My Top Five Tips for Trim Healthy Mama While Nursing

I have received a couple of emails asking for advice/tips for following Trim Healthy Mama while nursing a baby, especially from those who want to try THM but are nervous to start while breastfeeding. And I totally get that! We want our bodies back, but we don’t want to sacrifice milk supply to do so. Both of those are excellent goals to strive for. So, is it possible to start Trim Healthy Mama while breastfeeding? I think it is! (I will also say, I am not a health professional by any stretch of the imagination, just a Mama who’s followed THM for the better part of two years. The following is based on my experience with Trim Healthy Mama while breastfeeding. Always listen to your doctor or midwife!) 

Trim Healthy Mama while NursingMy Top 5 Tips for being a Trim Healthy Mama While Nursing a Baby (or while there’s one in the oven!)

1. Protein, Protein, Protein!
Keeping plenty of snacks and ingredients for quick meals is absolutely essential for me to stay on plan. I am always hungry while nursing, but without enough protein I am ravenous and grumpy. Haha. Blocks of cheese, eggs, pistachios & almonds, canned tuna, canned wild-caught salmon, greek yogurt, protein powder for smoothies, and individual portions of cooked chicken breast are my go-to’s. This is my favorite method for preparing chopped chicken breasts, but if I’m hurried or feeling a little bit lazy, I’ll just throw them in the crockpot and shred it once it’s cooked. Use plastic baggies and store the smaller portions in the freezer, and you’ll always know you have something healthy to fall back on when you’re hangry. 😉

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2. Do not fear the Crossover.
Seriously. Go for it. Now, I am not a Trim Healthy Mama Facebook approved admin or anything, but my advice is this: it’s better to eat a combination of good protein, healthy carbs, and good-for-you fats (a “crossover” in THM terms) than to find yourself starving an hour or two later and fall prey to the kids’ Teddy Grahams because you’re too hungry to make an on-plan decision.

So, for example, say you want to have an “S” breakfast of eggs cooked in coconut oil + half an avocado + berries + coffee with cream. That’s an awesome breakfast with tons of good fats for you and baby. But if you’re still hungry, or feel hungry again an hour later, or you just feel totally drained, eat something “E”, like half a banana + yogurt, or a piece or two of Ezekiel toast, etc. You will still be eating foods that are good for you and on-plan, but you also won’t be sacrificing your milk supply for a “diet”, if you can call it that.

That being said, if you want to continue to alternate between S & E meals every three hours as Serene & Pearl recommend, there are more options to make your meals more filling if you find yourself with plenty of milk for baby and you have more weight to lose. Increase your protein in your meals and make sure you are drinking plenty of hydrating fluids. You may find yourself able to alternate S & E meals, lose weight, and keep putting pounds on your nursling just fine! That wasn’t the case for me (as I wrote here), but if you can, more power to you! Go girl! The bottom line is, I’d rather eat more on-plan foods and fudge the three-hour rule a little bit, than sacrifice milk supply or feel super hungry all the time.

Trim Healthy Mama while Nursing 3. Keep healthy desserts on hand at all times.
I have a major sweet tooth. I can’t hide it. If anyone even mentions cinnamon rolls, I can’t turn them down. I always do better at staying on track when I have a sweet option for myself in the house. I love these chocolate chip cheesecake bars, this pumpkin chia pudding (topped with homemade whipped cream, it tastes like pumpkin pie!), the choco pudding recipe from the book, or just a simple bowl of greek yogurt + blueberries. Also, keeping in tune with Tip #2, making a couple pieces of cinnamon toast with butter or coconut oil, stevia, and cinnamon is a comfort food for me and always satisfies my cinnamon-sugar craving!

4. Stay Hydrated – fill your fridge with plenty to drink!
If you want to have success at Trim Healthy Mama while nursing, drinking plenty of fluids is essential. I like to keep a half-gallon mason jar of Good Girl Moonshine (tweaked to how I like it) in the fridge, and sometimes another container of Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger, sweetened with stevia. I like those because they are quick and simple to make. If I’m feeling more adventurous I’ll make a batch of The Shrinker or the Singing Canary. I am a coffee lover, and sometimes I can forget to drink enough hydrating fluids. I get bored with water, so having an alternative when I’m tempted to want something sweet is super helpful. Other options are Zevia soda, Vitamin Water (sweetened with Erythritol), or La Croix.

