As you probably know, (if you’ve read about my health and weight loss journey in my previous post) that losing weight and maintaining a normal weight for my height and build, has been a TOTAL uphill battle.
As I said in my health journey story, I have had a lot of trouble with imbalanced hormones which have, many times, blocked any weight loss efforts.
Because of this, I’ve tried many different eating plans, exercise routines, and health programs. These plans may have worked in the beginning but for some reason or another (usually the imbalanced hormones getting stressed from exercise or trying to lose weight leading to fatigue), stopped working after just a month or so of success.
Over the years, I’ve learned so much about how my body works- what makes it happy, how it ticks, what makes it angry, bloated or fatigued, etc. Along the way, I’ve tried several plans that have stuck with me and have completely changed my thought process about food and how the body processes it.
WHAT IS TRIM HEALTHY MAMA
One of the best health plans I’ve ever stumbled upon was called Trim Healthy Mama. Trim Healthy Mama is an eating plan that isn’t designed to be a quick 60-90 day crash diet or some crazy “lose 30 pounds in 30 days.” Trim Healthy Mama is a lifestyle and eating plan to live by.
Trim Healthy Mama teaches you about how and when to consume different types of foods in the best way for your particular body.
The plan, like many, excludes ingredients like white processed sugar, white flours and rice, potatoes (sweet potatoes are great though!), unhealthy oils/lards (crisco, canola, vegetable, etc.) as well as other processed foods.
I know, I know – those foods all taste SO good (and for my crazy hormones, so comforting. They don’t call it comfort food for nothin’!)
Sadly, these foods are terrible for your blood sugar levels and cause a high blood sugar spike when eaten. Doing this too often can lead to really serious health concerns.
Trim Healthy Mama focuses on low glycemic foods to keep blood sugars at a normal level. The eating plan is also very anti inflammatory which is so helpful for many, especially those with health conditions that cause inflammation.
HOW TRIM HEALTHY MAMA HELPED ME
Throughout the years, I’ve had several moments where I’ve hit a wall and just said “NO MORE!” No more feeling like this! No more eating without thinking or caring! No more looking this way with this poor outlook and body image! Just NO! MORE!
Once I saw how Trim Healthy Mama was helping friends of mine that had tried it as well as countless others, I decided to dive in. While following this plan, I was about to lose 25 pounds!
In addition to losing weight, I learned so much about how our bodies process and burn food (aka fuel). Also, I learned many recipes that we LOVE. By following Trim Healthy Mama’s plan, I was taught a number of great, healthy (and yummy!) substitutions for some of those high glycemic ingredients listed above.
This has been GREAT for our family as several of us have some food restrictions and allergies. Trim Healthy Mama shifted my thinking on how to make meals for my family. There are so many meals that are so easy to substitute a few ingredients here and there that we would already normally enjoy!
Trim Healthy Mama’s plan can have a bit of a learning curve, but it’s easy to wrap your mind around! I’ll give a summary of it below but to get the full details and “how-to’s” you can purchase their book HERE.
Trim Healthy Mama’s philosophy focues on the two fuels our body burns. Carbs and Fats. It only burns one or the other. When the two are consumed together, one will be burned and the other stored (basically turned into body fat somewhere on you!)
In order for your body to burn the fuel and keep burning, Trim Healthy Mama has you separate the two. So instead of having a piece of sprouted bread with natural peanut butter (a healthy carb with healthy fat) you would need to eat just one or the other or pair them with other healthy carbs or fats.
Otherwise, you’d be eating what’s called a “crossover” (when the two fuels are consumed together and “crossed over”.)
When separating the two fuels, there are fat meals and carb meals. The fat meals are what THM call “Satisfying” or “S meals”. These kinds of healthy fats include things like nuts, avocados, ground beef, eggs, cheeses, bacon, ham, seeds, coconut oils, olive oils etc.
These types of meals would mostly fall under what is now considered the keto diet. Just as the keto diet plan suggests, to keep your fats burning and not “crossover”, your carbs per meal must be only 5-6 grams.
On the THM plan, a meal using healthy carbs would be considered an “energizing” or “E meal”. Some examples of healthy carbs are foods like brown rice, sweet potatoes, steel cut oats (healthier than rolled!), quinoa, greek yogurt, black beans, etc.
In addition to those, there are certain fruits that are higher in carbs such as apples and bananas. They would also be good examples of carb meals.
In order to not “crossover” your fats and carbs, your energizing meal must only have 5-6 grams of fat.
There are certain foods that are so low in carbs and fats that they would be considered what THM calls a “fuel pull” or “FP”. You are “pulling away” the fat fuel or carb fuel in the particular meal.
Some examples of fuel pull foods would be berries, lean meats (i.e. chicken without the skin, turkey breast, turkey bacon, chicken and turkey sausage), green leafy veggies such as spinach, kale and lettuce, other non starchy vegetables, etc.
Fuel pulls are GREAT to add to either an “S” or “E” meal. It is safe to add them to either since they are so low in fats and carbs. “FP” meals are also great to add in to your meal rotation since they burn more! Instead of burning body fat and a carb fuel or fat fuel, they just burn YOU! A great metabolism booster!
Like I said above, when you mix fats and carbs, it’s considered a “crossover” meal since you’re “crossing” the two types of fuels. If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t crossover.
However, there are those out there that want help gaining weight. If you are a person who has trouble keeping weight on, crossing over your fuels is a great way pack on some extra pounds.
In order to not cross over, your “S” meals and your “E” meals, you need to space your meals throughout the day. You’ll need to spread your meals out by at least 3 hours.
If you are hungry and need a snack in between, be sure to either eat the same type of meal you ate earlier and/or plan to eat later or eat something under the “FP” category.
The Trim Healthy Mama plan also keeps your metabolism guessing. Your body is very smart and catches on quickly to your typical eating and exercise routines. If you feed it the same fuels at the same times, your metabolism will slow.
Cycling your meals will keep your body “on it’s toes” per say and your metabolism will keep chuggin’ away!
Some meal cycling examples are listed below:
Keeping a meal rotation will keep you constantly burning. Over time, you’ll be able to figure out which meals do better for you and typical patterns to “shuffle around” through in your week!
Here is an example of a typical meal schedule following THM:
- eggs with cheese
- sprouted bread (Ezekial bread from Trader Joe’s is great too!)
- deli turkey meat
- turkey bacon
- the smallest smear of mayo (make sure you just have a tiny bit so you don’t crossover!)
- roasted almonds
- smoked gouda
- Burgers with cheddar cheese, lettuce, mayo (there’s a GREAT avocado oil mayo in stores now! Walmart even sells it!), throw on some bacon, tomato and onion if you want all the “fixins”
- Salad with olive oil, lemon juice and minced garlic (top with cheese, roasted nuts, seeds, etc.)
- Sliced strawberries
- (you can even have a tiny bit of halo top ice cream for dessert!)
- Apple Slices
- Plain greek yogurt with cinnamon and stevia
- Salad with avocado ranch, chicken, bacon egg, cucumber, cheese crumbles
- Smoothie with frozen berries, (Be sure to check back here on the blog to see my favorite smoothie recipe coming soon!!)
Note: If you take out the avocado and seeds from the smoothie, your smoothie could be considered a FP! Just make sure to not use too much almond milk if doing a FP.
- Sliced carrots
- Chicken with Brown rice and black beans (with mexican spices such as cumin)
- Sliced bell peppers
As you can see in the meal examples above, S and E meals are always spaced at least 3 hours apart as well as alternate between the 3 meal types.
There are so many amazing recipes that I have discovered through Trim Healthy Mama. Now that y’all “know the ropes”, I’ll be posting over time some of our favs!!
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First up will be my FAVORITE smoothie recipe! This recipe calls for a GREAT substitution that I’m sure will surprise you! Be sure to check back soon for updates as well as follow me on Instagram and Pinterest!