Diet, Exercise, and Vitamins Part 3

I’ve been talking about how I decided to lose weight and my discovery of a plan called Trim Healthy Mama. Read to the end to find out about vitamins. Here’s some more about the plan…

What did I like about THM?

Once I understood the plan and knew which food falls into which category, it was easy. {Warning: there is a bit of a learning curve to reach that point!!!}

There’s no counting calories or points.

The amount of resources available – some free and some not.

  1. Official and unofficial Facebook groups are awesome for finding answers to questions. However, I caution you to enter at your own risk since the groups can be very overwhelming.
  2. The two Trim Healthy Mama books are excellent. Are both books necessities? The Cookbook = yes; the Plan Book = no. Trim Healthy Mama Plan: The Easy-Does-It Approach to Vibrant Health and a Slim Waistline explains the theory behind THM as well as what it is and how to approach different problem areas in your diet. I do recommend borrowing the Plan Book from your local library or a friend if you can’t afford the cost of the book. You will need to study it and refer to it frequently during the first month. I don’t recommend starting Trim Healthy Mama without reading the Plan Book. Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook is a must buy with its yummy recipes tagged for the category they work with. If you have to choose between the plan book or the cookbook, I would purchase the cookbook.
What didn’t I like about THM?

Personally, I didn’t follow THM 100%. I used the pieces that I knew would work for me and help me sustain the lifestyle long-term.

My two biggest complaints about THM are the specialty products used in the recipes (primarily the desserts and baked goods) and the replacement of sugar with stevia.

I understand the theory and science behind eliminating sugar, but it’s not for everyone and I’m one of those people. Stevia messed with my body to the point that I became ill {not like vomiting sickness, just a general ill feeling} whenever I tried a product with stevia. Over 6 months after eliminating stevia, I am still dealing with the hormonal consequences. Maybe stevia will work for you, maybe it won’t. Just be aware of the side effects of stevia and do your research before switching to an alternative form of sugar.

{Side note: Many of the possible side effect symptoms of stevia are labeled as sugar detox symptoms in the various THM Facebook groups. Again, do your own research to determine whether you are experiencing sugar detox or stevia side effects.}

So with that said, I follow THM using regular sugar. I simply cut back in the areas that I know I need to and also make sure that I eat in a way that keeps my blood sugar stable so I don’t experience the emotional and physical roller coaster sugar consumption can cause.

Did you know that if you eat an orange along with some nuts you won’t experience a blood sugar spike? Me neither until I read the Trim Healthy Mama Plan. 🙂

Why is THM different?

Trim Healthy Mama is a plan that you can use all of or only pieces of. If you start out simple and slowly change the way you eat, you can add in different elements of the plan as you progress. For example, Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook has all kinds of drinks designed for different purposes like boosting metabolism, increasing energy, etc. I’m a water and tea drinker, so I didn’t feel the need to add the drinks to my lifestyle. I occasionally try one, but they’re not something I need in my life on a daily basis. I’m fine with my water and my unsweetened green tea.

Trim Healthy Mama also doesn’t eliminate one or more food groups from your diet. It’s a well-rounded eating plan. Initially, the recommendation is to eliminate the starch foods like breads, potatoes and pasta. Then, once your weight loss has started, add those foods back in on a limited basis to see if they affect your weight loss. If you notice a difference, kick those foods to the curb again and try later.

One food that I chose to eliminate and ended up craving was bread. Initially I went cold turkey off of bread for about 3 months. Since then, I occasionally eat bread products so I would say that I’ve eliminated about 90% of bread from my diet. I do eat things like french toast, hamburger rolls, and occasionally a homemade biscuit. I stay away from regular sandwich bread and eat my sandwiches on pita bread or in a wrap.

I also eliminated potatoes and pasta in the beginning. I added potatoes back in after a few months. During the first 3 months that I followed THM closely, I eliminated pasta altogether. Then I added it back in once or twice a month. Pasta was hard to eliminate for me because I love Italian foods. THM does recommend certain brands of pasta but I could never find them in our area. I compared the ingredients best as I could to their recommended brands and the every day brands in the store. I decided that the differences weren’t significant enough for me to eliminate pasta completely. So I am happily eating pasta again.

What about vitamins?

Shortly after I started THM, I added individual vitamins to my daily routine. Prior to starting THM, I was taking Vitamin D3 because I had tested as deficient, but that was my only vitamin.

While reading the Trim Healthy Mama Plan, I learned that I had quite a few symptoms of a magnesium deficiency. I decided to add magnesium as my second vitamin. {Side note on magnesium – there’s about 7 different types of magnesium. Each type plays a different role in our bodies. The most ineffective form of magnesium is called magnesium oxide. Avoid it. It works as a laxative and that’s about it. Personally, I take a product called Mega Magnesium which contains three different types.

My next step was to re-visit hypothyroidism information online by Mary Shomon. I added added zinc and selenium, both of which are important for proper thyroid function, to my routine.

During the first 6 months, I sporadically (meaning not every day) consumed a Vitamin C & E combo and an extra strength biotin. Then I added Alive brand Women’s Energy multivitamin. I love this vitamin for two reasons – it is a food based vitamin and it has higher percentages of recommended daily values.

After eight months into the vitamin regimen, I have switched it up quite a bit from when I started. Now I target my body with what it tells me it needs. My current regimen includes an Alive vitamin, fish oil, high dose Vitamin C, and L-Lysine on a daily basis. On alternating days I take zinc, selenium, and biotin. Magnesium is now an as needed supplement and not a daily necessity.

So, that’s been my journey towards a healthier me and a healthier body. As the one year anniversary approaches, I’m happy with my decisions and the results! Here’s to hoping I can maintain it for the rest of my life!

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