Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Africa 2016!

This little girls name is Maria.  I don't know if I will see her again as she did not live in the orphanage but was one of the village kids.  She had a spirit that would light up the night sky.  I pray for her often.  

We have some exciting news to share with you. Julianna and I have been given the privilege of being part of the 2016 Africa Mission team to Mozambique, Africa. As most of you know I had this awesome experience back in November of 2012. It would be impossible to describe how that trip has changed how I view life and how I love other people. I am absolutely ecstatic that I get to share this adventure with Julianna.

We will be working with Iris Ministries ( in providing assistance to an area of Africa which has been ravaged by AIDS. Nearly 50% of the young adults are dying of AIDS and leaving large numbers of orphans behind with no one to care for them. Our church members now sponsor more than eighty children in the village of Meize. We will be involved in projects such as much needed medical care, health training, and construction of homes for our sponsored children as well as some other village children so they can attend high school in the city of Pemba, and possibly other projects intended to improve the economic opportunities for the villagers, blessing and being blessed by some of the poorest of the poor. We have committed to returning to the village of Meize every two years to maintain our relationship and support for these orphans and their village.

As a team member we are responsible for raising our own travel costs in addition to collecting clothes, tools and medical supplies to be given to the people in the village we have adopted.

Part of the commitment to the mission is the requirement to enlist the support of others in funding and praying for our participation and the success of the mission. We would love for you to be part of our team, either by donating and/or with your prayers. The total cost of the trip is $ 3,000.00 for each of us. That's a total of $6000.00 for the both of us. This covers everything….plane fare, food, lodging, in-country travel and supplies.

If you would like to support us in this effort we would appreciate it if you would respond immediately as we must have my funds in place as soon as possible so that our flights can be booked. You can click on the donate button below or on the right hand side of the blog. 

You could also send a cheque to Summerside Community Church. Please make your cheque payable to:

Summerside Community Church
150 Industrial Crescent
Summerside PE C1N 5N6

Thank you so much for your support! Please continue to pray for us as we move forward towards this goal.

Here are some pictures from the orphanage we will be visiting.  

Many of the kids wear rags and are so dirty.  This little ones name is Anna and had a gorgeous smile when she smiled. 

Many kids walked around with younger siblings on their backs.

After the feeding program where each child gets a dish of rice and beans, this sister of five took all their dishes, emptied them in to a tupperware type dish and then gave each of them a handful and took the rest home to their family.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes! (S)

Trim Healthy Mama has a fantastic recipe for pancakes.  They are so delicious with a bit of greek yogurt and fruit on top.  The only problem with them is that they are an "E" meal and so I need to limit my fats with it.  You know what that means?  NO bacon!  I know! It's so sad!  Breakfast would not be complete without bacon.   I've looked for pancakes that I could have with bacon but all the recipes I found seemed so complicated.  So I set out to make an S pancake on my own.  Here's what I came up with. I use a baking blend that I make from another website.   Click on the word baking blend to see the recipe. Or THM has their own baking blend but I haven't been able to try it yet.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes 
time=10 mins 

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp peanut flour
  • 2 tbsp low carb baking blend  
  • 2-3 packets of Truvia
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2-3 frozen strawberries chopped

Directions: Mix all ingredients together.  Fry pancakes with butter in a pan.  Serve with sweetened greek yogurt and strawberries.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Berry Crisp for One (S)

 So I've been following Trim Healthy Mama now for over a year and a half and I have just finally started to write down some of my recipes.  Now I will share.  This recipe is classified as a "S" for satisfying.   This would be a good dessert to have after a nice steak dinner.  It's classified as an S because of the almond flour and the amount of butter used.  It could be easily converted to an "E" (Energizing) by switching out the almond flour for oat flour and only using 1 tsp of butter.  That way you could use apples or peaches.

Last night I was totally craving a crisp.  So I made this last night for a snack and served it with one spoonful of So Delicious Coconut Milk sugar free ice cream.

Anyway here is the recipe.

Berry Crisp for One

1/2 cup frozen berries
4 packets truvia
Sprinkle of glucomannan
2 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp almond flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1tbsp butter, melted

Place berries in ramekin and sprinkle 2 packs of truvia and a sprinkle of gluccie. In separate bowl mix oats, almond flour, cinnamon, and 2 packs of truvia.  Mix in the melted butter and place on top of the berries.   Bake at 350 for 20-22 mins.

Net carbs work out to be 9.9 grams so just under the allowed 10 carbs for a S snack.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 241 g 

Calories from Fat 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
Saturated Fat 
Trans Fat 
Total Carbohydrates 
Dietary Fiber 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The day's meals.

Hey everyone. 

So I've been doing the Trim Healthy mama plan now for 19 months tomorrow. I have not lost a pound since January but I have gone down in pant sizes and inches since then. This is a hugely successful plan and a way of life for me. I can't believe I get to eat such yummy food that is actually healthy for me. 

Lots of people have asked me what I do and I've explained that on the blog before so today I want to give you an idea on what I eat. I woke up later than usual this morning and I didn't feel like having my regular eggs or oatmeal for breakfast. So I booted up my computer and searched for a pancake recipe that I could have bacon with.  I finally found one that was low carb so I managed to have pancakes and bacon.  The recipe I found had a recipe for a maple butter that was super good. I didn't even need syrup or anything like that. I did put a dollop of greek yogurt on top of each pancake for some extra protein.   Here's where I found the recipe.

Because I woke up late and had breakfast late I didn't have time in my day to be able to have a snack. (Since I eat every three to four hours.) So my next meal was lunch!  This was leftover cheeseburger salad from last nights supper. It was so delicious. This recipe is from the pioneer woman website. ( Her cheeseburger salad, only I omit the croutons. I added a spoonful of chipotle ceasar dressing as well. 

I love adding pickles to this salad!

I added dessert to this meal. Yesterday I made a flourless chocolate cake ( it is delicious!  So dark and rich!  I had it with some sugar free So Delicious coconut milk ice cream. 

No snack again since I had a later lunch so supper is next. I put a small chicken in the oven to roast and served it with green beans and potato wedges for the rest of the family, I had pureed cauliflower with mine. So yummy!  I gulped it down quick as I had some chauffeuring to do with kids activities so I barely got to taste it. Lol. But it was good. 

My evening snack was another slice of cake. This time I sweetened some cream cheese and spread it on top. So yum!  I was so eager to taste that I forgot to take a picture. So there you have it. My day of meals. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The bright side

Wow, I didn't realize how long it's been since my last post.  It's been almost a year!  To be fair, my life has not changed a whole lot so you haven't missed much.  In a nut shell in the last 8 months, the kids finished up another year of homeschool (grades 7, 4, 2 and kindergarten respectively) we had a slow start to our summer since it was still cold in July! That meant we didn't get to the beach as much as we would have liked but Augusts and Septembers weather made up for a cold June and July. We even managed a beach day or two in September which is usually unheard of.  August was an extremely busy month with the girls taking part in the two week Spotlight Theatre Company's musical theatre camp as well as "T" going away to camp for the first time, then little miss Sweet Pea's 6th birthday, a conference "J" and I worked at for our church and J going away for camp following that. By the time September came around, I was ready to return to the routine of school and fall activities.  This meant though that we had to say goodbye during the days to our sweet T who decided he wanted to try grade five in public school. We as parents decided that if he wanted to do that then that is what we will let him do even though in my heart I hated the fact that he would be away for so much of the day each day.  So we slid into routine, T fit very well in school as we knew he would because he is just such a likeable kid and the other three started their homeschool year. I found with one less child to teach, it was easier to focus on my little grade 1 student and getting her to learn how to read. We decided to skip a grade with "I" who is now doing primarily grade 4 work (and some grade 5) and he is moving along smoothly as long as I can make sure he focuses.  "J" is plodding along in grade 8, not particularly enjoying school but glad to be able to stay home and do school in her pjs if she wants.

