Tag: nutrition

Finding healthy strategies that are actually sustainable can be a challenge. How many times have you tried to drink more water, exercise more, or eat more vegetables but just can’t seem to stick with it? The first (and most important) step is that you must test drive new healthy changes to find the ones that are right for you. Don’t commit right away! Find changes that work with the strengths of your personality, and also help keep your weaknesses in check.

Everyone falls on the spectrum somewhere between a type-A (numbers, details, budgets, lists, organization) and a type-B (free spirit, go-with-the-flow) personality. Someone on the more extreme end of the type-A spectrum might be very good at self-discipline. Too good, in fact. If they choose a very detailed, overcomplicated-because-they-love-control method of keeping their food in check, they may tend to become obsessive. They track grams of carbs, proteins, and fat, and monitor every calorie down to the very last crumb. They thrive on this control until one day – whoops – we pass over healthy and slide down that slippery slope into disordered eating. Eating is no longer fun but a competition. A highly structured eating plan may not be a good idea for someone who is ALL the way at the type-A end of the spectrum.

Let’s try the other end of the spectrum. An extreme type-B may avoid the control of number-tracking like the plague, so they go for a much more flexible method. Too flexible, in fact. So flexible that they free-spirit their way in the opposite direction of their goals. Their personality is so extremely type B that they need a more structured (but not overly restrictive or controlling) method if they’re going to get anywhere. They just need a little more accountability.

 



 

In reality, most people do not fall at either extreme but instead somewhere in the middle. When you’re in the middle, you have some of the strengths of each personality and possibly some of the weaknesses too. No matter where you are on the spectrum, it takes a little honest introspection to know which might be some of the best approaches for you.

Use this flowchart to help you decide which strategies might work well for you:

 

how to make realistic healthy changes

 

Daily Food Group Checklist

Using a daily food group checklist can help you make sure you’re getting a wide variety of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber in the right amounts, but without the detail of a food tracker. Visit this website to calculate your daily needs and get a list of your personalized daily goals for each food group. Make a simple checklist or tally mark for each group each day so you can meet your goals without too much time investment.

 

Healthy Meal Plan

While I’m not a huge fan of meal plans made by people other than you, getting into the habit of making your own regular meal plan is a great way to set yourself up for success. If you already have the plan and the ingredients (possibly prepped and ready to go!), you are much more likely to eat more healthfully than if you were playing it by ear. Check out this post for a step-by-step guide and free printable to help make meal planning simple and easy.

 

Food Trackers

Food trackers are some of the most detail-oriented options for providing structure, accountability, and awareness. They can be as simple as a food journal with pen and paper or as complex as some websites and apps that have barcode scanners and track your calories, macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. While these tech marvels are nifty, they have their pros and cons, so make sure to test it out first to see if it’s a good fit for you. This post has some reviews of apps and websites to help you create healthy habits. One important thing to remember for tracking: it’s a tool for you, not a rule you must follow. Only track for as long as and to the extent that it is useful and helpful to you – and absolutely no farther! Most of my clients end up settling in to a routine of tracking every other week or a few days a week. Tracking every day forever is pretty exhausting!

 



 

MyPlate

MyPlate is the visual put forth by the USDA to provide nutrition recommendations, and it replaced the Food Guide Pyramid in 2010.

 

Personally, I feel that MyPlate is much more user-friendly, since it does away with memorizing portion sizes and numbers of portions. Instead, it provides a evenly divided plate that builds in a bunch of nutrition recommendations in (so you never have to think about them!). It balances your carbs, proteins, and fats, while helping ensure you are meeting vitamin, mineral, and fiber goals. And you can do this anywhere – you can hit every food group at a fast food restaurant, mini mart, grocery store, or in a packed lunch. It’s so simple my kids have been doing it for years! Just take this mental picture with you and try to make as many of your meals (especially lunches and dinners) resemble MyPlate as possible. A good rule of thumb for breakfast? Include at least 3 different food groups and make one of them protein. You can read about my experience following a MyPlate plan, as well as some of my tips for following it starting with this post.

 

Intuitive Eating

This is a method of allowing your body’s hunger and fullness signals to guide what you eat. Often this begins by practicing mindfulness of your body’s cues. This approach helps separate moral feelings (like guilt or pride) from simply honoring your body’s needs for fuel. You can read more about intuitive eating here.

