so, i’ve mentioned before in other blog posts that, over the course of the past several months, i have been trying to make healthier choices for myself and my family.
and a big chunk of that effort has actually been on, well, me.
something you see and hear from women’s magazines, the press, blog articles, is a cry for women to start “putting themselves first”– to take time to pamper, rest, relax. and whereas there can be a problem with the “me first” mentality (okay, more often than not), i believe that there are times when putting yourself first is actually the right thing to do.
when i put myself first, health-wise, it is about me. i want to feel better. i want more energy. i want to look better, too.
but you know what? being healthy isn’t selfish. when i take care of my health, i’m investing in a person that can take care of my husband better. i don’t just want to “keep up with” my daughter, but actually be active in her life (not just a spectator). i can have enough energy to do things around the house, run errands, and teach without crashing on the couch (as hard), and have nothing left at the end of the day. (don’t get me wrong, i don’t care how healthy you are… stress and hyper-busyness will wear someone down. this is where saying “no” to some things in your life might be the healthiest thing you can do.)
when i say i’ve done almost every diet, i kinda mean it. high carb, low fat. low carb, high fat. i’ve counted grams and points and calories and all sorts of other things. and most of the things i have done, have worked.
for a while.
see, here’s the thing, though: i don’t want to have to take out a special calculator before i eat a meal… or ask a friend for nutritional information on the spaghetti she has cooked for us. i can’t see myself cutting out certain food groups for the rest of my life, either.
that’s what attracted me to Trim Healthy Mama. (i’ve mentioned before that i don’t really care for the name of the plan/book, and i don’t. i think it is too limited and a little corny sounding. but hey, if the plan works…) they do offer some numbers as guidelines, if you need them. but the real spirit of the plan are principles– principles, that for me, have worked so far. (i still have a ways to go, but dropping 54 lbs does speak to some measure of success, although it isn’t my ending goal.)
recently, i have had several friends ask me “what i’m doing,” and i’ve found myself trying to explain the plan. honestly, the plan is “easy” enough once you begin doing it, but depending on how you are used to eating, there can be a bit of a learning curve. personally, the hardest thing for me was learning how to cook/make some of the foods i was used to.
i’ll be honest: i’ve mastered some things, and i haven’t others. the few recipes that don’t taste like the “original” also don’t make me look and feel like the “original” too… and i’m okay with that.
the plan’s major strength is its meal categories: S (for satisfying), E (for energizing) and FP (for fuel pull). there are other meals called Cross-overs, but those are used rarely in the weight-loss phase. (they are perfect for weight maintenance though… although i’m not there yet.)
all meals– S, E, FP– have a protein source. the type of protein source will depend on the type of meal. for instance, Satisfying meals are low-carb, higher fat content meals, so the protein can range from chicken to fish to steak, bacon, ground beef. (basically, any protein.) Energizing meals, however, are low-fat, higher carb content meals, so the protein will need to stick to chicken, fish, a very lean pork, turkey or a high protein bean. Fuel Pulls are the mega-weightloss snack or meal because they are both low-carb and low-fat.
here’s where the meals come in handy: you can have any meal type you want. you just need to wait 3 hours before switching types. you don’t have to switch up your meals every single time, but you do want to change your types enough to keep your metabolism guessing about what fuel it has to burn– carbs (in E meals) or fats (in S meals).
i’m not going to go into all of the details of the plan here. that’s what the book is for! i just wanted to offer a little bit of beginning clarification before pointing you to some of the tools that really helped me understand the plan and make it work for me.
one thing that’s so great about the plan is that you buy the book– and you are done. sure, you might need to switch out some things in your cupboards once you start cooking more healthily, but THM doesn’t require a membership fee or a huge start up cost.
just buy the book.
want to know another thing that’s awesome? THM has a great social presence on facebook. thousands of women are taking this plan and trying and creating awesome recipes that are posted *for free*. so, you can keep finding encouragement and new material all the time! they even have some smaller facebook groups for certain goals or challenges. (they have a facebook group for beginners to the plan, women who need to lose more than 50 lbs, women who are gluten free, etc.)
so, when my friends ask me where they can go to learn more, i point them there first. but here are some more specific resources that i send their way, too:
1) Gwen’s nest. awesome site for Trim Healthy recipes and suggestions.
2) Gwen’s great beginner’s guide— i give to people who need a starting place and a consolidation of the principles of THM.
3) the meal building blocks. (i’ve attached the pdf document –> S E FP Meal Building Blocks)
those three things really start taking the principles and showing you how they can be put into practice.
in part 2 of this series, i’m going to give specific products that i have found to be helpful and put them in “order” of their helpfulness. that way, if you are wanting to get started with THM, but you need to do a gradual shift in your pantry and menu, maybe you can get an idea of what you might need first to get the most success from your food switching.
if you are interested in checking out the items mentioned in this post, i’ve included an amazon link. a couple of things to know: yes, if you buy from this link, i do get a *teeny* bit of moneys. but also know, i only link to things that i really like. thanks!