Monday, July 18, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016: Trim Healthy Mama Plan

Week 26: A book about food

Trim Healthy Mama Plan
by: Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison

I have been a lurker on the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) facebook page for a few years now. I've read so many success stories and gathered what I thought was basic information about the plan, but still had questions. So, when Blogging for Books offered me this book for free in exchange for my honest review, I jumped at it.

The basic idea is that your body's fuel sources need to be kept separate so both can be burned. These are called satisfying (S) and energizing (E) meals. This means all food groups and most foods are allowed. The exception to this are things like pasta, white rice, and white potatoes. This is because your body converts these into sugar, and sugar is the big, bad wolf.

I had figured out the part about sugar being bad before reading the book, and it was honestly where a large portion of my concern about the plan stemmed from. I am adamantly against artificial sweeteners. I understand people with diabetes needing them,  but I find it highly concerning when so many people volitionally use them. Some have been linked with cancer. Plus they're used in more than diet soft drinks. I know, because some of them give me an instant headache so I've found out the hard way. I will ALWAYS choose sugar over those little packets of artificial stuff.

When I first heard about stevia I just assumed it was yet another artificial sweetener on the market. I was wrong, its from leaves that are naturally sweet tasting. Now, I'm not sure I want to use it and make the switch from sugar to stevia, but I have been thinking about it and researching it. It's just sooo expensive! I know its supposed to last a lot longer than sugar because it tastes so much sweeter, but I just have a hard time swallowing the investment for something I may not like. Then there are other sweeteners on the plan that are theoretically natural, but I'm even less convinced about them. If I did make the switch it would solely be to stevia for the time being while I did more research on those other ones.

Even with my concern over the sugar substitute, there is a lot of good and helpful information here that I plan on implementing, even if I don't do the THM plan. Simple things like switching from canola or vegetable oil to olive, coconut, or red palm oil can help your waistline. If I do hop on the THM bandwagon, I'm not convinced it will be for life. I'm not a "food purist." I don't believe organic is necessarily better for you; I don't believe all GMO foods are bad for you. Good news is, you don't have to believe exactly like they do to still be on the plan.

I also appreciate that they recognize that trim looks different for everybody because we all have unique needs, struggles, and body types. That's why they call it a food freedom movement, and it extends to our bodies themselves. It is refreshing to see our health and waistline dealt in such a manner instead of having the idea rammed down our throats that we all need to be size 2s or smaller.

When I married, I was about 10 lbs over my ideal weight, because I had stopped exercising. Then I got pregnant and even though I breastfed, the pounds clung on. I'm not one of those people where bf makes the pounds melt away. I had 10 unlost pounds when I conceived #2. And another 10 unshed when I started carrying #3. And I'm 20 lbs away from that weight now. That makes 40 pounds over when I got married (less than 4 years ago). My body has changed so I'm not going to say I should weigh what I did at my old ideal weight, I don't know, but I'd at least like to drop these forty pounds. And its hard.

Now, since I married I've always eaten way more pasta, white rice, white potatoes and drank more sweet tea than ever before. Those are cheap foods and I have at least one of those every day, plus a glass or two of the tea. So it's easy for me to believe when those are listed as foods to avoid. The problem is knowing how to change a large part of how I cook. That's where the THM Cookbook comes in. I'm going to try checking it out of the library, but I will probably end up buying it and making what I can without special ingredients to see if there's a change. If there is I may buy some of the THM special ingredients, but I have to be able to justify the investment. After all, we are on a tight budget!

Even if you are unsure about jumping on with the plan, like I am, I think the book is a valuable resource. Try checking it out of your local library if you don't want to buy a copy.

This post appears as part of the Reading Challenge 2016. To see all books in the challenge, click here.

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