trim healthy resources

Trim Healthy Resources

I shared last week that I’ve been following the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating and love it.

I also mentioned that there’s a bit of a learning curve.

THM is a plan all about giving your body just one fuel – carb or fat – source at a time to work with in order to keep our bodies from storing it as fat, so the vast majority of meals with be heavier in either fats or carbs. It’s also a low glycemic plan, which helps keep blood sugar level and avoid those crashes that lead to overeating.

And honestly, the book is a rather massive read and can be a bit confusing.

That’s where the internet comes in so handy.

  • Gwen’s Nest: Gwen’s nest has it all. Recipes, tips and articles and a wonderful quick start guide complete with shopping list and an easy on-ramp four-week plan.
  • Raising Arrow’s Veggie Guide: helpful if you’re not sure which vegetables work with which meals. This is getting printed off and taped inside a cupboard in my kitchen.
  • Only Passionate Curiosity’s Book Review: this is the review that convinced me to give it a try, with a very easy to understand breakdown of the basics.
  • Quick Start Chart from Faith’s Trim Healthy Life: another great resource for all sorts of info, but that chart is an easy way to plan a week.
  • Darcie’s Dishes: Weekly THM friendly menu plans, with lots of links to recipes and everything neatly labeled.
  • Sheri Graham’s THM recipes and links. So much information!

Don’t forget to look to social media:

  • Facebook: There are many different Trim Healthy Mama groups that I’m finding incredibly helpful. THM Beginners is great, Trim Healthy Mama Whole Foods Style is wonderful if you prefer to stay away from processed foods and sweeteners like stevia, and there’s also a massive general Trim Healthy Mamas group. Be sure to check the files in each group for recipes, meal plans and other helpful printables.
  • Pinterest: There are so many THM boards (including mine)! You can also find an official Trim Healthy Mamas profile with thousands of recipes organized by meal type.

What resources did I miss? I’d love to add them!


menu plan monday: Trim Healthy Mama freezer meals


We’re coming up on an extra crazy time of year. I’m pretty sure this past weekend was the last until Christmas without an event of some sort. I’m also starting a 6 week Holy Yoga series that focuses on finding our rest in the Lord during seasons of business.

It seemed kind of an appropriate topic for the season.

I wanted to make sure I put this past weekend to good use, so I logged in to Once a Month Meals and planned out a Trim Healthy Mama friendly series of dinners. There is no way I could stick with THM and feed my family healthy, nutrient dense meals during this season without my Once a Month Meals subscription.

Here’s what I prepped:

Lentil and Wild Rice Soup – an E meal – a big hit with both my husband and daughter

Steaks in Herb Sauce – an S dinner that I’ll serve with the green beans and roasted butternut squash I’ll be linking further down

Garlic Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin – think this is an E dinner since it’s pretty lean pork. Please correct me if I’m wrong!

Paleo Sun-dried Tomato and Spinach Burgers – I can’t to try these! Definitely an S dinner, that I might add a little fresh mozzarella to and put on top of a spinach salad.

White Enchiladas – a seriously delicious S meal, just add a salad. I did this as a casserole, with the low carb tortillas cut into strips and it tasted exactly like a chicken and tortilla casserole I grew up eating. If you’re going to make it that way, I’d recommend upping the sauce a little bit. To make this gluten-free, I’d suggest the brown rice tortillas from Trader Joe’s.

I’m also finding it incredibly helpful to have vegetables prepped for side dishes. They take almost no time to prep, but it saves me so many dishes and so much time when its time to get dinner on the table.

Green Beans with Bacon and Garlic – (S) I don’t even like green beans and I love these! They go great with the steaks.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Balsamic and Rosemary – (S) – another favorite that I’ve made twice now.

Spiced Roasted Cauliflower – (E – I think – I went as low on the coconut oil as I could) – we are huge fans of roasted cauliflower around here

Sautéed Kale with Bacon – (S) using the method in this recipe. This was one of our favorite meals from my last round of OAMM prepping.

Do you use freezer cooking to help you stay on track? I’d love to hear your favorites THM friendly freezer meals!

