Small Simple Improvements

Small Simple Improvements

good better best

I was talking with a dear friend this morning about how I view food on a continuum rather than on a ‘good list’ or a ‘bad list’. It got me thinking… how do others see things regarding health, wellness, nutrition, etc.?

Do you prefer to look at lists or boxes with food in them as either good or bad OR do you prefer to see foods ranging in quality from poor –> less healthy –> healthy –> moderately healthy –> optimally healthy?

In other words, some people like to be told this is:

ON PLAN or OFF PLAN with no grey areas to think about. Compliant or non-compliant. Good or bad. These types of words and this type of thinking. The problem is that this way of thinking and living takes money and can lead to disordered eating patterns or thoughts.

Looking back, I can see that there’s no way I could have raised my family (single income, struggling financially) eating the strict/purist/perfect way. There. I’ve said it. I’ll say it again.

As a one (sometimes with NO income) income family, struggling with 5 children, I could not have raised my family the strict and perfect foodie way. I could not have afforded it.
We were blessed beyond belief at certain times in our life to receive regular donations from the Church we were ministering at – these foods kept us alive otherwise we would have starved. It just so happens that it was a weekly delivery of fresh bakery items! So yes, we lived off pies, pasties, sausage rolls, danish rolls  and the like (it’s hard being poor ~smile~).  A perfectly clean eating fad would have been so unattainable for me, so unachievable for me at some points in my life. However, there is always room (in our thinking, our situation and our finances) to make just One Small Change.

As a coach, I often see other women who are in similar situations.
How then can we improve this situation? Some people are not in the mindset or the financial situation to be able to change everything at once – but they can change JUST ONE THING. Then another thing after that. Rinse and repeat.

It’s working out the best BANG for their BUCK at any given time that is important (and where I can come in and help). There is THE BEST of the best! And there is the worst of the worst. And I meet a few people who are living in the latter scenario. Suggesting a loaf of bread for $6 and wild caught salmon is utterly ridiculous for them! And they certainly don’t need a list of foods that only serve to make them feel less than, or feel guilty for not being able to provide it.

My aim, my desire, is to help you where you are at.

Health is a funny thing: it doesn’t revolve solely around one aspect (nutrition) rather it is more deeply entwined in our whole life.

For one family doing one thing better is grinding your own kernels to make fresh bread but for another family it might look like adding some salad to an other colourless plate.

NEVER let yourself feel less than for your food choices.
One person can afford wild caught salmon with fresh picked greens from their organically grown garden whereas another family might be working 100% just to organise some kind of regular bedtime routine for their child (which is essential for health) that includes some kind of leafy green salad with their sausage roll. And that is okay.

We’re aiming for progress, not perfection. Every little step counts. And BIG changes are made up of little baby steps which take T I M E.

Talk to me… wherever you are in your life, whatever your situation looks like. I can help you, I want to help you. There is always something to start with that doesn’t break the bank. You just have to know where to start – let me help you. 🦋

Cooking with the Crock-Pot Express

Cooking with the Crock-Pot Express

The Crock-Pot Express Multi Cooker is an electric pressure cooker. It uses steam pressure to cook food. Pressure cooking has  been around since the 1600’s, so this machine is electric and newer the concept is the same.

The CPE is also multi-functional, which means it does more than just pressure cook food. This machine can be used in many ways. Sauteing the meat builds flavour into the meal without using a separate pan. There’s a steam setting, soup setting and yogurt setting just to name a few.

I grew up watching my parents use a stove top pressure cooker and it scared the life out of me. If I had to use one of the old ones I would never have tried it for myself. But they have been modernised. They’re easy to use and safe. The CPE is self-regulating and easy to use. It is a learning curve but not a step one – you will gain confidence with experience.I really like the safety features. You can’t take the lid off until it is safe to do so… No matter how hard you try. Having said that, please use any pressure cooker as it is intended as with most kitchen appliances it could be used in an unsafe manner.

