pregnancy with fruit
Trim Healthy Mama,  Health,  Pregnancy and Nursing

The Balance of a Trim Healthy Mama Pregnancy with Personal Choice Products

A Trim Healthy Mama pregnancy can be challenging and quite honestly exhausting! Sometimes a mama must take some freedom with the THM plan. This does not mean that we throw the plan out the window, or does it? Actually, it means, that we do what is best for ourselves and our baby. We tweak, and evaluate, while always keeping the basics in mind. You can do this my THM friends! You can be successful on this plan while pregnant.

This was written by certified Trim Healthy Mama coach. Originally posted in 2019.

trim healthy mama pregnancy

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.

Following Trim Healthy Mama While Pregnant

Here is a big confession: I have NOT been as successful as I wanted to with staying on the Trim Healthy Mama plan during this pregnancy. Faaaar from it. However, I have had to give myself plenty of pep talks and remind myself that I always jump right back in after falling off. It’s okay, and I’m growing as I learn. There is no prefect health journey. There is just imperfect growth. 

I’ve also had to remind myself that my body became pregnant again only 10 months after giving birth. During those 10 months I went from 253 to 178 pounds. My body has been through a rollercoaster. I honestly should be grateful that it is keeping up at all! 

weight comparison on Trim Healthy Mama
weight comparison on THM

And so, it is with those things in mind that I launch into the tips for a Trim Healthy Mama pregnancy I want to leave. Trim Healthy Mama is a lifestyle that has saved me. It is rooted in the belief that God has given us beautiful and wonderful food to be enjoyed. Everything is in. From carbs to fats, God created it all. It’s simply a matter of learning how to balance it all.

What is Trim Healthy Mama?

Simply put, with Trim Healthy Mama we anchor everything in protein and then choose to eat either carbs or fats. We leave a minimum of 3 hours in between eating for our body to use the fuel we chose. In this way our hormones are balanced, our weight is maintained, and if we have weight to lose, it falls off wonderfully.  If you’ve never read the THM Plan Book or other cookbooks, be sure to grab one and understand the plan before continuing.

Yet, a Trim Healthy Mama pregnancy while nursing is a completely different beast. Not only are you fueling yourself and your baby, but you are also fueling a pregnancy! That’s 3 people! 

Get out of here! Is that even possible?!  Let’s just take a moment and drink in the craziness that is the women body. Pregnancy is a wild ride!

What is Trim Healthy Mama infographic

The Difficulties of a THM Pregnancy

Okay, now that I have sat in awe of that for a moment let’s launch back in to a THM pregnancy. 

My first trimester I was ravenously hungry. It was unquenchable. I could eat and 5 minutes later I would start feeling dizzy with fatigue. I’m grateful I don’t get morning sickness as I’m not sure what I would have done. However, the hunger was hard enough. At that point, my 10-month-old was nursing 6-7 times a day. Currently at 16 months we are down to nursing only upon waking up in the morning. That has cut down on a lot of hunger issues.

The past 7 1/2 months have been filled with learning how to take care of myself, my firstborn, and my unborn child, while eating the way I desire. It has been a road of discovery. A Trim Healthy Mama pregnancy is doable, but it takes some planning.

If you are in a similar boat, I want to encourage you that these times are fleeting. You may want to give up on nursing and that’s okay. You may feel crazy emotions about being pregnant while nursing, and that’s okay too. You might want to completely give up eating the Trim Healthy Mama way, and that’s okay too. Your experience as a THM pregnant mom might be completely different than mine! These tips still may help you. We are in this together and these tips and tricks are meant only to be another resource as you learn how to do THM while pregnant or nursing.

Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. 

Let’s dive down deep. 

The Best Trim Healthy Mama Pregnancy Tips & Tricks

Let’s be clear Mama, if you are in the same boat as I was during my second pregnant, you have been charged with THREE lives to take care of. Yourself, the one your nursing, and the one you’re growing.

Even if it’s just yourself and your growing baby, which is still enough to make a Trim Healthy Mama pregnancy difficult. You are growing a human child! You may also be caring for a husband, other children, and I’m sure a mounting amount of responsibility. 

These are tips that I have learned during my pregnancies that I believe will be helpful no matter what your stage of life. You can do a Trim Healthy Mama pregnancy lady, you can! As a gift to you, I’d like to give you a copy of my free Healing Home Harvest Cookbook as you walk this THM pregnancy road. Many of these recipes are great for pregnancy and can be delicious for the entire family! You can also check out my newly published cookbook on Amazon!

