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Trim Healthy Mama ~ Chapters 1, 2, 18, and 31

I have mentioned in previous posts that I am reading Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett for my Summer Book Club. When I say "Summer Book Club", I mean it's where I read the book and post my comments inviting others to comment and share their thoughts if they are reading it, too.

This week I assigned Chapters 1, 2, 18, and 31. They were interesting, and had lots of information!

This past year I read the book Ending the Food Fight by David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., when we continued to see problems with Brynne's weight, primarily in her stomach. She has some lactose intolerance and IBS issues, but I just felt like I must be doing something wrong in her diet. The basis for the "diet" for children recommended by Dr. Ludwig was a low-glycemic one. I started using some of the tips and tricks contained in the book, because it made sense to me in relation to Brynne's stomach issues and mid-section bloating. And it has really worked! I also realized that I was overloading her on whole grain products that were causing her to have too much fiber in her system .. and it was just tearing her up.

So far Trim Healthy Mama follows the same premise, from what I can tell. It appears to be a recommended diet of balanced food choices of ALL foods God has created for us, with an emphasis on  low carb, high protein and low-glycemic foods.

Chapters 1 and 2 are descriptions of two women who are eating the wrong way. Chapter 1 is about Whole Grain Jane and Chapter 2 is about Drive Thru Sue. I definitely see myself more as Whole Grain Jane, although not quite to that extreme, so these chapters were very enlightening for me.

What I drew out of the chapters, primarily, was that when we over-eat carbs, it causes our bodies to produce too much insulin which takes our blood sugar and deposits it in muscle and fat cells. The muscle cells can only hold so much, so the excess goes into the fat cells where it is stored. This is why we have so much mid-section fat.

This is especially problematic for me because I LOVE CARBS! I don't mean I prefer carbs, I mean I dream about carbs! (And Brynne does, too.) Hello, my name is Nicole and I am a carb addict.

I eat healthy! But I still have mid-section weight and it's getting worse with age (enter hormonal imbalances covered in Chapter 18). I also think of my mom. She is a health nut ... eating whole grains, lots of fruits, very little fat or meats. She exercises every single day (even in the rain two days last week) and takes her vitamins religiously. But I have thought about what she eats. She eats lots of bran and whole grains, lots of fruit including blueberries, bananas and apples, lots of yogurt, peanut butter. When I think about her diet, it is full of carbs. As she gets older, if you follow the guidelines in Trim Healthy Mama, she will start to have lots of extra blood sugar dumped into her fat glands that will cause her problems no matter how many times she exercises in the rain. (Sorry mom, I don't mean to throw you under the bus.) Believe me, I think about my current diet and worry about the same thing.

What changes can I make to my diet according to Chapters 1 and 2?

  • Never eat a fruit alone. This causes a spike in insulin which requires the blood sugar to be deposited somewhere, probably in the fat cells.
  • Eat a protein with any carbs (especially fruit). This helps counteract this problem.
  • Don't be afraid to eat some fat. God created it. We should be using it, with balance! They think butter is pretty fantastic!
Next I had you read Chapter 18 which included the Morning Meals recipes. At this point I pretty much read the information and skimmed through the recipes. I noticed code words, like "this is an E food". And there were other labels. As I haven't read enough in the book to know what they mean, I decided not to really try to implement the recipes. But, I did learn this. EGGS are a good thing to eat! In fact, it is recommended that if you don't eat two eggs for breakfast, eat them for lunch. 

This makes me happy because my favorite morning breakfast is a coffee cup omelet. You just put two eggs, a splash of milk, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, and some salt and pepper in a coffee cup. Mix well and microwave for 1 minute. Take out and break eggs apart. Microwave for another 45 seconds. YUM! It takes little time and there is only one dish to clean.

And I can't wait to try the Chocomocho smoothie. It has cold coffee, heavy cream, cocoa, egg yolks chocolate whey protein powder, and Stevia. THAT sounds good!!!

Chapter 31 is called Mama's Balancing Act and it is all about the hormonal imbalances that occur as we age. I have heard in many different places how hormones affect a woman's weight. But it also causes many other issues. The only "woman issue" I have experienced is with my cycle after my tubal ligation in 2005. This chapter strongly recommends natural hormone replacements, and for tubal ligation patients it recommends estradiol. This is something that one would definitely want to work with an OB/GYN on before just going out and starting to take hormones. And I am not sure I am ready for that just yet. But, it is intriguing and I look forward to learning more in the weeks ahead. It's something I want to have some knowledge about so I can address it with my doctor should the need arise.

So, what do you think of the book so far? What comments do you have? Leave them below!

Next week we will be reading Chapters 3, 4, 19, and 32. See you next Thursday with my thoughts.


  1. To say I have been obsessed with the Trim Healthy Mama book is an under statement! I have jumped in with both feet, joining the facebook group and soaking it all in.
    I was very interested in ch31 since I am living that part of my life now of going 3 months or so without my monthly then having it show up out of nowhere. I found her writing to be very informative in this area but as you mention this is not an area to just try this or that without alot of reseach on what will work best for you.
    I too love eggs and am glad they are on plan, enjoyed looking over all of the breakfest recipes in ch18.
    Ch1 & 2 are also interesting as I see a bit of myself in both- My being a vegetarian may not fit this program perfectly but we will see.
    Thanks again Nicole for doing this book study, I always enjoy reading your thoughts : )

    1. Thank you for joining me in reading this book! I have a feeling there is lots more learning to come!!! It will be interesting to see how you incorporate the plan into a vegetarian lifestyle. Please share!!!

  2. I had already skimmed the entire book and now I am going back and reading the chapters as they are assigned. I most certainly was a whole grain Jane. Sadly, I have spent the last 2 years converting my family to the same. This time (at least for now), I am leaving my families diet alone and making this journey on my own. After I see consistent results, I will slowly incorporate it into our family meals.

    So far, I have sampled a few recipies (most that I really like). I decided to start with one meal a day and do this slowly. I started with breakfast. Eggs and steel cut oats have been my favorites so far. Funny thing is that my body is already craving certain foods at other meals that actually follow the guidelines. And that is after week one!! So I am ver hopeful and encouaged thus far by this lifestyle change.

    I believe there is a lot of truth spoken in chapter 31. Although I disagree with a few points that I have researched myself. For example, I prefer saliva hormone testing for greater accuracy. Also, I have used progesterone cream with great success and discovered less mood swings, shorter cycles and weightloss while using it.


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