Avoiding the Scheduling Extremes :: BuJo Setup Mini Series

May 2016 165

Confession: I’m just a woman who learns from all my many (daily) planning failures; I’m really not a scheduling guru.

Also, I’m pretty normal when it comes to busy seasons of life – I fall into the lazy mode of letting things coast. Have you been lured into the “schedule-break” temptation too? The bait goes something like this:

“Living moment by moment isn’t so bad! Things are getting done, taking a break from writing out a ‘week at a glance’ isn’t a big deal, and I’ll remember that appointment – no need to write it down.”

After giving into these thoughts for weeks (or even months!), I wake up one day way too stressed for the level of activities in my life and way too overwhelmed by the amount of list-items swirling around in my head.

The pendulum has swung and I’ve gone from one extreme to the other – hyper-scheduling to under-scheduling.

When I swing too many times, I go a little bit nuts and start to think in extremes:

“I’ll never be able to manage our calendar.”

“I will always fall behind on laundry.”

“I never remember to take our library resources back on time.”

“I’m always running late for our appointments.”

And this is when I have to admit to myself (and others) that I need a Bullet Journal intervention. I need to stop avoiding the work, stop neglecting the truth – that organization is best in small daily doses, and stop over taxing my brain by trying to just remember it all. Just by spending 15 minutes per day, I can completely order my life and trade my crazy for calm.

Have you tried using a Bullet Journal? Do you use it for your calendar too? If so, do you copy your schedule in multiple places? Does that help? Why or why not?

I want this series to be super practical, and that means addressing potential setbacks before you even begin. The swinging back and forth between the scheduling extremes is common. Don’t feel bad about doing this in the past. Now I want to give you some ideas to think about. I call these questions The Big Jump. (Soon I’ll focus on the baby steps.)

I need to set aside an hour to have a JDM – Journal Defining Moment. This is when I decide what the scope of my BuJo (Bullet Journal) will be. I answer these questions:

  • Will my BuJo be my calendar too?
  • Do I need to write out the months in advance or just each week?
  • What other planners and/or organizers am I currently using? Are they working?
  • Am I going to include journaling space too?
  • What categories of my life will go into this BuJo? Homeschooling? Personal Growth? Family Activity Calendar? Business Goals? Etc.
  • Do I feel creative and what tools do I want to try to use? Am I satisfied with this BuJo being plain?
  • Is it important to me to be economic or visually appealing* with my entries?
  • What “Mom Bag” will I use to carry it in and will I commit to taking it everywhere? (This may seem like an unnecessary question but I will address why it’s a big jump question later on.)

* I say visually appealing not creative because even though I can create some pretty pages sometimes, my right hand tends to shake and I can’t guarantee pretty handwriting all the time. I like to use markers and larger point pens because when I write too small, the strain hurts my hand too much. SO. I will never be the person who can boast of being a closet hand-letter-er. But I do like to make my pages visually pleasing to me. Meaning: Spacious, colorful, and clearly readable. I tried being super efficient with my pages for a while – cramming more than one day or more than one list onto a single page and that made me crazy. You, however, may feel more productive setting yours up this way. You do you.

Can you think of other questions that would be important for your personality to think through before you take a big jump into a new BuJo? List it out and face it before you start! This will set you up for personal success. Many times I look at other Pinterest-worthy BuJos and think “Oh…in a perfect world, I would just copy their set-up!” But they don’t have 4 kids, or work 3 jobs, or their spouse works from home and their home set up is catastrophically different than mine!

Hear me: To successfully set up YOUR BuJo, you have to do it for YOU. Copying mine or even the expert BuJos online will only set you up to quit a quarter of the way through it.

And I bet you know what that means.

You will feel like a failure, let your scheduling slide, and wind up stressed and overwhelmed a-g-a-i-n.

And one more tip before you start the next step: don’t take the Big Jump until the timing is right for you. How do you know if the timing is right?

Easy:

  • If you are reading this post and thinking: Wow, that’s really great for her. It sounds like she’s really thought this through. I may give that a try sometime. THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR YOU.
  • But if you are reading this post and thinking: She’s reading my mind. I need to start this process yesterday! I’m ready to do this for ME. THIS IS DEFINITELY THE RIGHT TIME FOR YOU.

Ready for more? The mini series will continue! Did you miss the first post in this series? Click here. Want to see what tools I use? I wrote about them here. 

