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Friday, December 4, 2015

The BEST oils for a tight budget and skeptical ME

Hello everybody, first of all let me tell you that when I started this blog, about 7 years ago, I didn't know how much things would change... or how long I would even keep up with a blog (not that I've been keeping up that great lately) but this blog of mine started like an outlet when I first moved from a city in Mexico to a city in Wisconsin, USA... When I married my online boyfriend (on the 7th time we met in person), who loves coffee very much... So the name "The Coffee Shop" was created... I started sharing about life, faith, then pregnancy, motherhood, coffee of course was always present... and even started sharing recipes in my newly found love for baking. In this blog I've shared my marriage, two pregnancies, our move from Wisconsin to Texas, about our church, concerts, sometimes I've even dared share some sort of political rant but I think I do a well job staying away from those, I've shared about my culture, my love for baking with lots of sugar, regular flour, lots of butter and even the oh so gross and oh so great for oh so very flaky pie crusts CRISCO shortening, etc... This blog has also seen me turn into all things healthy, no wheat, no sugar, yes real foods like butter, I've gained weight, lost it and sadly gain some... I've talked thyroid health, gall bladder issues, kids crafts, etc... I've baked beautiful things and had total disasters in my kitchen... homeschooled and keep on homeschooling... And in all this long thing you've never seen me talk about essential oils! What's this hype about essential oils that everyone talks about? Come on! Another FAD! how can oil help anybody's health? I mean... yes... I knew coconut oil was good for you and I embraced all good fats! But ... why would smelling an oil improve anything? A few months ago I read a bit about aromatherapy and I felt like I got the gist of it and it didn't convince me... Then I read you can't ingest oils and I thought everyone who said they were putting drops of oil in their water or baking with it were complete nuts! Don't they know you can't ingest essential oils? Oh! The horrible fate that awaits them for using them internally! They should know better! And I am the one that should've known better...  I continued to see FB friends and relatives praise their oils and I was convinced it had to be some sort of collective brainwashing... Then when I saw the prices of some of the oils I thought for sure they were all trying to convince themselves they worked... why would they want to admit they spent all that money for something that doesn't really work? .. I decided to give oils a try and hubby got me some "great pure therapeutic grade oils" at a local supermarket... I felt awful, the smell itself me me nauseous and I knew I was done with oils... Yet I kept looking at people who were really looking healthier/happier I even saw marvels of "chewing gum" being removed from a carpet with some essential oils and I thought I had to vie the "expensive" oils a try... A wonderful friend from church very patiently explained about her own experience with oils and helped me get started... I'm actually just waiting for my very first batch of oils but I've already been using many samples and my goodness! Have they already made a difference here... I can already say that they have helped with the overall mood in the house (Yes, there's oils for that!) and I even helped some digestion issues my 7 year old has suffered from birth... Am I going to praise my oils? No... But now that I've been reading/learning more I realize it was so easy! the answer was right there! Our Creator made and provided things for us to use in nature... things that will definitely benefit (or hurt) us depending on how they are used... There's powerful stuff in the life of plants, the plants that God created, I had never seen all the references about oils and plants in regards to medicine in the Bible, I mean of course I had "seen them" but never really SEEN them.

About the price: While oils like Young Living are indeed pricey they are in no way expensive... My question would be... just to give a quick example... how much does a dozen of roses cost? how many roses do you need to make 1 ounce of essential oil? don't know? about 60,000 ... sometimes more (it all depends on the process) ... What about the growing of said roses? ensuring they are grown in the most perfectly balanced soil? By people who know how to grow them, free of pesticides, etc... A whole lot of steps and work are involved in this process, to protect the purity of the real good oils (I can only vouch for Young Living )

If you know me you know I'm all IN with the things I am passionate about... After just "Trying" this I am convinced, passionate and sharing with you! Because if you're like me and one day you end up diving into the oils... You'll feel like YOU MISSED OUT for a long time!

Now... You don't have to pay for the full price of oils... You could join as a member/distributor and enjoy 24% off of all of their products, if you enroll to their essential rewards you would then gather points that would go towards free oils, etc... Also Join NOW to take advantage of December promotions.

Trust me... I am in no way in the position of overspending... I enrolled on the Monthly Essential Rewards to receive monthly products from YL so I can get to know the rest of their products and share with you... My monthly order is only 51.00 (saying the word "only" is painful because for us that is not a small amount) but I've made tweaks in our budgets and cut our only 2 times eating out per paycheck so that we can do this... You didn't need to know that... but I am sharing so you know how "ALL-IN" I am in this... I will be trying the oils, doing some experiments and sharing it all with you! Join me in my newly found OILY journey!

Join me in living a healthier life...


The Coffee Shop

(Note: I am not telling you to ingest essential oils... I am telling you to try Young Living and YOU WILL KNOW what you can ingest and what you can't ... If you can't ingest any of your oils... they might not be the best... definitely don't eat them!)

© Paloma K.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Easiest EVER Broccoli Soup - THM FP, S or E

Hello everybody! So... as you know I am on a mission (involuntarily) to share very INEXPENSIVE recipes that are on plan (Trim Healthy Mama). I can never say it enough: YOU can be a Trim healthy Mama even with a Trim Unhealthy Wallet! And here's one of my favorite new additions in my menus... Broccoli soup! I know, I know... it doesn't seem like the "newest" or most creative of things... But soups (in my opinion) should never be overlooked or underestimated... They can be packed with nutrition, it's a great way to say "I love you" to your family and now that the cooler temperatures are close (I live in Texas so let this girl dream) I feel like soups are the perfect thing to incorporate to your meal, they can be very filling and satisfying!