Hopefully these guides and resources help you find the best healthy changes to test drive for your life. Let me know if you have other ideas of healthy changes, or which strategies have worked the best for you!

 

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Eating Well in Less Time Wellness Tips

quick and easy health tips for busy moms

 

For the next article in my series on Eating Well in Less Time, I’m sharing a guest post with you from Scott Reid at Focus Performance. Scott is helping out today with a list of health hacks (related to both nutrition and fitness) for busy moms. Enjoy!

 

Busy moms are often running around after children, working, running the household and trying to do 15 things at once – which can mean the person they need to look after the most is often the last one to get any attention – the mom herself.

Moms are notorious for putting themselves last, but if a mom is not in tip top condition herself she won’t be able to look after everyone and everything else which she has on her to do list. That’s why we have compiled a list of health hacks which busy moms can do as part of their daily routine to stay healthy.

You can also check out these motivation tips related to fitness from Focus Performance.

 



Adapt your routine

 

If you used to work out every morning before heading out to work, but are now tied up getting children up and dressed and heading out for school before your workday starts, then don’t just give up on your work-outs.

Try moving your routine around to adapt to your new situation. Make time to work-out in the evenings instead, or if you have help at home then assign 2-3 mornings where you don’t have the child responsibility and can work-out instead.

 

Try new exercise programs

 

If you used to go out running for hours every evening to keep fit but can’t do this post-baby, try some different types of exercise programs instead. Perhaps join a gym which has a day care so you can take your children with you, or invest in a jogging stroller and take your baby out while you jog.

It might be that you can go to a mom and baby yoga class or even try exercise DVDs at home instead of what you used to do. It’s all about adapting to fit your work-outs in with your new lifestyle rather than just giving up and not bothering at all.

 



 

Walk more whenever you can

 

Walking every day can really make a difference to your waistline, without costing a penny. If you have a young baby, walk out with the stroller, or walk them over to day care instead of driving. If you are at work, try walking out at lunch time and you really will see the difference.

 

Join local mom fitness groups

 

Check out local fitness groups aimed at or run by moms where there will be day care facilities or stroller options available. It’s a great way to improve your health while also adding to you and your child’s social life and fun as well.

 

Batch cook healthy meals for the freezer

 

Try planning your time so that you have space on the weekend to batch cook healthy meals which can then be frozen, ready for the week ahead. Perhaps on a Sunday evening while the children are asleep, try batch cooking things like chilis, curries, sauces and burger mixes which can be frozen and then microwaved in the week.

 



 

Make your health a priority

 

Don’t make excuses not to do the healthy food cooking or to skip your exercise routine. Make your health a priority and never feel guilty for putting yourself first when you need to. A healthy mom, leading by example, leads to healthy happy children and families.

 

Do family fun days for exercise

 

Family fun days like going out cycling, swimming or even a day in the park playing baseball, is great fun and gets everyone exercising together. If everyone joins in it can become a real family effort and make being healthy and exercising just part of what the family does for fun, rather than being seen as a chore.

 

Get your shopping delivered

 

Save time by getting your shopping delivered rather than having the stress of dragging your young children screaming around the shops. It also gives you control over your cart with no temptation for impulse purchases or bargains – you can select only health options to add into your basket and keep the food shopping under control.

 



 

Be kind to yourself

 

Take it easy and be kind to yourself – when you have a lot to juggle and deal with as a new mom it can be quite daunting to be careful, listen to your body and just ease yourself into the new health routine. Don’t rush and don’t try to do too much too soon.

 

Don’t be too goal-focused

 

Trying to stay healthy as a mom is a challenge in itself, so don’t set yourself weight loss or inch loss goals for this type of program. Just aim to complete your exercise regimen and keep up the healthy eating so you are looking after yourself and being a good example.

Being a busy mom and keeping healthy can go hand in hand as long as you are willing to adapt your routine to fit your new circumstances. Be kind to yourself and don’t try to take on a hugely ambitious fitness challenge – but with these hacks you will be on your way to staying healthy.

 

Scott is a sports and fitness writer and writes full time for Focus Performance. When not in front of his computer or spending time in the gym you can see him hanging out in his favorite coffee shop devouring the latest Stephen King novel. 

