Many Trim Healthy Mama beginners ask the question, “Do you need special ingredients to start on THM?”
The short answer, no. You don’t have to have them.
It can be difficult when you are following the Facebook pages as a THM beginner and you see that you need to be putting collagen in your coffee, oat fiber in your muffins, gluccie in your pudding and ACV in your GGMS. It can seem like a different language, confusing and overwhelming.
But it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Keep reading for tons of things that will make your life easier like recipes with NSI (no special ingredients), and special ingredients that you might want to try a couple at a time.
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Do You Need Special Ingredients On THM?
Remember when you learned about the difference in wants and needs in school? Special ingredients on THM are a want.
You can definitely do Trim Healthy Mama without these and the sisters actually started out this way. And you can too. Just real, whole foods that you can find at any grocery store.
On Plan Without Special Ingredients
So how do you do it when you see all these recipes with 12 different specialty flours and sweeteners?
It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to do THM.
Wanna know a secret?
I have been doing THM since 2016 and I still don’t use a ton of special ingredients.
Actually, I hardly ever use them.
Why? Because I find it easier to stay on plan when I have simple, easy to prep meals at my fingertips.
NSI THM Recipes
So how do you cook without these ingredients that “everyone” is talking about?
I recommend starting out by making things that you used to make before THM & adapting if needed.
- Spaghetti? Use a sauce with no sugar added and serve over spaghetti squash or alfredo over broccoli. (S meal)
- Tacos? Serve in a Low Carb Mission Tortilla or on a taco salad. (S Meal if you load it up with sour cream and cheese, E meal if you use extra lean meat, beans & no/very low fats like cheese)
- Grilled chicken with vegetables (FP Meal if veggies are non-starchy)
- A crockpot roast and sub turnips or radishes for the potato (S Meal)
- Tuna Salad on Sprouted bread (E Meal)
- Large dinner salad with deli meat or chicken (S meal if you use cheese, nuts etc;)
- Rotisserie chicken and a sweet potato (E Meal if you use only the breast of the chicken, no skin)
- Eggs and bacon with a side of strawberries (S meal)
- Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls with 5 Variations (Both S & E options)
- Easy 7 Layer Dip Tostadas (E meal)
- Crazy Easy & Cheesy Enchiladas (S Meal & you don’t need store bought tortillas)
- Chicken Sausage and Grilled Veggie Summer Meal
- Baked Georgia Peach Oatmeal – No extra Sweetener Required (E Meal)
- Cheesy Salsa Verde Chicken – A 30 minute Skillet meal (S)
There are also plenty of no special ingredient recipes in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.
What If I Want to Buy A Couple Special Items?
If you are brand new and starting off, there are a few things that may make your life easier.
Everyone will be a little different based on their own lifestyle, but the special items that make the biggest difference to me are the following:
- Store Bought On Plan Breads & Wraps
These allow me to make a quick lunch or even a breakfast taco. It is a big convenience item for me that saves me from eating off plan! I have even been known to carry an on plan tortilla with me to eat my On plan Taco Bell in the car. Don’t judge – Taco Bell is life!
- Baked Tostitos or Sprouted Pretzels
Because chips with your E sandwich is cool.
You don’t have to go out and buy every option that exists. I have Stevia and Gentle Sweet in my pantry and use these less than once a week typically. I have been using Sweet Leaf Sweet Drops in everything from THM FP iced coffee to Vanilla Oatmeal Muffins. And the sweet drops come in a few different flavors which is fun.
I like Lily’s when it is on sale & Bake Believe Chips. I sprinkle the chips in my yogurt or cottage cheese. Having these typically prevents me from needing all the different ingredients to make the elaborate desserts. And on Lily’s bar will last for about a week of desserts so while they are expensive, they stretch.
- Sparkling Water/Zevia/Bai
Normally pulling out my blender during the day for a drink is not something I have time for. I love having sparkling water or a Zevia soda on hand when I have the urge for something other than water. This Bai Creamsicle drink is Ah-mazing!
And the best part? You can get all of these at your normal grocery store or on Amazon.
Have more THM questions? Check out the THM A to Z posts where you will find tons of Trim Healthy Mama getting started information.