Category Archives: Life

All-Purpose Breader

This has been a lifesaver for those of us who crave fried foods even though I tried to make them sparingly since we started our healthy eating journey. Mr. Awesome has had a craving for fried chicken so when he saw that I had set out some chicken to thaw he bugged me until I gave in.

If you fry them in refined coconut oil or palm shortening they can be a bit better for you though and this all-purpose breader seems to be a winner with even the pickiest eaters here… they devoured almost all of the fried chicken before I could get a picture!

I think this would work well on pork chops, fish, and veggies too although you may need to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste. (I really can’t wait to try this out with my Fried Cauliflower recipe!) For fish and seafood, I may try it with some lemon pepper instead of the garlic salt but either one would probably be fine. It would probably also work great if you decided to bake instead of fry.

All-Purpose Breader

Ingredients:

Directions:

Mix it all together in a container (I like to use a pie plate).

We usually beat a couple of eggs to dip the meat/veggies into before dipping them into the breader. (You could also do this with egg whites only.)

Fry or bake as usual.

This coats 12 -14 pieces of chicken thighs and legs with a little bit left over.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!

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All-Purpose Baking Blend

As many of you know we are on a healthy eating journey and I have been scouring the web for alternatives to many of our favorite recipes. The hardest thing for me was finding a baking blend that we liked. Many of the blends were either too expensive or just didn’t have a texture that everyone seemed to like.

After a little bit of trial and error, we have found a blend that works well for us and we have been testing this out with some of the Trim Healthy Mama recipes that call for their baking blend. This recipe has worked well for us so far but if I find anything that needs to be tweaked I will update the recipe. You may want to try making a half a batch when to give it a try before making the big batch that we make here. I also found this great container to hold my big batch. (You can also find it and most of the ingredients below at some Walmarts or just add them to your grocery pickup order so you don’t have to search for them.) 😉

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All-Purpose Baking Blend

Ingredients:

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients together in a container with a tight-fitting lid (or a big mixing bowl) and shake or mix thoroughly.

We have been using this as a 1:1 ratio for recipes calling for the THM Baking Blend.

Note: You can also add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon Sunflower Lecithin for every 1 cup of flour used in your baked goods. Dissolve the powdered lecithin (or use the oil) in the liquid ingredients before mixing together.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!

Meal Plan: May 26 – June 1, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


This was a Pantry Challenge Week for us.

Sunday 

Breakfast:

Banana Crumb Muffins or Banana Nut Muffin (S) p. 277

Scrambled eggs

Lunch:

Tuna Salad with or without bread

Lettuce and Sliced tomatoes

Pickles (the kids love pickles)

Dinner: ++

Cowboy Grub (E) p. 59 or Briarpatch Casserole

Salad

Baked corn chips

Snacks/Desserts:

Cinnamon Toast


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Lunch:

Grilled Cheese

Celery w/Peanut Butter

Dinner: ++

Taco Ring (If you are on the weight loss plan you can save a little taco meat out and eat it with your salad.)

Salad

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

Lunch:

Super Simple Egg Salad with or without bread

Lettuce and Sliced tomatoes

Pickles (the kids love pickles)

Dinner: ++

Manly Meatloaf

Super Yummy Caulitaters

Rolls w/butter (As long as you aren’t on the weight loss plan. I am working on a few bread recipes because I know it is one of the hardest things for me to give up.)

Veggies

Snacks/Desserts:

Cupcakes  (Yes, there are some sweet treats included in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbooks.)


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins or Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Glosting (S) p. 364

Lunch:

Hot dogs

Veggies

Dinner: ++

Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet

Salad or another veggie

Rolls w/butter (As long as you aren’t on the weight loss plan. I am working on a few bread recipes because I know it is one of the hardest things for me to give up.)

Snacks/Desserts:

Muffins


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

Lunch:

PB & J sandwiches – Use the Peanut Junkie Butter recipe (FP) p. 481

Fruit

Dinner: ++

Tater Tot Casserole (we use Cauliflower tots in place of tater tots)

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Lunch:

leftovers

Dinner: ++

Free Day

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

PB Crackers


Saturday

Breakfast:

Stuffed Mushroom Omelet

Super Simple Sauteed Spinach

Lunch:

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

Veggies

Dinner: ++

Sizzlin’ Skillet Steak

Salad

Steamed Veggies

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Banana Cream Cake Recipe

This cake is so good! We had it with breakfast and everyone loved it. I still have a few pieces in the fridge for snack later… mmmmm.