Trim Healthy Mama while Nursing 5. Listen to your body.
All in all, it is so important for each of us to realize that we are likely very different from the next woman in how our bodies react to certain foods. What works for one person might do the opposite for another. If you are trying to pursue Trim Healthy Mama while breastfeeding and your milk supply is taking a hit, or you just feel like it’s “not working”, consider what other ways the plan might work for you. More Crossovers? Less Crossovers? More E meals in your week? More S? Are you dehydrated? Does a particular sweetener hurt your stomach, but you find you like a suitable alternative? That’s okay! Figure out how to make it work for you.

I recently read on someone’s Instagram that “Your best weight is whatever weight you reach when you’re living the healthiest life you actually enjoy.” Walk in freedom, dear friend!

On a personal note, I didn’t lose all the weight I wanted to until Samuel weaned. I lost a good bit of it, to the point where I at least felt more comfortable in my own skin, but it took my hormones calming down for the rest of it to come off. So if your goal is to make healthier choices and keep up your milk supply, I think THM is an excellent way to do that! If it feels like it’s “not working”, it may just be from hormones. Over time and change of seasons it will prove itself to work. I am confident in that, because choosing whole foods always works. THM just provides new information and recipes to keep a healthy lifestyle interesting!

Did I answer your question? Do you have more? Keep the emails coming, it makes me so happy to hear from you!

Love,
H

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Trim Healthy Mama While Breastfeeding

trim healthy mama while nursingUpdate: Read my Top Five Tips for Trim Healthy Mamas While Nursing here! To read my personal story, keep reading below. 🙂 

I shared my experience with THM during pregnancy, but I have to say I have had much more success with Trim Healthy Mama while breastfeeding. I really, really don’t want to do a “look at me” post, but I want to encourage those who are considering the Trim Healthy Mama diet while nursing a babe. It isn’t always easy, and the journey doesn’t look the same for every person. This is just my version of the story for those who are interested! 🙂

Those who follow this type of diet tend to use a certain “lingo.” 🙂 The intention is not to leave anyone out of the loop, but to simplify the discussion of what kind of meals we are eating. I highly recommend purchasing and reading this book to further understand these concepts!

The biggest difference about following Trim Healthy Mama while nursing is the inclusion of more Crossovers in your diet, and the shortened waiting period between meals, if you feel you need either of these things. It is typically suggested to wait three hours between meals or “switching fuels” (switching between an S meal and an E meal), but for pregnant women or mothers nursing a hungry baby every 2 hours around the clock, eating when you’re hungry and staying hydrated is very important. Including more protein in your meals and snacks will fight off any blood sugar spikes that lead to excessive weight gain, or, ya know, being a hangry Mama bear. 😉

All in all, each person is unique, and will find they have their own needs. I personally found that while I was pregnant with Samuel, I felt most satisfied if I had one crossover every couple days, and I could usually wait the entire 3 hours between meals. However, while I was nursing, I needed to eat smaller portions every 2 hours. For a couple weeks toward the end of the Summer, the scale stopped moving, but I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be. I realized I had been sticking to mostly S meals. I started eating almost all crossovers, and committed to exercising at least 10 minutes a day, five days a week. Within a few weeks Samuel was chubbier than ever, and I was definitely less so. Wahoo!

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If none of that makes sense to you, here’s a simple version. 🙂 Trim Healthy Mama recipes include ingredients like coconut oil, real butter, oatmeal, lentils, wild-caught salmon, ground flax seed, eggs, grilled chicken breasts, lean ground turkey, sprouted grain breads (like Ezekiel Bread or Gwen’s Nest Homemade Bread), quinoa, brown rice, chia seeds, and lots of yummy greens. Most of all, desserts sweetened with stevia and made with almond or coconut flours are what really keep me from falling off the wagon every day.
P.S. If you need more recipe ideas, I have a ton pinned on my Trim Healthy Mama Pinterest Board!

