Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review of Trim, Healthy Mama {and a Giveaway!}

I didn’t want to read this book. Although I kept more padding after my last pregnancy than I’ve ever kept in my life, I still didn’t want to read it. Why?
  •  It overwhelms me to think of colossal diet changes.
  •  I have no interest in diet fads that eliminate certain food groups, like fruit and bread. I've been there, done that and bought the ebook.
  •  I like chocolate. I like muffins. And don’t even talk to me about coffee.
  • I don't jump on bandwagons easily.  If it's on the top ten list anywhere, I'm suspicious. 
  • And even if I could get past all that, I knew huge diet changes simply had to transfer into a higher grocery bill. I’m feeding an army and I have to be careful.
Nope, no interest. Leave me alone, healthy mamas. I’m doing just fine, K? I’ll just keep enjoying my coffee and learn to love my new love handles.

I changed my mind.

I changed it because I heard testimony after testimony from women I respect who said just implementing a few of the changes the authors recommend would leave me with more energy. I was officially intrigued. By the end of the day I usually feel like a boneless chicken. More energy sounded fabulous. I put in an interlibrary loan request for the book because I thought it was too expensive.

Our library was slow.

I contacted the authors and they gave me a free book to review. Yes, there are advantages to blogging. And so here is my take on Trim, Healthy Mama.

The book opens describing four different types of eaters.

 They are:

1. A raw food purist

2. A meat-n-taters gal

3. A woman who is called drive-thru Sue

4. A whole-grains fanatic

Incidentally, I have been all of these eaters at one time or another. You will probably find yourself in one of these women too.


There is an explanation of what exactly is causing most of us ladies to be fat and unhealthy (insulin) and why we’re not doing ourselves any favors by eating banana smoothies (yes, even if they are green) or pounds of apples. I admit it, I was suspicious. But the authors make a compelling case for working with our changing metabolism as women. Sure, give the kids the apples and oranges. But moms should eat fruits that keep our insulin levels balanced and not on a roller coaster all the time. Didn’t know your insulin levels were on a roller coaster? Me neither. But I learned a lot.

A Little History: Atkins Vs. South Beach Diet

In the 80’s and 90’s everyone told us fat was bad. Everything on the shelf sported “fat free!” Trouble was, the sugar content was higher to compensate for the loss of taste. Enter the Atkins’ Diet. Dr. Atkins said eat all the protein and fat you want but no carbohydrates. We all stocked up on bacon and eggs and consumed loads of those nasty pork skins that smell like you-know-what when you open the bag.

A few years later came the South Beach diet, which I know nothing about because I was still doing pork skins. But I hear that it was similar to Atkins, they just advised less fat.

The authors of Trim, Healthy Mama conclude that there are some truths to both of these diets in that they help control blood sugar and insulin surges. But eating this way is hard to maintain because who wants to be deprived of bread and sweets forever? The authors show us how to indulge in some sweets and healthy breads (with real butter, of course) without spiking our blood sugar. High blood sugar = insulin spikes.  And it's all about the insulin, gals.

Most importantly, they never scolded me for drinking coffee, but actually encouraged it.

So there went two of my hang-ups with why I didn’t want to read the book.

What about the cost of the food?

I have been eating with some of the Trim, Healthy suggestions for three weeks now. I have not noticed any change in my grocery bill. While the authors do make recommendations for some special, you-can-only-get-this-online ingredients, they are not needed for most of the recipes.

The purpose of learning to eat this way is not to lose weight, but to be healthy and have energy. However, I have lost that excess baby weight plus a few pounds. I have read countless testimonies of people who have significant weight to lose, and are doing so by implementing these changes. Even better, I have more energy due to exercising the way the authors suggested.

I Just Said the "E Word"

I almost skipped the exercise chapter because I despise exercising. But again I learned a lot. Statistics were given to prove that our current trends of exercising are not doing us much good to burn fat. That means that elliptical machine I torture myself with on rare occasions probably isn't helping a lot.  Well. Except for the sermons I listen to on my iPod as I sweat.  But all that energy doing cardio exercise could have been better used with short bursts of energy (like ten minutes' worth. Who can’t handle ten minutes?) and strength training.

In other words, a ten minute run with intermittent sprints, will do us more good than a one hour steady cardio session.

