In case you missed it- Part one is here.
Truth be told I’m not the best THMer out there, which is why I’ve been so hesitant to even write this post. I don’t always get the chance to eat every three hours, I’m terrible at remembering to snack and other than corn I never bother to remember which category (S, E or FP) each veggie falls into! Some weeks I’m fantastic at meal prep, and other weeks I’m not but I give myself grace and if necessary, I just swing by CFA for some grilled nuggets and a side salad, get unsweetened tea and add stevia brought from home. Easy peasy!
When I first decided to attempt THM, I sat down and tried to figure out how to simplify it as best as possible. First I looked at my previous meal plans and at our list of go-to meal plans, and then tried to figure out how to make those THM friendly. For example: chicken Alfredo is a favorite around here! Because of the fat content I knew the sauce would be an S, chicken would be my protein source and I would round out my plate with broccoli as the veggie. You can find my favorite (easy) Alfredo sauce here.
E meals have always been a bit trickier, but they are SO necessary! I have tried to have at least one per day. A sandwich with chicken breast, lettuce, tomato and laughing cow cheese is one of my favorite choices for lunch, and the creamy chicken and wild rice soup (from the Trim healthy mama cookbook) is my favorite E for dinner. Sometimes I get my carbs in in the form of an XO, which is still on plan and not a cheat meal! I’m a nursing mama and we absolutely need those XOs. Two eggs over toast with a side of zucchini sautéed in butter is my favorite way to satisfy my daily carb need!
I also try not to beat myself up if I have extra crossovers or don’t eat exactly according to plan (like forgetting a protein source!). Instead I focus on making sure I eat on plan ingredients, that’s my biggest goal through out the day! Stress can make you hold on to weight, so if you stray, just brush it off and reset in three hours. No need to beat yourself up about it!
Now lets talk ‘special’ ingredients. The absolute first thing you should nail down is what kind of sweetener you like. Now none of the on plan sweeteners are artificial, only fruit or plant derived and have minimal impact on your blood sugar. After trying multiple brands, THM stevia is the most pure I’ve found and is my absolute favorite! I use the THM super sweet blend for baking because it works better than stevia. Sweet Leaf Stevia is also pretty good and can be bought at some grocery stores – you can even get it in individual servings – perfect for on the go. Swerve is a good substitute for super sweet, I can find that at Publix or Whole Foods.
What I typically eat in a week:
B: Eggs over easy on top of toast and zucchini (XO)
L: sandwich with chicken, tomato, laughing cow cheese, lettuce with cucumber on the side (E)
D: ranch drumsticks, green bean “fries”, steamed broccoli (S)
B: Greek yogurt, blueberries, and homemade granola (E)
L: grilled nuggets with side salad from CFA (I shred the nuggets into my salad!) (S)
D: Creamy chicken and wild rice soup (E)
B: Scrambled eggs with zucchini, tomatoes and cheese (S)
L: leftover drumsticks and green fries (S)
D: Taco salad with guac (S)
B: Giant Pancake bake (from Trim healthy cookbook) (E)
L: Chicken Caesar salad (Favorite, easy caesar dressing ) (S)
D: Chili with salad (XO)
B: Apple cinnamon oatmeal
L: leftover taco salad
D: Chicken and zucchini sautéed in olive oil with onions, garlic, salt and pepper, served over wild rice (XO)
B: Eggs, chicken sausage (from Aldi) and zucchini (S)
L: Leftover Giant Pancake Bake (E)
D: Chicken Alfredo with broccoli served over Dreamfields pasta (S)
B: Greek yogurt, strawberries, homemade granola (E)
L: leftover chili (S)
D: Chicken crust pizza (S)
This isn’t an all encompassing meal plan- this is just a few of our favorites, and until I sat down to type this up I didn’t realize how many go-to meals I have! And of course there are days where I really don’t feel like cooking, so I have a few easy options that I keep on hand for days like that, like lettuce wrapped (frozen) burgers and frozen green beans to throw in the oven and make “fries” (my kids LOVE those!). Super simple and faster than waiting for take out to arrive!