I did add a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder and 3 T. of blackstrap molasses to the batter but I think it would still be awesome without that. The kids have requested a batch with chocolate chips the next time I make it.

You can even make a single serving in a mug! How great is that?

Source: Banana Cream Cake Recipe


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Cover Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Dandy Morning Coffee

As many of you know, I’ve really been trying hard to incorporate some of the Trim Healthy Mama ideas into my everyday diet. I have to have really like to have my morning coffee and I had switched over to the Dandy Blend before we started on these other diet changes so I wanted to try to make my creamer addiction a little bit healthier.

You don’t have to add the ‘extra’ ingredients but they help to make this a vitamin-packed way to start your day. The Trim Healthy Mama books have a ton of ideas and flavor variations that you could try.

Dandy Morning Coffee

Ingredients:

  • Dandy Blend, to taste
  • hot water (see directions)
  • 1-2 t. collagen, optional
  • 1-2 t. protein powder, optional
  • 1/8 t. sunflower lecithin, optional
  • half and half, milk, or cream, to taste
  • 1 t. MCT oil, optional
  • favorite extract or flavoring, to taste (I normally use vanilla but I just bought some caramel to try out.)
  • sweetener, to taste (I have been using Stevia in place of the sugar)

Directions:

I use about 2 t. of Dandy blend and 8-10 ounces of hot water.

I add all of my powdered ingredients into the hot water and stir vigorously. (I just bought an immersion blender to use for this as I want to try to make it a little creamier but it has been okay without it.)

Then I add all of the liquid ingredients and sweeten/flavor to taste. Enjoy!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Lemonade With A Twist

I’ve really been trying hard to incorporate some of the Trim Healthy Mama ideas into my everyday diet and one way I’ve found to do that is with this version of lemonade. I’m not sure if this would be entirely on the plan but it has been a lifesaver for me as I’m constantly wanting something sweet to sip on and Mr. Awesome doesn’t want me messing with his Sweet Tea! Sometimes I do mix this half and half with sweet tea for myself though.

You don’t have to add the ‘extra’ ingredients but they make this a vitamin-packed drink that is full of prebiotics and all kinds of good stuff that help keep you healthy while you stay hydrated too! I mix up a gallon of this and it lasts me 2-4 days. I love using my new Pioneer Woman drinking glass for this stuff too!

If you want the ‘real stuff’ you can check out this Old-Fashioned Lemonade recipe.

Lemonade With A Twist

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 lemons, juiced to make 1 cup (or use 1 cup of bottled lemon juice)
  • 1 -1 1/2 c. sugar (I have been using Stevia in place of the sugar)
  • 2-4 T. honey, optional
  • 6-8 T. apple cider vinegar (I like to use one with the mother)
  • 3-4 t. ground ginger
  • 2-6 T. Baobab powder (Start with just a little of this until you get used to it)
  • 8 c. water (cold water)
  • ice cubes (enough ice to fill the rest of the jar)
  • mineral salt to taste, if desired
  • sliced lemons (optional)

Directions:

Combine everything in a gallon size pitcher and stir well.

Add ice and then add enough water to fill the container, stir again.

Adjust the sweetness to your taste. Chill and Enjoy!

Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

You could also try this with sparkling water for a little something extra.

You can also serve this with ginger ice cubes if desired.

Take some grated ginger and place small portions in an ice cube tray. Fill with water and freeze. Once frozen these can be stored in a Ziploc baggie to use in whatever you desire.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Meal Prep: DIY Bagged Salad Mix

It can be hard when you are trying to eat healthier especially when the cost of the healthier foods can be so much higher than the junk food! Here is one way that we have found to save a little money and make our salads a bit more nutritious by being able to choose better varieties of green stuff to go in them:

 

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We cut all the lettuces, a mixture of iceberg and romaine, into bite-size pieces. (We also added a bit of baby spinach to the mix.)

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Then we washed everything and spun it dry in the salad spinner. (You want to make sure it is as dry as possible before bagging it.)

We layered a couple of big baggies with a paper towel and carefully placed our lettuce and spinach inside.

Then we squeezed out all the air and sealed them.

They have been in the fridge all week and still look pretty. (You will also want to change out the paper towel frequently.) 

The kids really enjoyed practicing some of the kitchen skills they’ve learned and it seems to make them more interested in trying out new things when they are involved in the process.

2019 Meal Plans

These are some of our most recent meal plans after converting some of our favorite recipes to be healthier with inspiration from Trim Healthy Mama. I find it easier to plan out my meals so I can make fewer trips to the grocery store. I always hate it when it’s almost dinner time and I have no idea what I should make. A little planning goes a long way to help me keep my sanity… well what’s left of it that is.

I also find it easier to go ahead and plan a day or time to prep some of the items ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute. I will boil eggs, cook chicken and ground beef, prep veggies and all ahead of time so that when it comes time to make dinner it seems to go so much easier.

When I have time I also try to make a couple of extra batches of our favorites so I can put some in the freezer for emergency or quick meals. I’ll try to include some tips and tricks along with the menu plans to make your life a little easier too.

Meal Plan: May 26 – June 1, 2019

Sensible Scrambled Eggs

I love eggs whether it be fried, boiled, deviled, egg salad, omelets, or even a scrambled egg sandwich. They are so easy to make and so good for you. Here is a quick and healthier version of the scrambled eggs that we eat on a regular basis.

I just made a couple of sandwiches for Mr. Awesome and myself yesterday when we were feeling a bit hangry in between meals and they certainly hit the spot. These would also be really good for a quick breakfast with some sausage or bacon and a side of Super Simple Sauteed Spinach.

Sensible Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, beaten (or use 1 cup of egg whites for a lighter version)
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast, optional
  • 2 T. Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 T. milk or cream, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste (we like to use mineral salt or Lawry’s garlic salt)
  • a sprinkle of Turmeric, optional
  • 1/4 c. shredded cheese, optional (we like cheddar, swiss, and pepper jack but use your favorite)
  • 2-4 T. butter

Directions:

Whisk together all of the ingredients except the butter.

Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour in the eggs and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Give them a little stir and flip to make sure everything is cooking.

Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Serve.

For a sandwich:

You can cook them as directed above or flip instead of stirring so you have a firmer egg.

I like to use a little mayonnaise on my wheat bread and some people like to add a slice of cheese and or tomato.

You could probably get away with some cooked bacon too for a BET instead of a BLT? Lol… anyway you eat them will be fine.

Enjoy!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Cover Image by Markéta Machová from Pixabay

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations)

This is a variation from our regular pancake recipe that adds a little extra protein and good stuff to get your day started off on the right foot! You can add other yummies like blueberries, chocolate chips, or even some pureed pumpkin to make these even better. The variations are countless.

Below the first recipe is a recipe for sourdough pancakes and a ‘hybrid recipe’ too that we use on occasion when time is crunched. These can also be used to make waffles as well. We usually make these for breakfast and have enough left over for lunch. Sometimes I will also make a couple batches and freeze them too.

Why don’t you give them a try with our favorite Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Homemade Chocolate Syrup (with healthier options) and a little bit of whipped cream? Just because we are on a journey to healthier eating doesn’t mean we can’t still indulge in some of our favorites. We just need to look at them a little differently and change them a tad to make them work with our new way of eating.

Note: Don’t worry if you can’t find the ‘special’ ingredients as these will taste fine either way. I like to search Amazon for the ingredients or add them to my Walmart Grocery Pickup orders so I’m not spending the whole day looking for them! The links will take you to the products that we are currently using which may change from time to time as we are still on a learning curve here.

