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I started the Trim Healthy Mama plan yesterday and I’ve been S-mealing and E-mealing all over the place! Yesterday was actually an interesting day for me to start because it wasn’t my normal routine at all. My dad had a (minor) surgery so I picked up my grandma and we headed to the surgery center to keep my mom company and help out. This change in schedule was a bit of a test for my first day since I was out and about for much of the day. Here’s a rundown of my first crack at THM:

 

7:15 am – Breakfast (E meal)

 

 

Breakfast time! It was trickier than I expected to come up with a meal, mostly because I do my grocery shopping on Mondays and hadn’t bought food specifically for the plan yet. I started with an E meal of oatmeal with strawberries, cinnamon, and stevia. On the side, I had some plain fat free Greek yogurt with a drop of vanilla and some stevia. I was concerned that this meal wouldn’t have enough protein to make it all the way to lunch, but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t get hungry until 11 am. I tossed some oranges in my bag for a snack but never did eat them.



11 am

Dad went in for his surgery and our stomachs were starting to rumble. I volunteered to drop off dad’s prescriptions and grab us some lunch to bring back. Most of the portable options in the vicinity of dad’s pharmacy were fast food. I remembered reading the chapter in the Trim Healthy Mama Plan about eating out. The authors say S meals are the easiest to do while eating out because of the low-carb options at many restaurants. After some quick Googling for ideas on low-carb fast fooding, I discovered that Wendy’s has a lettuce-wrapped burger option, so I dropped off the prescriptions and headed over there.

 

12 pm – Lunch (S Meal)

When I was ordering, I was a little unsure how much food I would need to be satisfied. Generally, if I get fast food I order a kids’ meal or a cheeseburger with a small serving of french fries. French fries are a no-go on the Trim Healthy Mama plan because they are high in both fat and carbohydrates (not to mention that they are made of white potatoes, which are also discouraged). I’m a sucker for a salty carbohydrate so honestly that was a bit of a bummer. I planned to order a lettuce-wrapped cheeseburger but then wondered if that would be enough when I’m used to also having a bun and some french fries too. I decided to embrace the concept of an S meal and got a double cheeseburger. Now, as a dietitian, I would consider this meal too high in saturated fat and too high in calories (not to mention sodium), but it fits the THM concept. I thought about ordering a side salad also but their online reviews were less than enticing.

 

 

The lettuce-wrapped cheeseburger was messy but delicious. I would order one any time! I noticed that eating a low-carb meal didn’t satisfy me as quickly as a balanced meal with carbohydrates does, but after 10-15 minutes the meal’s fat kicked in and I was satisfied for hours.

 

3 pm 

Time for grocery shopping! For the most part, I was able to buy the usual foods my family eats when planning for THM this week. The exceptions included a handful of specialty foods that are recommended to make the diet easier and more interesting to follow. I bought pressed peanut flour (a low-fat alternative to peanut butter, used mostly as a protein source in E meals), almond flour (for grain-free baking), and coconut oil (recommended by the plan for cooking, along with butter). These products were more expensive than the alternatives I typically buy and upped my grocery bill for the week by about $25. The containers I bought will most likely last for the next 3 weeks and probably beyond, so I imagine the extra costs will average out.

 



 

6:30 pm – Dinner (E Meal)

 

 

After running around a bit and making sure dad was settled at home, I ended up making a recipe I had planned for last week but never got around to cooking (and just so happened to be a type of burger…déjà vu, anyone?). I was able to use up the ingredients with just a few tweaks for THM. I put my black bean veggie burger (which didn’t hold together well but tasted  good) on a bed of lettuce and a slice of sourdough. I made baked sweet potato fries and a strawberry banana smoothie as sides. It was very satisfying and lasted all the way until bedtime!

 

Overall, definitely not a bad day. It’s taking a bit of getting used to, thinking carefully about all of the parts of my meal to make sure to balance fuel sources per the THM plan. I have a feeling my husband and boys will particularly love the S meals I have planned for the week!

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I have no affiliation with the producers or manufacturers of this product; however, as an Amazon Associate, I receive compensation for any purchases of products through the links on this post.