If you want to know how to lose weight while breastfeeding while still maintaining a healthy milk supply, THM is a fantastic resource. If you are willing to work at it, this way of eating provides a framework for a healthy lifestyle. This is not a crash diet, nor a get-skinny-quick scheme, but a way of eating that is enjoyable and sustainable for a lifetime of changing seasons, including pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What are your questions about diet while nursing a baby? I’d love to chat with you!
Love,
H

Trim Healthy Mama During Pregnancy | Trim Healthy Mama Review

trim healthy mama pregnancy and nursing

If you’re wondering if starting Trim Healthy Mama halfway into your pregnancy can make a difference, I am here to tell you: absolutely, yes! 

I began reading and implementing THM about halfway through my second pregnancy. Before I began implementing the “plan”, I was gaining weight pretty rapidly (more than 1lb per week, even early on) mostly due to a combination of nausea and a lot of emotional eating. Having a teething 7 month old and a bun in the oven can do that! Lots of pasta, sweets, and easy comfort foods were on deck for me, and it all stuck to me like crazy.

THM centers around eating plenty of protein, healthy fats (coconut oil, olive oil, real butter), wholesome carbohydrates (root veggies, sprouted grains), fresh veggies, and learning to replace sugary treats with deceivingly toothsome desserts made with healthy ingredients that do not spike your blood sugar. The recipes in this book are chock full of nutrients such as Omega-3‘s, lauric acid, vitamin C, protein, and folic acid, all of which are necessary for pregnant mamas and the little ones developing inside.

When I began to change my eating habits in accordance with THM’s suggestions, my weight gain slowed down significantly – 1lb or less per week – while baby continued to measure at a healthy size. If you’ve ever wondered how to have more energy during pregnancy, this is the way to do it! I felt great. I felt satisfied with my diet and encouraged at each check up when my midwife was pleased with my healthy weight gain. (Is Trim Healthy Mama safe during pregnancy?) I still splurged on the occasional Chick-fil-A or Dr Pepper, but for the most part I really stuck to THM guidelines for several weeks. I truly believe these months of healthy eating are what kept me from gaining too much in the end!

However, I ended up getting totally derailed. I think that happened sometime around the last 6 weeks… around Rosie’s first birthday party. SO MUCH LEFTOVER CAKE. Haha. But really, when I look back on photos of myself during those last 2 months, I can’t believe how big I was. I can very obviously see the weight in my face and hips. I mean, I know I was pregnant, but still! I did my best to eat well, but I wasn’t 100% committed…. and it showed. So like I said, if you’re reading this half way through your pregnancy, and wondering if changing your diet now will help at all? Let me just say, from my experience… in all caps… YES.

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On my due date. Oy. Rosie had a nice little seat there, haha!

At the end of my pregnancy at 41.5 weeks, I had gained between 35-40 pounds. While that is technically within a healthy range for me, it is more than I believe I should have gained, which I credit to that last stretch of impatience and more emotional eating. Can you tell that’s a big weakness for me? Now that I’ve had more practice with THM while breastfeeding over the last year, I honestly believe that if we are given another baby, I will gain an even healthier (read: smaller ;)) amount of weight by eating this way.

Thankfully, my sweet baby boy arrived healthy as can be, and following Trim Healthy Mama while breastfeeding has swiftly transferred all those extra pounds from me to him. 😉

trim healthy mama while nursing

2 weeks & 10 months post partum!

 

If you have questions about a healthy diet during pregnancy, or how to lose weight while breastfeeding, I’d love to help if I can! Shoot me an email. I’d love to chat! Also check out THM’s FAQ’s here.

“Overdue”

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Photos taken by my Mother-in-law on my due date, yesterday. Yep, I’m officially big enough for Rosie to saddle up and ride my belly.

Had contractions last night and this morning that actually hurt, but they have subsided as of now. I’m on my way to a checkup with my Midwife in about 30 minutes. I suddenly found myself paranoid last night that Samuel might be posterior, so I’m praying for an encouraging visit that reveals that he’s right where he needs to be!

Just a short update. I still appreciate and strongly desire your prayers.

“Your grace abounds in deepest waters,
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide.
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me,
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise,
My soul will rest in Your embrace,
For I am Yours and You are mine.”

Trusting (because what else can you do?),
H

Trim Healthy Mama During Pregnancy [Update]

trim healthy mama during pregnancySince I shared my Trim Healthy Mama review several months ago, I’ve jumped on and off the THM-train several times.

