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S’cuse my “overwhelmed face”…haha.
Do you feel like you’re in the kitchen all the time? Do you feel like you don’t understand the Trim Healthy Mama plan so you’re afraid to even start? Here are some tips that might be helpful:
Give yourself a break and don’t sweat the details – sure, you don’t want to eat something off-plan, but remember that every step forward is a step in the right direction. Give yourself grace as you start out, and don’t wait to start until you understand everything because trust me, that might be awhile. But don’t lose heart! One morning you’ll wake up and without even thinking, you’ll know what fuel type your breakfast was.
Read the book and take a break from the Facebook pages (and maybe even your favorite blogs!) – the awesome Trim Healthy Mama Facebook groups can be a wonderful support, but they can also be overwhelming and confusing, especially if you’re just starting out. Even if you’re a discerning reader and you know what’s on plan and what’s not, seeing all those tempting goodies that all the other mamas have been making can be discouraging if you just don’t have the time to do the same thing. Take a break from social media! Not only will this be a great refresher for your mind, but it’ll also give you some extra time for more important pursuits (try reading the Bible instead!). If you feel like you still don’t understand the Trim Healthy Mama plan and the groups are more overwhelming than helpful, read the plan book instead of the Facebook groups.
Do one shopping day every two weeks and buy in bulk – not only is this easier on the budget, but having plenty of staple groceries on hand takes a lot of the stress out of, “WHAT are we going to eat for dinner tonight?” Breakfast for dinner is always an easy answer to that question…
Do a prep day – instead of getting all your dishes and equipment out several times a week to do some baking, do it all in one day and freeze things for later. This can work for baked goods, breakfasts, and even dinners! Making a bunch of things at the same time is more time- and energy-efficient, plus it will give you some peace of mind for the rest of the week.
Eat leftovers – if I had to choose, I’d say that this is the most helpful point on this list. Do you feel like you’re ALWAYS in the kitchen? Purposely make more food than your family will eat for dinner, then eat the leftovers the next night (or later in the week). Half the cooking – same amount of yumminess.
Eat the same thing over and over – found an easy dinner that your family likes? Make it once a week. Familiar dishes are so much quicker and easier to make than trying something new every night! This same principle can go for breakfasts, snacks, desserts – everything! Stick with simple and familiar and you’ll save time and headache.
You don’t have to keep up with the Joneses – do not pass go, do not feel like you have to make every amazing-looking recipe you see on Pinterest! You don’t have to make an amazing-looking dessert. You don’t have to serve a beautifully-presented entrée. You don’t have to make everything the other Trim Healthy Mamas are making. Everyone’s at a different stage of life! Some of us have more time to spend in the kitchen than others. For me, it’s literally my full-time job so I can afford to churn out ice cream recipes all week long (ice cream is actually one of the easiest desserts to make, by the way!). If you can’t, that’s just fine! Accept the fact and just stick with what you’re capable of doing right now.
You don’t have to make all the sippers – don’t shoot me for saying this, but this Trim Healthy
Mama Single doesn’t like the Shrinker or Good Girl Moonshine, and she’s never even tried the Singing Canary or Winter Wonderland Sip! I feel like I do enough cooking as it is, so I just don’t bother. I drink plain ol’ hot Oolong tea for its metabolism-boosting properties, but that’s as far as it goes, folks. I know the sippers are easy, and if you love ‘em, go for it, but that’s just one thing I cut out so I have less to do in the kitchen.
Eat easy snacks – snacks don’t have to be another meal. They can be as easy as a scoop of cottage cheese, deli meat and cheese, Wasa cracker/deli meat/dill pickle, celery and peanut butter, or a scoop of collagen stirred into hot tea. You can even settle for a few bites of leftovers cold from the fridge! If you made some dessert bars or snack balls (or these awesome No Bake Snack Bars) on your prep day, there ya go!
Don’t make two different dinners – it’s easier than you think to make meals that are eatable by the whole family. Make your old favorites, just tweak them to be Trim Healthy Mama friendly. Obviously some things are easier to tweak than others (but even pasta dishes can be tweaked with Dreamfield’s pasta or zoodles!). Here are some of our family favorites. The easiest way to create a kid-friendly dinner is to focus on a meat without sugary stuff or floury coating on it, then add veggies as side dishes. Kids can have corn and whole wheat bread for fillers, but you’ll stay away from that stuff. Turn an S meal into a crossover for the kids by providing them with fruit or applesauce as sides. There are so many family-friendly THM meals out there, either in the THM Cookbook or on blogs/Pinterest, so ten minutes of searching here and there and you’ll probably come up with enough ideas to last you for two weeks.
You don’t need umpteen million side dishes – keep it simple! A meat and a veggie is sufficient if that’s all you have time for. Keep fruit on hand for the kids to eat if they want more than what you’ve cooked. I know I usually eat too much anyway if we have too many dishes on the table.
Cook with few dishes – put the cooking kettles right on the table (well, on hotpads) and skip the extra step of transferring everything to serving dishes. Learn to eyeball measurements so you can use one measuring cup for everything (just remember to measure the dry ingredients before the wet ingredients)! If you’re making multiple things one right after the other, just rinse out your mixing bowl and blender in between recipes and use them as many times as necessary! If you just used a measuring cup for dry ingredients, there’s a good chance that you can just put it back in the cupboard without washing it.
Do you have any other tips? Share them in the comments below!
- Starting THM
- THM Success Series
- All my recipes in one pictorial index by category
- THM Sample Menu for the Working Mom (easy recipes)
- Sample Menu: College Kid Edition (easy recipes)
- THM Sample Menu (Walmart Edition) (easy recipes)
- Dos and Don’ts From a THM Veteran