Trim Healthy Mama Simplified
Jeremiah, Elijah and I took a great big adventure on our own to Sydney. We flew out of Armidale and arrived in Sydney at peak hour. I had carefully arranged it so that we would not be driving in Sydney during peak hour traffic. You know what they say about the best-laid plans . . . the plane was delayed for over an hour. My fears were not realised, as it was a fairly smooth process to get to the hire car, plug in the GPS and make our way to Artarmon. I had forgotten how hectic Sydney traffic was. My biggest hurdle was finding where the hand brake was located. It was on the floor by my left foot. Of course, isn’t that where all hand brakes are located?
Sorry, where were we? Trim Healthy Mama Simplified, that’s right. While in Sydney, I stayed with my gorgeous friend Britta, who is also following trim Healthy Mama. We spent hours discussing some of the basics of THM and trying out lots of new recipes. We laughed and laughed as we went back and forth about what was the right way to do the S meals or the E meals. ‘Oh, I didn’t realise that. Maybe that’s why I am not losing weight yet!’, laughs Britta.
It is so common when first starting Trim Healthy Mama to get a little mixed up with the principles. I know I did, but I fumbled along until it all started making more sense. So, here is my attempt at Trim Healthy Mama Simplified. Have a read, print out the S, E, & FP foods lists below and make your own cheat sheets. You will find lots of useful charts to print out under the files tab of the Australian Trim Healthy Mama Facebook group.
Next, take an index card and write on it: What’s my protein? What’s my fuel? Fill the plate with FP ingredients like salt, pepper, seasonings, herbs, glucomannan, salad, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Then stick this on your fridge so that when you next need to eat, you have a ready guide.
Trim Healthy Mama states that the first principle to learn is to never include large amounts of both fats and carbs in the same meal, unless you are trying to gain or maintain weight, or grow a baby 🙂 They call this tandem fueling. Don’t tandem fuel!
The next principle is to not eat all day long. We are not cattle who need to graze all day. As a stay at home mum, grazing is all too easy for me. Our bodies need time between each meal to burn through the fuel just provided. Try for two and half to three hours between eating, less if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Now build your meal. Pearl and Serene have given these fuels names like Satisfying (S), Energising (E) and Fuel Pull (FP). Get to know each of these categories well and you are on your way to food freedom. I found it helpful to have a list of each of the food types printed and displayed in my kitchen. As you read through the book, you will be given lots of examples of which foods fall into each of the S, E and FP categories. Print out these sheets and fill em in!
How to decide what to eat?
First, decide whether you want a Satisfying meal with lots of yummy fats, or an Energising meal with healthy carbs. Don’t worry about the Fuel Pull meals for at least the first few months on plan. Those are for moving stubborn weight only after you have been having both S and E meals.
Satisfying Meals (S) are simply satisfying due to the liberal use of fat as the main fuel source instead of glucose. They nourish you, feed your endocrine system, and just feel great to eat. They really give you that satiated feeling after eating. Who doesn’t enjoy a meal of lamb cutlets with all that yummy fat to chew off the bone? I remember with fondness many nights eating lamb cutlets at my Nanna’s house. Oh, and did I mention broccoli with melted butter? I love broccoli served with butter and a pinch of Celtic sea salt. Why not try one of our family favourites tonight? Oven baked lamb chops 🙂 Remember, an S meal must be low in carbs to fit within the S guidelines. Do not include grains and fruits with your S meals. An exception is berries, which may be used in S desserts.
Maybe you want an E meal? Energising Meals (E) are centered on plenty of lean protein which helps to modulate your insulin secretion, increasing the fat burning hormone glucagon. Your body will be using glucose as the main fuel source and when that has all been use up, it will signal your body to burn its own fat for fuel. Yay! This equals weight loss. Although the E meal is higher in carbs, you don’t want to overdo the carbs or you will spike your blood sugar levels, thus sending insulin surging through your veins to remove the glucose from your blood stream. Choose good carbs and not refined or highly processed carbs. Look on the internet for plenty of charts listing good carbs. Keep the serving size to a palm-sized serving of suggested foods for E meals and you should be right on track. Don’t forget to include a few grams of fat. This small amount of fat helps slow down the release of insulin.
One of my favourite quick E meals is Ryvitta crackers, low fat cream cheese, tomato, deli ham and generous amounts of salt and pepper. Yum, yum, yum.
A great E meal which always a hit with family and guests alike is THM Chilli Con Carne.
The last meal type is the Fuel Pull (FP). When I first started, I didn’t even bother with the FP meals. I am currently still feeding my 16month old and figured I didn’t need to do any FP at first. In fact, Pearl and Serene advise NOT doing FP meals too often in the beginning except as snacks and desserts. They stress that you should focus on developing a good understanding of the S and E meals over a few months before looking at incorporating any FP meals. If you have been doing the S and E meals for around three months and still are not seeing fat loss, then it is time to call on FP meals.
Remember, it can seem a little confusing when first learning about S meals, E meals and Fuel Pull’s. Just start one meal at a time, maybe your next breakfast and then when you have that figured out, go on to another meal. I found breakfast and dinner the easiest to adapt at first and then when they were working well, I focused on getting my lunch and snacks worked out. Whichever way you approach it, remember that this way of eating is about food freedom, not more rules. Have fun and enjoy the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle!