Thursday, October 24, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama

In my last two posts I explained why and how I started my journey toward better health, which by necessity included weight loss.  Now I'd like to share what I've been doing for the last 10 months.

Trim Healthy Mama was written by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett, two of Nancy Campbell's (Above Rubies magazine) daughters. It was written over the course of about 5 years by these two amazingly dedicated ladies.  They've been through many eating lifestyles themselves and developed this approach, which is basically a controlled glycemic way of eating, when the others failed to keep them and their families in really good health.  Some of the things they've done in the past are vegetarianism, veganism, low fat, and raw food.  They've spent years learning how the body processes food and now we get the benefit of all their hard work.  The book is a little pricey (about $35.00), but it's been self published so that's to be expected and it's well worth the price. 
Simply put, they advocate eating fats and carbs separately since the body uses both as fuel, but won't use the fat if the carbs are present.  Unlike many other "diet" plans, they do not exclude entire food groups, citing biblical examples for the inclusion of these foods.  Personally, I like that their plan is balanced and looks toward God's word in support of their choices.  Though it is a bit of a lengthy read, about a third of the book is dedicated to recipes.  I will have to say that though I've tried many of the recipes, what was even more important was that by learning the plan and reading through many of the recipes, I was able to learn how to adapt family favorites to make them plan approved.  Also, in addition to the book, they have a website, forum, and facebook group that all help you along.  The forum is good for getting questions answered, but the facebook group will also address questions and offers up way more recipe options as the ladies on the group are constantly sharing new things they've tried. 

I've lost 89 lbs. since starting THM last December (bringing my total to date to 139 lbs.) and I can honestly say that I can, and do expect to eat this way for the rest of my life.   With all the delicious options I rarely feel tempted to eat something that wouldn't be plan approved, and if I decide to, it's not really that I've "fallen off the wagon", I've just decided to eat what they call a crossover (a meal that includes fat and carbs) and can switch back to a single fuel at my next meal. 

The only thing that I do a bit differently is that I do not eat very many E meals (energizing meals - they contain carbs), and when I do, they don't usually have anywhere near the allowable limit for an E meal.  Because of a three hour glucose test I've had, I know that I produce a lot of insulin in response to sugar in my blood stream so I take that into account and try to restrict my carbs a bit more.  I do listen to my body though and when I'm feeling tired or unable to concentrate as well, I know it's time to eat a few more carbs.  And since I do allow myself some non-plan approved food on occasion, I feel it probably all works out. 

The book doesn't just stop at explaining the plan and sharing recipes, they go on to explain the most beneficial exercise routines and they have an entire section on hormones, their function and what may be going on with your body if they're out of whack. 

To help me along the way, I've also started compiling an entire repertoire of recipes that I've hunted around for, and found online.  Many are low carb, gluten free (but only the type of gluten free that doesn't include rice flour), sugar free recipes.  I do not use Splenda, but I will adapt a recipe that calls for Splenda by using a plan approved sweetener.  I also use many Paleo recipes, adapting them as necessary to make them plan approved. 

As you can tell, I heartily endorse trying out the book and plan, but I do plan on having future posts dedicated to sharing plan approved, and family taste-tested and approved recipes.  I just won't share recipes in the book as they are copyrighted (but you really should try the Special Agent Brownie Cake - pg. 382).  And for the record, no, I received nothing in return for endorsing the book.

I will add a final note here that the plan can seem a bit overwhelming at first, but if you do get the book and decide to give it a go, just take it slowly.  Change one meal at a time instead of plunging in head first and trying to change everything you do and eat all at once.  It's a change in your lifestyle that will bring about good health, not a quick fix to get you "bikini ready" in 6 weeks.  Those things don't give you the lifetime changes that will keep you trim and healthy anyway, but changing to a healthier lifestyle will. 

What do you have to lose?  I had about 190 lbs. to lose, and I'm very nearly 3/4ths of the way there.

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