Passion Tea Boost Juice Mod

Have you ever had the passion tea lemonade at Starbucks? It’s tasty. But it’s just full of sugar. For years I have made my own passion tea lemonade with a sugar-free lemonade alternative. But now I’ve taken it one step further and made a boost juice mod to this Starbucks copy cat drink!

Recipe

Brew one bag of passion tea (or any berry tea you like!) in 1 cup hot water

Once the tea is brewed, stir in 1 tsp of baobab and 1 doonk pure stevia (or sweetener of your choice!)

Pour over ice and stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Stir it up and enjoy it!

Almond Milk!

I wanted to start making my own almond milk, because it’s so much cheaper and I know exactly what ingredients I am putting into my beverage. I thought it would be quite difficult, so I didn’t try it for a long time. It’s actually really easy! You should try it!

My method

Soak 1 cup of almonds and 1/4 cup of hemp hearts in your blender with water for 4-6 hours.

Once the almonds and hemp hearts have soaked, strain them, and return to the blender with 4 fresh cups water and add in 1/4 teaspoon of sunflower lecithin, a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon MCT oil. for vanilla flavored almond milk add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 doonk (1/32 tsp) pure stevia powder.

Then blend it up on your blender for at least 30 seconds, but until you stop hearing the almonds crushing up.

Last you will need to strain out the pulp. This can be accomplished by using a nut bag, Or a fine mesh strainer. I like to use a fine mesh strainer because I feel it’s easy to wash out and I don’t mind the small bits of almonds that make it through the strainer. However you will get a tiny bit of pulp with this method. Using a nut bag will produce a silky a cup of almond milk!

This costs me about 1$ per quart since I buy a bulk bag of almonds!

Now, what you have left over is called pulp. The pulp is totally edible! You can spread it out on a baking sheet and bake it into an almond meal, however it’s so tasty I usually stir it into yogurts for texture and added protein. In the future I plan to make an almond pulp granola bar! Stay tuned

Pizza Peppers- low carb! THM S

Over the years I have tried many methods to loose weight and maintain a healthy weight. I was very successful counting my calories, but I wasn’t happy. I felt like such a failure if I over ate my calories at one meal and then felt like there was nothing I could eat but celery or some terrible protein shake made with water to get me through dinner. This is a recipe I created when I was counting calories, so you can see that I totaled up the nutritional values and tried to create a lean meal!

Even though I don’t count calories on trim healthy mama, I still love this recipe. I also love the freedom that I can make two peppers and eat them all, instead of restricting myself to just one pepper like I used to. I also have the freedom to add pepperoni slices or black olives or something else without worrying about adding in the additional calories.

If you primarily use low-fat cottage cheese and minimal Parmesan cheese, this is a trim healthy mama fuel pull! However most of the time I prepare it with some extra mozzarella or pepperoni and it is a S meal!

Cloth Diapering is Easier than Ever!

I never thought I had the guts to use cloth diapers. I had heard people say why they do or don’t cloth diaper and I just never thought I could handle it!

Boy. Was. I. Wrong.

Cloth diapering is easier than ever. There are so many cloth diaper products out there, you could do it too! It’s actually not that gross! It’s good for your pocket book. It’s good for the environment. Its good for your baby!

There are a whole bunch of cloth diaper types such as “pockets” “all-in-ones” “pre-folds”. You should look into a few types and see what is best for you and your needs. I’d like to tell you why I chose to use “pocket” diapers in hopes that it seems less overwhelming to you! Regardless of the diaper style, the many concepts like washing routine and diaper creams are common amongst all types. My husband was resistant to try cloth, until he saw how easy and cheap it is! Now he is on board 🙂

First. Pocket diapers look just like a regular disposable diaper. They have a bunch of snaps so that you can make the diaper the correct size for your baby. Most adjustable size pocket diaper fits babies from birth to about 35 pounds. So it will save you a lot of money in disposables. The “pocket” refers to a small pocket that you stuff with a washable liner for absorbency.

Second. Diapers and Liners can be made from many materials. The biggest difference is synthetic or all cotton. The synthetic diaper keeps the moisture off your babies skin. The liner, is underneath. Cheap synthetic liners have worked just fine for me. Some more expensive material such as bamboo liners might come in handy when my daughter gets bigger and makes more urine, but I haven’t needed to change yet!

Cost. This is a big one for lots of us. Each month I had been spending about 40$ on disposable diapers. When my daughter was a newborn, I spent more because of more frequent diaper changes. I know there are cheaper and more expensive diapers than this, but this was the cost of the brand we were using. Compare it to the upfront cost of cloth, I spent 60$ for 12 diapers and I have been using them now for months without spending the 40$ on disposables! My cloth diapers quickly paid for themselves!

My process. Like I said, I only bought 12 diapers. I did this because I like the minimalist approach with a lot of baby stuff since babies grow so fast! Because of this, I wash diapers daily. I usually start the wash just before dinner, then transfer to the dryer before bed. In the morning, we have dry diapers! There is a lot to said about rinsing and soaking diapers, but I have taken a minimalist approach to this too. Here’s why-

I wash with minimal detergent. This reduces detergent build up. To combat the stink, I use hot water and washing daily prevents my house from being full of stinky diapers! I press the “extra rinse” button on my washer. I do this because it removes extra detergent and prevents build up. Some people suggest to pre-soak, then wash, then separate extra rinse. But my method has saved me the hassle and I have had zero problems!

Poop and Stink. Nobody wants to say it, but you have to deal with poop regardless of the diaper style you use, even disposable! Disposable diapers make for stinky garbage cans that sit in your house. This method of immediate poop removal (plus washing a load of diapers daily) prevents your nursery from smelling like stinky diapers. I use the “swish method” which just means that I shake out the poo into the toilet and flush. Then I swish the dirty diaper in the toilet to loosen up any more poo and flush a second time. Its not that gross. You wash your hands anyway right? Alternatively, you can easily attach a sprayer/bidet to your toilet and spray out the poo. Dirty diapers go right into a wet bag. The wet bag goes in the wash with the diapers.

Supplies you need to get started. So you are going to give it a try? This is my suggestion! Buy a 4 or 6 pack of diapers. I bought a 6 pack on Amazon (they usually come with liners already). Also buy a large wet bag. Pre wash them before you use them. Use them without diaper cream, instead just get your babies bum as dry as possible before putting the diaper on. My daughter has never had such beautiful skin and she does now in cloth diapers! While trying it out, use disposables when its convenient until you get the hang of things. Disposables for night time or for leaving the house is often the route newbies take. Order more diapers as your comfort level increases!

Diaper cream. There are plenty of cloth diaper safe creams out there. I’ll post my own DIY recipe here as well! But ultimately, with the natural fibers and elimination of chemical filled disposable diapers, I don’t use a cream for every diaper change. I only use a cream when redness is present, like during times of teething.

Future Diaper Supplies you might want: A small wet bag for your diaper bag, if you start using cloth when out and about. Cloth wipes (I plan to write a separate post about how I started using cloth wipes!). Bamboo/ increased absorbency liners for night time cloth diapering.

Cloth Baby Wipes!

The easiest environmentally and cost friendly change we have made in our house was the swap from traditional disposable baby wipes to cloth. Many babies have sensitivities to ingredients baby wipes and switching to cloth is an easy way to eliminate these skin reactions!

Heres how we did it:

There are many cloth baby wipe products you could buy. But, we went the cheap route. We bought 4 packs of cheap baby wash cloths and use those! I have a wipe warmer, which I use to stack the wash cloths inside. I then pour plain water over the folded wash cloths and boom! Cloth wipes have been made! You don’t need to add anything except water to clean babies bum.

If you don’t have a wipe warmer, you could use any container that holds water so you don’t have a leaky mess!

We use a wet bag for our cloth diapers anyway, and just toss the wipes into the bag after each use. See my Cloth Diapering post for learning about making the switch to cloth diapers too!

Hint: For many of us, cleaning poo with a cloth wipe sounds icky. You could easily use disposable wipes for the poo and cloth when there isn’t poo if this sounds more doable to you! You will still see plenty of money on wipes and help the environment!

Since switching from disposable to cloth, my baby has never had a diaper rash! Her skin looks awesome and I’m confident that removing chemicals from her skin has been such a blessing.

To take cloth wipes on the go, throw them in a zippy bag or re usable zippy bag!

Essential Oils- Dilution Hack!

Essential oils need to be diluted for safe use! I have a stock of all my favorite oils in My medicine cabinet. But I found that each time I wanted to use one, I was struggling to dilute it on the fly for safe use. So I came up with this idea. I made a small container of carrier oil with a dropper.

Each time you want to use one of your oils, you just squeeze out one dropper full of carrier oil into your palm followed by one drop of the oil do you want to use.

My dropper squeezes out 1.3ml. Therefore, if you do two droppers + 1 drop of essential oil, you have a 2% solution. If you do one dropper and one drop of essential oil, you have a 2% solution.

Remember, kids should not have anything stronger than 1%! So you’d have to double dilute for kids!

Calm Me Down Toddy

I have two very active preschoolers at home. Sometimes especially during the winter months they need a little help calming down at bedtime. Tart cherry juice is a wonderful full herb that helps the body to release melatonin , and combined with chamomile tea for its calming effects this drink is a wonderful way to wind down. Add a warm cozy blanket and a favorite story book you have the perfect recipe for sweet dreams.

Calme Me Down Toddy

8oz of hot water

1 bag of chamomile tea ( steep 3-5 minutes)

1/4 cup tart cherry juice. ( enough to add a nice flavor but keep sugar low )

Stevia to taste (I would avoid honey if possible to avoid a sugar high right before bedtime)

A scoop of collagen (optional)

*Tart cherry juice has 30 grams of natural sugar per 8oz. By keeping the juice to 1/4 cup or less keeps sugars to about 7 grams of carbs. To keep it in FP mode use a little less juice

** Sometimes I add a little collagen to stave off the need for before bed snacks or I pair with a string cheese for my children

Peanut Butter Raisin Toast

This recipe was invented by my creative 5 yr old. It has been a quick easy breakfast in our house ever since its inception. . We love to eat with some Greek yogurt or a kefir smoothie to round out the protein for a nice combination of fats and carbs for growing kids.

Toast two slices of sourdough or sprouted bread. Spread a nice thick layer of natural/ sugar free peanut butter and top with a sprinkle of raisins.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup- Instant Pot- THM E- Low Fat

The greatest advantage of owning an instant pot, in my opinion, is the ability to have a slow cooker prepared meal in a fraction of the time. Most of the time I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal and I don’t think to prepare a meal in the morning that we will eat at dinner time. adding an instant pot to my kitchen, has made it possible for my family to enjoy a big crock of soup or stew that was prepared in about 30 minutes rather than all day.

This is a soup my husband loves, and with the instant pot I am able to throw it together in about 30 minutes without spending all 30 minutes in the kitchen. You still put all the ingredients into the pot and walk away, as you would a crockpot. However, it’s done just 30 minutes later.

Here’s the recipe

2 frozen chicken breasts

1/2 c chopped onion- see note

1/2 c chopped carrots -see note

1/2 c chopped celery – see note

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1Tbsp dried parsley

1 tsp mineral salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 c wild rice

1 c brown rice

2 quarts chicken broth

Instructions

Set your instant pot on pressure cook your settings. And add the rice +2 cups of water and pressure cook on high for 20 minutes. Then do a quick release.