Back to School Supplies for Homeschool Moms

Nothing says back to school like a package of Crayola crayons for 25 cents.

But I didn’t buy those. (Maybe you don’t need to either.)

I already went back to school shopping for my kids’ supplies and I bought one measly package of pencils. Because, as it turns out, that’s all we really need.

As a homeschool mom, I get to design our back to school supply list. And boy am I glad I do.

I don’t have to buy washable markers, glue sticks, and a hundred #2s. I don’t have to buy anything we don’t need or won’t use. Sure, I’ve learned the hard way that we don’t use crayons (last year’s box of crayons – bought during “Back to School” – is still unopened).

I can wait for the crazy Amazon deals on Prismacolor and stock up in October because that’s when we will need them.

Also, we don’t have to worry about buying uniforms, Under Armor (or whatever other brand is currently “the coolest”), 2 pair of new shoes, lunch boxes, backpacks, or whatever else is now “last years” and therefore insufficient for this fall.

I can buy clothes when we need them, cater to our tastes, and use last year’s (or even many years ago) because it still works!

All of this not buying leaves a lot of room for the things that really matter to me.

Here’s what I bought for my back to school supplies:

A nice journal – for my Bullet Journal.

Sharpie pens – for writing everything because I don’t like to use ballpoints or gel. (I prefer blue ink simply because I think blue looks happier than black.)

Prismacolor Markers (Just $5.95 right now! Check the price before you click; subject to change.) – for writing titles and creating other little designs in my BuJo.

Great coffee – for the beauty of it! I love coffee, and I simply adore drinking coffee from a pour over like this one.

A Happy Life Planner – for my calendar and school planner. (More about why I’m using a Bullet Journal and a Planner in my BuJo Series!)

A book that is just for me. I know this season will get busier than I will be able to handle. It will be easy to fly through my days checking boxes and showing up for appointments. But I don’t want to lose touch with my inner self through this season. So, I make sure to pick a title that deeply speaks to me me – not mommy me, wife me, or educator me. I want to make sure that I leave room in my days for at least 10 minutes to pour inspiration into my heart and soul or none of this whole “back to school” thing will be very fulfilling. (This book is also in addition to my daily Bible reading! I simply can’t emphasize the importance of being spiritually healthy!) **See my 2017 list of books here.**

YL SM Savvy Verb

Savvy Minerals – for the perfect mixture of self-care and dignity! I am more prone to be productive when I feel put together for the day. I just recently switched to Young Living’s makeup line because they are chemical free! It’s seriously the best makeup on the market – for you and your daughters! Watch this super short video to learn more about Savvy Minerals. Your health may thank you for the switch. Sign up or browse Young Living’s website now.

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Products to help me feel as comfortable as possible during “that time of the month” – for goodness’ sake!!! After four kids, I have ample reasons for needing support for this time. Watch my video to learn more about what I’m using!

The whole line of KidScents Oils – for my peace of mind and my kids’ comfort and health!

So what’s your Back to School plan?! Whatever you need, want, buy — don’t forget to take care of YOU. Because a healthy mom will be a better homeschooling mom than one who neglects her own care.

Cheers to the new homeschool year!

 

Whose planner is it anyway? (BuJo Series Intro)

BuJo Setup Series Intro

The Bullet Journal (affectionately nicknamed BuJo) is a powerful tool, and you’ve probably either tried it or have heard enough about it that you’re curious to find out what it is.

There’s no shortage of Pins or posts on the topic to help you on your way. This post will probably rank 200,000 on a Google search.

That’s okay.

This isn’t a “How To,” or a “List of Supplies.” I won’t be telling you how to design your spreads. (Although those posts are coming for those who are interested.)

Before I begin this BuJo Setup Mini Series, I want to put a question out to you – Whose journal is it anyway?

I’m creating the perfect setup for me. This is the 4th journal I’ve started using the main BuJo ideas. I’ve changed each journal with use. I like following some of the “rules” and not others. (I don’t think I ever want to migrate a list again.)

The point I’m trying to make here, is that this is my journal. I’ve made the adjustments I’m going to detail in this series because they better served me. But I’m not saying that this series will be pointless to the greater world.

What I want you to remember from now through the end of the series is that your BuJo will only serve you if you take the time to process what tips and tools will help you make it yours.

Sounds silly to take the time to write this out, but I’m writing from personal failure. I have put my BuJo on a shelf for weeks because I thought I wasn’t using it “correctly” only to realize that I was trying to use someone else’s journal (of course, I do not mean literally).

And can I just pick on the idea of “failure” for a second?

Good. Thanks.

Who says it’s a failure if I try to use washi tape and it looks silly? What if I use a different pen and my handwriting looks wobbly? Or if I title a spread and see that it’s off center?

These and so many other mishaps happen to me. I’m not a natural born scrapbook visionary. I don’t see blank journal space as an opportunity to showcase my vision for a beautiful layout of colors, stickers, etc.

But I do like to look at beautiful things! I try little ways to make my journal more visually pleasing.

So, from the beginning of my journal creation, I set my standard at “plain with purpose” and I own the fact that I’m not going to secretly wish for a vivid, colorful, impressive display of book art. This journal is going to serve me by being my brain on paper, and if I can keep my standard in the right place then I will be so much more likely to just grab it and write as often as I need to. This, to me, is BuJo success.

Are you ready to dig in?

My goal is to inspire you to think, not copy. I want you to design a BuJo that will call to you. One that will be so easy to write in that you wonder how you ever lived without your brain on paper. It may be decked out in all the Hobby Lobby glam, or it might be a college ruled spiral notebook and pencil. Whatever it is, I want it to be yours. The more you write in it, the more valuable it will be to you.

Let’s get started!

Watch my videos on YouTube for more thoughts and tips!

Read all my previous posts on the Bullet Journal:

Hoopla is not a sport.

This is the year of READ. I’ve known since January that books would be a major part of this year’s landscape. But quickly after finishing 3 physical books in February, I entered a different stage of development with my baby and found that I no longer had the luxury of holding her and a book at the same time. For whatever reason, it seemed that my reading days were over.

That is until I started using Hoopla.

I don’t exercise. I know I should and I regularly mourn my lack of athleticism – if only I had been trained in a sport while a child, then I think I would more naturally fall back into an active lifestyle.

But sports aren’t the subject of today’s post! (Thank goodness.)

It’s HOOPLA. To me, that sounds like hula-hoop which conjures up images of physical activity. But that’s not even close to Hoopla.

**Disclosure: this is NOT an affiliate post, it isn’t sponsored in any way. I’m just truly enthusiastic about this tool.**

Hoopla is an app that I use to access resources and borrow them using my library account!

How cool is that? I signed up, entered my library card, and now I can borrow audio books (8 per month) and listen wherever and whenever it works for me – all from my phone! All for FREE.

I have found hours per day that I can dedicate to listening to books.

  • Getting ready in the morning
  • Feeding my baby
  • Washing dishes
  • Preparing dinner
  • Folding laundry
  • And during many other chores too

In one month, I was able to finish 4 audio books primarily because I replaced podcast listening with book listening. This has been so personally empowering for me. I’ve learned so much, grown in my thought life, and felt productive and reflective more than if I had just tuned out or scrolled Facebook during the times when I had “down time.” Instead, I would choose from a few of my current books to cater to my mental state – feeling tired? I would listen to fiction (Pride & Prejudice). If I was feeling chore-hungry, I would listen to The Happiness Project or The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Feeling discouraged in my motherhood stage? I listened to Desperate or The Life Giving Home.

To see more of what I have read and what I am reading – check out the post that started it all this year here.

And below are the screenshots of what some of these titles look like on my phone – it really is super simple to use.

Will you Hoopla? Let me know!

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Facebook App and My Brain

I’ve been severely ill. The kind of sick that has hijacked my entire life, week, etc. I’ve found myself napping, resting, and otherwise counting the days in number of hours until my next dose of medicine.

My thought life has been my real life. My prayer life has been exposed. And I have a love hate tension for these trials because of the nature of conviction that comes from having to identify areas of compromise or failure. 

Being so sick and laid up causes me to reevaluate. What are my priorities? Am I planning for these or flying by the seat of my pants? What are my goals? Am I creating actionable steps to accomplish them? Or Am I allowing the day to get ahead of the plan? 

One area of conflict in my life lately has been my use of Facebook. At first, I blamed my makeup business. I figured that I was having an adverse reaction to direct sales, and that maybe being a “salesperson” was creating the feeling of my soul being sucked out of my body. (This is not a good – feeling soul-robbed.)

