I’ll admit it. I was a little skeptical about the new book called Trim, Healthy Mama. I’ve been interested in health and nutrition for nearly as long as I’ve been homeschooling so I’ve seen and tried just about everything. Yes, even some real wacky stuff, all in the hope of better health and nutrition. I have counted calories, done Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Fit for Life, the Dukan Diet, Raw Foods, Hallelujah Acres, Nourishing Traditions, Paleo/Primal, Juicing, Green Smoothies and more. Just ask my family. I’m often the fodder for their, affectionate, jokes. They have, jokingly, referred to one of my raw food cookie attempts as “Doggy Doo Cookies“.(No further description needed, I’m sure) When trying out new foods, they eye it suspiciously and ask, “Does it have Spirulina in it?” with much eye rolling and gagging.
I believe that a lot of these diets (eating plans) have something of benefit. I’ve learned something from each and every one of them! But they simply are not a lifestyle plan for the whole family. If they aren’t a plan that the family can do, then it’s a big, fat fail in our house. I have tried and failed more times than I care to remember.
A few years ago, while trying to focus on raw foods, I purchased the book, Rejuvenate the Nation by Serene Allison. I read through the book and set to work on creating the raw, healthy foods. Aside from the salads most of the food ended up in the bin. My family tried hard but they just couldn’t get on board with it. Aside from that, I never planned to be 80% raw or anything like that. I simply wanted better nutrition. The purist focus of the book turned me off because I’m the type of gal who needs to give it her all. And if I can’t, then I feel like I have failed so I might as well chuck the whole thing. So when I heard about a new health book by Serene Allison and her sister, Pearl Barrett, you can imagine my skepticism.
Being the curious creature that I am I had to stalk the book. I followed the blog and Facebook page. The more I read the more intrigued I was. When I saw it was only $33.00 at the Book Depository I couldn’t resist. And then it arrived! And let me tell you, it is not small book. 640 pages big!
TRIM, HEALTHY MAMA — No More Fads! A Common Sense Guide To Satisfy Your Cravings And Energize Your Life
Is written by sisters, Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett. Both women are wives and mothers of large families. Serene is no longer a raw food purist and Pearl is a gal after my own heart – she desires health and nutrition but she also likes her shortcuts, like the microwave! Throughout the book, there is a lot of friendly, sibling bantering which is the perfect setting for me. The authors sister-in-law has done a few cartoonish illustrations and they add to the fun and understanding of the plan. This book is a nutrition book that includes hundreds of recipes. This book is not just about weight loss but it is about health! Food, exercise, hormonal balancing, marriage intimacy tips, stabilizing blood glucose levels and more are included in this conversational style book.
The book is a 640 page soft cover. It has an introduction where the husbands of both women write in and share from their perspective. This really appealed to the skeptical part of my brain.
- Part One introduces a few different type of hypothetical women, from Drive Thru Sue to Farm Fresh Tess.
- Part Two explains the whole plan, including the lists of plan approved foods and foundational foods.
- Part Three is all the recipes. And let me tell you, the ones I’ve tried so far are pretty good! Even my husband said he’d eat and drink them again!
- Part Four is a chapter that I loved. It is where both Serene and Pearl share their food/health journey. They have different pasts and perspectives but I found it very beneficial to hear Serene’s story of how and why she stopped being a raw foodist.
- Part Five contains a few chapters on a range of topics from exercise, hormones, marital intimacy and more.
The authors are Christian and naturally they write from this perspective but it is not preachy and I do believe that most non Christians would not have an issue with reading and learning from the book.
I recommend this book to anyone who desires health and better nutrition but often gets confused by all the opposing research and information that is available. It is quite achievable with a large family and with babies and toddlers. If you have looked at Paleo or Primal Diets or learned about Nourishing Traditions but didn’t find it easy to incorporate into your lifestyle then this could be the book for you! If you want to feed your family real food yet not deprive them of goodies, then run and get this book.
There are a few key ingredients that you may not be able to source at your local supermarket or health food store. The Facebook page gives a few details of where Aussies can purchase the various ‘foundation foods’. I’m not put off by this… I’m simply starting to make little changes as I am able and I will purchase the other ingredients when my budget permits.