 

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Eating Well in Less Time Wellness Tips

 

Have you ever watched a cooking show where they try to pass a delicious healthy recipe off as a “20-minute meal”? You get all excited, ready to take notes and make this healthy kitchen masterpiece a reality, until you notice that as they are cooking, somehow all of their vegetables are already magically diced, their meats trimmed and cut, and their herbs and spices pre-measured? And then – big surprise! – the whole dish is done in 20 minutes or less! All they had to do was dump this, brown that, stir this in, and the whole creation was complete.

If you’ve had this experience and you’re anything like me you feel lied to. This was not a 20-minute meal. This was a 20-minute meal preceded by 10-15 minutes of peeling, chopping, dicing, and measuring which, again, if you’re anything like me, is the least enjoyable part of cooking.

Many of my clients struggle with this – they buy fresh veggies with perfect intentions of using them. But after a long day the thought of all that prep before they even get to cooking sends them, defeated, to that bag of freezer ravioli (or the corner fast food joint) and their produce one day closer to the garbage.

 



 

So how can we bridge this gap? We want our food to be healthy, and we need it to be quick and easy. Can we have both?

My answer is pretty much, yes. I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s not going to take any time and I certainly can’t hire a magic kitchen for you like the Food Network hosts have, but I can share the trick that has helped make healthful cooking SO MUCH FASTER for me.

That “trick” is food prep. Food prep is different than meal prep, where you actually cook and portion out individual meals in ready-to-go containers. If you have sufficient time and don’t mind eating the same meal for a few meals, meal prep is a great option! If you like a little more variety or can’t spare an hour or more for meal prep each week, give food prep a try!

 



 

Basically, you are your own magic kitchen. When you bring your groceries home, set all your produce (and your meats, if you really want to go for the gold!) on the counter. Put everything else away.

Now you get out your cutting board and knives (once!), and some containers. Chop, slice, and dice your little heart out. It usually takes 10-20 minutes, depending on how many veggies are in the recipes you’re using that week. Put them in containers based on the recipe they’re for. If we are having burgers, I slice tomatoes and onions, lay out lettuce, and put a handful of sliced mushrooms on a plate. If we’re having stew, I cube potatoes, chop onions, and slice carrots and seal them in a container. Then you clean up your cutting boards and knives (once!) and you’re done chopping for the week.

Note: Make sure that if you trim and cut raw meats, you prep them after you’re done with all your produce and that you store them in separate containers if they are uncooked!

Aren’t they pretty?

Now, when it’s time to cook, you can pull your container out of the fridge, dump this, brown that, stir this in, and your healthful meal is ready to go – just like the cooking pros!

For a demonstration of food prep and a recommendation for one of my favorite food prep kitchen tools, click here!

Have you ever tried food prep? Do you like it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments!

 



 

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Eating Well in Less Time Wellness Tips

 

So you’ve read about the Trim Healthy Mama Plan, and you’ve decided you’re a good candidate for using Trim Healthy Mama as your structure for moderation. Your next step is to get started! Over the course of my time following the plan, I gathered a list of a few tips to help you make the most out of your THM journey.

 

1. There’s a learning curve

Don’t feel bad if you unintentionally eat something that’s “not on plan.” It’s bound to happen (it happened to me!). Also, figuring out what you’re allowed to eat may feel super overwhelming at first. There is a lot to learn in the beginning! Take it in steps. Read one chapter of the book at a time (or as much as you can without feeling overwhelmed) and sit with the information for a day or more. It will get easier.

 

2. Having certain products on hand makes a world of difference

There were several products that made the THM plan so much simpler for me. Which products help you will vary based on your schedule and preferences. Here were some of my faves:

  • Pressed peanut flour – Basically ground-up peanuts with a good portion of the natural peanut oil removed, pressed peanut flour is great for E meals because it is a low-fat protein source that goes great with sweet flavors. It works well in smoothies or you can reconstitute it with water to use it as you would normal PB. Click here to purchase the one I used.
  • Almond milk (or other milk alternative) – Technically, dairy milk is not “on plan” with THM if you’re aiming for weight loss because, as the authors state, it is a “natural crossover” containing both carbohydrates and fat. That’s true unless your milk is fat free – but if you want to follow the plan to the letter, an alternative like unsweetened almond milk is useful. This one might not be as “essential” for others as for me since my family is comprised of hard-core dairy lovers, but it came in very handy for both S and E meals and as a milk alternative in recipes.
  • Low-carb wraps – These are so convenient for S meals. Sometimes you just want to put all that fatty goodness into some kind of bread-like thing. They were awesome topped with pizza toppings and/or Caesar salad. Click here for the wraps I used (also recommended by the THM authors).
  • Sprouted whole grain or sprouted sourdough bread – Your THM-approved bread option for E meals! I goofed up and used non-sprouted sourdough for my first week and had to course-correct with this tasty sprouted Dave’s Killer bread for the next two weeks. Note: eating only sprouted bread is not necessary for blood sugar management, though the plan requires it
  • Stevia – If you want something sweet, it’s nutritionally your best on-plan option. Choose one that is primarily pure stevia or stevia with erythritol or xylitol. Here’s one option that fits these criteria.
  • Almond flour (or other grain-free flour) – I’m a little torn on this one because almond flour and I didn’t exactly get along. I can’t see how you could get too far cooking without any kind of flour at all, but I didn’t take the time (or money) to explore options besides almond.

