So you have skimmed or read the Trim Healthy Mama plan book or cookbook and your head is swimming with all these unusual new to you foodie words: MCT oil, oat fiber, pressed peanut flour, gluccie, not naughty noodles, stevia, erythritol, Super Sweet blend, Gentle Sweet blend, collagen, THM baking blend, gelatin, whey protein powder, psyllium husks, and more. I have been immersed in the whole food world for years, but I had never heard of most of these foods, considered healthful foods by the THM authors. If you are like me after reading the book, you want to do the plan but you know you can’t afford to go buy all of these new foods at once.
OK, take a deep breath and reeee-lax. Don’t let all those pretty pictures in the cookbook get you thinking you have to bake all the recipes today! Tell your saliva glands to calm down! You couldn’t possibly eat all of these beautiful foods at once, so don’t worry about not being able to make them all at once. Know that this is a beautiful journey you get to be on every day, enjoying the foods one day at a time.
You can do the THM plan with what you have in your kitchen cupboards right now, as long as you are somewhat into whole foods. If you just have Twinkies and Doritos and your idea of a vegetable is corn chips, then yes, you do have some shopping to do right away. Otherwise, take what you have and get to work. Go to this great study guide here and start classifying your food as carbs, fat, and protein, after you study the guide. Toss out your white sugar. I promise you can find a healthier substitute. You don’t have to have all of those ingredients I listed in the top paragraph. Start with what you have, and incorporate these 10 tips below to gradually make room in your food budget for all the specialty ingredients you want to try.
- Make your own Greek yogurt with my recipe here.
Greek yogurt is such a nutritious food and a staple in lots of THM recipes. It is so versatile. Just know that on the THM plan, you wouldn’t eat it with all the fruit I have pictured above. You can have fruit with an S meal (high fat meal) and even then, it’s just lemons or limes, or a cup of strawberries or a 1/2 c of blueberries. With an E meal (high carbs) you can have liberal amounts of berries or 1 piece of fruit (I took this picture before I was into THM so that’s why it shows lots of fruit!). 0% Greek yogurt is one of the foods that you can eat with any of the meals. You can have Greek yogurt in S, E, or FP meals. In S or Satisfying meals (high fat), you would eat full fat Greek yogurt made from whole fat milk. In E or Energizing (high carb) or FP (fuel pull) meals, you would eat the Greek yogurt made from 0% fat milk. Greek yogurt is just yogurt with the whey strained off. It’s great for a grab-and-go meal to eat on the run. Many a time I have taken yogurt with me for a lunch in the car. It’s so easy to make at home and you will save a lot of money too! Go here for the recipe. It’s important to remember that you want Greek yogurt, not just regular yogurt, because you want the whey, which has lots of carbs in it, strained off.
2. Order the THM products from azurestandard.com. Azure Standard is a huge company based on a farm in Oregon. The company sells grains, produce, vitamins, supplements, and pretty much anything you can find at your local natural foods health store, from Panda licorice to natural healthy and beauty care products to grains, beans, and spices, from the bulk room. The Azure folks even have health related books, fencing supplies, barrels and buckets, and outdoor yard and farming tools! I have compared prices of the THM line of food products on amazon, the THM web site, and Azure Standard. Azure often has the best prices! Azure doesn’t deliver to your home, however, unless you arrange you to be a drop off point for them. Another drawback is that the delivery is just once a month. So if you plan ahead, this can be the best way to get THM products. If you aren’t a drop off point you will have to drive to a drop off place. So if you don’t have to drive too far to pick up your Azure order, spending gas money, and can wait a month between orders, since Azure orders are shipped monthly to your area, then Azure is the way to go. Azure does not charge shipping and handling costs. You do end up paying for the gas of course to drive your car to go pick up the product. If you have a group of friends who rotate the pickup, then you don’t have to pay for shipping or gas every month. The THM people have frequent flash sales of their products, so sign up for their newsletters on their website so you can take advantage of those. The THM collagen was recently offered at a sale price of $14.99 instead of $17.99. With Amazon Prime you pay $25.99! If you absolutely have to have the products within two days, then you may find it worth it to pay the increased costs of Amazon Prime. You can also find THM products or similar products at iherb.com or swansonvitamins.com. Prices at all these places probably continually change, so check all of them before making your order.
3. Make your own THM baking blend. Just Google it. I have seen a range of variations, from using equal parts flax meal to almond flour to using those two flours plus a bunch more added in like coconut flour and glucomannan. It is fun to try out all the THM cake and muffin recipes. The picture below shows the cinnamon muffin in a mug recipe. If you are allergic to coconut and almond flours like my teenage son is, then an alternate is equal parts golden flaxmeal and oat fiber. I can buy golden flax seed at my local Kroger chain grocery store in the bulk section, then I grind it in small batches in my blender. Don’t try grinding it in your NutriMill, it will gum up the workings and make a huge mess. Ask me how I know. :-). I get oat fiber from Amazon.
4. Make your own golden flaxseed meal by buying in bulk at your local health foods store or even your local grocery store. Even Walmart has golden flax seeds, but the package isn’t very big. Then grind like I mentioned above.
5. Use sweet potatoes often for your E meals. They are cheap! You can’t have white potatoes on the THM plan, but when the rest of your family has potatoes, you have your sweet potatoes and use the same toppings, limiting the fat to 1 tsp for an E meal.
6. Use zucchini or spaghetti squash for your low carb noodles or pasta instead of the Not Naughty Noodles. Spaghetti squash naturally separates into noodle-like strings when cooked, but to make zucchini noodles, use a veggie spiralizer.
7. Use cauliflower for your rice. Just cut cauliflower into florets and then briefly pulse in a food processor to turn into rice-size bits that you briefly cook.
8. Make your own nut milk instead of buying it. Just whiz 1 nut in a blender to 1 c water. Soak your nuts first if you are a Purist.
9. See if your sweet tooth is simply satisfied with your own skinny chocolate sweetened with liquid stevia or a minimal amount of sweetener like maple syrup, honey or sucanat (not THM plan approved but many mothers have found they can lose weight with those real food sweeteners). Then break up the skinny chocolate into small pieces to make the THM Chocolate Chip Cookies.
10. Use lentils and beans for your E meals that you buy in bulk from azurestandard.com. Lentils and beans are so cheap! Properly soaked, cooked for a long time, and seasoned they taste fabulous!
May you have a delicious food journey through life and constantly feel nourished!