Wondering what to do with that beautiful, blooming (overflowing?) basil? Pesto is one of my favorite ways to preserve fresh basil. It uses a TON of fresh basil at once, and pesto can be used in a myriad of ways.
Wondering what to do with that beautiful, blooming (overflowing?) basil? Pesto is one of my favorite ways to preserve fresh basil. It uses a TON of fresh basil at once, and pesto can be used in a myriad of ways.
Is it just me, or does it seem like cold brew is EVERYWHERE this summer? Starbuck’s, Dunkin, and even the grocery stores are packing their shelves with different cold brew blends. Lucky for you, making cold brew coffee at home is as easy as picking up your regular grounds at the store!
Cold brew differs from your normal hot brewed coffee in a few ways. First, it’s the obvious hot steep vs cold steep. Second, cold brew is stronger than your everyday java so you only use a little at a time.
I suggest a strong, dark roast coffee for this because it adds more flavor and punch with less product.
Recently, I have fallen in love with Kicking Horse Coffee, and found that their “Kick Ass” blend is perfect for cold brew. It’s a bold, dark roast coffee that isn’t bitter. I like the whole beans, because once I get it I can grind it to the coarseness I like and it tastes fresher.
To make your cold brew, just add 1 cup of ground coffee (as coarse or as fine as you like) to a quart mason jar, cover to the top with water, and stir. Place the lid on, and just let it sit in your fridge for at least 24 hours. For a more concentrated blend, you can go to 36 or even 48 hours.
Store in the fridge for up to 1 week (or as long as you can keep it around! ^_~).
As I said before, the best part is that you only need 1/4 – 1/3 cups of cold brew to make 8oz of coffee. If you enjoy your coffee black, just add some water to your cold brew. You can flavor it up with almond or coconut milk, extracts, etc.
I tell you, making cold brew at home is even easier than the drive-thru at Starbuck’s. Plus, you have more flavor options using your own coffee at home – win!
In case you’re in the dark on Amazon Prime, I’m here to tell you it is AMAZING.
As a mom, I especially enjoy Amazon because I can shop from the comforts of my own home without the imminent threat of a toddler tantrum. Most of the time, I reap these benefits for a price that’s better than what I can get in most of my local stores, plus ZERO shipping costs. That’s right, anything – no matter how heavy – ships free on Amazon Prime.
Besides those benefits of Prime, there’s also streaming TV and movies available. My kids love Daniel Tiger on PBS, however the PBS Kids app doesn’t always have the newest episodes – Amazon Prime does, as well as past seasons.
Also, Prime membership has vastly improved in recent years. You used to have to pay for a full year of Prime all at once – NOT ANYMORE! I pay monthly for our Prime subscription, and it’s nearly the same as a Netflix or Hulu subscription. If you prefer to pay all at once, you’re still able to and it equates to the same as the monthly rate.
[Click here to try Amazon Prime FREE for 30 days – Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial]
Now that I’ve explained Prime, let’s discuss all my essential Trim Healthy Mama items you can score on Prime.
If you don’t already have the THM Cookbook and Trim Healthy Mama Plan – GET THEM. They are essential to understanding the ins and outs of the plan.
*The authors, Serene and Pearl, are coming out with a NEW cookbook ( Trim Healthy Table) soon! It’s currently available for pre-order.
Gluten Free Flours
I commonly use almond flour and coconut flour in the bulk of my recipes. I also enjoy the THM Oat Fiber, which is low carb and low fat. THM Baking Blend is a fantastic flour as well, it’s not *always* in my budget though.
Pyure is pretty much my exclusive sweetener of choice. It doesn’t contain any xylitol, which can be disruptive for some digestive systems. It also doesn’t have any after-taste. Plus, it measures 1:2 with sugar, so you end up using less at a time than you would other sweeteners.
I love the Isopure whey protein isolate! It’s versatile, and you can get it in a small or bulk tub.
These are products that while they’re not essential to THM, they’re excellent health foods to have on hand.
MCT oil is one of my favorite things! I use it in my smoothies and coffee, but the real kicker is using it in ice cream. If you have not tried any of my Fat Bomb Ice Cream recipes, you need to – STAT.
Collagen has become an essential item for me, because of how much it’s improved my joints and tissue. As a former swimmer, my rotator cuffs used to be so sensitive I couldn’t even do a set of push-ups without having to ice them the next day. Collagen, once a day every day, has changed that!
You will not believe that you’re only 5 minutes and 6 ingredients away from rich, decadent hot fudge.
I haven’t had hot fudge in years, and I either forgot how good it was or homemade just blows everything else out of the water.
I decided to try an easy method using ingredients I already had on hand: cocoa powder, butter, cream, and sweetener. I simply combined the cocoa powder and sweetener with heavy cream in a small skillet, whisking until the cream became hot (but not bubbling). I then whisked in a stick of cubed salted butter (normally I do unsalted for baking, but this was all I had and it worked perfectly), vanilla extract, and caramel extract. Keep whisking until the sweetener dissolves, and the mixture is nice and smooth.
You may be thinking that the caramel extract is weird, but trust me when I say it makes the sauce. I had the sauce made without it, and thought, “It’s missing something. More cocoa powder? Vanilla?” Kept thinking, and eventually came to caramel extract. It’s a small amount, so it doesn’t taste of caramel, it just adds a nice background flavor and depth.
Don’t skimp on the cocoa powder here, make sure you use something good [because, hello, this is a chocolate recipe]. The brands I’ve tried and really enjoyed are Guittard, Ghiradelli, and Pernigotti.
To store the hot fudge, just cool it and store in a pint mason jar, or any container with a lid. It will harden in the fridge, but that’s to be expected. I played around with reheating it, and the best method I found was to reheat a few tablespoons in a small sauce pan on the stove. You can try it in the microwave, however in my testing it didn’t reheat well in the microwave (my best guess is that it scorches the chocolate, causing the mixture to separate).
This sauce is glorious – it’s thick, rich, gooey, chocolaty. Frankly, it tastes like a liquid brownie and it’s the most fantastic thing in the world. Put it on ice cream, a spoon…cardboard, and it will taste amazing.
Try it over my Fat Bomb Vanilla Bean Ice Cream for an easy, extra special treat!
This is your go-to guide for fueling your workouts on the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan.
The journey to where I am today began first with my passion for fitness. I joined my local YMCA when my daughter (now 4.5) was about 6 months old. I started going to swim as my workout, and soon got into group fitness classes. Strength training, Zumba, yoga, cycling, TRX – you name it, I was trying it. At first, I was losing weight consistently, but a few months later I plateaued even when I was working out more.
After being frustrated and stuck at the same place for months, I began my journey with THM. Around that same time, I became a fitness instructor (AKA working out a LOT more). It took a few months, but I finally hit my stride with being a fit, trim, AND healthy mama.
1. Timing is everything. We all know we’re supposed to be eating every 3 hours, and with fitness that rule is even more important. You should have a meal 1-2 hours prior to working out, and have a replenishing meal or snack within an hour of working out.
My go-to post workout snack is a Vega Sport Protein smoothie. Vega is a vegan protein, and its flavors are stevia based. The stats for a half scoop are 1.5g fat, 1g net carbs, and 15g protein. I place a half scoop into a Blender Bottle with water after my workout and shake it right up. [*NOTE: I believe Vega is still considered a personal choice because the peas are not sprouted. In this instance, I take it because I believe it will do more good than not in my case.]
2. Match your fuel to your workout. This one is really important – in order to perform your best during your workout, you need to know what type of fuel will be best.
For cardio-heavy workouts such as cycling, running, tabata, etc. an E meal will give you the most energy during your workout. You don’t want to feel weighed down while doing cardio, the heavier carb ratio helps fuel your muscles and increase endurance during your workout.
