Have you heard of the Trim Healthy Mama Diet? It’s the latest diet book on the market that’s actually not your typical diet book at all. In fact, this book has changed my life. As a girl who used to fear carbs of all kinds, and certain fats, I’m here to tell you, this book was an answered prayer for me. I have eaten healthy with enough calories for awhile, but I’ll be honest, I still had food fears, I guess you would say. Since I’m very carb sensitive and have an intolerance to sugar from a past seizure condition, I am also careful to watch how all carbs influence my glycemic index. I also used to believe that vegan was the best diet for me, and what I’ve learned is the opposite is true. The Trim Healthy Mama Diet is a new book, written by two women who spent 10 years researching nutrition, all diets, and who even used to be vegetarians and vegans at one point. They even experimented with raw foods and juicing. They’ve done it all, and finally discovered the true way that we were meant to eat as women. The truth is, you can still be thin, maintain a healthy weight and lose your fears of calories, by eating all food groups from healthy sources. The key is to balance things out. Here’s what you need to know about the Trim Healthy Mama Diet to find the freedom that I have. I’ve never been happier or more satisfied in my life, and as someone with her own nutrition degree, I’m here to tell you, Pearl and Serene, the authors of Trim Healthy Mama, truly know their stuff!
1. Carbs Aren’t Evil
One of the very first things to understand about the Trim Healthy Mama Diet, and one thing to love, is that carbs are not evil - the good kinds anyway. Sprouted grain breads, low carb pitas and low carb breads, sweet potatoes, oatmeal and quinoa are all used throughout the recipes in the Trim Healthy Mama book. These are known as E, or Energizing foods. They’re titled E foods because carbs are meant to give us energy, and the THM Diet teaches you how to eat them for that purpose. The key is to pair your carbs with lean proteins and veggies or berries, if you want, so your glycemic index stays even. Lean protein also burns more fat than carbs or fat, and will slow down the rate the carbs are processed in your body. The trick to eating carbs without causing weight gain is not to slather them with fats, like butter, oil or other high fat foods. One teaspoon is allowed, but no more, and instead, you're allowing your body to run off mostly glucose for energy, from healthy sources instead of fat. Later, you can switch things up and eat healthier fats with less starches to keep your metabolism guessing. Any meal with healthy starches is known as an E meal for the most part, but always pair lean protein with your meals, no matter if eating starches or not. This increases your metabolism, and slows down insulin responses in your body.
2. Stay Away from Sugar
Speaking of carbs, I was so happy to see that the Trim Healthy Mama Diet doesn’t allow sugar, or white flour at all. Thank goodness! The white stuff is a big no-no in my opinion, and is a food I’d be sure to tell anyone to avoid, not only for their weight, but also their hormones, their mood and their health. Sugar has been proven to be as addictive as cocaine in the body, along with being toxic to the liver in the same way as alcohol! That’s scary stuff. All sugar is to be avoided on the THM Diet for the best glycemic index. This means all high sugar dried fruits, honey, molasses and maple syrup are to be avoided. I agree with this standpoint, because these sources, no matter how many nutrients they might have, still influence your blood sugar the same way as sugar, and have way too many grams of sugar per tsp., along with little if any, fiber. Instead, they promote NuNaturals pure stevia extract, my choice brand of stevia, which is processed with no MSG, no gluten, no additives, no allergens of any kind, no chemicals of any kind, and contains nothing artificial. You also need such a tiny amount, and this brand has no bitter taste at all. You can find it here: iherb.com. Also, all refined flours are to be avoided when baking. Instead, healthy alternatives are given, and certain brands are recommended that you can feel great about purchasing at the store.
3. Fats Are Good
YAY! Celebrate because Pearl and Serene, the authors of Trim Healthy Mamas are all about eating healthy fats. Coconut products in their natural form like coconut shreds ( unsweetened), raw coconut butter, coconut oil, coconut flour and coconut kefir are all promoted to be used. They raise the metabolism and are great for people with glycemic issues. Healthy fats from nuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flax are all highly promoted, and even butter is okay on this diet! The key to eating healthy fats is to eat them the right way, not doused all over a piece of high starch toast. How about putting a pat of butter on your piece of lean salmon and have it with some low starch veggies? This is known as an S meal, or a Satisfying meal. When you eat fat with lean protein and veggies, the glycemic index is lowered and fat is lost, despite that you’re eating fat. The body switches to burning fat for fuel instead of carbs, so long as you leave your starches out. Don’t eat E foods and S foods together unless you’re trying to maintain, or gain, needed weight.
If you do need to gain weight, or work to maintain your current weight, eating E and S foods together such as quinoa and coconut oil, are known as Crossover meals. These combine healthy fats and healthy starches, which will help stall weight loss. The key is to always include lean protein whenever you eat. This stabilizes your insulin and helps your body burn more fat than just eating carbs or fats alone, or together, but since you are eating carbs and fats together, weight loss will slow down in a healthy way. If you’re looking to lose weight, don’t eat Crossovers more than a couple times a week.
Protein is so important, especially in the Trim Healthy Mama Diet. The THM Diet promotes protein as your middle man. He stabilizes the starches and fats so your glycemic index is more even than when eating carbs and fats alone. Don’t ever eat a plain bowl of oatmeal alone thinking you'll lose weight faster. Add in some almond milk to cook it with, a tsp. of flax on top, and be sure to include a protein source with it. Otherwise your insulin levels rise and your glycemic index will rise. To prevent this, stir in some yummy plain Greek yogurt for protein, or cook up 2 egg whites, either in your oatmeal to make it extra fluffy, or add them to the side. Just leave the yolks out when eating when oatmeal since they’re higher in natural fats. Or, perhaps you’d like something less starchy for breakfast. Have a regular egg with 2 egg whites, some veggies or berries, and perhaps a pat of butter or coconut oil. This also has protein, but less starch so you can have more fat. For snacks, Greek yogurt, protein smoothies, or some nuts with a Laughing Cow Cheese wedge are all great ideas. Protein is the key part to losing weight on the Trim Healthy Mama Diet. No need to overdo it, but be sure to have some each time you eat, For my favorite oats recipe, that has almost 10 grams of protein per serving, check it out here: soulfulspoon.com .