See, I’ve been using Facebook to spread the word about my Younique business. I love the makeup and skin care products. So, I have done what many others are doing, and I posted the information to Facebook for all my friends, family, and acquaintances to see.

But it wasn’t Younique that was actually causing my soul to evaporate – it was a very simple little thing.

The red circle with a number indicating notifications. Below is what I posted to my Facebook group about the problem.

FACEBOOK APP and My Brain:

Being so ill has allowed me a lot of time to just rest and think. I have a hard time with the forced stillness, but it always proves helpful to me in reflection. Because of this reflection, I’ve stumbled upon a problem that must be rectified.

I can’t stand the distracting nature of notifications. When using any app, the first thing I do is go to my phone’s system settings and disable the notifications (or I “hide” them). But with the FB app, the red circle still pops up with the number of notifications which could be anything from someone else commenting on a picture of a friend (which most of the time I just ignore these, I mean why do I need to know?) to someone actual engaging with me personally.

When I started regularly using Facebook as a means of spreading the word about Younique’s sales, I immediately had a lot of “reasons” to check Facebook – answering questions, posting promotions, filming live videos (fun!).

Slowly, but with gaining momentum, I started using Facebook more and more. My connections with people were really growing too. I loved the engagement, the opportunities to pray, the laughs from clever memes, etc.

What I didn’t love was the SWISS CHEESE my brain was turning into. Gradually, my ability to focus on a specific task was lessening. I was constantly aware of where my phone was and I wanted to “just see if there are any new notifications. I won’t spend lots of time on the News Feed, just notifications.”

But my prayer life was starting to suffer. Instead of staying focused, my own soulful thoughts intimately shared with my Savior were now peppered with distractions from what I had shared or wanted to share…

I realized that I was falling for “Facebook Addiction” – hook, line, and sinker.

I don’t think what has happened to me is unusual. A lot of people in direct sales get over excited about their products and want to connect to drive their business, and when a person isn’t disciplined and grounded often they burnout and blame the business model or products for their negative life circumstance. That isn’t the case for me.

I’m not burnt out on Younique. I honestly only spend a few hours per WEEK working on “business-y stuff.” The products are EXCELLENT and I will continue to stand by that.

I will continue to use this group and Facebook for that matter! BUT I will be disciplined about it —>

1. Only on my computer or Chrome on my phone – but not on the app.
2. Only during 3 time slots: 6:30 – 7am, 1 – 1:30pm, 8:30-9pm
**More boundaries to be created as my behavior is assessed after these two are trialed.

Facebook was robbing me of being educated. The time spent checking and rechecking the app was splitting my attention span in half, quarters, and even smaller. I was finding that I couldn’t complete a mental thought even while in silence.

This is unacceptable. I prize mental fitness, yet my mind was becoming flabby and lazy.

Photo credit.

So! Back to my year of READ with renewed vigor, resolve, and boundaries. It isn’t that I was wasting hours on Facebook, but with Facebook on the brain I was not able to use my time well when I had the time to do something purposeful.

Back to the books folks!

 

Present Over Perfect :: The Year of Read

20170512_142819I’ve read everything by Shauna Niequist except her devotional “Savor,” and only because I’ve been busy doing other Bible studies. I learned long ago that while I would enjoy doing multiple studies at once, it simply just isn’t possible to dedicate the amount of devotion necessary to more than one.

The desire to study, learn, grow, push on is a good starting point for revealing how this book Present Over Perfect* has effected me.

Before this book, I would have never considered myself a workaholic. I don’t nearly have the amount of demands or deadlines that an author like Shauna does. I never thought of the verb “hustle” when thinking about the activities of my daily life. But what’s interesting to me is that I read this book back in February when I wasn’t trying to run a business in addition to home educating and keeping a home. Now that I am trying to add one more thing onto my plate, I can quickly and easily identify myself with her.

But I don’t think you have to be a working mother – at home or outside the home – to value what Shauna has to offer in the pages of this book.

I wrote back in February:

I learned things about myself that I never admitted before. Like Shauna, I did not honor my body or soul – I pushed to tackle someone else’s list, some expert’s method, some guru’s diet, and I believed that on the other side of all that pushing I would receive affirmation, security, and comfort in my own skin. I would frantically try to ride a seesaw alone. One side I would push with all my work, work, working to achieve someone else’s ideals. On the other side, I would plop my tired tush down in self-justified huff because the idol of work often comes with a twin – the idol of ease. I worshiped this idol with thoughts like “this shouldn’t be so hard,” “there has to be more short cuts to this,” I deserve a break,” and “since I meet everyone else’s needs, ________ is what will meet my needs…”

Having this dual idol confronted within these pages was a difficult but freeing experience. As I read, I related to Shauna. She isn’t trying to be a theologian. There isn’t a dogmatic 3-step guide for eliminating this idol from your life. She doesn’t point her finger out of the book and wag it at the reader.