Oatmeal is FANTASTIC for cardio workouts. I have multiple recipes for overnight oats, which are all E’s and easy to throw together with a little prep. If you’re OK with dairy before cardio, then cottage cheese, yogurt, or a kefir smoothie are also great E options with lots of protein. I like to mix a Tbsp of fat free cottage cheese into an Oikos 000 yogurt and have sprouted toast with jelly and fruit on the side with coffee or green tea.
For more strength-based or low impact workouts (such as weight lifting, yoga, barre, pilates, or similar), go for a Deep S meal prior to your sweat session. Dairy-heavy S’s can cause bloat during a workout, so try to avoid them.
My go-to meal prior to low impact exercise is eggs, bacon, avocados with nutritional yeast, and coffee with collagen. I do have half and half in my coffee, but it’s not enough to weigh me down during my workout (and I usually consume this over an hour before my workout).
For a combination of strength and cardio, I find it best to go with a FP protein shake. It’s light, but filling, and keeps my energy levels up while I get my sweat going. This meal type is also good if you’re someone who wakes up early and goes to workout first thing in the morning. My rule is not to workout on an empty stomach, but there are a few days during the week where I’m up early to sweat and my stomach hasn’t quite caught up with me. On those days, a shake is just enough to get me going.
My basic skeleton recipe is 1 scoop of whey protein isolate, 2 Tbsp fat free cottage cheese, fresh or frozen fruit of choice, vanilla, 1 scoop of collagen, water and/or unsweetened almond milk (I usually do about 1/2 c of each), and sweetener of choice to taste. It’s the perfect pre-workout energizer for early mornings!
3. Know how to recover. Just like fueling prior to your workout is important, recovering and re-fueling post-workout is equally important.
Carbs fuel your muscles for hard work, and they also help your muscles recover while boosting your energy. After a tough cardio and/or strength workout, I go for a big E meal with lots of protein. The protein helps you recover, while the carbs build your muscles and give you an overall boost of energy (after you come down from that post-workout endorphin and adrenaline rush).
Like I said – pack. in. that. protein. What many people miss with E meals is the protein, then they end up feeling hungry an hour later. My post-workout lunch is a sandwich on sourdough packed with turkey, Dijon mustard, lettuce or sprouts, tomato and onion with a pickle wedge, fruit, veggies or other on-plan sides (pictured is 1 c of salted Skinny Pop and 2 Tbsp of my FP Everything Bagel Dip with grape tomato dippers), and a big Good Girl Moonshine (pg. 397 of the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook). Hydrating is important for muscle recovery as well, so make sure you get those fluids in to prevent soreness tomorrow.
If the end of your workout is an hour or more until your next meal, go for an S meal to fill you up. There are many ideas you can go with for an S meal, and the same basic rules apply: pack in the protein, get a mix of fruit and veggies, and sip that water/GGMS.
There you have it! My guide for fueling your fitness with THM. These make seem like small tweaks, but trust me when I say they will make all the difference in your routine.
I love no-fuss sides that add a fresh complement to any meal – this easy grilled asparagus is definitely one of them.
Asparagus on the grill can be a little frustrating. You don’t want the thicker bottoms to be too raw, and if you cook them longer the tops may burn – UGH. Well, this method will give you perfectly tender, slightly smoky asparagus every time. The best part? You only need 3 ingredients!
Let’s start with the star of this side – the asparagus. When you buy fresh asparagus at the store, make sure you use it within about 2-3 days of purchase. The easiest way to cut off the fibrous stumps is to leave the bottom rubber band on, and cut the whole bunch at once right above that band (about 1-1 1/2 in. from the bottom).
Next, you’re going to quickly blanch the asparagus. Don’t be scared – all blanching means is that you’re going to cook it for a short amount of time, and then shock it really fast to stop the cooking. This ensures that your asparagus will be perfectly al dente all the way through.
You’ll get a pot going with a few inches of water and a big pinch of salt. Doesn’t have to be a lot of water, just enough to submerge the asparagus. Also, make sure that your pot is wide enough to fit the asparagus laying horizontally. While the water comes to a boil, get your shock bowl ready with ice water.
