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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Some of the Ways Depression Lies

I cried myself to sleep Friday night.  I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong, but the tears came.  I cried quietly, so I wouldn't wake my sleeping husband.  This was partly because he needed his rest, he had a big cycling event Saturday, but largely it was because I didn't want him to ask what was wrong.  I didn't have anything significant with which to answer.  The sudden, unexplained tears are not typical of my depression.  It only happens rarely.  Mine is usually much less visible.

My particular "brand" of depression steals my energy, saps my ability to make decisions, keeps me from reaching out.  It couples with my social anxiety to make phone calls nearly impossible.  (Honestly, face to face is easier, how weird is that?)  So not only do I not have the energy to get up and clean "something", there are too many different things that need attention, so my decision-making shuts down.  I know, I know... you're thinking, "You're just lazy, pick one thing and just do it!"  Believe me, you can't lecture me with anything I haven't already said to myself a thousand times.

It is isolating.  I am finally finding myself able to connect, however superficially, with other PTA Moms, go to events, volunteer for things.  When the kids were little, I did all my volunteering from home.  (Teachers would send things home for me to do, typing, etc.)  Real connections, though... those are difficult.  I find a few, here and there, but eventually they pull away and I am disconnected from everything again.  (There is a caveat here... one of my dearest friends right now is desperately trying to get prepared to go to see her dying father.  This is not the kind of "pulling away" that I am talking about.)  I get it, I do.  Some people just don't know how to deal with how I am.  It doesn't make it easier, but I understand it.  My depression tells me this is how it has always been, and this is how it always will be.  I struggle not to believe it.

Next time I want to discuss some of the popular "cures" people try to suggest for depression.  Will you join me?  Do you know someone suffering, who would benefit from knowing they're not alone?  Bring them along with you.  I'll be here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Introducing the September Flexi of the Month (FOTM)

I have to say, I am very partial to this month's flexi of the month.  How could they go wrong with purple, I ask you?  It is gorgeous!

September 2014 Flexi of the Month

If you haven't heard of Lilla Rose before, allow me to tell you how AMAZING these products are.  I am very prone to headaches, especially when using traditional headbands, or "claw" clips, or even a standard ponytail.  I can wear my hair up in a flexi-clip all day with no discomfort.  They stay in so well, I've even worn mine swimming with no slippage.

They are available at, please feel free to browse, and let me know if you have any questions! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Musings on Depression...

With the passing of Robin Williams, a large part of social media is ablaze with discussions on mental illness.  Mostly, I see this discussion as a good thing.  Discuss it, put it in the open, stigmatize it less, encourage people to seek help.  All good.

I have seen a few people calling out suicide victims as being selfish, foolish, attention-seeking, weak, and a host of other bad things.  How is this helping?  I suppose it helps the poster feel better about themselves, temporarily.  I don't know.  I know that a person suffering from depression who reads such comments will not be helped by that.  Even the ones who claim to have been depressed in the past make comments that belie their claims.  (Hint: if you felt really sad once, and got over it?   You haven't suffered from depression.)  Even if you have actually struggled with depression, each case is different.  Each person is different.  Just because you feel you had the "strength" to not commit suicide when the thought crossed your mind doesn't make the victim weaker.  It means their personal hell is different from yours.

I have seen more people, well-meaning people, saying things like "if only he had accepted the gift of salvation...", "If only he had the hope we have in Christ...", "True joy only comes through relationship with God, if only he had discovered that."  Where do I start with how damaging this can be?  No matter the intention, this implies being a Christian makes you immune to depression.  It implies that you aren't a "real Christian" if you struggle with mental illness, that you simply don't have "enough faith".

The longer we perpetuate these myths, the longer we deny the chemical and physical nature of mental illnesses, the more people will die.  Yes, that's harsh, it's meant to be.  The ones who don't commit suicide will still largely suffer in silence, alone, afraid to seek help because of these myths.

It has to stop.  We have to be more careful of how we say what we say.

If YOU are struggling today, please know you are not alone.  Seek help and do not let the naysayers convince you otherwise.  You are loved, you are valued, and you CAN feel better.

If you don't feel you have anywhere else to turn, here is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline : 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Saturday, July 05, 2014

July FLEXI giveaway!

My birthday is this month, and to celebrate, I am hosting a giveaway on Facebook.  If you've been wanting to try out a flexi-clip, and your birthday happens to be in July, this is a great opportunity!

Details of the giveaway are on Facebook.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Have you been fascinated by Build A Menu, but didn't quite want to bite the bullet and buy a membership?  I have GREAT NEWS!  I have a 6 month membership to give away!  For the next 6 months, you can enjoy less stress over menu planning and budgetary concerns with Build A Menu.  The service is easy to use, versatile, and SO helpful.

Step 1: Choose your store.  They have many stores to choose from, and are working to add more all the time.  They added Aldi in January, which is awesome!  They also include an "Any store" option, which still gives you average prices for your chosen meals.

Step 2: Select your recipes.  There are so many different options here!  Does someone in your family have allergies?  Following a specific diet plan?  (Any Trim Healthy Mamas out there need help with menu planning?  Yep, they've got that, too!)  Paleo?  Gluten Free?  It's all here!
My favourite part of this section is that as you select recipes, there's a side bar that keeps track of your spending at the grocery store for the chosen meals.  "Hmm, we're creeping up on $100, I better save that salmon recipe for next week."  Easy Peasy!