Shared at Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday and the Real Food Roundup with Musings of  a Housewife and Sassy Moms in the City.

swappable-300x250-logoDisclosure: I am an affiliate of Once A Month Meals and will receive a commission if you sign up through my link. I would have not become an affiliate without 100% belief that this service is worth every penny of the fee and more in making wholesome, healthy dinners easy and doable for everyone

i want to be a trim healthy mama

It’s no secret that I’ve had issues with food for a long time, and that I’ve been on the search for a way of eating that is sustainable and healthy for me.

I joke that I’ve tried every diet from veganism to paleo, and that’s sadly not too much of an exaggeration.

If it’s too low carb, I’m constantly light-headed and feel deprived after about a month. If its whole grain, my gut rebels. Without animal protein, I have absolutely no energy. And my naturally obsessive personality doesn’t do well with tracking anything.

I was at a place a few weeks ago where I was deciding it was okay to not be my best and to learn to be happy with this body that I’m currently in. There’s something healthy in that, I’ve been told.

But, there’s an issue with that:

I didn’t feel good, physically or emotionally.

I’ve been looking for something reasonable, something sensible, something that doesn’t exclude entire groups of foods for so long.

Something that helps me feel good, but most of all is sustainable as a homeschooling pastor’s wife that teaches Holy Yoga with a husband taking a mor than-full load in seminary, a daughter still recovering from spinal surgery, a schedule that has one free weekend between now and Christmas and lots of events coming up where food choices won’t be the best.

And doesn’t make me crazy…or a perfectionist…or obsess in really unhealthy ways.

I think I’ve found it in the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating.

It’s different from anything else I’ve tried. Sure, things like sugar and refined grains are cut out but there’s so much freedom and variety…and honestly, no one should really be eating white sugar or flour or processed food like items that are full of ingredients no one can pronounce.

But the freedom…that’s the big thing. I’m not counting calories or carbs or looking longingly at every food in my kitchen. There’s no guilt involved and in my 20 years of looking for the best way for me to eat, that is incredible for whom the guilt at many times has led to very unhealthy habits of binges and purging. I’m not thinking about food all the time. I’m not tempted by the Halloween candy that is everywhere. I’m not mindlessly snacking.

Today is day 10. The scale is down. Every time I put on my jeans, I can feel a difference (I tend to live in yoga pants, so that’s every four or five). I have more energy, and my brain actually works (and the fact that I don’t have to be on a super strict diet for that to happen seems miraculous!). My hips are cracking and popping all the time. My emotions are far more level. It’s also been easy to adapt with the Once A Month meals I made a few weeks ago, and I’m planning on doing a fully THM OAMM cooking day this Saturday (I’ll share what I’ve done next Monday).  And I have almost no cravings…and if I do, there are so many options that hit my need for chocolate and stay within the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating.

I’ve gone off plan twice – once for a big Oktoberfest dinner we had at our house and then a pumpkin carving party with friends. Both times, I’ve made decent, but not the best choices and both times, I’ve enjoyed a small dessert. Both times, it’s been no problem to get right back at it with my next meal.  And both times, I haven’t been haunted by the guilt of a bit of indulgence or of putting something in my body that maybe isn’t optimal.

I will confess, the book is a lot of reading. And maybe not the most clear. It’s a low glycemic plan with higher fat/low carb meals and low fat/higher carb meals at its base. There’s a learning curve. But it’s not that bad and the freedom is so totally worth the work. I’ll share some of my favorite resources tomorrow and a very basic breakdown.

Have you tried a THM lifestyle? Have you thought about it?

Contains a few affiliate links.

It’s a Get To!


To say it’s been a while would be to a bit of an understatement.

Okay, a huge understatement.

It’s been busy. So busy. I’ve been scattered. But God has been good.

So good.


I’m now a fully certified Holy Yoga instructor. I still get the giggles when I say that. I have had some thoughts percolating since I got home from retreat a month ago that I’ll share soon. I’m not teaching yet, but soon. I’ve been resting in the many truths the Lord spoke into my heart during my nine weeks of immersion and week of retreat.

