Dear THM Dropout: What to Do When Trim, Healthy Mama Isn't a Fit
It was late one Friday night when the thought struck me: where did all my readers go?
Call it baby-brain, sleep deprivation, or just plain ol’ life with 5 little ones, but somehow several months went by and I hadn’t received a single email from a reader. And I never noticed.
Turns out the submissions weren’t being forwarded to me and instead were stashed away in some vague corner of the blogisphere. Well, I found them.
Hundreds of them.
All your thoughts, questions, requests and encouragements wrapped up into one tidy – albeit large – Excel spreadsheet. And I’m slowly making my way through them.
I’m SO sorry. Rest assured I will answer your questions as I am able, either personally or through a blog post. Thanks for being such kind readers! I love hearing from you, praying for you and trying to lighten your healthy living loads as much as I can.
As I sorted through the mail I discovered a common theme: Trim, Healthy Mama.
Perhaps you wanted a review of Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison’s two new books coming out next Tuesday: Trim Healthy Mama Plan: The Easy-Does-It Approach to Vibrant Health and a Slim Waistline and Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook: Eat Up and Slim Down with More Than 350 Healthy Recipes? I’m sure there are thousands of Trim, Healthy Mama “lifers” (as they call themselves) in the sisterhood who are counting down the days!
But a review of those forthcoming books wasn’t what you were asking for.
Instead, I read dozens of emails from discouraged “dropouts”, the ones who discovered the plan didn’t meet their needs or their health standards.
Here’s what the emails were saying:
You despise silly diet plans.
You want to lose weight.
You are tired.
You hate the way you look and feel.
You want simple.
You want nourishing.
You want help.
I’m hearing you.
And I’ve got your back.
Finding True Health
As one of my long-time favorite health celebrities, Sean Croxton, recently posed, “Does being healthy really have to be this complicated?”
No, it doesn’t.
If you feel your diet, your weight, your quest for vitality has become overly complicated then you’ve lost the picture of what true health is and how to obtain it for yourself and your family.
Finding true health is not hard, but it will require you to get back to basics.
Discover REAL, Common Sense Eating
BASIC #1: Common sense eating means selecting foods that are REAL
I fear beating this point to death, so I’ll keep it simple: food either makes you more healthy or less healthy, right? There’s nothing that comes in a box that promotes better health. And there’re no neutral foods. We know this!
Instead real foods – fresh, natural foods like pastured, organic meat, vegetables and fruit that are nutrient-dense – are your only hope for feeding your body and providing it the nourishment it needs to survive and thrive.
BASIC #2: Common sense eating means eating foods that make you feel GREAT!
Whether you eat to live or live to eat, choose foods that transform you into the best version of yourself.
You might recall a couple decades ago (has it really been that long?!) one of the major diet “fads” was Eat Right for Your Type by Peter J. D’Adamo. While the concept behind the plan is fascinating, those in my social circle who pursued the plan often complained that they never felt well even though they were pursing their “perfect” foods.
This is a great example of how diet popularity can be misleading in the quest for true health.
Instead, the foods you eat should promote your health by:
- Improving brain function (no brain fog!)
- Balancing hormones
- Promoting proper digestive function
- Strengthening immune function
- Minimizing inflammation (the foundation of all chronic disease)
How do you find those foods?
Your best guide on the road to health is your own body. Food is medicine, but one person’s medicine can be another person’s poison. Find out what works for you by doing some simple sleuthing!
Here are some tips to guide you:
Complete a food, mood, poop journal for a couple of weeks.Keep track of what foods you eat, how you feel after a meal (bloated? sleepy? brain fog? etc), how you feel before a meal (shaky? irritable? hyper? etc), when you went #2 and it’s consistency, smell, color, etc. It seems simple enough, right? You’ll be amazed at the patterns you’ll see appear! Be sure to add real, wholesome foods to your meal plan!
If you have multiple health issues, go a bit further and follow an elimination diet for a time.
Elimination diets are very strict for about 3 weeks, removing foods that are known to cause allergies, feed chronic inflammation and contribute to poor digestion (for some people – it may not be you!) After 3 weeks (23 days) begin to add in those foods you removed, one at a time (over the span of several days), and see how your body responds. It’s best to work with a qualified holistic health professional throughout this process. However, here are a few resources that may help in the meantime: an Elimination Diet Patient Handout and the book The Elimination Diet.
BASIC #3: Common sense eating means eating foods that fit your lifestyle
As holistic practitioner Andrea Nakayama says in her eBook Stick With It,
What you ultimately want with your diet and food journey is a wide enough path [plan] that you can walk on for extended periods of time without falling off, and a narrow enough path that keeps you feeling your very best.
When pursuing a diet (what foods you choose to eat) consider your lifestyle.
What are you commitments?
I know a large majority of my readers are ladies between the ages of 25-45. Right now you are likely the busiest you will ever be, feeding the most people you ever will, with the least resources you may ever have. That is a recipe for despair… unless you’re prepared. For you ladies the common sense approach to eating is selecting meals that are quick and easy to prepare.
Here’s the good news about eating real foods: dinner truly is as easy as 1-2-3!
A common sense, real food diet meal (for 100% of you) includes three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fat. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
It is simple.
The time-consuming complexity of answering the question – “what’s for dinner” – comes when we take simple foods and attempt to transform them into something other than what they are. Do you want to know what we’re eating for dinner at my house tonight?
Protein (I have a roast in the crockpot)
Carbohydrate (I have parsnips to roast and tomatoes to slice)
Fat (I’m coating the parsnips in coconut oil and drizzling the tomatoes with olive oil)
Three macronutrients; 20 minutes of prep time. The end.
Keep in mind that the foods chosen to fulfill the three macronutrient requirements will differ person to person. You may prefer to avoid animal protein and instead pursue a vegetable-based diet. Do what works for you and the members of your family! (My family demands animal protein or else we get cranky. Seven cranky people in one house is a scary thing.)
Keep it simple!
But What About Weight Loss?
If you’re looking into Trim, Healthy Mama then I’m assuming you have inches to lose and pounds to shed. A common sense approach to eating will work wonders for your health, but it may not be all that you need.
If you have < 10lbs to lose and know you could stand to embellish your diet with more real foods, then do so for the next 6-8 weeks (using the tools provided in basic #2 above) and reevaluate. (Remember, common sense would say there’s no “quick fix” for achieving weight-loss goals! Give your body some time!)You’d also be doing yourself a favor to identify an exercise program that suits your preferences, too. Preferably something 3 days a week for 20 minutes or more. If it’s only walking, then that’s a good place to start!
If you have > 10lbs to lose, I strongly encourage you to find a holistic health practitioner who can coach you on your weight-loss journey and identify methods that will work long-term for you and your body. The body is fearfully and wonderfully made! If you’re eating healthy foods and continue to be overweight, fatigued, etc then your body is giving you a clue that systems are out of balance. A holistic health practitioner can provide simple guidance for what is not functioning well and how to correct it. This service will change your life, I guarantee!
A healthy body, eating real foods (that make you feel good), is able to maintain a proper weight.
If that isn’t true for you, then find help!
At the end of the day…
My heart rejoices when another person is able to find freedom and true health for themselves by understanding their body, how it works, and what makes it function well! I hope this post will be an invaluable resource to you!
Like what you’ve read here?
The only way people will learn about NourishingHerbalist.com is by your referral. Thank you for telling others about the message of true health and vitality that you’ve learned here!