NOTE: Edited to correct some of misinformation I had at first. Sorry about that!
I’ve had so many people ask me questions about Trim Healthy Mama and how it works that I have decided to do a series of posts on the basics of what I eat. If you get the “Trim Healthy Mama” book, it looks a bit intimidating, being over 300 pages. Most of what I do I learned by taking one afternoon and reading through several chapters of it. It all boils down to a few basic principles that really aren’t that hard to understand.
Over the past 5 or 6 years we have really cut down on the meaningless carbs we eat at home regularly. When I was pregnant for Jed (he is 5 1/2), I eliminated flour and most carbs from my diet and discovered that I felt a lot better. Not only that, I gained about 50% of what I usually do during my pregnancies! My indigestion was almost nonexistent, which in itself was enough of a reason to cut the carbs! (If I don’t really limit my carbs, I get horrible indigestion when I am pregnant – to the point of hardly being able to drink water without causing it!)
So, without further ado, a few THM basics.
* Off plan foods. Basically, anything that includes sugar, fructose, corn syrup or sweeteners other than Stevia, erythritol, or xylitol are not part of THM ‘ allowed ‘ foods, as well as anything that spikes blood sugar. Some of the main things that are off plan are: flour (white or wheat, UNLESS it is 100% whole wheat AND either sprouted or fermented), milk (Dairy is fine, including half and half or heavy cream. Milk itself has too high of a sugar content. Raw milk is not too bad because of the probiotics that promote digestion.), potatoes (sweet potatoes are fine), white rice, pasta or anything that includes those items. If you start reading labels, you won’t believe how hard it is to find foods without sugar! Grapes and corn are allowed in limited quantities because of the natural sugar. Bananas are allowed, as long as you do not eat more than 1/2 at a time. We live in a society where we think we can’t live without it!
*Three types of meals – S, E and Crossovers
S (Satisfying) Meals – An S meal contains a significant amount of fat (no particular amount), but less than 10 grams of carbs (6 or less of hose being purchased bread products.) For example, we might have hamburgers (no bun) with mashed cauliflower and salad with a creamy dressing. Higher starch veggies (such as sweet potato) are saved for E meals.
E (Energizing) Meals – E meals need to have less than 5 grams of fat but can have up to (NOT more than) 45 grams of carbs. Even E meals should have a good, lean source of protein, though. For example, we eat oatmeal a lot for breakfast. I’ll cook up a huge batch of oatmeal and then to my portion I add: 1 tsp, coconut oil, cinnamon, liquid stevia to taste and some frozen berries. For added protein, I will top it with some Greek yogurt (usually plain that I have sweetened and flavored myself).
Crossover Meals – A crossover is when you eat a meal of up to 45 grams of carbs, combined with more liberal amounts of fat. You are combining both S and E meals, essentially. If you are trying to lose weight, you don’t really want to do this. Pregnant or breastfeeding women SHOULD do this often. Since I am pregnant, I really am not thinking much about food combining. If I eat purely S or E meals right now, I don’t really gain at all. Eating crossovers a lot allows me to have a healthy, weight gain without it being excessive.
* Spacing Snacks and Meals – In order to allow your food to digest and your blood sugar to regulate, the THM plan requires you to space all your meals and snacks 3 hours apart. (Again, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, this changes to 2 1/2 or even 2 hours.)
I think that is just about it, in a nutshell. At first it sounds like there are a lot of things you can’t eat. I try to concentrate on what I CAN eat. I eat a lot of nuts. We love fruits and veggies. We love dairy products, particularly cheese and yogurt. I have gotten use to drinking almond milk while I am pregnant. I still love raw milk, but I have found almost milk to be even more effective in preventing indigestion. We make our own ice cream from kefir.
I have been pretty faithful on THM since the beginning of the year, although there were a few times I ate ‘ treats ‘. Unfortunatly, they left me feeling so horrible that it really wasn’t worth it. I am so thankful to have discovered how much better THM makes me feel during first trimester pregnancy (and beyond)!
In the following days…. what THM looks like in every day life! 🙂