Sunday, July 27, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama - Journey To Health

I have written about Trim Healthy Mama (THM) before, so I won't go into too many details. 

THM was my very first intro to a high fat diet. It taught me that fats are healthy. That we need fats in our diets. It introduced me to so many healthy and delicious recipes, that are super quick! 

-good, easy recipes 
- LARGE online community for support and recipes 
-encourages lifestyle change 
-healthy fats 
-you can make your own chocolate easily and eat it every day! 

- S , E , Fuel Pull and crossover meal types can be confusing. 
- 3 hour window between switching between S and e meals make snacking complicated 
- there are some pretty oddball ingredients needed
- some recipes are downright awful. I could not handle anything with glucomannan in it. The texture was not for me 

My conclusion: 

I love THM and everything it taught me. I learnt so much about optimal nutrition from those ladies. I did find the protocol hard to follow and stick to, but that was before my change in mindset.

I also found the change between meal types to be too much thinking and planning at times. 

THM does still include starches in moderate amounts, and things I have been reading lately are steering me away from that all together. I do think grains are  fine occasionally, and if you are going to eat them occasionally they should be in the healthiest manner. 

A lot of THM recipes have become beloved staples in our home! And they will be here to stay. 

But I don't think THM was meant to be the end of my journey to health. There was still so much more left to learn...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Made To Crave - Journey To Health

This book is not really a diet or lifestyle plan at all. It is more for use in conjunction with whatever you deem as a healthy lifestyle. It encourages you to replace your cravings for food with God instead. It urges you to pray every time you feel temptation to cheat. 

I really liked it, I remember thinking when reading it that I wanted to read it over and over and over until it stuck! 

I do want to read it again, now that I have chosen the healthy lifestyle changes I want to make! I think it would really help me to stick to these healthy choices! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thin Within - Journey To Health

I did two versions of Thin Within, the personal book and the group bible study. I am embarrassed to say that I didn't finish either of them. Story of my life. 

Thin Within is a grace based approach, it works on you spiritually, emotionally and physically. It tried to get behind my reasons for emotional eating. It's weight loss approach was to make you conscious of your hunger. And to only eat when you are truly, hungry or at a 0. It encouraged you to chew slowly and pause between every bite to re-evaluate your hunger number, 10 being overstuffed and 5 being perfectly satisfied. You were never supposed to eat over a 5. 

There were no particular foods to eat, as long as you only started to eat at a 0 and stopped at a 5. 

-eat whatever you want
-works on all facets of your health
-involves God in the process

-difficult to make a habit out of eating that way. 
-Arriving at a 0 often happened at inconvenient times, not at regular mealtimes. Made it difficult to do at work. 
-didn't teach you to eat healthy foods (although maybe it moved on to that if I would have finished the 30 days, I only got to 25)
-really required great willpower and self-control, something I obviously don't have much of. 

My conclusion:
I found Thin Within hard to make a permanent life change. I thought it would be "THE" answer because it is Christian based program. But I did find myself still wanting to learn about how to fill my body with foods that are good for it, not just to empty and fill my stomach with anything. I still may go back and redo the bible study one day! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

17 Day Diet - Journey to Health

I shouldn't even talk about this diet, but it is something I tried so here I go. A couple friends at work were doing the 17 Day Diet and getting awesome results, so I wanted to try it too. At this time I still had the mindset that if I could quickly lose all the weigh, I could just go back to eating whatever I wanted when I was this.

The 17 Diet has 3 17 day phases. The first phase is very low fat and low carb, leaving mostly lean poultry proteins veggies and low sugar fruits. They also allow yogurt. The second phase adds in lean red meats, natural starches, beans, and starchy veggies. Phase three adds in even more meats, breads, cereals, pasta, all fruits, nuts, cheese along with some other things. There is certain food servings for all these phases of course. There is also a 4th phase that is basically a maintenance phase. You can pretty much eat whatever you want.

