Disappointed trim healthy Mama

9781101902660

As a Health Coach my clients often ask me about cookbooks, recipes and different diets.  We live in an instant society where everyone is looking for the next fad which will be a health quick fix.  I was pretty excited to get a copy of trim healthy mama cookbook because of the promises offered.  Dessert for breakfast, a life long eating option and healthy balanced meals.

I cannot tell you how quickly my interest became deep disappointment.  I’ll start with the positives though because there are a few.

  1. Similarly to Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook trim healthy mama sneaks vegetable purees into recipes.  For example, the suggestion for a full cup of okra in brownies seemed interesting.
  2. Many of the recipes are very unique.  I love the fact that this cookbook combined different foods than I’d used together previously.
  3. There are over 350 recipes listed.  If you are a thin mama fan then you will have awesome resources at your disposal.
  4. The recipes mostly have pictures included.

My concerns:

  1. I could not find any information anywhere on either Pearl Barrett or Serene Allison’s health education.  Throughout the book the “trim mama plan” there is a section in the intro entitled “Know the Plan”.  This cookbook claims to have “slim down” recipes that will keep you thin.  Additionally, there are a unique ingredient suggestions in this book including integral collagen, whey protein powder, and nutritional yeast.   It’s highly concerning to me that this duo is presenting them as having the plan to be healthy and lose weight without any actual education on the matter.  Yes, it’s possible they have degrees in Heath and Wellness, but the fact that they aren’t revealing that information leads me to believe that is the case.
  2. Many of the recipes require that you purchase food ingredients from the “thin mama” enterprise in order to get optimum health benefits and taste.  There is the Trim Healthy Mama Baking Blend “We worked for months, with much trial and error, to put together the flours that would make the best all-purpose baking flour” yes, there is a disclaimer that you can mix a few of your favorite flowers together to figure out something else, but without ratios it’s nearly impossible to figure out what would be an equivalent.  The list of food products to purchase revealed exactly why so many of the recipes called for trim Mama Baking Blend to be the base.  Disappointing to say the least.  Time-consuming recipes fill these pages.  Not only is there consistent lists of complicated ingredients, the time to prepare many of these recipes is significant.  For me, the few recipes I considered had twice the amount of ingredients than the whole food versions I currently use.  The root beer float recipe has 7 ingredients!
  3. The chemically processed sweeteners encouraged in this book are yet another thing that was disappointing.  It seems a bit backwards to me to be insisting on aluminum free baking powder on one page and then presenting pages of recipes that include the special blend of trim mama sweeteners that includes Erythritol.  The side effects of erythritol include diarrhea and stomach aches.

Overall, if you are following the Thin Mama Plan this cookbook is likely a great resource for you.  If you are someone who is already using whey protein powder and artificial sweeteners then you will likely not find any of the recipes any more expensive than you currently spend.  I will not be adding this book to my office library.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

10 thoughts on “Disappointed trim healthy Mama

  1. My gosh your spelling and knowledge of Trim Healthy Mama blows my mind.
    You might not want to blog about something you have not researched. Ridiculous.

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  2. Hi, I’m reading the Trim Healthy Mama book and learning more about the plan. I don’t really “have a dog in the fight,” so to speak. I’m wondering if you’ve read the book, or only the cookbook? I don’t have the cookbook; in fact I just learned it existed yesterday. (The book also includes a lot of recipes in the back – I wonder if they are the same or different recipes.)

    So in trying to understand your concerns with the plan, it’s mainly that they advocate for the use of erythritol, they sell products to go with the program, and they may or may not have educational credentials? I actually know nothing about erythritol, so I’m about to go research it for myself. That being said, I guess I’m kind of wondering why educational credentials are so terribly important…? There are plenty of “health and wellness educated” people who give out absolutely scary advice, and a lot of the advice given by professionals is completely opposite of that given by other professionals. I took a nutrition class in college (in the early 2000s). I wish I still had that textbook, because a lot of the stuff I remember learning in that class is now thought to be absolutely erroneous! Doing research for oneself and staying on top of new studies would seem to be a safer alternative than relying on a degree or training which may or may not trustworthy, especially after a decade or two passes. With access to the internet (and the ability to be discerning), self-teaching about many subjects is entirely possible – and a really positive thing! Certainly, formal education is excellent, but I’m not convinced it is necessary to be knowledgeable about a subject, so I don’t share your concern with that as much. I guess I’m more concerned with the content of what they advocate, and if it seems to be in line with sound nutritional principles.

