Earlier this spring, a friend introduced me to the book Trim Healthy Mama. I had seen it mentioned online but dismissed it. I even told my friend that I was skeptical about it. We still laugh about my initial reaction and how unwilling I was to just read a little!
In February 2010 I changed the way I ate and tried to follow the "healthier American diet" of low fat and whole grains. I started exercising using various Jillian Michaels DVDs. It worked, I lost 25 pounds by May and maintained until fall, when I had a miscarriage. I gained a few pounds back, then everything came back quickly when I got pregnant again a little over a month later. After my baby's first tooth came in I saw a problem... it chipped easily, twice. As more teeth came in we noticed more problems. Because I had been reading and learning more about food from Sally Fallon and Weston A. Price, I soon realized that my "healthier American diet" had likely caused these tooth problems. I dove into Cure Tooth Decay, which is another story for another day. I got into the habit of sprouting my own wheat before making bread. I made a gallon of yogurt a week, and I canned and froze so much produce from our garden. We all learned to like lacto-fermented veggies! I wanted to loose the pregnancy weight so I made some attempts to exercise and watch portion sizes again. It had worked well before, why wasn't it working now?
So, after talking with my friend about Trim Healthy Mama (THM), I kept thinking about it over the next week. So the next time I saw my THM friend I asked more questions and ordered the book. I dove right in, the plan fit well with my views on food that I'd learned from Sally Fallon. I was still skeptical, the regular portion control and exercise hadn't worked. The THM book outlines how anyone can eat on this plan, I am somewhere between "Farm Fresh Tess" and "Whole Grain Jane", but the book includes food choices for "Drive Through Sue" as well. I lost 3 pounds my first week!
The THM plan teaches readers to separate fuels in order to maintain a healthy blood sugar level and prevent storing excess fat. In fact, by separating fuels you can burn stored fat. Their Facebook page is filled with success stories of people who have lost weight and overcome health issues. It almost seems too good to be true (but it's not!). THM does not deny any foods, except refined sugar (which I think most people would agree we don't need anyway!). That means I can still eat bread! It can work very well for those in need of special diets such as gluten free, dairy free, and more. The book outlines which foods you should avoid until you see steady weight loss, such as white potatoes, milk, and white rice. But you don't have to go without them forever! Secret... I still drink grass fed raw milk occasionally.. and eat potatoes once in a while. I feel so empowered, I know exactly what every bite of food will do to my body. I have never felt this way before! Diabetes SPRINTS through my family, but I finally feel like I can avoid it. As many Trim Healthy Mamas (or Men) say "It's only 3 hours until your next meal and getting back on track".
The plan also outlines why healthy weight children need to combine fuels and gives suggestions about when and why to start separating fuels as we age. There are also suggestions on incorporating exercise that are helpful, if you choose to follow them. If you peruse the THM website you will find a variety of products for sale. You don't need any of them! Let me repeat.. you don't need them! Get the plan book and read, the cookbook is helpful but you can find plenty of recipes on Pinterest, or adjust what you already love to cook. You'll encounter some new ingredients if you do want to follow their recipes, but with the book you can learn how to use the foods you already eat. If you do want to try some of the products, I find Gentle Sweet, Whey Powder, and Baking Blend the most helpful. You can rest assured that the authors have found the best quality products without any sort of unnecessary additives. The foods they sell are "clean eating"! I'm picky about what we eat but I trust these recipes and food products.
So what's up with me? In almost 5 months I lost 30 lbs. I've slowed a little recently, but I've lost a total of 37 lbs. and the scale isn't stopping. I highly recommend this book. It's so easy to feed my family, I can adjust any meal to feed me and my kids. One of our favorite dinners is spaghetti. I prepare spaghetti squash, my homemade sauce, and pasta for the kids to add a little to their bowls. This creates a combination of fuels for the children, but a single fuel for a THM(S) meal. One of my favorite (E) lunches is a slice or two of homemade sprouted bread topped with cottage cheese, salt, pepper, and tomatoes. I don't feel like I'm denied any of my favorite foods on this plan, it is a tasty way to eat! Plus, the surprise each time I step on the scale makes my day.
Before on the left; a recent (and unprepared for the camera picture) on the right.