I will be honest; it takes a while to fully comprehend everything the book explains about how a woman’s hormones work, how different foods effect our blood sugar levels, and how separating healthy fats (“Satisfying” or “S” Meals) and healthy carbs (“Energizing” or “E” meals) can help us achieve healthy weight loss, gain, or maintenance. It took putting the principles into practice to finally wrap my head around a new way of eating.

[If you just got this book and are feeling confused: just keep trying! It eventually all makes sense, and messing up while trying is waaaay better than just chunking the book in the fireplace and reaching for that pint of Blue Bell.]

Well, back before we lost both our computers (RIP) in the same week, I promised an open, honest look into how THM would effect my pregnancy. So, here ya go!

When our computers crashed, so did my copy of THM. I have the e-Book version, which is very helpful for searching for recipes or page numbers when I know exactly what I’m looking for, but not so helpful when my computer just flashes an angry looking apple at me every time I try to turn it on. Hence, a couple months off-plan and not-so-fun, but not-SO-terrible weight gain. But! now we have a new computer (yay!) and my resolve to be a Trim Healthy Mama while pregnant was renewed at the beginning of this year. I have been following the THM way of eating fairly strictly (meaning minimal “cheats”) since the end of December of 2013.

trim healthy mama in pregnancy

For starters, I am 5’8, and I started my pregnancy at… (gulp, oh boy, here we go…) about 147lb. Ugh, because 145 feels dishonest and 150 sounds too high. We all know how the weight fluctuation goes. Well, during the first trimester I gained a quick 5-7 pounds in just a few weeks, that slowed down once I started applying the basic principles of THM to my diet. (i.e., separating carbs and fats for different meals, less white bread/sugar and more protein, etc…) During the second, well, having no book meant a great excuse to eat whatever I wanted and my weight gain stayed at a pretty consistent 1lb+ gain a week. Holidays came and went and while I made no major jumps on the scale, I felt tired and just generally lack-luster. (I was also terribly emotional, but that’s normal pregnant-Hannah.) I ended the year sitting at about 168.

Then… came January. 🙂 I decided to purchase a few “special” ingredients in the book: whey protein powder, pure stevia powder, Oolong tea, and glucomannan. Let’s just say, this month I’ve been sipping on frappuccinos, eating chocolate cake and bacon for breakfast (yes really), eating salmon and broccoli smothered in butter, and I recently even made homemade “Skinny Peanut Butter Cups.” We’ve enjoyed yummy bean soups (“E” and so cheeeaaapppp) twice this month, as well as hamburgers and creamed spinach. Oh, and cheesecake. Gah. I could go on. I love this food. I will also say that a couple of times I have had my beloved Chick-fil-a, a couple Dr Peppers, and soooo much yummy non-plan food during Rosie’s birthday party and Samuel’s baby shower weekend. And in one month, I have gained about 3 pounds. The scale currently says 171- about 4lb gain in 6 weeks. (HELLO HONESTY.) That is compared to the previous months when I probably gained 4-6lb per month. I have had so much energy, I have almost completely stopped drinking coffee out of “necessity” and occasionally have some as a treat (which is HUGE for me. HUGE. I’m a known coffee addict! Or, well, I was!). My attitude has improved and my husband has enjoyed (most) of what I’ve cooked for him. 🙂 Plus, I am feeding Samuel (and Rosie!) tons of healthy fats, protein, Omega-3’s, and folic acid.

The other night I crawled into bed and said, “Kip.. can I tell you something?” Which of course cued an alarm for him. Haha. “I really think I will be skinny after we have this baby!” This way of eating is totally doable- not only that, but enjoyable. If your “diet” is something you can’t enjoy practicing for the rest of your life, it won’t work. Period.

I’m thankful for the tons research Serene and Pearl did and for all the hard work they put into writing such an extensive book on women’s health!

I will do one more update pregnancy-wise for THM, and then, Lord-willing it will be time for breastfeeding and watching the scale move back down! 🙂 So, I guess you could call this Trim Healthy Mama review a work in progress. 😉

Two months left!
Love,
H

Trim Healthy Mama in Pregnancy

7649e2dd3e161e8af6e8c841c602461eI have to tell you something. I have been reading a magic wonder book of deliciousness. Really. This is my Trim Healthy Mama review. I have to be completely honest about this book- it. is. great. No sad salads here!

