Friday, 2 November 2012

Trim Healthy Mama book review/ postpartum weight loss

Trim Healthy Mama book review/ postpartum weight loss.

I very excitedly tore open the wrapping of my birthday present from my mum (she knows me VERY well) and it's not even my birthday yet; inside was my own copy of the book 'Trim Healthy Mama,' by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett!!!! I have been waiting sooo long for this book (it took the authors 5 years to complete it and they have been advertising it for a really long time beforehand, and I've been eagerly awaiting its release!)

Here it is:

It can be purchased at is you are interested in your own copy.

I have been reading like mad for the past week and I'm almost through it. I read while breastfeeding Savannah, I read in bed, I read read read! I must say from what I have read so far that it is absolutely FANTASTIC!! 

It is VERY comprehensive and covers all topics of womens health that you could possibly think of. It covers weight loss, diet fads, nutrition, pregnancy and breastfeeding, hormones, sex, skin care and much more. 

A large bulk of the book is filled to the brim with healthy and exciting, yet practical for a family, recipies.

What I was most surprised with about this book is that it is so BALANCED. I thought it would be about the raw food movement or veganism (knowing that one of the authors used to eat 100% raw and vegan foods) but it is the exact opposite. After the authors had been through every kind of dieting extreme, they found themselves looking for more answers. Serene Allison was convinced that eating 100% raw was the absolute healthiest way of eating but after some health issues she sought God's word on the topic and her eyes were opened to eating a balanced diet. 

There are no extremes here because no food group has been left out. It covers whole grains, meat, fruit and vegetables and healthy fats. It is so well researched and I thouroughly recommend it to every woman. It is for women of any age; (though the chapter on sex is for married couples) whether you are young and having babies or are going through menopause or older. Both sisters have many children each and have a lot of experience with heath issues related to pregnancy, breast feeding, the postpartum period and the general wear and tear on your bodies that mothers experience.

This is NOT a 'fad diet book' but instead it suggests a way of living that is so practical you will want to carry on eating this way for the rest of your life. It really is about achieving the most healthiest you possible and staying that way forever.

What I also love about this book is that it is specifically set up for women with families. It covers how to please our husbands and children when cooking the delightful, healthy meals.

The only negatives I found were; towards the middle of the book I was getting a little bogged down in all the nutrition science. However I kept going and the more I read the more everything started to make sense and fall into place. It is also very American and some of the brands mentioned in the recipies I couldn't find. But with a little research it's not too hard to seek out the Australian equivilent to the products mentioned.

The ultimate thing to remember from this book is that if you want to lose weight then DO NOT eat fats and carbohydrates in the same meal. By eating fats and carbs in the same meal your body then has two sources of energy to burn at the same time and it will lead to fat gain. These two sisters have put YEARS of careful research and personal experimentation into their knowledge on nutrition and I found it all very facinating. 

I can't recomend this book enough. Be open to trying out some of the superfoods mentioned like coconut oil. I have known about the health benefits of coconut oil for a few years now (thanks to my mum and all her home research on herbs, health and nutrition) and was already using it regularly, so that was a plus for me. 

It is also written with great humour and I often found myself literally laughing out loud.

If you have been struggling with your weight and health and are fed up and looking for answers then this book is for you!

I myself have been on a quest for the ultimate way of eating to help me achieve the greatest health and weight. Ever since I was a child I have been very interested in healthy eating and all through my teenage years I was searching for answers for the best way to live. I would go through periods where I wouldn't eat sugar and I also loved exercising. It was not unusual to find me running up and down hills for hours on my parents' sheep and cattle farm. 

People often comment on how I lose my pregnancy weight so well after I have my babies. Well; I'll let you in on a few of my secrets and eating habits. I still have so much to learn though. I dont eat as healthily as I would like to but I have long term health goals in mind that I'm headed to.

After I give birth, even while I'm still in the hospital my mind shifts into weight loss mode. Even in the hospital I pick the healthiest things available on the menu during my stay. 

*important; don't try to loose weight too quickly postpartum if you are breastfeeding as it can possibly upset your milk supply. 

How I lose weight is just common sense really. I don't follow any programs anymore. I eat a balanced diet full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, meat and dairy; stay away from nasty processed junk and foods high in sugar and preservatives. And I get a little exercise when I can too. I have been really trying lately to not feed myself or my family any chemicals. I'm still a working progress on how to eat the healthiest way possible but I'm learning new things everyday and I find it exciting! 

I think it is important as a wife and mummy to be in tip top shape for my family. Eating healthily and nutrition is one of my passions! With all the demands on me everyday from the children and especially when I'm pregnant and breastfeeding; it's vital that I keep myself as fit and healthy as I possibly can. 