 



 

3. Don’t forget the protein

They mention this repeatedly in the book, but I can’t reiterate it enough. You need protein to stay full until your next meal, especially after E meals. The carbohydrate in E meals will go much farther if you put some protein in the tank to slow down digestion.

 

4. Be careful with your saturated fat

My biggest nutritional gripe with THM is the amount of saturated fat that can very easily be consumed within plan guidelines. Eating high amounts of saturated fat is correlated with inflammation and higher levels of harmful cholesterol. I personally ate way more saturated fat than daily recommendations most of the days I was on the plan. Be careful with the animal-based fats they recommend like butter, cream, and fatty red meats. Even the small amounts they encourage can easily push you over the recommendations.

5. Make sure to eat your veggies.

The plan itself is focused on fuels and though encouraging of vegetables, does not have a specific requirement for meeting veggie recommendations, and veggies are a very important part of a healthy lifestyle! It can be easy to skimp in this area, (I found some Youtube THMers who warned against this very issue) so be sure and give these powerful plants plenty of attention.

 



 

6. Ignore some of the verbiage from the authors

One of my pet peeves as a dietitian is seeing foods labeled as “good/clean/guilt-free” or “bad/sinful/naughty” as though each individual food could be placed in a single cut-and-dry category of either good or bad. Years of this kind of mindset can make it difficult for people to enjoy any kind of food without feeling guilty (except for raw, non-starchy, organic vegetables). I’ve had many clients who follow up every statement about what they eat with “and I know that’s bad.” (“My family likes pasta and I know that’s bad…I like to eat a lot of fruit and I know that’s bad…Sometimes I eat a piece of chocolate and I know that’s bad.”) It makes me so sad! While there are clearly foods that are more nutritious and deserve to be chosen more often than others, please ignore anyone who tells you that any food is “naughty” or that you should feel guilty for eating.

 

7. The plan is more restrictive than is necessary

In reading the first few chapters of the book, you’ll be preparing for “food freedom”…the authors start the book with that phrase and spend plenty of time discussing the cons of all the diets that are overly restrictive and that eliminate food groups. I was really on board with all of that.

Then for the remainder of the book, you find there is a pretty large list of common foods that are “not on plan” aka “not allowed.” It was a bit of a letdown for me, to be honest. They even cut out healthful options like whole grains based on some overly restrictive and outdated guidelines that I talked about in this post. For the most part, these complete eliminations are unnecessary to meet health goals, so bear in mind that 100% on-plan compliance is not necessary and that you could swap in foods that you know to be healthful.

 

8. Fuel isolation is not necessary for fat loss

I have not seen research to back up the concept of isolating either carbohydrate or fat at a particular meal as a method of weight loss. It can, however, be a structure for moderation that would make sense to some personalities. There’s no magic in the fuel isolation itself, it’s just a way to help some folks balance their overall diet.

 



9. Baked goods are tough

 

 

As I mentioned throughout my time on the plan, baked goods are tough cookies on THM. I know several ladies who follow THM and have found options that they enjoy, and I’ve also tried many plan-approved recipes that just could not cut it for me. If you are a baker (or lover of things baked), be prepared that finding “on-plan” recipes or tweaking your family recipes to your satisfaction may be a long road. You may need several specialty flours, oils, and sweeteners. This was my biggest struggle throughout the plan.

 

10. Do what works for you

Try the plan out – see what you think! If you are one of the people that loves it and finds it freeing, enjoy! Keep your eye on nutritional balance and rock your food freedom. If the plan is a struggle or parts of it don’t make sense, feel free to let them go! Personalize your nutritional plan and only keep the changes that work for your lifestyle and personality.