Eric and I started the diet right before Christmas. Bad idea. I tried to start it again after but for some reason it fizzled. I had probably moved on to another new fangled diet by then!

-only 17 days until you can change, anyone can stick to anything for 17 days
-easy to follow plan, well explained, simple foods.

-does not promote a permanent healthy lifestyle change
-loaded with grains/carbs, even in earlier stages of the diet

My conclusion:
I feel like I can't really come to a conclusion for this diet because I didn't give it a good try. I have been wondering if I should give it a try again just to say that I did. But from what I have been reading lately, I don't think this plan is the way to go. I KNOW it works for weight loss, I saw my friends succeed on it. But I did NOT see anyone succeed permanently because of this diet, and thats what concerns me the most.

Jeepers going over all these diets makes me realize how ridiculous I must sounds, jumping from this to that and the other thing. However in the last year I really have had a different mindset. I remember thinking for HARD the first 17 days are. And now I look at the food list and think it would be so easy to stick to that now! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Gi Diet - Journey To Health

The GI Diet was my introduction to the glycemic index. It was highly recommended for the treatment of the symptoms of PCOS, so naturally I had to give it a try.

The plan was basically a low carb, low fat diet. You only eat foods that won't spike your blood sugar. Spikes in blood sugar result in high insulin secretion which leads to obesity. Keep your blood sugar stable, lose weight.  I am not here to explain the science behind it all, if you want to know you can read up on it!

-short book, easy to follow plan with a simple chart of green, yellow and red columns. Green is eat freely, yellow is eat with caution and red is never eat.
-great for PCOS and diabetes.
- there was some really great recipes

- low fat, did not allow much for red meats,
-required some hard to find ingredients
-allows for a lot of grain products & carbs

My conclusion:
This diet was a great introduction to low GI eating. It is short and simple. However I feel that humans do require a decent intake of healthy fats for optimal nutrition. In my opinion, it would be hard to maintain this diet for a lifetime. I definitely would like to go back a read through it again and try some of the recipes again.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Naturopathic Medicine - Journey To Health

Naturopathic medicine was something I sought out after battling a terrible bout of anxiety that lasted months. I have often been heard saying that I never felt better than when I was seeing a naturopath.

I love the whole idea of naturopathic medicine. I loved that the Doctor listened to me and examined every single symptom I had, instead of giving me pills to fix one singular symptom.

I did eventually stop going to a naturopath because the one I was seeing in Gimli left, and it wasn't convenient. It also became quite the financial burden to keep up with all the things. We were also set to start out first fertility treatment, and I wasn't supposed to be taking any sort of herbal medications at the time. I ended up getting pregnant and didn't pursue naturopathy any more.

- I feel like everything about it is a pro. Love that the medicine is based one listening to each individuals body. And not only does it care for your physical body but also every facet of your health, mental, spiritual, emotional.
-I felt great

-Can get expensive for the extra tests, supplements, herbs, etc.
-Time consuming for the appts.
-She had me avoid dairy, which was very difficult. It made it hard to go anywhere to eat.

My conclusion:

I love naturopathy, and I would like to go again! However this time I would like to be more vocal about what I can and cannot afford. I don't want to walk out with 10 different kinds of  supplements that will cost be $600 a month to maintain.

I would encourage everyone to go see a naturopathic doctor! But again I would encourage you to be vocal about your finances and get them to recommend affordable options for supplements!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Visalus - Body By Vi - Journey To Health

Oh Visalus. My best friend/ sister-in-law / business partner Alyssa still laugh about this one. We thought we were going to be so rich from it.

Visalus is a direct selling company that basis is protein shakes for weight loss. The program was simple, shake for breakfast, shake for lunch, healthy well rounded meal for supper with healthy snack in-between. My cousin first introduced me to it, and I had no interested for the first few months. But I had gotten into drinking protein shakes for several months, so I figured I would try out this brand.

