It's been about three months since I started exploring the Trim Healthy Mama plan, so today I thought I'd give an update on how it's going. Eight pounds lighter and one pant size smaller, and I'd say it's going pretty well!
Honestly, I didn't need to lose a ton of weight. I really wanted to drop 5 or 10 pounds, and that was accomplished pretty quickly. I try to keep my weight on the lighter side because I find that if you deal with any kind of joint discomfort (and I do), then being thin is always helpful as it takes the added stress off.
I wanted to try a sugar free/lighter carb diet because I thought it would be beneficial to my health. And it has been thus far. Before this plan, I had been experiencing a lot of night sweats. Now, very rarely. Interesting.
I really do love the recipes from the THM cookbook. I will often buy a cookbook and use maybe two or three recipes. With this book, I've used closer to two dozen, and each has been a big hit. My family has really enjoyed the meals, but they are not big fans of the cookie/sweet options. That's okay. Since cutting sugars, I've noticed how terribly sweet most things are, and I don't have the cravings from sugar addictions that I once had.
1.) Watch those carbs!
I swapped out Triscuits for Wasa crackers, and use Mission Carb Balance wraps in place of breads.
I use healthy carb pasta, and sprouted grain breads, which are much gentler on glucose levels to maintain a healthier blood sugar level.
2.) Watch my dairy!
I kicked the milk habit, which is loaded with sugar, and switched completely to unsweetened almond milk. I added plain unsweetened Greek yogurt (an excellent source of protein) to lots of things, like my morning oatmeal or smoothies. Cottage cheese, low fat, is also great in smoothies, and yummy when mixed with berries. Laughing cow light cheese wedges and Babybel light cheese makes a great snack. And I now use real butter, eggs, light cream cheese on occasion, and sometimes half and half. Real foods, not processed. I also eat bacon and sausage and ham on occasion for added protein.
3.) Read those labels!
Sugar is added into so many processed foods. Ketchup, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, salsa. I've learned to read labels and find the brands with the lowest sugar, or none at all.
4.) Change the way I cook!
I used to start every dish with a big pour of olive oil. Now, I'm using more coconut oil and sometimes cooking in real butter. I also add some different seasonings to optimize the health benefits.
5.) Change the way I bake!
I still get an occasional craving for something sweet and dessert-like. So now, I use alternative sweeteners like Stevia, unsweetened cocoa powder and very dark chocolate or Stevia-sweetened chocolate. I also use unsweetened coconut and different flours and seeds and nuts in baking.
6.) Power up!
I try to find ways to maximize the health factor. A dollop of nonfat Greek plain yogurt, fresh berries, and unsweetened almond milk makes a yummy oatmeal. I also love an egg scrambler with spinach and sausage and feta. Mmm!
My blender and food processor get a lot more action these days! This weekend, my oldest son is really enjoying banana strawberry smoothies with almond milk and protein powder. He had his wisdom teeth removed on Thursday, so this one was easy on his sore jaws and teeth.
8.) No more Starbucks!
I've probably been to Starbucks twice in the past few months, and both times were when I was traveling on the road. If I'm not using their highly sweetened syrups and frothed up milk, then what's the point? I can make my own latte with almond milk and Truvia at home. Saving money is a nice factor, too.
It's been a slow process, but I think it has really helped. It seemed like we were once in a rut with the usual pastas and breads and pizza meals. We ate potatoes more often than we should. Now, I'm trying more balanced meals and making substitutions like sweet potatoes in place of baked potatoes, and spaghetti squash in place of spaghetti noodles, or quinoa in place of couscous.
And look what I got for Mother's Day! An awesome Kitchen Aid Spiralizer! Now I can make "noodles" out of zucchini, carrots, squash, beets...just about anything!
Some people would call this a "diet", but I prefer to think of it as a lifestyle change where I'm just making smarter choices for my health. And honestly, when I'm eating this well, I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything!
Stay healthy, cafe friends!