Y’all, I’ve always been all over the charts with how I eat. I’ve always swung from one extreme to the other- fast food all day, err day (“Drive-Thru Sue” as THM might call me), to attempting veganism, vegetarianism, and eventually Paleo because I just like meat too much. Also, let’s not even talk about the time my college  roommate and I did the Master Cleanse. So bad!

What I love about this book is how Serene and Pearl look at what Scripture says about food. In the world of nutrition you can have three different doctors telling you three different, totally contradicting opinions on what a healthy diet looks like. So frustrating! Who do we believe? For these co-authoring sisters, it came down to listening to what God has to say about the food he created for his people. This is an inclusive diet plan that encompasses all food groups and teaches us how to eat them wisely so our bodies can receive the most benefit from them. If you’re on the fence about this book, buy it. At about $35, it seems a bit steep, but there are tons and tons of recipes included. Totally worth it.

Another aspect of THM I’m enjoying? I don’t feel like I have to run to the store and buy 20 expensive items I may or may not use again. Often, when looking for healthy recipes, I will run out to the store to buy ingredients for that one recipe, only to find that is the only recipe I have that uses those ingredients. Can anyone else relate, or am I just uncreative? Anyways, these recipes are simple and budget friendly- two very important qualities in this household. While there are a couple natural sweeteners and flours I had never used prior to reading this book, the price is not unmanageable and I have many options to use each one. 

Now comes time for the real testimony. Friends, I’m going to invite you into the kitchen and onto the scales with me during this pregnancy. EEEEEP! Talk about accountability (read: pressure)! Some of my favorite and most encouraging bloggers are ones who have made themselves transparent about sometimes difficult issues, and weight is definitely one of those issues.

This will be an ongoing “series” of sorts, but I will start with this: my first several weeks of pregnancy (from like 6-10 weeks) involved a lot of emotional eating. Yeah, it happens. Somewhere in the middle of my first trimester I had gained probably 5-7 pounds rather quickly. Embarrassing. Like I said, it happens! Well, since reading Trim Healthy Mama and kinda-sorta putting half an effort into their principles, my weight gain has slowed and I’ve even dropped 1-2 pounds!  My goal here is not to lose weight, of course, but to stay in a healthy weight gain range for pregnancy and prepare my body for the “mawathon of wabor.”

Anyone else reading this book? You can Follow me on Pinterest for more recipe ideas! ❤

Love,
H

First Pregnancy Update

Here it is, my first pregnancy update! 🙂

It took a little while for me to be excited about being pregnant again. Don’t get me wrong- we were always excited about another person in our family, but first-trimester nausea and initial shock kept me from remembering the things I enjoyed about my first pregnancy. Once I got past  those things and started pulling out my old maternity clothes… I finally got the warm fuzzies. 🙂

We interviewed a new midwife last week, and I have to say- I am incredibly excited and thankful to have found her and the birth center we chose this time! With Rosie, we met several midwives at a birth center in our town, but we never knew who would be on call when delivery day came.  In the end, it was a midwife we had never met! (You can read all about how that turned out here.) This time around, we are hiring a midwife. In her words, she will be at my birth unless she is “dead on the side of the road.” We pray that doesn’t happen! 😉

All that to say, we got some blood work done a few weeks ago, and those results showed I would now be 11-12 weeks pregnant. Well, after talking to the midwife, we realized that by my cycle I should be about 13-14 weeks pregnant- same as my older sister!!! Kathaleen, our midwife, scheduled a sonogram for tomorrow so we could determine a more reliable due date. We are so excited to “see” our little baby for the first time! We don’t plan on being able to determine the gender quite yet, but if we can….. 🙂

On another note, I am excited to share that I have been reading what is becoming a top seller on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, Trim Healthy Mama! The authors, Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison, were kind enough to send me a copy to read and review. I’m excited to implement the lessons they’ve learned throughout my pregnancy. I’m still in the middle of reading the book, but I’ve already tried some of their recipes and ideas in the kitchen. I can tell I have much more energy and a generally better attitude when I’ve eaten the way they’ve suggested. I can’t wait to finish the book and share what I learn with you all!

Anyone else pregnant? Or have two babies close together? I’d love to hear from you and keep up with you!

Love,
H