Category Archives: Tasty Tuesday

Because you have to feed them too

Mixed Berry Kefir

Another delicious kefir variety with frozen strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

This week I’m sharing another way to make a kefir (ke-FEAR) drink. I know it is a bit of a cop out because by now you have the idea of what to do. But it is the only thing that was coming to me this week.

So here it is. Start with about a cup of kefir. (I made this for four people so I had two cups. I usually make for at least two half to three-quarter cup servings.)

Plain double fermented kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Add a few strawberries, about a quarter to one third cup of blueberries, and about a quarter cup of blackberries. (I prefer blueberries but the blackberry seeds are pulverized in the blender.)

Frozen berries + Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Add in about 4-6 ice cubes, or more if you like yours really thick and icy. It is currently VERY cold out and I’m not into drinking or eating cold things when I’m cold.

Kefir +berries + ice ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Add in sweetener of your choice; 2-3 doonks of stevia powder which is a scant 1/8th of a teaspoon. (You can see the powdered stevia in the picture above.)

Blend away!

Blending Mixed Berry Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Drink up. Mixed Berry Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.meI recently read where a gal had tried for years to get pregnant and couldn’t, and even spent lots of money on fertility drugs and such. Finally decided to stop trying and just enjoy the niece she has and get healthy. She started drinking kefir daily and ended up getting pregnant. So, maybe it can help if you are trying to get pregnant. Although, as with most things, don’t go overboard. It appears that drinking too much can also not be good for getting pregnant. :)

Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

E Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Kefir as an E Drink

Kefir with peaches, pineapple, and citrusy baobab for a yummy, healthy drink.

This week I’m showing you how to make Kefir as an E drink. It is really simple. Add a few slices of frozen peaches, a bit of frozen pineapple, ice, and stevia. That’s it. Give it a whirl in the blender and drink.

E Kefir Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meBlending Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.meSimply blend and serve! :)

Fruity E Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Kefir as an E Drink

Ingredients

  • All of these measurements are approximates and very flexible, change as you desire.
  • 1 cup double-fermented kefir
  • 4 slices frozen peaches
  • handful frozen pineapple
  • 4-8 ice cubes depending on how thick/slushy you want
  • 2-3 doonks stevia extract powder

Instructions

  1. Put it all in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Drink.
http://lifeofjoy.me/kefir-as-an-e-drink/

I hope you enjoy this healthy probiotic, prebiotic drink.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Beginning Trim Healthy Mama

Healthy food ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m writing this post, not as an authority in the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) community but more for those of my friends who are interested in beginning this eating lifestyle.

Here are my tips for beginning:

  • I recommend you get the Trim Helthy Mama Plan book either from the library system, new or used online or in a bookstore. You can just get the Trim Healthy Table cookbook which came out recently and has a summary of the plan in the first 3 chapters but for a better understanding, I recommend the plan book. If you cannot get that, here is an online resource you can use.
  • You want to eat your fats separate from your carbs. So although you can have brown rice or sweet potatoes you cannot have them with steak but you could have it with chicken breast. You want to have lean meats with your carbs. It is important to have all your meals anchored with protein; this doesn’t mean you need six ounces of protein but definitely some. Protein slows the rise of blood sugar from eating carbs.
  • You want to have three hours between eating. Don’t eat sooner, even if hungry. If you are hungry prior to 3 hours, note what you ate last and increase amounts next time or drink a sipper, cup of tea, or water. It is actually good to be hungry because that means the body has run through the fuel you cave it and is now ready for more (and should get it from your fat stores). You can change your fuel source after three hours, so you can have a meal with nice healthy fats and three hours later a meal with yummy sweet potatoes.
  • You will need lots of non-starchy vegetables. I suggest lettuce, onions, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, and frozen okra. These are our basics.
  • Did I mention eggs? Yeah, we use lots of eggs. I really like eggs. I bake a lot with eggs.
  • Find a sugar alternative that you like. If you want to only get yours from a local store, I’d look for Swerve or Pyure (be sure it is only erythritol and stevia, they have some with extra ingredients that are not on plan). I also like stevia glycerite. But if you can order online, I recommend getting Gentle Sweet and Pure Stevia Extract Powder from THM. Here is my post on sugar alternatives.
  • You will also need a flour alternative, since on THM you do not use things made of regular flour. I highly recommend Baking Blend from THM.  I also like to have coconut flour, blanched almond flour, whey protein isolate powder, flax meal, and oat fiber on hand to make baked goods. I get coconut flour and blanched almond flour from my local Wal-mart. The flax meal from either Walmart or Sprouts. Whey protein isolate powder I get from Sprouts as well, from their bulk section. However the oat fiber must be ordered online. I prefer LifeSource 500 brand which I get from Netrition.com; I’d stocked up and have not yet tried the THM oat fiber. Nili’s Blend is a good alternative but you need collagen and I get my collagen from THM, so might as well buy the baking blend. However, having said that, I do keep this recipe on hand for if I run out THM Baking Blend.
  • Some items we have decided we love using are THM collagen, nutritional yeast, and sunflower lecithin. We also get sprouted wheat flour and/or spelt flour for making homemade bread for use in a carb meal.