This Soup can marvelously be made with 1 ingredient only! YES! You heard that right! My sister told me how she heard of this and tried it in total disbelief and how much she loved it even when she didn't even expect to do so! So... I had to taste it to believe it... and am I glad I did! I can make it in the blink of an eye! I am still shocked at how easy and yummy this is.

So... What do you need? BROCCOLI!

This soup can be adapted to eat in any of the Trim Healthy Mama settings! so... I love it for that!

Let's see how it works:

For an FP or E Setting:

2 servings (but feel free to eat the whole thing away)

  • Broccoli Florets (about 8 florets or 1 medium sized broccoli crown)


Cook the broccoli florets in 3 cups of water until the broccoli is fork tender but preferably make sure it still keeps some of its vibrant green color. Transfer the cooked broccoli to a blender, season with salt, pepper and even some garlic powder if desired, add about 1 cup of water where you cooked the broccoli (that's where all the flavor is) and blend away! add more of the liquid if needed to reach desired consistency/thickness. You can garnish this with a dollop of 0% greek yogurt... You could also use Fat Free vegetable/chicken broth to cook the broccoli and add more flavor but you'll be surprised even with just water! It's yummy!

When serving in an "FP" Setting make sure you eat this as a side, Enjoy it freely to fill you up when eating some extra lean protein such as Chicken Breast, wild caught salmon, extra lean deli meat, etc.)

If you are eating in an "E" Setting Make sure you add a good source of carbs, you could have a deli wrap using "on plan" Sprouted Wraps (like Ezekiel) and extra lean deli meats, you could also eat a yummy sandwich using extra lean meats, laughing cow cheese and lots of fresh veggies. Get creative!

For an S Setting:

  • Broccoli florets
  • 1 tbsp. of grass-fed butter (I love salted Kerrygold)
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese (garnish)
  • Dollop of sour cream (garnish)


Follow the directions given above and just add the butter when blending... season to your taste and top with the shredded cheese and sour cream. Enjoy with the protein of your choice, you can have any kind of meat you like (fatty or lean).

This soup was so successful that my 7 and 4 year old princesses are asking me to make it even for breakfast... and that is a huge thing to say for my 4 year old because while she does enjoy some green veggies, she is more of a fruit eating girl... and I am so happy to see her devour this like it's ice cream!

I hope your family will enjoy it just as much!

© Paloma K.

Friday, October 9, 2015

What THM CAN and CAN NOT do for you

Ah! Complications!... Wouldn't we want everything to just always go smoothly? I often see on the THM groups on FB things that sometimes sound a lot like my very own thoughts.... comments like:

When there are pictures of yummy recipes my (and it seems that I am not alone) thoughts are:

- I wish I had a chef
- I wish I had more money for different ingredients
- Could you come and cook for me?

(and many more)

Sometimes I just click on "Save Recipe" or "Follow post" or "share" with the hopes of "being able to make such yummy recipes" some day... But let me tell you something...

If you haven't started THM yet and if you're waiting until "everything is perfect" let me tell you... stop waiting and start NOW....  Will it be perfect? No! Will things go smoothly right from the beginning? NO! But you will start taking steps in the right direction... Yes, yes, sometimes you will take 1 step forward and then take 1 back ... yes... sometimes you will feel overwhelmed with lots of information that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to you yet... BUT MY TIP TO YOU will be... Grab 1 thing... ONLY 1 thing and apply it... practice it, rehearse it... and it will soon become 2nd. nature... if you apply 1 thing and 1 thing only each day (or even each week) at some point you will get very, very good at this!

Now.. if you are already a "THM Veteran" like me... but still find yourself drooling over luscious looking pies with ingredients that you can't afford at this very moment... this post is for you (and for me too)

THM can give us the guidelines to a healthier lifestyle
THM can provide tools to motivate us
THM can (and does) provide with tons of women that want to encourage and motivate you
THM can give you ideas for yummy meals on plan

THM CAN'T make us rich
THM CAN'T cook the meals for us (yet... LOL! Maybe some day!)
THM CAN'T start for us!

So... while we might not be able to change some things like our financial situation... we can focus on the things that we can change... starting with our attitude!

1. Focus on the YES! Start thinking of all the things that you CAN afford and how you can combine them according to plan! Make them look pretty! Enjoy them and be thankful (1 leaf of parsley over your soup can go a long way when it comes to VISUAL!)

2. CELEBRATE your victories! I love the THM Beginners group for that! I see so many women celebrating that they didn't eat a biscuit with their chicken or that they said no to candy! You go!

3. STOP COMPARING! (OY! Tough one!) your journey is not like anyone else's ... each and every single person is different.... way different! rejoice for those that melt away the pounds like butter in the sun and if that's not your case... don't throw the towel! What will that do to you? Keep at it! You're on the very right path.

I am not a "weight loser" I am a "weight finder" ... I feel like I smell food and I gain weight! If you are like me... stick with me! Let's be friends! I'll cheer you up and you might do the same for me when I'm down... Stop by my Facebook page and stick around for recipes, tips and encouragement! 

Look at some simple things I ate yesterday... Yummy, inexpensive and PERFECTLY ON PLAN:


What's in the picture above?