 



 

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

Diets Trim Healthy Mama

I’m back with more Trim Healthy Mama posts! I’ve been in blogging limbo for the last couple of weeks because I’m working on moving my practice into a new office! It’s so exciting – check out the new space!

 

New office space for my private practice

 

Anyway, that’s not why you’re here, is it? You’re here to find out whether or not Trim Healthy Mama is a good option for your life! Overall, the premise of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan is sound enough that if you want to lose weight, it will probably work. The benefit of THM is that it does a better job of switching from weight loss to maintenance than many other diets. It takes a unique approach and the authors provide several options for customization.

 



 

Like anything, eating plans are never one-size-fits-all. Some people will love the THM plan and others will struggle to follow it. After researching the plan and following it myself, I’ve put together some tips to help you decide if you are likely to be successful with THM.

 

You are likely to thrive on Trim Healthy Mama if…

 

 You are satisfied after eating low-carb meals (particularly if your goal is weight loss)

For some, grilled chicken on a large salad with dressing is a full meal. Others will still be asking for some fruit or a roll after they’re done. This is partly related to blood sugar regulation, partly to personal preference, and it’s very individual. If a steak and some roasted veggies sounds like all you need to be happy, you’ll do just fine in this area.

You aren’t a “social eater”

Social eaters get a large chunk of their enjoyment from food by sharing it with others (going to others’ houses, going to restaurants/parties, sharing meals, etc). Plans like THM that have a lot of “off limits” foods make this tricky unless you’re socializing with other people who are following the same plan. If you could care less about snacks at parties or don’t mind bringing your own thing, you’re good to go.

 



You like to cook/bake OR you don’t mind eating the same things from day to day

According to the THM authors, you don’t necessarily have to cook to follow the plan. After following it myself, I would say that’s true, but your options will be much more limited if you don’t.

You need a little guidance for moderation

If hearing the word “moderation” makes your eyes glaze, or if moderation just seems to be a nebulus concept, it may help you to have a structure like THM to guide you.

You’re interested in nutrition

This isn’t a must, but having an interest in the way the body works and how it interacts with food is helpful in understanding the plan. I haven’t even mentioned all of the supplementation or “add-in” recommendations the authors give in the book for boosting nutrition, but they are pretty in-depth. Some nutritional background or curiosity would be helpful for working through some of those more scientific chapters.

 



 

You might want to choose a different plan if…

 

You or your family have dietary restrictions different than those on the Trim Healthy Mama Plan

The THM plan is already more restrictive than is necessary to achieve most health goals, so if you’ve got other restrictions going on, this is going to make everything tougher. My philosophy is always to find the least restrictive way to head where you’re trying to go. Don’t make it harder on yourself than is necessary!

Being told you can’t have something makes you want it even more

There are quite a few “normal” foods that are not allowed on the THM plan, so if having those parameters makes you start jonesing for ice cream or a baked potato, this probably isn’t the plan for you.

You love baked goods

I’ve heard (and continue to hear) that there are tasty grain-free, sugar-free baked goods out there. I certainly won’t claim to have tried them all. In fact, I recently heard from a couple of experienced THM followers that the best results come not from any one wheat flour alternative but a blend of several. Regardless, baked goods were my biggest struggle following the plan (and I’m not a bakery junkie). I’m sure continued experimentation would yield better results than I achieved, but I’m pretty certain that even the best grain-free options aren’t going to equal the real deal. If baked goods are something you absolutely love, losing that aspect of your food quality of life would make following THM tough.

You dislike “diet lingo”

If learning a new system of numbers or language to track your health goals is not up your alley, this may or may not be for you. As with some other diets out there, Trim Healthy Mama has a language of its own – S meals, E meals, crossovers, S helpers, and fuel pulls are all part of the lingo in this case. For some people, learning these will be simple, make sense, and not be a problem, others just won’t want to mess with it. You know who you are!

 



 

So there you have it – a few tips to help you know if the Trim Healthy Mama Plan might be a good fit for you. It’s certainly not foolproof, but I want to acknowledge that every single person is different, and every approach to health and wellness is personal – it has to work for you and not against you.

I want to add a caveat here that I do have some concerns about a couple of the nutritional aspects of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan – not the entire framework itself, but some tweaks I would recommend to anyone who chooses to follow it to ensure they are making the most healthful choices for their lives. Those are coming in a future post, so stay tuned!