So here we are. I'm going to try and fill this post with bright sides... you know those silver linings that are hard to see when we are having  a miserable day/week.  We just began our fourth week of school. Let me tell you about how our week has gone so far. Let's start with Friday night.  What a fun night. We had friends over for supper. A supper that has been long overdue considering our busy summer.  After supper we got a phone call from other friends of ours who were in town. We were just about to play a new game we just got called The Resistance (get it, try it, it's a blast and you may not ever trust anyone again lol) so we invited them over too. This meant even more kids to play with for our own. I think with all the families combined plus neighbor kids we had 11-12 running around. So the adults sat down to play the game and the kids ran outside to play at the cul de sac behind our house.  We adults were having fun mistrusting each other when our friends 8 year old daughter came in the house saying someone was hurt.  After trying to figure out which kid she was talking about hubby jumped up and looked out the back door. He comes in and says "It's "J" and the boys are carrying her home."

At this point I jump up because if she needs to be carried home then it must be serious. Just as I get to the door, I hear them coming and her saying "ok I'm good". I relax.  She wasn't crying as she hobbled in so it must not have been too bad. She just said she twisted her ankle.  So we get her ice, everyone starts packing heir kids up ready to start home. Hubby had plans with other friends later in the evening so he left as our friends left. As soon as everyone was gone, I look at "J" and she burst in to tears saying how much her ankle hurt. The little stinker downplayed her injury while everyone was still there.  So since both boys left with our friends for sleepovers, I put Sweet Pea to bed and "J" and I cuddled in my bed watching a movie.  As she went to bed later that night, I hoped that by morning, the pain would have subsided.  It didn't..  the next morning, she complained that it hurt more and that she didn't sleep much of the night because of it.  Sooo I made arrangements for Hubby to cart Sweet pea and our neice to their dance class and took 'J' to the ER.  Seven hours of waiting in the waiting room ensued.  Finally we are called in, see the dr for all of 1 minute, get some xrays and get a diagnoses of a sprained ligament and instructions to stay off it for a week.  On the bright side..... my sweet aunt let us borrow some crutches that she had so we didn't have to rent them.

Fast forward to Monday... yesterday... I wake up to get the boy off to school and get my day started.  Hubby is just about to walk out the door for work when a full bottle of vanilla (big bottle from costco) jumps out of the cupboard and falls on the tile breaking the cap off.  On the bright side.... I managed to grab it before we lost too much of it.  Hubby helps to clean it up as much as he can before rushing off to work.  I end up getting the mop out and mopping the kitchen floor and since I had it out, I may as well mop the living room floor as well. The bright side now?  The house smells like delicious vanilla!  As I am doing that, I send "T" up to the attic to retrieve some little people toys for the little girls I was babysitting later on that morning.  So there we were, mopping the floor and rummaging in the attic.  As he comes back down, we happen to look at the time..  What do you know.. it's 8:19 and his bus comes at 8:25.  He scrambles out the door and I watch as he makes it to the bus stop.  I look at my watch, whew he made it and it was only 8:20.
Ahh.. as the other kids start straggling out of their beds, I realize I hadn't had time to eat breakfast so I start my daily routine of making oatmeal.  Just as I am about to get it into the microwave to cook, "T" comes into the house saying, "I think you need to drive me to school"  I look at my watch... 8:33. CRAP!  School bell rang 3 minutes ago and we had 2 minutes to get there before school started.  The bright side is we literally live a one minute drive from his school and 'J' is old enough to stay with the other kids while I ran out so I didn't have to pile everyone in the car.