  • (bottom left) A zucchini frittata (basically zucchini, eggs and some butter/cream cheese) with coffee that was an "S" meal, 
  • (top left) Chicken tenderloins seasoned with Mrs. Dash Savory Seasoning
    and a cabbage/mayo slaw
    (the expensive "special" thing there would be that bai5).
  • (top right)  a yummy (E) steel cut cinnamon oatmeal topped with 1 tbsp. of chia seeds.
  • Last but not least: My precious! Oikos Triple Zero! Lots of protein ... Zero Fat... no added sugar and by itself is an FP.
  • By the way... if you feel like it... and can splurge right now... check this out:
FOR A LIMITED TIME Amazon has a 20% off Coupon on Bai5 Beverages: HERE
See? Not hard at all! Not complicated! What ingredients do you have? If you let me know what your favorite ingredients are I might be able to provide you with ideas on how to use those! Just let me know!

© Paloma K.

Disclaimer: Some links in this post are affiliate links, this means that you pay the same price, but I also receive a very small compensation. I recommend products I have tried and love.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Big Bags filled with Air

Last week we went to a big grocery store... it was all decorated with Halloween stuff... Masks and big inflatable decorations were everywhere... My 4 year old is very sensitive to those things and no matter how many times I've told her there's nothing to be afraid of, she still shivers at the sight of those things. My 7 year old on the other hand is no longer scared of them and she tries to help me convince her sister that there's nothing to be afraid of because Jesus is with us, mommy is right there and those things are not even real.

Interestingly my littlest one is still terrified but at the same time oddly mesmerized by those big inflatable "monsters" and while very afraid and shaky she still takes a peek through her fingers while covering her face.

"Those are just huge bags filled with air" I tell her
"Those things aren't real! They are just like huge balloons" I reassure her

My oldest one, while very compassionate and patient tells me "I don't understand why she is still so afraid" and the best way to explain it to her presented itself that night.

I usually send my girls to bed at 8 p.m... They are usually still giggling and talking with each other until one or both end up falling asleep... But that night was different and my oldest came to me with tears in her eyes and told me: "Mommy! I am so afraid... I keep thinking in my head that you are dead" I know exactly what she is talking about... and I know is totally unrelated to the "monsters in the store" because those thoughts are sadly common for her... just like they were for me when I was her age... just like they are for me still this day!

Talking in all honesty my fears are so "real" that they show themselves in my head... almost like pictures! I can SEE the very things that scare me the most "happening" in my head! When I was little I was afraid my parents would die, I could see them like a clear image in my head... lifeless... with their eyes open... "staring at me" but not really looking. I remember how afraid I was sometimes even to get home from school because those images would "attack" me while at school and I was afraid to confirm my fears once I would get home... Those fears are still very "real" for me to this day... But today is not my parents or my siblings what appear in my horrible "awake-nightmares" it's my husband or my daughters! And those thoughts make me even gasp for air! It's not always the same fear... the fears are way more "complex" now... it's not just "death" or a "blank stare" it's so much more! And it's the knowledge of our sick/dark world that has made my nightmares way more elaborated.

So when my 7 year old came to me that night, crying about what she was "seeing"... I was happy I got the answer so quickly! I told her:

- "Those are just huge bags filled with air"
- "What?" she said.
- "Yes baby! Remember at the store you couldn't understand why your sister was so afraid of those bags? Well... she was scared because to her, those monsters seem sooo real... but ... are they?"
- "No, they are not!" she replied
- "Well, your fears look big, and real! but they are not! and we need to fill ourselves with truth and understand what's real RIGHT NOW so we can overcome and not be afraid of those *monsters* anymore... once we see them for what they are... they won't be as scary and every time we see them again we will just have to remember the TRUTH about them"
- "Ah! I see!" She said wiping her tears and almost with a smile in her face.

So I proceeded to read out loud from Psalm 91: (it was the first one that came to mind)

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.

As I said each word of these verses tears started washing my own fears away... fears that I wasn't even thinking about before I started reading... But the Word of God is surely alive and it reveals things! It changes, transforms, cleanses, breaks, restores, heals and convicts!  My daughter and I had a special moment... when we both just admitted our very weaknesses and our need to go to God and give it all to Him... Praise God for His Word and for the freedom we still have to read it to one another.

Are there any "Bags filled with air" scaring you right now? they might be very different from what I described but... what is it that you're going through? Are you experiencing anxiety? overwhelming sadness? paralyzing fear in your life? Deflate them with THE TRUTH! Pop those huge, scary balloons that look sooo real and powerful with the sharp sword of His Word. Let the big scary shadows vanish with His light! I am not saying I know exactly what you're going through... I am sure you might even have very justifiable reasons to feel the way you do... But remember you have a Sword, a Shelter, a Refuge, a Strong Tower... Our Almighty God and His Holy Word at all times with you. What are your favorite Bible verses for times of desperate need of comfort/peace and encouragement? Share them so we can together focus on the TRUTH.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philipians 4:8

© Paloma K.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

THM, Bible Studies and Wreaths

Hello everybody! It's been ages since I last blogged anything! I've been feeling totally disconnected and it's been hard to find my "blogging groove again" ... It doesn't mean I haven't had anything to blog about... You might not see me around as much but I am still on Trim Healthy Mama... It's still kind of a "my own THM plan" ... just because of some of my own thyroid needs but usually I adhere to the rules most of the time...  I do get some crossovers in... and I've had some low (very low moments, just this very last week) but I've also had great highs too! I just recently introduced weight lifting into my exercise routine and it's been great! I can actually see/feel changes starting to happen... and while those changes are NOTHING to some for me they've been huge given my thyroid issues. I do Trim Healthy Mama the 'easiest/cheapest' possible way my meals are easy and with "everyday" ingredients...  here are some pics of some of the things I've been eating to give you an idea:

As you can see I've been eating meals made with common ingredients:
  • Spicy Roasted almonds ( THM -S-)
  • Fried eggs with pan roasted veggies and avocado (S)
  • Lightly breaded Chicken with buttered zoodles -used coconut flour for the breading- (S)
  • Chicken Salad over romaine hearts, avocado, jalapeño peppers and strawberries on the side (S)
  • Low fat cottage cheese with strawberries (FP)
  • Chicken breast with veggies (FP) (or add a side of brown rice and make it an "E").

