Trim Healthy Mama Q&A


Today, Stacy is making Chana Dahl Dip, which sounds AMAZING.  I really love the almost nutty flavor of Chana Dahl, and this dip needs me to make it. Soon.

Here are my top 3 posts from last week:

(click to open them in a new window)

Trim Healthy Tuesdays

Sugar-Free Strawberry Pie [S]

Trim Healthy Tuesdays

Creamy Parmesan Dressing Recipe [S]

Trim Healthy Tuesdays

Cheeseburger in a Bowl [S]

The post from last week with the most visits was this one

Drink Pink [E]

And now for this weeks Trim Healthy Tuesday Posts!

Please see updated posting guidelines below the linky.
Thanks so much for joining Stacy & I on Trim Healthy Tuesdays!

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Trim Healthy Tuesday Linked Posts Guidelines

  1. Accepted post topics will be: Trim Healthy Mama related recipes, kitchen tips, weekly menu, ‘how to’ articles, or exercise tips, and MODEST before and after photos may be attached to any of the above. Please do not link personal progress reports or non-THM recipes.
  2. You may post links from YOUR blog to recipes that are Trim Healthy Mama friendly. They can be S (satisfying), E (energizing), FP (Fuel Pull), or Crossovers. Please note which of these categories your recipe falls under. Nutrition information for your recipe is helpful, but not mandatory.
  3. Please respect the copyright of the book, and do not post recipes from the Trim Healthy Mama book on your blog. You MAY post recipes that you’ve changed up to make your own, but nothing verbatim from the book.
  4. Please link your post back to one of the hosting blogs above: Gwen’s Nest or Stacy Makes Cents. Your link will show up on both blogs! DO NOT LINK TO THE HOMEPAGE – instead link directly to this Trim Healthy Tuesday post:
  5. Please post no more than 3 links each week.
  6. Post new links from your blog each week – do not post the same link each week.
  7. You may include recipes with “Splenda” and other similar products or foods that are considered “compromise foods”, but please note that in the recipe, and either make them optional or offer substitutions for on plan items if possible. Please do not use ingredients that are off plan…like white potatoes.
  8. No giveaways or advertising-only type posts are allowed. You may post about cookbooks that you like and you may include affiliate links, but the post MUST be THM friendly. Example – posting about an eCookbook that you like is acceptable when telling how it can help with THM. Posting about a cookbook just so you can sell it is NOT acceptable.
  9. Any post that does not meet the guidelines outlined above will be considered Spam and will be deleted.
  10. Though it’s not required, it would be polite if you would link directly to the Trim Healthy Mama website in each of your posts – they’ve done so much to help us all, and we’d like to increase their traffic.
  11. For help with determining where your recipes fall, visit Gwen’s THM Quick Start Guide.


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      • says

        Polenta is a pasta product, right? That would not be on plan, as it’s going to spike the blood sugar too quickly. Have you tried quinoa? It’s a seed, and is great as a seasoned side dish, but it’s a slow carb and a great E option.
        Horseradish is going to be a Fuel Pull food: not adding significant carbs or fats, so you can pair it with anything. :)

  1. Partyof5 says

    Hi, Gwen! Thanks so much for your posts. They are so helpful and encouraging. I do have a question though. Although the book says every meal should be based on a protein, it doesn’t particular identify “proteins”. Foods like quinoa, nuts, seeds, and beans have lots of protein, however, they are listed as either fats or carbs. How do I know if a food is a fat or a carb or a protein if it has more than one characteristic?

    • Its_Gwen says

      This is a great question! :)

      Since foods are made up of all different macro nutrient profiles, some will definitely be in both protein and S (fat fueled) categories. Steak for instance.

      Oats and beans (both E) have a smaller amount of protein, and since they’re plant based, they don’t contain a ‘complete’ protein or amino acid profile. It’s OK to occasionally rely on these as protein sources, but I find that adding in dairy (0% Greek yogurt for instance) helps the meal ‘stick’ with me longer, and provides the rest of the amino acids for a complete protein.

      Basically, you do want recognize the fuel (fat or carb) that a protein source is offering to the meal. Usually, seeds, nuts & animal products are S unless you’re using a defatted aspect like egg whites. Grains and beans are E.

  2. Cheryl says

    I have unbleached flour and I am on THM, so I went out and bought what I needed to make bread, and then discovered that we can’t use the unbleached white….(I’m kind of a purist) so my question is, could we use the unbleached white with some other flours like almond, flax or coconut and then would it be THM friendly? thanks

  3. Julie says


    I’m loving all the great info and recipes. I’m waiting for my THM book and am trying to start incorporating some of the basics into how I’m eating now. But my question is this… Can you eat fp , s , and e meals on the same day or are you supposed to keep them on separate days? Snacks also ?

  4. Kris White says

    Hi Gwen,

    I just started THM 1 month ago I think I’m a turtle I have only lost 3 lbs.. I have a question about your easy bread! Do you eat the bread with E meals & S meals? I’m confused about eating bread with an S meal. I love your blog!! I added the page markers it’s helped out a lot.

    Thanks, Kris

    • says

      Hi Kris,
      Easy Bread is an E food, so you really want to keep it in E meals. You could use one slice to add some healthy carbs to an S meal, and that’s considered an S helper meal. :)

  5. Kathy Tankersley says

    I made your easy bread recipe, fermented it for 7 days, it came out pretty good for the first time…my question, how much of it can I eat in a meal? A day? Thanks

    • says

      2 slices for an E setting and you can add one to an S meal to create an S helper. Per day? You’d just have to see how many carbs your body does well with. :) Enjoying it once or twice a day is probably great for most people. But be sure to mix up your carbs with fruits from time to time too. You want plenty of fruits and veggies happening.

      • says

        Great question, and sorry I missed it before. :) I’m not a numbers person, and there isn’t an official answer with numbers. So I’ll tell you from my perspective: I count a meal as a main protein with veggies and side dishes. I sit down to eat my meals. :) A snack is like a mini or light meal, but usually with only one or maybe two items served (and one of them is or contains protein), and I eat it usually standing at the counter in my kitchen.

        I don’t go “heavy” with every meal or snack, but occasionally I’ll enjoy a heavy meal or a heavy snack. I like to mix things up. :)

  6. Marsa says

    The link for the quick start guide is not working properly. I keep getting an error code: HTTP 404 Web server cannot find the file or script you requested. Please check the URL to ensure that the path is correct.

    Can this be corrected, please?
    THANK YOU!! :-)

  7. Lucie Stutts & BettyGene Haller says

    my sister and I have both been working hard to make your lifestyle change. She is retired and I work. We are trying to come up with a pantry last Staples. We would like to be able to come home look up a recipe and told her things out of our cupboard. Living in the south and having fresh veggies available a short trip is no problem. Hunting down a certain flower or a certain product that will only be carried at a certain store is a problem. I shop a lot on Amazon. Actually I bought two books of yours on Amazon. One for each of us. If you have this coming out in your new recipe book that will be great. If not where can we find one or has anyone made one and can we have a copy we have love this new lifestyle change. Having just the two of us live in the house has made it so easy on each other. We really thank you both very much

    • says

      Hi Lucie & BettyGene! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. :)
      I’m actually not one of the authors of the Trim Healthy Mama book, but I’ve been doing THM since very early on, and have provided some helps and lots of recipes that work with the plan. :)

      Have you seen the THM Quick Start Guide that I put together? It does contain a shopping list with ideas on where to find products. As far as *what* to buy, that will really depend on how you do THM, and what types of recipes you like. If you’re doing lots of low carb baking, then the baking blend or buying the low carb flours (coconut, flax meal, almond) are a great move. But you can also keep it super simple, and just stick with meats, veggies, fruits, and items found in the grocery store.

      Hope that helps!

  8. says

    Hi Gwen. I’m a THM newbie. I’ve been on the plan for a week and am experiencing a bit of light headedness and super low energy. I have my E meal in the morning and my S meals later. I have a snack when I need one but I’m not sure what might be causing that feeling. Have any ideas?
    Thank you for your time.

