When I first started Trim Healthy Mama over 6 years ago, the plan was brand new and I had no idea what I was doing! My sister in law heard about it and thought it sounded like a plan I’d be interested in doing, so I dove in with 2 feet!! Little did I know I would feel completely overwhelmed and confused. The food sounded tasty and the idea of “food freedom” kept me going. There was definitely a learning curve, but once it clicked and I experienced the food freedom, I was hooked! I’ve never looked back. The one thing that has really helped me in being able to follow this amazing plan, other than getting to have chocolate everyday ;), has been to simplify, simplify, simplify!! I feel like a lot of people over- complicate this plan then just throw in the towel. The truth is, you can make this plan as easy or as complicated as you want. Here are 7 tips that have helped me simplify this amazing plan over the years.
- Have a meal plan. I know, I know, this sounds like more work, but actually having a plan saves you time and money. I don’t always follow my plan, but having on plan groceries in the house and some idea of what I’m eating for the week not only ensures I’m eating a variety of food and fuels, but it also it takes away the stress of figuring out what to eat during that bewitching evening hour right before dinner. If you would like some ideas as to how you can meal plan more efficiently, feel free to download my free menu planning guide by signing up for my weekly email updates 🙂
- Don’t complicate breakfasts and lunches. I do not spend a lot of time on these two meals. I have 5 kiddos and most mornings and afternoons are so hectic that I usually eat these two meals standing up (yes ideally I should be sitting down and savoring them, but in the season of life I’m in, I often don’t). I eat my go to breakfasts and lunches and it works well for me! I utilize leftovers a lot 🙂
- Only add 1 new recipe a week. There are so many amazing recipes available to us THMers but sometimes it can be overwhelming. I started a system with my family years ago where we tried 1 new recipe a week and they vote whether or not to keep the recipe in our meal rotation. It’s a fun way to try new recipes without feeling so overwhelmed!!
- Only make 1-2 desserts each week. Again, we have access to so many recipes out there, but if you feel like you have to make a new dessert every single day, you’re going to get burnt out (& doing all of those dishes alone might do you in!) I like to make 1-2 desserts to keep in the freezer so I have them for after meals. If I’m in the mood for something else one day, then I’ll make a simple muffin in the mug, but otherwise I stick to desserts I make in my mini muffin pans to help with portion control. My favorites are no bakes and these peanut butter cups 🙂
- Explore new foods but don’t keep trying recipes that have ingredients in them that your family doesn’t like. It’s best to take the meals your family already likes to eat and to “THMify” them or find healthy ways to make them. I’m sure there is a THM recipe that is similar to a lot of your family’s favorite meals so make it a family affair and ask your kiddos or whoever lives with you to help you find healthy substitutes. Don’t try and reinvent the wheel here. Make the recipes your own. If you find a recipe you want to try and you think it might taste better if you add this or that ingredient or sub out an ingredient, then do it! It’s fun to be able to experiment in the kitchen and to use the spices and foods you are already used to using & that you enjoy.
- Find pockets of time to prep. I do not like prepping in large chunks of time. If I try to do that, I will surely fail because it’s hard to find that kind of time and I don’t enjoy it. What I like to do is make a carb source for the week at the beginning of each week, whether that’s quinoa, sweet potatoes, or brown rice. I also make a huge salad on Italian night so I have enough for dinner and to eat on throughout the week. I make desserts during a free afternoon. If I make a casserole, I try and make enough for leftovers. The point is to be efficient with the time you have & to make it very doable. Some weeks I don’t make a dessert because I have plenty from the week before. Finding pockets of time has been working for me for years and I highly recommend you try it out!
- Look at this plan as long term. We all have health goals and our goal weight that we want to achieve but enjoy the journey! If you think of this plan as something you’ll do until you lose your desired weight it will be hard to stick with it. But if you embrace this as your new eating lifestyle, then it will become easier the more you do it and the changes you make will become something you enjoy, not something you have to “endure”. I tried so many different eating diets or lifestyles before I found THM, but I will never go back. Once you embrace this lifestyle, get over the learning curve, and find your groove it truly becomes Food Freedom!!
I hope this gave you a few tips you can use in your own health journeys. I’d love to hear from you, what kinds of things help you to simply THM?