It's Not Called Toddler Weight...


If your baby's first birthday has come and gone, but the weight hasn't - you've come to the right place.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Motivate Me Monday - 11/24/2014

Ahhh Mondays. I love Mondays. I see them as a fresh start to the week. There's that long running joke about always starting a diet on Monday.  

Fortunately I can cross that one off my list since I've found Trim Healthy Mama and I've made a permanent lifestyle change. Next month - actually just a few weeks now - will be one year on the plan and I'll post a full and detailed update there but for now I'm the closest to my "ultimate" goal weight as I've been since pre-pregnancy. The first pregnancy.  It's crazy.  And, it is truly hard to believe because it's been a long journey.

So for today's motivation - I say to you and to myself:

I will persist until I succeed. 



Image found via Pinterest
Because if I can do it, any one can. And I'm so close to my goal!
~Carly

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Recipe: Chai Shrinker

Hello! Happy Wednesday! 

It's about that time of day I need a little pick me up to get through the afternoon but also keep my hunger in check so I don't get the afternoon pre-dinner munchies. 

Since being on THM I love the shrinker and good girl moonshine (and some variations). 

So one day I decided to play around with the shrinker when I was craving chai.

This may or may not be created yet in the THM world with so many awesome ladies out there making recipes and tweaking things - so here's my recipe:

1 quart mason jar filled with boiling water 2/3 of the way to the top

3 prince of peace oolong tea bags
2 spiced chai tea bags at trader joes
1/4 tsp cinnamon 
A shake or two of nu nu naturals or 3-5 packets of truvia or sweetener of choice
1/4 cup almond milk - I like ton use unsweetened vanilla
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
Optional - cayenne pepper to taste (which I don't use but is called for in the original shrinker recipe)

Directions:
Brew tea bags until cooled but while warm ads cinnamon to help dissolve
add in other ingredients and fill reminding space in jar with ice. Cover and shake - then enjoy!

~Carly



Friday, October 3, 2014

Recipe: Apple Cake

Hello!  Long time, no post (again).

Anywhooo - Fall as arrived and we took full advantage this past weekend and went to Pumpkintown, USA here in Connecticut followed by some apple picking.

I scored some white pumpkins at the farm and then this week I found a cute "Give Thanks" sign at Target to enhance our family room decor - which can totally apply to both Halloween and Thanksgiving. Multitasking!  The leaves and foliage are really starting to come out and I'm loving Fall - in case you couldn't already tell.
My Fall Mantle - not done yet!

If you've visited here before, you may know I'm following the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating and I have had some great success lately after some pounds creeped back on over the summer and vacation in August.

I'm happy to be back on track and at an almost all time low weight and smaller inch-wise after I finished a three week Fuel Cycle.  I'm happy to report that I'm currently wearing today a pair of true pre-pregnancy pants - cute capri pants I haven't worn since ohhhh 2007 maybe?! I'm SO happy to see my efforts on the scale and in my clothing and how things are fitting!

However, this post is a recipe post so I'll post a full and detailed re-cap on that soon enough to share with you.

Onto the apple recipe!

I came across this recipe from Julia's Album somewhere (Facebook or Pinterest maybe? I get around...the Internet...hah!) and decided I needed to use up some of these fresh apples we picked.

I modified it to my THM guidelines and this would be considered an E (Energizing) dessert or snack.
So again, not my recipe but tweaked for my purposes!

Apple Cake - THM version
This recipe could also be gluten free if you use certified gluten free oat flour or grind your own gluten free oats!  The apple sauce and greek  yogurt make this cake very tasty and light!  
Ingredients:
  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar (NOTE: you can use a THM version of Gwen's brown sugar but I used a tiny bit of real brown sugar but it's up to you!) 
  • 1 and 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup on plan sweetner - I used a combination of Truvia and pure stevia extract (original recipe called for 1 cup regular sugar)
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce (original called for oil)
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites (original recipe called for 2 eggs)
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and also grease a square pan - 9 by 9 or 8 by 8 is good
2.  In one bowl combine chopped apple pieces and cinamon and your choice of brown sugar - real or THM version. 
3. In another larger mixing bowl, combine oat flour, baking powder and salt.
Half the batter and half the apples
4. In yet another bowl - sorry for all the dirty dishes we are creating! - whisk together the sweetner of your choice, apple sauce, yogurt, egg whites and vanilla extract until combined. 
5. Add the dry items into the wet ingredients and combine completely - don't over mix!
6. Take about half the batter and pour into greased pan and take half the apple chunks and pour on that.  Then, layer on the rest of the other half of the batter and then top again with the other half of the apples. 
7.  Bake for one hour.

It smells soooo deelish in my house right now!  I can't wait to eat this recipe!  And a food blogger I clearly am not so I do apologize since as I am baking I'm all "oh hey, I should snap some pictures."


Finished baking!  Yummm



A food blogger wanna be I am - hot and fresh apple cake!

Wow, this does not disappoint!  It's warm, apple cakey goodness.  A must-make for sure!
Enjoy!
~Carly

Monday, September 22, 2014

Motivate Me Monday - 9/22/2014

Happy Monday!

I am always looking for some extra motivation and I always seem to come across the right type when I need it. 

Getting back on track (more like staying on track!) with exercise and diet has been my focus for awhile. I had a minor set back from our short vacation - up a few pounds that seemed to not want to go away without some major fighting!

