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Thursday, September 10, 2015

My Trimaversary

"Once you discover nothing tastes as good as peace feels, the journey becomes less and less about food and more and more about God." 
Yesterday was my Trimaversary. It was one year ago on September 9 that I started my journey of eating healthy with Trim Healthy Mama.
I had been challenged in the past by God to show self-discipline in my life in the area of food/health, but after many ups and downs, I struggled so much with finding my "want to" that I just couldn't get started!
I went on furlough last year weighing more than I ever have, and discouraged because I knew I would gain more weight while in the US. I hated having pictures taken. It was so hard to choose pictures for our prayer card, because I didn't like any of them! I was on furlough for 4 months when I stepped on the scales and was in shock when I saw how high the numbers were. I had kept promising myself, "I'll never get higher than ___," and I was higher than every one of those promises.
I had two good friends (one in the US and one in NZ) that had shared with me about THM on numerous occasions, but I was afraid to spend that much money on a book. I was afraid that it might not work for me, or even more, that I might not have the will power to stick to it. I tried to get it from the library, but it was always checked out with a long waiting list. This day I was desperate. I just had to make a change. I bought the ebook, and started reading it right away. I stayed up late, devoured half the book, and made changes immediately. I didn't tell anyone that I was trying something new because I thought I might fail! 
In the first week I lost more than 5 lbs. Even though we were on furlough, I was able to cook for myself most of the time. When we were traveling or at other's homes, I just made the best choices I could. If someone made me lasagna, I ate it, and then was right back on plan in 3 hours. By the time we left for the field, 2 months after I started THM, I had already lost over 25 lbs! I have continued THM on the field, and, after a year, have lost 55 lbs (25 kg). I am just lower than my pre-pregnancy weight - FINALLY, as my first pregnancy was 16 years ago, and my last one 13 years ago! I have gone from a US size 18 to a US size 8/10. 
Trim Healthy Mama has helped me implement change. I am not at my goal weight, but I know I can do this. I cannot ever see myself returning to my former eating habits.

(It was these before photos that contributed to my decision to make a change! I don't have good before pics, because I hated having my picture taken!)



Sunday, August 16, 2015

Chocolate Coconut Muffin in a Mug with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing (THM)


1 Egg, beaten
2 Tbsp Almond Flour
1 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut
1 Tbsp Cocoa
1 Tbsp Xylitol
1 tsp Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Water

Mix together in microwave safe mug or bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. (Alternately, bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.)


1 Tbsp Cream Cheese
1 Tbsp Sugar Free Peanut Butter
2 sachets Candarel Stevia (or sweetener of choice)

Mix together and slather on top of cooked muffin. Enjoy!!

**Next time I will thin the icing a little with some almond milk. It was a little thick!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Beverley Naidoo, South Africa & Tapestry of Grace

What happens when you move? You sort. And sort. And sort. I sorted through things as we packed, getting rid of what we no longer need, and now I'm sorting through things as I unpack!
I came across a book today while unpacking my school room that I thought I could add to my my children's reading list this year. We are doing Year 4 of Tapestry of Grace, which covers the time period from 1900 to the Present. The book is Journey to Jo'burg by Beverley Naidoo. As I researched to find the time setting for this book, I found that she's written several other highly recommended books. I thought I would share, first of all, so that I don't forget about them! Secondly, I thought someone else might find it useful.
Please keep in mind, other than Journey to Jo'burg, I haven't previewed the books and plan to preview them before letting my children read them.

Out of Bounds, TOG Y4, Units 3-4, 1950-2000
Recommended for Grades 6 and up. (Also available on Kindle)

Journey to Jo'burg, TOG Y4, Wk 31 - 1985 (This is when the book was first published)
Recommended for Grades 6 and up.

Chain of Fire, TOG Y4, Wk 32 - 1986 (This is when the book was first published) (Out of Print)
Sequel to Journey to Jo'burg

No Turning Back, TOG Y4, Wk 33 or 34
Recommended for Grades 4 and up. (Also available on Kindle)

There is also the sweetest children's book! I am going to have to purchase this one! I just fell in love with the preview on Amazon.

S is for South Africa

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Homeschool Curriculum 2015

Here is what we're using for homeschool this year...

