If you're on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, it's probably because you're trying to lose weight, balance your blood sugar, or reduce inflammation.
Or all three…
It's important to you. You've invested a lot of time and effort and maybe even money into starting and staying on the THM plan. Until the holidays roll around…
How can you stick to the THM plan and celebrate your holidays, Trim Healthy Mama-style? Is it even possible?
Be encouraged! Not only is it possible to enjoy Trim Healthy holidays, it might be more doable than you think! Here are eight tips to stay on the THM plan — despite mashed potatoes and pie!
#1 — Don't Talk About It
I know… my first tip to help you stay on the Trim Healthy Mama plan during the holidays is telling you not to talk about it. 😉
Really, though, the last thing most people want to hear about during the holidays is healthy eating or weight loss. This tip isn't just to keep the peace during Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, however. It's also for YOU.
Because you don't have to explain or justify your efforts to take care of yourself and reach your goals — even if it is a special occasion.
(True story: My friend and her family were on the GAPS Diet during Thanksgiving several years ago. She thought the extended family deserved an explanation for why she and her family were bringing their own food. So, she spent much of the holiday meal explaining gut bacteria and bone broth to a family that still set out margarine, not butter, next to the bread. In hindsight, she realized she didn't owe anyone an explanation, and her holiday would've been much more enjoyable if she'd kept to more mainstream conversation.)
If anyone asks why you're not eating the pecan pie or the mashed potatoes and gravy, don't feel you have to jump into a full explanation of Trim Healthy Mama. Simply tell them those foods don't agree with you anymore (because they don't!) or that you're trying new foods (because you are!).
(Of course, you can explain if you really want to, especially if people are genuinely interested. Just know that there's no obligation!)
#2 — Find Out The Menu & Plan To Bring A THM Side Dish
If you're planning to spend your holidays away from your own home, call your host ahead of time and ask what's on the menu. This lets you know if the meal is leaning more toward S (Satisfying) or E (Energizing). And then, you can plan to bring at least one THM side dish to complement the meal.
I don't know about you, but we never show up to eat at someone's house without contributing something — even if the host didn't specifically ask us.
Chances are good that there will be some sort of meat, like turkey or roast, and vegetables. So, plan another side dish to bring and share, and you're all set to stay on plan!
What dishes to bring? Here are some ideas:
- Green Beans With Bacon & Mushrooms as an alternative to green bean casserole — THM:S
- Perfect Soaked Rice In The Instant Pot is simple and budget-friendly– THM:E
- Easy Cheese Cauliflower Casserole — THM:S
- Sourdough Sandwich Bread — THM:E
- Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce (just omit the honey and use stevia) — THM:E
#3 — Always Have Your Own Dessert
It's easy to stay on plan when it comes to meats and vegetables… Yet dessert is a whole other feat!
I've never been to any holiday gathering where there weren't just as many (or more!) dessert options as savory options. Pies, cookies, cakes, punch, hot cider, hot chocolate, Cool Whip … sugar is EVERYWHERE.
So, save yourself the trouble, the guilt, and the blood sugar crash. Just bring your own THM-approved dessert … like:
- Sugar-Free Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies — THM:S
- Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Strawberry Lime Pudding — THM:E
- One of these 17 Stevia-Sweetened Desserts
- Any of the desserts from Sweet Without Sugar — like Double Layer Pumpkin Pie, Thin Mint Tart, or Coconut Cream Pie! (all THM:S desserts with nourishing foods!… keep scrolling down!)
#4 — Host The Holiday At Your House
This requires a bit more work, but it also gives you total control! You can create a totally THM holiday menu because you're in charge!
Per Tip #1, no one has to know that the foods you're feeding them are part of a healthy weight loss plan… it can be your little secret. 😉
You provide the basis of the meal — healthy meat, cooked veggies, salad, homemade dressing, one or two desserts — and if your guests offer to bring a dish, they can bring whatever they want! They're happy, you're happy (and on plan), and everyone has a happy holiday!
#5 — Just Say No To Mashed Potatoes
Given the choice, many of us would skip the turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing — and gorge ourselves on the mashed potatoes instead. Don't worry, you're not alone!
