D-I-E-T. A four-letter word for so many women! I’m convinced that just like there are no two people exactly alike, there is no one diet (which simply means “way of eating”) that suits absolutely every body. If you desire to be a trim healthy mama (or just trim and healthy) and you’re frustrated with all the nutrition advice coming at you from every direction, take some consolation in that. Maybe you just haven’t yet figured out what works best for YOUR body.
Last month, I was blessed to receive a copy of Trim Healthy Mama to review here at Oh Sweet Mercy. I’d heard about THM, as it’s often called, a few years ago but hadn’t really looked into it. Since I’m wanting to go on a (strenuous) hiking/study trip to Israel next year, I HAVE to lose some weight and get in better shape. Either that or I will surely perish on the first excursion. Since my budget is tight right now, I thought I’d take a chance and see if Trim Healthy Mama had a review program. I wrote an email, said a prayer, and clicked send. Less than an hour later, I got a yes in my inbox. I can’t tell you how elated I was! It had to be an answer to prayer.
What IS this Trim Healthy Mama plan, anyway?
I hesitate to call it a “diet.” It’s an eating plan. A lifestyle. It’s not about obsessively counting fat grams and carbs or weighing yourself every day. It’s about making a switch to real, whole foods. Ditching the artificial sweeteners. Correctly combining your carbs and healthy fats – yes, I said healthy FAT. Fat doesn’t make you fat – but you’ve got to be smart about the types of fats and carbs you consume.
If Atkins decided to go “real food” this is the eating plan he would devise. I did Atkins several years ago, and the low carb diet allowed me to quickly lose fat. However, the severe restriction on carbs was just not sustainable for me. Since then, I’ve also learned that even though sugar really isn’t good for you, artificial sweeteners like aspartame (Nutrasweet) and sucralose (Splenda) are pretty much poison. That’s even worse! Trim Healthy Mama recommends stevia instead. They also sent me their pure, organic powdered stevia to try. Double blessing! Read my review of that here.
What CAN You Eat on The Trim Healthy Mama Plan?
Take a look at just some of the delicious eats I’ve had in the last month…
Good news! Fats are good! Carbs are good! YHWH created these foods for us to eat, and enjoy! But, fats and carbs together…not so much. I’ve been concentrating on using healthy fats like butter, coconut and olive oils, but because I wasn’t considering the amounts of each I was putting on my plate at each meal, I was creating the perfect storm for packing on (and hanging on to) the pounds. The Trim Healthy Mama sisters did a great job of explaining what happens in your body when you eat a big, greasy cheeseburger and a side of fries.
What I Liked About the Trim Healthy Mama Book
- TRIM HEALTHY MAMA IS PERSONAL – You’re sure to find yourself in this book – it starts out with descriptions of five types of typical women and their diets. I’m a cross between a Purist and a Drive-Thru Sue. Maybe you’re a Whole Grain Jane, Farm Fresh Tess or Raw Green Colleen…or some combination. Wherever you fall in these profiles, you’re sure to learn something about the way you eat that you thought was true, but could actually be working against you and causing you to be sick, tired or overweight. The Trim Healthy Mama sisters also share their own personal journeys as well as offer “chats” throughout the book. They don’t always agree, either. But they do agree that you should “own it” – make this plan work for you and your lifestyle, just stay within the guidelines.
- TRIM HEALTHY MAMA IS FULL OF INFORMATION – From commonly held beliefs about nutrition (like fat is bad and you need a high carb, low fat diet to be healthy and lose weight) to how the plan works, this book is packed full of information that you will find interesting and useful. The Trim Healthy Mama sisters address saving money, making the plan work in the real world, exercise, and the importance of choosing real, whole, nutrient dense foods and avoiding artificial ingredients and “frankenfoods.”
- TRIM HEALTHY MAMA IS ENCOURAGING – One thing that really impressed me was the sense of encouragement that comes through. They really stress not stressing – you don’t need to stress and obsess over counting every calorie, every gram of fat or carbs. You certainly can if you are into that sort of thing. But many of us busy mamas…well, ain’t got time for that. And sometimes, we fall off the wagon. There’s no flogging for that…just eat another “on plan” meal in three hours. Hop back on and move forward. Do the best you can with what you have.
- TRIM HEALTHY MAMA RECIPES – Oh sweet mercy, the recipes. There are so many delicious recipes in this book! There are some that call for special ingredients (like the Fat Stripping Frappa) but often you can substitute if you don’t have, or can’t afford, the specialty ingredients. There are recipes for muffins, cakes and shakes and even Skinny Chocolate. There are savory, hearty recipes like Cheeseburger Pie, Fajitas and Meatloaf. There is something for everyone!