    Thanks for your review of the cookbook, as it has caused me to begin to educate myself about erythritol. 🙂 And in the book, they make it clear that the main premise of the program is protein at every meal, but separating fat and carbs (so a carb/protein meal OR a fat/protein meal, but not all three at once), at least if the goal is weight loss. Maintaining steady blood glucose levels is emphasized, rather than letting it spike and drop, spike and drop. I think the use of the specialty stuff (the sweetener blends, baking blends, etc) is totally optional, if the person desires to make treats to try to eat more like a “normal” American…since sugar and wheat flour are not on the plan because they send glucose levels through the roof. But those specialty items are not necessary for following the plan. Again, thanks for the review!

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  3. Hey Melonie, thanks for your questions. I agree with you wholeheartedly that there are many health and wellness coaches who give terrible advice. In my 20 plus years in the health industry, I’ve found that those giving the worst advice are not professionally trained. They have been trained by a company to sell a product and are fed lines (true or not) that convince you buying a certain product or eating a certain way will make you healthier. I do not sell anything although since I have the job title of wellness coach I am often approached to sell. My goal for my clients is that they can eat out of any grocery store near them and reach or maintain their doctor driven or personal health goals.

    Also, foods eaten in certain combinations are found to encourage better absorption of vitamins and minerals. Rice and beans together create a complete protein. When you work with a nutritionist their focus becomes not only variety in foods but greatest “bang for your buck” with each meal. My impression of THM is that they are advertising their plan to do so, but I found it lacking.

    Your statement at the end that wheat flour spikes blood sugar is not one I’d consider accurate. Whole wheat flour, especially sprouted is very healthy and low on the glycemic index.

    As for the premise that you need to separate carbs and proteins, I hope this quick article from Real Simple will be added to your research and encourage more. http://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/weight-loss/busting-10-diet-myths/do-calories-count
    You might also consider research on metabolic typing.

    I believe the book recipes are different from the cookbook. You might consider checking your local library for a copy of either prior to purchase to compare.

    I hope I’ve answered your questions and given you some areas to research for your health. Kudos to you for researching instead of just leaping in. Your desire to be informed will likely make you successful in your health goals simply because you are looking for truth and not accepting someone else’s truth.

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    1. Hi, and thanks for your reply! I think perhaps you would actually agree with most of what I’m reading in the Trim Healthy Mama book. They also advocate sprouting wheat to change its composition in order to eat it without elevating blood glucose levels too much. Also, I didn’t say they want you to separate carbs and protein, but carbs and FAT. They say protein should be the base of every meal, and should include either fat OR a moderate amount of carbs. They also mentioned the rice/bean combination in their book! If you decide to read the book, you may find that you actually agree with quite a bit of what they have to say!

      >

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      1. Thank you for sharing the link (below) to the article on eating fats and carbs together. Good information to consider!

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  4. I would recommend that you go on the THM FB page and read all the testimonials of the people whose blood pressure is down, cholesterol down and glucose down. This plan works and the sisters have much professional help.