 



Diets Trim Healthy Mama

 

 

In my last post I described the basics of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan, as outlined in the book by the same name. Here, you’ll find my initial impressions of the plan itself from a dietitian’s perspective. I begin test driving the plan myself next week, so I will keep you updated with more firsthand thoughts as I go along. For now, here are the things I like, things I don’t care for, and things I am really curious to try out for myself:

Things I like about the plan

  • It is basically structured moderation. It would probably work well for someone who needs a bit of structure (“guardrails” if you will) to feel comfortable with portion control or balance.
  • 80% (or so) of the plan is evidence-based and in line with physiology – I’ll go into more detail about that in my research post(s) next week.
  • The plan is geared directly toward regulating blood sugar, which prevents fat storage, both of which reduce inflammation, which helps regulate blood sugar, which prevents fat storage…you get the idea. This plan directly addresses the most common “vicious cycle” I see in my clients.
  • It is customizable to fit many health-related goals, as discussed in this post.
  • It does not entirely eliminate any food groups.
  • The authors take a very realistic stance and are careful to emphasize that weight loss will be gradual and health is a long-term journey.

 

Things I don’t care for

  • The tagline on the book is “Keep it simple, keep it sane,” yet even the summarized version of the book is 300 pages long. To get started, you’d probably only need to read the first third of it, but there’s a pretty steep learning curve depending on your starting level of nutrition knowledge. I think (and the authors second) that after a while it would become second nature and not require much thought, but “simple” is not the word I would use to describe the plan out of the gate.
  • As you might have deduced from the second bullet above, about 20% of the plan is not evidence-based or wholeheartedly holds on to questionable or controversial stances. Again, more detail is forthcoming in my research post(s).
  • In the intro chapters, the book says ALL foods are “in,” but as you read further it says to stay away from certain foods like fruit juice or white potatoes, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Granted, it never says you can’t have them, but it definitely takes a stance against them. Also, throughout the book they are careful to use the phrase “not on plan” rather than “not allowed,” though technically the feeling you get is that those foods are no-nos. Which leads me to my next point:
  • Labeling foods as “bad” or “good” is problematic and can really affect people’s relationships with food in a negative way. This can get really tricky when you’re trying to discuss the nutritional merits of foods and I run into that too. The authors of the book do say that they believe all foods are good to eat; however, some of their language in the book gives the wrong impression (for example, I’m looking at you “Not-so-naughty Noodles recipe! Noodles aren’t “naughty!”).



Things I’m really curious to test out

  • The authors claim you can follow this plan very simply, even if you don’t know how to cook.
  • Most of the baked goods are grain free, and I haven’t met too many delicious grain-free baked goods in my day. They claim the recipes are tasty, and I hope they’re right!
  • I plan to do a mix of S meals, E meals, and crossovers to get the full experience (check out my Trim Healthy 101 post if that sentence made no sense to you).  I sometimes have mild to moderate hypoglycemia which may make it difficult for me to eat S meals, but I’m going to try it to see what happens. The authors state that people with severe hypoglycemia may need to eat crossovers instead to avoid low blood sugar.

I’m looking forward to getting started with this one! Let me know your thoughts, comments, or questions and I’ll make sure to address them.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I have no affiliation with the producers or manufacturers of this product; however, as an Amazon Associate, I receive compensation for any purchases of products through the links on this post.

Trim Healthy Mama

If you’re anything like me, the phrase “Trim Healthy Mama” (aka THM) didn’t really mean much to you – maybe you’d never even heard of it – up until this point. I was vaguely aware of the existence of the plan because several ladies at my church follow it, but as far as details, I couldn’t tell ya much. Or anything, actually.

 

 

So last week I got a hold of a copy of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan. This book is the 300ish-page summarized version of the 650ish-page original book Trim Healthy Mama. The writers, sisters Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison, have also released two cookbooks: Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and Trim Healthy Table.

 

I’ve read most of the way through the book so far, and I’ve gotten the gist of the plan. THM is clearly geared toward women but the authors say their husbands love it and have also lost or maintained weight on the plan. In this post, I’ll lay out a very broad overview. I’ll share my thoughts about it and what the research has to say in future posts.



The plan incorporates the nutritional concepts behind several different “diets” or eating plans. It’s a little bit of glycemic index, a little bit of carbohydrate counting, some low fat, and some low carb, topped with a skosh of mindful eating (you didn’t know that was how skosh was spelled, did you? Me neither…I had to look it up). Pearl and Serene have created their own terminology with which to couch all of these different concepts. Here are a few THM glossary entries you’ll need to know:

 

S (aka satisfying) meal: a high fat, low carb meal with plenty of protein

E (aka energizing) meal: a moderate carb, low fat meal with plenty of protein

Crossovers: meals that contain both S (high fat) foods and E (high carb) foods

Fuel pull: a type of food that is low enough in both fat and carbs that it doesn’t count toward either group and can be added to either S meals or E meals

Fuel pull meal: low-calorie meal comprised primarily of protein and fuel pull foods

 

THM is designed so you can customize your own plan based on your needs:

  • Weight loss – avoid crossover meals and stick primarily to S or E meals separated by at least 2.5-3 hours, with occasional fuel pull meals sprinkled in
  • Weight maintenance – eat a mix of S, E, and crossover meals
  • Weight gain – eat primarily crossover meals
  • Children, pregnant, nursing – focus on eating mostly crossover meals to support increased nutritional needs

The meals and their organization are based on the premise of selecting fuels intentionally based on your goals. According to the authors, eating multiple fuels at a time is more conducive to weight gain/maintenance, while limiting fuels to one type or the other at a time is more conducive to weight loss. Stay tuned for how this lines up with physiology and research!

