Last week as I was describing the beginnings of Trim Healthy Mama and the food plan, I alluded to the printed supply lists that teachers send to the local stores to post in the school supply aisles. These lists not only help parents to select the specific supplies their child(ren) will need, but it also ensures that each student will come to school prepared for whatever the teacher’s lessons will require. Filling their backpacks with the right supplies and tools will set them on the path for successful learning and, hopefully, successful completion of the coming assignments. Ongoing failure to bring the right supplies and tools in their backpacks will not only prevent the students from doing the assigned work, the students will fall behind and will be sort of doomed to fail from the first day.
Say, for example, the students were to have come prepared with paper and pencils for their math lessons and they were to come prepared to purchase the math books – but then imagine the difficulty the student would have in writing the math problems the teacher had written on the board had the student not brought paper and pencils in their backpack. Then imagine the student saying the cost of the book was too great and they just wanted to read someone else’s book instead. That would mean that the student could never take the book home to complete the assignments and they wouldn’t be able to copy the lessons very well in class because of the shared book and the limited class time and the lengthy introductions that must be read for each new math concept.
Maybe I’ve drawn this out too much and it seems to border on the ridiculous as some analogies tend to do. I guess I’m attempting, once again, to demonstrate the seriousness of understanding the mechanics of the THM plan (or any other intricate diet regimen, for that matter!) and the very specific food or “fuel” combinations, the unique recipes and the corresponding ingredients necessary for each recipe. Failure to understand the mechanics or the why behind the plan and failure to acquire the necessary ingredients or food supplies will practically be a set up for failure – much like the doomed math student in my illustration above.
I see the negative press about the THM plans and I think: there has to be a breakdown somewhere. Again, could be any food plan, by the way. Failure to understand a plan and failure to have the necessary preparations and failure to apply the plan really makes the plan destined to be a failure for the one who, in essence, rejected it by not taking it seriously. Again, could be any food plan.
So what’s in the THM Jetpack? First, understand that the Jetpack itself is prayerful resolve – prayer for wisdom and discernment and direction; it’s prayer for understanding and application and the resolve part of prayerful resolve is the resolve to address and the resolve to tackle health issues and out of balance eating or out of control food issues. This, I think more than anything, is the Jetpack for THM. Once that’s in place, the Jetpack (for THM) contains a number of important things… I’ll share about them in THM Jetpack part 2.
Regarding the THM Jetpack, first: remember that the Jetpack itself is prayerful resolve (THM Jetpack part one). Now, let’s tackle what’s in the Jetpack.
Besides your Bible & journal, start with the book: Trim Healthy Mama. Don’t misunderstand, while the book will add some $ignificant weight to the Jetpack, it won’t be all you need to work the plan; it is the “class material” you’ll need for the journey, but contrary to what you might think, it won’t be the all you need and it’s not the most expensive part of the “diet” plan. Okay, so at this point you just might be thinking: What?!?! This deal’s going to cost more than thirty-five bucks?!?! Yep. Yep, it will – it’s going to cost you. You’re going to see that, initially, it’s going to cost you a whole lot. But once you begin filling your THM Jetpack with all your THM plan goodies, you’re eventually going to come to the realization that you’ve been justifying all sorts of rather indulgent expenses for years!! And, given some time, you’re going to realize that all the different goodies you’ve willingly purchased actually cost a whole lot more than you’ve realized. Seriously, go back over your receipts and see what you’ve been willing to $pend here and there on food and $nack items. Don’t forget little “fa$t food” trips.
It’s just going to shock you initially, perhaps, what you’re going to need to spend in order to closely *follow* the plan and *use* the recipes and implement the *guidelines* of the plan. You might, for example, think glucomannan might be a little expensive and unnecessary; but then, somewhere in the dark recesses of your mind, you’ll remember that you never thought it was too expensive to occasionally buy Costco Vanilla IceCream or a couple of Grande Mochas from the S’bucks in town now and then. You might also, initially, think that the protein Isolate powder is way too steep and you’ll rationalize that any ol’ protein powder will do… but then, at some point you’ll come to realize, wait, you’re not buying Häagen-Dazs pints or Potato Chips or candy bars or “protein bars” or Dr. Pepper or any other of dozens of relatively expensive food items you (and I) just took for granted in the monthly food purchases.
So here you go… (read the THM book—re-read the book—understand the mechanics) see the suggested resource links and remember:
anunprepared student will be a frustrated and probably unsuccessfulstudent.