Well, I think that is enough for today. If you have questions, let me know and I’ll see if I can help.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Quick Kefir Drink

Happy Drink ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m really tired and just remembered I need to get a post up. So here is a quick kefir recipe. My grandson, Liam, really likes this! Oh, and it is super simple!!!

Simply add a couple drops of your favorite extract and a bit of your favorite sugar-free sweetener to double-fermented kefir. Stir and drink.

Yep, I told you it was easy. I put a couple drops of strawberry extract in about a half cup of cold kefir and a doonk (1/32 teaspoon) of stevia powder OR a few drops of stevia glycerite or whatever alternative sweetener you prefer. It is best to use a powdered or liquid sweetener alternative.

Yes, this is a bit of a cheat recipe, but it’s the holidays and everyone needs a little simple recipe in their lives. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

How to Use Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Strawberry Kefir

Here’s a boost to your gut health AND it tastes good. This one is strawberry. Oh! And it is very simple to make.

So last week I showed you how to make double-fermented kefir (kuh-FEAR). Now that you have some, I thought I’d share some ways we drink it.

First put about a cup into a blender.

Strawberry Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen add in a handful of frozen strawberries.

Next add sweetener to your taste. I put in 1/16th teaspoon of pure stevia extract, which is 2 doonks.

sweetener add to kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd 2-4 ice cubes.

Add ice cubes ~ lifeofjoy.meBlend until smooth. And enjoy.

Blend Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.mePour into your glass and drink. :)

Strawberry Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is really good for you. It is both a probiotic and a prebiotic, I believe.

My grandson, Liam, loves this!

Liam and Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.meI can hardly justify writing the recipe for this but here goes any way.

Strawberry Kefir

Ingredients

  • 1 cup kefir
  • 4-6 frozen strawberries
  • 2-4 ice cubes
  • sweetener to taste, I used 1/16th teaspoon stevia extract powder

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
http://lifeofjoy.me/strawberry-kefir/

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Kefir step 7 ~ Lifeojfoy.me

Double Fermented Kefir

Good for your gut health and yummy too! When it is double fermented and sugar free, it is even better for you.

This is so easy! It is actually harder to explain than it is to do. Let’s start with how to pronounce it. Yes, really because I have pronounced it two different ways and both are wrong! Yep both are wrong. It is pronounced kuh-FEAR. Yeah, I’m probably going to have to correct myself another couple dozen times or so. ;)

Basically you start with kefir grains. Kefir grains are soaked in milk. If you have a good source of grass-fed dairy cows, go ahead and use full fat milk for all the lovely health benefits it provides. But if you don’t have that good source, just use skim milk because the toxins are stored in the fats, so you won’t be getting the toxins from grain-fed cattle. I use skim milk from Aldi.

So, If you get your kefir in a jar with milk, the person giving it to you will tell you how long it’s been fermenting (what time it needs to be strained). I’m told you don’t want to use metal. So I use my glass measuring cup, a nylon strainer, and a smaller rubber spatula.

Kefir Step 1 ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis one was in the cabinet a little longer than I intended but it’s still good.

I cannot get the whole quart poured into my strainer, so I pour as much as I can and stir and then add the rest.

Straining Kefir ~ Lifeojfoy.meSwish it back and forth around the strainer, getting all the milky part through the netting. I scrape it off the bottom of the strainer, so I don’t waste any of it.

Step 2 Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen you put the kefir grains back in the jar it came out of.

Step 3 Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd fill it with skim milk about an inch from the top of the jar.

Add skim milk ~ Lifeofjoy.mePut a coffee filter on top.

Step 4 Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.meSecure in place with a rubber band or hair tie or ribbon or something.

Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.meGive the liquid that you pour out of the jar (and into the bowl or measuring cup) a stir.

Kefir Step 5 ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd pour it into a clean, freshly rinsed jar.

Kefir step 6 ~ Lifeofjoy.mePut on the lid and put back into the cabinet with the jar of kefir grains and milk for twenty-four hours (or so).

Kefir step 7 ~ Lifeojfoy.meNow tomorrow, give the lidded jar a shake and put it into the refrigerator until you are ready to drink it. We like it best when it is cold.

It is okay if either jar substances separate into whey and the thicker part on top. If it is lidded, just shake it. If it is the other jar with the coffee filter, you can remove the coffee filter and give it a stir but I don’t mess with it until the next day and then I just pour it into the strainer and stir it through.

I’m told that by double fermenting the kefir (remember it is kuh-FEAR) it is getting rid of all of the milk sugars making it very low carb . . . of course I don’t know how low carb but I don’t need to know.

I’m told that it tastes much better by second fermenting it but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never drank single fermented kefir; it just smelled like runny yogurt and I’m not really a fan of yogurt either.

I’m told that second fermented kefir has more probiotics, so it is better for gut health, has more B vitamins, and that the calcium and magnesium are more bioavailable, which means it can be used more readily. There are also more enzymes and it has less lactose. :)

This one doesn’t really have a recipe. Just steps listed above. I’ll share some ways we drink our kefir on some future Tuesdays.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Serving of Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Smooth, creamy, and comforting delicious soup! This one is a THM E soup which means it is low in fat and has some good healthy carbs in there but it tastes anything but low fat. :)

I was looking through the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook looking for something new to add to my menu one week shortly after starting THM. We had the promise of a few cooler days, which to me means soup. :) This one sure didn’t let me down.

So here’s what I do:

I finely dice about 3 or 4 stalks of celery and a large onion. Then I put them in my dutch oven with a little water, about a tablespoon or two. You don’t want so much that the veggies are swimming in it but enough to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Saute Onions and Celery ~ Lifeofjoy.mePeriodically stir them and add more water as needed, until they have lost their crunch. They don’t have to be too well done because they are going to be cooking for over an hour so they will soften even more. You see, my family is picky about veggies, they should be melded into the flavor of the soup and not heard/crunched on. ;) Yes, this increases the amount of time required to cook this recipe but it is worth it for us.

Now we need to get the cauliflower cooked. So, sometimes I remove the veggies and others I just add the broth and cauliflower. Once the cauliflower is fork tender, use a slotted spoon and remove it from the pot to the blender, along with two cups of the broth. If some of the onions and celery makes the trip with the cauliflower or broth, no big deal. :)

Remove Cauli to the Blender ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow add carrots. I like to slice them on my mandolin. Again, we don’t like crunchy veggies so having these sliced thinner is better for us. ;)

Mandolin and Carrot Slices ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd the wild rice as well.

Wild Rice Blend ~ Lifeofjoy.meAlso add in the salt

Pink Himilayan Salt ~ Lifeofjoy.mefreshly ground pepper

Broth with Ground Pepper on top ~ Lifeofjoy.meand herbs. We do not care for thyme so I use oregano. :)

Oregano ~ Lifeofjoy.meSimmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

Add three ounces of Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat cream cheese) to the cauliflower in the blender and blend until smooth. Then add it to the simmered soup.

Add creaminess ~ Lifeofjoy.meStir it in well; then add pre-cooked chicken. I like to use chicken I cooked in the crockpot earlier in the week but you could always just take a large breast and saute it in a pan while the soup was simmering.

Stir it all together and let it heat up and meld the flavors at a simmer for about 15 minutes. You want the rice to break apart but it is ready as soon as it is hot. :)

Serving Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meCreamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meBowl of Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meYummy and creamy and oh so good!!!

Closeup Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo there you have it, a delicious bowlful of creaminess. :) In order to respect the copyright of the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the creator of this yumminess, Rohnda, I will refer you to page 100 of the cookbook or direct you to Rohnda’s website or to her new website here, where you will find her original recipe. I used the version from the cookbook. :)

Here are the tweaks I made:

  • less celery
  • substituted yummy oregano for the thyme
  • sautèd the onions and celery to ensure they were not detectable in the final soup
  • sliced the carrots on the mandolin so they too would be completely cooked
  • I did not measure the chicken, veggies, or black pepper
  • Oh! And I mistakenly used rice blend instead of just wild rice.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we have. Oh! It can be served with a slice of sprouted grain bread (warm from the oven is delightful) and still be an E.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Holiday Desserts

Usually for the holidays, I make Apple Cake,
Slice of Apple Cake ~ LifeofJoy.me
Pumpkin Bars,

Pumpkin Bars ~ Lifeofjoy.mePumpkin Pie,Pumpkin Pies ~ LifeOfJoy.meand Apple Crumble Pie.Yummy Apple Crumble Pie ~ LifeOfJoy.me

I had it down pat, getting it all baked in the shortest amount of time. Bars first because they mix up quickly and bake quickly too. Then the pumpkin pie. It is another quick mix recipe but takes a bit longer to bake. So up next is the apple crumble pie, which takes a bit longer to prep because of the peeling and chopping of apples. Ending finally with the cake.