It has changed everything.


I’m also on round 2 of the 21 Day Fix.

Guys, I seriously love this program. It’s like they built a program just for me. The portion control I can never seem to really get down on any other way of eating is easy with the Fix. The 30 minute workouts that challenge me but are varied enough to not bore me after a two weeks. Also important – it’s real food based and easy to adapt to gluten free. I think I may have finally found that sustainable plan I’ve spent so long searching for.

Actually, I love it so much I’m considering drinking the Kool Aid and becoming a Beachbody coach so I can help others discover this program.

I know! That’s just plain crazy.

Best of all?

This is finally all truly a get to.

I get to choose healthy foods. I get to strengthen my body and seek a more healthy way of life every day. I get to grow my relationship with the Lord as I move my body in worship.

It’s a get to.

And it’s an awesome place to be.

happy here


It’s about living the healthiest life that you can enjoy, not the healthiest life that you can tolerate, because if your life is simply tolerable, you’re not likely to keep living that way.

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff

I was going through pictures from our Easter picnic last week and came across this one that The Girl took.

And you know what, I’m happy with it.

Sure, there’s some fluffiness around the middle I’d love to get rid of. A little bit of that is swelling from the gastritis. A little bit is having had two kids and one c-section. And a little bit is not going to go away without surgical intervention thanks to a lifetime of gaining and losing weight. Or maybe I just need a good pair of Spanx.

I feel like I’m there.

Maybe not exactly to the number I wanted to reach on the scale…but to the way I want to feel.

I’m comfortable in my clothes.

I can go into pretty much any store and find clothes that fit well and I feel good in.

Most importantly, I feel good about myself.

Could I lose more?

Maybe…if I push myself to over-exercise, cut carbs down to just about nothing and obsess over everything – every bite, every calorie eaten and every calorie burned.

Here’s the thing, though.

I don’t want to do that.

I’m realizing that my focus has shifted to sustainability and health.

Too much and too intense exercise doesn’t help me out. Not really. I’d much rather focus on walking and yoga, forms of exercise that don’t just benefit my body but my emotions too.  Cutting carbs super low just leaves me with headaches and dizziness, no matter how long I stay that way.  It’s miserable.  I’m still working out the best, most sustainable diet for me. It might mean some more tweaks and it might mean a move a little bit away from paleo and back towards a little bit of grains, but I’m getting there. And I don’t want to live with idols, which is what food and fitness can so easily become.


I don’t want to live my life waiting and making myself miserable for some magical number that I think is going to make me happy or bring me joy.

It doesn’t work that way.

Maybe the numbers will go down. Maybe they won’t. So long as the size of my pants don’t go up, I’m good.

More thoughts soon on what learning to live here needs to look like.

words wednesday: the scale

the toilet

Still finishing up The Paleo Coach and this line in particular is sticking with me.

My thoughts and more to come on Friday!

weekly workout plan & a little update: 02.24.12

Weekly WOrkout Image


Last week’s goals, rather than daily plans, seemed to work out pretty well.

I got in several days at the gym (some running on the treadmill, some doing Tabata’s on the elliptical), one day of running on the street (so much more difficult for me than the treadmill to nowhere), got in two short yoga workouts and finally began to overcome my fear of the weight room.

pull ups 1

I also started tackling my goal to be able to do a pull up this year. I’m using an assisted dip/chin machine at the gym to get started. Yesterday, I did 5 pull ups, 10 dips and 5 pull ups with the weights set at 115. Today, I’m feeling muscles I’m not sure I knew existed.

Me eating was also totally on track and second nature this week. I love it when I don’t have to think and it’s not a struggle to eat the way I know is best for my body. Lots of veggies, great protein, a solid amount of fat and a little bit of fruit. I’ve been playing around with some protein shakes and smoothies – in part to get in more greens and in part to give my TMJ a bit of a break – and they seem to be helping.

Even better? For the first time in September, I’ve hit a new low weight. I’m about 5 pounds from where I want to maintain for a while. According to the military body fat calculator here, I’m actually within a healthy body fat percentage for my age and height (though nearer the top than I prefer to be). That’s just crazy.