† Oolong Tea. †Apple Cider Vinegar.
†† Whey Protein Isolate (Isolate, not just any protein powder).
Heavy Cream (take it easy!).
† Stevia and/or † Truvia (and Xylitol and Erythritol can be used as well).
† Glucomannan . †† Coconut Oil (!!!).
† Light Coconut milk.
† Unsweetened Cocoa Powder(!!!).
† Peanuts or Peanut-butter (natural).
De-fatted Peanut Flour.
Nuts & Seeds (watch it, though… go easy).
† Quinoa. Chia Seeds. Chana Dal. Golden Flax. Golden Flax-meal.
Coconut Flour. Wheat Berries (which you’ll sprout if possible).
† Kefir and Greek Yogurt.
Cottage Cheese (low or nonfat) Lower fat cheeses, Light Laughing Cow cheese.
Nutritional Yeast. Xanthan Gum. Spices… great spices!!
† Salmon, Chicken, Fish, Lean Meat.
Unsweetened Almond or Flax Milk.
Vegetables (avoid ititially, white/red potatoes, corn).
Fruits (avoid high glycemic index fruits, dried fruits, fruit juices).
As a side note, the THM plan of eating or recipes don’t fall into a particular diet category. THM’s not a fad diet and it’s not a two-week deal. It’s not Weight Watchers ® and it’s not Paleo. It’s not Atkin’s® or Zone® or Southbeach® and, obviously, it’s not Vegetarian/Vegan. And, just so’s ya know: It’s not Raw (the authors talk candidly about pitfalls of different diet phases they experienced – you may even have followed them through their food journeys).
So… dear THM (wannabe?): it’s not an all or nothing deal. You “mess up” or you eat “off-plan” you don’t quit and say, stupid plan! and say/think you can’t do it. No, you just get up, dust off the error of your ways, grab your Jetpack and keep going from wherever you are!!
As I’ve made my way to this part of the journey, I find the incredible thing about this plan is it’s just a plan, a helpful encouraging plan. I think you’ll appreciate the simplicity and flexibility you’ll have within certain very practical guidelines. But… and this is a very big but ( one ‘t’ – no pun intended—but hopefully it’s the last big bu.. you’ll ever have): you will have to give up free-wheeling anything goes eating f.o.r.e.v.e.r. if you’re ever going to be and remain trim and healthy – don’t read that as: skinnyand healthy. There’s a great difference between trim and skinny.
You know what? I like the Trim Healthy Mama (diet) plan. Seriously. I like it enough to think I’ll always like this plan. Seriously. And the reason I keep saying, seriously, is because I believe this plan can only be a benefit if it’s taken seriously. I can, at this early stage of the plan see the importance of seriousness. And I can also easily see that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail on this plan. I finally see the reason for and the wisdom behind the size and weight and cost of this book and the length of time it took Pearl and Serene to write it. It’s meant to be taken seriously. Seriously, the plan is meant to be followed: seriously.
I’m guessing that this all might sound like I’m just playing around in order to see how many times and ways I might use the word, seriously. Trust me, I’m not. I guess I really and truly want to communicate that it’s not a plan to be dabbled with or that it’s not a plan to be taken lightly and it’s not a plan to be undertaken without serious preparation. There’s so much more to the book and plan than simply eating foods in correct combinations… more to it than “dieting” or eating lower carbs… more to it than eliminating sugar or honey or white flour or potatoes or corn or whatever other high-glycemic index food you might think of.
Our local variety store annually sets up a huge school supplies section and taped to the shelves that are loaded with every kind of pen, pencil, paper, notebook, eraser, etc., etc., that you might think of are lists provided by local school teachers for what is expected for each student to purchase and bring with them to school each new school year. The teachers are planners and they are serious about preparing students in advance with what will be expected of them. This thought has come to me a number of times as I’ve come across yet another thing I don’t yet have in my Trim Healthy Kitchen. I have a running supply list of food items I’m slowly acquiring. And while I initially did have many of the necessary foods to follow the plan — I did not have a lot of ingredients to follow the plan successfully or seriously. With each passing day I’m discovering more and more the investment of time and the depth of planning that went into this book and why it’s referred to a plan and not a diet. Seriously.
So, this is my in advance encouragement if you’re planning to buy the Trim Healthy Mama book or if you think you’ll make it fine without spending the $35. to buy the book or if you think you’ll wing it with ingredients you have on hand in your pantry or fridge. Sincerely, you won’t be able to work the plan if you don’t study it and if you’re not prepared. Seriously.