Yet, as yummy as they are, mashed potatoes won't help you stick to your Trim Healthy Mama plan or goals. If you just can't imagine a holiday without them, have a small serving and don't feel guilty at all.
However, if you're determined to stay on plan, may I suggest No-Fail Cauli-tatoes instead? These are super creamy, and you can add as much butter as you want. 😉 Yet, they're much lower in carbs, so they fit right in with your S (Satisfying) holiday meal!
#6 — Feel Festive With A Hot THM Drink
Holidays are notorious for their sweet drinks. Hot cider, hot chocolate, sweet coffees… they're everywhere!
While you may not be able to find an on-plan hot cider (juice isn't THM-approved, after all), you can still enjoy a hot coffee or tea with a bit of stevia if that makes things more festive.
There are many hot drink recipes (like hot chocolate!) in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook. If you prefer to avoid sugar alcohols, simply adapt the recipes to use only stevia. Or try using stevia only in one of these Warming & Nourishing Fall Sippers!
#7 — Have Fuel Pull Meals Before & After The Holiday Meal
Is the big holiday meal at lunch time? Then, have a FP (Fuel Pull) breakfast and a FP dinner.
Is it at dinner time? Have a FP lunch and a FP breakfast the next morning.
These FP meals will really help you stay on track, especially if you decided to make your holiday meal a healthy XO (Crossover).
Fuel Pull Meal Ideas:
- THM:FP Homemade Cottage Cheese
- THM:FP Grain-Free Crab Cakes
- Creamless Creamy Chicken — Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook, p. 78
- Fussless Fuel Pull Quiche — Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook, p. 151
- Salad In A Jar — Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook, p. 188
#8 — Remember… You Can Start Over In 3 Hours
No need to be so stressed about staying on the THM plan — especially if it's going to steal your joy and focus. After all, food isn't the real reason for the season, is it? 😉
Even if you decide to have a XO (Crossover meal) or toss your THM plan out the window all together, it's only one meal. You get to start over in 3 hours!
That's the beauty of Trim Healthy Mama. There's always grace, and one meal will not blow your health and weight loss goals.
Want More Nourishing Trim Healthy Mama Holiday Dessert Recipes?
If you're ok using sugar alcohols like erythritol in moderation (find out what it is, if it's healthy, and why you might consider it here), then you may notice it's hard to find tried-and-true nourishing dessert recipes using it.
Yes, there are lots of low-carb recipes on the Web with xylitol or erythritol, but the other ingredients are not necessarily nourishing, whole foods, or allergy-friendly. The recipes are pretty scary, actually!
Which is why I'm thrilled about the recipes in Sweet Without Sugar — especially the holiday recipes like Double Layer Pumpkin Pie and Thin Mint Tart!
40% OFF — Sweet Without Sugar eCookbook: A Collection Of Nourishing Allergy-Friendly Low Carb Desserts
If you want nourishing, no-sugar recipes for those special occasions, like the holidays!, and you're ok with using erythritol now and then, you've got to check out my friend Lindsey's eCookbook Sweet Without Sugar. (Lindsey is our content director here, by the way…)
The Sweet Without Sugar eCookbook contains 59 original recipes for cheesecakes, tarts, curds, pies, cakes, ice cream, brownies and more using nourishing ingredients like butter, coconut oil, eggs, gelatin, and collagen. It's high fat, high protein, low-carb, THM-friendly, Paleo or Primal, and allergy-friendly. And… it's currently on sale for 40% off!
We absolutely love these recipes. The fun part? Because we eat treats only occasionally, these 59 recipes (plus a bonus free recipe… see below) will last us for years to come! Literally! 😉
P.S. If you purchase the Sweet Without Sugar eCookbook through this link, I'll throw in a sugar-free recipe of my own — Sugar-Free REAL ice cream (pictured above). Just forward me your receipt from Lindsey and I'll reply with my recipe! (Forward to wardee at traditionalcookingschool dot com.)
Happy Trim Healthy Holidays! What are your tips to stay on the THM Plan during the holiday season?
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