5-Minute Hot Fudge Sauce (THM S)

You will not believe that you’re only 5 minutes and 6 ingredients away from rich, decadent hot fudge.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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Try it over my Fat Bomb Vanilla Bean Ice Cream for an easy, extra special treat!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

5-Minute Hot Fudge Sauce (THM S)

  • Servings: Multiple; Makes about 1 pint
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Whisk the cocoa, sweetener, and cream in a small sauce pot over medium-low heat until the cream is hot, but not bubbling.
  2. Whisk in the cubed butter and extracts.
  3. Continue whisking over low heat until the sweetener is fully dissolved.
  4. Cool slightly and store in the fridge. Reheat single servings on the stove as needed.

Guide: Fueling Your Fitness with THM

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

This is your go-to guide for fueling your workouts  on the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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).

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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.

Easy Grilled Asparagus (THM FP)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

I love no-fuss sides that add a fresh complement to any meal – this easy grilled asparagus is definitely one of them.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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This method keeps your asparagus vibrant green, while also getting it cooked.

Next, heat up a cast iron grill with a spritz of coconut oil spray. Remove the asparagus to a paper towel to dry off the excess water, then place it onto the hot grill.

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.

Lightly zest a lemon. I like using this easy grip zester because it gives the long, pretty curls of zest. If all you have is a regular microplane or zester, that’s fine too.

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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.

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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.

Easy Grilled Asparagus (THM FP)

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • light sprinkle of Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, optional
  • salt and pepper
  • coconut oil spray

Directions

  1. Bring a pot with salted water up to a boil. Also prepare a large bowl with ice water off to the side.
  2. Boil the asparagus for exactly 3 minutes, remove with a wire spider, and place directly into a prepared ice bath. Leave the asparagus in the ice bath for about 1 minute. Remove and pat dry.
  3. Heat a grill pan with a spritz of coconut oil. Place the asparagus onto the hot grill and grill it for about 2 minutes.
  4. Place the grilled asparagus onto a plate. Season lightly with salt and pepper, lemon zest, and a sprinkle of cheese.

THM Bloggers Spring Giveaway!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

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.

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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.

Enter the giveaway here.

Good luck! And happy Spring. ❤

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Prep Don’t Fret! Challenge Week 1

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

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.

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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:

BreakfastPaleo 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.

Dinners:

  1. Sunday Bolognese (THM S) – Prep the recipe completely, and reheat it by gently heating it in a sauce pan with a lid on low heat until warm and bubbly. Serve with spiralized zucchini or Dreamfields noodles. You can add a side salad (add those ingredients to your shopping list!) or any one of my S-biscuit recipes (make sure they’re on your list also, if needed).
  2. Clean Eating Shepherds Pie (THM E) – Prep the recipe up until oven baking, cover the top with plastic wrap. When you’re ready to eat, take the plastic off and switch it for foil. Bake covered for about 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake about another 15-20 minutes or until browned and bubbly. You can add another E-friendly vegetable side, if you like, but this meal is very hearty and it isn’t necessary.
  3. Crockpot Fiesta Ranch Chicken Tacos (THM E) – Crockpot meal! Prep the chicken in its entirety and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Heat it gently on the stove, microwave, or warm it in the crock. You can also remix this as a salad for lunch or dinner another day during the week.
  4. Low Carb Chicken and Spinach White Pizza (THM S) – This meal you can prep the night of, and it doesn’t take a ton of time. Follow the recipe for the low carb pizza dough, and you can either use my flavors here or choose your own (add those ingredients to your list!). You can also add a side salad with my Buttermilk Ranch Dressing.

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!

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Paleo Sausage and Veggie Omelette Bites (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full. You want a little space, because the eggs will puff as they bake.

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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.

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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.