But this year is way different! We are on Trim Healthy Mama (THM) which means none of these recipes are on plan. So I made Cinnamon Butter Bundt Cake Cinnamon Butter Bundt Cake ~ Lifeofjoy.mefor breakfast in place of the Apple Cake. Let me tell you, it was delicious! Usually I bring home three-fourths of the cake but this year I only brought home about 1/3 of it and it was all gone the next day. Scrumptious! (Don’t let this not-so-good picture fool you. It is really great.)

Cinnamon Butter Bundt Cake ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is a recipe from the recently released Trim Healthy Table cookbook but is also available at the link above the picture of the slice of cake.

Either my parents or my sister gets some donuts usually, so I decided to make some donuts. Blueberry cake donuts are a favorite of mine, so that’s what we made. Unfortunately I forgot to get a picture of them. :( I guess we’ll have to make them yet again. ;) Yes, Tiffany made some more Saturday night so we’d have some Sunday morning. And yes, they are all gone with nary a picture. Consumed in one sitting. Needless to say this recipe is a keeper. :)

I also made a pecan pie with sukrin gold fiber syrup. It is a keto pie and delicious. I never had pecan pie growing up. There were a few times when I thought about making one but the corn syrup always hindered me. So when I saw this pecan pie, I had to try it and I’m so glad I did. This is the same one I made for the Holiday Bash at church a few weeks ago.

Sukrin Gold Pecan Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meShe has added a revised recipe to the video description for people that cannot have the Sukrin Gold Fiber Syrup because it spikes their blood sugar. So, if you cannot use or simply don’t have or prefer not to use this marvelous syrup, you can still try her recipe.

I also found a pumpkin bar to substitute that was pretty similar to what I used to make. It had some extra spices that I didn’t care for but my kids did. Tiffany made it again Saturday night for our dessert because it too, was gone by Friday night. ;) I had her use only cinnamon and I liked it better BUT I made an addition I’ll share on a future Tuesday. (Aren’t I mean? :D )

Pumpkin Bars ~ Lifeofjoy.meThese pumpkin bars are really good though. They are nice and moist, just like they should be. When I took them out of the oven, I wasn’t sure they were done, but I just trusted the recipe and am glad I did. :) They were so moist. They weren’t overly sweet either.

We are so used to bringing home so much dessert and eating it over the weekend that we ate all these up before the weekend was even over. I had intended to give our sweet mail carrier some sweets but the pigs in this house didn’t give nobody a second thought. :D So, now we need to make more goodies to share. :) Yeah, that’s the reason! hee hee (In our defense though, we were so busy and noisy in here, decorating and stuff that I didn’t even hear when she came on Friday. I’ll make it up to her but it’ll have to be after I buy groceries again. :D )

I’ll be sharing pictures of making these recipes, as I make them again (and link back to the original for the written recipe then too). I’m going to be trying some more recipes over the next few weeks, allowing myself to have some “s” desserts instead of mostly “fuel pull” desserts this month. I’ll be happy to just maintain my weight this holiday season and work on losing again come the first of the year. :) (For those that don’t know, “s” desserts are more like keto, low-carb desserts and Fuel Pulls are both low in carbs and fats, better for eating at the end of the day.)

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We sure did!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Filling Seasoned Eggs ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Filling Seasoned Eggs

Nicely seasoned fried eggs that fill you up.

Before Trim Healthy Mama (THM), I liked eggs. Before my low carb days, I’d eat them with well-buttered toast, one piece per egg. Of course I also preferred them with fried potatoes, bacon, sausage, and the like. ;) I only ever tolerated the whites; they just weren’t that tasty to me. And never did I even consider an egg white omelet! Is there any wonder I had a problem with my weight?

Enter various diets, messing up my metabolism, and finally the THM way of eating. I was struggling with getting the weight to move. I saw THM has a Stubborn Losers Menu, actually three of them. So back in September, Tiffany and I decided to give it a go. It worked wonderfully and I’ve incorporated some of the meals into my weekly menus. This is one of them, which I changed ever so slightly. ;) (in the THM Cookbook pg 243).

With this recipe I am able to eat just eggs for breakfast and be fine until the next meal/snack three hours later.