 



 

There are quite a few nuances and specifics about the foods that comprise each type of meal which I haven’t mentioned here, since this is a broad summary. I start following Trim Healthy Mama on Monday, so keep an eye out for posts with more detail and what it’s like for me while following the plan. Let me know what you think or if you have specific questions in the comments!

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I have no affiliation with the producers or manufacturers of this product; however, as an Amazon Associate, I receive compensation for any purchases of products through the links on this post.

Diets Trim Healthy Mama

Thank you so much for all of your votes and comments, everyone. I’m so glad that you are searching for eating plans that help you live a healthy life! And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the winner is…

 

 

Trim Healthy Mama!

 

Stay tuned for more information on what Trim Healthy Mama is, how to follow it, what the research has to say about it, and more!

Diets Trim Healthy Mama

Thanks for all of your suggestions, everyone! Here are the nominees:

Whole 30

Whole 30 was created by author Melissa Hartwig and is promoted as a “nutritional reset button” in which you eliminate a list of certain foods identified by Whole 30 founders as potential causes of bloating, metabolic upset, and a myriad of other conditions. The Whole 30 website claims that cutting these foods out for 30 days can improve your relationship with food, regulate digestion, and balance your immune system.

 



 

28-Day Shrink Your Stomach Challenge

Championed by Dr. Oz, this 28-day challenge focuses on weight loss, reducing bloating, and shrinking your waistline. The plan involves a mild form of intermittent fasting, elimination of dairy, sugar, and alcohol, and includes basic frameworks for each meal and snack. It also includes a daily plank challenge.

 

Trim Healthy Mama

Trim Healthy Mama is a book written by sisters Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison, promoted as the “easy does it” approach to eating well. The plan focuses on alternating fuel types by avoiding eating carbs and fats in the same meal. It also eliminates added sugar and encourages waiting 3 hours between meals.

Vote for your choice below and let me know how I can help you make informed healthy choices!

 



 

This poll is now closed.

Diets

Alright, everybody, time to let me know what eating or exercise plan you would like to see reviewed by Dietitian on a Diet next!

Pining to learn about plant-based diets? Itching to try HIIT training? Freaking out about FODMAPs? Or maybe I’ve offended you in some way and you want me to go through 3 weeks of something awful…but hopefully not.

I’ll take your ideas and create a poll where you can vote to decide my next nutrition or exercise plan. Then I’ll read through and summarize the research on the plan and post it for you, then follow it myself for 3 weeks (as long as it’s not dangerous). I’ll share my experiences, comments, suggestions, and opinions throughout so you can decide if a plan (or part of a plan) might work for you.

In the past, I’ve featured the following:

 

So what do you want to see next? It can be any fad diet, trendy new exercise plan, or recommendations for managing a chronic condition.

Let me know how I can help you make informed, evidence-based health choices by commenting below!

Diets Exercise

We LOVE pizza at our house – especially as Super Bowl season draws near! Unfortunately, our Seahawks didn’t make the playoffs this year, but we can still enjoy the spirit of the game with a few slices of pizza pie. Store-bought pizza sauces can sometimes contain added sugar or, more often, high levels of sodium. Not to mention the sodium in everything else that goes on your favorite pizza!

 

vita-marija-murenaite-484774

If you’re looking to eat less sodium or simply cook more from scratch, this pizza sauce recipe is a great option! It’s very easy and fast to make – just stir it up in 5 minutes and spread it on your favorite pizza! The tomatoes, herbs, and spices add an antioxidant punch to any pizza-flavored dish.

 



5-Minute Heart Healthy Pizza Sauce

If you're looking to cut sodium or simply cook more from scratch, this pizza sauce recipe is a great option! It's very easy and fast to make - just stir it up in 5 minutes and spread it on your favorite pizza! The tomatoes, herbs, and spices add an antioxidant punch to any pizza-flavored dish.

Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 16 kcal

Ingredients

  • 15 oz. canned tomato sauce (no salt added)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp basil

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Recipe Notes

Contains 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 0 g fat, 63 mg sodium per 1/8 cup serving.



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