When my kids were younger (teens) and I’d start a new lifestyle of eating, I’d sit down with the family and share my reasons for the new plan and the health benefits of it. Then I’d explain that we could not afford to have two different food lifestyles in the house and I was only cooking one dinner a night.
They would need to try it with an open mind and if they just could not stomach it, then they could fix themselves something else from what I had in the house. I would not buy off plan foods.
Fast forward ten years and I have two young adult children still at home (contributing to the household, but living with us until they get married). I did the research and learning about THM (Trim Healthy Mama) and how to eat this way for several months before starting. My husband found this video and solidified the decision to stay off of sugar. It is now their decision too.
The big thing for my family is that they get to eat snacks, 3 meals, and desserts every day. I started us out on strawberry big boy shakes (fruit based snacks and desserts) as I was researching and learning. Once fruit tastes sweet you know your tastes are changing and you can more readily delve into other sweets. I provide some healthy crossovers for my hubby who doesn’t have much weight to lose and works out in the heat.
I started with modifications of things we already liked. Meatballs were a big one and there are lots of good meatball recipes on ibreatheimhungry.com that are suitable for THM. My family learned to eat Troodles/zoodles (zucchini julienne cut or now with a spiralizer) and caulirice (cauliflower processed in the food processor until it is broken down into rice-sized pieces); although children should have brown rice for an on-plan crossover.
Finding a pancake recipe that we liked was important because that is a Saturday tradition and beloved meal for my family. I now have many choices. We’ve had banana pancakes from Trim Healthy Table cookbook (THT) with blueberries and a bit of Greek yogurt and legal syrup (I make THM syrup from the book and my son buys Sukrin Gold Fiber Syrup, which does not seem to negatively affect them). We also love the Chocolate Chip Pancakes from THT. It is written as a single serve recipe so I have sticky notes in my book with the amounts of the ingredients for four times, five times, and eight times the recipe because I make it that much for my family and my guys like to eat one and a half servings.
We also enjoy the baked blueberry and baked pecan pancakes. The blueberry ones are in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the pecan ones are in THT. I’ve even baked the chocolate chip and plain pancakes both in a sheet pan and in muffin top pans. And sometimes for a light pancake breakfast we’ll have the Chocolate Monkey Crepes from page 267 of THM Cookbook. Yeah, we love pancakes.
My homemade spaghetti sauce is legal without any adjustments, so we learned to eat it on Troodles, spaghetti squash, or occasionally Dreamfields pasta. Hamburgers are a favorite here as well. I either have mine on a Joseph’s pita half or just eat it plain depending on my mood and provide legal bread for the rest of the family: either the Joseph’s pita or lavash, homemade s bread, or crossover E bread (I buy sourdough bread from Aldi). I like to serve hamburgers with “green fries” which is simply roasted green beans.
OH! Pizza! I had to find a way to eat pizza that we enjoyed because that is a family tradition/recipe as well. It would not be a sustainable way of eating for us if we could not eat pizza within the parameters of the eating plan. We now have several pizza and pizza tasting dishes we enjoy. I recommend trying the butterfly pizza (THT) for pizza night. There are also some great pizza recipes that use mozzarella cheese in the crust. I shy away from these right now because I need to limit my cheese and dairy intake in order to lose weight right now.
Someone once asked me about their family tradition of Friday night pizza and movie night, complete with popcorn. If you eat it early enough you can have the popcorn following the guidelines in the THM Plan book 47-48. I’d recommend letting the family have the popcorn and you fixing something like crunch puffs in THM cookbook pg 460. The crackers in THM cookbook are good too.
If you have a particular recipe or meal that your family misses, let me know and I’ll try to help find some help for you. You can do this!!! And your family will be better for it.
Until next time, God bless,