One week of trying out Trim Healthy Mama is in the books! If you’re not familiar with the plan, check out my intro post here to get to know the basics. Here’s how it went:
What I Did
For the first week, I aimed to eat a mixture of primarily S and E meals and snacks, since most of my clients considering THM would use the plan to lose weight. I suspected that I might personally need a crossover here and there and perhaps S Helpers (small amounts of carb eaten with S meals) because of my tendency for hypoglycemia, but to honor the authors’ spirits of trial and error, I tried it for a week. I still have a few pounds of what I affectionately refer to as “holiday fluff,” so I’m not concerned about following a plan designed for weight loss for three weeks. If I lose a couple of pounds, I still won’t be under my normal body weight.
I also sought to test the authors’ claim that you can follow THM without specialty ingredients. For this reason (and to limit costs), I decided to purchase only a few things that I thought might be most useful (almond milk, almond flour, and pressed peanut flour). I already had THM-approved Stevia at home, so I didn’t need to buy that. Pinterest was a big help for finding THM-approved recipes, as the condensed version of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan book does not include any.
Read on for the good, the bad, the numbers, and what I learned this week.
Finding something to eat at restaurants was not hard at all. Besides fast food my first day, I also found an option at a Korean restaurant with some gal pals last weekend. They had a vegetable and chicken dish made with sweet potato noodles, so I ordered that and made an E meal out of it. I’m sure it wasn’t cooked in a plan-approved oil and I have no way of knowing exactly how much oil they use to cook it, but I figured it was pretty close.
The other really great thing this past week was that several of the S meals were really tasty. One of my favorites was this curry soup. It was creamy, delicious, and loaded with vegetables.
Other hall-of-famers from this week include the lettuce-wrapped burger,
this roast chicken thigh and cottage/bleu cheese salad,
and a pizza topping and Caesar salad low-carb wrap.
I was pleasantly surprised how satisfying the S meals were, though I noticed for me there is a delay of about 15-20 minutes after eating an S meal before I feel satisfied. After that, the S meals held me over for several hours and I rarely needed a snack before my next meal.
Baking. Baking has been so bad. I tried making these almond flour strawberry S muffins (I added vanilla too) and they smelled and looked SOOOOOO good.
Unfortunately, they tasted awful. My family was as eager to try them as I was but theirs went in the garbage after a bite or two. I slogged through the rest of them so as not to waste the ingredients but they were a huge flavorless disappointment. At least the plan allowed me to put butter on them.
Along the same lines (though not actually baked), I tried an S snack recipe I found for peanut butter cookie dough bites. Sounded delish! It was a very simple recipe – basically almond flour, fresh ground natural peanut butter, and a few chocolate chips. So good looking, yet so bland. I added some Stevia and that helped, but I still had to chew quickly and wash them down with almond milk.
In the past, I’ve had quite a few baked goods made with almond flour (but with real sugar) that were quite tasty. I’ve also had a lot of sugar-free or low-sugar baked goods (but with grain-based flours) for carb control that were delicious. This combo of grain-free flour and sugar-free sweeteners is proving much more difficult to swallow than I anticipated.
Any of my experienced THM readers (or gluten-free, paleo, etc) have any suggestions for edible almond flour baked goods sweetened with Stevia? I need help!
|Goals||Week #1||Week #2||Week #3|
|Weight change||-1 lb|
|Avg. daily calorie intake||1700||1679|
|Avg. daily carb intake||170-200 g||120 g|
|Avg. daily protein intake||65-80 g||97 g|
|Avg. daily fat intake||40-55 g||81 g|
|Breakdown of meal types||10 S meals, 10 E meals|
|# of cheats||0||3 (1 intentional, 2 accidental cheats with non-whole grain sourdough bread)|
|Grocery Cost||$100 (normal weekly grocery budget)||$125|
What I Learned
There’s a lot in this category (reference the learning curve I mentioned above), so I thought a list might be easiest.
- In the text of the chapter on grains, the Trim Healthy Mama Plan says “[our] approach to grain-based breads is not to put a big X over it…We simply make sure that grain-based bread flours are sprouted or a sourdough variety.” I wrote in my notes that sprouted-grain or sourdough breads were okay, so last week I bought a loaf of sourdough. What I failed to do was read more closely in the list at the end of the chapter where they more specifically noted that E-approved grains include only whole grain sourdough. Whoops. So in the spirit of full disclosure, I ate several slices of sourdough that’s not allowed on the plan before a more experienced Trim Healthy Mama follower corrected my mistake.
- I’m not really willing to eat egg whites on their own – I just don’t like them – so savory E breakfasts were a challenge. I ended up finding that for me, S breakfasts work well if I want something savory and E breakfasts (I loved this banana split oatmeal!) for something sweet.
- Stevia (or some other plan-approved sweetener like erythritol, xylitol, chicory root, or monkfruit extract) was an absolute must for me to make E meals like yogurt or oatmeal tasty. I would not recommend following this plan without one of these options on hand!
- As you can see, I’m way overshooting my fat recommendations and low on my carbohydrate needs. Even on days when I ate two E meals and an E snack, the carbs only added up to about 75% of my daily needs. This wasn’t really a problem at first and I felt fine for the first few days, but by day 5 I started getting tired and my normal workouts felt harder than normal. On day 7 I had my first blood sugar low which (full disclosure) I had to fix with a slice of not-plan-approved non-sprouted whole grain bread for lack of other nearby options. So clearly, as suspected, I discovered that I am someone who needs S Helpers.
I started that this morning by adding half of a spiced peach with my egg and the final two almond flour muffins this morning.
Overall, this plan was a little frustrating this first week, since I didn’t have more of the specialty ingredients that would make it easier. It did feel like I frequently ran into the issue of coming up with meal ideas that I then realized I wasn’t “allowed” to have. I plan on purchasing a few more specialty ingredients, as well an approved kind of bread, this week and continuing my search for edible baked goods. I do think this is a plan that will get much easier as I get more into the groove.
Stay posted for more updates, research, and recipes!
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