Protein Power Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 T. honey, optional
  • 1 1/2-2 cups milk, add a little more if it seems too thick
  • 2 eggs, beaten (for fluffier waffles separate the eggs and beat the whites in a separate bowl. Gently fold into the batter and cook as directed.)
  • 4 T. butter, melted
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour (You could try using whole wheat flour or oat flour too.)
  • 1 T. plus 1 t. baking powder
  • 2  t. mineral salt
  • 2-4 T. sugar (I have been using Stevia in place of the sugar)
  • 1 scoop protein powder, optional (We like to use the vanilla flavor)
  • 1 T. MCT oil powder, optional

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together the honey, eggs, butter, and milk.

In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir just until well moistened.

 (The finished product will be tough if it is over stirred.)

Cooking instructions:

For pancakes:
Heat a greased griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle.

Flip when the top is bubbly. Don’t mash down!

Cook just until the other side is browned.

For waffles:
Preheat your waffle iron.

Spray iron with cooking spray and then pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto the iron.

Cook as directed or until the steaming stops.

These can also be frozen a reheated in the microwave or toaster.


Protein Power Sourdough Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 T. honey, optional
  • 1 1/2-2 cups milk, add a little more if it seems too thick
  • 1 egg, beaten (for fluffier waffles separate the eggs and beat the whites in a separate bowl. Gently fold into the batter and cook as directed.)
  • 4 T. butter, melted
  • 1 c. sourdough starter
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour (You could try using whole wheat flour or oat flour too.)
  • 1 T. plus 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 2  t. mineral salt
  • 2-4 T. sugar (I have been using Stevia in place of the sugar)
  • 1 scoop protein powder, optional (We like to use the vanilla flavor)
  • 1 T. MCT oil powder, optional

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together the honey, eggs, butter, and milk.

Gently stir in the sourdough starter.

In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir just until well moistened.

 (The finished product will be tough if it is over stirred.)

Cooking instructions:

For pancakes:
Heat a greased griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle.

Flip when the top is bubbly. Don’t mash down!

Cook just until the other side is browned.

For waffles:
Preheat your waffle iron.

Spray iron with cooking spray and then pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto the iron.

Cook as directed or until the steaming stops.

These can also be frozen a reheated in the microwave or toaster.


Protein Power Hybrid Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 T. honey, optional
  • 1 1/2-2 cups water, add a little more if it seems too thick
  • 1 c. sourdough starter
  • 2 c. ready-made pancake mix (We like the Krusteaz brand from Walmart)
  • 1 scoop protein powder, optional (We like to use the vanilla flavor)
  • 1 T. MCT oil powder, optional

Directions:

In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients.

Gently stir in the sourdough starter and honey, add the water a little at a time to get the right consistency.

 (The finished product will be tough if it is over stirred.)

Cooking instructions:

For pancakes:
Heat a greased griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle.

Flip when the top is bubbly. Don’t mash down!

Cook just until the other side is browned.

For waffles:
Preheat your waffle iron.

Spray iron with cooking spray and then pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto the iron.

Cook as directed or until the steaming stops.

These can also be frozen a reheated in the microwave or toaster.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Stuffed Mushroom Omelet

This is such a yummy way to start your day and we love this with mushrooms but you could really use any kind of vegetable you like and maybe even add some bacon or sausage to make it a little bit heartier. Some of us like to eat this with a side of Super Simple Sauteed Spinach.

This could work for lunches and dinner too for those crazy days when you just don’t feel like cooking much or when you haven’t been to the grocery store in a while.

Stuffed Mushroom Omelet

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (or use 1 egg and 1 egg white)
  • 1-2 T. milk or cream
  • 1/3 c. parmesan cheese, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste (we like to use mineral salt or Lawry’s garlic salt)
  • 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 2-4 T. butter
  • 1-2 c. shredded cheese
  • 1 t. nutritional yeast, optional
  • bacon bits, optional
  • chives, optional

Directions:

Beat eggs in a small bowl. Mix in the milk, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper until blended.

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir mushrooms about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat more butter in the pan, if needed.

Pour in the egg mixture; as the eggs set gently lift the edges, letting the uncooked mixture flow underneath.

Once the eggs are mostly cooked sprinkle with shredded cheese and add the cooked mushrooms.

Carefully fold the omelet in half, cook 1-2 minutes and then flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.

Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and garnish with bacon bits and/or chives as desired.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!