But I won and am currently on week 3 of a Trim Healthy Mama fuel cycle and loving it.  So, here's my motivation and I hope it inspires you too:


You can't go back. You can only go forward. 

Made a mistake? No worries - just continue forward! 
~Carly

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day and Update

Good morning and happy Labor Day!

I started an exercise challenge on a Facebook group and I've been going strong for the last few weeks. I went to spin class 4 times in the past week and have been incorporating weight training, circuit training and H.I.I.T. Training as well. I'm feeling pretty good and accomplished and have definetly made exercise a priority again and hopefully a permanent habit. 

I am up a few pounds still on the scaled from my vacation splurges but am still following the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle and plan to do another Fuel Cycle starting next Monday. 

I went to spin class yesterday morning and today I did a HIIT workoit I found on Pinterest:


I did it twice and really worked up a sweat and felt those jump squats and lunges. Whew!

That's all for now.
~Carly

Friday, August 15, 2014

Recipe: Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread/Dip

Wow - two months off and then two blog posts in one day?!?! Who am I?

Well, this recipe has been on my mind since my lovely friend Tracy made it and brought it to share one day at the pool club.  It is so yum. Then yesterday she dropped off a lovely eggplant for me and some red ripe tomatoes from her family's garden and I knew I needed to make this dip.

And, you already know I love eggplant so this was a no-brainier for me to make.

I found this recipe from Ina Gartner and I omitted the tomato paste.  However, next time I'd probably add it as it would give a little more substance to the dip itself.

A food blogger I am NOT but here are some pics regardless. Humor me  :)

All chopped and ready for olive oil, salt and pepper
My mom bought me these awesome grinders from Traders Joes
Ready to roast
Amazing how much it shrinks when it cooks
Into the food processor
All blended
Taste testing with a Wasa for all my fellow THM-ers!
I'd say this recipe is a win. I plan to make it quite a bit.  This is also THM friendly - I'd say it may even be used in an S or E setting depending on how much olive oil you use and how many servings you eat.  I bet it would be heavenly with Lavash Crackers or even as a spread on some of Gwen's Bread.

Oh boy...now I need to whip up some of that this weekend.  Happy Friday!

~Carly

Still going

Well hello! Apparently I've taken a two month hiatus from the blog world but I'm still going strong! Well, not without a few bumps in the road - or lbs should I say 😮 I've gone off my lifestyle plan a bit during social gatherings and a vacation with the family but I'm only a few pounds up from my lowest weight ever. However, if I had been eating my pre-THM fare I'd have to say I don't think the scale would be as low at all. 

As far as exercise, I had been going regularly to spin class and running but hadn't been incorporating weights really at all - though I had wanted to. So as a "get back on track" thing I'm day 4 or so into a new program incorporating cardio and weights. I'm using my three Jillian DVDs - 30 Day Shred, Ripped in 30, and No More Trouble Zones and will use the Lindsay Brin Pretty Fierce Weight Loss DVD set I have also. I will be doing cardio too and plan to exercise 6 days a week. 
Yep.

It's a lofty goal but I got this because I want it.

So I'm off for today's weights workout and I leave you with this...


~Carly

Friday, June 13, 2014

Weight Loss Update - 6 months

Hello!

It's a rainy miserable day here but I'm feeling all sunshine and rainbows!  Why?

Well, today marks an official 6 months on Trim Healthy Mama and I've got another update for you!

As of today, I'm 156 pounds - just 6 pounds away from my true pre-pregnancy and goal weight of 150! Woohooo! I haven't measured again for inches certainly but plan to shortly.

If you remember, I posted an update in March and while the scale has been slow and steady I'm just thrilled. I continue to feel great, I'm eating delicious food - including dessert - and I've been exercising consistently. Nothing too crazy - I've been incorporating Winsor Pilates into my week as well as one or two spin classes and some walking/running.  I'm on the right track and I plan to stay here.

So what has helped? I did a one week fuel cycle a few months ago which helped me move the scale a bit and decided since I was feeling a bit "stuck" again and my weight was being stubborn I needed a metabolic kick start again. I was bouncing around between 159-160 again and I just couldn't get the scale to move down again.

Today is my second to last day of a a two week fuel cycle and this is how I've come much closer to my goal weight.  You can find the details of the diet here and the fuel cycle chapter is 28 in the book.

That's really why I love this way of eating - it gives you sooooo many options and even tools and tricks to get your metabolism going again.

So just a little visual re-cap....

Here I am from the previous update - December 2013 and March 2014

Here's the same image from March 2014 and the right is this past Tuesday, June 10th - granted the top I'm wearing on the right is a bit loose and flowy so it doesn't look like too much difference to me. 

And here's an oldie on the left I dug up from July 2012 and on the right is just this past week in my exercise clothes.  You can see how wider I look in my midsection and legs from almost two years ago. 

So there you have it!  I'm thrilled that THM has been so successful for me I'm so happy to be on this journey still closer to my health and wellness goals every day!  

And now that I have one preschooler and an almost first grader - it's truly not called toddler weight :)
~Carly


Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Fitness Pal

Hey everyone!

I have been tracking my food and exercise for quite some time now with My Fitness Pal. 

Before today, I tracked for 235 days. Yep. Every single day for the last 235 days. I forgot to log yesterday and I'm a little upset about it.


Now my new "streak" is 1 day. 

