Antibiotic-Free Diet for Health & Weight Loss

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Let me state from the outset of this post that I am a layperson when it comes to nutritional health research. However, that does not prevent me from accessing the vast amounts of information online and elsewhere (and taking a college class in nutrition here and there) in my quest for answers to my insatiable desire to learn more about health.

I recently watched Dr. Oz’s show and his interview with Dr. Martin Blaser regarding the deleterious effects of over-used antibiotics on human health and obesity.1  Not only is there a link between prescribed antibiotics and obesity in America, but antibiotics in our meats, dairy products and eggs seem to be a problem, as well. (I highly recommend that you watch Dr. Oz’s program to learn more. See link in references below.)

Why do antibiotics that make us fat? Sharon Begley references Dr. Martin Blaser in a 2013 Reader’s Digest article: “The rise of obesity around the world is coincident with widespread antibiotic use,” says Dr. Blaser. “Early exposure to antibiotics may prime children for obesity later in life.”

Antibiotics kill the bad bacteria that cause infection, so sometimes you need to take them. However, those same antibiotics kill a lot of the good bacteria in the gut, as well. Studies show that a deficit of healthy, probiotic flora in the intestinal tract causes or leads to weight gain.2

To make matters worse, some antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin) can increase the prostaglandin ghrelin in the body as much as six times. Ghrelin increases hunger, which leads to overeating. Ghrelin also increases abdominal fat.3

Sharon Begley further explains the reason farmers add antibiotics to food: “The drugs alter the gut bacteria in cattle, pigs, and other animals, substituting bacteria that are better at extracting maximum calories from feed, which makes the animals plump up.”4 If antibiotics make humans fat, of course they make animals fat and when we consume animal products pumped full of antibiotics, they must be making us fat. I should have made the connection before.

This means that our intestinal flora could control whether or not we gain or lose weight. Research shows that thin people have a greater number of bacteroidetes (good bacteria or probiotics) in their intestinal tract than overweight people.

So, my question is: How do we increase the bacteroidetes in our guts?

Ray Sahelian, MD wrote on April 6, 2014 that ingesting the probiotics like acidophilus could replace the harmful bacteria in the gut.5

Another way to increase bacteroidetes in your intestinal tract is to consume raw, whole, unpasteurized, grass-fed, antibiotic-free cow’s or goat’s milk. These types of milk contain the probiotics acidophilus and lactobacillus, as well as the enzymes necessary for digesting proteins in the milk.6 As some of you know, I have been on a mission to locate raw goat or cow milk, because I am allergic to dairy products. I wanted to find out if I would have the same allergies to unpasteurized milks. I have recently had the joy of purchasing a share of a cow and am reaping the benefits of freely consuming delicious, whole, raw dairy products without a single allergic side effects! (And for those of you wondering, it is an A1/A2 Jersey cow.)

To further increase bacteroidetes in your intestinal tract you can consume more prebiotics, a type of dietary fiber that feed the good bacteria in your gut. According to microbiologist Andrew Gewirtz of George State University, bacteroidetes increase in the presence of fructans. Fructans (short for Fructo-oligosaccharides or FOS) are the compounds found in asparagus, artichokes, garlic, and onions.7 FOS or Fructans are also found in high amounts in Jerusalem artichoke, blue agave, chickory, bananas, barley, wheat, jicama, and leeks. Interestingly, FOS has been used as a sweetener in Japan for years.8 This may possibly be yet another key to the mystery of trim, healthy cultures.

I, like so many thousands of other people in America, have been consuming lean chicken breasts and egg whites in order to lose weight and inches of fat, not realizing until Dr. Oz’s interview with Dr. Blaser that the antibiotics in the meat could be inhibiting my efforts. Since that show, I have begun making the switch to organic proteins. Of all diets this is probably one of the healthiest and easiest, so I might as well experiment on myself. (By the way, organic means antibiotic-free when it comes to meat, dairy and eggs.) After nearly two weeks I am still not completely antibiotic-free, because I don’t want to waste the foods I have already purchased. As soon as we finish up the antibiotic-infused foods in our house I’ll really get down to testing this antibiotic-free diet.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress and if any others of you are trying the “antibiotic-free diet” or have been on it for some time already, I’d love to hear from you. I have a lot of questions: Is it working for you? Have you lost weight? Have you been able to keep it off? Have you lost fat? Have you lost inches? Have you gained muscle mass? Are you healthier? Is your immune system stronger?

Thanks for reading!

1. http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/fat-drug-how-antibiotics-make-you-gain-weight

2. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265434.php)

3. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520055519.htm

4. Begley, Sharon. “When Germs are the Good Guys.” Reader’s Digest. October 2013: p. 112.

5. http://www.raysahelian.com/bacteroidetes.html

6. http://www.robinsonfarm.org/FactsRawMilk.html

7. Begley, Sharon. “When Germs are the Good Guys.” Reader’s Digest. October 2013: p. 111

8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fructooligosaccharide

Farewell, Mamas!

After a few months of endeavoring to follow the THM eating plan (and successfully losing weight, I might add), I contacted the authors of the book and Pearl Barrett wrote that she and her sister Serene are in the process of creating a new website and writing a second book—and both will be out this year!

So, whereas I do encourage you to read the Trim Healthy Mama book, I have decided to discontinue blogging about my personal understanding and interpretation of its principles and eagerly look forward to Serene and Pearl’s new website and book which will contain more teaching materials and presentations, better help the THM community, and appeal to readers of all different learning styles.

 Until then, may God bless you in your journey to good health!

Freedom in the Trim Healthy Mama Eating Plan

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One of the reasons I began following the THM eating plan was that authors Serene and Pearl make it very clear that they intend for people to do whatever they need to do, in order to make the plan work for them as individuals. There’s not a lot of pressure in their methods. They don’t want anyone to count points or calories or grams of carbohydrates and fats. Instead, they want you to start thinking about broad categories of foods–foods that are high in healthy fats, fruits and vegetables that are starchy vs. non-starchy, foods that are relatively low in carbohydrates, and foods that don’t contain fats. Then they want you to pay attention to they way you combine certain foods in certain meals. (Watch the video on their website at: http://www.trimhealthymama.com/)

I’ll admit that this new way of eating is taking some time for me to understand and I made a lot of mistakes at first. The wonderful and amazing thing is that THM is very forgiving. I lost weight right from the beginning, even when I made mistakes.

Now I’m excited that my husband is going to join me in my new THM way of life. (Finally!) I have been busily preparing meals for his first two “Deep Cycle” weeks. I’m going to redo those weeks with him and I expect to keep learning and losing weight along the way.

My approach is not your approach and I may not follow THM strictly to the letter all the time. Remember that THM is not a “one size fits all” way of eating. I often experiment with new kinds of healthy sweeteners (ones that are less glycemic, for example) or new types of low-carbohydrate flours. If I gain weight from one of my recipes, I scrap it or tweak it. I’m still trying recipes from the THM book too. (Have you tried their frozen yogurt with strawberries and vanilla? It’s so good! I think it’s the reason my husband is willing to try the THM plan!) I am allergic to dairy fat, so “S” recipes are tricky. I substitute coconut oil and ghee for butter, nonfat cream cheese for regular cream cheese, hemp protein powder for whey protein, and skim milk mozzarella for fatty  cheeses. The point is that my approach fits me and my family and that’s what matters.

I encourage you to try the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan. It may take awhile for you to come up with just the right recipes that work for your weight loss or weight maintenance needs and that’s okay. But also remember that everyone loses weight and inches differently. Some weeks I lose weight; other weeks I lose no weight but I will lose an entire inch all over. I pay close attention to all positive changes in my body and rejoice that my diet and exercise are working better now than ever before.

So, be happy, be free, and don’t stress out. With time and practice you’ll get the hang of the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating and I’m hopeful that you will reap the rewards that I and so many other people are enjoying.

God bless you!

Bananas and the THM Diet

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Serene and Pearl have a lot to say about bananas. Here are some quotes from their book:

“A word about bananas. God made them and they are a wonderful food. We buy them for our children, who are growing and still very insulin sensitive since they have young cells and run around all day. We very rarely eat bananas ourselves, as they are more like potatoes, and can easily fatten an adult. If you don’t want to say a complete goodbye to them, stick to half a banana as a limit when eating E style. Fill up on something else and we have plenty of choices for you.” page 83

“Can we remind you again to please steer clear of bananas, or use only half a banana in an E smoothie?” p. 247

A Question and answer from the Book: I thought bananas were healthy. This is the first time I’ve been told to not eat them. What about other fruits like watermelon, pineapple, and mangoes?

Yes, bananas are healthy. God made them for a purpose. They are excellent for growing children and for people who struggle to keep on weight. !e reason for this is that they are much higher in sugars than the other fruits we suggest. Tropical fruits on a whole have less fiber and more sugar. This doesn’t mean you should totally exclude them from your diet. You can have small amounts of these with E meals, e.g., mango in some salsa, pineapple in some cottage cheese, small piece of watermelon, or half a banana. Personally, we stay away from bananas, but we had addictions to them in the past. Three in one sitting was not beyond us, so they are trigger foods for us.  p. 596

Note: Pearl and Serene recommend using banana extract in several recipes if you still want that banana flavor.

“We call bananas and other high glycemic fruits healthy since God made them, but only for those whose blood sugar can handle them. If something is chock full of vitamins and minerals and yet causes your waistline to expand and spike your blood sugar levels, which is aging and inflammatory, it is not healthy for you.” p. 596

So, how many carbohydrates are in a medium-sized banana? Twenty-seven (27). The THM diet allows 45 grams of carbohydrates in an “E” meal and only 4-9 grams of carbohydrates in an “S” meal. (Essentially zero grams of carbohydrates are allowed in an “FP” meal.)

Does this mean you can go ahead and eat a ¾ of a banana in an “E” meal or snack and not gain weight? Well, you might, but I can’t. When I eat a even 1/2 of a banana I may not gain weight that day, but I know I’m likely not going to lose any weight.

 

Grams of Carbohydrates and Fats Allowed in Weight Loss Meals

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Basically, in my understanding, when you’re eating a high healthy fats meal, you have to keep carbohydrates to nearly zero. When you’re eating a moderate carbohydrate meal, you need to keep the fats to nearly zero.

Here’s a chart to help you:

Grams of

Healthy Fat Meal

Moderate Carbohydrate Meal

Nonfat, Carbohydrate-Free Meal

Carbohydrates

5-6

Up to 45

As close to 0 as possible

Fat

Limitless?

4-7

As close to 0 as possible

Not a Trim Healthy Mama Expert

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I thought I’d just write a quick note reminding everyone that I’m not an expert on the THM diet. I’m completely new to it as of a few months ago. I have read the book through a couple of times now and I’m still learning as I go.

I started writing this blog when a couple of people told me that they couldn’t understand the diet based on the book. I agreed that there were a lot of confusing elements in it. Since I’m adept at writing, editing, and rewriting as part of my profession, I thought I’d make it easier for my friends to follow the THM eating plan by attempting to clarify some things.

Again, let me restate: I am not the expert. Others on my blog have pointed out my misunderstandings and I appreciate their input. I’m the first to admit I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I thought only a few friends would read this blog, so I was surprised when I started receiving emails alerting me that I had followers to my blog. It makes me a little nervous, because I’m afraid my readers will expect me to know everything about this diet and how it works. I don’t.

In spite of my lack of knowledge and understanding, I continue to be amazed at how, even when I make mistakes, and even when I’m not adhering to the THM diet perfectly all the time,  I’m still losing weight. That’s the beauty of it. I want to share the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating with more people, because it’s brilliant and it works!

In conclusion, even though I may not get everything right all the time, the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan is working for me. The food-combining is revolutionary and effective. I’m just a huge THM fan trying to figure it out as I continue heading steadily toward my weight loss goal. I’m enjoying the process and I hope I can help you do the same.

Nonfat, Carb-Free Bread Recipe

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Finding any sort of low carbohydrate bread for a nonfat, carb-free meal is a challenge. The cloud bread recipe I posted earlier is a good one for more of a white bread appearance and flavor, but it can’t be eaten in a nonfat, carb-free meal.

The following recipe is okay for a more whole grain flavor and texture, but I’ll admit it is bland. If anyone can come up with a better bread recipe, I’d really like you to share it. (Should I add more salt, seasonings, slather it with mustard for a sandwich? I’m not sure.)

1-1/2 c almond meal flour
5 T psyllium husk powder
2 t baking powder
1 t sea salt
2-1/2 T apple cider vinegar
3 large egg whites
1 c boiling water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, psyllium husk powder, baking powder and salt. Mix until dry ingredients are well combined. Add in the eggs & vinegar and mix into a thick dough. Add boiling water and mix until well combined and dough is slightly thicker than pancake batter.

Form into 4 to 6 rounds (about 4” in diameter) or one large sub/loaf and place onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 50 minutes for smaller rounds; longer for one large loaf. Remove from the oven and allow to completely.

My 2014 “Trim Healthy Mama” New Year’s Resolution

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I really enjoy the Trim Healthy Mama diet and have steadily and slowly lost weight. But I must emphasize the slow part. I have discovered one negative to the Trim Healthy Mama diet—and it’s entirely my fault: I have become lax in my workout. I was sick for a week; then I became busier and that led to more excuses and sheer laziness. My thinking was, “Why exercise when it’s so easy to lose weight just by eating according to the THM diet?”

So, for my New Year’s resolution for 2014, I will stick to my very effective THM way of eating, but I resolve to get back to my regular exercise routine. Not only will I speed up my weight loss efforts, but I will be stronger and healthier, as well.

Speaking of being stronger and healthier, I was thinking that the THM diet is perfect for those who have physical injuries, are sick, or are so overweight that exercise might be next to impossible. You can start the diet, lose significant weight, get healed up from injuries and illness; then, when you’re ready, incorporate exercise according to your doctor’s recommendations.

I can do this! And so can you!

Happy New Year!

Nonfat, Low-Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Ingredients Grams of Carbohydrate Grams of Fat
Dry Ingredients
1 cup oat flour (You could substitute flax or spelt.) 58.5 0
1 t baking powder 1.2 0
½ t soda 0 0
½ t salt 0 0
½ t cinnamon 0 0
2 T peanut butter 6 16
1 c xylitol 48* 0
Wet Ingredients
1 T molasses 15 0
2 T egg white 0 0
¼ cup applesauce 7 0
½ tsp vanilla 0 0
2 cups quinoa flakes 218 0
.25 cup semisweet chocolate** 41.3 0
.25 cup baking chocolate 8 14
Instructions:Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Combine. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12’. Makes 30 cookies
Total carbs and fats in entire recipe 403 30
Total divided by 30 cookies 13.43 1.2
Number of grams of carbohydrates and fats allowed in a single THM snack 45 4-9

*There are 4 grams of carbohydrates / tsp in NOW brand.

**Please Note: I have also made this recipe with unsweetened baking chocolate. Doing so cuts the refined sugar to zero and reduces the carbs considerably.

Low-Carb Flours

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  • Flax flour
  • Spelt flour
  • Oat flour
  • Defatted peanut flour
  • Psyllium husk powder
  • Quinoa flour

I recently made some low-carb chocolate chip cookies using oat flour. I’ll share the recipe in my next blog, but I thought I’d let you know that I used small chunks and shavings of unsweetened baking chocolate. The xylitol in the cookies is enough to sweeten the chocolate. Again, if you’re accustomed to eating less sugar, the sugar-free cookies taste great. Otherwise, you might want to add more xylitol to the recipe.

Happy New Year!

Counting Carbohydrates and Limiting Fats in Nonfat, Moderate-Carb Meals

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Sometimes I really wish I could add a little more fat to nonfat, moderate-carbohydrate meals, but add too much fat and you’ll start packing on the pounds. (I try to keep moderate-carbohydrate meals or snacks to no more than 45 carbohydrates.)

So, how many grams of fat are in 2 teaspoons? It varies according to the fat in question.

2 teaspoons of peanut butter = 4 grams of fat.

2 teaspoons of almond butter = about 6 grams of fat.

2 teaspoons of Earth Balance margarine = about 7 grams of fat.

What about egg yolks? One egg yolk is equal to 1 Tablespoon. However, there are only 4.5 grams of fat in an egg yolk. Trim Healthy Mama experts advise no more than 4 grams of fat per nonfat, moderate-carbohydrate meal and yet there can be up to 7 grams of fat in 2 teaspoons of some foods, like almond butter or margarine. My conclusion? 4.5 grams of fat has not caused me to gain weight in a nonfat, moderate-carbohydrate meal, so I often go ahead and leave the yolk in my egg. However, that means no margarine—not even the thinnest spread—on my toast. I think it’s a good trade.

Nonfat, Low-Carb Meal Plan Ideas

Macaroni and Cheese: Low-carb Dreamfields pasta with 1 tsp of Earth Balance, a splash of almond milk, and some grated nonfat cheese (like skim mozzarella and parmesan)

Fried egg, skim mozzarella cheese, turkey breast on sprouted grain toast

Carbs + Fat = Weight Gain

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For the past three days I decided to take a break from my diet by mixing a few fats and carbs in one or two meals per day. I didn’t go crazy, but I ate a banana with some peanut butter and 10 plain M&Ms, enjoyed a sandwich with regular, rather than non-sprouted bread, savored a pasta salad with sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts, and ate some low-carb pancakes with some real maple syrup on top.

The first day my weight remained static–no gains, no losses. I can handle that. But, the second and third days I gained weight–not a lot; just a couple of pounds, but I think I have just provided a measurable case study once again proving the science behind a nonfat, low-carb diet (like Ornish or Pritikin) and healthy fats diet (like Atkins). I can have either a healthy fat meal or a nonfat, low-carb meal, but I can’t mix the two. For me:

Carbs + Fat = Weight Gain

Maybe you can mix the two, but I certainly cannot without negative consequences.

Happy Holidays!

Antibiotics and Weight Gain

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Just as a side note today, I want to mention that, in spite of steadily and joyfully losing weight on the THM diet, I have experienced a two-week setback, due to a urinary tract infection and taking the antibiotic ciprofloxacin.

Antibiotics kill the bad bacteria that cause infection, so sometimes you need to take them. However, those same antibiotics kill a lot of the good bacteria in the gut, as well. Studies show that a deficit of healthy, probiotic flora in the intestinal tract causes or leads to weight gain. (See http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265434.php) The short version: Taking antibiotics can cause weight gain if you don’t keep pouring in the probiotics as a countermeasure.

To make matters worse, some antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin) can increase the prostaglandin ghrelin in the body as much as six times. Ghrelin increases hunger, which leads to overeating. Ghrelin also increases abdominal fat. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520055519.htm)

Any way you slice it, antibiotics make you fat. So, do what you have to do to heal your body if you have to take antibiotics. All the while, keep up your probiotic intake. (Make sure you don’t take probiotics within two hours of taking your antibiotic or you’ll waste your efforts.)

Then, when you’re all well again and off the antibiotics, keep taking lots of probiotics and eat probiotic-rich foods, like kimchi, real fermented sauerkraut, real fermented dill pickles, miso, yogurt, kefir, etc. You’ll soon be back to losing that temporary excess weight and abdominal fat.

Low Carb Cloud Bread

Blk & Wh James on Beach

For your protein-based, healthy fat meals there’s very little grain or bread allowed, so I searched the internet and found this recipe for bread made largely of whole eggs. The recipe takes a bit of extra time and effort, since you have to whip the egg yolks and whites separately, bake; then store the bread rounds in plastic bags overnight, but this is now my favorite low-carb bread recipe. I think in the future I’ll experiment with adding some psyllium husk, ground flax seed, or glucommanan. Enjoy!

Cloud Bread

3 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons whole milk cottage cheese or 3 tablespoons cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 gram of xylitol or other sweetener

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Separate the eggs very carefully, there must be no yolk in the white.
3. In one bowl, mix together the egg yolks, the 3 T. of Cottage Cheese OR Cream Cheese and the one packet of Sweetener until smooth.
4. In the other bowl add 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar to the whites and beat the whites on high speed until they are fluffy and form nice peaks.
5. Very carefully fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites until mixed, but try and not break down the fluffiness of the egg whites too much.
6. Spray two cookie sheets with fat-free cooking spray.
7. With a large spoon, “scoop” the mixture into 10 even rounds on the sheets (about the size of the top-half of the McDonalds hamburger bun; roughly 3/4 inch thick and 4 to 5 inches across).
8. Bake on the middle rack. Here is when you have to watch them, because the cooking time the same on any two batches. It is somewhere around 1/2 hour, but it could be less or more. You just need to watch them until them become nice and golden brown like a pancake.
9. Remove from the pans and cool on a rack or cutting board.
10. While warm they are crumbly and similar to cooked meringue – but don’t let this fool you! Once completely cool, seal them in a ziplock storage baggie or a tupperware overnight. They will totally change their consistency, to something much more like bread – a softer texture that is nice and chewy. If you do not like softer chewy bread, then eat them as they are, nice and crisp.