See? It doesn't have to be too fancy or complicated to be yummy and perfectly on plan.

... I have no budget for special ingredients,  But if you do go ahead and enjoy them! Trim Healthy mama has some special ingredients and others that are more common in their store... all of them at great prices here: Trim Healthy Mama Store

Now... what else has been going on with my life?

Well... This Summer I volunteered to translate a book from English to Spanish for our Bible Study... I highly recommend this study for you! You can suggest it in your church if they do studies like this, but if you don't have a Bible Study group you can still do it on your own... I highly recommend it:

This Study is really amazing... I don't want to give much away but trust me... God can use it to change your life.
Another thing I've been busy with... interestingly have been crafts! I have been feeling crafty lately and I've been checking out the "wreath making" world, these are two wreaths I've made:
Burlap Wreath with Fall Foliage

Straw Wreath covered with Yarn, decorated with felt flowers, pine cones and ribbon

And last but not least... We've had a great response to hubby's First Book...

I mentioned it before that it was finally published and we are so blessed to have great friends who have been praying with and for us! Our church family has been just as excited as we are and our Pastor and his wife hosted a beautiful celebration to dedicate the book, have a beautiful prayer time and some book signing of course.
Our Pastor's wife besides being a great support for her husband and all of us in church, she is also a great blogger, amazing hostess and a very creative homemaker... You have to check out her blog and you can see how she decorated for our Book Dedication Celebration here in her beautiful blog: Quite Simply - Gay Jeffries Blog.

Of course there's a lot more I could share but not without making this the longest blog post... So I will end it here.

I hope I can bring you some new recipes soon!


© Paloma K.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

We got our book published! - Suffering Well

Good day friends from "The Coffee Shop" from the start of this blog I knew I would do book reviews, share recipes, talk about family, faith, love, etc... But... I never even knew I would be talking about OUR very own book!

After 2 long years of hard work and sleepless nights hubby got HIS book published... I've just decided to talk about it like its "ours" because I do feel like it's our whole family project, while there's not even one phrase of mine inside that book we've all made this project an important thing in our lives...

I know I haven't kept up with my blog as much as I'd like to ... I have neglected my sharing of delicious, healthy, THM recipes! But I'm trying to juggle so much all at once! My girls are taking most of my time and... I am also tackling a huge translating project (I will share more about that soon) ... I feel like summer is slipping away... but for now I am just so thrilled to share this big news with you and I hope that you get your copy of this book that I can assure you has been prayed over, reviewed, re-reviewed (I could say this about 10 more times) and it's really been a blessing even for me to read!

We'll really appreciate it if you would support us by getting your own copy! We are not in this for the money (if you are a writer you know what I am talking about) but this is a book that I feel will help anyone in moments of trials and pain as it takes a deep look (with a different approach) to the life of Job, his stubborn faith and even the trials of his wife (who usually only gets judgment from most of us)... If you are going through pain or if you want to know how you could encourage someone who is experiencing suffering... This book is for you.

Please take a picture of your book copy and tag us on Facebook Suffering Well FB Page, we will love to stay in touch with you and hear how God is using this book to highlight truths directly from His Word in your life... We also hope we can be an encouragement and will be honored to pray with you if you let us.

You can get your BOOK HERE

Or in Amazon: (Amazon has a mistake in the Hardcover price, they took the number of pages as the cost but it should be updating soon)

© Paloma K.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Delicious, creamy, frozen custard...

Hello everybody! I was looking for a good ice cream recipe! Ice cream has been my "stumbling block" more than once while on Trim Healthy Mama... Particularly because I am not satisfied with just any ice cream... and while I had found really great recipes out there that could kind of keep the cravings at bay... I hadn't really found what I was looking for... Especially because I had been spoiled with the best ice cream of all: "Wisconsin Frozen Custard" while I lived up north for 4 years when I had just gotten married.

You already know Wisconsin is famous for its dairy... the delicious cheeses! YUM! Custard is a specialty there.... whether  you get it at places like:


Adrian's is our very favorite
or even "old style" at Grandma and Grandpa's backyard

... When you have frozen custard there... you become an "ice cream snob" whether you like it or not.

Culver's has great frozen custard as well... and when we first moved to Texas (about 4 years ago) we were so thrilled to find out there was a Culver's less than 1 mile away from our new home... But, then, I wasn't so happy when, in my efforts to lose weight I felt I had to just forget about frozen custard entirely... unless I "cheated" so cheating I did... not often because I am pretty strong and strict when it comes to staying on plan... but when I did OH I DID! So just recently I took on the challenge to make my own frozen custard at home... but this time... it would be SUGAR FREE!!!

What's even better, my recipe is simple yet truly satisfying (even for the most strict critic)... it does require a bit of patience but the result is definitely worth the effort! This recipe is so good that you could even have it for breakfast! Why not?

