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

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.

trim healthy mama during pregnancy

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.

Third Anniversary Date at Home

Kip and I celebrated three years of marriage yesterday!  Thanks to a week of off & on freezing rain, sleet, snow, sunshine, and then back to freezing rain, (Hey, Texas.) our plans for a night out to Top Golf got cancelled. So, a date night at home it was!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetGoogling “At Home Date Night Ideas” comes up with a bunch of blogs that all say the same thing. And I promise you’ve probably already thought of most of them. Haha. We opted to eat a snack with the babies while they ate dinner, and made a plan to have our date after they went to bed. I am 0% a good cook (can we talk about how the steak looks black in this photo?), but this meal came together pretty easily and quickly! I chose our favorite bottle of wine, and literally planned the meal off of what the bottle said it would pair well with. We so classy!

Some quick Pinterest-ing in the middle of Target turned up these recipes for sirloin steak and bacon-wrapped + cream cheese + craisin stuffed jalepenos. Whoa baby. The steak was pretty good, but those peppers? I could eat them for dinner every night. I also roasted some red potatoes (started those before bed-time routine because they take so long!) and threw together a wedge salad. BAM baby. (P.S., aside from the potatoes and wine, we totally had a Trim Healthy Mama friendly anniversary dinner! BAM. AGAIN.)

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After dinner we sat on the living room floor, played three rounds of Phase 10, and laughed so hard our sides hurt. All that to say, sometimes the unplanned dates turn out to be the sweetest! I am grateful for three years with this sweet man who loves me so well.

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Love, H.

34 Week Bump

trim healthy mama pregnancy

34 weeks.

My first pregnancy, I had a new bump picture almost every week. These have been few and far between… because, well, the times when I get dressed and look decent enough for a photo op are rare. 😉

In the last week or so, I have reached the “I am so done.” phase. I try so hard not to complain, but every once in a while it kind of builds up and overflows. :/ My husband is so sweet and encouraging, and lately has kept me laughing so much I have hardly had time to be too grumpy. 😉 For the first time my left hip is kind of constantly hurting, which makes me waddle and moan like an old woman. Or a whale. Yeah, whale sounds more like it. 😉 I think it is because this baby is so low! Rosie was always up in my ribs, but not this little boy. He’s getting ready to make his entrance!

Sidenote: Rosie has picked up on what makes Mama moan and grunt… So, now when I drop something on the floor or grab the hard-to-open jar of coconut oil, she usually beats me to the “urrghhhhh!” noises. 😉 It is hilarious and embarrassing. What am I teaching this girl?!

Last night, I drank coffee on our drive home from visiting in-laws in a desperate attempt to stay awake/sane. (Edit: haha, it sounds like I meant sane from visiting in-laws. I meant from the long drive with a sick, fussy babe 😉 For the record, I have wonderful in-laws!) I’ve not had coffee much recently, and especially not in the evening. The result was me up late cleaning our disastrous kitchen and thinking about the last 6ish weeks of pregnancy ahead. I determined, in my over-enthusiastic state, to do my best to make these last few weeks good. I am tempted to throw myself headlong into a pit of despair. Really, I am. But who wants to live with that person for over a month? Not me, and not my family.

Life is about to change in a big way. I am enjoying every family Walmart trip, every dinner, every night of (mostly) uninterrupted sleep, and every impromptu walk around Cabela’s while it’s just the three of us. Soon, we will be four and things will not be as easy or simple. But who ever wanted easy, anyway? 🙂 Our lives are about to grow, our love about to multiply, and our purpose deepen. Samuel, baby, Mama can’t wait to hold you. 

Looking forward,
H.

Trim Healthy Mama in Pregnancy [Update]

trim healthy mama in pregnancy
Since I began the book 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.

[All that to say: 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.

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. (I am 5’8.) 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, 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, NuNaturals 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! 🙂 I also plan to share a few tips for those who are just starting Trim Healthy Mama, who may feel like they can’t do it on a budget. It takes some figurin’, but it CAN be done. Otherwise we couldn’t do it either. 😉

I hope all my rambling made some sense! And if you have any question(s) at all, please email me at asrosebudblooms@gmail.com. I’m still learning too, but will answer what questions I can. 🙂

Two months left!
Love,
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