Trim Healthy Mama One Week Meal Plan Without Stevia

I wasn’t quite prepared for the response I received from my post on making Trim Healthy Mama work without stevia!  Apparently, that’s been an issue for quite a few of you.  Going through my first week doing THM without the stevia has been wonderful!  I did end up having some Crossovers I hadn’t planned (not listed on the menu – more on that at the end of the post), but I was still down a pound!  I know many of you have been waiting anxiously for the menu plan I promised, but I needed to make sure I had tested a couple of things before letting you see it.  Plus, it’s been a super busy week (thus, the reason for the Crossovers I hadn’t planned on!).

I’m going to do my best to answer questions I think you might have in the post itself, but if you don’t see your question answered, leave a comment, and I’ll answer you there (or I’ll write another post if I think I need to say more to cover your question!)

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To start with, I am using an editable THM planner courtesy of Sheri Graham.  You can get yours HERE for free!  These are VERY handy!  They include 3 meals + 3 snacks.  Now, you may not NEED all your snacks, but you will find that if you plan your entire week WITH snacks, you stay on track A LOT better!

And be sure to keep a hard copy of every menu plan you make!  These will be indispensable to you!  Even if you end up tweaking the plan or going off of it for a meal or two, you will want to have these past copies to help you menu plan in the future!  I keep the current week’s menu in a plastic protector sleeve in my THM notebook.  (yeah, I still haven’t written THAT post.)

So, here’s a quick look at my week of Trim Healthy Mama (no-stevia style)!

*correction – Thursday lunch is a FP if you are using Dreamfields; although, I have seen some documentation that Dreamfields still spikes blood sugar the way regular pasta does.One Week Trim Healthy Mama Menu Plan Without Stevia | RaisingArrows.netI’m going to go day by day for you, so hold on tight…
(Pinterest recipes can be found on my boards HERE, but I have tried to include the original recipe links.  And if the rest of this post is too tedious for you, just screenshot my menu and call it good!  You won’t hurt my feelings.)

SUNDAY

Breakfast – Crepes (p220) with turkey sausage patties (S)
notes:  I made the crepes without gluco, xanthan, or sweetener.  You don’t really need any of those.  Do make sure you get your pan coated well.  I purchased the turkey sausage at Aldi.

Snack #1 – 1/2 c. Greek yogurt with 1 tsp All-Fruit jelly stirred in (FP)
notes:  This is an old standby of mine especially during the summer months.  

Lunch – Summer’s Cup Soup (p289) & E bread (E)
notes:  I made this with yellow squash and without the coconut oil.  I used an immersion blender to blend it in the saucepan, but I didn’t blend all the chunkiness out of it.  Because of that, I ended up not wanting the garbanzo beans in it (I’m not a big bean fan anyway, in case you had forgotten 😉 ) I ended up eating this soup with a low carb pita.  Had I only eaten half the pita, this would have been a FP. 

Snack #2Cheese Crisps with Salsa (S)
notes:  Be careful with this one!  Cheese can quickly get out of hand, and truth be told, I ate TOO MUCH of this.  Not sure I’ll do this one again as a snack.

DinnerTaco Bake & Salad (S)
notes:  Ranch is a good option when it comes to pairing a salad with an S meal.  All the Ranch dressings I’ve purchased from Aldi have had 2 or less carbs.  Go light on the cheese and other S type add-ins for your salad because of how much fat is already in the Taco Bake.

Snack #3 – Joseph crackers (p394) & light cheese wedge (FP)
notes:  After a big S meal, a FP is a nice “light” snack.  I buy my Laughing Cow-ish cheese wedges from Aldi.

MONDAY

Breakfast – Trim Healthy Mama Pancakes (p223) with All-Fruit Jelly (E)
notes:  These DO NOT need the stevia.  Throw a smear of jelly on them, a few berries or even actual sugar, honey, or maple syrup if you must.  Remember 1 tsp = 4ish carbs, so don’t overdo it!

Snack #1 – Blue corn chips & pico de gallo (E)
notes:  I’ll be honest, blue corn chips that are on plan (baked) are hard to find.  I did not end up eating this snack.  I did make this pico and paired it with some avocados later in the week for an S snack.