If you really wanna be a THM… it’s going to cost you and you’re going to have to take it seriously. It practically goes without saying: I know, for me, healthwise, not planning was costing me a whole lot more than this new planning. Seriously.
As I press on, on the THM (Trim Healthy Mama) journey, I have so much hope. I have so much hope bcz I’m so not alone and I’m so not seeing this as a diet but a different way of approaching health and nutrition. I say this bcz I’ve experienced so many diets in the past. And the difference, for me, with Trim Healthy Mama (after this, THM), is that it’s not a limited time diet. By this I mean, it’s not the lemonade-type diet or the military-type diet or the mama with a wayward child/depression diet or the zone-type diet or name another type of diet that’s generally undertaken for a limited period of time and eventually the old way of eating returns. And so do the pounds.
Now, why did I say I’m so not alone in this? Easy… thousands of other women are implementing the THM plan in their own lives and homes and numerous websites, Facebook groups and Pinterest pins are dedicated to THM. Women all over are sharing their successes, before and after’s, struggles, plans, recipes, suggestions and enthusiastic encouragement with relative strangers–but not strangers really, who’re traveling the same journey. Shared experiences give hope… shared understanding gives hope… all this gives women the motivation to press on. All this, and more, keeps me pressing on.
I’d hazard to guess that for a lot of women who seriously undertake the THM plan, there comes some sort of a day of reckoning, a day or time where they recognize that food and excess weight and out of control eating is symptomatic of deeper issues—things the Lord intends bring to the light and to help deal with—and what originally interested them in doing a new thing to lose weight, a different diet or whatever is not what keeps them on plan. What keeps them (and now, me) on plan is the daily journey to health and yielding to the Lord the area of food and its stronghold–or previous stronghold.
I’m finding incredible freedom in not eating everything I want — freedom in recognizing that food had a stronghold on me and day by day I’m seeing this stronghold’s grip diminishing. The Lord’s addressing some areas that don’t seem to have anything to do with food–but yet food’s been the outward stronghold. See, here’s an example… I so often don’t didn’t want to “diet” bcz I love, love, love café mochas. Love em. Drink drank ‘em every morning. Yes, plural. Yes, every morning. Hot milk, two pumps of chocolate and a long shot of coffee. Drink, rinse, repeat. Didn’t want to give ‘em up—–couldn’t give ‘em up—-wouldn’t give ‘em up. But I began to recognize that my delights were harming me–too much sugar was causing problems and I knew I needed to make some changes. I was loving the sugar but it wasn’t loving me back. And isn’t that how sin is? We give in and it mockingly smacks us on the backside.
Looking back, I really think I thought I’d make some changes and get on track and then be able to go back to the same ol’ same ol’ ways (especially since I’ve done this soooo many times). That was foolishness–and I know it. I really know it now. Greater than all that, I now also know that the Lord was putting His finger on some deeper matters, using all of this to help me be willing to deal with other non-food related issues. It is His mercy and lovingkindness to bring us to these places of correction and brokenness in our walk with Him. It is for freedom He set us free. I’d lost sight of that somewhere along the way.
Interestingly, what eventually brought me to THM began with that search for health remedies. Still struggling with some ongoing health issues, still searching for solutions, I began to see frequent connections with the Trim Healthy Mama book. Some of my Google searches for low/no sugar or low glycemic index recipes took me to a few blogs/sites I thoroughly enjoy today — I didn’t initially see the THM connection! Sadly, over the last year because of family busyness and other things, I hadn’t been tracking along with the Above Rubies site nor the progress of the writing of the THM book—though I’d seen copies of it here and there, recently. Additionally, I regret I hadn’t been in close touch with local friends who where already working the THM plan, else I might’ve had some questions answered earlier and I might’ve had some health issues addressed earlier, too. But I have to continually affirm: I’m pressing on; no worries, I’m simply glad for the opportunity to have this book in hand now and I’m pressing on (with thousands of other women! ~smile~). I have so much hope… and I’m pressing on.
It seems to me that nothing spotlights the will or the flesh quite like discipline. I’ve found (yet again) that I surely relate well to the Biblical passage regarding the willing spirit and weak flesh. Though that passage doesn’t necessarily relate to undisciplined eating, it does relate to the flesh and its incredible weakness under temptation.
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation:
the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
As I sojourn on the THM path (Trim Healthy Mama), each day I find new things over which I seem to have no strength or no ability. And then a day or two passes and I see the Lord has made a way for me to accomplish specific goals or to embrace this discipline. And another Truth comes to mind – again, understood that the Lord may truly be pruning and/or addressing a different matter here. But I find great comfort in knowing He is with me, is for me, helps me, guides me, protects me, provides for me: as I look to Him – as I yield to Him. He is providing me with strength and resources to press on toward the goal of better health and other benefits.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is
common to man: but God is faithful, who will not
suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;
but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,
that ye may be able to bear it.”
Each day as I read and reread this book and other THM related articles and blogs (Gwen’s), I find new things I either do or should implement. Interestingly, I discover that other women are struggling with the very similar things from time to time. It may seem trivial, but one such struggle is the struggle to space meals and snacks in three hour intervals. Now, I recognize that for many people, this is a snap – maybe even a natural way of life! But for others –me– this is not so. I, like most mamas, am in the kitchen for one reason or another most all day long – every day. And it’s like I’m a food magnet – unintentional as I’ve been about food and aimlessly snacking through the day… until now. Thus, the hidden blessing or hidden truth of the THM lifestyle: Intentional eating.
Maybe you’ve heard someone recite a vow and the wording includes: “…is it your intention to fulfill___?” Well, that’s the sort of what I consider when I think of the word intention and the THM eating plan. When beginning this plan, there’s got to be a determination to be intentional about it. It’s not a plan to be taken lightly or unadvisedly – by this I mean, it’s not going to be of any value if undertaken haphazardly. In fact, I’m fairly certain, new as I am to the journey, that there could be some real negative health repercussions should the plan not be understood and practiced or undertaken as outlined. I can see how one might experience exactly the opposite of health should the plan not be followed correctly or should it be carried out without discipline or intention.
Like many things in life, the THM plan is soooo easy! It is so easy. So easy. But that’s the peculiar dilemma to things, isn’t it? How could something so easy be so hard? I see that (for me) it’s sheer determination, sheer discipline — the discipline of doing what I know I ought to do – not doing what I want to do. For sometimes, my ought’s and my wants are my greatest enemies (sort of the Romans 7 conundrum). Through the years many times you’ve heard me say, Truly, good things are the enemy of best things. And while there may be many good things to eat in my kitchen, I’m determining to stop and think: is this the best thing for me right now? Do I really want to go backwards? Am I content to give up or pass by some good things in order that I might have (or look forward to) better things?
All this to say that spacing meals and snacks, snacks and meals into three hour intervals is a discipline I’m willing to work to achieve… knowing I’m doing this for better things.
As I’ve begun the THM (Trim Healthy Mama) journey, I’m surprised how easy it has been to change my eating *lifestyle* bcz, seriously, food is a lifestyle with me — and I know it is very much so for many other mamas. Food speaks volumes for most mamas… it says, I love you… I care about you… I’m thinking of you… I’m celebrating with you… I am making memories memories with and for you… setting traditions you’ll carry on in your own homes some day. Food says: welcome home.
Events of most days are food related. Talk about food, think about food, make food, eat food, clean up food, snack on the cleanup foods, think about the next meal, share awesome recipes, talk about awesome dishes, plan awesome meals, look at pinteresting recipes and pinteresting photos of f.o.o.d.
So now, the THM journey. Most THM’ers will understand this intro. And that’s bcz they, like me, finally got to a point where all this food talk/prep/thought/intake and more intake was causing a physical and mental train-wreck. I say, most THM’ers, bcz there seem to be other mamas reading and “doing” the Trim Healthy Mama plan who are seasoned veterans of diet and exercise. They’re the ones who’ve had the fortitude and resolve to stick with plans, stay disciplined and have come to see the THM plan can really work in a family setting with simple modifications for family members who need more calories, etc., etc. But, I dare say, it seems that most of the mamas who’ve embraced the THM plan were not previously so disciplined to stay with a healthful, appropriate calorie/nutrition intake, daily regimen — year after year.
I’m finding that the initial enthusiasm I had for the THM lifestyle fluctuates a bit and here’s why. While I had many of the food items in my fridge and pantry, there were/are many items I did not/do not have on hand. So I had to improvise and muddle along with a smaller variety of acceptable or ‘plan’ ingredients. Then, some of the sweeteners I did acquire tasted awful to me. Some of the reworked favy recipes were not S meals to me at all. “S” meals = satisfying. And they sure weren’t. But… what to do? what to do? I had to press on. I’d invested in the book, invested in the ingredients and had already predetermined to stick with this journey. So I have. And you know what I’ve come to experience? I’m learning to appreciate this new way of eating.
You know I love sugar. I love honey even more. And chocolate… chocolate almost as much as butter & sugar anything. But I’ve sort of gotten past that sugar-sugar-sugar addiction in the last two weeks. Example… I made frosting for birthday cupcakes yesterday. Ordinarily, I’d have tasted and adjusted–tasted and adjusted the Vanilla-Bean buttercream—and I mean a teaspoon size “taste” for adjusting the vanilla/sugar/butter/salt/cream ratio. Yesterday I was able to tell if the ratio was correct with less than a 1/8 teaspoon t.a.s.t.e. And I didn’t have any inclination to taste more. This morning I’m amazed at that. And the chocolate ganache-mousse frosting for the chocolate chip/chocolate cupcakes? Same thing… and no inclination to dip a tablesp0on into the Kitchenaid mixing bowl. If nothing else, this is amazing.
So the journey has surely begun… and I’ll tell you more about it.
I’ve recently been on a new journey to *health!* And, you know what the hardest part has been? Deciding to take the first step WITH the intent to take each next step on the same journey. So, if you’re not feeling well, if weight-gain or extra weight has plagued you—–and more importantly, if you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, maybe a new plan is in order for you, too. It was/is for me and so I’ve begun this journey to health and healthy weight. It’s incredibly easy…
So why am I including the following song? Bcz food’s a sentimental thing for me. Food’s my deal. Food’s a draw to me… and a trap, too. Food’s a comfort and a cage———-so I’m seeking to be free with food. Free to make it, free to eat it and free to enjoy it. But the greatest freedom I’m seeking is to have food be what it is: food. Fuel. Delicious fuel. Delicious balanced, nutritious, sensible fuel. And, for me, the book and method and lifestyle that is Trim Healthy Mama has been an incredible blessing.
So… my sentimental journey is learning how to remake favourite foods — redesign or adjust them to be healthful. And if they can never be made to be healthful, then I want to have the grace to just leave off with thinking of them or thinking I’m somehow missing out on good things. As I frequently say, good things are often the enemy of best things. And for a Foodie… this is a huge step. I’ll be posting about this from time to time……. Here’s to healthy living. I know, right?!?!?!
Did she just say that?!??!
In celebration of marriage, I want to share this beautiful story. It’s a precious testimony of long love… a story of a man missing his wife, his precious wife of seventy-five years… which he says was a dream.
Earlier this morning I was viewing a movie trailer (August: Osage County) and just before I closed the window, near the end of that clip, I heard the line:
Thank God we can’t tell the future; we’d never get out of bed.”
I’ve heard that line (or other similar lines) so many times through the years… and, sadly, I think I always heard and internalized its unspoken ending. “Thank God we can’t tell the future; we’d never get out of bed [because it's only going to be badorbecause it's not going to end up good].” Strange how sayings come to define our thinking — giving us a cheerful or fatalistic outlook. Obviously, based on how I completed that sentence, mine’s not always been all that optimistic. But God.
Were it not for the But God‘s or the but‘s in Scripture, I don’t know where I’d be today; But God.
Consider some of the But God‘s or but… verses in the Word of God—– these are life defining/life changing—-they have been for me, and they can be for *you* too:
Galatians 1.15 “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace…”
Galatians 2.20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, butChrist liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
Ephesians 2.4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us,
1Thessalonians 4.8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us His Holy Spirit.
1Peter 5.10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
1John 5.5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
So, you know… I would have continued living out and believing and reciting that line: “Thank God we can’t tell the future; we’d never get out of bed.” BUT GOD.
And here’s why: Because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and and grace through faith in Him: “… we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” —Romans 8.28-39
We’d never get out of bed… But God.
When I start to give in to believing lies, I must affirm the truth and the enemy’s lies must then end with: But God.
Our friends, Rick and Kimberlee Anderson’s family business, Anderson Family Farm, is one of the nominees in the Audience Choice Award for one of Martha Stewart’s features: American Made. Would you consider taking a moment to vote for this family business as it will help them gain business exposure. You may also want to help them in a “modern day barn raising” as they seek to move forward in expanding their family enterprise. Thank you so much for your consideration.