On the positive side, I have lost over 20 pounds and 13+ inches.

So here's to day one...
~Carly



Monday, May 5, 2014

Motivate Me Monday - 5/5/2014

Happy Cinco de Mayo! 
I hope this post finds you well! 

Every day we are faced with choices. I've been focused on my daily choices and how they affect my personal health and wellness goals. So when I saw this image today on Pinterest, I knew it was meant to be to share it here. Because, also (ironically) I've also started up again doing Jillian Michael's DVDs again. 


Saturday I did a few circuits of No More Trouble Zones and on Sunday I did Level 1 of her 30 Day Shred. I also went for a 4+ mile walk with my friends. 

Feeling great and continuing to choose the right choices for my goals. I'm about 7-8 pounds from my goal weight now and for the first time in a few years I'm ready to welcome spring and summer without feeling overwhelmed by skirts, shorts, tanks, tees and even (gasp!)  bathing suits!
~Carly

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Coffee Cake Confessional

Hey everyone!

Things have been great around here!  My kids are off from school this week and even though they aren't in school all day or full time it's still been a long week.  I had been going to the gym or exercising at least 2-4 times a week and sadly this week I have yet to do any real cardio aside from walking around the neighborhood chasing my kids on their bikes.  Hey, still counts somehow.  At least that's what I'm tellin' myself.  I'm heading to the gym tomorrow morning for sure - get my spinning class fix!  Really, I may be addicted.

As you can see from the name of the post I have a confession.  And also, I've been eating coffee cake.
Delicious coffee cake.

Yep.
Mmmmm.

Sorry.  Thinking of yummy cake.  We'll get to that in a minute. But first, the confession.

A few weeks ago I did a Week Long Fuel Cycle on my Trim Healthy Mama diet.  After the third Deep S day I had reached an all time low weight of 158.4.  Sadly, the pounds creeped back up and I was back up to 159.6.  This morning my scale was 160 and was even a little higher a few days ago.

Before you start thinking "Wow, what a bummer" or "Aww, that stinks!" I shall stop you there.  I'm actually really okay with this number.  I recently shared my update on where I am in my journey on this diet - losing 9 pounds since starting.

Then, last week I found a notepad and my tape measure in my bathroom drawer with some numbers on it.  Right before or maybe shortly after starting THM in December I had written down my measurements - bust, waist, belly, hips and thigh. So I thought, hmmm maybe I should re-measure.

Well I'm glad I did.  Turns out I lost 13 inches!  No wonder I look like I may have lost more than "only" 9 pounds! (At least that's what I've been told)

I couldn't believe it when I added up and calculated all the measurements.  I added it up four times to make sure it was accurate with a calculator.  Yes, I used a calculator.  No judgement!  I'm terrible at math.  Any math.  But, I can tell you I certainly don't need a calculator to tell me that Trim Healthy Mama is working.  Nine pounds and thirteen inches - GONE.

Buh-bye.

That is why I'm okay with being up a pound on the scale.  I'm learning to focus on the non-scale victories which are just as, if not more important than what the scale says.  I feel great, I've lost a bunch of fat, my clothes fit better, I'm more toned, I look better and I'm literally shrinking.  I slipped on a pair of true pre-pregnancy jeans the other day and wore them for the first time in 5-6 years. Considering I never thought I'd be 160 pounds again - EVER, I am so thrilled with where I am physically and emotionally right now.

Okay - enough confession time.  On to the Coffee Cake.

This is not my recipe. It belongs to the lovely Rohnda Sue.  She has a recipe for this coffee cake that is just beyond delicious.  I had seen it a few weeks back and came across it again on Facebook and decided to make her single serving version.  I was craving some sort of baked-yummy-good-muffin-type-thing that wasn't chocolate.  I've been eating chocolate for quite some time now and just craved something else.

So, I made it. Oh.My.Gosh.  With a few substitutions based on what I had on-hand, it was so delicious I almost ate it all before I could snap a picture.

Aside from the horrid scratches on my plates - just look at it!

Glorious coffee cake muffin
It was so crazy good.  The directions were easy to follow and I made a few tweaks.
First, I doubled this recipe to make this large muffin.  Second, I used almonds for the topping instead of other nuts - walnuts or pecans would be delightful.
Third, I used vanilla extract and caramel extract.
Lastly, since I doubled the recipe I only used one TBSP of the coconut flour and substituted the ground flax instead since coconut flour is highly absorbent of liquids in recipes and I like a fluffier texture. I find coconut flour to be very dense in recipes.

So yummy!
Then, today I got greedy.  I thought I'd make myself another muffin for a snack.  Then I sadly thought to myself, but what happens when it's gone?  Should I make two so I have another for later another day?

So, I made the large version.  A whole 8x8 cake of coffee cake gloriousness.  Yes. It's a word.
Again, I used less coconut flour and more ground flax meal and the almonds on top. However, this time, to go with my almond flour and almond topping I used almond extract instead of the caramel.

The full cake version I made today
Yowza.  Take a peek....it's okay if you drool. I am.  I literally just made this cake and haven't had it yet which is killin' me!  But my house smells fantastic right now!


Again, this is not my recipe - it's by the amazing Rohnda Sue and her single serving recipe is on her Facebook page.