First you want 1/2 cup of egg whites. That was three large eggs for me today. You can buy egg whites in a carton but I have a hard time paying over two and a half dollars for what equals about a dozen eggs, when I can pay a mere fifty cents or so for a whole dozen eggs and can either save the yolks for cookies or custard or even feed them to some of our animals but I digress. ;)

Egg Separation ~ Lifeofjoy.me(Yeah, not so easy to take pictures of things that require two hands. ;) I enlisted Tiffany for a few.)

Spray a skillet with either olive or coconut oil. Or since these are an S meal, you can use butter or coconut oil. I usually forget and opt to just spray my pan.

Griddle Sprayed ~ Lifeofjoy.meI really like this short-sided pan for this because it makes it easier to flip the eggs. I think they call it a griddle but all the griddles I’ve ever seen are rectangular.  =))

I add the two whole eggs to the measuring cup. I think that centers the yolks a bit better.

Eggs and Extra Egg Whites ~ Lifeofjoy.mePour them onto the hot griddle.

Filling Eggs ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow it’s time to season them with some onion powder. Yes I said onion powder. Try it! Seriously. It’s good. Also add some oregano. Okay, here is where I deviated from their recipe. You can use whatever herbs you like; oregano is my favorite herb.

You also want to add some salt and pepper and nutritional yeast. Don’t be afraid of nutritional yeast. It is very healthy and yummy. It gives it a cheesy flavor. I didn’t care for nutritional yeast with my first bite but I gave it a couple more tries and I really like it now. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself you like it. And no, this is not the bad kind of yeast that wreaks havoc on so many people’s bodies; this is very good for you and even considered a superfood.

Seasoned Eggs ~ Lifeofjoy.meSince I was taking pictures, my egg whites got a little browned on the bottom but I’m okay with that. ;) Flipping them is a trick.

I use a big spatula and my regular one to ensure that it is not stuck to the pan.

Flipping the Big Egg ~ Lifeofjoy.meBig Egg Flipping ~ Lifeofjoy.meFlipped Big Egg ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen it is finished cooking the egg white through I carefully ensure that it isn’t stuck to the pan and plate it. Sometimes I put my plate upside down on top of the eggs and flip the skillet over. ;)

Filling Seasoned Eggs ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, it stuck just a little, that is why you see that blaring white section in the middle, but it was good still. :)

Filling Seasoned Eggs ~ lifeofjoy.me

Filling Seasoned Eggs

Ingredients

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (about 3 large eggs worth)
  • oregano
  • onion powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Little coconut oil or butter or coconut oil spray for cooking

Instructions

  1. Melt butter or spray a large skillet.
  2. Put egg whites and whole eggs in skillet.
  3. Season with onion powder, oregano, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast (if using).
  4. Flip when whites are nearly cooked.
  5. Serve when all whites are cooked.
http://lifeofjoy.me/filling-seasoned-eggs/

It is nice to fill up on something so healthy for you without abusing calories, which means, I’ll lose weight. :) Yippee!!!

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Ham

Super Easy and delicious ham.

I just buy the cheapest ham. This time it was a shank for 98¢ a pound from Aldi.

I learned that you are supposed to cut off the skin. I was shocked. I had Tiffany takes some pictures while I prepped one of the hams for the Holiday Bash last Friday. Place it with the flat side down.

Ham Prep ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou only want to cut the thick hide, not the thin bit. Trust me, you should be able to know the difference.

Ham Prep ~ Lifeofjoy.meJust keep pulling the thick skin back and cutting the fat close to the skin.

Ham Prep ~ Lifeofjoy.meHam Prep ~ Lifeofjoy.meHam Prep ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen  score it diagonally by cutting lines into the ham, first one direction, and then the other.

Ham Prep ~ Lifeofjoy.meHam Prep ~ Lifeofjoy.meAt this point you can put a glaze on it if you like. The last time I made them, I didn’t even remember that I did this before and it was still very good. ;)

For those on a low carb, keto, or THM eating plan, you can substitute Sukrin Gold for brown sugar, Sukrin Fiber syrup gold for maple syrup or the clear for honey in the ‘recipes’ here. There are some directions for prepping the ham there as well. Here is another website with a glaze and some directions.

I used the 2/3 cup maple syrup and 1 tbsp mustard last time I used a glaze but next time I will use 2/3 cup Sukrin Fiber syrup gold with the mustard. I don’t really know what good the mustard is but I used it last time and it was good. ;)

Bake 350º for 1 to 1 1/2 hours for a 10-12 pound ham.

Unfortunately,  I did not get a picture of the cooked ham. I was a bit busy getting the party started. So, maybe the next time I make one for us I’ll get some pictures of the final product.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº