Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison are Christian sisters who share two passions: health and helping others. After spending several years on the road as recording artists for CCM, country, and lullaby music (they even performed at the Grand Ole Opry!), Pearl and Serene decided to settle down in Nashville, Tennessee, to focus on their families and on healthy living.
After trying fad diet after fad diet to no avail, Pearl and Serene discovered that the Bible held many of the secrets to nutritious eating. So the sisters set out and, over the course of 5 years, wrote a book about healthful, nutritional, biblically-based eating and dubbed it Trim Healthy Mama.
Over the past two months, I have applied the principles as laid out in THM.
And I have lost 30 pounds.
As it has for many other women and men, too, THM has revolutionized how I think about and view food and, ultimately, has assisted me in shedding excess fat.
The key idea behind THM (a key idea which I had never heard before) is to only consume one source of energy per meal. There are two macronutrients in food that produce energy: carbohydrates (carbs) and fat. By only consuming a majority of one of these two macronutrients per meal, I am able to keep my blood sugar down, which in turn prevents my body from storing fat in my cells. On the THM eating plan (I really hate calling it a diet because it is, in fact, a lifestyle, not really a diet), I am also supposed to eat some source of protein with every meal because this helps to repair my body’s cells.
Pearl and Serene call carb-based meals E (which stands for Energizing) and fat-based meals S (which stands for Satisfying). There are also dishes which can be eaten with either an E or an S meal because they are low in both carbs and fat, and these are FP dishes (which stands for Fuel Pull). Those dishes which are higher in carbs and fat are dubbed Crossovers and won’t help in weight loss, but do help in weight maintenance.
One of the biggest things I really appreciate about this book is that, unlike fad diets, there is a plan to maintain your weight once you’ve reached goal. That way, you’re not yo-yo’ing after you’ve lost all your weight. Rather, you can remain steady, keeping the weight off without gaining any more and without losing any more either.
Besides just explaining what you’re supposed to do to keep on plan, Pearl and Serene go into depth for those nerds such as myself who love to learn the WHY behind everything (and if you happen not to be such a nerd, you can totally skip these sections). They present scientific research and facts to illustrate that what they’re teaching isn’t just because, but actually has proof to back it up.
Towards the end of the book are a variety of recipes for every category (breakfast, main dish, side dish, snack, dessert) including popular ones such as Muffin in a Mug (MIM), Skinny Chocolate, cheesecake (yes, CHEESECAKE!), delicious smoothies like Fat Stripping Frappa, and many others which helped me to grasp what kinds of foods and ingredients to aim for to stay on plan.
The book promotes a few less common ingredients such as glucomannan (i.e. gluc–a carb-free, nutritional thickener for sauces, puddings, and such) and nutritional yeast. And the key sweetener that is encouraged is stevia. I was able to start the diet without any of the special ingredients (and if you don’t want to buy or use any of these special ingredients, they’re not required to stay on plan), but I did eventually get around to getting some of them and am thankful that I did.
What I discovered when I first started THM was that I felt very overwhelmed. The book is pretty long (I’m OCD and had to read every word, but I have spoken to many who skipped a lot and still learned what they needed) and it seemed like a lot of concepts to grasp. But only at first. After I dived in and made a few off-plan oopses because I didn’t know what I was doing, I got the hang of it. Now–only two months later–I’m almost an expert. I can just look at something and can probably tell you if it’s on plan or not and whether it’s an S, E, FP, or Crossover! I’m also pretty good at the lingo now (mostly acronyms like THM, MIM, GGMS, FSF, S, E, FP, EVCO, and so on).
I have come to the conclusion that Pearl and Serene are to healthy eating what Dave Ramsey is to money. They take the concepts which God laid out in His book, present them in an easy-to-follow plan, and voila! You have a method that really works because it emulates God’s way.
I am SO incredibly thankful to have stumbled into THM. It has definitely increased my knowledge of nutrition and has done wonders to help me (and my husband) finally lose weight and increase my energy level. I am looking forward to hopefully preventing that nasty diabetes that is supposedly inherited in my family!
I HIGHLY recommend Trim Healthy Mama to everyone (men and women)–just ask my post-partum sister-in-law, my diabetic father-in-law, and my gluten-free church secretary who jumped on board with me at my urging to also improve their health in each of their own unique situations!
By the way, no before and after shots of me yet. I’ve still got a ways to go. Once I’m a trim, healthy mama, I’ll definitely post them then! Meanwhile, you can follow my journey–I’ll have a few updates here an there. Plus, I’ll be sharing on-plan menu plans and recipes. You can also follow my THM boards on Pinterest if you’d like. Also be sure to check out my THM Binder with Free Printables!
The Prize 1 winner will receive one paperback copy of Trim Healthy Mama–$35.00 Value
2 winners will each receive an e-copy of choice (PDF, Kindle, etc.) of Trim Healthy Mama–$19.95 Each
PLUS 5 runner ups who want it will receive a 20% off discount!