Trim Healthy Mama

 

My three weeks on Trim Healthy Mama have finished and it was certainly a learning process! I wrapped up the whole experience with this tasty taco salad S meal at a friend’s taco birthday party.

 

 

The Good

 

The plan is cheaper overall than I anticipated – it only cost me extra the first week when I stocked up on some special ingredients.

I made two good baked things! If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve struggled to make edible baked goods on the Trim Healthy Mama Plan. I took a break from baking after a few flops my first week, but I got back to it this week. At first I had some duds – pumpkin chip breakfast cake was meh, and these lemon blueberry muffins (while pretty) were just not yummy.

 

 

The first delicious almond flour foods I made were these pizza puffs (for which I will soon provide you the recipe)! They were really tasty dipped into my 5-minute heart-healthy pizza sauce.

 

 



The second were these low-carb, gluten-free thin mint dupes from All Day I Dream About Food. The recipe was posted in a Trim Healthy Mama Facebook group and I had to give them a try. I thought they might be better than some of the other almond flour baked goods I’ve tried since the actual cookie part is so thin (and drenched in chocolate…kind of hard to go wrong with that!). They turned out so well! Yum!

 

 

The Bad

 

My primary nutrition concern with Trim Healthy Mama was my suspicion that it encouraged too much saturated fat intake, though I wanted to wait until the end of my three weeks to see how the actual numbers shook out. Excess saturated fat intake is associated with inflammation (which is linked to a myriad of health issues) and is typically found in solid animal-based fats. There is potential for excess saturated fat intake on the Trim Healthy Mama Plan, since the S meals often contain cheese, creamy sauces/dressings, and are cooked in butter. As yummy as stacking all those fatty goodies into one meal can be, from the get-go I have been concerned that the Trim Healthy Mama Plan would take this aspect a little too far.

To put numbers into the mix, my recommended daily saturated fat intake is 20 grams per day and while I was on the Trim Healthy Mama Plan, my daily average saturated fat intake was 31 grams. I have to say that I expected the average to be even higher than that, but regardless it is about 150% higher than current recommendations. Fortunately, the blood sugar regulation portion of the THM plan helps prevent inflammation, but the saturated fat aspect promotes it in another way. It would be best to reduce inflammation both through blood sugar regulation and moderation of saturated fat. If a client of mine is interested in following Trim Healthy Mama, I will encourage them to either limit S meals or to limit sources of saturated fats from S meals to prevent inflammation.



 

The Numbers

 

Recommendation Week #1 Week #2 Week #3
Weight change -1 lb  +.6 lb  0 lb
Body fat change -.3% 0%  -.4%
Waist change -1″ -.5″  0″
Avg. daily calorie intake 1700 1679  1557  1715
Avg. daily carb intake 170-200 g 120 g  135 g  135 g
Avg. daily protein intake 65-80 g 97 g  90 g  89 g
Avg. daily fat intake 40-55 g  81 g  75 g  85 g
Breakdown of meal types 10 S meals

10 E meals

 13 S meals

8 E meals (and lots of E snacks)

9 S meals

8 E meals

2 Crossover meals

# of cheats 0 3 (1 intentional, 2 accidental cheats with non-whole grain sourdough bread) 1 (intentional Valentine’s date cheat at Fujiyama’s – yummy!)  2 (both intentional, 1 burger/fries after a day of snowboarding and 1 tea party with my niece!)
 Grocery Cost  $100 (normal weekly grocery budget)  $125  $92 (yippee!)  $102

 

What I Learned

    • I do not like almond flour. I can’t help it. If I can taste the almond flour, there’s too much almond flour. Extracts and zests are helpful, but not enough to overcome the nasty that is almond flour in muffin form. I gleefully threw away the last little bit from the bottom of the bag this morning.
  • I can definitely get by with fewer carbohydrates than I tended to eat before I started this project. It’s a good reminder to not let taste overcome true hunger!



Diets Trim Healthy Mama

 

My second week of Trim Healthy Mama has passed and I have to say – it went much better for me than last week! I found my groove, took a break from baked goods, and added in S Helpers to prevent low blood sugar. These changes made quite a difference in my quality of life.

 

The Good

I picked up a few useful products this past week – Laughing Cow light cheese, low carb wraps, and sprouted whole grain bread – that made my life a bit easier. The cheese helped me create more savory E options, which I had struggled with during my first week on THM.