If you are a "Trim Healthy Mama" you know why a "heavy" dessert like this one is COMPLETELY GUILT FREE ... if you don't know what Trim Healthy Mama is yet... You are missing out! Get your Trim Healthy Mama book here

Here's my recipe:

Paloma's guilt-free VANILLA frozen custard
THM - "S" for Satisfying

Yield: 1 pint
Servings: 2


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 10 Packets of Truvia
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
  • pinch of sea salt
  • splash (about 1/2 teaspoon) of vanilla extract


  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and truvia until well combined. Whisk in cream and cashew milk until yolk mixture is fully incorporated.
  2. Place pot over medium-low heat (from 1 to 8 it would be a "2") and cook, constantly whisking (don't stop or you'll get scrambled eggs, don't turn the heat any higher either), until a thin (it won't thicken much yet) custard forms on a spoon and a finger swiped across the back leaves a clean line, or until custard temperature reaches 170°F. Stir in salt and vanilla.
  3. Strain custard through a Fine Mesh Strainer and chill in the refrigerator until it is very cold (at least 4 hours). Churn in Ice Cream Maker according to manufacturer's instructions, then serve right away or transfer to an airtight container and chill in freezer for 1 hour to let custard firm up slightly. Serve custard within two hours of it being made, don't store for another day.
  4. Optional and not so purist: Drizzle sugar free chocolate syrup on top!


© Paloma K.

Disclaimer: Some links in this post are affiliate links, this means that you pay the same price, but I also receive a very small compensation. I recommend products I have tried and love.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Our "MUD RUN" - Nuestra Carrera en Lodo

Today ... is a special day...  It's mother's day and I happen to have the privilege to have been born in a wonderful family with the best mom ever... and ... it's also special because it's my sister's birthday! She is turning ... well... who's counting? Right?? So... This is for them!

---- OUR "Mud Run" ----

While I see so many people... voluntarily submit themselves to mud runs... I can't help but think of MY FAMILY... and our own adventures!

We lived in a rural area in Mexico for a few years.. The romantic idea of "chickens and goats" (not even our own but the neighbors') running through our big piece of land (a bit bigger than 2 acres) really enticed my parents... The land was cheap and the house seemed nice when we bought it... In that house we lived through some of the hardest (financial) times of our lives growing up and some of the most wonderful and REALLY WEALTHIEST (not financially) times as a family too! It was our very rural "piece of heaven"  (and to be honest, anywhere we lived was always a piece of heaven, not because of the place but because we were together and because singing praises to God was always, ALWAYS happening wherever we were). Sometimes we had no electricity or even gas inside the house... so neighbors thought we were always 'partying' because we were outside cooking beans and cactus on a grill and of course... singing... always singing!

We had no running water there, the streets were not paved... and this is when THE MUD comes in.. oh the mud!!! every time it rained!!  we would get deep in the mud (sometimes knee deep or even deeper if anybody happened to fall) it was thick, it was heavy and it was hard to walk in it... Many times we had no car and when we did... well... it would get stuck... backs were hurt while trying to push it out of the mess (did I happen to mention that our car, when we had it, had no "reverse"?) and even feet were trapped under the tires of the car when it managed to slip out of the mess...

I took this picture from the internet, because I don't have pics of our own, a very common scene!

Because we had no running water, we had to wait for "la pipa"  to get our containers filled up with water, sometimes "la pipa" wouldn't pass... most times the water wasn't that clean so we used it mostly to "flush the toilet" with buckets...

"La Pipa"
 So many times my dad would carry big containers (yes, like the ones people use in mud runs to take pictures with),  my dad would fill the containers up and bring them to the house (no time -or camera- to pose for a picture of course)... My dad carried most of them but my mom wouldn't wimp out of it and my sister... being only as young as 10 years old would gather all her strength to help carry too! Sometimes we had a car, many times we didn't ... so we would either travel long distances with those containers of water in the car or even walk a lot with those containers... filled with water... all to be able to wash dishes, clothes and take ... well... I can't say baths... and I can't say "showers" either for obvious reasons... but we would use buckets to "wash ourselves"

We would do all this whether the weather was nice or not.. if it was rainy season sometimes we would fall in the middle of the mud while carrying buckets of water... sometimes the containers would end up spilling... sometimes we would lose a shoe that would end up trapped in all that mess... and yet... I think we always found a way to  laugh about it! We actually became "really skilled" at the whole "mud thing" ... we knew where to step and the balance we had! Was pretty impressive! We would do this daily of course because we had go to school, work and church, miles and miles away from home... sometimes with a clean change of clothes in plastic bags for when we finally made it to our destination.

I can say I've been in many "MUD RUNS" with my parents and siblings! Sometimes it felt like a "permanent and endless" mud run... But I am happy to say that by the grace of God nobody ever quit! There are so many stories I can share of our "Free and involuntary MUD RUNS" ... We never had to register to join any of them... Life just brought them to us... We didn't get to take any pictures either... but they are forever burnt in our minds and souls.... They became part of who we are... and they make us appreciate every single thing and not take it for granted.

Today the special recognition goes to my mom and sister... Who... being the princesses and ladies that they are... They were tough and strong through it all and they're still going through their race with a smile in their faces!

Thank you Mom for being such an example to your daughters! The only reason why we could go through all that with such peace and joy and not even have a "bad memory" about it is because of your constant prayers and content attitude!

My mom and me!

Thank you sister for being the best sister of all and for showing your teeth to adversity... both literally and figuratively! I am proud of YOU! And I am glad we went through all that TOGETHER! As best friends! With you in my team is easy to get to the other side!