Brandon, age 15
Tapestry of Grace Year 4 - Rhetoric Level, which covers:
  • World History
  • World Classics of Literature
  • Fine Arts
  • Church History
  • Government 
  • Philosophy
Apologia Biology
Easy Grammar 
Math U See Algebra 2 and Stewardship
Mavis Beacon Typing
Institute for Excellence in Writing US History, Vol. 2 and High School Essay Intensive

Marissa, age 12
Tapestry of Grace Year 4 - Dialectic:
  • History, Arts, Geography
Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics
Easy Grammar 
Math U See PreAlgebra
Mavis Beacon Typing 
Spelling Power, Fourth Edition 
Institute for Excellence in Writing US History, Vol. 2

Mya, Age 7
Little Footprints (first half of year)
Tapestry of Grace Year 4 - Lower Grammar (second half of year)
Hooked on Phonics/Blue LLATL
Math U See Alpha (finish/started last year) & Beta
Handwriting Without Tears 
Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cinnamon Vanilla Rooibos Tea (Hot or Iced)

I started playing with different ways to drink Rooibos tea when I needed a substitute for my Five Roses tea with cow's milk. I love my Five Roses, but only with cow's milk, and that's not very conducive to my shrinking waist line! So, here you have it. Dairy Free. Sugar Free. Yummalicious!

1 Rooibos tea bag
1/4-1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
Pinch Salt
Unsweetened Almond milk, to taste
Sweetener of your choice (I use stevia)

Add 1 Rooibos tea bag to a large mug. Add hot water. Steep as long as you prefer. I like it strong so I just leave my tea bag in. Add cinnamon, vanilla, cayenne pepper, and salt. Stir. Add almond milk to taste. Inspired by Trim Healthy Mama's The Shrinker. Serve hot, or poor over ice. If serving over ice, add up to 1/2 cup almond milk. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Boer versus Briton 1880-1902

I am in the process of adding South African history to our homeschool studies, integrating it with Tapestry of Grace. The Boer versus Briton (Anglo Boer War) section of All About South Africa would fit into TOG Y4.

Books to look for:
Ring Around the Moon by Maretha Maartens
Place Among the Stones by Jenny Seed
The Policeman's Button by Jenny Seed
The Spy Hill by Jenny Seed

Photographic Record of the Anglo Boer War
Anglo Boer War website

Field Trips:
"Luthuli Farewell Square is named in honour of early trader Lieutenant Francis Farewell and liberation struggle leader Albert Luthuli. Monuments here include statues in honour of Queen Victoria, a Boer War memorial, a Cenotaph honouring the fallen in both World Wars among other memoria. The square is opposite the eThekwini (formerly Durban) City Hall." (As a side note, eThekwini City Hall was built in 1903, so also a great visit for this time period.)
Battle of Magersfontein - Kimberly
Kruger House Museum - Pretoria

Thursday, December 4, 2014


My blog has been VERY quiet as of late. I think that it's justifiable with packing, moving out of a house, flying to another country and traveling for 6 months, and then moving into a new house. And that's not to mention any other "minor" events in our family during this time period!
So... I'm back. We are still settling into our new home, but we're back in Africa and life is beginning to look like normal, if there is such a thing.
While we were traveling, we ate lots of different foods. We enjoyed our old favourites - Arby's, Mexican food, cheesesteaks, Grinders from Mancino's, etc. We also had MANY delicious home cooked meals as we met new people and visited with old friends in their homes. We ate our way across the Eastern US! ;) And needless to say, instead of losing weight or even maintaining it, I gained. I stepped on the scales in Sept, about 4 months after we started traveling, and reality slapped me in the face! I was determined to make a change.


A couple of friends had mentioned Trim Healthy Mama (THM) to me months earlier, and I was interested, but the cost of the book seemed daunting, especially when I wasn't sure I would stick with the plan or if it would work for me. But now, I was ready to splurge. I needed to make a change! And I found that the ebook version from their website was a much better price.
That was the 7th of September. I started implementing the plan on the 9th of September. We were still  traveling in the US and had many meals provided for us, so I wasn't on plan 100% of the time. I love this way of eating! It has made a huge difference for me, not only in weight loss, but in the way I feel! I love that I feel hungry when it's time to eat, which is approximately every 3 hours. I have lost 31 lbs. (14 kg). And before I started THM, every afternoon I would feel exhausted. I felt like I had to sleep or I might just collapse! I no longer feel that way! In fact, last week on my birthday, I laid down to rest to "spoil" myself and got back up because I didn't feel like sleeping! It amazes me how much more energy I have!
I just wanted to share, as it was as a result of some good friends sharing with me that I found this great tool to get healthy. Check it out! You may even be able to get a copy from your local library!