Lunch – Unwich (Romaine lettuce leaf with cream cheese & deli meat rolled up inside) (S)
notes:  I don’t like big lunches most of the time.  I like easy lunches that I can grab and get back to homeschooling.  This one fits that bill.  I learned it from Jimmy Johns where you can order this right off the menu.  Make this a FP by trading the cream cheese (or mayo) for mustard or a light cheese wedge.

Snack #2 – Cucumber slices in cottage cheese (FP)
notes:  You can really dress this up as seen HERE.  It could be an entire meal if you let it.

Dinner – Fajita Nachos (S or E)
notes:  I didn’t actually use this recipe, so I cannot give you a thumbs up or down on this, but I will say that I LOVE me some fajita nachos!  As soon as I am able, I’ll post a recipe for my original version of these, and I’ll let you know how my makeover version turned out.  Basically, you are talking fajita chicken (I like to buy the bagged stuff from Aldi) with green peppers and onions.  These are S if you skip the chips and go full-tilt or E if you use a lighter cheese sauce and use the blue corn chips.

Snack #3 – Popcorn (E)
notes:  You will want to see p84 in Trim Healthy Mama to learn how to have your popcorn.

TUESDAY

Breakfast – Hard Boiled Egg & Cottage Cheese (S)
notes:  Boil up a whole slew of eggs and keep them in a carton in the fridge marked “Hard-Boiled” all over the carton – and I mean ALL OVER!  That way no one can blame you when they try to crack one for scrambled eggs the next morning.  However, be aware that once your 4 year old realizes there are hard-boiled eggs, he will not have the discernment to look for the words “Hard-Boiled” on the egg carton before trying to peel an egg for his snack.  This will lead to a mess life lesson. 

Snack #1 – Chocolate Greek Yogurt w/ nuts (p251) (S)
notes:  I was beyond excited to try the whey protein powders from Swansons.  They are the only ones I’ve found not made with Splenda or Stevia, and the calorie count is lower too.  They are made with xylitol, so if you are sensitive to xylitol, be aware.  If you just want to go with unsweetened protein powder, you can safely add a teaspoon of sweet without going over the carb limit.  By the way, without the nuts this is a FP.  

LunchBig Mac Salad (S)
notes:  I REALLY like this salad!  The version I linked to is NOT the one I usually use, but sadly, that recipe disappeared from the web.  This version will need a little tweaking.  Trade the sweet relish for dill, skip the sugar, and use a sugar-free ketchup.  The THM Ketchup found on page 411 is REALLY good and absolutely does NOT need the stevia listed.

Snack #2 – Celery with light cheese wedge (FP)
notes: hmmm…I can’t think of anything to say about this!

Dinner – Turkey meatballs with brown rice (E)
notes:  I buy my turkey meatballs from Aldi (see the reoccurring theme here?).  This is a super simple meal.  Cook your rice and warm your meatballs, toss together with some herbs, salt, and pepper, and enjoy!

Snack #3 – THM Pan Bread (p266) with light cheese wedge (E)
notes:  This is a nice versatile bread – no stevia required.

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast – Oatmeal with Berries & 1 tsp sugar (E)
notes:  You may not need the sweet if your berries are sweet enough.  1 tsp sugar, honey, or maple syrup is approximately 4g carbs.  1/2 cup of uncooked oatmeal is around 20g carbs, so adding in that extra 4 isn’t going to break the carb bank.  But, experiment first and see if you really need it.

Snack #1 – Apple slices with Greek yogurt and cinnamon (E)
notes:  I learned this from my friend Jamie.  You do not need any sweet added to your Greek if you are dipping apple slices in it.  Additionally, consider buying a high quality cinnamon.  We highly recommend THIS CINNAMON.  It is naturally sweet, and a world apart from your run-of-the-mill store bought cinnamon.

Lunch – THM Pan Bread (p 266) with chicken, mustard, and celery + pepper sticks (E)
notes:  If you made Pan Bread the day before, you probably have some left over for a quick lunch.  Use a chicken breast or chicken in a can, mix with mustard and celery and a good dash of salt and pepper.  Slice up some pepper sticks for a side.