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# 1 – Give yourself Grace

” For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV

The above verse is specifically talking about salvation but let me for a moment apply it to our situation. No matter your situation, pregnancy is a ridiculous task.  We need grace. We need to give ourselves grace. 

Notice in the above verse that our salvation is a gift from God. It is a gift that we do not receive because of anything we do. 

Growing in health is a gift that God has given you. If you have found the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle and it has helped you, consider it a gift. There is freedom in this plan. It is not something you have earned. The knowledge is not something that you have gleamed by any strength of your own doing. In fact the authors of the plan wouldn’t hesitate to give the credit of this plan completely back to God. He created our bodies and intricately knows how they work. He created all the wonderful and delicious food that we enjoy on this plan. 

So, as you succeed or fail on this plan, remember that is is gift that God has given. If you succeed give praise to God that he has blessed you with the strength and knowledge to continue. If you fail, receive again the gift of this plan and hop right back into it with grace. 

# 2 – Embrace Crossovers

Let’s all repeat something together, “Crossovers are on plan, crossovers are on plan, crossovers are on plan.”

How did that feel? Fairly good right? 

Crossovers are those meal and snacks that are still anchored in protein but are full of fats and carbs. 

They are not off plan, but many THM’s keep them at bay because they are not necessarily conducive to weight loss. However, during pregnancy we NEED these nutrient dense meals. We need our fats and our carbohydrates. Do not neglect eating in a day. 

Here’s a hard truth, if you are THM Momma that was in weight loss mode before pregnancy and you get pregnant while you are in weight loss mode, you need to realize you are now stepping out of weight loss mode. It’s a hard truth to embrace, but you are now in weight gain mode. An even harder truth is that it’s good. 

It’s good to gain weight during pregnancy, it’s good that your body is creating fat to nurture and protect your baby.

Keep your mindset intact and continue with diligence through the season you are in.

Side note: An excellent podcast to listen to about the freedom of E meals and crossovers is Ep. 131 of the Trim Healthy Mama Podcast. It gives a refreshing perspective on the healthiness of carbs and fats. 

Listen to Ep. 131

#3 Stay Hydrated

It seems so basic but staying hydrated is powerful. 

  1. Especially during pregnancy your body needs water to produce amniotic fluid, produce extra blood, form tissue, flush yours and baby’s body of toxins, and carry nutrients. 
  2. Fluids can help you avoid poor nutrition decisions. 

Water is obviously the best choice to be gulping down, but I am truly poor at this. Although I drink, I lot of water, I prefer some yummy drinks throughout the day as well. Some of my favorite options include. I find that drinking enough fluids can keep my hunger down and mindset intact. Not drinking enough fluids can derail me from eating well and make poor snacking decisions. Essentially, drinking enough fluids can derail or strengthen a healthy Trim Healthy Mama pregnancy mindset. 

  1. Hydrates by THM: These beauties came out during my pregnancy, and I had to try them. They are so good and not filled with the shameful ingredients that many water packets are filled with. 
  2. Good Girl Moonshine : It’s a simple recipe that is easy to make and delicious to sip on throughout the day. It’s very economical to use a pure stevia to sweeten because the bitter taste of stevia does not come through like it does in baked goods. 
  3. The Shrinker: This is my all-time favorite THM drink. It takes like something you would get at a Starbucks or Caribou and completely curbs my hunger. Again the pure stevia tastes great in this one!
  4. Baobab Boost Juice: I can’t say enough good things about baobab. It is a superfood that needs to get more attention. If you click on the recipe, you can learn a little bit more about the power of baobab. My son loves his baobab juice too. 
  5. Zevia:  Zevia is one of the best things that have hit the market. It is a lovely alternative to soda and contains only ‘real’ ingredients (including stevia) that are GMO free. 
  6. Cranberry Wassail : Another great option is my cranberry wassail. I make this all year round, but it is particularly good around the holidays.

The pure stevia that THM has in their store is by far my favorite. Click on the image below to learn more.

# 4 – Throw it all out the Window if you have to

I’m sure a bunch of coaches, and THM veterans just did a face plant when they read tip #4. 

I get it. When we throw the plan out the window, we are diving back into a lifestyle that is not healthy. 

Yet let’s not become legalistic here. 

Trim Healthy Mama is a lifestyle that is based on a powerful mindset. Although this will NOT be the case for everyone, I have found that occasionally I need to throw the plan out the window for my own sanity, while keeping my mind set intact. 