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  5. I haven’t read the book. My interest today was solely based on obtaining information about their integral collagen: is it grass fed, the location, etc. I usually just keep it moving if I don’t see what I’m looking for on blogs, etc, but this one caught my attention. I’m sure you don’t mean any harm, but just reading your comment, you came off a little brash. At first I thought you were questioning the research, education, or science behind the products. I can completely understand that. I believe people should want to know the science and facts behind any product. As for your comments on the mention of artificial sugars in the book, as I said I haven’t read the book. But here’s the thing: sugar addiction is real. Diabetes, heart disease, are real issues. We can go into the “whole sugars: thing, and we all know overconsumption of sugar or anything is not good. But when you are dealing with actual people and trying to change lifelong behaviors, telling everyone to quit cold turkey may be a recipe for natural disaster. Sometimes you have to meet your clients where they are, and build them up to where they should be physically/mentally. It takes time. I see that you also went on to questioning their institutional education, and I pretty much just lost interest in anything else you had to say. You may not care, and that’s fine, but I say this with nothing but love, respect, and appreciation for what you do. I also have degrees and certs in Health and Science, fitness and nutrition. My experience with chronic disease, illness, and weight loss goes a long way. However, in my experience, I can honestly say that having an institutional education just scratches the surface of what you need to know in this industry, or in this life, for that matter. Because an effective health coach can be a life changer for many people. Knowing the science is one thing, but knowing how to apply it to your selective audience is very important. I’m not advocating for the trim sisters, as I don’t know them..but looking at different site reviews, they seem to help quite a bit of people. I’m still doing my research on that. As a health coach, you know that dream products do not exist. Any lifestyle change that alters the physical and mental makeup of the human body takes work, commitment, and sacrifice..those are not just words. One thing I hate seeing in this industry is how people are quick to cut people down based on lack of institutional education, or the fact that they don’t look like a health coach or body builder. The fact of the matter is many successful coaches, trainers do not look like text book coaches nor do they operate from text book knowledge. Institutional education is important, but the experience, wisdom, lessons, and humility that you get from physically and mentally helping your clients rise above illness, disease, and physical limitations matters so much more. As a professional, sometimes I have to ensure that other professionals I work with have a certain degree of education before making important decisions. However, I believe you can do that without publicly calling them out or making it a potential issue. If you happen to find that these women may be causing more harm than good, than, as a professional, notify the proper channels to alert others. Because that’s what this business is all about right? Helping others. Because if you happen to be wrong and have not done the proper research to back up your assumption, then that’s all you have is an assumption. No one can really trust anyone who runs with assumptions.

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  6. I’d love if you would read the book. I hope you aren’t assuming that since I didn’t go into all the extensive details of conversations both via email and on the phone raising my concerns that I’m being insincere in my statement that I tried to find information on their educational background. As a health professional, I DID notify the proper people. And I’m not going to go into the details of that other than to say what I said in point 1 above. I’m not going to name names or get into responses. I’m not sure if you intended to come across as condescending, but you have. I guess since my comments come across as brash to you I need to leave room for an incorrect interpretation.

    I’m not a health coach who sells any products or my services. I did not assign myself the title of Health Coach, it was given to me because of my educational background and continuing certifications. My contract is provided by a 3rd party company in partnership with the campuses I support as a health benefit. Entering into my fourth renewal of this contract, I am now held to the objectives presented in the Healthy Campus 2020 campaign. One distinctive objective we are focusing on is directly in contradiction to the menus presented by THM and deals directly with diabetes.

    As a health coach, you are aware that there is a significant difference between losing weight and having a healthy lifestyle that will endure. There is a huge difference between losing weight and being healthy. We all have to create a philosophy that we can consistently present to our clients. Although I will always come alongside a client and cheer them on at their own pace, my goal stays consistent in wanting my clients to feel success in finding healthy meal options at the local grocery store eating foods they have to put minimal effort into preparing. My clients are free to try any diet or fad they desire. I do not dictate any specific food plan unless my input is requested as my desire for my clients is a lifelong healthy lifestyle.

    Although I made no comments about insisting a client surrender all sugar that seems to be what you are implying my thoughts are. I am very aware that sugar is addictive, as are artificial sweeteners.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892765/

    http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/artificial-sweeteners-sugar-free-but-at-what-cost-201207165030

    I am sure your clients value your background and desire to help them. I hope you choose to assume fewer things about them than you have by reading one blog post from me because after all no one really trusts anyone who runs with assumptions.

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