Sausage & Veggie Omelette Bites (THM S)

  • Servings: Makes 24
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 14 eggs
  • 1/3 c unsweetened, plain almond milk
  • few dashes hot sauce
  • 1lb bulk breakfast sausage
  • 1 c frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of its water
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1/4 c grated radishes
  • 1/4 c diced red bell pepper
  • 1-2 vine tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Brown the sausage and set aside to cool.
  3. Sauté the zucchini, bell pepper, radishes, and spinach together for about 5-7 minutes or until the radishes begin to soften. Turn off the heat, cool slightly, then add the tomatoes, scallions, and a touch of salt and pepper. Toss the sausage into the veggie mixture and set aside.
  4. Line your muffin pan with either paper liners or silicone liners. Add one big spoonful of the sausage/veggie mixture to each cup.
  5. Scramble the eggs with the almond milk, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
  6. Pour the egg mixture a little at a time into each cup, filling it 3/4 of the way.
  7. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned and firmly set.
  8. Enjoy right away or refrigerate in zip-top bags for mornings during the week. Reheat gently in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds.

DIY Recycled Chalkboard Canisters

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

So You Wanna Be A Trim Healthy Mama…

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

I’m not going to lie – it’s pretty great being a Trim Healthy Mama (and, no, I don’t get paid to say that). I don’t have to count calories or feel deprived. I can still eat bread, fruit, butter, and cheese. Best of all, my body feels good from the inside out.

As a former “newbie,” I know the plan and lifestyle can feel daunting, or even confusing, at first. So, I’m here to give you my best tips for starting (or restarting) the Trim Healthy Mama Plan.

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  1. Keep. It. Simple. The best way to implement big changes in your diet or lifestyle, is to keep things simple. Know the basics of the plan for S and E meals. Make yourself notes, charts, graphic sketches whatever helps you keep the information fresh in your mind. Stick to recipes in the original book or THM cookbook, to start. Once you know the ins and outs of the plan, then you can venture out to the many great THM blogs for more inspiration.
  2. Find your support system. I was lucky to have my mother-in-love helping me with my first THM steps. I was always asking her questions and trying the recipes. Having her support and knowledge was incredibly important, not to mention helpful, in those first months. Ask a friend to go in with you. Head over to the THM support pages on Facebook and ask for a mentor, pen pal, or heck, a new friend. It will be a life sanity saver.
  3. Set yourself up for success. Busy working mom? Homeschooling mom with a few kids in your flock? Working and/or going to school full-time? Use your time wisely. You may not have much time to spare, so what you get is precious and it has to be used to your advantage. Plan your free time. Pick a day during the week to plan your meals (not just dinner – breakfast, snacks, and lunches too!). Scour the weekly ads of the stores in your area, make your list, and shop. Pick a day for meal prep, and get most of the work for the week out of the way. If you can, plan a few crockpot meals during the week that you can set and forget. Yes, you’re busy, but you are NOT too busy for yourself.
  4. Don’t be afraid. Making changes can feel difficult. Hello, we’re humans. Creatures of habit. None of us like change. But you know what? We adapt to change. Changing can be real gut-wrenchingly scary at first, BUT…we get over that. Once you get over that fear, guess what happens? Success. Everyone messes up a little at first, and you shouldn’t be scared to do that either. Push past your comfort zone. Try new things. Because that’s where the magic happens!
  5. Ask questions. There are SO MANY THM Facebook groups out there. The main group, Purists, Drive-Thru Sues, NSI (No Special Ingredients), Allergen Free, Turtle Losers, and Pregnant/Nursing just to name a few. Use them to your advantage! Ask questions. Look at the posts. LEARN. Trust me, it’s incredibly helpful having those groups around. Even as a “seasoned” THMer, I still use those groups for questions. When you learn the plan, and can answer member questions, jump in with your knowledge and keep the ball rolling. The groups also have files where you can access sweetener conversion charts, special recipes, fuel charts, and more. Again, use these things to aid in your success. They’re there for YOU, and they’re free.
  6. One at a time. Take it one meal, snack, and day at a time. Focus on what’s in front of you, and make it the best you can.
  7. Out with the old, in with the new. If it’s not on plan, either put it out of sight, out of mind or donate it. Again, it’s about setting yourself up for success. Can you really be successful with that Duncan Hines brownie mix glaring at you from inside the pantry? -_- Maybe not. I know, I know. “But what about the waste?” Food pantries are always in need of donations! Call a few that are central to you, and find out if what you have is OK to donate.
  8. Organize. I love my THM ingredients – gluten free flours, Pyure, extracts, collagen, whey isolate, gelatin, xanthan gum, and chocolate! I gotta have my chocolate. I’m also spatially challenged when it comes to my kitchen. Small cabinets, no pantry, and next to zero counter space. I got creative, painted and re-purposed some Costco-sized plastic containers for most of my ingredients. It’s especially helpful since I buy a lot of ingredients in bulk. You can also use clear plastic bins for extracts, spices, or the like in your pantry. They also double as excellent refrigerator organizers. Check out Pinterest for more organizing ideas.
  9. Look beyond the menu. If it’s one thing I’ve found out as a THMer on the go, it’s that you have more options than you know about. Options, that might not even be on a menu! You can still stay on plan at places like Jimmy John’s, Chik Fil A, Starbuck’s, Chipotle, Olive Garden, and even your favorite neighborhood Mexican/Tex-Mex joint. Jimmy John’s has the unwich (lettuce wrap). You can order breakfast wraps at Chik Fil A minus the wrap. Breve lattes at Starbuck’s, and bring your own sweetener. Burrito bowls at Chipotle minus the rice, beans, and corn. You can even have any pasta dish at Olive Garden served over steamed broccoli – who knew! My family and I love to hit our neighborhood Mexican restaurants, and I’ll usually partake in fajitas, minus the tortillas, or chilaquiles with grilled meat and veggies, minus the chips. All of this to say, just ask for what you need! Most restaurants are happy to oblige.
  10. Step away from the scale. It’s easy to be motivated by the number on the scale moving downward. It’s even easier to become obsessed with it. THM isn’t just about getting the scale number moving. In fact, you may not even see that number move much at first. Which is why you need to turn your focus inward – energy levels, blood sugar levels, fatigue, bloating, headaches. You’ll feel differences in these areas first, possibly before the number on the scale moves too drastically.