    • says

      Sometimes people chalk it up to “detox” to getting off of sugar, but I think it’s important to dig a little deeper. Are you eating a healthy carb source with your E meals? That’s a common mistake when you start is to just go low fat and to not add the healthy carbs that offer that good “E” energy. :)

      The other thing to consider is the possibility of a food allergy or sensitivity. Do you notice feeling warm or cold after eating certain things? Is this your first time using stevia?

  9. Maria says

    Why did my peanut gems fail? I followed the recipe and the batter was liquid. Any ideas what I did wrong? THM is a whole new learning curve. I have had several recipes fail. Simple ones like the root beer float recipe has flopped. Please help.

    • says

      Hi Maria,
      Are those recipes from the Trim Healthy Mama book? If you have access to Facebook, they have a VERY fun and active group there, as well as a file for recipe corrections, since there are always a few of those in any cookbook. I’ve not made either of the recipes that you asked about, so I wouldn’t know what to tell you. <3

      But I can commiserate with a big learning curve with lower carb type flours and recipes. It's like relearning things in the kitchen, but if you follow someone who really has a handle on the recipes, then you'll pick it up faster. There are SO many great bloggers out there now doing lower carb and Trim Healthy Mama!

  10. Rhonda says

    Hi – I’ve been doing THM for two weeks or so faithfully, sporadically for a couple weeks before that. Even though I continue to read and read and read, I am still having trouble wrapping my brain around certain ideas. (I think past dieting has left me too “rules-based.”) As far as protein sources – like THM Pancakes – is the protein the cottage cheese? Or in Crockpot Oatmeal – is it the oats? Protein is bored into my head as meats/eggs and I’m having trouble figuring out if I’m getting adequate protein in those type meals. So far it seems too good to be true, so I’m anxiously waiting to see the scale move. ::Keeping fingers crossed.:: Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Rhonda!
      Great question. :) For protein, you really do want to make sure that you’re getting some with each meal, but it doesn’t have to be limited to meat or eggs. Greek yogurt, dairy, egg whites (can be added to smoothies or into oatmeal even!) and even gelatin or collagen are all good options in meals where you aren’t adding in eggs or meat. :) You’ll get the hang of this, once you get comfortable with all of these little details. Not *every* meal will be high protein, but so long as you have a good protein source in there, it works. The oats themselves do have a little bit of naturally occurring protein, so it’s fine to occasionally enjoy just a bowl of oatmeal if you like. I find that my blood sugar stays more stable if I add a little more protein with oats though.


    • says

      Hi Elizabeth!
      Great question. Splenda is what’s considered an artificial sweetener. The THM plan is about improving overall health, and they consider naturally derived sweeteners to be a healthier option over time. However, a few of the (for occasional use only) convenience foods on the plan *do* contain small amounts of Splenda, like the Carb Smart Ice Cream.

      The downside to Splenda on the issue of overall health…the jury is still out on that one, and new research is exposing some really serious questions about its safety for long term use even at smaller doses. Like this study that links the use of Sucralose (Splenda) in small doses to negatively alter your gut flora.

      I’ll quote from the study: “Evidence indicates that a 12-wk administration of Splenda exerted numerous adverse effects, including (1) reduction in beneficial fecal microflora, (2) increased fecal pH, and (3) enhanced expression levels of P-gp, CYP3A4, and CYP2D1, which are known to limit the bioavailability of orally administered drugs…These changes occurred at Splenda dosages that contained sucralose at 1.1-11 mg/kg (the US FDA Acceptable Daily Intake for sucralose is 5 mg/kg).”

      I decided to go ahead and write a full post on this with citations and links if you’d like to learn more about Splenda Side Effects.

  11. Julie says

    I ‘ve completed three days on this plan (and seen some weight loss – yay!) but I’m finding it hard to come up with E meals. Any tips? Can I eat too many S’s?

    • says

      You can *definitely* get too many S meals in. E meals and snacks are just FP meals with some healthy carbs added in. Look at the list in the book of E foods, and find the ones that are contributing carbs. They’d be the grains, beans and fruits. It’s important to think of them like that, instead of thinking of “breads and pastas” as carbs, because so many of the THM recipes and product recommendations are breads and are low to no carb. So keep the grain idea in mind when looking for good E foods. I like the sesame sprouted bread as toast!

