Tag Archives: Recipes

Healthy Challenge

Health is an ongoing CHALLENGE!
Can I Get An AMEN !?!

It is a daily goal to live at my best!

Living at my best involves my physical and my spiritual life in the many roles I have as wife, mom, teacher, friend, and more.

What are your goals?   Do you desire to loose weight?  Do you desire to serve nourishing foods to your family?  Do you want to become fit?  I know how challenging it can be to reach these goals.

Join me on a quest for living a healthy life.

Be sure to check out these healthy lifestyle challenges:

Walk and Talk Wednesday
Walk and Talk button
90 Day Healthy Choices Low Carb Challenge
Change 3 Challenge

You can also check out my recipes and menu plans for a healthy life:
Menu Plans

Please share.

90 Day “Healthy Choices” Low Carb Challenge

Are you tired of guessing if you are getting enough nutrients each day?  Are you tired of trying to figure out how to loose weight?  Are you tired of feeling like you are starving when you try to keep that New Years Resolution to go on a diet to loose weight?  I can tell you with certainty that I am tired of listening to false dietary advice from folks who really don’t know what they are doing, and tired of failing at getting fit and trim.  Instead of guessing, I want real answers.  I want to know the science of how it works, why it works, and how to repeat it with success.  Don’t try to sell me a pill, or some fancy weight loss program that costs hundreds of dollars!  I want the real change and it should be free because it should be about understanding some facts rather than buying products that may or may not work.

Next week I will be joining up with the 90 Day “Healthy Choices” Low Carb Challenge.  The upcoming challenge runs from July 16, 2014 through October 13th, 2014.

The goal of the challenge is to help you get healthy by making wise food choices, and eat around 20 NET Carbs a day.  The majority of your nutrients should come from healthy fats, healthy proteins, and low carb / high fiber vegetables and low carb / high fiber fruits.  The goal of a low carb meal plan is to maintain an over all low glycemic index, maintain ketosis, and help the body use fat as its main fuel instead of glucose.

All sugars in their various forms, and all starches, and even proteins are broken down into glucose in the body.  You might be asking “What is glucose?  What is glycemic, or low glycemic?”  Glucose is the form of sugar the body uses for fuel, and it breaks down all other sources of sugar into this chemical structure for use.  Glycemic ratio is a method of computing how fast foods are broken down into glucose.  It measures the impact breaking down carbs such as sugars and starches has on the blood stream.  The higher the glycemic load on the body, the higher the glucose in the bloodstream and the harder the liver and pancreas has to work to regulate blood sugar.  High glycemic load results in high blood sugar and eventually leads to diseases like Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes II, etc, and also feeds various fungus and cancers.  But a low carb lifestyle that maintains a low glycemic load on the body, and tends to support ultimate health and longevity.

I have always studied nutrition since my highschool days.  In college I spent countless hours studying dietary information.  I also allowed a dietary student to follow my food journals to help them and myself learn.  After college I became a medical social worker and observed first hand the impact of food and medications on mood and behavior as well as weight loss or gain and overall quality of life in my clients.  When I was in my late 20’s I learned about a better way of food preparation based on traditional diets of our ancestors instead of highly processed foods.  I joined the Weston A Price Foundation as a student and lover of learning and kept up with all the latest research about the health impact of various foods and how foods should be prepared to maximize their nutritional value.  Following the WAPF methods of food prep and eating traditional foods helped me overcome infertility and restored my reproductive health.  I finally had my first child at age 30 and now have a total of six living children and two in heaven.  During this time, I also opened a healthy foods store to sell natural traditional foods and supplements to my local community.  We eventually closed the store when I was 38 years old, to take a job opportunity for my husband in another state.  But I will never forget all the lives that were forever impacted for the better including my own.  I give all the glory to God, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn about real nutrient dense food.

Fast forward and I am now 44 years old.   With my last child born two years ago, I had an emergency C-section that seems to have caused some damage to my metabolism and immune system.  My body did not recover as fast as I had expected it to from the trauma of emergency surgery and the effects of anesthesia.  I also gained weight after the surgery and I could not seem to maintain my weight.  So last year I began a new journey of learning about the endocrine system (mainly the thyroid and adrenal glands) and how to heal.