When it boils, drop the asparagus and cook it for 3 minutes (time it!). If you have some asparagus that’s on the thicker side, cook it for 4 minutes.
At the end of 3 minutes, use a wire spider to remove the asparagus from the boiling water, and place it immediately into the prepared ice bath. Let it hang out there for about a minute.
This method keeps your asparagus vibrant green, while also getting it cooked.
It doesn’t need much cooking, just until it has some grill marks on each side (you don’t want it looking like a limp noodle though).
Take it off the grill, place it onto a plate, and lightly season with salt and pepper.
Throw some of that zest right over the warm asparagus, and finish with a light sprinkle of Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese. Of course, if you’re paleo or dairy free, just leave the cheese off.
This is a light, zesty, fresh (and fast!) vegetable side that can literally go with anything. My husband’s favorite side is asparagus, and he raved about how perfectly cooked this was. He even ate the asparagus bottoms, whereas he’s normally a strict upper-half-only guy.
Spring is in the air! To celebrate, I got together with some of my blogger friends on the THM Bloggers Seasonal Recipes page to bring y’all an awesome Spring surprise – MONEY.
That’s right! One lucky winner of this giveaway will receive a $125 Amazon gift card. The giveaway is open to all, and it ends on April 1 so make sure you get in your entry. The drawing will be on April 2nd.
Good luck! And happy Spring. ❤
I am so excited to share this meal prep challenge with you guys! Prepping meals ahead of time has made my hectic life so much easier. Dinner has been a breeze, and breakfast has been a no-brainer.
Here are the specifics of the challenge…
I’m providing you with the links to the recipes for this week, a menu planning template, and a shopping list based on these recipes. I have planned 4 dinners and one week’s worth of breakfast for you. You will print off the shopping list, mark off what you already have in your cabinets, and snag the rest at the store. Then you’ll print off the planning template and plan these meals throughout your week (remember dinner leftovers can become fabulous lunches too!) on whichever days you want, and fill in the holes with leftovers or any other plan you want to make. All that’s left to do is follow the recipes and pick your prep day! I found it really easy to prep 2-3 meals in one day (for me that day was Sunday, but it’s your choice) and reheat when we were ready.
Here are your recipes:
Breakfast – Paleo Sausage and Veggie Omelette Bites (THM S) If you’re following THM, follow the recipe as-is for a perfect S breakfast every morning. You can remix them with sour cream, cheese, salsa, or any other S-friendly toppings you desire. Prep the complete recipe, and store them in gallon bags in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Reheat them in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds at a time until thoroughly heated.
That leaves three nights during the week where you can fill in your holes with leftovers or your own choices.
Print off your Weekly Menu Planner to plan out your meals this week, then print off your Week 1 Shopping List. I included ALL ingredients needed in the above recipes, so feel free to mark off what you already have in your pantry then pick up the rest on your shopping trip.
If you have any questions about the challenge, feel free to post them here or join us on Facebook.
Now get to prepping!
If you’re looking for a make-ahead breakfast that’s both tasty and healthy, then look no further! These omelette bites are super easy to prep and delicious fresh or re-heated.
I am about to blow your mind with how easy breakfast can be! These omelette bites take maybe 45 minutes total, and will save you hours in slaving over breakfast during the week. You can reinvent them daily by adding cheese, salsa, avocado, or any other fixin’s you enjoy.
Start off by browning your breakfast sausage. I used Johnsonville mild breakfast sausage, but any variety you like will do.
The low carb veggie mix I used was frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed out), a few strips of red bell pepper, zucchini, seeded and chopped tomatoes, grated radishes (they’re SO good sautéd in a little butter, almost like slightly sweet hashbrowns), and sliced scallions. I softened the zucchini, bell pepper, and radishes together with the thawed and squeezed spinach in a little butter until the radishes started to soften. I let all of that cool while I chopped the tomatoes.
Personally, I seed tomatoes before throwing them into a dish like this for 2 reasons: 1. the seeds add a lot of water and moisture, and 2. they’re mushy. I would mush rather have the firm flesh than the seeds. Usually the seeds kind of fall away naturally as I’m chopping, and it isn’t a whole lot of extra work.
Also slice the scallions thinly, then toss with the spinach mixture with salt and pepper.
Toss the sausage with the veggies, then let’s get to the filling.
I chose paper liners for my muffin pan, which had some drawbacks. On one hand, I wasn’t scrubbing egg out of every hole in my pan. On the other hand, I had to peel the liners off each one which was a bit of a pain. All of that to say, if you have silicone liners – use them, or spray the pan REALLY well.
So, I’m madly in love with this 24-ct muffin pan. It makes a world of difference filling just one BIG pan instead of a few tiny ones. Also, for my limited-space kitchen I just don’t have room for a ton of small pans, so one large pan is just the ticket.
Pile in a heaping spoonful of the sausage and veggie mixture into the bottom of each cup, then scramble the eggs.
I like my eggs with a little hot sauce, but if you don’t you can leave it out. Just make sure you season liberally with salt and pepper. I also used unsweetened, plain almond milk to scramble the eggs. You can also use cream or half and half, if that’s your thing. I have to watch the dairy, because my husband can’t handle too much of it and I want him to enjoy these also. I scrambled the eggs, milk, and hot sauce together in my big 8-cup measuring cup. It has a pour spout, making it easy to fill each cup without making additional dirty dishes.
Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full. You want a little space, because the eggs will puff as they bake.
When all the cups are filled, pop them into a pre-heated 375 degree oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden.
Delicious! The eggs are perfectly fluffy with bright, fresh veggies and a little spice from the sausage. They are the perfect morning pairing with some buttery avocado and fresh berries.
I love finding new purposes for everyday items. I’ve also found that chalkboard paint is an easy, and versatile, way to transform these items.
I’ve been buying these Kirkland Signature Unsalted Mixed Nuts for at least a year now, and I buy one container about every month. As you can imagine, that adds up to a lot of plastic!
At first, I was just recycling the containers as normal, not even thinking about giving them another purpose.
A few months ago, I was re-organizing my kitchen and realized that I had began saving a handful of these containers, maybe 3 or 4 of them. I had also recently re-done a room in our house to be the kids’ playroom, and had some leftover chalkboard paint. [*NOTE: There’s also a product called chalk paint that is completely different from chalkBOARD paint. It’s important to note that they are not interchangeable.) Then it hit me to paint these containers with chalkboard paint and use them as uniform organizers for my kitchen. I chose to use chalkboard paint, because it can go over any surface without priming or sanding (making it easier on me!).
I don’t have a ton of space in my kitchen, and I’m always looking for ways to maximize what space I do have while keeping it organized so I don’t get overwhelmed. These containers were perfect because they can hold quite a bit of product (coconut flour, almond flour, dark chocolate, whey isolate, etc.) and they fit easily in my cupboards or on my pantry shelves.
First, remove the outer labels from the containers. It was a pleasant surprise that the labels on my containers came off fairly easily. There was some leftover sticker residue, which I used a little Goo Gone to remove.
Then clean the whole inside and outside with regular dish soap and water, and let it dry completely.
Next comes the chalkboard paint!
You can choose to paint all of the sides, or just one – or really, any pattern you want! Whatever makes your life easier, go for it.
I used foam brushes to paint the containers. They gave a clean, smooth finish and were easy to use.
All that’s left is to let the paint dry! It really doesn’t take long, it took maybe an hour for mine to dry all the way (and that’s pretty generous).
Fill it up with whatever your heart desires, and label with colorful chalk.
I used this same method on a few other items in my kitchen (a utensil canister and glass spice jars) which worked equally as well as the plastic containers.
These containers have been the easiest, most convenient kitchen canisters ever! They stack, store a lot of product, and they all match.