Disclaimer: This is the way I have chosen to eat healthy. You can take it or leave it. Either way, I hope you are able to learn some great principles to apply to healthy eating.
The premise of Trim Healthy Mama is to lower the glycemic impact of foods and to not tandem fuel. The former (lowering glycemic impact) means that we eat foods that don’t unhealthily raise our blood sugar. We stick to complex carbs (as in whole grains and fruit for example) and avoid simple carbs (sugar, white flour, etc.). The latter (we don’t tandem fuel) means we separate foods that contain carbs from foods that contain fats. We always anchor our meal with a protein (which helps keep blood sugar spikes in check as well). A food higher in fat but lower in carbs is a S (Satisfying) meal. A food lower in fat but higher in carbs is and E (Energizing) meal. A food that is both low in fats AND carbs is called a Fuel Pull food and can be paired with either type of meal (non-starchy vegetables would be an example).
So, to simplify:
1) Choose a protein at every meal
2) Decide whether you will eat an S (satifying) meal – one that is higher in fat and lower in carbs
whether you will eat an E (energizing) meal – one that is lower in fat and higher in complex carbs.
3) Fill the rest of your plate with Fuel Pull foods (foods that are low in both fats and carbs) such as non starchy vegetables.
4) Keep a four hour window in between switching fuel types.
What does this do: It allows your body to process only one fuel at a time. If you eat both types of fuel (fats and carbs), it will process the carbs first while storing the fat. By separating, it keeps you body only burning the fuel you gave it. Also, by the way and to be clear, your body NEEDS both good quality fats and complex carbs. There are great things that help keep the functions of things such as your thyroid and adrenals working in top shape.
Anyway, that is a VERY quick explanation of THM. There are many more things you can learn but Serene and Pearl will even tell you to keep it simple, especially to start. If you are interested to know more, feel free to ask questions and especially take a look at buying one of their books or borrowing it from the library.
Another disclaimer: I’m still relatively new to this and I’m still learning. While I’m doing my best to be accurate in what I’m eating and relaying to you, there are times it might not be correct. Any other THMers out there, please feel free to respectfully correct me if need be. We can both help each other. 🙂
Ok, on to my meal tonight: Tonight’s Dinner: Quesadilla and Vegetable and Greens Salad (THM S)
I decided to make quesadillas for my family tonight. To start with my protein, I decided they would be chicken quesadillas. As for the tortillas, I buy regular flour tortillas for the rest of the fam (and they don’t care to change over) but this does not fit into THM due to the white flour used (blood sugar spiking). Joseph’s Brand makes a tortilla they call a lavash which is made with whole grains. One half of a lavash bread (which is one serving) is considered low-carb because it only has 5 net carbs and it is also very low fat making it a Fuel Pull food that can be paired with either S or E meals. Some THMer’s don’t eat this since there are some ingredients in it that wouldn’t be completely considered on-plan but they count it as a “personal choice” item you can use occasionally. Since they say to make this plan doable for you, I choose to use this in place of tortillas since I don’t eat tortillas often anyway. And now that’s I’ve found Joseph’s, it is a staple I have on hand for situations like this. And they freeze well.
On my quesadilla, I had the chicken and then added shredded cheddar cheese (higher in fat, lower in carbs) and taco seasoning (minimal anything). I don’t yet shred my own cheese but I eventually will since bagged cheddar cheese has additives to keep it from caking.
Since 1/2 of a Joseph’s lavash does not make a very big quesadilla, I needed to fill my plate with something else. Enter non-starchy vegetables and greens (low in fat and carbs so Fuel Pull – pair with either meal type) made into a salad. To drink, I just had crystal clear water!
So, my whole meal was low in carbs, but higher in fat – an S (satisfying) meal. IF I decide to have a snack and it’s not yet been 4 hours, I’ll need to keep it in S mode or choose a Fuel Pull Smoothie or other snack. So I could choose to have some cheese on a wasa cracker (cheese has fat, wasa is low in fat and carbs), or if I want a sweet treat, I could spread some Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese on another 1/2 lavash, sprinkle with Truvia and cinnamon and bake in the toaster oven for a few minutes OR have one of my almond flour blueberry muffins which are made with coconut oil (low carb since I don’t have to use a lot of almond flour and it’s per serving and higher in fat due to the coconut oil) and warmed with a little buttah!! Since I’m in S mode I can use butter (not margarine).
I could also instead make a Pumpkin Pie Shake which is Fuel pull (and can be paired with either S or E).
So! That was quite an explanation. As we go forward, I’ll try to continue to simplify even the explanations, but my goal is to have concise examples of what different types of healthy meals look like. Feel free, as always to ask any questions you might have and I’ll do my best. Let me know what you think!! 🙂