To the girls at the gym – what you don’t see

Dear girls at the gym,

When you looked at me and told me one day I’d be able to look like you. Maybe. It was embarrassing and it hurt.

But as I thought about it, I thought of all the things you didn’t see.

You didn’t see the threebeautiul children my saggy mommy belly housed.

You didnt see the pain I carry from losing an unborn child I never got to meet.

You didn’t see how much of a fighter I am and what I have endured.

You didn’t see me fall, but get back up with bleeding hands and knees to finish my run.

There is so much more to me the my thunder thighs and my saggy mommy belly. I am a fighter. I am a proud mommy. I am a loving, at times emotionally unstable wife!

I will continue to work on loving my body inspite of comments like yours and continue to show my daughter that you don’t have to be a size one to be happy!

Sincerely,

The chubby mama at the gym

Easy Crockpot Blueberry Cherry Cobbler

First off I apologize, I am without a computer right now, and blogging on my phone is proving challenging!

Lastly all the Mrs. Betty Crockers will want to look away! This blog post includes canned pie mix and boxed cake!

This came about because my husband went away for training and while he was gone he ate a Blueberry Cherry Cobbler that he loved. I wanted to recreate it for him but our oven in our rental has never worked and I don’t keep  alot of the ingredients for cobblers since we are usually on Trim Healthy Mama so I can up with this. It was about $5 for me to make!

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Ingredients:

1 box of cake mix (I use yellow)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 20 oz can of cherry pie filling

2 cups frozen blueberries

Instructions

Mix the first two ingredients together in a bowl

Mix the last two ingredients together in the crockpot

Add the cake/butter mixture spread over top of the fruit.

Cook in crockpot on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours. Check on it periodically because times could vary!

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It’s great with or without ice cream! Yum!

Enjoy!

Meal Plan – Week 1 (Trim Healthy Mama friendly)

This week is the end of a long pay period for us (20 days between paydays) and when this happens I try to plan around what I already have to stretch the last of the grocery money.

For example I had 2 packages of steaks I bought on sale and froze, I also had pasta, Italian dressing, frozen veggies, cheese, and rice. So I pulled out both packages of steak, bought bell peppers and tomatoes (total of $4.35) and made 2 meals.

Meal 1 was steaks, Italian pasta salad, and cheesy broccoli. The second meal I made I cut up the steak and what was left of the bell peppers, cooked them up in some soy sauce and spices to throw over rice as a make shift stir fry.

I encourage you if you’re trying to save money see what you already have and try to plan meals around that! I try to buy extras if they are on sale for times like these!

Finally my meals!

Friday

Breakfast: We don’t normally plan breakfasts, we usually will just eat what we feel like it in the morning, but I will post a list below with what I keep in the house for breakfasts!

Lunch: BLT Salad. Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and optional cheese with a mayo/vinegar dressing (Low carb)

Dinner: Steaks, pasta salad & cheesy broccoli (Low Carb)

Saturday

Lunch: Sandwiches and fruit- I make mine with Ezekiel bread, light mayo, low fat turkey, pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce. (Low fat)

Dinner: Easy stir-fry – Steaks & bell peppers cooked with salt, pepper, a clove of garlic, with soy sauce. Served over rice

Sunday

Lunch: Wraps – Lunch meat, cheese, mayo, mustard, and veggies in a low carb wrap (Low carb as long as you don’t add starchy veggies)

Dinner: Mrs Criddles Mexican brown rice here, with black beans, salsa, and yogurt (Low Fat)

Monday

Lunch: Cheese and bacon quesadilla – Just what it sounds like! Cheese and precooked bacon on a low carb tortilla fried in some butta! (Low Carb)

Dinner: Chili Mac with a salad (Low Carb)

Tuesday

Lunch: Progressive soup

Dinner: Cheesy Brat Stew (Replace Potatoes with califlower for low carb)

Wednesday

Lunch: Turkey Cucumber wraps – Low Carb wrap with 1 laughing cow cheese and cucumbers (Low fat and low carb) – I also replace the laughing cow with mayo when I’m feeling really cheap, it will just add more fat!

Dinner: Bean & Cheese Quesadillas – I just mix black beans with salsa put it on a tortilla with some cheese, fry it up in butter and serve it with Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and salsa. My husband didn’t know there wasn’t meat until I told him!