My sister and me!
 Happy Mother's Day Mom!.... Happy Birthday sis!

Thank you Lord... for washing us clean from the mud... in every possible way!

MUD RUNS help you bond with your family FOR SURE!!!

----------- TRADUCCION --------------

Hoy es un dia especial... Es dia de las madres y resulta que yo tengo el privilegio de haber nacido en una maravillosa familia con la mejor mamá del mundo... y ... es también un día especial porque es el cumpleaños de mi hermana... Ella cumple... Bueno... eso no se dice.... verdad? Este post de hoy es para ellas!


Al ver a mucha gente inscribirse voluntariamente en carreras en lodo... no puedo evitar pensar en MI familia y nuestras propias aventuras!

Nosotros vivimos por un tiempo en una area rural en México... La romantica idea de gallinas y cabras (que ni siquiera eran nuestras, sino de los vecinos) corriendo en nuestro terreno (de poco mas de dos acres) realmente atrajo a mis padres... El terreno era barato y la casa parecia comoda cuando la compramos... En esa casa vivimos algunos de nuestros tiempos mas dificiles en cuanto a finanzas en nuestra vida y algunos de los tiempos mas maravillosos y ABUNDANTES (no financieramente) como familia. Era nuestro "pedacito de cielo rural" (y para ser honesta, en cualquier lugar donde vivimos siempre fue un pedacito de cielo, no por el lugar sino porque estabamos juntos y porque cantar alabanzas a Dios fue una constante en dondq quiera que estuvieramos. Algunas veces no teniamos ni electricidad ni gas dentro de la casa... asi que los vecinos pensaban que eramos unos fiesteros porque a menudo nos veian cocinando en el asador (frijoles y nopales) y por supuesto siempre... siempre cantando!

Ahi no teniamos agua corriente y las calles no estaban pavimentadas... Es ahi donde comienza nuestra carrera en el lodo! Cada vez que llovia terminabamos enlodados (algunas veces hasta las rodillas o aun peor si nos caiamos) era un lodo espeso y pesado en el cual era dificil caminar... Muchas veces no teniamos un automovil y cuando si teniamos se atascaba, hubo espaldas lastimadas y hasta uno que otro pie apachurrado tratando de ayudar a que el carro saliera del lodo (por supuesto nuestro carro no tenia reversa)

Como no habia agua corriente, teniamos que esperar a que pasara "la pipa" para llenar nuestros contenedores y pila de agua, a veces no pasaba la pipa y la mayoria de las veces el agua no estaba tan limpia asi que solo la usabamos para "bajarle al baño" con cubetas...

Tantas veces mi papa tuvo que cargar botes (si, como los que usan en las carreras de lodo para tomarse fotos y verse muy "fortachones"), mi papa sin mucha pose llenaba los botes y los traia a la casa... MI papa cargaba la mayoria de ellos pero ni mi mama ni mi hermana se rajaron jamas... Aunque apenas tenia 10 ella tambien le entraba con todas sus fuerzas! Algunas veces, teniamos coche y muchas veces no... asi que teniamos que viajar largas distancias con esos botes famosos en el carro o aun caminar cargandolos... todo para poder lavar trastes, ropas y bañarnos a cubetazos.

Todo esto lo haciamos cuando el clima era favorable y también cuando no lo era tanto... hubo ocasiones en las que nos caiamos en medio del lodo y a veces se nos terminaban vaciando los botes... algunas veces se nos quedaba un zapato atrapado en medio del lodo y aun asi encontrabamos algun modo para reirnos al respecto! De hecho nos volvimos unos expertos en todo eso de caminar en el lodo... sabiamos bien donde y como pisar y que buen balance teniamos! Era digno de verse! Todos los dias teniamos que ir a la escuela, trabajo y 3 veces por semana a la iglesia, kilometros lejos de nuestra casa... algunas veces teniamos que cargar con ropa limpia en bolsas de plastico para cambiarnos cuando llegaramos a nuestro destino.

Puedo decir que he participado en muchas 'carreras en lodo' con mis padres y mis hermanos! A veces se sentia como que estabamos en una carrera "permanente e interminable"... Pero me alegra decir que por la gracia de Dios nadie se rindio jamas! Hay tantas historias que podria contar de nuestras carreras "gratuitas e involuntarias"... Nunca tuvimos que pagar un quinto por ellas! La vida simplemente nos las regalo... Tampoco pudimos tomar fotos... pero las memorias quedan para siempre en nuestras mentes y corazones... Son parte de quien ahora somos y nos ayudan a valorar cada cosita y no dar nada por hecho.

Hoy el reconocimiento especial es para mi mamá y hermana... que... siendo las princesas y damas que ellas son... fueron lo suficientemente "duras" y fuertes a traves de todo eso y aun lo son en su carrera que siempre enfrentan con una sonrisa en sus rostros!

Gracias Mamá por ser tan gran ejemplo a tus hijas! La unica razon por la que pudimos atravesar por todo eso con tanta paz y gozo y no tener malos recuerdos al respecto es por tus oraciones constantes y tu contentamiento.

Gracias hermana por ser la mejor de todas y por enseñarle los dientes a la adversidad (literalmente y en sentido figurado). Estoy muy orgullosa de ti! Y estoy agradecida de haber pasado todo eso juntas! Como mejores amigas! Contigo en mi equipo es facil llegar al otro lado!
 Feliz Dia de las Madres Mama! Feliz cumpleaños hermana!

Gracias Señor por lavarnos del lodo! En todos los aspectos!

Las carreras en lodo de veras que unen a la familia!