Over the past year I have learned a lot about using carbs and fats as fuel for the body and how to separate them in various meal plans so the body only has to uses one fuel source provided instead of having to use one and store one when they are both provided at the same time.  Last spring I dug right in and learned about The Fast Metabolism Diet.  This book provided an introduction to manipulating meals and causing healing of the thyroid with nutrition.  FMD helped me loose 18lbs by eating 5 meals / snacks a day, starting within the first 30 minutes of waking.  They also encouraged mild exercise every other day and have a helpful Facebook group for support.  Then this past winter I dug in and read a huge book and learned about another method of food combining and fuel switching called Trim Healthy Mama.  I finally tried it out in February and by April I had lost 14lbs following this method.  I really liked THM because it allowed dairy (cream, cheese, butter, etc.) and because it is Christian based and it supports the whole person, not just menu planning, and there is tons of support through a forum and various online Facebook groups.

Both programs, FMD and THM control the kind of fuel being used by the body and give the body a rest between eating a different fuel source.  The FMD switches fuel sources every two to three days.  So it has two days of moderate carbs and protein, two days of no carbs (or very little) and  lean protein, and three days of moderate carbs, protein sources that contain higher fat, and healthy plant-based fats.  The THM switches fuel sources as often as every other meal.  Both programs space meals and snacks three hours apart and with both you eat about 5 times a day.  Both programs are seeing wonderful successes and I have learned a lot about how to meal plan and when to switch fuel sources.

I am wanting to take my nutritional goals a step further, as I am learning about auto immune reactions to foods, and I want to eliminate most legumes (eat only occasionally or not at all), and eliminate most grains (though I would still enjoy some soaked or sprouted gluten-free low carb grains), and bring the over all carb counts from plant foods down in the meals.  This is very exciting as I learn more about the body and how various foods and nutrients impact the body differently.

I have been creating some recipes, and doing meal planning before starting the challenge.  On my trial run, I tried to reach a goal of 20 or less net carbs (total carbs – fiber carbs = net carbs) on a few different days over the past few weeks to see if I could actually eat this way.  It is one thing to read about it.  It is a whole different thing to actually try to live it 24/7.  Most of the time, by the end of the day, my overall total carbs were between 35 to 90, and my net carbs (carb count after subtracting fiber) were usually between 19 carbs and 30 carbs with a few days over 40.  So I am feeling hopeful that with a few more tweaks, and learning how to actually keep up with keeping track of net carbs while still getting all the macro and micro nutrients, I will be able to do this.  It boils down to a learning curve and following through with a plan.

On this challenge, I plan to make lots of low carb meals and snacks, many from my own original creations with dietary knowledge I have gained from learning different methods.  I think my recipes will combine ideas from Trim Healthy Mama, Weston A Price Foundation, The Fast Metabolism Diet, Keto, Paleo, Glutenfree, and Sugarfree  variations.  I plan to track not only my carbs, but understand the various nutrients in the meals I eat and what nutrients are in excess and what nutrients are lacking and need increased for a more balanced nutritional approach.

I am personally at a point in my life where guessing about my health and nutrition is not a healthy option for me.  Don’t just tell me this or that is healthy.  I want to understand the macros and micros of what I am eating and know with confidence that I am doing the right thing for my body.  I have been tracking the nutrients on each recipe I create and also on the menu for the whole day.  The results have been eye-opening.  I can see what days I need more protein, or more thiamine, or B12 for example.  This mix of research and recipes should be a fun exploration, delicious I hope, and a very interesting learning journey as I track my changes over a 90 day period.

I hope you will check back for my progress updates.

If you would like to join the 90 Day Low Carb Challenge, check out the information over at Traveling Lowcarb and register with your email for updates and encouragement.  It’s free!

Be blessed!

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Mommy Metabolism Workshop

I was so excited when I was selected by Mommy Parties to host a product review for Random House of Haylie Pomroy’s newest book The Fast Metabolism Diet. Haylie Pomroy is a respected expert on metabolism, wholistic nutrition, and natural food science. She has helped thousands of people heal their bodies with healthy foods. She has four clinics across the country and is well known and respected in her field.

The Fast Metabolism Diet book

I was sent several copies of the book, coupons (Applegate Farms, Celestial Seasonings Teas, Artisana), a $20 Target gift card, and a MyTime Digital Crockpot to assist with The Fast Metabolism Diet “Make and Take” Mommy Party.

Iwas definitely interested to host this review party and learn what Haylie Pomroy had to say in her book about healing my body. I put my thinking cap on . . . and my kids and I talked about how we could bless our local community with all this great stuff that came for this review. . . and from there we set up a Mommy Metabolism Workshop with local moms to talk about our metabolism, learn about foods that help rev up a slow metabolism, and heal the body’s glands and organs.