And last, but certainly not least, remember who you’re doing this for – you. Be kind to yourself. Celebrate your victories (not with cheat meals). And remember this is not a short-term deal. You’re in it for you, and you’re in it for the long haul.

Sweet & Salty Spiced Nuts (THM S)

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Spiced nuts are one of my most favorite things to make during the holidays. You can make a bunch of them at once, and it doesn’t take a lot of time. Added bonus, they make your house smell like Santa’s armpit (which is amazing, by the way ^_~).

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I started a tradition a few years ago of  baking “thank you” treats for the people around us who work hard every day, teachers, neighbors, our YMCA community, etc., and spiced nuts are a must in their treat bags. Everyone loves them, and they’re easy to snack on.

This was my first year doing spiced nuts as a Trim Healthy Mama, and I gotta say…I’m pleasantly surprised. I honestly wouldn’t know these weren’t “traditional” nuts if I hadn’t made them myself.

The ingredients are so simple, I bet you already have them in your pantry/fridge. The prep only takes 5 minutes, and they bake for about an hour.

Start by whisking the water and egg whites until slightly frothy. Then add the nuts, and stir to coat them in the egg white mixture. Sprinkle with salt, cinnamon, and Pyure (or THM Gentle Sweet). Ready for the oven!

Spread them out into one layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

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Bake in a 225 degree oven for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Stirring helps ensure that you have even coating on every nut, even baking on all sides, and no scorching.

*NOTE: If you have a darker baking sheet, it may take less than one hour. They’re done when the coating is completely dry and candied. They harden further as they cool.

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Finito! And with very little effort, I’d say. That’s a holiday classic done right! ^_~

Sweet & Salty Spiced Nuts (THM S)

  • Servings: Multiple
  • Time: 1 hour, 5 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 225.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and water until slightly frothy.
  3. Add the nuts, and stir to coat.
  4. Sprinkle with sweetener, cinnamon, and salt and stir to coat.
  5. Spread the nuts into one, even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 225 for about one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Salted Caramel Spice Cake (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Let me go ahead and put this out there – this cake took me two tries. Not only did it stick to my non-stick, sprayed pan (GRR!) but also the flavor needed adjusting. However, in my absolute need to make the second cake a good one (as I was running out of ingredients), I concocted this amazingly flavorful cake.

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My little dude just turned 2 before Thanksgiving, and for his birthday I like to make Fall or Winter-inspired cakes. Last year, my mother-in-love made him an amazing pumpkin spice cake that he (and the rest of us) gobbled right up. This year, I wanted to do something a little different, but still keeping with a seasonal theme.

Enter – spice cake.

