Simple Meal Planning

I know there are all kinds of fancy apps and computer programs to meal plan. However, I am still an old school pen and paper kind of girl. The easiest way for me, is to keep a journal with my meal plans for dinners. We are a large family of 8 and I also cook 5 nights a week for my parents. So, most nights I am cooking for 10.

How I Menu Plan for THM

My method is easy, but it works for me. I bought a nice Erin Condren notebook to use. I love it because it is sturdy and cute. Since I look at the thing constantly and take it with me to the store I wanted something that would hold up. Not that you have to use a “cute” notebook. The cheap $.25 one from back to school sales would work perfectly too.

I flip the page each week and start my menu plans on the left hand side. Then on the right side I write out my grocery list for each meal while I am making the menu. It is seriously that easy. I do 1 week at a time. I was doing 2, but I have learned that I prefer my produce fresher and a weekly trip just works much better for me.

Journal Meal Planning with THM

I don’t really plan out my breakfast and lunches anymore. I have a routine that seems to work and I just keep my staples stocked in the house. I rotate through my main breakfast options: eggs, overnight oats, protein shakes, and toast with Trimmy’s. For lunches I eat leftovers or make up a big salad. I always try to have salad ingredients in the fridge. My favorite version is to make a BIG bed of greens then top with some chopped up egg and turkey then add whatever vegetables I have in stock. My favorite go to dressing is the Grand Greek from the new cookbook or the Bolthouse Farms Ranch (I find mine in the refrigerated part of the produce at Walmart).

I realize this is the most Kindergarten way to meal plan, but it is easy and it works great to keep me organized. How do you meal plan for your family?

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THM Coffee Creamer Alternative

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a coffee addict. Not just like a one cup a day addict….more like a pot plus some kind of girl. Before Trim Healthy Mama I was a flavored creamer person. Maybe verging on the edge of having a little bit of coffee with my cup of creamer. (maybe that is why I was 100 pounds overweight??) Um, duh you think?Well, that and so many other bad choices.

When I first started THM my coffee switch over was the absolute hardest part for me. I was so accustomed to having sugar in my coffee that I couldn’t quite get the taste buds to accept the new sweeteners. I tried EVERYTHING and nothing was cutting it. It just didn’t quite have that yummy creamy texture and sweet flavor that I enjoyed in my morning brew.

Now that I am almost ten months into this thing I have several fabulous options and I am completely happy with my coffee again. My go to is 1 teaspoon of Super Sweet, a splash of caramel extract, and a bit of Half and Half. To me this is just as yummy as any of my previous store bought creamers.  My problem with this method was that I was having coffee all day long and the Half and Half kept me in constant crossover mode and made me stall in my weightloss.

Trim Healthy Mama Coffee Creamer Alternative @TheJoyfulFam.com

My new discovery is NutPods! Cue the angels singing and a happy dance in my kitchen. This stuff is amazingly creamy and absolutely delicious! IF only I had known about it at the beginning of my journey. It is completely on plan and won’t derail your weight loss journey. You can enjoy it with and “E” meal or “S” or even just your afternoon cup of joe and stay on plan without messing up your day. I pair mine with a teaspoon of Super Sweet and it is perfection in a cup.

So if you are new and struggling with your coffee transition this might just help you along the journey. Plus if I could add a shameless plug for my husband and I’s roasting business….Let me just tell you that a good quality coffee is the absolute key to a great cup of coffee. Avodah Coffee is Fair Trade Organic and fresh roasted. If you have never had fresh roasted coffee then you are truly missing out. It really makes all the difference!

 

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My Trim Healthy Mama Journey

When I first began blogging several years ago, Trim Healthy Mama was introduced. Several bloggy friends were jumping on board and I just didn’t think I could do it. For whatever reason I dismissed it and honestly didn’t think another thing about it. I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. After having my 6th and final baby at the end of 2015, my weight was out of control. Like 100 pounds of out control.

Here I was an insanely busy mom of 6, working from home, homeschooling my kiddos, and running our local Classical Conversations campus. Oh yeah, add full time college student to that mix. I had NO TIME left for myself, or so I thought. Our family’s eating habits were horrible. If it was cheap and fast it was on the menu. Route 44 Cokes from the Sonic were my go to happy place EVERY day and sometimes more than one a day. I was in a downhill spiral and I was lost on where to begin.

Then my mom saw one of her Facebook friends had lost a ton of weight on THM. She asked if I had ever heard of the program. I admitted that I had but I didn’t think I could do it. She encouraged me to get the books and at least give it a try. So I started digging in and learning everything I could about the program. It took me about a month or so of studying and learning before I finally took the plunge. Once I finally made up my mind I jumped in and went cold turkey off of our old way of eating. For me it was easier than easing in. I knew that my sugar detox would not be easy and I wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible.

thm

That was 9.5 months ago and I haven’t looked back. Sure I have messed up here and there mixing fuels along the way, but I feel fantastic. I am now down 75 pounds. I have some left to lose, but if I never lost another pound I would never go back to the old way of eating again. My entire family now eats the THM way and we are all healthier for it. 9.5 months may not seem like a long time to some of you, but in the diet world it is. Especially for me. I have never been able to stick with something this long….EVER! Not to mention the absolute best thing about this plan is that it is a lifestyle change not a diet. I never feel deprived and I eat!

I will post my menus and what a typical day looks like for me soon. In the meantime if you haven’t read the book don’t just walk, but run to buy it. It has been the best thing I have done for my family!

 

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