Snack #2 – Fajita Chicken with onions and green peppers (FP)
notes:  This can double as a FP meal if you’d rather.  And again, I really like the fajita chicken in the freezer case at Aldi.

Dinner – Roast (in crock pot), broccoli, and Marcy’s Cheesy Rolls (p272) (S)
notes:  Put the roast in the crock pot in the morning when you have a busy day ahead of you.  Broccoli is an easy side, and if you have the time, Marcy’s Cheesy Rolls (p272) are delicious!  I do use gluco in these, so I’m not sure how these would turn out without it.  If you aren’t keen on that, try this recipe – it is uber yummy too! 

Snack #3 – Cheesecake Berry Crunch (p373) (S)
notes:  I could eat this in a house, I could eat this with a mouse, I could eat this here or there, I could eat this anywhere!  This is one of those snacks, I cannot wait to eat!  And you do NOT need the stevia listed in the recipe.  I buy frozen mixed berries from (you guessed it!) Aldi.  I pick out the strawberries and throw them back in the bag, add a few walnuts, a couple of spoonfuls of cream cheese and throw them in my Vitamix.  Give it a whirl, and treat myself to a bowl of bliss!  And now, I’m hungry…

Cheesecake Berry Crunch (Trim Healthy Mama without stevia) | RaisingArrows.net

THURSDAY

Breakfast – Spinach & Cheese Omelet (S)
notes:  throw a handful of fresh spinach in your buttered skillet, let it wilt, add your eggs and cheese, let it set on low with the lid on and do its thing.

Snack #1 – Cottage Cheese (FP)
notes:  Buy the 1% stuff to make this a FP

Lunch – Spaghetti & Meatballs (FP or E)
notes:  Use turkey meatballs and Dreamfields pasta for FP.  Or you could try a whole wheat pasta in moderation for E – I need to look into this a bit more.  Use a sauce that has no sugar or make your own.  Pair this with a veggie that doesn’t need butter.

Snack #2 – Chocolate Strawberry Fat Stripping Frappe (FP)
notes:  this is that thing you saw me sipping last week!

Dinner – Cheeseburger Pie (p326) and cabbage (S)
notes:  This is one of my favorite THM meals from my beginning days!  It is yummy!  Don’t miss it!

Snacks #3 – A handful of nuts (S)
notes:  For some people, this is NOT a good bedtime snack.  Replace accordingly, but on a day like this, it is probably good to end your day with an S snack.

FRIDAY

Breakfast – Hard Boiled Egg (S)
notes:  This was all I needed that morning.  I was in a hurry and very glad there were still a few hard boiled eggs left for me.

Snack #1 – Cucumber slices (FP)
notes:  This is a simple snack that takes care of the urge to crunch something.  Salt and pepper them if you like.

Lunch – Chicken Breast & Cottage Berry Whip (p379) (FP)
notes:  The Cottage Berry Whip is another one of those recipes that does NOT need stevia.  The frozen berries are enough sweet in my opinion.

Snack #2 – Cheese Stick (S)
note:  I buy mine at…oh never mind…you already knew that.

DinnerPizza Bites and broccoli (S)
notes:  I ended up not making these, but plan to this week.  They look so yummy!

Snack #3 – Chocolate Chip Cookie/Scone (S)
notes:  This is another of those recipes that no longer exists in its original home on the web.  I had to ask on a Facebook group if someone had the recipe.  Thankfully, they did.  I really like this recipe!  The reason I say in my menu plan that this is off plan is because I use milk chocolate chips when I make this.  The recipe below gives you an on-plan version:

Chocolate Chip Scone Recipe

SATURDAY

Breakfast – Oatmeal with 1/2 banana & apple pie spice or cinnamon & nutmeg (E)
notes:  Contrary to popular belief, you CAN have a banana on the Trim Healthy Mama plan.  Well, HALF a banana that is.  If you are wanting your banana to sweeten your oatmeal, it needs to look like this:

Make sure your banana is plenty ripe to sweeten (Trim Healthy Mama wihtout stevia menu plan) | RaisingArrows.net

Don’t forget to get the good cinnamon, and enjoy a hearty breakfast!