~Carly

Monday, April 7, 2014

Motivate Me Monday - 4/6/2014

Happy Monday! 
For the last few weeks I feel I've finally made a true commitment to be more active and to make exercise a priority. That's something I've struggles with before. My husband and I joined a gym again and we've both been going and I love it! I've been taking spinning classes for a few weeks now and I'm hooked. I incorporate it now into my weekly exercise mixed in with running and weights and occasionally the elliptical machine.  So, I'm absolutely finding the following is true - my legs, butt and abs are slowly but surely coming back!



Did you exercise today? If not, do something. Anything. You will feel better afterwards. I promise.
~Carly

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

THM Fuel Cycle Experience & Recap

As you may know, I've been successfully implementing a diet and lifestyle plan called Trim Healthy Mama for the last three months now. I am loving this way of eating! However, after losing some initial weight I plateaued a bit. Fortunately, since THM is so thorough the authors give you a way to really shake up your metabolism with something called "The One Week Fuel Cycle." It's recommended for those who have stubborn weight and for those who have been following the plan for at least three months.

Well, that sounded like me so I decided after being true to the plan if I wasn't seeing results "free styling" - meaning just doing my own combination of on plan foods - then I would try it. 

I started Monday, March 17th and here's my experience:

Deep S day 1
Starting weight 159.6
Breakfast: scrambled eggs in coconut oil, sausage and coffee with a little cream
Lunch: large salad with romaine, spinach, celery, cucumbers and green peppers with deli chicken on top with extra virgin olive oil. Water and then a Fizzy GGMS
Snack: Chocolate cake in a mug and coffee
Dinner: baked salmon with butter on top with sautéed spinach and artichokes in coconut oil and some steamed cauliflower with a tiny sprinkle of cheese. Water to drink.
Dessert: Skinny chocolate
Exercise: 50 Minute Spinning Class and a 20 minute walk on the treadmill prior to class

Day one dinner - salmon, sauteed spinach and artichokes
and some cauliflower with a smidge of cheese.
Deep S day 2
Weight: 158.8 
Breakfast: same as day before
Lunch: left over Salmon with huge green salad with olive oil.
Snack: Chocolate Cake in a mug 
Dinner: Hamburger with roasted red peppers and a side salad and water to drink.
Dessert: Skinny Chocolate
Exercise: None

Deep S day 3
Weight: 158.6
Breakfast: same as days 1 and 2
Lunch: Thin Mint Protein Shake and left over hamburger and salad
Dinner: Veggie omelette and bacon
Exercise: Running 3 miles

Fuel Pull day 4
Weight: 158.4
Breakfast: Coffee with swirl of cream and Cottage Berry Whip
Lunch: Low carb wrap with deli chicken and veggies and cucumbers sliced on the side
Snack: Wasa crackers, celery and Laughing Cow wedge cheese
Dinner: FP Pizza and salad
Exercise: None

Fuel Pull day 5
Weight: 159.6
Breakfast: Coffee with swirl of cream, egg white scrambled and Fage 0% greek yogurt with polaner fruit swirled in
Lunch: Same wrap as day 4 with Fizzy GGMS
Snack: Big Boy Smoothie
Dinner: Buffalo Chicken Salad (made without any flour breading) and a blob of blue cheese dressing to keep fat grams in check for Fuel Pull
Exercise: Walking 3 miles brisk pace

Note: Typical Fuel Cycle calls for 2 full days of E eating.  I found early on that I am carb sensitive and chose to not do completely full E days.  This is NOT recommended in the book - it is what I chose to do for my own personal preference.

E day 6
No weigh in
Breakfast: Coffee with swirl of cream, old fashioned oatmeal with cinnamon, 1/3 of a banana sliced, sprinkle of chia seeds
Snack: Cashews
Lunch: Tossed salad with grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella balls and balsamic vinaigrette
Dinner: Trim Healthy Mama pancakes with greek yogurt and polaner fruit spread
Exercise: None

E day 7
Weight 159.6
Breakfast: Coffee, scrambled eggs in coconut oil and bacon
Lunch: Quinoa, sweet potato and black bean chili
Snack: Cake in a mug
Dinner: Low carb taco wrap
Exercise: None

So, there you have it - my first Fuel Cycle Week that I completed.  I felt really great on my Deep S days - I think I've been relying too much on Heavy S rather than true S meals.  I felt very hungry on my first Fuel Pull day and think I over did eating the low carb items - I wouldn't recommend doing a wrap, wasa and pita on the same day after doing Deep S.  Then as I mentioned, due to some pre-planned events, I chose not to do full E days but did choose wise carbs to refuel my body after this week of the Fuel Cycle.

I'm now back to free styling and feel I've learned a TON from this week.  It is recommended to do another week of Fuel Cycle or even three total weeks but I feel that Deep S is now my "trick" to get my body back into a true weight loss mode short-term and adding in E meals as a breakfast or lunch is best for me and keeping snacks as Fuel Pull also.

Today, I weighed in and the scale was 158.2 so I'm down to a new lowest weight ever!  Over the weekend I also tried on some clothes I've had tucked away and I'm still losing inches too because things are fitting again.  So thrilled and thankful for Trim Healthy Mama!

Have you tried a Fuel Cycle?  If so, what was your experience?
~Carly

Monday, March 17, 2014

My THM Update - 9 pounds gone!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I'm feeling quite lucky like a leprechaun today since I've finally reached a BIG goal in my weight loss saga. I'm now just over three months on Trim Healthy Mama and drum roll....