I even added some pecans, cinnamon, and xylitol to a couple of rounds and enjoyed what was very similar to a cinnamon roll.

Copied from http://www.food.com/recipe/carb-free-cloud-bread-411501

Starchy, High-Carb Vegetables vs. Non-Starchy, Low-Carb Vegetables Chart

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Because the starchy (high carbohydrate) vs. non-starchy (low carbohydrate) vegetables are so important to keep separate in the my low-carb/nonfat and healthy fats diet, I came up with yet another chart to help me keep them straight.

Here’s a recap: low-carb/nonfat meals can contain either starchy or non-starchy vegetables (although the starchy, high-carb vegetables must still be limited). Nonfat/no-starchy carbs meals and high healthy fat meals cannot contain starchy, high-carb vegetables, unless they’re strictly limited and there are no other starches or grains in the meal.

Non-Starchy Vegetables1

Starchy vegetables2

  • Amaranth or Chinese spinach
  • Artichoke
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Asparagus
  • Baby corn
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Beans (green, wax, Italian)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage (green, bok choy, Chinese)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chayote
  • Cucumber
  • Daikon
  • Eggplant
  • Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)
  • Hearts of palm
  • Jicama
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Pea pods
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Salad greens (chicory, endive, escarole, lettuce, romaine, spinach, arugula, radicchio, watercress)
  • Sprouts
  • Squash (cushaw, summer, crookneck, spaghetti, zucchini)
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomato
  • Turnips
  • Water chestnuts
  • Yard-long beans
  • Beans (dried)
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash, winter
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Yams
  • Parsnips
  • Plantain
  • Taro
1 Copied from http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/non-starchy-vegetables.html 2 Copied from http://www.md-health.com/Starchy-Vegetables.html

Lowfat Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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Okay, so I’m not a chef, so let me make that clear from the get-go. Also, I have been off of refined sugars for almost 8 months now (with a few innocuous weekly cheats now and then), so my sweet tooth is significantly diminished. I say this as a caveat, because I think this pie is deliciously sweet, whereas someone who’s used to eating sugar may think my recipe is pretty bland.

Lowfat Pumpkin Pie

1-1.5 cups nut/seed milk (almond or hemp)

1 T egg white

½ tsp glucommanan powder

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups mashed pumpkin

½ c nut flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup xylitol

¼ tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9” deep pie pan with cooking spray.
  2. Put 1st 5 ingredients in blender. Add pumpkin. Add other ingredients and blend on high for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into pie pan and bake 60 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven. Cool. Chill. Top with Reddi Wip.

Exercise and Nonfat/Low-Carb Meals

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I have been on this THM diet now for a little over a month. I lost 6 pounds right away and now, although I’m so glad I haven’t gained back anything, I have stalled again. I know how that goes in weight loss. Some weeks you lose weight in ounces and pounds; other weeks you lose centimeters and inches in various parts of your body. Thankfully, this stall in weight loss is not a failure, as I have lost a whole inch in my waist, hips, and upper arms! So, if you’re on this THM journey, don’t despair. When your weight loss stalls, measure yourself and you’ll likely be happily surprised with your progress!

Many of you have asked me about my daily workout regimen. I’m not an athlete and I get bored super easily, so I change what I do almost daily—which I now know is good for weight loss and muscle gain, since the body can never get stuck in a rut. I exercise six days a week for anywhere from 20-60 minutes doing anything from swimming laps at the local gym, taking ballet classes, doing pilates and yoga, walking, hiking, cycling, jogging, and HIIT Crossfit (the easier at-home versions without barbells). I love to talk, so if I can do any of the above with a friend (either in person or on the phone), it makes the time pass more quickly so I don’t get bored.

Honestly, the nonfat, low-carb meals are the least fun of weight loss foods, so I tend to avoid them. However, let me remind me of Pearl and Serene’s definition of a “Fuel Pull” meal: Fuel Pull refers to your body’s ability to pull fuel from stored fat. The meals are low in both fats and carbohydrates. Those meals, combined with exercise, push my body to the next level and help me to shed more unwanted fat and ounces (if not a full pound). And, truth be told, “Fuel Pull” snacks are some of the easiest to throw together and eat quickly, since the prep work is minimal and largely mindless.

