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Hey, folks! It’s been awhile and I’m getting the writing itch again so I thought we could have a catch up date while sipping a kefir shake (since I don’t like coffee). I took an impromptu break from blogging in December because I was a) burned out from working on Convenient Food for so much of 2018 and b) we did some traveling in December and I wanted to be able to enjoy that as well as the Christmas season with fewer things on my mind. The December break turned into a January break because the break felt so good. 😛 Also, Ryan did a month of night float in January so our schedule was kind of mixed up and I took a weeklong trip back to South Carolina to see my family since my husband was basically incapacitated for a month. Maybe “incapacitated” is the wrong word, but he was sleeping all day and working all night so we didn’t see a whole lot of each other. 😛 He actually held up to the demanding schedule remarkably well. I call him the Energizer Bunny.
Now that we’re past the holidays and past night shift (blessings to all you women who either work night shift or whose husbands work night shift!!) I’m actually getting some projects accomplished, so I have high hopes that I can scramble together some recipe posts pretty soon. Ya know, those recipes I was posting about on social media back in November that never actually made it to the blog. 😛 They’re still sitting here on sheets of notebook paper. For today, I wanted to let you know about a big THM sale and I thought I’d turn this into a mini update post and show you some of the things I’ve been working on and maybe get some advice. If randomness doesn’t scare you, keep scrollin’.
Trim Healthy Mama Valentine Sale!
Trim Healthy Mama is offering a 48 hour flash sale on some of their sweetest products! The sale ends at midnight CST, Wednesday, February 6th, but these products tend to sell out quickly so it’s best to get your orders in ASAP! (I don’t necessarily endorse all of these products and you need to do your own research to see if they’re right for you, but I don’t want you to miss out on the sale prices.)
- Feminine Balance
- THM Butterfly Bar 5-Packs (milk)
- THM Butterfly Bar 5-Packs (dark)
- The Fountain
- Butterfly Necklace
- Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
- Strawberry Whey Protein Powder
- Super Sweet Blend (16 oz.)
- Super Sweet Blend (3 lb.)
- Gentle Sweet (16 oz.)
- Gentle Sweet (3 lb.)
- Gentle Sweet Xylitol Free (16 oz.)
- Gentle Sweet Xylitol Free (3 lb.)
- Pure Stevia Extract Powder (1 oz.)
- Pure Stevia Extract Powder (4 oz.)
Getting started with Trim Healthy Mama and need some tips? CLICK HERE to check out my “Starting THM” page!
So…when I went back to SC in January, my little sister Katelyn sent some kefir grains home with me. I put them in a small plastic container with my toiletries and hoped the TSA agents in the airport would think they were just a face mask of some sort. I didn’t get flagged.
Came home, put the grains to work, and I have actually managed to keep them alive. Kefir is super easy to make but I know basically nothing about it, so if you have kefir-making questions, I am not your gal. Please Google “How to Make Kefir” and listen to the experts. Or text my sister and say, “Help!! Does yours ever look like this?? Will it kill me???” Not like I’ve ever done that or anything. Certainly not with that many punctuation marks.
The shake above was double-fermented kefir, spinach, frozen pineapple, vanilla and orange extracts, stevia, ice, and maybe some glucomannan. I didn’t measure, but it tastes like an orange sherbet and ginger ale float so it’s a recipe I’ll be remaking and measuring for the blog eventually.
When I brought the grains home I realized I didn’t have a plastic colander. (The grains aren’t supposed to touch metal, although I’ve read varied opinions on that.) Typical me, I tried to improvise by creating my own colander with an empty sour cream container, a nail, and a wooden rolling pin (couldn’t find a hammer) at 10:30 PM. Wasted half an hour and was close to damaging said rolling pin, so I gave up and used a slotted wooden spoon in a precarious straining operation. This went on for over a week until I went on Ebay and bought myself a Tupperware colander just like my mom’s (same color and everything). Ah, making kefir is so much easier now.
PS – if you don’t have a friend who will share some kefir grains with you, I was told that you can purchase them from this website.
Above you see my fermentation station. Kefir, double-fermenting kefir, and my newest pet project: a sourdough starter. There’s a long story behind that one, but it’s a starter I’m attempting to start from scratch, but it’s not started yet and I’ve been feeding it for over a week. If anyone has brilliant sourdough tips, specifically information on what to do if your starter won’t start, please inform me in the comments below! I tried once before and it was bubbling brilliantly by day four or five, but then it completely stopped so I waited two days before throwing it out. Now I wish I would’ve just kept feeding it in hopes of reviving it.
Edit: After receiving some comments about keeping kefir and sourdough separate, I just read an article about culture cross-contamination and now I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t keep them in the same corner! I just relocated my sourdough and would love to hear any tips and advice on the subject!