- TRIM HEALTHY MAMA COMMUNITY – Ok, this isn’t actually in the book but it’s important to mention. There are thousands of Trim Healthy Mamas all over the world. There are several groups on Facebook, such as the “main” group, a money-saving group, and even state groups. They are closed groups, so you’ll need to request to join. There are pins all over Pinterest of THM recipes, tips, how to put together binders, and more [check out my Pinterest recipe board here and be sure to follow!]. If you have a smart phone, you can download an awesome app called Two Grand – it’s kind of like a cross between a food diary and Instagram. I’ve been using it [look me up! @OhSweetMercy] and it’s a great way to keep track of what I eat, how much water I drink, log my exercise and progress, as well as find encouragement and new recipes.
- TRIM HEALTHY MAMA IS BALANCED, AND BIBLICAL – Serene and Pearl don’t hide the fact that they are believers, and I really appreciate that. Yet, they also do not “preach” at the reader. Whether you believe in the Bible or not, you can still very much benefit from eating this way. In fact, I have a very good friend who does not believe in the Bible, but loves this plan! YHWH created food and said it was good, it is for our enjoyment as well as nourishment. The THM way of eating allows us to enjoy nearly all foods in moderation (and the right combinations!). You are free to make your own choices regarding the foods you consume, and they lay no guilt upon you if you choose to eat pork, for example.
What I Didn’t Like About the Trim Healthy Mama Book
- AT FIRST GLANCE, IT’S OVERWHELMING – It’s a big book, just over 600 pages! My first thought was “Oh sweet mercy, what have I done…am I really going to be able to do this??” However, a large part of the book is recipes! And really, all you need to do to get started is read the parts up to the recipes (and I highly recommend you do that! Don’t be like me and just read enough to get the gist of things and then jump in…). Consult the recipe section as needed. Take it one meal at a time. Read the rest of the chapters as you have time. It takes a little time to get used to it, but it’s worth it.
- THE INDEX IS INCOMPLETE – There are recipes in the book that are not listed in the index. I realize that this book has been an ongoing project for a number of years and two busy mamas raising families are doing it – so I can cut them some slack. It just made it a little frustrating trying to find things. There are alternative indexes that you can print out in the main Facebook group, but I haven’t done that yet.
Those are the only things I didn’t like. And even those things are very easy to work around. Especially if you are a part of an online community, or even a local community of Trim Healthy Mamas.
So, Does Trim Healthy Mama Work?
I’m a firm believer that no one diet will work for everyone. We are all created uniquely and what works for one person may not work for someone else. There are tons of testimonies of women losing weight on the Trim Healthy Mama plan floating around the web, and you can read some on the Trim Healthy Mama website here.
Like any plan to help you lose weight, a large part of the success is dependent upon YOU.
I believe that Trim Healthy Mama is a terrific tool, and so far am happy with my own progress. I’d like to lose more quickly, but I have a 42-year old metabolism to deal with. The following are three face shots of me, one in March of this year (before I started drinking diatomaceous earth), one in May (I had lost a few pounds by this point, after I had started taking the DE), and one just the other day in September, almost 30 days into the plan:
I should smile more. Looks like mug shots. I’m sure I’ll be smiling more next month, as I keep shrinking! It’s not a HUGE visible difference, made more difficult to see because the shirt I’m wearing fits loosely. I can tell you, it fits more loosely than it did. Can’t wait to see the numbers on October 18!
I had lost ten pounds before starting Trim Healthy Mama on August 18. Almost a month later, I had lost another ten pounds, plus at least five inches. I know I’ve lost more inches, but I can’t prove it – I lost them in places I didn’t measure…of course! My clothes fit more loosely, I feel great, get tons of compliments on my skin and best of all – I don’t feel deprived or fight cravings like usual when I’m “dieting.” The Two Grand app also helped me to discover that I need to cut back on the dairy, I feel better when I do. I feel like this is a much more balanced approach to sensible nutrition, and I love it.
Thank you, Serene and Pearl, for pouring yourselves into this plan and book. It has been such a tremendous blessing for me as I work toward my goal of getting in shape! I will not surely perish on that strenuous hiking and study trip I’m looking forward to next summer! And thank you also, for your generous hearts – blessing me with this book has started a lifelong change in me, something for which I will always be grateful. And so will my family, they kind of need me to be around, and healthy!
Check out my Progress Update post: