Trim Healthy Mama can be an eating plan for life. It is flexible and adjustable as in its essence it is an educational framework, not a diet.
Over the last 8 years I have followed the plan somewhat religiously and at other times (often whenever moving house) I have abandoned all healthy eating in favour of convenience – and regretted it. In more recent times, I have been struggling with more health issues (which are in no way a reflection of THM – more so my body, my lifestyle and circumstances) in particular hypoglycemia and worsening fatigue. So I’ve been tweaking my diet to try and stabilise my blood sugar levels. THM is fantastic at helping to stabilise BSL but for some reason my body has decided to revolt.
After several years of eating the THM way and eating off plan on several occasions I have come to learn that *I* can go off plan occasionally and the sky will not fall in. I know that I can eat some off plan items without a negative reaction and both my body and my mind cope just fine.
Labels can sometimes be helpful in quickly helping others to understand who we are or what we do but they are very ineffective and only partly truthful. I don’t particularly like labels although I do, at times, use them. But in order to be honest with myself and others it is important that I not confine myself to one label. My eating for health isn’t just a blog category, nor a protocol, nor a bunch of rules. For many years I’ve been learning about nutrition and food as medicine. It’s not just a vague interest, it’s a passion! I learn things, experiment with them and either toss the ideas, file them in the deep recesses of my mind or put them into practice. I’ve experimented with primal, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, whole food/plant based, very low carb/high fat and more.
THM as a Framework
Yet THM is and will likely always be my framework. My template. Not a dietary restriction that I must abide by or else. My life is too busy, too full, too rich, too everything to be bound by more rules. yet, without some sort of framework my health would deteriorate into something that leaves me with no functioning life. I need some sort of template in order to function and work towards health.
What This Looks Like
I am careful about the food products I buy. I try not to purchase off plan foods. However, I don’t freak out or pay ridiculous amounts of money just to buy an on plan dressing so I can avoid a seed oil. I mainly eat THM dressings anyway but on occasion I do use a store bought dressing and it may even have seed oils in it. I don’t freak out – I don’t view these foods as good and evil or clean and dirty. I simply don’t eat it often or regularly. I have my own foods that my body doesn’t tolerate, even though they are on plan – quinoa and oats don’t like me all that much.
Some of my best online and offline friends are strict THM/Paleo/GAPS people and they are wonderful people. I’m super glad they still love me. And that they are happy in what they do. I need to be happy too, and for me that, that involves eating off plan occasionally with my beloved or with my family. For that does the heart and soul very good.
My SimplySusan version of THM does not make me feel restricted, deprived. I don’t feel like I am a failing THMer or that I’m doing it wrong because I don’t live in a box with a label on it – I am a child of God who fuels her body for health and pleasure. And that’s okay. Any diet (we all have a diet, it’s not a negative, restrictive word) should not make you feel like a loser, deprived, make you feel you aren’t following the rules, feel guilt, shame or less than as a person. Your identity should not be in a diet, a plan, a lifestyle or any kind of label. My identity is in Christ!
This is the THM plan tweaked for me and my lifestyle. Do I recommend the THM lifestyle for everyone? You bet I do! I wholeheartedly suggest reading and implementing THM to anyone who needs to start improving their health or change their weight. (Notice I didn’t just say ‘weight loss’ – THM is for anyone and everyone). For those with conditions that are aggravated by certain foods like heartburn, leaky gut, digestive issues, etc. then yes! Go with THM. The knowledge you’ll learn will likely blow your socks off! And the plan is so do-able. You’ll learn lots about your own body and also about health and nutrition. After awhile, simply tweak it to suit your needs. Use it as a framework to create your ideal diet. This will be the diet that makes you feel more vibrant, more energetic, more peaceful and stronger. It will be a diet that will nourish your body and mind, that will allow you freedom to enjoy all types of foods, in all types of situations. It will be the opposite of guilt, shame, etc.
Originally written in 2016. Updated 2021.