In spite of my misgivings about using stevia or the other plan-approved sweeteners, I did succumb to them for the first few weeks that I followed the program. However, due to the (I believe serious) health effects of these sweeteners, I stopped using them. You can read why here and here. Please do take the time to read those posts before reading on below, as I consider the information in them to be crucial if you want to follow the plan, and enjoy maximum health benefits. If you are expecting, or hoping to get pregnant, it is especially important that you read up on the dangers of using stevia during pregnancy.
But that is not what today's post is about. Rather, I wanted to once again reiterate that it is entirely possible to follow a whole foods based, health-nutty diet, AND follow the Trim Healthy Mama approach, successfully! Are there some foods recommended in the book that I would never eat? Of course! But there is absolutely no need to have them if you don't like. Remember, the main concept underlying THM is to separate carbs and fats. How wholesome those carbs and fats are is entirely up to the individual.
More importantly, it is very possible to follow the plan with natural, wholesome, low glycemic sweeteners, and successfully lose weight while on program. I'm talking raw, unfiltered honey, Grade B maple syrup, and coconut sugar (my new favorite). There is no need to use denatured, hydrogenated sugar alcohols like erythritol and xylitol, which will wreak havoc on your intestines, or to use stevia, which is a plant, but one that greatly interferes with normal hormonal balance, and which many (including myself) believe to be a contributing factor in miscarriage and low fertility.
I went back on plan two weeks after giving birth, which was 10 weeks ago. During that time, I have lost exactly 20 lbs, and done so without my usually fickle milk supply suffering. The reason for this is that following the THM plan does NOT require you to cut calories. In fact, I think I actually consume MORE calories when I'm on plan than when I'm off, because eating this way fuels the metabolism so much that even two hours after a huge meal, I am hungry and ready to eat again. On an average day, I consume anywhere between 2,500 - 3,000 calories, while losing weight!
Nor is this weight loss due to being postpartum. I've been down this road a time or eight, and unless I make a concerted effort, I will weigh what I weight the day after giving birth indefinitely. In the past, I have always had to wait to start losing weight until baby was well accustomed to solids, because dieting pretty much meant drying up my milk. Not this time around!
Does this lunch look like I am suffering hunger? This fabulous salad was made with plenty of fresh greens and veggies, two eggs, smoked salmon, diced cheese, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and as much dressing as I wanted (which was a lot).
And because I had a little hankering for dessert, I rounded the meal out by having mixed berries (sweetened with a bit of maple syrup), topped with unsweetened cream.
So you see, even with my fat-fueled "S" meals like the one above, I can use a wholesome, low glycemic sweetener like maple syrup (which is still a carb) in moderation, and lose weight.
If you have been thinking about buying the book or going "on plan", but are put off by some of the recommended foods, particularly the no-calorie sweeteners, don't be. Go ahead and jump on board, but rest assured that you can do so without giving up real, God-given, natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, and still lose weight painlessly and with relative ease.
Please check back for a favorite recipe of mine in the next blog post! :)