Oatmeal without stevia from the Trim Healthy Mama no stevia plan | RaisingArrows.net

Snack #1 – Celery with light cheese wedge (FP)
notes:  I don’t have anything to say about this but all the others have comments, so I didn’t want this one to feel left out.

Lunch – Chili Relleno Casserole (p325) & cauliflower (S)
notes:  This is another really great casserole from the book!

Snack #2 – Tummy Tuck Ice Cream (p368) (FP)
notes:  You will notice on my menu, I put 1 tsp of sugar.  I actually ended up using frozen strawberries as my sweet. 

Dinner – Cilantro Lime Chicken & Rice (E)
notes:  Recipe forthcoming, but here’s a sneak peek:

Trim Healthy Mama without stevia | RaisingArrows.net

Snack #3 – Apple slices w/ 1 tsp almond butter (E)
notes:  Keep it to 1 tsp to make this an E.  Almond butter is the bomb, by the way.

So, there it is.  I know this menu offers a lot of variations, but remember, if you find something you like, you can eat it a second (or third, or fourth!) time in a week!  It’s ok. 😉  And I NEVER eat 3 snacks, but knowing they are there if I need them makes me happy.

Not relying on sweets does take some getting used to.  Concentrate on the spices and flavors, and use berries as much as you can as a sweetener.  If you need to add 1 tsp of sugar to something, it’s ok – that’s about 4g of carbs.  Try to stick to E & FP type foods when doing this so you aren’t mixing fuels.  And always be aware of what you are doing, so you don’t overdo it!

And I’m human, so if you see something I got wrong, call me on it and help me fix it.  Thank ya much!

Doing Trim Healthy Mama Without Stevia

I wanted to go back to Trim Healthy Mama after my latest birth, but one thing about it has always made me a little uncomfortable – the stevia.

Doing Trim Healthy Mama Without the Stevia | RaisingArrows.net

First of all, there’s the taste.  It just doesn’t taste like sugar.  I don’t care how you salt it, hide it, mix it up, it will never taste like sugar.  And most people notice a major icky aftertaste.  Yes, you CAN get used to that weird taste (most describe it as “bitter”), but there is something about it that screams Don’t Eat Me!  Because of the taste, I found myself not wanting to eat stevia-laden desserts – they weren’t as satisfying as the ones that contained real sugar, maple syrup, or honey. Because of that, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick with it – I would eventually cave due to my desire to have something that tasted REAL, and more than likely, OVEREAT the sugary stuff once a morsel crossed my lips.

Then, there’s the color.  My brain had a difficult time wrapping itself around the fact that stevia is a plant and it shouldn’t be white.  In my past experiences with stevia, I purchased it through Frontier in bulk packages and it was GREEN – like a plant.  It still didn’t taste great, but it looked like a plant.  Pouring white powder from a packet that said it was PURE stevia sort of weirded me out.  (Yes, I know there is a process the plant goes through in the factory to end up looking like that white powder, but remember, this is my story – I don’t begrudge anyone else for being perfectly fine with whatever color their food may be.)

Then, there was all the conflicting reports of the side effects of eating stevia.  Everything from infertility to anxiety and all the rebuttals in between.  (sometimes I hate the internet!)  Unfortunately, once something gets stuck in my head, I have a hard time getting it out.

And then, I actually experienced my own stevia-related side effects.  It took a while for me to realize what was happening, but once I connected it to the stevia, I couldn’t make myself go back.  My symptoms were even lower blood pressure than I already have, feeling sick to my stomach and muddled in the head (probably blood sugar issues), and finally, searing abdominal pain that doubled me over day after day.  (please note, I was eating stevia several times a day.)

So, I stopped doing Trim Healthy Mama.  I was convinced I couldn’t do it without the stevia.  This is also why I’ve been so quiet about Trim Healthy Mama here on the blog.  But, you might have noticed I’ve been quiet about weight loss altogether.  The reason was because there was nothing to talk about – I wasn’t losing weight.  I stalled 17 pounds over pre-pregnancy weight which happens to be the place I ALWAYS stall at.  (Those of you who remember, this is the weight I was when Emily died, and my brain doesn’t like to go below that.)

I tried other diets as well as going to a whole foods diet, but the carbs were killing me.  I simply do not know when to quit when it comes to breads and cookies.  You can make them super healthy, and I will still eat them all gone.

So, back to me not losing weight…

I knew my body needed the kind of eating THM promotes.  I knew I needed the structure and the support THM offers.  I knew I needed to separate out my fuel sources because my body doesn’t process them together very well.  But, what about the stevia?  Could I really do Trim Healthy Mama WITHOUT the stevia?

Trim Healthy Mama Without the Stevia | RaisingArrows.net

Honestly, many people believe THM is ultra-reliant on stevia, and if you don’t like stevia (or xylitol), you can’t do the diet.  But, I beg to differ.  The biggest reason stevia is included in so many of the recipes you see floating around out there with the THM name slapped on them (including my most popular recipe) is because we like our sweets!  We like the idea of eating sweets and losing weight.  We like to have cake for breakfast, cake for lunch, and cake for dinner, and the only way to make that work is to stick to a no calorie sweetener in that cake.  But, let’s be honest…that’s NOT what Trim Healthy Mama is really about.  In fact, I am living proof that if you don’t practice BALANCE, you will stall out your efforts to lose weight.  You can’t eat all S, all E, all FP, or all STEVIA.  So, even if you LIKE stevia, it would be a really bad idea to eat it all the time!

There is a lot of information out there on stevia, and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out who is right and who is wrong.  Ty and I decided to quit using it, but that doesn’t mean we have all the answers, it simply means WE decided to quit using it.  You have to make that decision for yourself based on your own reactions and research.  No matter what you do, stevia or not – remember MODERATION and BALANCE.  It really isn’t healthy to eat cake 3 times a day, and I’m pretty sure Serene and Pearl never meant for you to do that.

So, to the question, “Can you do Trim Healthy Mama without the stevia?”  my answer is YES!  And you can even have some of the treats mentioned in the book and online!  Here is a menu plan that shows you how!  A menu plan that finally brought the numbers down on the scale!  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!

Chocolate Strawberry Fat Stripping Frappe (no stevia)

I’m on a mission – a mission to prove you CAN do Trim Healthy Mama WITHOUT using stevia.

{affiliate links included}

My husband and I have decided to avoid using stevia to sweeten things, and I thought that meant no more THM, but as I started looking through the book again, I decided I COULD do this without stevia, and here’s where I started…

Chocolate Strawberry Fat Stripping Frappe (no stevia) | RaisingArrows.net

I noticed quite some time ago, that certain treats in the book didn’t really need the stevia they called for.  The Cheesecake Berry Crunch (p373) and the Trim Healthy Pancakes (p223) are a couple of these.  You just don’t need the extra sweet, so why add it?  I decided to see what else I could find that didn’t need the stevia.

The first thing I tried was the Fat Stripping Frappe (p240)  The original version calls for glucomannan powder and stevia.  I left both of these out.  I also substituted cashew milk – a new favorite with less calories than almond milk, and I used vanilla whey protein (because it’s what I had on hand).  You could use unsweetened, chocolate or strawberry instead.

NOTE:  When using a sweetened whey protein, be sure to check the label.  So far, the only one I’ve found not using stevia is Swanson; however, it does contain xylitol which I know bothers some people.

There are a couple of tricks to making this Fat Stripping Frappe taste great, but the biggest component is FRUIT.  Strawberries are mentioned as an “option” in the book, but to do this without stevia, strawberries or another berry are ESSENTIAL!  That’s why this version is called a Chocolate Strawberry Fat Stripping Frappe!  The berries give you the right amount sweetness needed to make this drink palatable.  I’m also using a “sweetened” protein powder (see note above), but I’d encourage you to try an unsweetened version too!

Chocolate Strawberry Fat Stripping Frappe (no stevia version) | RaisingArrows.net

No Stevia Chocolate Strawberry Fat Stripping Frappe

1/2 c. almond or cashew milk
1/2 c. water
1 Tbsp cocoa powder (could leave out if using chocolate protein powder)
1/2 c. coffee (optional, but yummy!)
1 scoop vanilla, chocolate or strawberry protein powder
4 large strawberries (or other berry – frozen or not)
dash vanilla
dash salt
12 – 24 ice cubes (depends on how frozen you want it)

Mix all of this together in a high-powered blender and enjoy!