The Set Up:

I received a copy of the book to review, and 10 copies to give away to local moms and spread the word about this wonderful book. If you know me, you know I take every opportunity to love on families and build them up every chance I get. Mom’s are always the last to have their own needs met. This book review was the perfect opportunity to pamper local moms, and build them up in their quest to be healthy while providing for the needs of their families.

I sent out an invitation on the local mommy loops I am apart of for moms to join me. About 500 moms/families in our local area (Hendersonville, NC / Asheville, NC / and Greenville, SC) received the email detailing the book and diet highlights, and details about the workshop. I was able to accept 10 mom’s for the workshop and asked them to RSVP. I wish I had 100 books to give away for the workshop and could have invited 100 moms to come, but I only had 10 of these wonderful books.

The only expense the moms had in attending the workshop was to bring a recipe from the book. After they secured their seat, I sent them the recipe from the book. We doubled the recipes so there was enough to eat at the workshop, and extra for moms to take servings of each dish home with them to freeze and use to kick off the first week of their new diet from the book. Each mom brought containers, and I provided extra zip lock bags so moms could take home some of everything. The workshop was kind of like a cookie swap, but it was a “metabolism diet” swap! HOORAY!!!

My kids and I went shopping for decorations, tableware and supplies, and ingredients for three of the recipes (pepperocini pork roast, watermelon smoothie, and stevia sweetened lemonade), several bags of ice, and two cases of bottled waters. I also bought several fresh fruits and vegetables, nut butters, coconut water, and coconut milk to use in my table display and talk on nutrition. My daughter had a great idea to go with a Pink Flamingo theme. She loves Pink Flamingos! We found pink flamingo cups, plates, napkins, pink silverware, yellow table cloths, and fun decorations that all coordinated beautifully and it was a hit! We set out fresh flowers too. Our color scheme was pink, yellow, blue, and silver.


I also found cute bags to hold each mom’s The Fast Metabolism Diet book, 4 tea bag samples of Celestial Seasonings Peppermint Tea, coupons for $$ off Applegate Farms organic meats, a button pin from Applegate Farms, several recipe cards, a “Pink Flamingo” silly ball (good for squeezing out “mommy stress”!), and a feathery “Pink Flamingo” ink pen for keeping a food journal or taking notes in their books.


We had lots of interests to fill our spots for the workshop, and then a few last minute cancelations, and ended up with 6 moms and 20 kids at the workshop. Even though we did not fill all ten spots, I still thought this was a great turnout. I have also had several emails from moms wanting to know more. Plus during the workshop, two more moms who were not “officially” at the workshop, sat at nearby tables and listened in. Then after the workshop they came forward to talk with me one on one about all they had seen and heard us talk about. They were very excited to learn more. So the exposure of information for moms on this just seemed to keep expanding and growing.
We set up the workshop at the local park picnic shelter. Mom’s could bring all their kids and let them play on the playground while we had our meeting, so it was a win win for mom’s and they did not have to find child care. Some of the teens sat in and listened to the workshop too. We could easily monitor the children on the playground from our vantage point, yet they could play and we could talk. Oh, thank God for parks and playgrounds!

The Workshop:

Our discussion centered around nutrition, the three phases of The Fast Metabolism Diet, physical activities in our weekly routine, and we had a personal sharing time. Each mom shared her personal testimony about why she was struggling with her health, her metabolism, or weight issues. Each mom was welcome to take a walk around the paved path at the park, hulla hoop, or join the kids for a game of kickball after the workshop too. Every mom had a precious story to tell during our sharing time and I was truly blessed by their experiences.
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I need this information as much as anyone. My own metabolism has slowed to a snail’s pace and I have gained a lot of weight over the past few years. It seems that no matter how hard I try, or how active I am, nothing changes. I seldom share pictures of myself because I am so discouraged about my weight. I have been looking for answers, keeping a food and activity journal, posting progress stories in Walk and Talk Wednesday posts, and more. But I actually have seen very little progress in in changing my metabolism and very little weight loss. I am going to implement the strategy in this book and do this diet for 28 days. The science makes sense to me and I believe this will jump start my metabolism. This workshop was such a refreshing time of learning and sharing. I truly enjoyed researching this book and hosting this workshop. Be sure to read my review of the book and my 28 day experience when I get it posted.