I am down about 9 pounds and quite a few inches (will measure and update shortly).  I'm healthier, slimmer and feel really, really good - emotionally and physically.  While 9 pounds doesn't sound that impressive overall (some ladies are dropping 20-30 pounds in three months on Trim Healthy Mama!!) for me, it's a huge victory since I've been struggling with this for quite some time.

As of March 2012, I'm down 20 pounds.  I'm now currently 10 pounds away from my true pre-pregnancy weight (150-ish) and at my first goal of my pre-second child weight (160).

I have to admit it feels really good to be at this goal.  This is a day I thought would never be here. Having really tried everything from Eat To Live, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Cinch, 21 Day Sugar Detox and a few other methods - Trim Healthy Mama is truly what finally has worked for me in these past 3+ years I've been struggling to lose weight.

And, since visuals are more powerful than words, I share with you below two pictures to show my progress.

Just to refresh your memory, I started Trim Healthy Mama on December 12, 2013 right after I ended my 21 Day Sugar Detox.

The image on the left was taken at our family photo shoot we had done literally FOUR days before I started THM.  The right was taken just the other morning.

Left image is Decmber 8, 2013 and the right is just the other morning.

Then, just for "fun" I decided to dig up some older photos of myself - which were quite hard to find since I didn't enjoy having my picture taken.  Nonetheless - here it is...

March 2012 (180), February 2012 (170), February 2014 (163) and the other morning (160).

Far left is when we were at Disney in March 2012, next is Disney end of January/early February 2013, next is February of this year and the last image is just the other morning.  I can definitely see the weight loss in my face more in the last two pictures.  While I'm holding children (trying to strategically block myself!) in the first two pictures, you can see I'm clearly larger in my face -  and honestly just larger all over!  And all I can think when I see the image to the far left is "Who is that???" Because it certainly doesn't look like "me" and at that point I didn't feel like myself either.

So, from my tiny little speck of the Internet here, I'm hoping to inspire someone that if you have been stuck or wanting to finally lose the "baby" weight - or ANY type of weight - it is truly possible with the right plan.  I've found something that finally works and I'm so thankful.

I have some toning to do and am currently working out 3-4 days a week now.  Hopefully will have a true "after" picture to share shortly as I hopefully reach my goal weight!

~Carly

Friday, March 14, 2014

Recipe: Eggplant Parmigiana - THM style (S)

Hello! Sorry, I fell off the blogging bandwagon. But I'm back with a yummy recipe! That makes it all better, right?

I love Italian food. Well, I love all food, actually - but last night I made a pasta dish for my family using regular pasta. Pre-Trim Healthy Mama I would have easily had a bowl full and maybe more. So in keeping with the Italian theme for the evening I made myself some eggplant parmigiana. 

I didn't actually measure all the ingredients and just kind of winged it.  There's no exact science - as your using the "breading" mixture and find you're running low, just throw some more ingredients in the bowl.  Scroll down for the pictures I briefly snapped as I cooked.


Ingredients:
One large eggplant (or more depending on family size)
Almond meal or flour
Flax meal
2 eggs whisked
Oil for frying - coconut or olive oil - your choice!
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Tomato sauce of choice (if on THM make sure it's a no-added sugar sauce)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese

Directions:
1.  Wash, dry and then slice eggplant into 1 inch wide (or less) sliced pieces.  I usually don't use pieces towards the very top or very bottom of the eggplant - but that's just me.
2.  In a larger bowl combine about one cup of flax meal and a half cup of almond meal or flour.  Add Italian seasoning such as oregano, basil and parsley flakes to your mix and garlic powder to taste.  You may also add grated Parmesan cheese also for more flavor.  Be sure to combine well.
3.  Pour choice of oil in pan and begin to heat. Use enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and give a good amount of liquid for the eggplant pieces to fry in.
4.  At this time you should pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
5.  In another wide opening bowl, whisk the two eggs together. Check to see if oil is heating up nicely.
6.  Submerge each piece of eggplant in the egg and flip to get both sides covered and then coat in the flax, almond meal, seasonings mix.
7.  Place in oil for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate with paper towel to absorb excess oils.
8.  Repeat egg and "breading mix" and frying until all pieces of eggplant are done.
9.  Take a large baking dish and place a small amount of sauce on bottom of it.  Begin layering the eggplant on top of the sauce.  Cover each piece of eggplant with some sauce on top.
10.  Cover with foil and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes to further soften the eggplant.
11.  Remove briefly to top with shredded mozzarella cheese to your liking and place back in oven to melt.



Sliced eggplant

Mixing up the "breading"

Fried to perfection!

Add a bit of sauce

Topped with cheese and voila!

Serve with Dreamfields pasta, a large side salad or any other veggies you'd like.  This recipe is a keeper for sure!

I plan on posting an update on my personal weight loss journey shortly.  No really, I promise! Soon!
~Carly

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Top Ten Tips for Trim Healthy Mama

Hello!

As you may know or have been reading, I've been following Trim Healthy Mama since mid December of 2013.  Today is Valentine's Day, and two days past my two month "trimmaversary" - so as my Valentine's gift to you, I'm sharing my top ten tips for success during my short time so far following THM.

Note:  I am not an expert nor claim to be on Trim Healthy Mama - so if you want more information and details you should definitely get your hands on the book!  These tips are just from my own experience thus far.

