Friendly Encouragement

Confession:  Relationships drain me…..absolutely drain me!  I’m an introvert to the Nth degree.  When I tell people this, they are typically surprised.  I don’t typically have trouble making conversation…..outwardly.  But inside, I’m struggling.  After spending time with people, I need to recharge.  And to do that, I need solitude.  Anyone relate?  Any hands raised?  😉

All my life I’ve been overly concerned about pleasing people.  It has manifested itself in several ways but mostly in my performance.  I used to think it was just a satisfaction in doing things well – to the best of my ability (which in my mind means perfectly…ugh!…but that’s another blog post).  But I’m coming to realize that that is not actually what is driving me.  What is driving me is pleasing people.  And it’s tiring….draining…..exhausting.  I’m plumb worn out.

Pink and White Photo Girl Friend Valentines Card

Do you know what this is?  It’s an idol!  Plain and simple!  Over the years of my life, I’ve come to feel that it’s more important to not cause waves with the people around me instead of just offering what little I have to God, no matter what people think.  And what  a freeing thought this is!  I don’t have to make people happy; and as a matter of fact, I simply won’t make them happy all the time.  It’s not my job.  There is much more going on behind the scenes in the scope of their own lives that are not my issues to take on or take responsibility for.

But when the rubber meets the road, this is a hard habit to snap.

Lately I’ve been feeling very defeated on many fronts.  Spiritually, physically, with my health, with my relationships, etc., etc., etc.  Satan is definitely heaving lies in my directions and I’ve been believing them!

However, this morning, a new friend sent me a text that lifted my spirits.  She reminded me (without even intending to) that relationships can be fulfilling and loving and that I don’t need to be so worried about impressing.  We are ALL fighting battles.  And we can love each other.  We can have relationship by helping each other fight battles while not taking on other’s battles or state of happiness as our own.  We can pray for each other.  We can encourage each other.  THAT is relationship!  Leave the rest to God!  Thank you Jesus!



What Am I Eating & Why – Lunch 5/3/18


This morning I had one of my protein shakes for breakfast which was an E meal (very low fat, higher in healthy carbs).  I ate lunch around 12:30 which was 3 hours from when I had breakfast (with no food in between) so this means I can choose a different fuel if I want.  😉  Woot!

So lunch today is a salad!

First question is always, ‘where’s my protein?’ – Sliced deli ham
Since the ham is not a lean mean, that will force my meal into S territory (higher in fats, low in carbs).  So, that means on this salad I can include other items that fit S fuel – so I added feta cheese and homemade ranch dressing.  Both of these items have fat content but very few carbs.  In any fuel, we can then load up on non-starchy veggies since they are both low in fats and low in carbs.  So I added romaine lettuce, cauliflower, peppers, and cucumber.  This is a LARGE salad and will be filling and yummy!

Short and sweet!  And yumm-o!

Questions?  Comment below!

What Am I Eating and Why?



At first glance, this looks like a naughty, filled-with-sugar lunch!  😉  But, contrair my friend!  What you are looking at here are the Bring on Da Buttah Pancakes from Trim Healthy Mama!  They are on page 262 of the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook.

These pancakes are so delish but contain NO sugar and NO refined flour!  No Siree!  No blood sugar spiking ingredients here!

Now, as I explained in a previous post…..Trim Healthy Mama E (energizing) meals are those that are higher in complex carbs but very low in fats.  THM S (satisfying) meals are those that are higher in fats but super low in carbs.  You would think that these are an E meal here due to the ‘bready’ nature of them.  But that is why THM is so awesome for me!  They have a version that is an E meal but they also have THIS version that fits into an S setting.

The pancakes are made with the Trim Healthy Mama Baking Blend which is a Fuel Pull (low in both carbs and fats).  They contain some almond (or other nut) milk and a little sweetener (along with a couple other ingredients).  The whole egg brings them into S territory due to the fat content.  And, since they are in S mode, I can put butter on them without moving into crossover mode (or tandem fueling, S and E fuels together).

