Thursday, March 17, 2016

Updates & Pictures :)

Well then! Pictures are long overdue, so here they are--all of them Dean-centered, of course, which is sort of the way life works now (!). Hope you enjoy them!

Wearing Mommy's flip-flops
Love that sweet face :)

And THAT sweet face!

And that one... (ahem)

At the park

This playground was so much fun--it's practically a wooden castle with all sorts of stairs, doorways, towers, and hidey-holes to play in. I predict we'll be going back pretty often as Dean gets a little older.

Do you like Dean's hat? :)

Can't decide if he's a cowboy, basketball star or superhero...

just playing quietly by himself


Baby in Boots

Reading with Daddy :)

"What do you mean, they don't fit?"

"Well--I think they look pretty good, Mommy."

Mischievous look :)

"Mommy, look! This is so cool! Look what I found!"

"Ready for church, Mommy!"

Five-Time Winner of Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award... (or whatever award Lockhart won...)

Sleepy son

Apparently we're not sure what a shoe horn is used for...

"Oh, now I get it!"

Our serious little reader

Dean reading Watership Down...Mommy reading Green Eggs and Ham...

...having an intellectual conversation here...

This kid really helps out around the house a lot! ;)

They sure do grow up fast...he'll be shaving before I know it. Oh wait...he already is...

Looking at the big boy books

learning shapes :)
That's all I have time for, for now. I'll post again soon hopefully. :)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Newbie THM Menu Plan

Will anyone believe me if I recycle the old excuse, “it's been crazy the last few weeks”?

Well, it has. In a good way, I must confess—warm, summery winter days, strolls by the creek with my baby, new books to read, and the THM cookbook to study and obsess over during Dean's nap (my leisurely portion of the day)--such enjoyments have kept me from updating this blog the couple weeks. And before then? Shucks! I don't even know what happened!

Anyway, back to the present. Dean's nap will end in about half an hour, so I have a limited amount of time to finish up this post and get it published on the blog. I can't share everything I would like to, this time around. For now, I'm going to post on THM. In a few days, I will post family updates and lots of cute “Dean moments” to share with you. :)

I officially started the THM “diet” on March 1. Here are the culinary successes and failures of that first week. If you have any ideas for improvement, let me know! I'd like to keep posting THM weekly menu plans on a regular basis; it forces me to write them out and start planning, and I'd love to hear your feedback and ideas for improvement.

If you're new to THM, there are 5 basic types of meals allowed on the plan:

S meals – protein + fat
E meals – protein + carbs
S Helper – S meal + small amount carbs
Crossover – protein + fat + carbs (fats and carbs “even”)
Fuel Pull (FP)– protein (no fats or carbs)

S and E meals are the backbone of the plan and help you lose weight (so do Fuel Pulls, but you can't rely on them too often). Crossovers help you maintain or gain weight, if you need to. S Helpers help you lose weight, but not as effectively as S or E meals.

OK! Moving right along:


S Breakfast – scrambled eggs
I'm used to cooking eggs in butter, but this time I used coconut oil. It was surprisingly delicious! Andrew didn't like it as much, though, so I'll stick to coconut oil for eggs when he's not home.

E Lunch – cottage cheese waldorf salad
Basically cottage cheese, diced celery and apple chunks, and spices—good, but I'll never eat this as a whole meal again. Too much of the 'same.' I love cottage cheese but I couldn't eat that much in one sitting. Next time I'll make this as a side, not a meal in itself.

S Dinner – chicken with salad (complete with cheese and nuts)

S snack – 85% chocolate bar
By the way, 1 chocolate bar equals about two pieces, so it's a small bar. It's usually satisfying though, especially if you suck on the pieces instead of chewing them.

Overall this was a good day for THM. The lunch was regrettable, but hey – live and learn. The waldorf salad is still yummy in small amounts! And none of the meals required special ingredients, although I didn't buy cottage cheese before starting THM.