Image via Google Search
1.  Read the book.  Then read it AGAIN.  When I first read the book it was overwhelming.  It's A LOT of information to process all at once.  Trying to remember what they said about E's and S's and then S helpers - ahhhh.  My head spun.  Learning all the basics and putting them into action certainly helped me understand the true basics.  However, after a few weeks I began reading excerpts again here and there and it made SO much more sense the second time around.

2.  Menu Plan.  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  So true on THM.  Pick meals to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  I write them down on a pre-printed calendar and use pencil because some days change before they can even begin!  Be flexible but have a general idea of what you have in the fridge, freezer and pantry for the week to make sure you have a general meal plan or else you may end up eating something you didn't want to eat.

3.  Truly stick to the 2.5-3 hour rule.  I did not do this at first and I didn't see the scale move.  While I felt better, I wasn't seeing results.  Then, someone posted an interesting tip on the Facebook page for THM - keep reading and see Tip #10 - that if you do not wait the 3 hours between S and E  you may be inadvertently creating a crossover meal which would hinder weight loss.  To ensure you can truly wait the few hours in between, make sure you're getting a wonderful serving of protein with your S or E meal.  If you truly cannot wait, it's best to have a similar fuel to your previous meal or a FP snack.  Or, guzzle some water or a THM drink to help tide you over.  Once I stuck to this rule, I saw a drop on the scale.

4.  Make the FSF and BBS your BFF.  The week I really saw a lot of weight loss was when I was incorporating the Fat Stripping Frappa or the Big Boy Smoothie.  Wowza - they are tasty and filling and Pearl and Serene really mean it when they say it strips the fat away!  They are Fuel Pulls at their core -depending what you add to them but you can pair them with your S or E meals or snacks for some extra help in the weight loss department.  I usually pair them with my E lunches because I tend to get hungry sooner eating them than if I ate an S lunch - which is normal!

5.  Shrinker and other THM drinks.  I love The Shrinker.  I also love the Good Girl Moonshine and the FSF and BBS I mentioned above.  There's also Bullet Proof Coffee which I have not yet tried but others rave about, THM Hot Chocolate and SO many other tasty drinks that you can have to keep things interesting and keep your metabolism going.  The Shrinker definitely kills cravings and keeps me satisfied until a next meal. And, they don't call it the Shrinker for nothing!  You can find all the drink recipes here on the THM Pinterest page.

6.  Don't underestimate the power of the E.  Also during my mega-weight loss week, I incorporated more E meals mostly for my lunches.  I made a tasty Veggie Quinoa Bean soup that was filling and delicious and made sure I had at least 3-5 E meals in my meal plan each week.  Carbs are not the enemy on this plan.  In this case the E meals replenish your body and keep your metabolism going.  I was a bit timid about the E meals at first but soon realized how important they are.  It's a little bit of trial and error to find the balance that keeps you going towards your goal, but don't exclude or forget them!

7.  Keep it simple.  With the amount of recipes in the book, the pins on Pinterest you can find and the lovely Internet it's easy to get confused about having to buy this ingredient you don't have it or haven't ever heard of it before.  One thing I love about THM is you don't have to buy anything over the top or crazy to eat this way. Some things are helpful and I would recommend but otherwise I find it best to keep recipes simple.  A grilled chicken salad with avocado, veggies and some plain balsamic vinegar is a great S meal and isn't complicated.  Also by keeping meals simple you can better learn the S, E and FP basics much quicker.

8.  Try new recipes.  So while it seems I may be a bit contradictory here with my previous "keep it simple" tip, I also found trying new recipes once I fully understood the basics was awesome.  It keeps your metabolism going and your taste buds happy, too.

9.  Don't forget some key rules. For example, I completely forgot that you can have up to one cup of berries with an S meal (1/2 cup if blueberries).  I was totally skimping on my fruit allowances (I learned go easy on the fruit though if you are carb sensitive!).  And, you can have other fruits like apples and some melon or oranges with your E meals.  I was so focused on the general rules, I forgot the other mini-rules!  See tip #1 again :)  Another key rule was to make sure your S meals aren't too, too heavy!  This hindered my weight loss for SURE - I mean, I could have avocado and cheese and nuts and coconut oil and almond flour and cheese cake?!?! Of course I went a little "nuts" - sorry couldn't resist.  But, when the scale wasn't moving, I lightened up my S meals and varied them and the scale started moving in the right direction.

10.  Join the Facebook support groups. When I first joined the groups, they were amazing for me to learn to decipher E, S, FP, Crossovers, GGMS and all the crazy acronyms and tips and tricks.  I thank all those people on the boards and the moderators who helped me learn the basics while I was reading and found encouragement and motivation in hearing their successes and learning from their "mistakes" along the way.  However, there came a time where I was not losing weight initially as I had hoped and I started to feel discouraged and fell into a "why not me" funk (the lack of E meals, the not waiting 2-3 hours, the too-heavy S meals).  I looked at all the before and afters and hearing how so many had lost 6 pounds, 10 pounds or more in their first three days or during their first week and here I was not losing barely a pound. But don't make the mistake I did and compare your progress to others! Everyone is different.  Pearl and Serene talk about how your body needs to heal and everyone may heal faster than others - and it depends on the dietary background you are coming from!  I did the 21 day sugar detox before starting THM so I may have been more "healed" than others so my weight loss wasn't as fast.  I had already cured my sugar cravings and eliminated many things from my diet so I may have started off better than someone coming from a "Standard American Diet" (not trying to be rude).  I wouldn't be here if it weren't for those support groups and the wonderful people on them.

