I know we are all different. Not a single one of us has the same family or the same ideals. Just so we are clear I do NOT expect anyone to follow ME. I am just sharing how I make THM work for my family. Perhaps some of my ideas might work for you.. or not. Please take my ideas as ideas, NOT rules of the THM "trade".
THM is not a diet. It is a lifestyle. It beautiful marriage of how I wanted to eat even before I had heard of THM. I use to be vegetarian so I am already use to trying to sub out meat with a vegetable. Now I am doing it the "right" way for myself. I still prefer to not eat meat, but I know it is good for me. THM does have meals I can eat without meat. I do eat meat, but not for every meal. ;-)
I took our "regular" menu and THMified it. I know it isn't a word, but you get the jest of it. A friend of mine put a "name" to my method and I think she is right. My menu is sustainable for me.
For instance, On Sunday, we always do cinnamon rolls for breakfast, pizza with a salad for lunch, and beans with cottage cheese and salsa for supper.
For for cinnamon rolls I use Gwen's Bread and make this recipe. For pizza I either use Gwen's bread with low fat cheese OR I use this recipe. I also add a salad. Just a bag salad if I am in a rush, or if I am actually organized.. HA... I will make a 7 Layer Salad to go along with it. Then for supper we have a West Virginia favorite, Beans and "cornbread". I don't always make "cornbread", but when we do it gets gobbled down quickly. I add salsa, mustard, onions, canned (cough) spinach greens, and jalapenos.
Its important for me to be able to take the meals we USE to eat and make them to align with THM. Not that new food isn't good. It is. I just can't make EVERYTHING THM for everyone.
The way I think about it is that I can use an alternative to make the food so I can eat it along with my family. That way I have no "I can't eat with my family" and I don't sit there and crave what they are having. We are all having the same thing.
I make kefir smoothies or yogurt with whatever seasonal fruit for breakfast almost everyday. I bought some Stevia and I make my own Stevia drops. We ALL use Stevia. I do have sugar... but I use it mostly in my Kombucha tea. ;-) I do have eggs or oatmeal some, but I am really a fan of yogurt. Did I say I like yogurt?
Lunch most days is leftovers. I know that sounds boring, but I hate leftovers hanging out in the fridge for so many days. There is no need. Just eat it up! If for some strange reason I am out of leftovers we will whip up some Spinach (or greens) Quesadilla. I use low carb tortillas or wonder wraps for myself and regular whole wheat tortillas for the children. I also have another trick up my sleeve. I make bean burritos with the left over beans on Sunday. I make them up Monday and freeze what we don't eat for a later "leftovers" meal when there is not enough. I make Quesadillas with greens because I am so bad about getting in enough greens. In that case I do use a low carb tortilla for myself. I make a dip with yogurt or cottage cheese to dip it in. Perfect meal.
Now for supper. I enjoy cooking, but I do not have time to make a meal every day. So I do once a month cooking or OAMC every 6 weeks or so. I make a menu of 10-12 recipes. I make 2 of each recipe. I prep (cut up veggies and label bags etc) the day before. It usually takes me about 6 hours to put the meals together the next day . I have multiple OAMC menus on my site. I make them, and then share it with you all. In all honesty, I think of my crock pot as my kitchen helper. I usually have something cooking in it every day of the a week. If it isn't going it is waiting to get washed.
I don't make many sweets. Maybe once or twice a week. My "sweets" are usually a smoothie or yogurt. I make Skinny Chocolate 2 or 3 times a month. I make a MIM once a week maybe? I make whatever "flavor" is available that season. Fall is pumpkin and cranberry. Spring is blueberry or strawberry. For a on the go snack I grab a string cheese or a handful of nuts.
I make my own yogurt and kefir. Kefir sits and cultures on the counter daily. I make Greek yogurt once a week. After I strain my yogurt I use a wisk to make it smooth. I bought some little containers to make small serving sizes and make it easy to grab and eat on the go. I usually add sweeteners and extract to some of it, but not all of it. I use yogurt to make dressings or marinades so I don't always want it sweet. I learned the hard way to NOT sweeten my entire batch or I won't have anything for a starter. So don't make the same mistake. I do however go ahead and make a smoothie with the kefir right away. That way it can be grabbed easily.
One of the tricks my sister taught me, is to get everything ready on the weekend for the week. That is such a time saver. Although I have done OAMC in some form or another for over 11 years. But to prep for the week on one day was a little different. But it really does help. Prepping the salad, yogurt/kefir, dessert/snack, really does cut down on time and money spent on snacks that could easily be prepped before. Think about buying a large pkg of cottage cheese or some cooked chicken breasts. Then dividing it into individual sizes so you can easily grab it to add to a salad or berries for a quick snack. I find the more I do this, the easier it gets for ME to stay on plan.
The other things I like to do is when I have leftovers I will put it all together in a container... a meal that is. Sometimes I will get 2 or 3 servings of leftovers. So when lunch time rolls around I had out the "meals" all ready to go. Saves time and dishes. I wish I had done that YEARS ago. Not much goes to waste this way.
Now if I could just figure out how to fit a chef in the budget, so I don't have to cook at all, I'd be set. I don't mind cooking, but sometimes I get frustrated with the amount of dishes. LOL! But I am feeding us good food that is not in a box. That has got to count for something right? ;-)
Be sure you check out my menus as well as my FB page for recipes and ideas to create a menu that works for YOU.