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A few highlights from our discussion about the book:
D. I. E. T. stands for Did I Eat Today? This is a big deal. How many times does mom skip eating during the week? Though I am over weight, I miss a lot of meals. I am so busy with my kids, that I often neglect myself. When we don’t eat, our body slows down the metabolism and stores more food as future fuel in the form of fat. Not eating doesn’t help us loose weight, it sets us up for becoming over weight.

Eat within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning.
Eat every 3 to 4 hours (Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Supper, then rest).

Science principles behind the diet:

3 Phases of the diet involve both eating and exercise and are divided up during the 7 days of the week and repeated for four weeks for a total of 28 days. Why 28 days? Because the natural rhythm of the body is on a 28 day cycle. You can adjust the days so that your “day 1 of phase 1” begins on a different day of the week if desired. Well rounded food choices (diet) come from approved foods for each phase listed in the Master Food Guide in the book.

Phase 1 UNWIND is on Monday and Tuesday
Well rounded diet with focus on carbs.
Cardio activity for 30 minutes on day 1, then rest on day 2.
Goal is to unwind from stress and calm the adrenal glands.

Phase 2 UNLOCK is on Wednesday and Thursday
Well rounded diet with focus on lean protein.
Strength activity on day 3, then rest on day 4.
Goal is to unlock stored fats and build muscle.

Phase 3 UNLEASH is on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Well rounded diet with focus on healthy fats.
Stretching activity on day 5. Rest on days 6 and 7.
Goal is to unleash the burning of stored fats for fuel, balancing
hormones, and strengthening the heart.

Haylie’s Rules:
These are recommendations (10 do’s and 10 don’ts) for success that the author suggests to make the diet successful for each person.
All of the mom’s were eager to learn, and had lots of questions. They brought the foods they had prepared and set them up on the tables and plugged in their crockpots to keep the hot foods hot while we had our discussion about the book. They sat at picnic tables and relaxed and took it all in. They were so much fun to talk to. The workshop was very interactive with these lively moms. It was fun to do this workshop with them.

Taking home their FMD books

Each mom took home a a book and goodie bag. The book is a hands on resource to help them be successful in reaching their personal goals.

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To help mom’s see how easy and delicious the diet from the book is, we made four recipes for lunch / supper, three recipes for snacks, and two beverage recipes for our workshop, plus we had all the ice cold water we could drink. I did not include any breakfast recipes, but I would have enjoyed doing these too.


All of the recipes in the book are delicious. The book contains 50 recipes, and a huge Master Food Guide to use to create your own recipes from. The book also has a sample eating schedules to show you a great way to plan your eating times through out the day for several body types. There is also several sample menu plans for each phase. Each of the 50 recipes in the book can be divided into 4, and some into 6, portions or servings. So you can make them one week, eat a serving and freeze the additional portions. Now you have ready made meals in the freezer (and snacks in the fridge) to use through out the 28 days of the program.

Phase 1

Turkey Chili, page 187
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Fruit Snacks Tray from Phase 1
Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Oranges, Mangos, Strawberries, Cherries (or watermelon), Blackberries (planned, but due to a cancelation this tray was absent. I didn’t have time to prepare another one but I wish I had so moms could see and taste delicious fruits used in the diet). There are many more options and we just chose a few to show the variety.

Vegetable Snacks Tray from Phase 1
Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Carrots, Celery, Tomatoes, Jicama. There are many more options we just chose a few to show some of the variety. We served samples of cashew butter with celery and jicama as a snack option too.

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Watermelon Smoothie, page 194
We made this drink during the workshop. I brought a blender, frozen watermelon chunks, stevia, ice, and peppermint tea (the recipe recommended mint extract, but I did not have this). It was a cool minty icy sweet PINK sensation in the mouth! Many moms said they really enjoyed this smoothie. If left to sit a bit, and the frothy pink ice melts, this turns this drink into a beautiful purple color.

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Phase 2
Stuffed Mushrooms, page 213

Stuffed Mushrooms FMD Weiser Academy

Pepporocini Pork Roast, page 210
We used a boneless pork loin roast. There are herbs (dry mustard, oregano, rosemary), sea salt, and chopped pickled banana peppers (found in the pickle isle in the grocery store) in this dish, though you can’t see them in this photo because they have fallen into the broth. But once the roast is pulled from the crockpot, they are stuck to the other side. I just flipped the roast over on a plate and the chopped peppers looked very pretty on the meat and taste delicious in this recipe. My 10 year old son helped make this recipe and he did a great job. I will post another story about making this roast in the crockpot and show you step by step with lots of photos.