My goal isn’t for my kiddos to loose weight, and while they do eat a lot of the same things I do I make sure they have an XO. An easy way to make dinner or lunch into an XO for them is to add in toast, rice or some butter. For breakfasts I give them real maple syrup and butter with their oatmeal and pancakes, and they get toast with their eggs. But I’ll touch more on THM for kiddos in another post because it can get lengthy!
SNACKS. Again something I’m really not good at! Sometimes my snack is just collagen (protein) in my coffee with half-and-half. I’ve always got coffee handy- I am a mom after all!- so this is a quick way to get something in. Cheese sticks, mug muffins, smoothies, nuts and fruit are also good options!
SWEETS. Lily’s Chocolate bars (Whole Foods and Publix) are sooooo good! They’re sweetened with stevia and are the best. 85% chocolate is also on plan, but I believe you can only eat half of it, then wait three hours, and then have the rest. Since that one still has some sugar in it, it’s not recommended to eat it all at once or your blood sugar can spike- which isn’t weightloss friendly! If you have the book Trim Healthy Table, their Frisky Frosty is THE BEST. Oh my word it tastes like a real frosty! It’s protein packed, chocolatey goodness that I frequently will whip up as a snack and a sweet.
MEAL PREP. This isn’t going to be all encompassing for my meal prep because I don’t want this post to be a million pages long, but here is just a few tips to make your week easier.
- The moment I get home from the grocery store I will put an entire package of chicken in the Instapot with some broth, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. I’ll then shred the cooked chicken and keep it handy in the fridge for meals such as sandwiches, chicken Alfredo, chicken chili, chicken tacos, etc. There is a lot you can use it for and it will cut down on the amount of time you spend cooking!
- Make a big batch of Caesar dressing to keep in the fridge for a quick salad or to use as a dip
- Make a big batch of Blender Freezer Waffles (from Trim Healthy Table), the Giant Blueberry Pancake Bake (From the Trim Healthy Cookbook), or some baked egg muffins. All are amazing reheated and can make a super quick and easy breakfast!
- This isn’t something I do, but many people suggest preslicing your veggies. If I did try to incorporate that then I’d do it right after a grocery trip
- Use a grocery delivery or pick up service. Walmart does this and I love it! Again, I don’t always do this because I’m a very loyal Aldi shopper, but if I know it’s going to be a busier week then I will definitely take advantage. I have friends who highly recommend Shipt for grocery delivery! Something I’m definitely thinking about using in the future.
BREASTFEEDING. In the beginning, when I had a TON to loose, I wasn’t strict on crossovers. But now as I’m closer to goal weight I try to incorporate at least a couple a week in order to keep my milk supply up, but it has definitely slowed my weight loss. Which is okay! And I may not even loose the last few stubborn pounds until she decides she’s done nursing, which is also okay. It’s a huge privilege to still nurse my 15 month old! Some mamas find they absolutely need crossovers every day, even with a lot to loose, in order to keep their supply up. Enjoy those XOs and nursing your little one; the weight might come off a little slower but you’re nourishing another person so be gentle on yourself! This Facebook group is all about THM for Nursing and Pregnant Mamas if you’d like to learn more.
The sisters who wrote THM also have a Podcast and one of their recent episodes was on how to best simplify THM. I highly recommend listening to it! You can find their Podcast here. You can also join the THM Facebook group with the other 200,000+ of us Trim Healthy Mamas here and find more success stories as well as Drive-thru Sue (easy/store bought) options!
I hope this post gives you a bit of a jump start on your journey to health and also helped you realize that it’s actually pretty simple! No worrying about portion sizes or being super restrictive- instead just listening to your body and helping get into optimal health so that you can loose that stubborn weight. I’ve got several friends who have jumped on board recently and I absolutely love hearing about their success so far! If you’ve also decided to join in then I’d love to hear how you’re doing. Feel free to shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or jump on my Instagram @humblemotherhood!