Warm spices are something I live for this time of year, and a newly discovered favorite addition is cardamom. Cardamom isn’t warm like cinnamon or cloves – it’s more floral like lavender, and complements the other spices with which it’s paired.

This cake is spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and molasses for a deeply intense flavor. [The cake itself is dairy free, so if you need to go that route on the frosting as well, I suggest one of the dairy-free icings (pg. 309)  in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.]

Once the layers were cooling on the rack, I soaked them with warm salted caramel sauce. [YUM.] If the layers cool before you’re able to put the caramel on, that’s fine too. The caramel does stiffen slightly [like a glaze, almost] once it cools to room temperature, so you won’t have any issues when you try to frost. It should glide right over the glaze like a big, fluffy cream cheese blanket (Can you tell I like frosting?).

I finished it with vanilla mascarpone cream cheese frosting and chopped toasted pecans. If mascarpone cheese is unfamiliar to you, it’s basically an Italian sweet, and slightly softer, version of cream cheese. It does have a few carbs with it, so I only use a touch of  it in this recipe. I usually find mascarpone in the specialty cheese section of my grocery store. If you don’t have it, or your grocer doesn’t carry it, you can just replace it with extra cream cheese.

The layers are moist and spicy, while the frosting is fluffy and creamy; finished with crunchy pecans, and you have a real holiday winner.

*TIP: When you’re stacking the cake on your display stand, cover the stand underneath the cake with pieces of parchment paper. I rip a small square of it to cover the edges of the cake, but are still small enough to easily pull out later. This way, you can be as messy as you like while frosting it, then pull the paper out when you’re done and all the mess goes with it.

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Salted Caramel Spice Cake (THM S)

  • Servings: 16-18
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine dry ingredients with spices and sweetener in a small bowl. In a separate large bowl, beat together the eggs and yolk, coconut milk, almond milk, vinegar, molasses, and melted coconut oil.
  3. Begin adding the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in two batches, being careful not to over-mix.
  4. Prepare two 8-in round cake pans by cutting two circles of parchment paper for the bottom.* [You do not want to skip this step, otherwise your cake may not come out. Trust me, I lived it on my first attempt.] Lightly spray the parchment and sides of your pan with coconut oil.
  5. Pour the batter evenly between the two pans, and gently tap the pan (picking it up a bit and then lightly dropping it evenly) against a flat surface to release any air bubbles. Bake in at 350 degree oven for 30-35mins, or until an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly.

Salted Caramel Glaze (THM S)

  • Servings: 1 cup*
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Add the first 4 ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. *[The coconut sugar is optional. It adds a negligible amount of carbs and sugar per serving, less than 1g each. You can do molasses instead if you’re sensitive to blood sugar spikes.] Bring mixture to a boil and continue boiling carefully for 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly. The coconut sugar will caramelize slightly, and some of the liquid will evaporate off. Keep the heat at or below medium (about 4 on an electric range) to prevent the sugar from burning.
  2. Remove from the heat, whisk in butter and cream. Whisk in table salt, and sprinkle in sea salt.
  3. Cool for about 5-7 minutes, then spoon the mixture over both cake layers.

Vanilla Mascarpone Cream Cheese Icing (THM S)

  • Servings: 16-18*
  • Time: 8 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 3 blocks softened cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted, softened butter
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 1/3 c mascarpone cheese (chilled is fine, as the cheese is soft)
  • 1/4 c Pyure or Gentle Sweet* *(If using GS, grind it in a blender cup or spice grinder)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla bean paste (vanilla beans from the pods work also, or an extra 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 pinches salt
  • about 1 c chopped, toasted pecans

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients except nuts in a large bowl and whip with a stand mixer (or with a handheld electric mixer) on medium-high speed until everything is fluffy and well-incorporated. Adjust for sweetness, if needed. *[This recipe makes enough to abundantly coat between the layers and outside of the cake. If your sweetener has a little “crunch” in your icing, don’t worry, it does break down once the frosting has a chance to set.]
  2. Coat the completely cooled layers with the icing, and stack. Finish the sides and top of the cake. [I like a more rustic, “homemade” look so I don’t spend a ton of making the edging perfect.]
  3. Cover the top of the cake with the chopped pecans. Store at room temperature for immediate serving, or in the fridge if you’re serving the next day.