If you get people to buy shakes from you, and you eventually get your shakes for free. Get even more and you start making money. I do know people who have done very well from this. I thought for sure I was going to be driving my very own Visalus BMW.

They also sell vitamins, metabolism boosters, and all sorts of other health products to go along with the shakes. The probably have even more products today, I haven't looked at them for quite some time.

I actually enjoyed the shakes, I had fun creating all sorts of flavours, I lost about 15-20 lbs while on that diet. But I felt awful. I spend a lot of time on the porcelain throne, if you know what I mean. There was something in that shake mix that did not sit well with my stomach.

It was not a healthy way to live. Plus the shakes are artificially sweetened which is now a big no-no for me.

-cheap. Only $100 a month for two meals a day for a whole month. Even cheaper if you got other suckers to go along with you.
-Simple, easy, not very time consuming.

-artificial sweeteners
-made me sick
-did not promote a healthy, long term lifestyle change.

My conclusion:
I truly have nothing against Visalus and I think they have a decent product, but again it is not one for a permanent lifestyle change. I don't want to drink two shakes every day for the rest of my life. I want to eat real food. Healthy, nourishing, real food.

Plus it made me sick. I read other people experiences and I honestly wondered if there was some sort of laxative in it and that is why you lost weigh on this plan.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Weight Watchers - Journey To Health

Weight Watchers (WW) is probably the most well known weight loss programs in North America. I first tried it a few years back, and found it relatively easy and effective.

WW goes by the points system, the more fat and carbs in a food, the more points it is. Fruit and veggies are 0 points for the most part. It is essentially a low fat/ low carb diet. You also get bonus point for exercising, meaning you can eat more.

-flexible, you can eat whatever types of food you want, so long as you don't go over your points.
- encourages exercise by rewarding you with bonus points.
-I loved the super handy iPhone app for tracking points.

-does not teach you healthy lifestyle habits because you can eat a chocolate bar every single day and still be within your points range
-expensive. You have to pay a monthly fee which is just over $20, plus a sign up fee. You can also attend meetings if available in your area, not sure of the cost of that. You can join on a sale that waives the sign up fee, usually at the beginning of the year
-tracking points can be time consuming, especially if making your own food. It is easy to track points with something with a  nutritional label. I feel that this steers you towards processed foods because of ease of tracking.
-low fat, which equals high hunger. You cannot take out both fat and carbs and expect to be satiated.

My conclusion:

WW works to help you lose weight. If you stick to it. Forever. Stop tracking your points and start piling on the pounds. Although WW steers you towards making healthy choices, it does't really teach you how to completely change your lifestyle. It is only permanent if you want to keep paying for it for the rest of your life.

I think you are going to hear me sing this same tune a lot. If you want to change your health, you need to change you lifestyle. That is a lesson that has been hard learned for me. For some reason, in the last couple months this had FINALLY been engrained in my head. I really believe all these diet programs and plans that I have tried have taught me lessons. They may not have helped me to permanently lose weight, but there is something positive to take from all of them. 

T.O.P.S. - Journey to Health

I can't begin this walk back into my diet history without talking about TOPS, short for Take Off Pounds Sensibly.

I was 16 years old when my weight loss journey officially began. Looking back I was just barely overweight, maybe 20 lbs to lose, maybe 30 at the most. I would be wonderful to be that close to my goal weight again. I had been told my whole life I was fat, and had a huge gut to lose. Thus when my mom and aunties started attending TOPS, I did too.

I managed to lose 10 lbs before my graduation.

TOPS is not a diet plan. It is a support group than encourages you to make healthy choices. I have considered starting to go again just for the accountability.

-weekly weigh ins
- support group
-education about healthy eating, sometimes with guest speakers
-prizes and incentives for weight loss (there are badges you can earn)

- monthly fee
-no official plan to follow, you just do you own thing.
-doesn't necessarily teach you how to make permanent healthy lifestyle changes.