Since all THM meals should center around protein, and these have very little, I added some cheese – a weird combo I know but I love cheese.  And technically, I probably should really have more protein than this but you need to make this plan your own and I did just that with this lunch….I was craving pancakes, I’d already had an E meal for breakfast, so I wanted an S lunch.

The syrup is sugar free (and technically not on plan due to the artificial sweetener) but I haven’t made it as far as to make a THM syrup as of yet.  I’ll get there!

So, now, I should wait a minimum of 2 1/2 hours (preferable 3) to eat again, especially if I’m changing fuels.  Remember, separating fuels means that your body will process that fuel as soon as you consume it.  If you combine fuels while in weight loss mode, your body will store the fat until all the carbs are gone, then will move to the fat.  But if you eat again and the fat has not been used up, it will continue to be stored.

The drink you see is the Shrinker!  And let me tell you, in my experience, this drink lives up to it’s name!  That recipe is shared online so feel free to google it.  😉

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!  Have a blessed day!

Recipe Spotlight – Sugar Free Blueberry Jam

I LOVE LOVE LOVE blueberry jam.  When I was a young’un, my grandma used to make several different varieties of jam for each of her kids and their families.  Each year at Christmas, we all went home with a box of jam from her very own kitchen.  And the blueberry was my absolute favorite.

But!  All that sugar!!!  Starting Trim Healthy Mama, this was one of the things that became a goal for me – I needed to find a recipe to make blueberry jam!  And I found it thanks to the Sugar Free Londoner!

Check out her recipe below!  Personally, I will be adding a bit of stevia to bring up the sweetness and tone down the tartness (not that tartness is a bad thing!).  I just have a HUGE sweet tooth!

Ah the memories of my Grandma’s Blueberry Jam!!  Yum!



Trim Healthy Mama – What Am I Eating Now and Why?


Disclaimer:  This is the way I have chosen to eat healthy.  You can take it or leave it.  Either way, I hope you are able to learn some great principles to apply to healthy eating.

The premise of Trim Healthy Mama is to lower the glycemic impact of foods and to not tandem fuel. The former (lowering glycemic impact) means that we eat foods that don’t unhealthily raise our blood sugar. We stick to complex carbs (as in whole grains and fruit for example) and avoid simple carbs (sugar, white flour, etc.).  The latter (we don’t tandem fuel) means we separate foods that contain carbs from foods that contain fats. We always anchor our meal with a protein (which helps keep blood sugar spikes in check as well). A food higher in fat but lower in carbs is a S (Satisfying) meal. A food lower in fat but higher in carbs is and E (Energizing) meal. A food that is both low in fats AND carbs is called a Fuel Pull food and can be paired with either type of meal (non-starchy vegetables would be an example).
So, to simplify:
1)  Choose a protein at every meal
2)  Decide whether you will eat an S (satifying) meal – one that is higher in fat and lower in carbs
whether you will eat an E (energizing) meal – one that is lower in fat and higher in complex carbs.
3) Fill the rest of your plate with Fuel Pull foods (foods that are low in both fats and carbs) such as non starchy vegetables.
4)  Keep a four hour window in between switching fuel types.
What does this do:  It allows your body to process only one fuel at a time.  If you eat both types of fuel (fats and carbs), it will process the carbs first while storing the fat.  By separating, it keeps you body only burning the fuel you gave it.  Also, by the way and to be clear, your body NEEDS both good quality fats and complex carbs.  There are great things that help keep the functions of things such as your thyroid and adrenals working in top shape.
Anyway, that is a VERY quick explanation of THM.  There are many more things you can learn but Serene and Pearl will even tell you to keep it simple, especially to start.  If you are interested to know more, feel free to ask questions and especially take a look at buying one of their books or borrowing it from the library.
Another disclaimer:  I’m still relatively new to this and I’m still learning.  While I’m doing my best to be accurate in what I’m eating and relaying to you, there are times it might not be correct.  Any other THMers out there, please feel free to respectfully correct me if need be.  We can both help each other.  🙂
Ok, on to my meal tonight:  Tonight’s Dinner: Quesadilla and Vegetable and Greens Salad (THM S)
I decided to make quesadillas for my family tonight.  To start with my protein, I decided they would be chicken quesadillas.  As for the tortillas, I buy regular flour tortillas for the rest of the fam (and they don’t care to change over) but this does not fit into THM due to the white flour used (blood sugar spiking).  Joseph’s Brand makes a tortilla they call a lavash which is made with whole grains. One half of a lavash bread (which is one serving) is considered low-carb because it only has 5 net carbs and it is also very low fat making it a Fuel Pull food that can be paired with either S or E meals.  Some THMer’s don’t eat this since there are some ingredients in it that wouldn’t be completely considered on-plan but they count it as a “personal choice” item you can use occasionally.  Since they say to make this plan doable for you, I choose to use this in place of tortillas since I don’t eat tortillas often anyway.  And now that’s I’ve found Joseph’s, it is a staple I have on hand for situations like this.  And they freeze well.
On my quesadilla, I had the chicken and then added shredded cheddar cheese (higher in fat, lower in carbs) and taco seasoning (minimal anything).  I don’t yet shred my own cheese but I eventually will since bagged cheddar cheese has additives to keep it from caking.
Since 1/2 of a Joseph’s lavash does not make a very big quesadilla, I needed to fill my plate with something else.  Enter non-starchy vegetables and greens (low in fat and carbs so Fuel Pull – pair with either meal type) made into a salad.  To drink, I just had crystal clear water!
So, my whole meal was low in carbs, but higher in fat – an S (satisfying) meal.  IF I decide to have a snack and it’s not yet been 4 hours, I’ll need to keep it in S mode or choose a Fuel Pull Smoothie or other snack.  So I could choose to have some cheese on a wasa cracker (cheese has fat, wasa is low in fat and carbs), or if I want a sweet treat, I could spread some Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese on another 1/2 lavash, sprinkle with Truvia and cinnamon and bake in the toaster oven for a few minutes OR have one of my almond flour blueberry muffins which are made with coconut oil (low carb since I don’t have to use a lot of almond flour and it’s per serving and higher in fat due to the coconut oil) and warmed with a little buttah!!  Since I’m in S mode I can use butter (not margarine).
I could also instead make a Pumpkin Pie Shake which is Fuel pull (and can be paired with either S or E).
So!  That was quite an explanation.  As we go forward, I’ll try to continue to simplify even the explanations, but my goal is to have concise examples of what different types of healthy meals look like.  Feel free, as always to ask any questions you might have and I’ll do my best.   Let me know what you think!!  🙂

Gifts That Get Hubbies in Trouble


I had a comical text conversation with my hubby yesterday.  Although to him, I’m sure it wasn’t comical at the time…..and quite honestly, I’m super thankful he thinks about this!  Such a Sweetie!  But I announced to him that I had found my birthday present for this year (I typically do my own birthday gift shopping, it’s easier for everyone involved, lol)…..but, if you know me at all, I don’t always choose what most people would consider ‘fun’ gifts.  That’s because apparently my idea of fun can be a bit skewed I guess.  😉

I announced to him that I wanted a toaster oven.  But not just any toaster oven……a deluxe, it-can-hold-two-9 x 13-pans-or-two-16″-pizzas toaster oven.  His response was what had me chuckling.  (And never mind the scalloped boarder – I’m a bit new to editing pictures on my phone and I didn’t even know it was there until now, lol.  And yes, I have saved up coins that covered part of the gift….all part of keeping the guilt factor down.)


I give him tons of credit.  And gratitude.  But I assured him he was safe….I was asking for it after all.  All blame would by on myself!  I love that guy!

Since I’m learning to eat the Trim Healthy Mama way, they offer in their cookbooks many single serve options that are, quite frankly, not as good made in the microwave as they are in the oven.  It’s to no fault of THM, but just the simple fact that things baked in an actual oven taste better to me than things cooked in a microwave.  I LOVE the fact that they include so many single serve recipes in their cookbooks.  This allows me to cook or bake things much more easily without using the big oven, especially with smaller portion sizes.


Don’t get me wrong, my big oven is great, but…..this is way simpler.  I can bake a whole batch of muffins, a pizza, brownies or reheat leftovers for lunch for me, OR the whole family.  I love that it’s counter height.  And did I mention 9 x 13 pans?  Yes, yes I did.