      If it would help, you can see me do one meal 5 THM ways here.

  12. Marianne S. says

    Is homemade kefir, made with fat free store bought milk, THM friendly?
    Can I use as FP snack? Or for An E breakfast mixed with old fashioned oatmeal and berries?

  13. MJ says

    I know we are not supposed to drink fruit juice, but I haven’t seen vegetable juice (like V8) mentioned. Is that acceptable?

    Also, if you have a FP snack with a FP beverage, do you have to be concerned with it becoming a crossover?

    Thank you.

    • says

      With juices, you just want to remember that liquid carbs move into the bloodstream faster. 1 cup of V8 is 8 net carbs…I think that’s a lot higher than any other drinks on THM. So I’d enjoy your veggies whole with all of the fiber. It’s a lot gentler on the blood stream that way.

      Re: stacking FP- technically yes. If you have a FP coffee drink with the full amount of fat, then your snack shouldn’t have additional fat, or you’re into a light S. I don’t go crazy with this or actually calculate every single gram of everything, but I do try to be mindful.

  14. Jana says

    Hi Gwen. Love your page. I have a question. Is Grapefruit & Cottage Cheese considered an “E” meal?

  15. Ginni Busche says

    Hi. I’m wondering why Dreamfields pasta is on plan for THM, but GF brown rice pasta isn’t… or is it?


    • says

      Great question, Ginni!
      Any sort of grain based pasta is going to spike blood sugar pretty fast. Dreamfields is a special formulation that for most people digests more like a protein than a grain. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s a nice option if it works well for you.

  16. Mary-Ann says

    Hi Gwen, was just wondering. The meal plan says that we can eat greek yogurt, but where I live I can’t seem to find that triple 0 greek yogurt. The only kind I can find is the one that has sugar in it. I went and bought two big containers of it. There aren’t any sugars in the ingredients list, so where would the sugar be coming from? Would it be from the lactose that’s in the skim milk that was used to make it? And would that yogurt be a good greek yogurt to use. For reference the yogurt is Danone Oikos Greek Yogurt. It has 0% mf, plain, 8 carb, and 4 g of sugar per 3/4 cup.

  17. Kendra says

    Hi Gwen, I am really new to thm, just reading and rereading the book to try to grasp it. I want to order some things that I don’t have but I’m afraid I might be sensitive to the whey protein powder. Should I find a plant based one, or just do without for now? Thanks, Kendra

  18. Linda says

    I tried stevia and the tru sweetener over the summer and they gave me horrible headaches. I use a tiny bit of regular sugar in my one coffee a day sometimes 2cups. Is this diet plan still ok for me to follow. I don’t want to put more money into a different sweetener and get the same results.

    • says

      Hi Linda!
      THM is about using low glycemic sweeteners, so using real sugar would be off plan…but I think you can still get a lot of benefit from implementing the plan in all other areas. :) I have a few friends who don’t do well with Stevia, and they use an off plan sweetener occasionally. It does slow down their losses, but it’s worth it to them. Another alternative would be to try different low glycemic options…often if you’ll contact the company they will send you a free sample. :) Best of luck!

  19. Carolyn B. says

    Hi Gwen! Thanks for all your hard work, it really helps us “begginners”. I looked all over the internet and I could not find if cocoa butter is on plan. I was wondering if I could make the “Skinny chocolate” with it and some Gentle sweet for an S treat. Thanks!

  20. says

    I have yet another question for you. I am just starting the THM plan and just wondering – in the morning I ALWAYS have coffee. That’s not something I’m willing to give up so I was glad to see that it is on plan. I added cream and sweetener to it so it would be an S. However, I drink it at work and tend to drink it slowly through the morning. I might get my first cup at 10:00 and not finish it till almost 12:00. I go to lunch around 1:00. So does that mean I have to also eat an S lunch in order to keep on plan?

    • says

      They don’t recommend using fueled drinks as “sippers”, because your body becomes used to constant low level fuel coming in. Part of the plan relies on taking breaks between meals and snacks, and mixing up fuels.


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