Chocolate Strawberry Fat Stripping Frappe (no stevia) | RaisingArrows.net

Note:  I’ve also made this without coffee, with only 1/2 a scoop of protein powder, and using frozen berries.  All versions have been perfectly palatable WITHOUT stevia!  I personally prefer it with the coffee and the fresh berries.  Try all sorts of combinations – I think you will find one perfect for your summer sippin’!

How I Kicked the Soda Habit For Good

Had you asked me a year ago if I could give up soda forever, I would have told you, “not a chance.”  I’ve tried and I’ve tried.  I sort of saw it as “my thing.”  It was something I really enjoyed.  But, the truth of the matter was that I was addicted, and I would go to great lengths to get a soda whenever I wanted needed one.

I used to keep my own pantry and refrigerator stocked with soda, telling myself I was “saving money” by buying it in bulk.  Years ago, my addiction of choice was Code Red Mountain Dew.  For a time, I went to Diet Sprite and Diet Sierra Mist so I wasn’t “drinking my calories.”  When I went to a more whole foods diet, I ditched the aspartame, but I couldn’t ditch the fizzy burn and the sugar high of the soda, so I went to Dr. Pepper, and later to Pepsi.  In an attempt to lesson the amount I was drinking, I stopped stocking my own home, and started only having it when I went out.  (I seemed to “go out” a lot.)

And I had cohorts in my addiction.  Friends whom I could count on to have soda readily available.  Friends who were more than happy to drive to Happy Hour with me.  Friends who weren’t about to question my addiction because it might call into question their own.  (You know who you are – I still love you!)

Bad day – Grab a Pepsi at the local Shoppette.

Out to eat with the hubby – Soda, please!

Hanging out with friends – Could you put some ice in my soda?

Tired, but need to keep up with homeschooling – Open a can of soda!

Yes, it was the answer to everything it seemed.

I say all this to make a point.  I wasn’t a little addicted.  I wasn’t a casual soda drinker, or even a social soda drinker.  I was a junkie.

But, not any more…

I kicked my soda habit once and for all!  If I can do it, anyone can! | RaisingArrows.net

Honestly, I had given up trying to quit.  I didn’t think I ever would or could.  I stopped caring.

Until something made me care.

Like Laura from Heavenly Homemakers, I needed a light bulb moment.  That moment came when I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes.

30 weeks

I was devastated.  8 babies and passed every time.  Number 9 – flunked, flunked, flunked.  I had done so much to get my health under control, and this was how I was rewarded?  I felt like an utter failure.  (I have since learned some interesting things about why I might have failed the test, but that’s another post, and doesn’t negate the good this diagnosis did for me.)

As a consequence for not passing, I had to meet with a GD counselor and get a reading on my blood sugars 4x a day.  Every week, I had to email my blood sugar numbers to my counselor, and there was NO WAY I was going to let any of those numbers be over the acceptable amount.

So, I quit drinking soda.

I knew if I drank a soda with my meal, it could linger in my system and make my numbers higher than I wanted.  And I didn’t want to drink one in the afternoon when it might affect my sugars going into a meal.  And I certainly wasn’t going to drink one at night when it might cause my morning number the next day to be off.

So, I just didn’t drink it.

It sort of sounds crazy when I say it.  I knew all along soda wasn’t good for me, but it took me being accountable to someone who didn’t even know me to make me walk away from it.  I didn’t want to look bad.  I wanted to prove to everyone I DIDN’T have Gestational Diabetes.  I was determined to do my part to keep my blood sugars under control.  Drinking a soda was just NOT that important any more.

Aspen1_1

When Aspen, born at 8# 10oz, was nearly 2 1/2 pounds SMALLER than her last two siblings, I had to face a hard truth.  My 11 pound babies weren’t because the women in my family have big babies (which they do – but come on, that’s extreme) – it was because I wasn’t nourishing my body.  Sugar had packed on their weight and mine.

I stopped drinking soda in October of 2014.  Several months ago, I thought I would have one for the fun of it (told you I was an addict!), but it burned my throat so badly and was so sickly sweet, I had to ask the waitress for something else.