This means that I go right back on plan with NO guilt, NO trauma, and NO fear.  I found that grabbing some new cookbooks during this time to keep recipes fresh and interesting to my ever changing taste buds.

Going off Plan on a THM Pregnancy

I quickly learned early on in my Trim Healthy Mama pregnancy that there were consequences for throwing the plan out the window. Eating based on cravings for Cheetos, pizza, chips, Oreo’s, or copious amounts of fruit was going to put on more weight than I wanted or was healthy. 

That is when I decided to embrace some personal choice products that would help maintain my healthy mindset, keep me sane, and not derail my pregnancy. 

Remember that these are personal choices, and that everything needs to be used within a healthy balance. 

THM Personal Choice Products

The Top 4 that has kept my Sanity

Choosing personal choice products that are not necessarily on plan but are there to maintain your mindset is not for everyone. Again, I’m not a THM coach, I’m not the authors of the THM books, and I’m not a nutritionist. 

However, I commonly tell people that I’m just a crazy researcher mom that loves to research and then tell other people what I discovered. 

These are Personal Choice products, which means they are not necessarily recommended on THM due to various ingredients, but they can be used sparingly according to your personal choice.

These are some pregnancy personal choice products that have helped me maintain a Trim Healthy Mama pregnancy mindset. 

Beanitos”

Dear Benitos , Oh the luscious feeling of eating some chips that are not totally bad for you! 

Reason they are not ideal: 

You must read the ingredient list carefully on each version of this chip, but some varieties are baked with less-than-ideal oil, contain cane sugar, and contain tapioca starch. Tapioca starch is not recommended of THM because it can spike blood sugar which for extended periods of time is not good for our bodies. 

Reasons I choose them: 

Beanitos chips are a crossover which means they have a higher amount of carbs and fats. Part of the THM lifestyle is to anchor our meals with protein. This is essential in many areas including balancing our blood sugar which has a high impact on our weight. Beanitos includes a balanced amount of protein along with the carbohydrates and fats. 

It also has minimum ingredients. Even the more recent addition to the Beanitos family of the Crunch line has minimum ingredients that are easy to read and understand. 

The FAQ section on the Benito website is very informative on why their chips are different than other ‘healthy’ options. 

My favorite are the Nancho Nation Beanitos 

Non-Pregnancy Considerations

For prepackaged items THM recommends sticking to 6 net carbs for a S meal. This means that all Beanitos Chips would be considered a Crossover, and you would need to calculate closely the serving size. Most of the time this is somewhere between 3-6 chips. I have used Beanitos chips outside of pregnancy and have found that for myself I stay on plan better when I don’t count carefully. I just enjoy. If I’m going to enjoy some chips, I just grab what I want and enjoy without fear. For some this completely derails them, so get to know your triggers and what is best for you. 

Beanitos package

Quest Bars

{Update! THM has protein bars!  Unfortunately, they sell out quickly once they are up on their shop, so quest bars still have been useful to me during nursing}

Protein bars are just a hard topic because there are so many ingredients in those suckers. Making your own is always the best option, but that can be tricky and hard to prefect. Currently, there are no protein bars that are on plan, however THM plans to make their own version to sell. Yippee!

Reasons they are not ideal: 

Not only do Quest Bars contain a large amount of ingredients they also contain something called prebiotic fiber in the form of corn starch. Prebiotic Fiber just simple raises blood sugar,and corn starch is specifically potent for blood sugar.

Many also contain sucralose which can cause insulin resistance, and also tends to cause various reactions like migraines. Trim Healthy Mama does not recommend any products that contain sucralose. There are some Quest Bars that contain sucralose and some that do not. Because ingredient lists change often, it’s important that you investigate the ingredients each time you purchase. 

Reasons I choose them: 

To be honest, I’m not a huge diehard fan of quest bars, but I do find them helpful during the famished times of pregnancy and nursing. They are something easy to put in a diaper bag that are a quick fix to ravenous hunger. The ingredients are not ideal in some cases, but for my season I find them more helpful than detrimental. 

As of August 2019 these are the Quest Bars that do not contain  sucralose 

  1.  Chocolate Hazelnut 
  2. Chocolate Peanut Butter
  3. Chocolate Sprinkled Doughnut
  4. Cinnamon Roll 
  5. Coconut Cashew
  6. Double Chocolate Chunk
  7. Mocha Chocolate Chip
  8. Peanut Butter Brownie Smash
  9. Strawberry Cheesecake
picture of quest bar

Quest Pizza

Quest makes some really stellar products using less ingredients than most major brands, the ingredients are readable and they taste fairly scrumptious. 