6. Always Include Veggies
Be sure to include veggies several times a day, whether through salads, well cooked veggies or eaten alone as a snack with some form of protein or healthy fat. Veggies are all included in the Trim Healthy Mama Diet, with the exception of white potatoes, which act like sugar and white flour in the body as soon as they’re digested. Also be sure to add at least 1 tsp. of healthy fats to your veggies, and if you’re eating a starch, just keep it to one teaspoon. so weight gain isn’t an issue. If you’re not eating starches and eating an S meal, higher in fats, feel free to eat up to 2-3 tbsp. of butter or coconut oil with your veggies. Fats help your body absorb the vitamins and minerals from the veggies much better than alone.
7. Dairy Smarts
Nonfat and plain Greek yogurt and nonfat, plain or lowfat plain kefir are both highly promoted on the Trim Healthy Mama Diet because they burn fat fast in the body, and help stabilize insulin. They’re also a great source of protein and contain little to no fat. They don’t promote drinking milk and instead, suggest using unsweetened almond milk, my favorite. Eggs are also used in this diet, along with egg whites, and organic or local sources are recommended, but not required.
8. Fish Friendly
The THM Diet promotes eating fish as a superfood and as a great clean, lean protein. Salmon is best, but tuna is also great if you’re on a budget. They do suggest buying wild fish, which I love, to avoid mercury contamination. If you don’t like fish, they also love lean poultry and eat it regularly, from good sources.
9. Fuel Pulls
The last kind of meal you need to know about are Fuel Pulls. These are more your typical “get lean quick” recipes, which strip the body of fat fast. You don’t eat a lot of fat or carbs with fuel pulls, but instead, eat lean protein and veggies. This might look like turkey breast with asparagus and broccoli, with only 1 tsp. butter or oil, and no starches. Or, it might be a piece of salmon with a bed of lettuce and some raw veggies. Or, it could be a cup of nonfat Greek yogurt with ¼ cup strawberries and 1 tsp. of flax. The key is to eat protein with either a few berries to keep the sugar down, and/or low starch veggies with no more than 1 tsp. of fat. This will help the body burn more calories running off protein versus carbs or fat, which burns less fat. What I love about Fuel Pull meals are they are great to add in through the week after you might have eaten too heavy one day, but they’re also not recommended to be eaten everyday or the metabolism slows. This gives your body a balance and ability to naturally start craving higher fat days with more lean eating days, and never deprives you of carbs or fat, and you’ll naturally drop weight. Eating too many fuel pulls may help you lose, but over time, your metabolism will slack and you’ll hurt your thyroid. The thyroid needs both healthy starches and healthy fats to run well, just not paired together.
10. Fun Foods
The THM Diet also utilizes some of my favorite “fun foods”. They have recipes to make gluten-free breads and grain-free breads for those of us who might not want starchy bread options, but would still like a piece of guilt-free toast or sandwich bread! For these they use coconut flour, my favorite, along with a calorie-free thickener called glucomannan that you can use to thicken breads, make puddings with and even make protein ice cream with! They also use unsweetened peanut flour to make homemade peanut butter with, which is low calorie like PB2, but doesn’t have the added calories. They also love to use some superfoods, almond butter, stevia and other fun trendy foods, but have recipes that show you what to do if you don’t have these foods too. You can even make your own healthy jelly using glucomannan and berries with stevia! Trust me, these ladies have an answer to every question you can think of, and most recipes don’t require a lot of time at all. In fact, their chocolate cake in a mug takes all of 3 minutes to make, and their pancakes take around the same. Trust me, deprivation is not part of this diet, so don't worry!
11. Real Women
The last thing you need to know about this diet is it was designed by two real women. These women have children and large families, along with hungry husbands! They cook healthy meals using THM principles for their whole family and know what works for each one. For an overweight husband, more Fuel Pulls are implemented into the week for his lunches, and more S type meals are cooked for dinner so everyone is well fed. For breakfasts, plenty of E foods make the list, along with S meals for an occasional indulgence. Coffee with cream are enjoyed during breakfast as well, and there’s no advising cutting your coffee out, or juicing for breakfast. For their children, they implement more Crossover meals so their children don’t lose too much weight, and for their older teen daughters, they teach them how to eat healthier fats instead of too much sugar, since their bodies are mostly done growing at this point and don’t need all the excess carbohydrates in the diet. The best part is, there’s no calorie counting AT ALL.
Truly, I hope you will check out this book. It’s one of the most amazing books I’ve read to date. To learn more, you can visit Trim Healthy Mama’s website at trimhealthymama.com. The book is huge with over 600 pages, but I promise that it’s one of the best reads, and not technical or hard to understand. In fact, you almost feel like you’re chatting with two of your oldest friends as you read this down to earth book. It’s well worth the money and is the absolute best nutrition book I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a ton, let me tell you! Another great resource for finding out what you can and can’t eat is located at Gwen’s Nest, one of my favorite blogs, which you can find a printable PDF form here to get started: gwens-nest.com. Have you heard of the Trim Healthy Mama Diet?