid of all the sugar and processed junk.
  • Give yourself grace - If you are going to eat the THM way for the long haul, you're going to mess up from time to time and cheat occasionally. Give yourself grace and start over in 3 hours.
In honor of the milestone I've reached this week, I'm putting some of my favorite recipes in my meal plan this week. Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday:
B - (2) Fried eggs and strawberries (S)
L - Chicken Wrap on a low-carb tortilla shell with grilled chicken, lettuce, cheddar cheese and Ranch with a 1/2 c. blueberries (S)
D - Chicken Stir-fry over brown rice (E)

Tuesday:
L - leftover Chicken Stir-fry (E)
D - No-tortilla Enchilada Casserole with sour cream and lettuce on the side (S) ***Use this recipe for the enchilada sauce

Wednesday:
B - Green Smoothie (E) ***Omit the banana
L - leftover Enchilada Casserole (S)
S - Apple with 1/2 c. 2% cottage cheese (E)

Thursday:
B - Fruity Blend Yogurt (E) pg. 251
L - BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato) Wrap on a low-carb tortilla with strawberries (S)
S - Celery with peanut butter (S)

Friday:
B - Big Boy Smoothie (FP) pg. 242
L - leftover Jalapeno Popper Chicken Bake (S)
D - Pizza Casserole (S) pg. 327

Saturday:
B - Cinnamon Apple Swirl (E) pg. 250
L - Salad with hard boiled egg, cheddar and Ranch (S)
S - handful of peanuts and almonds (S)
D - Wedding reception - going to do my best to stay on plan

Sunday:
S - Cottage Berry Whip (E) pg. 379
D - Grilled Chicken with Creamy Cauliflower Cheddar Cheese and Bacon (S)

Have a great week and happy eating!!!