Thursday

Lunch: Half a sandwich with a shake  This is my favorite

Dinner: Chicken with pasta salad

Friday

Lunch: Cheesecake Berry Crunch This stuff is for real amazing! (Low Carb)

Dinner: BLT Salad

I know this meal plan isn’t anything to marvel about, but its was a weeks worth of meals with only paying $55 to fill in the gaps with what I already had! It can be done!

Now for breakfasts: We all eat at different times so I don’t plan a specific breakfast. For my toddler he loves oatmeal and will eat that almost everyday! For my husband he will either grab a smoothie, a breakfast burrito I keep in the freezer, or just skip all together. But for myself and if anyone wants to change it up I always keep greek yogurt, oatmeal, cream cheese, frozen fruit, Arbonne protein powder, and of course bacon and eggs.

With these items you can make a variety of things such as

  • Yogurt with stovetop granola
  • Granola with almond milk
  • Eggs and bacon
  • Cheesecake Berry Crunch (from above)
  • Oatmeal with blueberries
  • Overnight Oatmeal
  • Smoothies
  • For a quick breakfast I just like to blend up Arbonne Chocolate shake mix with ice & peanut butter
  • Yogurt with Arbonne Chocolate shake mix
  • Yogurt with fruit

 

 

Meal Planning Tips

I know life is hectic and I also know how we can get in a rut with planning meals for our family. I know we get into a taco rut a lot! I didn’t know there were so many ways to do tacos!! Anyways, I am a very list oriented person so meal planning feels so natural to me and I would love to help anyone who either don’t like to, need some help, or just those who are strapped for time!

There are many reasons to meal plan, here are my top reasons:

  1. I have an idea of what we will have food wise which cuts down on the oh so famous “We don’t have anything to eat!”
  2. I am able to plan ahead, so if I find I have extra time during the kids naps I can meal prep so that cooking is much easier and much less time consuming.
  3. This is my biggest reason. It saves SO much MONEY!!! It is always nice saving where you can! I find I rarely have to go to the store through out the week to pick up food for meals, which cuts down on impulse buys and “I might as well get this since I’m here” buys.

I find that for me and my family it works out best if I only meal plan for a week at a time, I encourage you to find what works best for your family! Some other things that help me are:

  1. Keeping a list of meal that we like.
  2. Keeping a list of meals we want to try
  3. Not stressing about what day we are going to eat what meal. I know for some people keeping a strict meal plan works for them, but it doesn’t work for us! I keep meals that I have for that week on our fridge, that way I can pick the night before which meal will work the best for us the next day.
  4. Keeping a price list. This one is harder and a bit more time consuming so I don’t worry about it being perfect but it can help you save money if you know what items are cheaper at which store.
  5. Don’t plan breakfasts and lunch for everyday! I find we end up eating whatever we want for these meals and we often eat the same thing for the week, so it’s just easier not to stress about it!
  6. When in doubt add cheese!!!

 

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This Picture is just a quick list of meals we like. I lost my original that had over 30 meals! I’m so sad! Now to start over because I have a horrible memory! Anyways don’t be afraid to start out with a small list of meals you and your family like! You can slowly add to it over time! One way to help that is… Another list! If you write down meals you want to try and add one of those a week to your meal plan you will soon have 30+ meals to choose from!

Having something complied with all the meals you like is a huge time saver and helps so that you don’t have to deal with a bunch of “I don’t know”  when you ask the family what you want for the week, you can just pick 7 meals and be done! It’s a huge time and sanity saver! Meal planning takes up about 10 minutes now that I have this system set up!

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This is what a week looks like in meals for us. I try to have choices for breakfast and lunch, but I don’t stress about having a new one for everyday and it makes it so much easier!

I hope this has been helpful and encouraging. Meal planning doesn’t have to be a stressful long process! It can be a little time consuming to start it out, but as soon as it’s started it saves so much time in the long run! If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will try to answer the best I can!