This week’s goals are a lot like last week’s:

  • 3 workouts at the gym: Tabata’s on the elliptical or my Ease Into 5K running app 
  • weights: rowing, pull ups and dips, and find one more something to add in
  • 2 yoga workouts: I’m finding a few videos I really like on YouTube and DoYogaWithMe – I’ll start sharing once I’ve got some favorites. Still fighting my fear of classes at the gym, but I’ll get there one of these days.
  • 3 runs, at least 1 outside: I graduated to run 10, walk 3, run 10 this week. My first run was ugly…so I’m going to do it a few more times before I move on.

What are your fitness plans for this week?

weekly workout plans: 02.10.13

Weekly WOrkout Image

Last week, all I got done was the running…but that was a huge accomplishment in itself.

skwidlund on Instagram

My Ease Into 5K app had me running 4, 6 and 4 minutes at a time, and I’m pretty sure the last time that happened I might have been in high school. And yes, I turn that red each and every time I run.

Instead of setting out a plan for each day this week, I’m setting more general goals. We’re trying out a new gym and have a house guest for the next week or so, so I’m not sure what each day will bring.

  • Run – 3 times
  • Plank challenge (I am so totally stuck at 1:30 and just can’t get past – any ideas?)
  • Les Mills Pump – 2 times
  • At the gym – 2 times (they offer yoga, pilates & Zumba and I’m hoping to try at least one this week. If not, I’m finding I love to do Tabata’s on the elliptical)
  • Yoga – at least once

What are your fitness plans for this week?

My tools:

2013 goals

2013 goals

I took a look back this weekend at my goals for 2012. I couldn’t even remember what my one little work for 2012 was…which tells you a little something about how much I actually focused on it.

It was well.

And considering the difficulties of 2012, I don’t think I did as badly as I could have.

I’ve definitely sought wellness in all areas of my life, through some of the deepest losses and hardest stresses I’ve known. I’ll share my one little word for 2013 later this week, but for now I have a few fitness and diet related goals for 2013 on my mind:

What are your goals for this next year? Big or little, silly or serious, let’s keep each other accountable!

5 things Friday: why I’m doing the January Whole30


I have to confess, I got a little giddy when I saw this blog post about the January Whole30 go up at Whole9 Life. I’d already been toying with the idea of doing another, but knowing that the biggest one ever was planned? I knew I had to join in.

Why am I doing it this time?

  1. My gut will thank me – even with trying to take it easy on the sweets this holiday season, I know I’ll end up eating more treats than I should…along with other foods I don’t usually eat. I mentioned last week that my stomach’s been rather noisy about not liking what I’ve been eating, and while I’m already doing a good job at back on track, I know I can do better. I’m debating an AI Whole30 to see if I can get a little more improvement, but I honestly don’t know if I can do it without eggs.
  2. I have a few more pounds I’d like to lose – and this seems to be the best way to make that happen. For me, weight loss isn’t the main goal of a Whole30, but it’s a nice side effect.
  3. I want to start 2013 off on a positive note – January seems to help set the tone of how a year is going to go for me, and my goal is for 2013 to be the year health and fitness finally comes together and stays together.
  4. I need a reset – these past few months have been some of the most emotionally difficult I’ve ever known. So far, January looks like it should be a fairly quiet and not-too busy month, and that’s a great time for me to focus on making and strengthening the proper connections between food and wellness again.
  5. I thrive on a challenge – I’ve done two Whole30’s successfully now, and I have to admit there’s a huge sense of pride and accomplishment at making it through.

Are you considering any challenges as this new year draws closer?

Want to join me in this Whole30?

It’s so much easier when you have a support group around you, and I’ll be sharing my meals on Instagram again and plan to do a weekly check in here on Awkward Girl. There are boatloads of information about it here and I can’t recommend It Starts With Food highly enough. I’m also considering signing up for the Whole30 Daily this time – has anyone done that and what did you think?

Next Friday, my five top tips for having a successful Whole30.