Porchini Pork Roast FMD

Phase 3

Coconut Curry Chicken, page 224
This delicious flavorful dish is served with quinoa, a delicious nutrient dense grain.

Coconut Curry ChickenQuinoa

White Bean Hummus with Cucumbers, page 231

White Bean Hummus

Sweet Potato Hummus with Cucumbers, page 232

Sweet Potato Hummus

Lemonade (made with stevia).
Recipe not in the book, but this beverage is suggested for occasional use during the diet. We made this on site during the workshop. This makes 1 gallon. Fruit Juices (when juice is separated from the fruit fiber) are not allowed on the diet because of the high rate of sugar delivery to the blood stream. However, an occasional glass of lemonade is allowed as long as you are drinking plenty of water through out the day. Several whole fruits are used in phases 1 and 3, but not in phase 2. However, lemons and limes are the only approved fruit (fruit juice) in all 3 phases so you could enjoy this beverage during the diet as long as no sugar (or sweeteners that be
come sugar in the body) is added.

For 1 gallon of Lemonade: use 12 lemons (or limes for limeade), cut three or four lemons in thin slices and place in the bottom of pitcher. Pound for a few minutes to release the juice and oils. Squeeze out the juice of the remaining lemons and ad to the pitcher. Stir in 4 teaspoons of liquid stevia (ad more stevia if you want it sweeter). Fill with filtered water and ice. If you only want to make a quart of lemonade, then reduce the size by using 3 lemons or limes, 1 tsp stevia, ice and filtered water to fill a quart jar). Enjoy delicious and naturally sugar free lemonade! Everyone said this was delicious and refreshing.

Lemonade Sugar Free

Feasting and Fellowship:
Here is a picture with a sampling of the food on one plate together. There are four entrees (chicken and quinoa, stuffed mushroom, chili, and roast), and snacks (raw vegetables, and two hummus dips), and the watermelon smoothie.
Foods at the Fast Metabolism workshop

Mom’s enjoyed a meal of all the foods brought today. I think every mom was pleased with the food.
mommy metabolism worshop

They also took home additional meals from each of the recipes to put in their fridge or freezer and have ready to begin their diet. All of the moms encouraged their children to try out the foods. This way of eating isn’t just for mom. You can feed the whole family with these delicious recipes. The kids loved the food! I heard so many kids say their favorite thing they ate was the Turkey Chili. The kids also helped make the lemonade, and it seemed to instantly disappear as they came back for more and more.
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I have told all the moms who participated at the workshop that I would be glad to be a continuing support person and offered to host a “28 Days” support group to encourage each one on the journey. If they want to write about the experience, I told them I would be glad to publish their stories right here on Weiser Academy and share their journey with the world. This offer is extended to my readers too, if you use this book and would like to share your journey using the diet, I would be glad to post your journey here for others to read.

Many moms feel guilty spending money on themselves when they have families that need the grocery money. It is expensive taking care of a family, and there usually is no money left over each month for moms to take care of themselves. The recipes they know and have budgeted for are foods their kids will eat. It is expensive to add on additional meals, especially if the kids or dad might not like them. If we could put a budget together for these healthy meals, I think that would help moms be able to locate the resources in their monthly grocery budgets. They would know what it would cost to feed one person, two persons, four persons, eight persons etc. on this diet. Part of the reason mom’s metabolisms are slowing down is because of “cheap” food choices to feed their families. They are forced into a lifestyle of eating high carbs, high sugar, poor nutrient quality foods because their monthly food budget is limited, their knowledge of other options is limited, and they are already having a hard time making ends meet for their families. They don’t know, or think they can’t afford, a better way.

I would love to help moms get a whole months worth of delicious entrees in the freezer to help them rev up their metabolism using The Fast Metabolism Diet principals. If we had another workshop with 28 moms and each prepared a lunch entree and a supper entree, we could get 28 lunches, and 28 suppers in the freezer for each mom. Then all they would need then to add in is their fresh ingredients, snacks, and easy breakfast meals to complete their 28 days on the program. I would love to help moms figure out a budget to complete the 28 days on the program too and put their plan into action.

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I would love to host this same workshop again, and again! What a great way to love on moms and help them be the best for their families and help them reach their personal health goals. It was absolutely fun! I absolutely believe providing this kind of workshop or “kick off” helps moms make this transition successful. These are nutrition skills and organization skills that can lead to a healthy life change. I know for a fact they have had and will continue to have a positive impact on me and my family.

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After the workshop, many moms joined their kids for a rousing game of kickball on the playground. It was a great day!

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