An easy THM healthy pizza recipe is to take a low carbohydrate tortilla fill it with pizza sauce, cheese, vegetables, and a meat choice. It’s usually delicious. Yet by the end of my 1st trimester the sight of them made me want to gag. I started eating my husbands pizza, which was not ideal. These quest pizzas were the next personal choice product I used to stay within the THM mindset during pregnancy. 

Reasons they are not ideal

Quest offers 4 different types of pizza (I have only found 3 of them at my local grocery stores) including cheese, pepperoni, supreme, and spinach & mushroom. None of these have adequate amounts of vegetables and so if you are going to consume it as a meal, I highly recommend adding veggies to it. 

All except the cheese pizza list sugar as an ingredient. The sugar content appears to be quite trace. The bigger reason why the THM community considers it a personal choice product is because of the corn starch listed in all their pizzas. Corn starch again is a very easy fiber to place in processed foods and often results in a blood sugar rise and limits weight loss and maintenance. 

Reason I choose them

My husband is a bit of a pizza lover and he will go out and get the greasiest, most gross looking pizza and devour the entire thing. I started to notice myself eating a piece or two and feeling crummy after.

My entire reasoning behind using so many personal choice products during my pregnancy was to remain sane and in a the THM mindset. The Quest pizza was really one of the smartest decisions I made. The amount of naughty carbohydrates, fats, and ingredients in most pizzas are truly discouraging and can lead to a lot of weight gain. 

Unfortunately ,these are smaller pizzas and certainly are not cheap. When they would go on sale, I would grab a few to have in stock at home for our weekly pizza nights. The pepperoni pizza has

28 grams of protein

6 net carbs

4 grams of sugar 

19 grams of fiber 

A serving size of 1/2 of the pizza which I usually shared with my toddler son. 

You have to realize when choosing this product on the THM plan that it is definitely a personal choice product. However, if you only eat half of the pizza, you technically would be in S or fat mode. It is an ideal choice if you are struggling with eating a nice slice of pizza during pregnancy or nursing and need a better choice. 

picture of quest pizza

Dried Fruit and Nut Mix

Dried fruit has received an awfully bad rap on THM. The authors of the book and plan recently addressed this on their Trim Healthy Mama Poddy and I found it refreshing to see the freedom and joy dried fruit can bring. 


Listen to Episode 108

Reasons they are not ideal

Let be clear though, you will not get as much bang for your buck with eating dried fruit. The water content is dried out, the sugar content is more condensed, the fiber is eliminated, higher in calories, and hard on your blood sugar. 

Reasons I choose them

Dried fruit needs to be treated with smarts. Depending on your season this may not be a daily or even weekly treat. 

Finding dried fruit without added sugar is also quite the task. 

Trail mix that contains nuts and dried fruit is a heavy crossover. Please do not use this as freedom to eat large handfuls of nuts and dried fruit. This is so hard on your blood sugar. 

However, in the season you are in they may be beneficial. My season is still nursing, and pregnancy and my body tends to utilize nuts and dried fruit well. 15 years from now my hormones are not going to be in the same place, and I may need to evaluate how often I utilize nuts and dried fruit. 

RealFruit is one of the few fruits and nut mix’s that does not contain added sugar.  PowerUp trail mix is another option and is available both on amazon and in our local Walmart, however, you will notice that they add sugar to their fruit. For the life of me I cannot understand why companies add sugar to fruit that already contains sugar! So, I only use this when I am truly in a pinch. 

2018 THM Pregnancy Versus a 2019 Pregnancy

I use my personal choice products on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. I’m not perfect and no pregnancy is perfect! A few days ago, I was clearing out pictures on my phone and came across an old picture from my first pregnancy. I was a little further along than I currently am, but the difference was so stark that it was difficult not to share.

There are many blessings to following a THM pregnancy and it’s good to see differences and be reminded that there is no perfect health journey, just imperfect growth. 

Carry on Mommas!

Other Resources for a Trim Healthy Mama Pregnancy

There are many other places you can go to if you are looking for THM pregnancy resources. Here are a few to look at.

My Joy Filled Life has another great pregnancy resource that talks more about sticking on plan instead of personal choice products.

The Experienced Mama also has a stellar post on having a baby belly only pregnancy.