Here's the main Facebook group page and a lovely Beginner Page they recently added.  They are closed groups so you have to request to be added.

So, there you have it - some of the main things that may be helpful that I've learned in my two short months on THM.

~Carly

Monday, February 10, 2014

Motivate Me Monday - 2/10/2014

Happy Monday! 

I love starting the week off fresh and ready to be productive. I'm sure I can't be the only one who feels this way but I tend to get a little lazy and often make excuses. Especially during the winter when it's cold - I can't exercise outside because it's too cold or I didn't do the laundry because the kids were distracting me or I just straight up procrastinate.

So, a little attitude shift is in order for myself. Yesterday I got on the treadmill since I "couldn't" run outside. No excuse. It was warm in the house, right?! 

Same goes for my weight loss, organizing, work, life, kids - all of it. 

Therefore, instead of making excuses, I'm going to flip it around and just do it because I can.



Are you putting off doing something? Making excuses? I'd love to hear about it.

~Carly

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Recipe: Veggie Bean-Quinoa Soup - THM E

Good morning!  After yet another snow day yesterday during this colder-than-normal winter here in Connecticut, I can help but continue to crave warm, hearty soups.

I didn't see this recipe made anywhere and I kind of just made it up on my own. It's definitely not genius or anything. 

But it is so good.  

There's nothing fancy in it and you can really add anything you have in the pantry or fridge that needs to be used up. Substitute or leave out ingredients based on your dietary needs or tastes.  For THM-ers this soup would be an E.

I call it Veggie Bean Quinoa Soup.  This recipe makes about 2-3 quarts of soup.

Ingredients:
1 Cup of purified water
1-2 box containers of veggie stock 
1 box Pomi diced tomatoes 
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of white beans (Canellini are my favorite but use whatever)
2-3 stalks celery chopped (I include the greens in the inside of the celery for more flavor)
1 carrot chopped 
1/2 of an onion chopped
1-2 green zucchini chopped
1-2 yellow squash chopped 
1/2 cup quinoa (cooked separately and add at end of soup cooking) 

Directions:
1. Rinse and chop all veggies.
2. Rinse and drain beans.
3. Pour cup of water, veggie stock, tomatoes and add all chopped ingredients and beans into a big stock pot.
4. In a separate smaller saucepan, cook quinoa according to the directions on your package. I use water to cook my quinoa but feel free to use any broth of flavoring you like.
5. Cook soup on medium-high heat until you achieve a rolling boil.  Turn down to low and simmer until veggies are tender - approximately 25-30 minutes.
6. Add cooked quinoa to rest of the soup.  Stir, add extra spices to taste and serve.



Veggie Bean Quinoa Soup.  Deelish.

This soup could not be easier.  Again, it makes quite a bit of soup so feel free to share with family, friends, neighbors or co-workers!  I gave a quart of soup to my neighbor the other day when her kids weren't feeling well and she raved about it.  

Let me know you like it if you try it and any variations you did!
~Carly

Monday, February 3, 2014

Drink it to shrink it - THM style!

Happy Monday!  It's a snowy day here in Connecticut.

I hope you had a nice Super Bowl Sunday and Groundhogs Day! Not a great day in history for the Denver Broncos or Punxatawney Phil, huh?

Anyways, I had a great day and some yummy snacks for Super Bowl that were THM friendly - of course! 

One thing I did want to share today are some really great beverages you can enjoy - even if you're not following this lifestyle.  One drink in particular I've really enjoyed is called The Shrinker - and I believe it's helping me shrink for sure! There are also two other drinks called Good Girl Moonshine and The Singing Canary.

The Shrinker is a yummy oolong tea based drink. All three of these drinks have amazing health benefits and also helps burn fat while squashing any cravings you have and hydrates you, too.

For the full scoop and recipes for The Shrinker, The Singing Canary and Good Girl Moonshine,  read here for a post from The THM Facebook page. 

Image from Trim Healthy Mama Facebook page

So far I have not yet tried The Singing Canary - but I do really like the Good Girl Moonshine or GGMS as it is called.  The Shrinker is definitely my favorite though!


The recipe for The Shrinker is as follows:

1.  Steep 4 bags of oolong tea until cooled
2.  Place tea in blender.
3.  Add stevia to taste, vanilla, 1/2 Cup almond milk, 1 TSP cinnamon and some sea or Celtic salt. 
4.  Blend it up, distribute in half into two quart sized jars.
5.  Pour into glass and serve over ice.

The original recipe calls for a dash of cayenne pepper or black pepper for a bigger metabolism and fat burning boost but I don't care for it so I go without.

You can drink this all day - but do take note the caffeine.  I usually drink this before 3 P.M. most days and it really kills any cravings I have and fills me up.  It tastes a little like chai or a latte and has approximately 30 calories but seems like it's much more creamy and more like a treat!

So, drink it to shrink it! Cheers!
~Carly

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Recipe: Noodles and Peanut Sauce - THM S

Hello!

The other day, my mom and I were talking about food (as we often do) and we both suddenly remembered a favorite dish at a restaurant that no longer is open. It was a Chinese food restaurant and we went there all the time.  Specifically, we loved the cold noodles with peanut sauce. They were so good! 