So I got T to school, got the other kids started on their schoolwork, welcomed my little 21 month old nephew in who I babysit on Monday mornings and the two other little girls that I babysit on Mondays as well and went on with our day.  It was a fairly easy day.. The baby (9 month old) was super easy and had two naps for me. Even the other little girl (2 years) napped in the afternoon.  Things finally seemed to be running smoothly.  Until I started to feel dizzy, scratchy throat and my nose started filling up.  Ugh.. I had finally caught the cold that had run it's course through our household and so had 'J'   The bright side is I had gotten paid for babysitting so I had a little extra money and it was half off day at Greco so I ordered pizza for supper and didn't have to cook.  Hubby even took "I" to karate for me.

That evening as we started to wind down, three kids were in bed and I was watching a tv show with J when I heard  what I thought was hubby coughing.  Then a weak little "MOM" came from the bathroom.  Yup, it was 'T' throwing up.   After he was done though, he was convinced it was that he had ate too much junk that day and that he felt perfectly fine.. Since he sleeps on the top bunk, we decided it would be safer if he slept on the couch anyway just in case.  Boy was I glad he did.  Now normally, all our kids do very well getting to the toilet in time when having a stomach bug.. it's very rare to have any mess to clean up.  Last night was one of those rare times.  At about 11:00, I see him run past our bedroom to the bathroom.  I go to check on him and what a mess.  There were literally piles of puke from the couch to the bathroom.. probably a good 10-15 feet worth.  Here's the bright side.... my hubby has always been one to get in there and help clean up these kinds of messes.  If he weren't, I think I would have cried.  As we got 'T' into the shower and started to clean, we realized that I still had the steam mop out from that morning.  Perfect!  It took probably 20 minutes to get everything clean but the bright side is my living room, hallway and bathroom floors all are very clean and mopped.  We got 'T' settled in again this time on our "sick mat" on the floor with a nice big bucket.  He continued to throw up all night long and into the morning.  The bright side is we got to keep him home from school and enjoy him for the day and he is starting to feel much better.

My lack of sleep + cold symptoms has turned into a massive sinus headache but the  bright side is I am here... I'm alive and it's just a cold.  I will survive.

Based on how my week has started I could be miserable and complain but I choose to look at the bright side of things and know that tomorrow is a new day full of new silver linings!

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Hey Everyone,

I know that I don't post on this blog very often but sometimes I am just inspired.   As some of you know, I've been doing this eating right thing for going on 11 months now. In the beginning, I was reluctant to mention it to anyone... Just in case I failed. So I promised myself that once I hit 50 lbs lost, I would blog about it.  Well, I am blogging a bit late, because 50 lbs has come and gone.. This morning I stepped on the scale and I realized that I had met my second short term goal... that is to be the same weight as I was before I got pregnant with my oldest almost 13 years ago.   57 pounds gone....  So for those who are curious, I am going to explain how I am doing it and then I want to tell you a few stories of what I have experienced since I started this journey.  

In order to tell this story, I will have to go back to a year ago.  I was on Facebook and noticed a picture of a lady that I knew.  They were kind of before and after pictures of her after losing some weight.   She inspired me.  At that same time, Hubby took some pictures of me and this is what I saw...  

That picture was taken a year ago.. when I saw it, I was shocked.  You see I am one of those people that when I look in the mirror, I don't see how big I am.  Not sure why.  I always look smaller in mirrors. haha.  So to see a picture of myself was a big shock.   

So I did some digging into how my friend on facebook had lost so much weight.  I found out that she was doing a plan called Trim Healthy Mama.  

 It just so happened that I had gotten some money for Christmas so I ordered the book right away.   While I waited for the book to arrive, I slowly starting cutting out refined sugar from my diet.  I couldn't wait.   Change had to happen NOW.  