Add the frozen chicken, vegetables and another cup of water then pressure cook again for another 10 minutes. Don’t stir it up. You want the chicken on top!

Do another quick release, and pull the chicken breast off the top and onto a cutting board. Allow them to cool enough for you to handle them while you add the rest of the ingredients into the pot and set the pot on to sauté mode. Using sauté mode will bring the broth up to temperature and combine all of the spices. Then roughly chop the chicken breast and put it back in the pot. When the broth is up to temperature the soup is ready to be enjoyed!

Notes

Every couple of weeks I buy fresh celery onions carrots bell peppers. I chop them up and make little Ziploc bag it’s ready to go for soups and other recipes. Some baggies I do onions, celery and carrots. and in some baggies I do onions, celery and bell peppers. In this recipe I just had to pull a bag of onions celery and carrots from the freezer which made this meal prep go very fast!

You’ll notice that the soup doesn’t have a ton of chicken in it. I confess, I am not the biggest meat eater. You could certainly increase the amount of chicken if you wanted more protein, or if you just like more chicken! 

Milk Chocolate! THM S, Low Carb, Sugar Free Chocolate!

Over a year ago, I posted a copycat original Lillys chocolate recipe. This recipe is 100% on plan for trim healthy mamas, compared to the actual lilies chocolate you buy in the store which does have some off plan ingredients. At that time I still the beans that I have been tinkering around with a milk chocolate recipe. Making milk chocolate is no joke! I have ruined many batches, but I have finally found one that I truly enjoy!

While this recipe doesn’t produce chocolate that looks perfect. It tastes quite good. Andy’s quite a bit cheaper here is my cost comparison.

Lilys chocolate bar is 3 ounces and costs 5.99

This is $1.99 per ounce! 

On Plan milk chocolate recipe produces 11 ounces for the cost of $7.42

This is $0.67 per ounce! 

Butter = $0.75

Cocoa Butter= $3.90

Cocoa Powder = $0.56

Stevia = $0.17

Super Sweet = $1.15

Pinches of salt =  $0.01

HWC Powder= $0.79

Sunflower lecithin = $0.09

Now, this is subject to the prices of each item, so it will obviously change a bit from person to person depending on costs in your area. Sometimes Lilys goes on sale, so that drives down the lilys prices, but at some grocery stores it goes for 8$ a bar! 

You could easily pour this recipe into cute little molds, but I don’t have any so I oftem use a mini muffin tin with mini muffin liners, but this time I just put parchment paper into a 9×9 pan, then cut the stuff into chunks. Man its tasty!

Heres the Recipe

5 ounces of cocoa butter (I have found that weighing the chunks outis the way to go, this is around ¾ c) 

1/2c cocoa powder

3 TBSP super sweet

½ c butter

3 pinches of mineral salt

6 Tbsp heavy whipping cream powder

1.5 tsp sunflower lecithin

2 doonks of stevia

Melt the butter and the super sweet in a pan. You can accomplish this in a double broiler, or on the stove top on a super low heat with constant stirring. I use the stove top method and ask my husband to stand and constantly stir for me!   You want to get the supersweet completely dissolved, until it starts to look and smell like candy. Then add the cocoa butter and continuously stir until it’s melted. At this point I switched to a whisk and sprinkle in all of the other powders. Continuously stirring until all of the powders are mixed. Then turn off the heat and pour it into molds, or a muffin tin with liners, or a parchment paper lined pan. Then send it in the fridge so it confirm up for a few hours.

 You’ll notice in the pictures that the chocolate doesn’t look perfect. And there’s even a line of separation of some butter on the top. Like I said earlier it’s not the prettiest chocolate recipe out there. But just wait until you taste it!

 You could add a teaspoon of various extracts to change up the flavors. I like to add in a teaspoon of coconut extract and a couple tablespoons of unsweetened coconut, which produces a chocolate very similar to day lilies coconut bar!