Now that I'm on my Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, I was determined to make this one day again using on-plan ingredients. 

Well, that "one day" was this past weekend.  I found this recipe and pinned it on Pinterest and used that as my guidance and just adapted it to my current dietary needs for THM.

So, really quick a little note about the use of Dream fields pasta - you can only retain the low glycemic impact of the carbs if you cook it according to the box AND you can never reheat it. Otherwise, it turns into regular pasta and the whole point of using it is gone. To be safe I always under cook mine to be extra safe :)  And, the great news about this recipe is you can eat these again the next day as cold noodles!  So go ahead and make a double recipe and have lunch for the next day!

Onto the recipe!  Again, this is not my recipe but I've adapted it for Trim Healthy Mama.  

This recipe would be an S - Satisfying dish.

Ingredients:
Dreamfields pasta - make as many servings of this as you need for your meal
1/2 Cup natural creamy peanut butter 
1-3 TBSP Braggs Liquid Aminos (you can also use soy sauce if you'd like)
1-2 packets of Truvia or on-plan sweetener of choice
2-3 cloves of garlic 
1-2 TSP of lime juice
1/2 TSP of red pepper flakes or more to your taste plus extra for topping
1/2 cup water 
1-2 TBSP of chopped peanuts to garnish 
Veggies - Note:  Add any veggies you have laying around. Tonight I only had carrots and green pepper in the house since this recipe was a last minute choice to make it - but green scallions, mushrooms or broccoli would be wonderful additions for next time! 

Directions:
1. Cook pasta per directions.
2. In blender or food processor combine all ingredients except water and the peanuts for topping and extra red pepper flakes. As you blend, slowly add water as it mixes or else it clumps a bit.
3. Steam or lightly sautée the veggie you'd like to use - I just sliced the carrots and pepper thin and left them raw for this recipe.
4. Drain pasta and scoop in mixed sauce and add veggies back into the pasta pot and mix and re-heat if desired.
5. Serve and garnish with peanuts, red pepper flakes and enjoy.

My THM-approved ingredients I chose to use for this recipe.
The only veggies I had - limit carrots for S meals!
Mixing it all up in the pot.
All the ingredients into the food processor.
Voila!  Dinner is served.  

It was sweet, crunchy, spicy and just delicious peanut-buttery goodness.  Yum! Oh yes,
I'm sooo making this again.

I'm also linked up at Gwen's Nest for THM Tuesday's!
~Carly

Monday, January 27, 2014

Motivate Me Monday - 1/27/2014

Happy Monday! 

Most people are not a big fan of Mondays but I see them as a fresh start to the week. While some mornings are rougher than others, I found this to be very true for where I am in life at this moment across the board.

Let's not be hard on ourselves and be OK knowing we want to change. 


~Carly

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pinterest Picks - 1/22/2014

Happy Wednesday! 

I found this and it really fits quite perfectly with the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle I'm following now.

I'm not deprived. I'm eating quality, whole foods, the right fats, veggies, fruits and lean proteins. 

I even eat homemade desserts and am able to enjoy pasta and pizza.  And, it's very true - I'm eating a bit more than I otherwise would and I'm losing weight.  Not by eating less, but by eating more of the right foods.   



~Carly

Monday, January 20, 2014

Recipe: Broccoli Cheddar Soup - THM style

Hello!  I hope you had a lovely weekend and Monday!

I've got a recipe that I THM-ed over this past weekend.  I used to make this soup about once a month or so. For the record, it's NOT my recipe - however it is adapted from Lu Lu The Baker's blog from her post called Cheesy Vegetable Chowder.


When made per her instructions, it is completely deelish. Unfortunately, it's just does not fit the THM standards I am currently following. But have no fear.  I tweaked it a little so I could have one of my favorite soups.  For the recipe as written below, it would be an S recipe.

Ingredients:
2/3 C half and half or cream
4 C chicken broth or stock
1 C chopped celery
2 C chopped broccoli
1 C chopped carrots (use sparingly in an S meal)
1/2 C chopped onion
1 C chopped cauliflower (in place of white potato)
1 TBSP minced garlic
1/4 TSP Xantham gum (to thicken in place of flour)
2 TBSP Butter
2 C cheddar cheese (or more or less)

Directions:
1. Chop up all the onion, carrot and celery. At this time you may just want to chop the cauliflower and broccoli too in order to maximize your prep time chopping.
2. In a large pot, melt the butter.
3. Once butter is melted, add the chopped onion, carrot and celery. After about 5 minutes, add the garlic.
4. Once simmering, add the cauliflower and chicken broth. Bring to boil.
5. Add cream and turn down the stove to simmer. 
6. Add broccoli and continue to simmer.
7. Add Xantham gum and stir well. 
8. Once all veggies are softened, add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted. 

After chicken broth and cauliflower are added.

This time I used chopped frozen broccoli but have used fresh in the past.

The finished soup after cheddar cheese is added and melted.

Chow time!  Served with a sprinkle more of cheddar cheese and some homemade bread.

Mmmm - warm, cheesy and chock full of veggies.  I served this with a side of bread from the Trim Healthy Mama book - a recipe titled Golden Flat Bread found on page 270-271.  It's also an S recipe so I can easily pair this with the soup or maybe next time a small salad. 

I'm linked up for the first time over at Gwen's Nest for her weekly round up of THM Trim Healthy Tuesday's posts so head over to check it out!
~Carly