I’m not ready to say that I give up on baked goods (in fact I have an almond flour pumpkin chip cake in the oven – fingers crossed it’s edible!), but I kind of took a break from them this week. I really wanted to take this three weeks to play around with grain-free baking since THM requires it and doing so would bulk up my recipe stash for my gluten-free clients, but boy my first week was a crash and burn. I tried a couple of different almond flour recipes that were really flavorless, but powered through eating them so I wouldn’t waste anything. That burned me out a bit on my almond flour experimentation and I didn’t even bother with any of that this week. It made life easier. I have picked out a couple of recipes for my last week (armed with tips from THM groups online!) and I’m ready to try again.

S Helpers make me happy! I felt much better and had no trouble returning to my usual workouts and energy levels once I got just a teensy bit of carb added in to my S meals. It also made me much happier just to have the option to pick even one little portion of carb. Yay for fewer restrictions!

A very unexpected plus was that after I bought all of the expensive extra stuff the first week, my grocery budget actually dipped down a few dollars this week. Who would have thought?



 

The Bad

Honestly, with the exception of still needing a solution to grain-free baked bads (I’ve had more bads than goods so far), I don’t have too many problems to report this week. I have found ways to navigate some of the roadblocks I met with in the beginning, and my S Helpers have fixed my hanger (as in hangry) problem. Can’t complain too much!

 

The Numbers

S meals were definitely the favorite this week because S meal + S helper = happy me. I ended up eating mostly E snacks in between to keep my energy up. My average carb intake was higher (but not by a lot) and my average fat intake was lower (but not by a lot). Interestingly, I was much more satisfied with fewer calories this way, because carbohydrates addressed my blood sugar fluctuations and are also lower in calories than fat.

 

I gained half a pound this week – could be nothing at all (weight fluctuation is totally normal and need not cause frustration) – but it’s most likely increased water retention in my muscles. Last week I know my glycogen (glucose storage in my muscles) was low because my blood sugar was running low and I could feel the drag in my workouts. Glycogen and water are friends, so whenever your glycogen stores are full the glucose is often hanging out with a bit of water. Since my waist circumference decreased and body fat stayed the same this week, that is the most likely cause of that change.

 

Recommendation Week #1 Week #2 Week #3
Weight change -1 lb  +.6 lb
Body fat change -.3% 0%
Waist change -1″ -.5″
Avg. daily calorie intake 1700 1679  1557
Avg. daily carb intake 170-200 g 120 g  135 g
Avg. daily protein intake 65-80 g 97 g  90 g
Avg. daily fat intake 40-55 g  81 g  75 g
Breakdown of meal types 10 S meals, 10 E meals  13 S meals, 8 E meals (and lots of E snacks)
# of cheats 0 3 (1 intentional, 2 accidental cheats with non-whole grain sourdough bread) 1 (intentional Valentine’s date cheat at Fujiyama’s – yummy!)
 Grocery Cost  $100 (normal weekly grocery budget)  $125  $92 (yippee!)

 



What I learned

  • Protein is key for satisfaction (especially with E meals) – Do any of you ever know something, then for some reason knowing doesn’t help you actually put that knowledge into practice? No? Just me? Okay. See, I know very well that protein is satisfying, but I was really reminded of that when I ate an E meal without a sufficient amount of protein. My stomach was a-rumblin’ much sooner. This is exacerbated on Trim Healthy Mama because fat is also a satisfier, but E meals are low fat, so ya gotta have that protein.
  • For me, the “personal choice” products from the book are necessary – In the Trim Healthy Mama Plan book, the authors provide options for products that can make your life easier. They acknowledge that some food purists (those who like to make ev-er-y-thing from scratch) are not likely to want to use the products. I am not one of those people. I like to cook and I make a lot of things from scratch, but I’m in the middle of that spectrum, baby. I’ll take efficiency if you’ve got it.
  • I prefer to have my meals be S (with S helpers) and snacks be E – This combo keeps my energy (in the form of blood sugar) up throughout the day and gives me the greatest feeling of flexibility and choice.
  • Use spices, extracts, and zests to improve the flavor of baked goods – This was a tip from the THM boards I surveyed for help with my baked goods. I haven’t had the chance to test it yet but I’ll let you know after I pull that pumpkin cake out and sample it!

 



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Diets Trim Healthy Mama