Some things never change, like my obsession with Easy Chocolate Oatmeal. These days I always add two tablespoons of collagen for protein when I stir in the cocoa powder, stevia, and salt. I top it with half a sliced banana, a few sugar-free chocolate chips, and a dash of half and half. (Keep in mind that you want to stay at 5 grams of fat or below in an E meal.) It’s like dessert for breakfast!
A note on the collagen: I parted my hair in the same spot for years, but then I realized that my hair was thinning there so I changed the way I do my hair and started taking collagen in my oatmeal every morning. (I actually prefer it to whey protein powder because you can’t taste it!) My hair is growing back in, and I’m losing much less hair when I wash or brush out my hair. I have a LOT of hair and I have always lost quite a bit of hair when washing or brushing it but never worried because I had plenty of it. I can tell a big difference in the strength of my hair now. It’s not that I’m growing extra hair (no facial hair yet…), it’s just that it’s not breaking as much. You can purchase collagen from Trim Healthy Mama, Amazon, Swanson, or Great Lakes.
Ah, here’s a throwback to when I came home from SC in January and was eager to get back into the kitchen to start cooking for my husband again. I took a bunch of green peas to a fellowship meal the day after I got home and had a lot left over, so Monday I decided to make a soup and puree the leftover peas into a nice green soup base. I also decided to add lentils and black rice that I had on hand, as well as Cajun style seasonings and some turkey sausage. Unfortunately green peas do not look or taste very appetizing when pureed and cooked to smithereens in very large quantities. And they look even worse when your black rice turns everything a murky shade of dark. This is not a mistake I will make again. The worst part? Typical me: I made a HUGE batch. At least it was nutritious. I do not throw things away as a general rule, so guess what Briana had for lunch for a week straight?
Some of my culinary endeavors are far more appetizing. Ryan loves when I make goodies for him to take into work and share, and when I do that it’s usually not THM-friendly unless it’s something savory. Take these sticky buns for instance. I love to get my hands into some real dough once in awhile. 😉 If I get my sourdough going or buy some sprouted wheat flour sometime I do want to try a crossover sticky bun recipe though.
One habit I have taken up (and kept up) is walking at least 2 miles 6 days a week. I used to be into running, but then I got out of shape and I never really loved running anyway…. So I decided that I could at least walk, and if I could love walking and turn it into a habit it would be better than nothing. We have some nice parks and walking trails close by, including a trail along the river where I took this picture at sunset. My walking time has become a time for me to get out into nature, listen to podcasts or WhatsApp messages, call my mom, and pray. It refreshes me every day and it’s actually helping me stay in better shape than I thought it would.
This is a very random picture but I’m just really proud of my husband. It’s good for me to go visit him at work once in awhile and take him a coffee because it reminds me of what he does and is responsible for day in and day out. On night shift he wore three pagers. What a man!
And this is me and my highschool sweetheart Traveler. 😉 I got to ride him a few times while I was back in SC in January. He was happy to get out of the pasture.
Below is a book that I actually just won in a giveaway from the Food Blogger Pro podcast and I haven’t read it yet but I’m really excited about it because I’ve heard several interviews featuring Paul Jarvis and his “Company of One” concept really resonates with me. This book is a new release and you can get it here from Amazon. If there are any entrepreneurs out there, you might find this interesting!
And…drumroll please…last night around midnight I finally finished editing our wedding pictures! I should be able to have them up on the blog in time for our first anniversary! 😛 We were fighting some less than ideal circumstances with weather and location and such but we got some that I’m happy with and I’m just glad to have this project under my belt since it’s been hanging over my head for a year…. Now to get some prints made and work on a photobook! Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot:
Well thanks for stopping by again, y’all! Hopefully there will be more posts to come soon, but I’m really embracing this blog-as-a-hobby-not-a-career thing and liking it so no promises. 😛 Nah, I’m getting back in the groove again but with more balance after taking a break the last two months. It feels good. I hope you all have been learning and loving and enjoying life. One more thing: if you want your eyes to be opened to things in the Bible that you completely missed before, I highly recommend checking out some of Ray Vanderlaan’s material. He has a teaching ministry called “That the World May Know” and has a series of DVDs published through Focus on the Family. Those are really good, but if you can get ahold of some straight lecture recordings from conferences he’s spoken at you’ll get even more material. CLICK HERE to listen to 9-10 hours worth of content. I listened to all of it while editing these wedding pictures and was really blessed.
Talk about sweet Valentine’s Day gifts! I don’t really know if it’s customary to do Valentine’s Day gifts with your spouse or not because this will be our first Valentine’s Day together (married). The only other Valentine’s Day we experienced together was three days before our wedding so it got rather overlooked. 😛 But that’s beside the point. If your hubby needs a gift idea for you that will benefit him too, tell him to get you my cookbooks! Both Necessary Food and Convenient Food contain about 400 low-glycemic recipes each, separated by carbs and fats and free of refined sugar and flour (like all the recipes here on my website). I grew up on my momma’s good cooking, and the recipes in these books are mostly just old family favorites made healthy! CLICK HERE to check out my cookbooks in more detail and purchase.