She writes her story and invites you to reflect – no altar call, no burden of guilt, no message of superiority, no “I’ve got it all figured out now, and so should you.”

She stays human throughout every page.

I pulled out a number of quotes that resonated with my soul, and I hope that in sharing them you will be blessed by the reminder to be present in your right now life.

“I’ve always trusted things outside myself, believing that my own voice couldn’t be trusted, that my own preferences and desires would lead me astray, that it was far wiser and safer to listen to other people – other voices, the voices of the crowd.” – page 27

“It seems to me that Christians, even more than anyone else, ought to be deeply grounded, living a courageous rhythm of rest, prayer, service, and work. That rhythm is biblical, and it’s one that Jesus himself modeled. It seems to me that Christians ought to be free in meaningful and radical ways to bow out of culture’s insistence on proving and competing. Again, like Jesus. It seems to me that Christians ought to care more deeply about their souls than their bank accounts and pant sizes. But I am a Christian, and I am guilty of all these.” page 84

“It’s very hard to be loved and connected to the people in your home when you’re always bringing them your most exhausted self and resenting the fact that the scraps you’re giving them aren’t cutting it.” page 109

“There is a way of living that is so sweet, so full, so whole and beautiful you’ll never want to go back once you’ve tasted it.” page 161

“This is what our culture wants women to be: skinny and tired, from relentlessly shrinking and hustling. To be clear, I have nothing against people who are really skinny, whether that’s just how God made their bodies or because fitness and nutrition are central parts of their lives. You do you, skinny people. But I’m going to do me, and me is not skinny.” page 186

I think I might be pushing the limit on how many sentences I can quote without permission, so I better stop!

For me, the most important part of reading this book is living in the reality that my past operation – feeding the idol seesaw with more, more, more efforts – has to completely stop. I can’t close the cover of Shauna’s story and think – well that was nice for her, I hope some day I’ll be able to understand this in my own life.

In my life, reading Shauna’s story is a right now confrontation. It calls, tenderly, for a right now change. A right now stillness. A right now reflection. A right now filling because the “Present” part mean so much more than simply counting my attendance in life.

Present to me means: Spiritually awake, submissive to God’s sovereignty in the right now, open and surrendered in active prayer, conscious of the state of my soul, and patient and prayerful while stewarding my schedule – allowing for both work and rest, and learning the dance of being still within even while there is chaos around me.

Thank you, Shauna Niequest for sharing your story. Thank you for sharing your wrestlings and wonderings – the Spirit used them in my life to help me connect and correct.

I hope you are reading something that is feeding your soul! If you are – tell me about it in the comments! And check out what else I’ve been reading by clicking here.

*Afflink

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My Experience with THM

My "why" is to be healthy for these 4 blessings!

My “why” is to be healthy for these 4 blessings!

I had this post written 3 weeks ago…but I’ve been scared to share it. I know a lot of people have been watching my Instagram account with expectation – curious to know more about Trim Healthy Mama. And I realized that there might be some who would skip reading the books for themselves and just take my word for it. So, I just want to preface this post by saying that I have not mastered this plan. I do not operate on plan everyday (yet). I can just tell you my experience, the why’s behind my choices, and encourage you to read it for yourself!

My Experience with THM

Emotions + Food

I don’t own a scale. If you have one in your bathroom, I may jump on it out of curiosity. I normally have an idea of how much I weigh based on how I feel and how my clothes fit.

But I broke up with the scale years ago. I couldn’t handle the temptation to judge my “health” based on that 3 digit number. When that number was stuck in my head, I would make bad decisions. If I felt like it needed to go down, I would eat less even when truly in need of nourishment. Or I would indulge in plain old junk if I felt like the number was low enough, because of course, I had proven that I “earned” it.

To say that I had an unhealthy relationship with food, and more specifically sugar, would be to state the obvious. But to change this relationship, I would have to let go of more than just the scale.

I would have to learn to surrender control over my own body – size and all.