We moved house and we were without a stove-top for a few months. I struggled with meals as we usually cook a lot of stir fry’s, omelets, etc. We were using an induction cooker which was good but it was a single burner… Not easy with a family of five, let alone when we had visitors.

Ease and Speed

After reading online a bit I decided upon the Express Crock Multi-Cooker (CPE). I ♥️ this thing! I can pull meat from the freezer at 4.30pm and have a delicious, nutritious meal on the table by 6pm! Usually to do that would involve defrosting meat in the microwave which makes it go tough. However, it isn’t always the quickest option – it isn’t Drive-Thru-Sue speed. The greatest appeal of the pressure cooker for me is the set it- and forget it nature, the hands-off yet delicious yummy factor. Whilst eggs may only take several minutes to hard boil the machine still takes time to come to pressure and then cook so it isn’t always the quickest – but it is one of the easiest, hands-off cooking processes. And for someone like me that is a good thing. I can start cooking eggs, answer the phone then end up folding laundry while the saucepan has turned black and the smoke alarm is screaming. True story. I no longer have burned pots when using the pressure cooker. CPE For the Win!

I find the meat is always tender so I can buy cheaper cuts of meat yet they’re still edible! The meals are packed with flavour, which I didn’t always find with the slow cooker. But the best things has to be… Bone broth! Beautiful, rich gelling bone broth from beginning to end in just a free hours. Doesn’t get better than that! What used to take days in the slow cooker now takes a few hours.
CPE For the Win!

It heats and cooks food under pressure, sears and sautés meat, plus steams rice and veggies. It can cook at low temperatures, as a slow cooker but honestly, why would you? It has many features so can cook a variety of meals. The options include Meat/Stew, Beans/Chilli, Rice/Risotto, Poultry, Soup and Steam.

Favourites

Corned Silverside, soups, pasta sauces, spaghetti, Mac n cheese, pulled beef/pork/chicken, bone broth, butter chicken, beef stroganoff and many other casseroles, boiled eggs, cakes and more are some of the dishes I cook in my CPE. Nowadays, I wouldn’t be without my CPE. It really takes the ‘pressure off’. 😂

Considerations

This is not an air fryer. Rather than crispy, crunchy foods think tender and juicy. This is a point not obvious to everyone so it is worth a mention.

The meats and veggies will not be crisp like when roasting in the oven. But they will be tender and full of flavour.

A pressure cooker isn’t going to replace your stove-top or your oven but it will be a marvellous complement to them and a handy addition to your kitchen.

More Information

http://www.crockpot.com.au/

15+ Foods That I Always Have On Hand

15+ Foods That I Always Have On Hand

 15 foods I have on hand

These are 15+ foods I make sure I never run out of – these are my staples that allow me to eat healthy food even when I don’t have a lot of food prepped or made in advance. I don’t always bake or have meals cooked but I can always eat well as there is always something easy to eat. If I have it in the house, I will eat it – this goes both ways, for healthy, nutrient dense food or food that isn’t so healthy.

My Top 15

In no particular order.

  1. Dark chocolate
  2. Eggs
  3. Chobani 0.5% Greek yoghurt
  4. Salmon fillets (frozen)
  5. Ground turkey, beef mince & chicken fillets
  6. Deli Meats/Cold cuts
  7. Bone broth (both homemade or store bought)
  8. Seasonal fruits and vegetables, especially strawberries and sugar snap peas, zucchini, broccoli & mushroom, rocket and baby spinach, capsicum, cos lettuce and avocado. Frozen fruit and veggies – berries, cherries & lemon wedges.
  9. Chana dahl (dried) chickpeas, black beans, red kidney beans and lentils (canned)
  10. Oats
  11. Brown rice [precooked] sachets
  12. Passatta and Peeled & Diced Tomatoes
  13. Butter
  14. Olive oil, Coconut oil & MCT oil
  15. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Five Extra Foods (because to be honest I always have these as well)

  1. Mixed nuts and seeds
  2. Chamomile tea and White tea, Coffee beans
  3. Hydrolysed Collagen
  4. Laughing Cow Light Cheese wedges
  5. Natvia sweetener or Monkfruit sweetener

What foods are staple items in your house? Let me know!