When I have a busy day ahead, I often pack for meals on the go—great for those all-day shopping trips or long commutes. My on-the-go go-to “Fuel Pull” meal plan is often as follows:

Breakfast: “Fuel Pull” chocolate glucommanan smoothie

Snack: handful of nuts and some celery sticks

Lunch: Wasa crackers spread with Laughing Cow or Weight Watchers cheese, topped with turkey breast, lettuce and slices of tomato or cucumber. Sometimes I add slices of avocado too—but don’t go over ½ an avocado in one meal.

Snack: glass container of nonfat Greek yogurt, xylitol, cocoa powder, and strawberries (stored in a cooler)

Dinner: skim mozzarella cheese wrapped in a slice of turkey breast with any type of easy-to-eat “FP” vegetable (cucumber spears, celery sticks, bell pepper strips, etc.), and either more avocado or some low-fat, low sugar, low carb mayonnaise.

Dessert: If I have some “FP” cake or brownie made up ahead of time I’ll take that with me, but otherwise I eat another of my strawberry yogurt blends. The cocoa powder helps to satisfy my chocolate cravings.

Looking back over my food diary, no matter how busy I have been or how much I have eaten on my “FP” days, I have never failed to lose between .5 and 1 pound –even when I mixed things up and ate a non-“Fuel Pull” meal somewhere in there. I can’t complain about that!

The Low-Carb/Nonfat Foods Chart

Black & White Lexi's awesome beach cartwheel - 2

Below are lists of forbidden and allowed Low-Carb/Nonfat meals.

Remember that, although these foods are filling, energizing, and weight loss promoting, you still need to eat slowly and mindfully and exercise portion control. You must keep starchy carbohydrates to fewer than 45 grams per meal.

Forbidden Low-Carb/Nonfat Meals

Allowed Low-Carb/Nonfat Meals

Allowed Low-Carb/Nonfat Meals

Beverages & Dairy

  • No cream, goat’s milk or coconut milk
  • Never any sweet wines or high-carb beers

Protein

  • No egg yolks

Oils & Nuts

  • No more than 1 tsp of oil, butter, nut butter, or any other type of fat with any meal/snack
Beverages

  • wine, red or white, dry only (in moderation)
  • beer, low carb, light only (in moderation)

Vegetables

  • all vegetables, except potatoes
  • sweet potatoes (Keep to one medium sweet potato per E meal.)
  • carrots, both raw and cooked

Fruits

  • all fruits in small quantities e.g.,1 apple, 1 orange, 1 slice of cantaloupe (high glycemic)
  • Fruits like bananas and watermelon should be kept to a minimum.
  • all berries in liberal quantities
  • all-fruit jellies with no added sweeteners

Eggs

  • egg whites only—no yolks (carton egg whites and Egg Beaters also acceptable)

Grains

  • brown rice—¾ cup cooked serving
  • quinoa—¾ cup cooked serving
  • oatmeal—up to 1¼ cooked cup serving
  • teff
  • Trim Health Pancakes and Trim Healthy Pan Bread (See recipe in book)
  • homemade whole grain bread, sourdough, or dark rye—2 piece servings
  • store-bought sprouted bread – 2 piece servings
  • popcorn—4-5 cups of popped kernels*

Specialty Items

  • plan-approved whey protein or protein powder, e.g., Jay Robb and Swanson Premium Brand
  • unsweetened almond, flax or hemp milk
  • Glucomannan powder
  • Joseph’s pita bread or other all natural, healthy, low-carb bread
  • Dreamfields pasta or other low-carb pasta
  • konjac noodles

Sweeteners

  • stevia—NuStevia Pure White Stevia Extract Powder, Truvia, or KAL and Swanson stevia drops
  • xylitol and erythritol
  • fat Free Reddi Wip (for use with desserts)
Dairy

  • low or non-fat plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • low or non-fat plain kefir
  • low or non-fat cottage cheese
  • part skim ricotta cheese
  • skim mozzarella cheese (small amounts only)
  • reduced fat hard cheeses (small amounts only)
  • light Laughing Cow or Weight Watchers cheese wedges
  • low-fat sour cream
  • Ghee
  • Smart Balance or Earth Balance (in moderation)