Through 4 pregnancies, I was forced to learn (more deeply every time) the beauty of God’s design. How a woman’s body can grow and carry life is an ever-awe-inspiring miracle. I have learned to honor my pregnant body.

But that wasn’t easy.

See, I loathe gaining weight. The simple thought of food (while pregnant) would make me gain a pound – or two. During the first trimester of every pregnancy, I gained around 15 pounds. This is during the stage of pregnancy when the baby isn’t actually gaining any weight and it’s considered “healthy” to only gain 2-3 pounds – losing weight during this time due to lack of appetite is also considered normal.

15 pounds! All fat for the most part. And every ounce felt like a taunt. For whatever reason, personal or cultural, I am scared of gaining weight. I don’t like to feel my clothes getting a bit “tight.” With limited resources, I can’t just buy a new shirt every time a couple extra pounds create a bulge or a roll. When my clothes fail to hide my insecurities, I start to panic.

Brain healthy smoothie - full of special ingredients, no sugar, and lots of mental boosting power

Brain healthy smoothie – full of special ingredients, no sugar, and lots of mental boosting power

Structure + Food

Not only do I have issues in my head with the way my body changes from food, but I also have physical problems that are food induced.

For seven years I was a vegetarian because whenever I would eat meat, my belly would bloat to painful proportions. It took a year of testing and experiments to finally come to the conclusion that meat wasn’t my friend (that all changed during my 2nd pregnancy when I was known to get aggressive in order to have a burger).

In 2015, I was beginning to go through weird food changes again. I went to an allergist after a couple weird reactions to food – itching and swelling – and I found out that I was extremely sensitive to a handful of everyday foods.

I decided to commit to a Whole30 as a means of cleansing out everything that was causing my body to be so inflamed and “angry” all the time.

After that experience, I can say that my body wanted to stay clean and pure from a lot of foods – dairy, sugar, and wheat. During the “reintroduction,” I felt torn. I could technically eat whatever I wanted now, but if I did then the risk of a stomach ache, inflammation, or whatever was high. I tried to stick closely to a Paleo plate, but it just wasn’t economical. I was feeding my family conventional foods and buying double so that I could not eat what I fed them.

It just wasn’t adding up. So, I gave up. I ate whatever sounded good. I struggled with structural pains and negative physical side effects. I tried to keep the worst trigger foods at bay – dairy and chocolate – but even then, sometimes I just wanted cheese or a mocha.

After having Naomi and going through the whole pregnancy cycle of body-crazy-awareness, I was not about to diet. Now, I am convinced that the fat from pregnancy is all a part of the design! I no longer fear it, but embrace it for a season – the season of spending my physical life to sustain the physical life of another requires that I have a few extra pounds so that both of us can function stably.

So, I ate whatever sounded good. I did my best to balance my diet, and I was eating a boat load of calories (nearing the 3K mark). But the pain was getting to be more than I could manage. Since taking meds for pain while nursing isn’t a great idea, I knew that my only option was to pursue getting to the root causes of my pain.

Perfect evening snack: THM baking blend, no sugar, frozen blueberries, and a pad of butter...yum!

Perfect evening snack: THM baking blend, no sugar, frozen blueberries, and a pad of butter…yum!

So, I finally booked an appointment with a Kinesiologist. (I say finally because I’ve wanted to do this since I first heard of the work Dr. Boven was doing back in 2003!)

I wanted to be ready to change. I needed relief, but when she started detailing the relationship between my physical structure and food – I felt discouraged. I didn’t want to hear that I would have to make changes in my everyday life. I just wanted relief from the pain in my back and hips. Coming to her for help with my back still seemed separate from what I ate. I thought something like: I appreciate your encouragement to eat well in order to feel well, but I just want relief from the pain. Let’s deal with food after that.

And she did help me with a lot of my structural issues. Out of every doctor that I’ve ever seen in my life, she actually found and addressed the root issues to many of the physical problems I have had. With her help, I was getting close to feeling whole, but I still had nagging issues. So, I took a break from the weekly and biweekly visits for a couple months and in that time I enjoyed all the crazy bad foods that the winter holidays have to offer.

But even with all my eating, I was never satisfied. I could eat thirds at dinner and still feel a bit hungry. I knew something just wasn’t right. My back and hips were feeling okay, but the rest of my body just felt fragile. I felt frayed.