 © Paloma K.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Does Trim Healthy Mama allow "questionable" ingredients?

Hello everybody! Here I am ... Today is day 19th of my 30 Day "Allergen Free" Challenge... If you've been reading my previous posts you know I've eliminated:

  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Sweeteners of any kind (including stevia)
  • Peanuts
  • Beans

This is just for 30 Days and I am praying to God I can finish... It's proving to be harder than I thought. This is something I decided to do with the purpose to "shock" my body... If you know me you know I've been following the Trim Healthy Mama Plan for a while... and it's helped me improve my health and it's given me hope to know that there's SOMETHING I can do for the rest of my life that should help me reach a healthy weight without having to feel deprived! In Trim Healthy Mama there's freedom to make it as "purist as you want" or as "relaxed" as you want to as well...

Some things I often read/hear is that Trim Healthy Mama is awesome, there are really amazing testimonies and shocking before/after pictures from beautiful ladies that share their own stories with tears of joy that are just contagious and encouraging for those around them...

Some other things that I hear/read are not so great and I often see people, who don't really know the plan yet... judging it by "one aspect or two" that they disagree with...

Today I am going to focus on the controversial topic of sweeteners!

Why Trim Healthy Mama allows sweeteners like "truvia" when there are so many "posts" out there and articles trying to say that stevia is not a good sweetener...

Well... I am going to tell you why... Trim Healthy Mama allows these sweeteners because... the sisters Serene and Pearl (authors and creators of the Trim Healthy Mama plan) are out to get us and want to make us as unhealthy as they can... (insert maniacally evil laughter here)

ehem... No... Obviously not...

Why is it then? If there's no evil plot in their minds to cause the destruction of the health of many women... why are they allowing such a "horrible thing like stevia" to be consumed by us?

Well... the truth is that these "questionable" ingredients... happen to be "questionable for some" and really AWESOME for others! If you've read things like "stevia sweeteners often contain other not good for you ingredients" you can rest assured that the Trim Healthy Mama Stevia is made with Non-GMO ingredients... My favorite is the Pure Stevia Extract (1 oz. pouch) ...  there's no other ingredients added to it and just a very tiny bit goes a long way!

There are many other concerns behind stevia... But... guess what? I am not even going to address them... 1st. of all because I disagree with many of them... 2nd. because some have been debunked and others are just myths... and 3rd. because  I am just going to tell you... You DON'T HAVE TO use it....

That's the main thing... The Trim Healthy Mama Plan can be done by people who have food allergies or sensitivities... and can also be followed by people who never want to have stevia in their lives...

See? We shouldn't debate so much whether stevia is bad or good for you... Do your own research, definitely ... But know that... interestingly the worst thing for us is OBESITY... now... that one will reduce years in our life for sure... and will also cause innumerable of issues while we're alive... But... if you come to the conclusion that you hate stevia and want to stay away from it... know that ... There are many people like you in the Trim Healthy Mama groups... and they're losing weight and getting healthier and they're not allowing *one ingredient* get in their way towards a lean/healthy life.

Just recently I came across a few posts of people who "quit" Trim Healthy Mama... and while we all have freedom to eat what we want to eat and do what we want to do.... I was just shocked at how they were misrepresenting the plan... I actually read some of those posts in the beginning of my journey and they scared me a lot... but I still decided to see for myself and form my own opinion about it...

Some of the things I read were statements from people being very concerned about ingredients that Trim Healthy Mama "promotes" like:

De-fatted peanut flour?
Egg beaters?
Low-carb pasta?

And they even add a comment like: "You've got to be kidding me"

... Well... The authors of such posts are entitled to their opinion about those ingredients but they don't have to "deceive" their readers with statements that make others believe that any of those ingredients are required to follow Trim Healthy Mama Plan... The truth is that... there is NOT ONE INGREDIENT that is *indispensable* in this plan... The truth is that, since I was already eating mostly whole foods before Trim Healthy Mama I didn't even have to introduce new ingredients to it! Actually ... my grocery list looks pretty much the same (except when I've decided to splurge and buy some Trim Healthy Mama Whey Protein or some Jay Robb Whey Protein... I've actually added more healthy ingredients to my pantry by stacking it full of Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil,Chia Seeds,Raw Hemp Hearts, Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, Nutritional yeast and my VERY, VERY, NEWEST FAVORITE:


I never buy Reddi Whip, I make my own whipped cream with real heavy cream, I absolutely never buy Low Carb Pasta... Instead I use spaghetti Squash for my "S" meals and Brown Rice Pasta for my "E" meals... I've used egg whites on occasion for a desert here and there and I do allow myself to use stevia for desserts because I figure that all the other good stuff, all my exercising and all the positive changes I've made outweigh any other concerns I might have about stevia!

As you can see I am about 80% Purist 20% Not!  (At least when I am on plan because when I fall off plan I am 100% not purist at all... ugh!)

So... should you use Stevia? Well.. it's up to you... But I just want to give you peace of mind... You don't have to if you don't want to! There's nothing that you are going to "have to eat" if you Join THM! Am I saying everyone should do THM? Well... everyone could... but everyone is different! I am not saying that THM is the "only" way to lose weight... I am not saying "the rest of the weight loss plans of the world are wrong and we own the absolute truth when it comes to weight loss" ... I am saying it's worth the try and for me it is the most sustainable thing to do for the long run! ...