Cruciferous Veggies

Cruciferous Veggies

Cruciferous veggies

Cruciferous veggies are a diverse group that includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards, watercress and radishes.

When cabbage is chopped, chewed or digested, gluosinolates break down into substances called isothiocyanate. Now these are extremely toxic to insects but they have an incredibly protective effect to humans. The finer you chop cruciferous veg, the more nutritious it is due to this process. So chop it finely then leave it for an hour or two before eating or cooking and you are getting much more bang for your buck! But even better, you don’t have to feel guilty about preparing the veggies beforehand and worry about losing nutrients because the opposite is true – you get more! So go ahead, prep those veggies early and put them in the fridge for tea later on tonight!

When buying broccoli, try and buy and eat as soon as possible. If you can’t buy and eat fresh then store in continuously in the fridge in a sealed bag. In fact, if you can purchase the broccoli in sealed bags, even better. Have you seen the coloured cauliflower? Go for the brightly coloured ones first – purple, orange or green as they have more phytonutrients and antioxidants.

Cooking Cruciferous Veggies

Steam, sauté or microwave with a minimum amount of water to increase the levels of Vit A and antioxidant carotenes up to 5 times. Don’t forget to add a dash of olive or coconut oil.
Even more bang for your buck? Add mustard powder to your cruciferous veggies. Not only does it taste good but the mustard allows the cruciferous veggie to restore their ability to generate isothiocyanate. Simply add ½ tsp to each 200gram of cooked cruciferous veg! Or if you hate mustard, try horseradish, wasabi or radish, rocket, watercress, raw sprouts for similar effect.

How do you like to eat your cruciferous veggies? Got a favourite recipe to share? Rueben in a Bowl or Kai Sing Me or something else?

Start-Use-Do

Start-Use-Do

Start where you are image

Start. Use. Do.

~What if I can’t cook well?⁣
~What if I go off plan?⁣
~What if I have ten children and am time challenged?⁣
~What if I have ten children and a husband that won’t eat diet food?
~What if I can’t get special ingredients?

I get it. I’ve probably asked those same questions. Usually when it has meant me starting a new diet. But I’m not talking about a diet. I’m talking about eating healthy in a way that allows your body to find its comfortable weight and strive for optimal health.⁣

You will never be perfect with your eating or exercise or anything else so let’s all just accept that right now, eh? Forget perfection and focus on progress. I don’t eat perfect all the time – nope! But I eat so much better now than what I did 5, 10 and 20 years ago!

Start where you are.

Use what you have.

Do what you can.

 

Contact me if you need to learn how to eat in a way that works towards optimal health and weight in a safe, reliable and healthy way.

Which Book Is Best?

Which Book Is Best?

Which book should you use?

The Original THM book, The Trim Healthy Mama Plan, the Trim Healthy Cookbook or Trim Healthy Table – which one is right for you?  Where does one start? I get it. You’re time challenged, budget conscious, dislike reading or whatever else. Not everyone wants or needs to know the science behind the plan nor do they want to read all the chatty-Cathy banter. This post will help you decide which book is the best fit for you.
 
THM Books

The Original Trim Healthy Mama Book

This is the first book, the original. The one I devoured and continue to read even though I own all the others. I call it my THM Encyclopaedia. However, not everyone feels the same. some say it is too chatty, too wordy, too ugly, a hard read, convoluted and more. I can see why some would say that with a whopping 642 pages to get through. But that’s just who the authors are – this first, self published book was simply a reflection of who they are and what they do. They didn’t set out to change the world. They were simply sharing what they’d learned.

This is a large, chatty book that contains both the science of the plan and basic recipes for the plan. The 250 recipes are not laid out correctly (I won’t lie, it’s hard to cook from) and there are no photos. I still make some of the original recipes – they were quick and easy.