 

Lean Meats

  • chicken breast
  • tuna packed in water
  • salmon (fillets or canned)
  • all other fish (not fried)
  • leaner cuts of bison, venison and grass fed beef
  • turkey breast
  • lean ground turkey or chicken (96%-99% lean)
  • lean deli meats (hormone- and antibiotic-free)

 

Legumes

  • All beans and legumes including lentils and split peas—up to 1½ cooked cup cooked servings

Nuts

  • Nut butters (1 tsp. servings)
  • Nuts (very small handful servings, basically a sprinkle size)
  • Defatted peanut flour (We recommend Protein Plus Peanut Flour and Byrd Mill Peanut Flour Dark 12%—1 Tbs. serving for use in desserts, sauces, and to stuff celery.)

Condiments & Baking Items

  • Reduced fat mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Horseradish sauce
  • All vinegars
  • Hot sauce
  • Reduced fat dressings (Keep fat grams to 4 or less and sugar low.)
  • Soy sauce/Braggs Liquid Aminos/Tamari
  • Chicken or beef broth or stock (free range)
  • Spices and seasonings (without fillers and sugars)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Cold pressed oils (1-2 teaspoon servings)

 

Go-To Weight Loss Snacks

These are a few of my “go to” sweet and savory snacks for  weight loss cycle.

Savory Healthy Fat, Low Carb Snacks

  • Sliced mushrooms sautéed in butter or coconut oil, sprinkled with garlic salt
  • Hard-boiled or deviled eggs with zero-carb mayonnaise
  • Grilled steak strips
  • Stuffed mushrooms – mushroom stems, coconut flour, parmesan or Romano cheese, garlic, parsley, & black pepper fried in coconut oil, placed in mushroom caps and baked at 400 degrees for 25 minutes
  • Salad with grilled chicken or beef, artichoke hearts, balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  • Deep-fried zucchini fritters dipped in egg and sprouted grain bread crumbs and parmesan cheese
  • Stir-fried vegetables in coconut oil, sprinkled with garlic salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese

Sweet Healthy Fat, Low Carb Snacks

  • THM Skinny chocolate
  • THM macaroons
  • THM meringues

Savory Nonfat, Low Carb Snacks

  • Skim milk mozzarella cheese and avocado with Wasa crackers or sweet potato chips
  • Grilled or baked chicken strips with Greek yogurt dressing, lettuce, tomatoes and fermented dill relish or sauerkraut in a sprouted grain tortilla
  • Salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  • Mozzarella cheese quesadilla with sprouted tortilla
  • Sweet potato and vegetable chips with string cheese (Make sure your chips don’t contain corn, wheat or sugar. Get the purest kind possible.)

Sweet Nonfat, Low Carb Snacks

  • Greek yogurt with berries and approved sweetener
  • Sprouted grain bread and just a thin layer of Earth Balance or coconut butter with maybe a sprinkling of xylitol and cinnamon or some all-fruit jam; add flax meal for added nutrition
  • Chocolate glucomannan pudding
  • Apple with almond butter

THM “Fuel Pull” Tuna Wraps Recipe

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If you’re used to reading my blog, you’ll know I am a long-time fan of probiotic-rich foods. For Trim Healthy Mama “Fuel Pull” days I like to make tuna sandwiches wrapped in lettuce. Here’s my simple recipe:

THM Fuel Pull Tuna Wraps

 Ingredients:

1 can of tuna (or salmon)

1 tsp.  light mayonnaise (optional)

2 T nonfat Greek yogurt

1 tsp kefir, plain

2 T “real” probiotic-rich sauerkraut (homemade or from a whole foods, health food store/section)

1 T “real” probiotic-rich dill pickle relish (from a whole foods or health food store/section)

Seasoning to taste (sea salt, pepper, Italian, etc.)

1 large lettuce leaf

Method:

Mix all and spread in a lettuce leaf. Add strips of red bell pepper, a little nonfat mozzarella cheese, sunflower seeds or some additional sauerkraut, if you’d like. Wrap in the lettuce leaf and eat.

Note: I also like making creamy, ranch-style “E” salad dressings with all of the above except the tuna and lettuce leaf.