Having gestational diabetes in my last pregnancy with Savannah was a wake up call for me. I thought that I was eating healthily but I was cheating myself really. I would have hearty meals full of vegetables, meat and whole grains. But I also would stuff myself with chocolate and all others kinds of sweet treats. No wonder I always put on alot of weight with each pregnancy. (around 20-25kg) my insulin levels in my blood were  skyrocketing and I (and my baby) were suffering for it. Having gestational diabetes really pulled me into gear and I have done more and more research into healthy eating since then. This doesn't mean that I never eat junk food, but I really do try to avoid it. I'm enjoying alternatives to the things I used to pig out on. For example; I used to sit and eat half a block of chocolate in one sitting, but now I enjoy a row of stevia (natural sweetener) sweetened dark chocloate instead. Instead of a pizza from the shop I make my own pizzas with whole meal flour and only eat a few slices and fill the rest of my plate up with a hearty salad. Instead of a bag of chips I'll make mountian bread chips; you just melt a little butter or coconut oil and spead it on the mountain bread wraps, then sprinkle with sea salt and bake in the oven for 5 minutes or so...yummy!! When I eat large amounts of sugar or junk food now it honestly makes me feel physically sick and I always suffer for it the next day with stomach aches, a dry mouth, nausea, diarrhoea, depressive moods; I can't sleep properly and even get nightmares!! :/ 
When I fill my body full of healthy foods that God created my body says thank you! I feel better, lose weight, have more energy, I'm in a better mood, I know I'm doing the best for my body and for my family.  

A typical day of eating now would look like this:

Breakfast: usually a few eggs fried in coconut oil with some spinach greens and sea salt and pepper. Or muesli and natural yoghurt. (full fat; I always eat full fat dairy, it is the most natural and filling and healthy) 

Morning tea: fruit, raw nuts, natural peanut butter. Or a homemade treat.

Lunch: usually a mountian bread wrap with canned salmon, avocado, cheese and salad. In the winter I make huge batches of vegetable soup and freeze them into containers and enjoy these for lunch. I also eat sandwiches sometimes. 

Afternoon tea: (same as morning tea) I usually eat 6 meals a day other wise I get REALLY hungry between meals, especially when I'm breastfeeding. 

Tea: usually a homecooked meal of chicken, lamb or fish and lots of veggies cooked in many different ways. I love to make casseroles in the winter. My children love pasta (like most kids do!!) and I make pasta often but I try to use whole grain pasta and I usually have a small serve then fill the rest of my plate up with salad and drizzle with lemon olive oil mmmm. Olive oil is VERY good for you, especially when poured over a salad and not heated. 

Supper (or dessert): I don't like feeling hungry. So I nearly always have a night time snack. I'll have natural yoghurt with macadamia nuts, frozen berries and cinnamon. yum yum! and a little dark chocolate. 

Drinks: I drink LOTS of water. I drink to thirst. When I'm breast feeding I drink up to 4 litres per day, it's thirsty work producing milk! Other than water I drink herbal teas. I don't EVER drink soft drink, way too much sugar and chemical nasties for my liking. I try not to drink fruit juice but I do enjoy the occasional fresh carrot, celery, apple, spinach and lemon juice whizzed up in my juicer. 

Exercise: I don't do as much exercise as I'd like at the moment. I go out for a 30 minute walk/jog a few times a week. I go on mornings my husband is home to mind the babies for me. Lately I've been doing exercise routines in my lounge room that consist of running up and down, jumping on my mini trampoline, squats, hand weights, lunges and sit ups. Our 3 year old loves this and joins in, he even starts jumping on the trampoline at all times of the day and says "hey Mum come do exercise!" My goal is to do vigorous exercise for at least 20 minutes on 3-4 days per week. I also LOVE walking, especially through nature. I LOVE hiking, but rarely get the chance these days. We have a beautiful nature park near our house that I regularly walk in with the family. When I go to my parents' farm I often escape for 30 mins and disappear into the paddocks. I love the fresh air and open space. I'm not a fan of walking through the town, I don't really like walking past cars and houses; it's too noisy and doesn't help me to relax. 

When I eat this way and exercise (including breastfeeding, which burns HEAPS of calories; but if you are unable to breastfeed don't worry, you too can still lose weight) I find I'm back to my pre pregnancy weight by 5-6 months postpartum depending on how much weight I put on during my pregnancy. My next aim is to try not to put on as much weight next time I'm pregnant. (there are some tips in 'Trim Healthy Mama' that I would like to try to help keep weight from ballooning in pregnancy)

I hope you enjoyed reading this, let me know if you have any questions about health/weight loss, leave a comment if you would like, I'd be happy to try and answer you.  

Me and baby Arrow 1 week postpartum

Me and Arrow, 6.5 months postpartum

Peta xo     



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