A bit of a book review and sample menu

So I received the book Trim Healthy Mama in the mail, and have begun reading.  It’s a thick book, but contains many recipes, and is easy to read.  I read a little each night when I go to bed.  I’ve started the plan, though I am still learning about it.

The basic premise of the book is this:  Do not eat large amounts of carbs with large amounts of fat.  This would include a meal such as a hamburger on a regular or even whole wheat bun, or meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  Or chicken sauteed in olive oil and rice.  Mixing carbs and fat makes one fat.

I already agree with much of the book, as I’ve lost weight on the South Beach Diet and felt great.  But I stopped doing that.  Don’t ask me why… it was working!  Trim Healthy Mama is not exactly like South Beach, and I’ll just explain a few of the things I like about the plan.

Fat.  In the words of Julia Child (who, by the way, died just two days shy of her 92nd birthday), “Fat gives things flavor.”   I agree!  It is also necessary, as is cholesterol, for good health.  I am eating fat on this plan, and guess what?  Though I can snack, I don’t really think about food much between meals.  Why?  Because my body is satisfied from eating fat.

Simplicity.  At first, I thought I’d have to go to a lot of trouble cooking THM meals.  Not so!  Their delicious recipes are also simple.  Each of these authors (who are sisters by the way) has more than six children.  And homeschools.  So no, they do not have time to fiddle in the kitchen.

Variety.  Here’s where I failed on South Beach (which actually doesn’t allow as much fat as THM):  I didn’t have a lot of variety.  Here’s what I’m making for later today:  Cookie Bowl Oatmeal (it’s like No Bake Cookies) and a to-die-for mocha frappucino.  They give you all the recipes for these treats in the book.  There are more than I’d even need to keep my palate interested.

Purity.  The sweetener  recommended on this plan is Truvia… made with natural Stevia and erithrytol, a sugar alcohol.  This sweetener has none of the ill health effects of artificial sweeteners nor does it raise blood sugar as do natural sweeteners such as agave or raw honey.  Hormone-free meat is recommended but not required.  Both women have large families and tight budgets, so there are no extraordinary purchases;  just things you can make room for.  This week, I purchased my regular chicken breasts, but found grass-fed beef on sale and combined it with a coupon (at Super Target… if you haven’t checked out their meat selections and prices, you should).  I bought frozen wild-caught salmon at Aldi (I love Aldi!  I always stack a bunch of groceries on the conveyer and try to guess how much it will be… it’s always at least $20 less than I thought.).  My eggs are local… $2.00 a dozen for the most delicious, dark-yolked eggs from chickens who actually have a yard to run around in and eat worms and bugs in.  (Sounds gross… but in case you didn’t know, that’s what God made chickens to actually eat!)  I make the healthiest choices where I can and let go of the rest.  Worrying because of food is just as bad for your health as eating junk food.

My Menu Today:

Breakfast:  Me–2 eggs, fried in butter, with 2 pieces of turkey bacon (I can have pork but chose not to this time)  Family–egg and turkey bacon sandwiches on whole wheat mini-bagels with cheese

Lunch:  Me–slice of muenster cheese wrapped around 3 slices Hormel Naturals Smoked Deli Turkey (another sale), several green olives, and for dessert, a thin square of 85% dark chocolate dragged through a brand-new jar of Skippy Natural Peanut Butter (don’t you love to be the first one to get to the new jar?!?).  We have one child with a peanut allergy, but she is not anaphylactic, so we can have it in the house.  Her SunButter is on another shelf.  If you have allergies in your house you could try this with SunButter.  Family–leftovers or they could have the turkey and cheese on sandwich bread and a piece of fruit.  Don’t worry… one CAN have fruit.  But fruit is high in sugar, so we stick to those that are not.  Berries are the best choice and just happen to be my favorite fruit anyway!  I buy them frozen to save money.  If you have a Sam’s card, they have huge bags of frozen berries, but I find even better prices per ounce at Aldi (though you’d have to buy several bags to equal one from Sam’s).

Dinner:  I’m probably going to make the plan cheeseburger pie and have a salad with full-fat ranch dressing and some steamed broccoli with butter, though I may wait on the broccoli because we’re running out… I know.  What weirdos, we actually eat up the broccoli too fast.  We might have salmon instead.  But I might save that for just me because it’s expensive, and I’m the one trying to lose weight.  But it’s nice to have options.  The family will have mashed potatoes added to their meal.  That doesn’t tempt me at all.  Oven-fried ones would, however.

What I miss:  Just one thing so far… raw honey in my hot tea before bed.  I got used to the Truvia in my coffee right away.  I use half and half, so that in itself is a real treat when I first wake up.  I also splurge on a quality-brand coffee.  But tea is different and I will have to get used to tasting it with Truvia.  Raw honey has medicinal properties, and I will definitely use a little if I get sick with a cough, but it’s not the best for keeping blood sugar down.  I love how God has already told us about this in His Word:  If you find honey, eat just enough— too much of it, and you will vomit.  (Proverbs 25:16)  I’ve always enjoyed the simplicity and practicality of this verse.

The extra dark chocolate is not as sweet as my favorite Ghiradelli bittersweet chips (60%), but is a treat when eaten along with a handful of raw or sea salt roasted almonds or dipped in peanut butter.  There is a fabulous peanut butter fudge recipe I’m going to try soon.  Taking this when I’m out should prevent any temptation to have a treat from the store.  My friend who talked me into trying THM, and has lost over 20#, says she keeps her fudge in the freezer and breaks off a little piece when she needs it.  She makes more before she’s completely out so she always has it available.  That’s my kind of girl!

There are a few ingredients that I had to purchase one time, and they will last awhile.  I made room in my budget for them.  What’s $30?  About two doctor’s copays for us.  I’d rather eat my way to good health while I can and avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor.  I need some clothing and shoe items, so I will probably get just a couple things this month, and wait until next month for the rest.  We afford what we want to afford.  These ingredients are whey protein powder, xanthan gum, and glucommanan (the last two you have probably seen if you read labels.  They are used to thicken things such as gravies, puddings and frappe coffee drinks.  You purchase one time and they last a long time.  The protein powder pumps up the fat-burning power of things such as smoothies.)  Using these items allows me to enjoy special treats and not just eat meat and cheese and veggies all the time.

I’m also going to try Almond Raspberry Cream soon.  And chocolate peanut butter cookies.  This list goes on and on.  But for now, I’ll leave you with this thought:  If you’ve tried diets and quit because you are always hungry, or missed desserts, try this one.  Just reading about blood sugar and Type II diabetes in the beginning of the book is enough to scare you into trying it!  I can’t really advise you on the basis that it worked for me, because I haven’t lost any weight yet.  But I can tell you that my three friends who have been on it awhile all look amazing!  They are not only not hungry, but  thinner, healthy, and energetic.  And isn’t that what we all really want to be?



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