So here I am, a bit too excited for a non-too-exciting-to-most gift.  I even made a blog post about it!  How’s that for excited!  Hey, it’s how I roll….er… bake.  🙂


Confessions of a Coca Cola Addict


There are so many addictions in this world, aren’t there? And often times I think we tend to think of those who are addicted to things like alcohol or drugs when we see the term “addict”. But there are so many other ways we can be addicted to things that are not benefitting us in anyway….especially with regard to our faith.

God has been convicting me lately on my addiction to drinking pop. Since I’ve been on a weight loss journey, that pop has been of the diet variety. But in all reality, even though diet pop does not have sugar in it, there are a host of other ingredients in it that are questionable and controversial to say the least. Just google the biggie….aspartame! The internet is all over the spectrum when it comes to this artificial sweetener….including first hand stories of how life improved for many when giving it up.

C’mon. “How bad can it be?” you might ask? Lets see….on some days, I could run to town to get, say, some groceries. When I arrive at Meijer, I would run through the checkout first to grab a cup and fill it with coke zero. Their cups are 32 oz. That would be mostly or completely gone by the time I went through the checkout again, this time with my groceries. So, then there was the refill. Then, lets say that happened to be the day my husband and I meet other couples for life group. Our routine is that I pick him up from work, and head out for a mini date. We go grab a bite to eat which always would include another 32 oz (and sometimes a refill) of coke zero AGAIN! Did you add that up? Some days I could be drinking 128 oz of coke zero IN. ONE. DAY! It hurts just to type it.

And on top of that, what is an addiction really? What is it that drives us to do something we know not to be beneficial to our lives, harmful even? And as a believer, I think it comes down to searching for satisfaction in something other than God. The enemy knows exactly what he is doing when he tempts us. If we are running after that addiction, then we aren’t running as hard after Jesus! If we are running after that addiction, we are blinded. If we are running after that addiction, we are distracted. It’s an idol! Oh, but God help me!

Last night I finally confessed this to my husband! I’ve known I’ve needed to for a very long time but was so ashamed. Plus, on the one hand I DID want to be free of the habit, but on the other, I didn’t! It is essentially a drug for me I think. Ouch. That stings. I was afraid of his reaction. I was afraid I’d see his eyes widen with the enormity of the volume. Maybe even a scolding…..

But….it didn’t happen.

There was just love. There was encouragement. There was the fact that he was happy I told him. And isn’t that like God? God already knows everything single thing we have done, are doing, and will EVER do! And yet he is still there saying to us….just come to me. I will help you (Psalm 46:1). I will deliver you (1 Corinthians 1:10). I will rescue you (Isaiah 43:1-7).

I have other addictions in my life: busy-ness, affirmation, food…and the list could go on. But God loves me as I am RIGHT NOW. And he loves you too! He’s waiting for you to ask him for help.

And today? After finally confessing my sin? I feel so much lighter. Stronger. Ready to take it head on with the help of my hubby who said he would do what he can to walk through this battle with me. But even more so, ready to take it on in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Thank you Jesus!

Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Corinthians 1:10 – He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.
Isaiah 43:1-7

“Do not be afraid—I will save you.
I have called you by name—you are mine.
2 When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you;
your troubles will not overwhelm you.
When you pass through fire, you will not be burned;
the hard trials that come will not hurt you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the holy God of Israel, who saves you.
I will give up Egypt to set you free;
I will give up Ethiopia[a] and Seba.

4 I will give up whole nations to save your life,
because you are precious to me
and because I love you and give you honor.
5 Do not be afraid—I am with you!

the holy God of Israel, who saves you.
I will give up Egypt to set you free;
I will give up Ethiopia[a] and Seba.

4 I will give up whole nations to save your life,
because you are precious to me
and because I love you and give you honor.
5 Do not be afraid—I am with you!

“From the distant east and the farthest west
I will bring your people home.
6 I will tell the north to let them go
and the south not to hold them back.
Let my people return from distant lands,
from every part of the world.
7 They are my own people,
and I created them to bring me glory.”