My beloved soda had become poison.  Proof positive that nourishing your body will change your taste buds.  I no longer thought I couldn’t eat Mexican food or pizza without a soda, I couldn’t make it through a tough day without a soda, I couldn’t take a road trip or spend the day at a friend’s without a soda.  My whole world changed.

I know for some of you, this post is going to seem like a “duh” moment.  But, I know there are others of you who are just as addicted as I was.  You have (sort of) wanted to quit.  You know you “ought to” quit.  But, you haven’t found a motivation strong enough to actually do it.

Perhaps some day you will.  Perhaps my story will be enough to send you over the edge – someone else as addicted as you are who actually managed to walk away.  But, more likely, what will do it will be an “aha” moment all your own.  You see, I didn’t set out to kick my soda habit.  It happened in a round-about way through an entirely different motivation, but…

If I can kick my soda addiction - anyone can {pun intended} | RaisingArrows.net

Visit my Real Whole Foods & Weight Loss/Fitness Pinterest boards – you might find your own inspiration there!
Follow Amy Roberts {Raising Arrows}’s board Real Whole Food on Pinterest.

Follow Amy Roberts {Raising Arrows}’s board Weight Loss & Fitness on Pinterest.

A Great Diastasis Recti Splint & Time to Get to Work!

Before I had Baby #9, my OB told me she would be splinting my abdominals right after birth.  I started researching what kind of splint would be best for me to purchase to have on hand for when I came home and got back to work on my abdominal separation.  After a lot of researching, I found one that I am absolutely THRILLED with and wanted to share with all of you!

I finally found a diastasis recti splint that is easy to use, comfortable, fits great, and works wonderfully - all for a reasonable price! | RaisingArrows.netMany of you know about my Diastasis Recti page here on Raising Arrows.  It’s been a long and arduous journey with only nominal results – mostly because of my lack of commitment.  I have a lot of kids, and it has been difficult to find the time to work on those abs in the proper way.  I know…it’s an excuse.  (I am trying very hard to release all my excuses, but some I still find myself holding onto.)

Because my doctor was so proactive about helping me with my separation, I felt encouraged to get back to work with a renewed energy and focus.  But, I needed a splint that would be ready for me when I was ready for it.

(affiliate links included)

After a lot of research and a great sale, I ended up purchasing the 3 Panel Splint from The Tummy Team a couple of weeks before I gave birth.

Front view of 3 Panel Splint from The Tummy Team | RaisingArrows.net

The reason I chose this particular splint is because I am short-waisted (as in EXTREMELY short-waisted), and what I read about it on The Tummy Team site made a lot of sense.  Plus, they said it was COMFORTABLE!  I am all about being comfortable!

I did not take the splint to the hospital when I had baby because I knew my doctor would be splinting me there, but you definitely could take this splint with you if you are unsure what your hospital does in regards to splinting.  Splinting the hospital helped SO MUCH with my pain.  I felt “together.”  The splint I was given in the hospital was a DONJOY and retailed for $140.  It was nearly identical in shape to the 3 Panel Splint I had purchased – but not nearly as strong!

I get asked all the time which DR splints are my favorites.  The 3 Panel Splint has BY FAR become my absolute favorite!

What I like about it:

  • It truly is comfortable.
  • It stays put.
  • It isn’t hot.
  • The velcro is strong, and I feel very supported.
  • It fits my body well.
  • It doesn’t show under my clothing.
  • It is reasonably priced.

 

CLICK HERE TO START SHOPPING!

My current plan of attack for working on my diastasis is to use the Tupler Technique.  I have this little guide book that I use to keep me on track, and I am part of a small accountability group of friends.  However, if you don’t know where to start, or need a little more help, encouragement, or one-on-one time, The Tummy Team offers classes you can take online with personalized help.  Click HERE to learn more!

Please, do your own research as to which splint is right for YOU, but I can almost guarantee The Tummy Team has it!

And here are a couple of photos of me at 4 months postpartum wearing the splint under my clothing.  I like to wear the splint over a nursing cami (these are a staple in my wardrobe!  You can CLICK HERE To see the wide selection available on Amazon.  The one I am wearing in the upper photos is an Undercover Mama that hooks into your nursing bra.)