Sweets and Chocolate

The authors recommend using Stevia, Truvia or NuNaturals as your new sweeteners because of their low glycemic index (meaning they don't cause a significant increase in blood sugar.) However, I tried using Truvia and it made me sick. Stevia tasted terrible. Although I didn’t try NuNaturals (I’m not going to buy “special food” remember?), I searched out the Trim, Healthy Mama Facebook page and discovered others were using Coconut Sugar with success as well.

I strolled over to my hand-dandy Wal-Mart and there it was on the shelf just sitting there smiling at me. I have made the book’s sweet recipes using Coconut Sugar and have continued to maintain the weight loss. Coconut sugar (which isn’t actually sugar from a coconut) has a higher glycemic index than Stevia, but nowhere close to table sugar.

But truth be told, eating the THM way (that it to say—becoming aware of insulin spiking foods and/or combinations of them and avoiding them) has made me crave sweets less.

The Cost

I held off buying this book because of the price, but: it is worth the price. If you can't stomach the $35 then you could try the digital version which is only $20. You can buy it here.  It is like buying three books (619 pages!!) because the first part of the book explains the why for the diet changes, the next portion explains the how and the third portion is full of recipes. There are also chapters on hormone imbalances and how to cure them naturally, an exercise chapter (which remember, I almost skipped, but was so pleasantly surprised with the recommendations…that work!) and also a chapter on marital intimacy.

Who the Book is For

This book is for married women. Trust me. The end.

Who the Diet is For

The diet is for everyone: husband, children and even grandma included. This isn’t a fad diet, but changes that can be made to your liking and pace, that are overall a healthier way of eating. Even if you don't have weight to lose, you will learn a lot about how to eat by reading this book.

I do believe the book to be balanced, although as with every book we should read it with radars at attention (discernment).  The two sisters writing are very different, one is more of a purist and really educated me at times,  while the other uses the microwave and helps us identify short-cuts if we want to use them. ( I like her.) The ladies write in a conversational style and I especially like that they were humble enough to share their past mistakes and extremist tendencies that they now regret.

Serene and Pearl, authors of Trim, Healthy Mama are giving away a copy to one of you.  The giveaway will run until Monday.

And now I'm off to go exercise.  For ten minutes.

What about you?  Have you read the book?  What did you think of it?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi Bambi! I've seen this book in my above Rubies magazine. I've read the reviews on amazon as well. It only leaves me more confused! The one thing people said was that it leaves you living like a diabetic, and that they said honey was you feel the same way?

  2. Thanks for the review Bambi. I am actually in the process of reading this book right now, and have a few other friends who are as well. One of them them has lost 10+ lbs and her daughter had lost 26 the last I heard.

    I wondered if it would be for me, because it seemed geared for younger mamas to begin with, but it is for all women I do believe.

    My children are practically grown, and I am celebrating my 25th anniversary the 25th of June, so I am hoping to be a bit closer to when I wore my wedding dress. I won't be able to fit in it yet, I was 18 at the time, but hoping someday...

    Great review!

    Always Experiencing Him,

  3. I get so sad with these giveaways because I don't have facebook anymore, so I lose out on the chance to win. :( I've wanted this book for a long time, so I got my +5 by subscribing, though. Thanks for the chance. :)

  4. harleygirl,

    I meant to add the "share" to be any social media, even emailing ten friends about the giveaway. I usually do that, and just forgot! I'll add it in now, but please, share with ten friends and enter that way as well! :) Blessings!

  5. Kallie, The authors do not recommend honey as a form of sweetener, but nowhere did I read that they refuted raw honey's medicinal values. I agree with you that honey cannot be put in a healthy/unhealthy "box". Same goes for bananas and other natural sweets. They also recommend not eating bananas if you are trying to lose weight, but again, the book has many suggestions that are great take-aways. If you want to eat bananas...or honey for it's great benefits...go for it, and you could implement some other suggestions.

    As for living like a diabetic. Well, I would say again, that we should be moderate in all things and I think that is what this book is advising. They give us healthier options for baking and sweeteners. That said, Type 2 diabetes is the result of abuse to our bodies over years and it is on the rise and has been for years. So...eating like a diabetic sounds terrible, but I'm thinking, maybe that is the way we should be eating anyway? As people who aren't addicted to sweets and sugar, but finding healthy alternatives? Just some thoughts...