My conclusion:

TOPS is a positive environment, and it could be a great place to find support and encouragement. However TOPS alone was not enough for me to learn a healthy lifestyle change needed. I proceeded to gain 20 lbs while randomly attending a TOPS in the city, and then another 50 once leaving TOPS.

I do feel like TOPS encourages fad diets in a way, because there are no dietary guidelines, and there is prizes for the people who lose the most weight every week. Also every week after the TOPS meeting there would be a get together which would be a cheat night filled with sugary and carb loading treats. Not exactly promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Like I said before, I would be curious to join again now that I am an adult. Plus most of my aunties still go so it would be nice to spend more time with them! :) 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Journey to Health - And a Web Address Change

I have been on a journey for many years. I have blogged about it many times. I have talked about the struggled. And now I am going to document it all here.

I am talking about my journey to a healthy lifestyle. I have tried so many diets/eating plans. From all of this I have gleaned that if you want to be healthy, you need to change your lifestyle. Permanetly.

This summer I am planning on reading a bunch of diet/lifestyle/healthy eating books. I am going to be reading Wheat Belly, Grain Brain, Neandrathin (Paleo), a ketogenic diet book, and Nourishing Traditions. I am going to talk about them all.

I am also going to be writing posts about the previous books I have head and diets I have done.

So far all of my reading had steered me in the direction of a Low Carb, High Fat lifestyle. I am hoping by the end of the summer I will have enough knowledge to make some permanent changes in our life!

I hope you will join me! I would also love to hear your stories about diets that worked for you. Tell me about lifestyle changes that changed your health for the better!


I have updated my web address, it no longer redirects from my domain name to the blogger address. My domain is You may have to update you blog list to keep getting my blog updates on your blogroll!


Monday, July 07, 2014

1000th Post - Small Encouragements

Wow. This is the 1000th time I have written something here. Let's take this time to pause and remember all the great posts I have written…

Moving on…

Today I was expressing my frustration to Eric about my diet. Not in the terms of diet plan. but in the terms of the sum of the food I consume in general. I really struggle with this. I enjoy eating healthy, and for the most part I do eat very healthily, especially lately.

But in times of stress, I eat sugar. Candy, cupcakes, etc. I can't seem to control that part of my diet. I have great restraint most of the time, but one unexpected bill. One broken glass. One argument. One ruined sewing project. One negative feedback from my businesses and I am heading for the cupboard for a sweet treat. A lot of sweet treats.

I was telling Eric that I am destined to be forever fat. I will never be able to control this. I might as well give up and just live my life.

Then I picked up my bible. I have this grand plan of reading it front to back again, this time with the NLT. I haven't been getting a far fast. But today I decided I was going to sit and read it for a while. The first thing I ready was Genesis 15 - 18. In it God promised Abram he will have a son. Sarah laughs at the thought of it, being an old woman past the childbearing age. I feel like Sarah most of the time.

I have always looked to this story as encouragement when struggling with infertility. But today I saw it as hope in a desperate situation, any situation. God does promise that I will triumph over this struggle. God does care about it.

It really is true that the devil is the king of opportunism. His negative ideas spread like a virus to the point that you don't think you can recover. He fills your mind with "never", "can't", "you're not worthy", "nobody cares", "give up" and the like. He tries to validate your negativity and he wants you to believe it as truth. But it is not truth. It is lies.

I can triumph over this struggle. I am always looking for the right diet plan, exercise, book, or article that will cure me. That will get me over this. I am always trying to do it alone. Today I was reminded that I cannot do this alone. I need God.  I will always need God.

I didn't go to the Bible to find answers to today's problems. Today's problems were a kick in the pants to read the Bible again. It just so happened that I found the answers I needed anyways. God is cool that way, He meets you where you are and lifts you up.

"We will overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Everyone, overcome" - Jeremy Camp
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