My favorite diastasis recti splint from The Tummy Team hardly shows through in my clothing, and it is oh so comfortable! | RaisingArrows.net

My favorite diastasis recti splint from The Tummy Team hardly shows through in my clothing, and it is oh so comfortable! | RaisingArrows.net

I also want to show you something encouraging…

The first photo below is me on Day 1 of starting my DR workout back in 2011.  The second photo is me a few weeks ago.  Both are without a splint.

My DR back in 2011 | RaisingArrows.net

My DR pooch 2015 | RaisingArrows.net

MUCH better
(and MUCH BETTER posture too!)

THIS IS ENCOURAGING!!!

I’m also hoping to start writing more Fit Mom of Many posts, so be looking for my diastasis updates, as well as my fitness and weight loss updates!  You might even catch me on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter walking, exercising, or (*gasp*) running! #fitmama #fitmomofmany

You can check out my Fit Mom of Many page by clicking the graphic below:

Fit Mom of Many - if I can do it, you can too! | RaisingArrows.net

I am so excited at the prospects of what I hope to accomplish this go-round!  I hope you will join me!

VISIT THE TUMMY TEAM SHOP TODAY!

The Shape I’m In

I’m 4 weeks postpartum.  I gained more weight this pregnancy than I ever have.  I am down over 30 pounds, but when you’ve gained 60, that feels like a drop in the bucket.  I’m actually below my pre-pregnancy weight from my last baby, but I had high hopes this time I would get a lot of the weight off quickly.

But, if I was being honest with myself and all of you, I would have to say that I always feel this way about this time postpartum.

When Your Postpartum Shape is Discouraging | RaisingArrows.net

I start thinking I need a whole new wardrobe because I have nothing to wear; or better yet, I need to drop 30 pounds overnight so I can wear all my old clothes.  Then I think maybe some new makeup or a brand new hairdo would make me feel better.  I start reading diet books, cut my hair way too short, buy a bunch of clothes I really don’t like (because I don’t want to spend money on clothes that won’t fit me after I’ve slimmed down), and cry myself a river every time I have to leave the house because I’m just not satisfied with anything.

But guess what…

No diet book, new wardrobe, or new hairdo will fix what I’m feeling.

It’s a little bit of head, a little bit of heart, and a whole lot of hormones telling me that the shape I’m in is something to cry over.

Now, I can tell myself a million times over that it took 9 months to get this way, so why in the world would I think a few weeks would be sufficient to get back to the way I looked before, but I’m one of those people who needs more than some overused adage to feel better.  I’m a practical, give-me-something-I-can-hang-onto kind of person.

Here is what I’ve finally learned that is worth hanging on to…

Learn to see weight loss (especially postpartum weight loss) as a journey | RaisingArrows.net

For years, I saw a healthy weight as an end point.  I would journey until I got there and then forget the journey and do something else.  And during those years when I couldn’t seem to reach the end point, I begrudged every step on the path because I never seemed to be getting anywhere.  That was because I wanted the journey to end.  I didn’t want to be on this diet-focused path forever.

I also saw pregnancy as a time to completely turn tail and run head long into my obsession with food.  When you consider I’ve been pregnant 13 times and birthed 9 full-term babies, some of those with barely a year between, you can imagine how discouraged I became after every baby, wondering if I would ever reach my goal, my end point.

It’s taking me some time to wrap my brain around HEALTHY being a way of life, but now that my husband and my son have maintained their weight losses for over a year, I have a better grasp of what healthy looks like in the long term sense of the word.

Reaching a healthy weight is sort of like birthing a baby.  There is a long journey to get to the place where you hold that precious little one in your arms, but the journey doesn’t end there.  You keep taking steps on down the path of motherhood.

I won’t be at my pre-pregnancy weight by my 6 week checkup, but that’s because I started a lot lower than most of my other pregnancies.  I know I have a lot to learn, and I’m going to need a lot of determination and motivation to stay focused and make this journey part of my life and not just something I do for a little while.

The shape I’m in isn’t something to be discouraged by because it’s just part of my journey.  It’s the place I am now.  I am choosing to be a fit mama even when the shape I’m in feels far from it because I am choosing to live healthy!