Step 3: Print your shopping list (and/or menus).  You can click and drag your chosen recipes to specific dates on the handy-dandy calendar if you like, or you can just print out the list of recipes and the shopping list.  BAM sorts your list for you into convenient grocery store categories (meats, produce, etc.)

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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Snickers Protein Shake -- Build a Menu SALE

I just ate the most yummy, satisfying lunch. Decadent, delicious, and HEALTHY. I know that sounds farfetched, but it is true! This Snickers Protein Shake has an unexpected ingredient (that I normally do NOT like), but it is fantastic.
I will admit, I only added the whipped cream for photographic purposes, it is wonderful without it. (It's fat-free Reddi-Whip, for those wondering.)

 This recipe is a Fuel-Pull for my fellow Trim Healthy Mamas, so you shouldn't have it this way TOO often, but it's a great changeup. You could also substitute natural peanut butter for the peanut flour in order to make it an S.

 I got this recipe from a fantastic service called Build A Menu. They offer several different kinds of recipes, from THM to gluten-free to Paleo and a whole host of others. Dinners, breakfasts, lunches, desserts, side dishes, even snacks and seasonal recipes are included. You start by choosing the grocery store you prefer to shop, and then selecting the recipes that look good to try. My favourite feature is that as you choose recipes, it keeps a running total in the side bar, so you can see exactly where you are in your budget. Then you can put each recipe on a calendar, or you can just print them all out at once, and print out your shopping list. Right now, Build A Menu is having a big sale.  For the entire month of May, you can get a full year subscription for MORE than half off.  Use the coupon code "May35" (without the quotation marks), and your full year will only cost you $35, instead of the regular price of $76.  This is the perfect time to get help with menu planning and budgeting all in one fell swoop.

Now for the recipe :

Snickers Protein Shake

1/2 cup cottage cheese (low fat or fat-free)
1 scoop protein powder (I use Swanson Premium Whey Protein Powder)
sweetener to taste (xylitol, erythritol, stevia, or some combination)
6 ice cubes (or more for a thicker consistency)
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp defatted peanut flour (I use Protein Plus)
1/2 tsp caramel extract (I use Watkins, which is sometimes hard to find.  I eventually found mine at WalMart, but not all of them carry it.)

Put cottage cheese, cocoa, peanut flour, extract, and water into your blender container.  Blend until smooth.  Add ice cubes, blend, test consistency and add more ice if necessary.  Add protein powder, blend again.  (Putting the protein powder in last gives it a fluffier, more creamy consistency.)


(And, in case you hadn't guessed, it's cottage cheese that I don't like, but THM has got me eating it and enjoying it in several different recipes.)

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Shrove Tuesday -- PANCAKES!

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day... today has a lot of names. When I was growing up, our church almost always hosted a pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday. It was a tremendous social event, and also quite delicious. Since starting Trim Healthy Mama, regular pancakes are definitely not on the menu! This does not mean we can't still celebrate with tradition and deliciousness.

My husband handled cooking the bacon :

We chose two different (S)atisfying pancake recipes. (This means they are extremely low in carb, but have yummy healthy fats.)
The first is a baked German pancake recipe, adapted from these Almond Flour German Pancakes.
I either really like flavour combinations, or I'm terribly indecisive, you may draw your own conclusions. I used a combination of coconut oil and butter to melt in the pie pans (I also doubled the recipe). I used half almond flour and half cashew flour. Cashew flour is a recent find from my local Trader Joe's, and it is quite yummy. I used unsweetened almond milk for the liquid. They turned out amazing!

Fresh out of the oven.

We also used a peanut butter pancake recipe from Build A Menu. (This site is WONDERFUL! Expect another post about that soon.)
I also added a few sugar-free chocolate chips to some of the pancakes. Omgoodness! They were incredible. I still used a combination of almond and cashew flours, as well as the flax meal. Otherwise, the recipe is unaltered.

Peanut Butter Pancakes (THM S)
  • Ingredients :
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter (natural, no sugar)
  • 1/4 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cashew flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • Stevia powder, a few "shakes" (approx. equiv. to 1 Tbsp TruVia)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt (use a good one! I use RealSalt.)
  • Sugar-Free chocolate chips, optional.
Directions :
Mix together the wet ingredients, then add the dry. Spray or grease your griddle. These are easier to handle as small pancakes, around 1/8 cup of batter each. If desired, scatter a few sugar-free chocolate chips into the batter when it's almost time to flip them.

We served them with a pat of butter on top, and they were delicious.

On the griddle.

With the chocolate chips.

These are all within the tradition of using up the fats and eggs before Lent, but they will not make you fat on Fat Tuesday. Enjoy!

Don't forget the giveaway I have going on currently! Be sure to enter before 18 March.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

"The Spark of a Feudling" Puzzle Piece #6 Reveal + Giveaway!

I am so excited! This is my first EVER giveaway, and it's a mystery! Well, okay, the cover is a mystery, slowly being revealed, puzzle piece by puzzle piece.
First 5 puzzle pieces :

The first 6 required tasks have been completed, so I am honoured to reveal the 6th piece for you!

There are a few tasks left to see the rest of the puzzle :

Task 7 - Join in on the Feudlings Discussion event on Facebook - We would like to get to 75 attendees.

Task 8 - Get 2000 likes for Wendy's FB page -

Task 9 - Get Wendy followers on Twitter - We want at LEAST 900!

Now for the giveaway! It will be open until 18 March, and the "Tweet about this giveaway" entry is available daily until then.
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