The sisters chat. A lot. Back and forth banter, rabbit trails (which the sisters are famous for), words, words and more words, which I love but not everyone does. If you don’t have time for all that then this is not the book for you.

If you are a person who loves to read, or you have read the Plan Book and want more or if you enjoy the rabbit trails of the podcast then this might be the book for you.

Trim Healthy Mama Plan

I also love this book and refer back to it often. After the first book was written, released and read people wanted more. Many readers asked for a more concise explanation of the plan without all the chit-chat, more in-depth, more straight to the point. They also asked for more recipes presented in more professional way. The authors heard them and did exactly that with the Plan Book and the Cookbook!

The “Trim Healthy Mama Plan – the easy-does-it approach to vibrant health & a slim waistline” is THE 300 page book to read and study. It is the same plan as the original book but written in a more clear, concise way and the layout, print, fonts, etc. are much easier to read and refer to. It is jam packed with information though, including time saving tips, family meals, eating out, plan basics, higher learning, speciality foods, superfoods, some updates and much more! This book does NOT contain any recipes – instead purchase one of the cookbooks.

If you are new to THM or want to understand the science behind it without loads of chit-chat then go for this book. It is informative and will give you both the nuts n bolts of the plan as well as loads of other helpful information.

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

This book is one of my favourites. My copy is dog-eared and has notes scribbled all through it where I have modified a recipe to suit our family, changed quantities, etc. This cookbook has gorgeous, professional photos to accompany many of the 350+ recipes that are well written and easy to follow.

There are not many special ingredients used; most can be found in your local supermarket or health food store. Another feature of this cookbook is that there are categories for single serve meals and family meals. At the end of the book there is a brief recap of meals THM style.

Categories are; One Pot meals, , Mains and Sides, Breakfast meals, Sweet Treats, Beverages, Crackers, chips, dips, condiments and extras.

Some of our favourite family meals are from this cookbook. I don’t use many ‘special ingredients’ so this cookbook is great if you just want to prepare and eat real food. However, you will need to know and understand the plan in order to use this book so best not to purchase this book alone. Use it in conjunction with the original book or the THM Plan book.

Trim Healthy Table

This is the 560 page book that has both the nuts and bolts version of the plan along with over 300 family friendly recipes. Not only does it have some beautiful recipes with stunning photos, but a feature of the recipes that I love are in the meal suggestions for the rest of the family;  i.e. There are notes at the end of the recipe that give suggestions for the meal when it weight loss mode along with suggestions for how to turn this meal into a Crossover for family. I love, love, love this feature!

There are special ingredients used but they always mention that one doesn’t need them and suggest everyday items to be bought from the grocery store to be used as substitutes.

This book contains 3 whole chapters devoted to teaching the THM Plan in a concise, practical way. This book although it has the basics of the plan, it doesn’t go into the why’s and wherefore’s (the science) of the plan. Just the basics, ma’am.

If you are new to THM, dislike reading copious amounts, or are limited with time then this is the best book for you.

In a nutshell…

If you’re an experienced THM, love to read, and love the informality of The Poddy, you’ll love the original, self-published, Trim Healthy Mama whopper!

If you’re well on your way and want to understand the depth of the science behind the plan, you’ll enjoy the Trim Healthy Mama Plan. And if you want recipes to go with it then the THM Cookbook is a go-to.

If you’re brand new to Trim Healthy Mama and want to understand and implement the plan and have yummy recipes that the whole family will enjoy then Trim Healthy Table is the best book to start with.

If you want to expand your recipe collection, both the Trim Healthy Table and the Trim Healthy Cookbook will not disappoint!

If you are in Australia, I have listed the best places to purchase below. You can purchase them from other places but these stores have been found to be the most reliable and some, like Book Depository and Fishpond, offer free shipping!

Your Aussie THM Certified Coach

I can’t wait to get started in helping you with your own THM journey. I can assist you with meal reviewing, meal planning, grocery shopping, figuring out how to eat THM with a family, helping you to balance your blood sugar levels or any other way you might need a little extra help as you strive towards finding your trim and your healthy.

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