E Breakfast – quinoa with 1 tsp butter, s & p
Pretty good. Butter is your friend here. Of course, this being an E meal, I couldn't put on as much butter as I would like (I discovered a couple weeks ago that quinoa + salt + lots of butter = out of this world yumminess), but the allowed 1 tsp does make the quinoa enjoyable. I wouldn't be tempted to eat it two or three days in a row, though, as I do with some recipes.

S Lunch – Thailand soup (from the original book) with a small side of cottage cheese
Wow. I don't always like ethnic foods, but wow...that soup was good, and incredibly easy to make. You literally put a few ingredients in a pot, stir once or twice, and wait for it to warm up. So easy, so delicious!

The cottage cheese was tacked on as a filler—I was still a tad hungry after the soup. They didn't really “go” together, though—I'd like to experiment more with easy side dishes.

S Dinner – PIZZA! With salad, of course. So...the crust for this particular THM pizza was basically made from cheese and egg-whites. And it was good. Oh. My. WORD. It was SO GOOD. I do not have words to describe how good that crust was. It was almost a shame to put the toppings on – they detracted from the crust, which was the real star of the show.

Unfortunately...the crust stuck like crazy to the parchment paper. (Actually, I may have used wax paper...does that make a difference? Hehe, I hardly ever use either one!). It took me at least half an hour to peel it all off. I couldn't peel it off the edges so I just cut them off and used the center for making pizzas. However...that crust was so good...I couldn't stop eating it, wax paper and all. Tells you something about the flavor (or maybe I'm just crazy).

*happy sigh * So, anyway, I'm gonna have to tweak this recipe, but it's a keeper. I'm not sure if I'll use it for pizza though—I might opt for the cauliflower crust on that front, and keep this cheese crust for making crackers or even flatbread.

S/E snack – ½ cup blueberries

S snack – 85% chocolate bar


E Breakfast – oatmeal with 1 tsp butter, yacon syrup, blueberries and nuts

S Lunch – Thai soup, 1 piece leftover pizza
Yes, that's two days in a row. What can I say? It's good stuff!

S Dinner – cheesy pesto chicken with salad and blueberries

S Snack – 85% chocolate bar

Good stuff. I need more ideas for E meals, though.


S Breakfast - Cinnamon “muffin in a mug”
Edible, but only just. To be fair to the recipe, our microwave is pretty much shot, and I had to substitute ground flax for the almond flour. Still...kinda gross. I might try my hand at an oven-baked version of this, but I won't do it in the microwave again (unless we get a new one).

By the way—I experimented with the chocolate version of this recipe last month, before I had actually committed to THM, and it was terrible...let me tell you, chocolate and stevia do not go together! The cinnamon version was heavenly by comparison. Anyway, I purchased the THM Gentle Sweet Blend recently, and I can't wait for it to come—it's supposed to taste more like sugar and compliment chocolate better than stevia. Once it arrives, I'll start experimenting with THM chocolate desserts again. Not before. ;)

S Lunch – steamed cabbage with sausage and cream sauce
So...this was meant to be a Fuel Pull, but I didn't have the right kind of cheese for that, so I made it S-style instead. Sigh...I added too much water to the cream sauce and that—well, it watered it down a bit. It had potential, though, and I will experiment with this one again. Next time I might just nix the sauce and use more spices for flavor.

E Dinner – flounder with garlic & parsley, quinoa, and salad
Really enjoyed this. Nothing new here, except I ate quinoa instead of fried potatoes (which is what we usually eat with fish). I did fry up some potatoes for Andrew and Dean, though—otherwise I might have had a mutiny on my hands! The potatoes made them very happy, however, and Dean was content with potatoes and bites from Mommy's quinoa. Hubby was content to shun the quinoa, luckily for me.

E snack – lemon-blueberry muffin

S snack – 85% chocolate bar

Breakfast and lunch were miniature disasters, but I learned from the experience and have some ideas for redoing them next time.


E Breakfast – 2 E muffins and some nonfat Greek yogurt with blueberries, sweetened with stevia and flavored with lemon extract
The muffins were good (see the recipe here) and the yogurt was a good idea...just a little bit too much of a good thing, though. Greek yogurt just seems so thick and tart, even when you sweeten it. I liked it, but not enough to eat it for breakfast again.
The muffins, though—those were yummy. I am looking forward to using the THM Baking Blend (which I also just ordered and is in the mail) to achieve a higher rise and a more “muffin-y” texture.

S Lunch – Lettuce with 1 can salmon, mixed with mayo (homemade) and drizzled with olive oil
Seriously good stuff, woman. Insanely easy to make, insanely delicious. This is a meal I will make over and over and over and over again.

FP SnacksGood Girl Moonshine and lemon gummies (both from the cookbook, which came in the mail just yesterday!)
Oh my word! So good! If you like ginger, you will love Good Girl Moonshine. (And by the way, if you are pregnant and suffer from morning sickness, I'm betting this would be a great beverage to alleviate your nausea and help you feel human again.)
The lemon gummies were great too. Dean and I have been snacking on them all morning! They were super easy to make and super delicious, too. (Or, as Bertie Wooster might say, “delish.”)

S Snack – 85% chocolate bar; ice cream
No one's taking my chocolate away from me. EVER. It doesn't MATTER how many other snacks I've had today—chocolate rules supreme!
The ice cream was super good—though I didn't get more than a bite or two. My dairy allergy (?) kicked in and got me coughing again, so I gloomily listened to my commonsense and did not partake. (I am, however, in the process of making non-dairy ice cream, so we'll see how that goes.)

S Dinner – cabbage with salmon
So, this is basically what I had for lunch...just with cabbage instead of lettuce. Yes, I do repeat myself—a habit I need to break—but it's so easy when you like it and don't know what else to make!


I just realized, I forgot to track my meals for Saturday!


S Breakfast – scrambled eggs

S Lunch – quiche and salad, blueberries in almond milk

Yes, I'm repeating repeating myself again. ;) Sometimes it's just quick and easy. And in my defense, I did not subject my family to this repetition—they got up later and had something else for breakfast.

Crossover/Cheat Dinner – raw cauliflower and broccoli, half a bagel (with butter), half a slice of banana bread, cheese
Yes—carbs + fat collision. I didn't have a lot of either, though, so I'm hoping it counts more as a crossover than a “cheat.” :P

S Snack – 85% chocolate bar, Skinny Chocolate, THM “Trimmy” hot chocolate
Ate a little too much chocolate today, was good. :P The THM hot chocolate was delicious, even though I didn't have all the ingredients listed in the recipe. I substituted butter for the MCT oil and added some cream to thicken it. It was still rather thin when we drank it, but I enjoyed the flavor and the buttery taste. It was different but delicious, and I will definitely make it again.


E Breakfast – Trim Healthy Pancakes, with sausage

S Lunch – leftover quiche, salad

S/FP Snacks – Skinny Chocolate, Choco Baby Frap (FP)

S Dinner – Loaded Fotato Soup, salad, cheesecake for desserts
The “Fotato” Soup is really cauliflower soup, which tastes just like potato soup. Cauliflower is great potato substitute. I never really had faith in this principle until now! I think I actually prefer this to the original.

The THM cheesecake was good, though I will make it differently next time. Next time, I will not use nuts for a “crust” (as suggested in the original book)--soggy nuts don't add anything desirable to the finished product. It also needs time to just sit in the fridge before you eat it. Nevertheless, this was a yummy dessert and I will probably make it again sometime. 

If there's one thing I've learned from tracking my meals this week, it's that S meals are way easier to throw together than E meals; E meals take careful planning. You have to think ahead a little to do this successfully. That's definitely something I need to work on. I have a tendency to make "whatever is easiest at the moment" on a short time schedule, but if I want to be serious about this, that attitude is not going to work. Moral of the menu, right there. ;) 

(Another moral--get some culinary variety in your life, or sharing your menu plans with friends and family can get embarrassing!)