And when it comes to sweeteners alone... You should know the whole list of on plan sweeteners... You might agree with some, disagree with others... but they are ALL on plan and which one(s) people use... it's up to each individual:

And... if none of those are sweeteners that you feel comfortable with, then you don't have to use them... Some ladies have switched to some OFF PLAN sweeteners like honey or Organic Coconut Sugar when they have reached their goal weight or even before just because they are more comfortable using those... those are not "THM approved" sweeteners... but again... I am sharing what some decide to do.

I hope these helps dissipate some concerns about Trim Healthy Mama and the "approved ingredients" ...if you've read the book... You know that "approved" doesn't necessarily meant "encouraged" ... There are some ingredients that are "approved" with a warning... like certain low carb products that are definitely approved for convenience but not necessarily recommended, especially not to be used frequently.

Whew... that's it for today... Gotta go now... Thank you for staying tuned! 

© Paloma K.

Disclaimer: Some links in this post are affiliate links, this means that you pay the same price, but I also receive a very small compensation. I recommend products I have tried and love.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

30 Days Allergen Free - Trim Healthy Mama Challenge

Hello friends! As you know (maybe?) I started a 30 day challenge on My Facebook Page last week... Today is Day 9!  My new friend Sherry from I Like Rice A Lot has done great changes towards a healthier life and I was totally inspired by the things she was doing... I already follow a great plan...  Trim Healthy Mama but due to some health issues (thyroid, etc) I am trying to adapt my plan for 30 days (just for 30 days) and see how I feel and I hope to learn some things in the process... One of the crucial things of this 30 Day Challenge (besides excluding grains, dairy and beans) is NOT weighing/measuring and even when at times it is hard and I want to at least measure myself I am staying strong!

Today I am going to share with you a very simple and yummy recipe....

Salmon Salad with Homemade mayo

The recipe will be at the end of this post... FIRST... I want to share with you some of the things I've been eating to hopefully inspire you to jump on the "health wagon" and realize that you don't have to "miss out"

- Cauliflower Rice and Shrimp

 - Eggroll in a Bowl

-Grilled chicken with this delicious side salad (avocado, cucumbers, cilantro, onions, tomatoes, fresh squeezed lime juice, salt and pepper)

- I've been having eggs for breakfast, I know there are other grain free, dairy free, legume free options somewhere but I am so happy with eggs that I don't even look for anything else I just get creative how I prepare them:

And lots of yummy stuff that doesn't even let me miss dairy (ok... I miss it a little) and grains! Some of the meals I am eating are considered crossovers on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, crossovers are definitely on plan they just don't promote weight loss by themselves... but since I am not using some ingredients I am allowing myself to introduce some s-helpers and crossovers to hopefully help with my thyroid issues... I also want to share with you what I ate on Sunday...  we went to a picnic from hubby's work and this is what I ate there:

I used the veggies for the hamburgers as a salad and then just ate 1 hamburger patty and some pulled pork (without bbq sauce), I also had a larabar (only 3 whole ingredients YEAH!) It does contain dates which are not THM approved... YOU don't have to use them, they are off plan and I don't intend on abusing these, but since for these 30 days I am not even using stevia I am allowing myself to have a little bit of dates on extreme circumstances.

Now... let me share with you the Salmon Salad with Homemade Mayo recipe

Mayonnaise Recipe:

Don't get intimidated by mayo! You can make it super quickly! It's delicious and you are in full control of the stuff that goes in it... (slightly adapted from: Whole30 Mayo Recipe, all mayo recipes are very similar)

Mayonnaise was first created by chef of the Duke de Richelieu in 1756 so... basically the original credits go to him :)

Ingredients (for the mayo only):
  • 1 1/4 cup -divided- of your favorite (on plan) Extra Light Oil -or a combination of two light oils- (avoid strong flavored oils like avocado oil or EVOO, you can use a light olive oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt (or to taste) 
  • 1/2 tsp. Dry Mustard
  • lime or lemon to taste (about 1/2 to 1)

  • Place the egg and 1/4 of a cup of oil, salt and mustard in a bowl of a standing mixer (if you don't have a standing mixer you can use a blender or even food processor but I used a standing mixer and the results are fantastic).- I love my KitchenAid Standing Mixer and my Ninja Blender -
  • Run the mixer (or whatever you are using) on high and while after about 30 seconds into it (and while it's running) carefully and very, VERY slowly drizzle the remaining oil (do not let the oil touch the blades if your blender is uncovered or whisk attachment or it can get messy).
  • When you've added all the oil and the mixture has emulsified/thickened add the lime or lemon juice and mix for 5 more seconds just to incorporate.
Transfer to a glass container with a tight lid and store in the fridge... To know how long you can keep this mayo just use the expiration date of the egg you used.

Enjoy your homemade mayo! All the good stuff, none of the bad! Make the delicious salmon salad from the first picture.... I used:

  • 1 can (6oz) of wild caught salmon (I use Bear and Wolf Pink Salmon ) for my salads because it doesn't have any bones or skin already.
  • 1/2 medium tomato (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp. white onions (chopped)
  • 1 stalk of celery (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp. (or to taste) of your delicious homemade mayo
  • salt and pepper to taste (I use this Himalayan Salt) ... Himalayan salt is great for you (not indispensable for this recipe) but the health benefits due to the many minerals in this salt are amazing. Hopefully you will try it.

Mix it all together with a fork, enjoy with cucumber slices instead of crackers!

This salad is an "S" on Trim Healthy Mama. 


© Paloma K.

 Disclaimer: Some links in this post are affiliate links, this means that you pay the same price, but I also receive a very small compensation. I recommend products I have tried and love.