Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Chocolate to the Rescue

     Part of what makes me happy eating my new healthier lifestyle is "Skinny Chocolate" it was one of the things that drew me to Trim Healthy Mama to begin with. (We are serious Chocoholics in this house.)

     So when  planning for my very first fuel cycle one of the administrators mentioned making chocolate fudge for Deep S days. She posted this link to a wonderful recipe over on Gwen's Nest that follows the Deep S guidelines.

     I'm not a huge fan of dark chocolate so I normally tweak my everyday chocolates with peanut butter, heavy cream or cream cheese...

 Hello!! Those aren't weight loss friendly...

     Protein powder makes Chocolate chewy, not my favorite... but it works to help make things a more milk chocolate taste. These don't even have that ...

     So I was looking at the variations that were listed and was like but I want chocolate and cherries... or maybe some with coffee as that makes the chocolates taste ohhh so yummy.

     And Chocolate Cherry Candies were born...

Chocolate Cherry Candies

Printable Recipe

1 cup coconut oil, I used refined
1/2 cup softened butter
1 tsp cherry extract
4 TBS ground Sweetener, (I use Pyure Organic Stevia All-Purpose Sweetener )
2 TBS Cocoa Powder, I used Hershey's Dark

Melt the oils, whisk the sweetener into the oils, add the extract.
(I poured this mixture into candy mold cervices about 1/2 way and froze them. Then added the cocoa powder to the remaining oil mixture while that layer was hardening in the freezer.)

When those were solid I whisked the oil mixture with cocoa again and poured into the remaining space of the molds, popped them in the freezer and let them harden all the way.

Unmold and store in the fridge or freezer.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Planning a Fuel Cycle – Meal Plan

      With the New Year fast approaching I decided that I am going to do a Fuel Cycle.

      Fuel Cycles are part of the Time Healthy Mama lifestyle, they are not recommended for people just starting the plan and are used to remove what is referred to in the book as "donkey weight" (you know the weight that is just stubborn as a mule). 

      Being that I am older and my lifestyle is more sedentary than I'd like my weight loss has stalled a bit (yeah ok, I have had a few too many cross over meals). 

     Out with the old and in with the new… I'm also doing a "No Cheat Challenge" sponsored by one of the administrators of the Facebook groups (she has a really cool blog).

       One of the most important parts of a Fuel cycle is to plan your meals and snacks. This regiment is really strict about the foods that you can and cannot have and follows the guidelines in Chapter 28 of the Trim Healthy Mama Book.

     I made a batch of Chocolate Cherry Candies (skinny chocolate with a twist) for the Deep S days... I'll post that recipe soon. 

But here's a picture... 

      And here's my menu beginning January 2, 2015. (Some of the recipes are linked and it is printable for your convenience)

Deep S
S Pancakes (page 379)
Skinny ChocolateSlimming Salmon Salad- no AvacadoCake in a MugBaked Chicken
Side salad
Saturday: Jan 3
Deep S
Fried Eggs
Cake in a MugSlimming Salmon Salad-no AvacadoVeggies & RanchPork Chops w/Mashed Cauliflower
Jan 4
Deep S
Fried Eggs
Veggies & RanchSalmon Patties

Cake in a MugCrockpot Pork
Side Salad
Jan 5
Fuel Pull
Egg White Omelet (page 217)
Shrinker- Hot
Cake in a mug
Coffee Fat Stripping FrappeChoco Pudding (page 366)Egg roll in a Bowl
Jan 6
Fuel Pull
Egg White Omelet (page 217)
Choco Pudding (page 366)Cake Batter FrappeVeggiesLoaded Fotatoe Soup (page 294)
Wednesday: Jan 7
Sweet Cinnamon Porridge (page 227)
Shrinker- Hot
Sprouted Cinnamon SconeWaldorf Salad (page 300)Caramel Apple SmoothieLighter Side of Chili (page 330)
Jan 8
Sprouted Cinnamon Scone

Caramel Apple SmoothieWaldorf Salad (page 300)Cottage Berry WhipBalsamic chicken w salad (page 324)


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sprouted Wheat Cinnamon Scones

      I have a difficult time getting E meals into my menu plan sometimes. I miss things like scones, cakes, and doughnuts. Following Trim Healthy Mama requires that these kinds of things be low fat and that the carbs do not exceed a certain number per serving...
Sprouted Wheat Cinnamon Scones

     I bought some sprouted whole wheat flour to enable me to change some of our favorite recipes to fit on plan.

Sprouted Wheat Cinnamon Scone

    These cinnamon scones came out far better than I expected and they are Husband approved! They are not overly sweet, so if you are looking for a sweeter scone you may need to increase the sweetener or glaze them with some sweetened greek yogurt.

Sprouted Wheat Cinnamon Scones

Printable Recipe

Yield: 8 scones

    2 cups sprouted wheat flour

    1 teaspoon cream of tartar

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    2 Tablespoons Sweetener

    3 tablespoons applesauce

    2 tablespoons water

    1/2 cup almond milk
     3 Tablespoons liquid egg whites

    1 1/2  teaspoons cinnamon


    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)Lightly grease two baking sheets.


    In a large bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add the applesauce, water and milk; mix well.


    Drop large rounded spoonful's of batter onto prepared baking sheets. Or form 2 circular loaves and cut into 6 wedges each.


    Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 15 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Nutrition information:

Calories 45 per Serving
Total Fat 0g
Total Carbohydrate 10 g -Dietary Fiber 2 g = 8 net carbs per serving

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Peanut Butter Brownie Bars

So I bought a Quest Bar the other day, It reminded me of laffy taffy and not in a good way. I have made homemade protein snacks in the past and figured I'd try to make my own bars to make it easier to grab and go if needed.

      I'm very sorry the photo is not very good, I'm not sure how to photograph a protein bar and have it look appetizing, lol. I do think that next time I will roll this into balls and coat them with some unsweetened coconut flakes .

So here's the recipe I used....
Peanut Butter Brownie Bars

Peanut Butter Brownie Bars

Printable Recipe

 4 Scoops Protein Powder (about 1/3 cup a scoop)
 1/4 cup peanut butter
 2-3 TBS cocoa powder
 1/3 – 1/2 cup Sweetener
 2-4 tbsp. water
 1/4 cup Oat Fiber or Psyllium Whole Husks or even Ground Flaxseed Meal (Omit for lower carbs, best with flax)


    In a large bowl, combine the protein powder, oat fiber, cocoa powder, peanut nut butter and sweetener together. Add Water. Mix (add more water if needed)

    Scoop out the dough, shape into 5 bars and add to a sheet lined with parchment paper, refrigerate for 30-40 minutes to firm up.

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Turkey Jerky Sugar Free and Low Carb

    I was looking for an on the go protein source that follows the Trim Healthy Mama guidelines, I couldn't find anything that was plan approved and affordable. So I started racking my brain for a way to make my own. I've made venison jerky in the past when my kids were young, but had no source for venison so I figured extra lean turkey would work in a pinch. I was right!! 

    I took a trip to the grocery store and purchased some extra lean (96%-99%) ground turkey. We had all the spices, so I was then on a hunt for a Jerky Gun . I found one for a reasonable price at Farm and Fleet. I pitched the jerky seasonings that came with it as they contain sugar and a bunch of other ingredients that are off plan.

    We no longer have a dehydrator (that's on Rick's wish list), so I decided to dry the jerky in the oven, yep that worked too, YAY!!!
Here's the recipe I used.

Turkey Jerky Sugar Free and Low Carb

Printable recipe

3 lbs of ground turkey (Extra Lean) 

5 tsp garlic powder

4 tsp onion powder

3 tsp salt

2 tsp ground black pepper

1 ¼ cups Fat free Chicken broth

1 TBS liquid smoke

1 tsp blackstrap molasses


Place the ground Turkey, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and ground black pepper in a large mixing bowl.

Stir together the chicken broth, liquid smoke, and molasses, and then pour it into the mixing bowl with the ground beef. Stir until well combined.

Cover and marinate for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.

Form the meat into strips, about 1/8-1/4" thick, using a jerky gun or by using your hands or a rolling pin to flatten the meat into strips or whatever shape you desire.

Dehydrate in a 200 degrees (F) oven for 6-12 hours.

Place the jerky strips on paper towels to cool and to absorb any excess fat.

Consume within 24-48 hours at room temperature, or store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 7 days.

 For long-term storage, freeze in an air tight container and consume within 3-4 months.

This is the Jerky Gun that I purchased...
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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Cookie Dough Fudge (Sugar Free)

Sugar Free Cookie Dough Fudge
I wanted a treat that was plan friendly and would keep me out of the sugary fudge that I made for gifts. I found a recipe for cookie dough fudge, but it was calling for off plan ingredients...Time to switch things up and make it dooable for Trim Healthy Mama's...

Here's the recipe.

Cookie Dough Fudge
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup butter
2 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp gelatin
2 TBS powdered sweetener
2 TBS Sugar Free Chocolate Chips

Melt coconut oil with butter over medium heat.

Sprinkle gelatin over heavy cream and allow to bloom while heating oils.

Add sweetener to oils and whisk to combine.

Remove from heat , add heavy cream and vanilla, beat with whisk until creamy.

Pour into a shallow buttered dish, sprinkle chips on top and chill until set.

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Working the Plan with Sweetener Allergies

    I've introduced a number of people to Trim Healthy Mama, only to find that they are allergic to ragweed, which means that stevia can give them issues as it is in the same plant family. Mind you the plan allows for use of multiple types of sweetener alternatives, stevia, erythritol and xylitol or blends of them like Pyure Organic Stevia or Truvia. It gets mighty expensive to try all the different options, we have. 

On Plan Sweeteners

    Stevia Extract is a natural sweetener derived from a plant. It is 100 times sweeter than sugar. Not all extracts are created equally. Some brands taste better than others depending on the processes they use to extract the REB A. Another thing that affects the taste of these extracts is the plants themselves, as with all plants the growing conditions, strains of the plant and elemental factors play a large role in the taste of the final product. Stevia is related to ragweed, which means that if a person is highly allergic to ragweed they may react to stevia as well.

     Xylitol is one of those sugar alcohols that gives some people gastro intestinal trouble (gas, bloating, stomach upset and frequent trips to the restroom) when used. It is also HIGHLY toxic to household pets. For those reasons we as a family have chosen not to allow it into our home. 

**Please note that many plan approved gums and candies do contain this ingredient so PLEASE keep it safely stored away from your pets.

Xylitol measures 1:1 with sugar and has no aftertaste.

    Erythritol is also a sugar alcohol, it IS SAFE for household pets, is not as likely to cause gastrointestinal issues and is many time mixed with stevia because it is less sweet than sugar. While erythritol can be used alone some people may experience a cooling effect on their tongue when using it (I do). Products that mix Erythritol and Stevia include Pyure Organic Stevia and Truvia.

                Erythritol measures 3:1 with sugar and can have a cooling effect on the tongue.


    As a family we have tried all of these options. After learning that xylitol can harm our pets Rick and I decided that it just isn't an option in our home with Sprocket who likes to sneak crumbs or try to drink your coffee when you aren't looking. 

    I bought NOW Better Stevia extract and have been using it to make a Stevia Sweet Juice Concentrate

     Using it this way removes the bitterness and allows me the option of a liquid sweetener for things like infused waters, good girl moonshine and sweetening tea. We also use Pyure Organic Stevia which is an all-purpose sweetener blend of erythritol and stevia extract.



    Splenda is a sweetener that is not approved for Trim Healthy Mama. While it is referenced in the book it is not considered optimal for weight loss. There is a lot of controversy about this sweetener as it is in many sugar free items. I will say that this is a sweetener that I have and will continue to use for family members that are allergic to stevia.

    I do understand that this sweetener is honestly not the best choice however if I have to choose between using it or sugar … Splenda will win out. I have used this and products made with Splenda for many years, it is one of the only sweeteners that I have found which are heat stable, meaning that the flavor does not change when used in baking, cooking or candy making.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Starting Kombucha Tea from Store Bought

December 19, 2014

     I am experimenting with growing a Kombucha SCOBY from a bottle of store bought tea. One of the biggest dilemmas has been finding a brand that has the likelihood of growing the SCOBY without an issue.

     I belong to a fermenting group of Trim Healthy Mamas on Facebook that have a lot of experience in this area and they were kind enough to point me in the right direction.
     I also read a couple articles about how to go about this process and decided to follow this one. I am brewing using oolong tea.

      So let the adventure begin !! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When the scale is stalling...

So I have been at this weight loss thing since February, and the scale is truly not my friend lately. Yes I have lost 34 pounds which is amazing considering my age, health and exercise.

     It is the holiday season, do I want to have to follow an eating plan, not really. However this year is a little different, I have options for family favorites as well as other on plan goodness, I just have to control my portions,be diligent in my exercise and drink my fluids.

     I have almost totally cut out diet Mt Dew which is a miracle in my life, prior to starting all of this I was drinking over 1 gallon of it a day. That is so crazy to think I was filling my body full of all the crazy ingredients, not to mention sodium and carbonation. I do still enjoy carbonated beverages but now they are herbal teas and small amounts of juice carbonated with water from my soda stream.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mongolian Beef

This is one of the first dishes that I modified to fit Trim Healthy Mama . It is a favorite of mine and Rick's.
You can serve this like I did here with sauteed cabbage or with Konjack noodles, either one would be amazing. Just remember to rinse the noodles really well and dry fry them before serving. Enjoy!!

Sugar Free Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef

Printable Recipe 


1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp powder/ground

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 cup braggs liquid aminos

1/2 cup water

1 (1-pound) flank steak

1/4 tsp Glucomannan Powder or xanthan gum

3 scallions (green parts only), sliced into 1-inch pieces


Heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil in a small sauce pot over medium-low heat.

Add the ginger and garlic and sauté until golden, about 2 minutes.

Add the aminos and water, stirring to combine.

Stir in the brown sugar and increase the heat to medium. Bring the sauce to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.

Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4-inch pieces.

Place a large sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat and add 2-3 TBS coconut oil.

Once the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the beef to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes until it is seared on all sides but barely cooked in the center. Remove the steak from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer it onto a paper towel-lined plate.

Pour any excess oil out of the wok.

Place the sauté pan back over medium heat.

Add the prepared sauce to the hot pan (it should come to a boil almost immediately), then add the reserved steak sprinkle with Glucomannan Powder and cook at a boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.

Add the sliced scallions, stirring to combine.

Transfer steak and scallions with a slotted spoon to a plate and serve.

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Soft Molasses Cookies

Soft Molasses Cookies
Soft Molasses Cookies
My grandma used to make me molasses cookies when I was little. They are my favorite. I tried some of the other recipes out there for them and all of them came out really hard, I like soft molasses cookies and want to stay on plan through this holiday season. So I had to see what I could figure out.

I had really good luck with my rolled sugar cookies from coconut flour and figured I would tweak that a bit to make the cookies I've been missing.

They came out yummy :)
Here's the recipe I used.


 Soft Molasses Cookies

Printable Recipe

Yield: 1 Dozen 1 inch cookies

4 TBS Butter

4 TBS Pyure Organic Stevia

2 eggs

1/2 tsp Black Strap Molasses

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

1/3 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp Glucomannan powder

Cream together butter, stevia, eggs and molasses.

Place dry ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk to mix evenly.

Add dry ingredients to wet until well combined.

Roll dough into balls, flatten slightly(these do not spread) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cinnamon Spice Donuts

A few months ago I ran across a great buy at Bed Bath and Beyond, a BabyCakes Mini Donut Maker for $ I bought it. And started making a special treat for Rick and I on the weekends.

These were the first batch I made from the Muffin in a bowl recipe on page 258 of the Trim Healthy Mama book.

Low Carb Donuts -Chocolate
Unfrosted Chocolate
 These are made from a tweaked version of the Muffin in a Bowl recipe... Don't they look yummy!
Low Carb Sugar Free Donuts- Cinnamon Spice
Cinnamon Spice w/ Cream Cheese Frosting
I can eat about 6 of these with no guilt and still be on plan which makes me one happy mama/grandma. Rick really likes them and says you can't even tell they are "diet food".

Here's the recipe for the

Cinnamon Spice Donuts

Printable Recipe


1 large Egg
1TBS Psyillium Husk Powder or you can use Oat Fiber
1 TBS Almond Flour
1 TBS Pyure Organic Stevia
1 TBS Golden Flax Meal
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Ginger

Beat the Egg, vanilla and sweetener.

Add Psyillium Husk Powder, Almond Flour, Flax Meal and baking powder. Mix

Spoon batter into donut crevices and close the lid, remove when Ready light is illuminated.

Glaze or Frost with your favorite frosting.

** Cream Cheese Frosting** Optional

Printable Recipe

1 oz softened cream cheese, I use the 1/3 fat or Greek Yogurt Cheese
1 TBS softened Butter
1 TBS Powdered Sweetener

Place all in a shallow bowl and beat until fluffy.

** If you use different sweeteners than I do you can find a wonderful conversion chart here.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stevia Sweet Juice Concentrate

Trying to cut the costs of using stevia and other sweeteners in our home. I've switched from using splenda for many years for a couple different reasons
  1. It increases my pain level from Fibromyalgia and RA
  2. It seems to make me crave more and more
  3. It isn't as naturally sourced as stevia and some other sweeteners
For baking and cooking I am using Pyure Organic Stevia All-Purpose Sweetener, and found a couple articles about how to ferment Now Foods Organic Stevia, White, 4 Ounce for a liquid version to sweeten my coffee and teas.

I started the fermenting process today with
 it takes 48 hours so we will see how it turns out.

 This post contains affiliate links, while it is no extra cost to you, if you happen to make a purchase than we make a small profit. This helps keep the content of the blog free