  6. Jody Dake,

    Definitely the book is for ALL women of all ages. The authors are not in their 20's; I know one is in her 40's and the other may be as well.

  7. I just started reading Trim Healthy Mama. I have not got to the recipes. I'm afraid if I skip to them, I will not read the whole book. Has your family complained of having to eat differently? This is my biggest concern.

  8. Bambi, I'm so like you when it comes to being suspicious of anything on any type of Top Ten list at all....and I wasn't going to get this book either because of all of the reasons you listed....

    But I admit, I'm now intrigued, reading testimonies from other normal mamas....

    And I've been trying to figure out how I can get this book! So I entered the drawing.

    I'm pregnant and in my first trimester and I have heard that you can still implement the changes they talk about while pregnant.

    So, I want this book!

    Thanks for sharing your review of it and most of all, being honest!

  9. My husband and I have been on a long road of trying to improve our eating habits and exercise. I keep reading of different philosophies but more and more it seems to keep coming down to the insulin thing. Whether avoiding or just limiting carbs and starches, it seems to help. I think we will settle into an 80/20 mindset when it comes to eating, but I'd love to read the perspective in this book since it is tailored to moms and wives!

  10. Just commenting about eating like a diabetic- I am predisposed to have diabetes and have gestational diabetes with every child. I am really working on our diet. Since we are on a very tight budget I get some help from WIC. When they asked if I am on a special diet I said cutting out carbs and following the instructions from my nutritionist. She said that eating like a diabetic is NOT special diet. It is how we SHOULD all be eating. It might be upsetting but it is true.

  11. Kimberly, No the family has not complained because there has been very little difference in how they eat. Hubby and I skip the roll and mashed potatoes, and I use coconut sugar to sweeten my coffee and tea. So it's really no skin off anyone else's teeth. They do enjoy the sweets I make with coconut sugar, but really I have found my cravings for sweets are much less overall.

  12. Would dlove a copy of this book. Just had #7 and have kept a few pounds on the last three pregnancies. Needless to say, I have 30+ pounds to lose. Would love the help...

  13. No, I haven't read the book. I have heard about it from one other blogger and she has lost weight with it. As a family we have gone plant based because of my husbands family history of heart disease but I still have an issue with sugar and that seems to keep me from losing more weight than what I have already lost. Very interested in the coconut sugar and some of the other natural sugar replacements. Would be great to have the book to read this along with the encouragement I am sure it includes. Thanks for the chance to win the book.

  14. I'm just beginning this "lifestyle" change as well with THM. I LOVE this book, it has been a real education as to why I couldn't get those final 10-20 lbs off from my ten pregnancies. I am more of a cross between Farm Fresh Tess & Whole Grain Jane. (they are so fun to read!) I'm still trying to learn the ropes of seperating my fat & carb intake by the min. 2 1/2 hrs., but all in all it's a very doable change. I can see my body changing to more muscle vs. pudge although no weight has dropped. I have to go slow because I am still nursing, but I am very excited for the day the scale starts falling;-) Highly recommend!

  15. Were the women who wrote this book *ever* heavy? I get sort of weary of women who have never had any substantial struggle with weight giving advice. Not being snarky, just asking because I really want to know.

  16. Anon.,

    They both share testimonies of weight issues, but one was too thin. The other was overweight at one time. Hope this helps! Also, I have read on the THM Facebook page of women with quite a bit of weight to lose, and have done so eating with the THM suggestions.

  17. This is so funny for me to read this post tonight because I was actually thinking if you had read this book yet. I thought you might like it!

    I was just like you, when someone told me they'd let me borrow the book, I flat out turned them down and said, oh, no thank you, I'm not interested in eating healthy, it'll cost too much to eat that way ( we're feeding a family of 8 ).

    Then my friend kept telling me how she had so much energy and just all the neat food that she was eating ( like making cottage cheese and oatmeal pancakes ) that I finally decided to just buy the book because I wanted energy!!!

    And I'm so happy I did! I did lose some weight, but really for me it was just about gaining energy and I did. And my family eats things like broccoli and cauliflower and lentils, things I never thought we'd eat!

    So, I'm glad you read it and liked it and are able to implement this into your lifestyle.

    I can't say I got on board with the exercising part of it, but just with diet alone what a difference that has made in my life!


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