My Journey to Trim Healthy Mama

First off if you don’t know what Trim Healthy Mama is you should really check it out! It’s the first ‘diet’ that I have actually been able to make a lifestyle, and I love it! After my first child I counted calories and worked out like crazy and got down to my pre-pregnancy weight in under 9 months. (I’d say probably more like 6, but I didn’t have a scale for a long time thanks to an overseas move) it was awesome! I was so proud of myself. But I was also breastfeeding at the time and had such a little supply my son was not gaining weight and I could’t figure out. Finally out of frustration and doctor after doctor pushing formula I finally caved and switched him to formula. Fast forward 12 months and I was up about 15 pounds! We were enjoying the beautiful, wonderful Turkish food and of course chocolate baklava…. **drool** All the working out couldn’t have saved me from our diet! I tried counting calories again, but it was not enjoyable at all! I felt like I couldn’t eat any of the Turkish food around me and I was always hungry… And lets face it, counting calories is time consuming! So then I switched us to a “clean eating” diet. I would make most of our food homemade and again not much movement on the scale and Hubs and I like Ice Cream too much! We also tried gluten-free and paleo… you name it I’ve probably tried it. I have been trying to find a diet that works for me for way too long!

On a trip back home to visit family my mom introduced me to Trim Healthy Mama and I was so intrigued! I could eat fat, carbs, and not count calories?! I’m in! So I started small, I started making just one THM drink and one meal a day while eating every 3 hours as suggested. Hubs and I lost 4 pounds the first week! Yes!!! And cheese has entered back into my life!!!! *choir singing* and I soon got down to goal weight… Right before I got pregnant again! Fast forward another year and a half through a miscarriage and another pregnancy I now find myself 15 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight again. It’s been a wild ride with Trim Healthy Mama, but no matter how many times I quit I always come back because I know it’s what my body wants! Every time I say never mind I will eat whatever I want, a week later I am as sick as a dog and dying for a yummy fatty THM meal!

I don’t have an amazing transformation story, nor do I have amazing before and after pictures, because of life. I am a 21 year old who has had 2 pregnancies and another overseas move since starting this diet. But the thing I love most about it is how happy my body is on it, I feel like I have so much more energy, I don’t drag myself out of bed every morning, and I know when I mess up I can start again in three hours. This is the most forgiving plan I have been on, I feel like I can enjoy life without watching every single bite I take. I make it work for me, if I want baklava I will have baklava but I will eat it with protein and wait 3 hours for my next meal. Life is too short to count calories and not enjoy the different foods from all over the world!

I hope this helps someone and doesn’t just sound like rambles! I just feel very passionate about life, food, and cheese! If you have anymore questions about my journey or Trim Healthy Mama I would love to answer them for you!

 

Enjoy the Little Things – Making time for your spouse even when you have no time!

With two littles running around and a house that often looks like a tornado went through it, it is very easy for me to get wrapped up in the kids and cleaning, as a consequence I don’t take the time for just my wonderful husband and I. But I believe that it is very important for us to make time for each other! Before saying “We don’t have time, money, ect. for dates.” We understand that it is not always easy to get away for a date night out. We moved to a different corner of the world away from all our friends several months ago, and have yet to meet anyone we are comfortable with watching our kids. Since then we have learned to appreciate what we call “mini dates.”

Here’s some ideas!

Yesterday was the day that my wonderful husband and I shared our first kiss 5 years ago so we celebrated! I bought him a “kissing gift.” It included chocolate kisses, chap-stick, the mints he used to buy, and a card. Later that night we got both the kids to sleep at the same time! It was amazing! So we poured two glasses of wine, sat outside on our front step, (with the door cracked so we could hear if the little woke!) and we just talked. It was so relaxing!

“Go out” for ice cream – Again we got the kids to bed at the same time and we got dressed up, scooped ourselves some ice cream, again went outside to talk over ice cream.

Game night – Turn off the tv, turn on some music and play some board games! Our favorites are Blokus, Yahtzee, and Battleship!

Dancing – We have a playlist on Spotify just for moments that we feel like dancing together! This can be done any time and it’s one of my favorites!

Dinner for two – Do a late dinner for the two of you after the kids go to bed! It can be anything! It doesn’t have to be fancy! Sometimes it’s just nice to eat without having to share your food! We often (probably too often) just order in pizza for the two of us! But we also enjoy making dinner together other nights.

Go simple – Have you ever gone out with the family and when you get home the kids are all sleeping in the back seat? Well make the most of it! Some days this is when we have our best uninterrupted conversations and *gasp* kisses!

I know what you’re thinking! So cheesy! But I happen to like cheesy! ….Cheese is good… Any ways! The point is make time for you and your spouse even if it feels silly. Sometimes the silliness triggers some much needed laughter! Just enjoy each other even if it is only for a few minutes! I would rather have a messy house than a messy marriage!

If you have any “mini date” ideas we would love to hear them!