My book arrived and I officially started the Trim Healthy Mama plan on March 2nd.  The basics of the plan (and I mean basics, to really grasp the concept you would have to read the book) are separating your fuels.  Fats vs Carbs. That keeps your blood sugar balanced. There different meal types.  S (Satisfying) meals are meals that are full of good fats (butter, coconut oil, meats) and no more than 10 grams of carbs. An example of an S meal would be my lunch today, I had leftover beef spaghetti sauce over baked spaghetti squash and topped with some mozza and parmesan cheese.  E (Energizing) meals are meals that have between 20-45 grams of good carbs (brown rice, sweet potatoes, sprouted grain breads, oatmeal), lean protein (chicken breast, tuna etc) and no more than 5 grams of fat. An example of an E meal would be baked oatmeal with berries and greek yogurt or maybe chicken breast served with rice or maybe even on some sprouted bread. This meal is where you would get your fruits as well.   Fuel pull meals have 5 grams or less of fat and 10 grams or less of carbs,  Don't be deceived.  Fuel pull meals can be very filling, for example the other day I sauteed chicken breast with peppers and mushrooms but instead of using oil, I used fat free chicken broth. I was able to eat a heap of food and be under my limits for a fuel pull meal.  The main thing is to always have protein, especially with meals that have carbs in them.   It's really an easy plan to follow but like most eating plans, there are things to avoid.  I've had to give up all sugar, white potatoes, white bread, corn.  (That last one was no loss to me though, I hate corn! haha)  

Now you might think that not having sugar means I don't get to have any sweets.  Not so.. Just yesterday I had chocolate pie.   There are alternatives to sugar that are just as good although a little more expensive.  I mainly use a Stevia/Erythritol mix.  You have to be careful when buying this because sometimes it will say Stevia on the box but in the ingredients they have maltodextrin in it which is derived from corn which will spike your blood sugar.  I use this mostly...  

You can also use Xylitol which can be bought at the Bulk Barn in Canada.  I am very very careful when I use Xylitol because it is very toxic to dogs and I would hate my little pup to ingest it.  So I only use it in drinks and never use it in sweets that my kids might want and drop on the floor.  

 Don't go thinking that I am constantly counting my carbs and fats either.  For one thing, you don't count the carbs in non starchy veggies and you don't count the fat in your lean protein (as long as it is a lean protein, you wouldn't eat red meat or bacon with a carb laden meal)  I've done this long enough now that I know what foods fall in what category.  So that's the basic premise of the plan.  Now I want to share some stories of my experience.   But first some pictures.  I did take pictures in the last 10.5 months so I could see for myself the change.   I have a lot more to go but I will say this, I am proud of myself. 

As you can see, there is quite a difference. Now I want to share something.  I have had so many people come up to me and tell me how great I am looking.  In church, at the grocery stores and even in restaurants.  Everyone wants to tell me to keep up the good work and how I inspire them.  It has been great.  It has been encouraging to me that people notice.  I had several people tell me even today.  It makes you feel good when someone notices your hard work and says something.   It certainly boosts the self esteem.   I have noticed even within myself that I am bolder, more confident as if my weight had somehow squashed down a part of me.   

A couple weeks ago, I was on stage at church on the worship team and after church while talking with my friends, several of them told me how beautiful I was.  I was certainly flattered but later in my own quiet time as I reflected on my day I realized that that was the first time that I could remember that anyone besides my husband had told me that I was beautiful.  Today after getting another encouraging compliment from someone, I started reflecting on that again.  A year ago, no one told me I was beautiful, no one told me that I was glowing, no one told me how great I looked that day.   

This is my biggest revelation from this journey.  Beauty is not how we look.  Beauty is not how much we weigh.  Beauty is who we are, how we treat others and how we treat ourselves.   We love our loved ones not because of what they look like, we love them for who they are so why wouldn't we tell them they are beautiful ALL THE TIME?  Comments like "you look great today" or "You are just sparkling!" lift people up.  People need to be lifted up always.  

That's my challenge to you.  Look past weight, look past looks.  Tell someone they are beautiful.  Tell someone how much you appreciate them.