THM + Healing

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Enter Trim Healthy Mama.

I was introduced to this plan 4 years ago. And like I do with everything I’m interested in – I borrowed the book from the library and jumped in to understand all the facts. Back then, I wasn’t in a place of interest in healing. I just viewed the plan as a nice way for women to eat in order to quit sugar. (And at the time, that was a deal breaker for me. Man, do I love my sugar.)

With my mind set on finding foods to not only satisfy my raging hunger, but also to balance my hormones (and thereby my whole world) I found myself staring at the Trim Healthy Mama books. I was sucked into their ideas – including all food categories, balancing fuels and blood sugar, and introducing healing superfoods.

"Thin Thick" is a drink that does-it-all! All the special ingredients mixed into one power packed pint. This shake basically fixes everything - I think clearly, feel full, and more. Caution though: don't drink on an empty stomach (i.e. first thing in the morning).

“Thin Thick” is a drink that does-it-all! All the special ingredients mixed into one power packed pint. This shake basically fixes everything – I think clearly, feel full, and more. Caution though: don’t drink on an empty stomach (i.e. first thing in the morning).

THM + Superfoods

I recognize that many people have tried the THM plan without ever purchasing a “special ingredient,” and that is even encouraged in the books! But for me, I was coming to the plan with no weight loss goal in mind – only the hope of healing through foods.

Enter Superfoods.

Just to give you a glimpse at one of the intriguing ingredients – here’s integral collagen’s resume*:

  • Support the immune system
  • Release fat-burning glucagon
  • Soothe anxiety
  • Aid sleep and ease insomnia
  • Improve digestion
  • Help heal a compromised (leaky) gut
  • Detoxify the liver
  • Decrease allergies and food intolerances
  • Increase production of human growth hormone
  • Boost metabolism
  • Satiate and dampen cravings
  • Beautify and strengthen skin, hair, and nails
  • Remineralize teeth
  • Fight arthritis
  • Strengthen bones and joints
  • Reduce cellulite by improving connective tissue
  • Help prevent heart disease
  • Reverse atherosclerosis deposits
  • Battle against prostate cancer
  • AND MORE (but you’ll have to read an encyclopedia to exhaust all that this superfood can do.)

Can you believe all of this? I can honestly say that I wanted every single one of these properties (minus the prostate one) to be active in my diet.

So what is the THM Plan?

In a nutshell, I understand it to be a plan that can help me balance my blood sugar, heal my hormones, and fuel my body with foods that will satisfy, energize, and nourish my mind and body.

Even though all foods are allowed (carbs, proteins, fats, etc.), they are not all eaten in the same setting. For example, an “E” meal is an energizing meal that consists primarily of healthy carbohydrates and protein. There are also “S” (Satisfying meals – protein and fat), “FP” (Fuel Pull – foods with low/no fat and low/no carbs), and “XO” (Crossovers – meals with fats and carbs, these meals are primarily for those wishing not to lose weight).

Everything in the cookbook is labeled with these identifying letters so that you can design your own menu based on the meals you need in order to make best use of the plan.

In the plan, the authors include specific guidelines for all different preferences and life stages – for example, there are specific recommendations for a pregnant or nursing mother, someone trying to lose weight, and even for husbands and other family members.

I’ve just begun to scratch the surface of understanding the depth of the implications of what eating this way will be. I just know that it has been difficult to implement without owning the Plan. I own the cookbook, and I use it daily for the drinks, muffin in a mug, meals, and so much more – but in order to understand what I can eat that isn’t in the cookbook and how to plan a day or a week to stay “on plan” is contained in the plan.

Do I recommend this plan to others? Definitely. I think that everyone will benefit from quitting sugar and all of the seriously damaging over processed foods that are common in the American diet.

Find these books at your local library – go online and place a hold because I’m sure they are probably popular in your area too.

Or you can purchase them on Amazon (afflinks):

Feel free to ask me questions in the comments about my experience! If you have specific THM questions, I’ll try to answer or point you in the right direction.

Watch my video update on my THM journey and see inside the cookbook!

*List of health benefits copied from pages 143 - 144 from the Trim Healthy Mama Plan.
I am not affiliated with the THM plan at all. This post was written by my own design and not because I was contacted by anyone at THM. If you are planning on buying the special ingredients - I do recommend buying from TrimHealthyMama.com only because they are much cheaper than Amazon. But do your own research and make your own educated decisions!