For the past 3 months I’ve been eating Trim Healthy Mama (THM) style. And I LOVE IT!
Since THM is about low/no sugar I needed to learn how to incorporate stevia (which is usually bitter) into my diet in a palatable way to help feed the sweet tooth monster.
So why is this post about Stevia? Well I’m finally getting there…
Since THM has you cut out sugar, (even honey and maple syrup while you are trying to lose weight) what can you use for a sweetener? We don’t want artificial sweeteners so we are left with Stevia or Xylitol.
I HatED Stevia
Before this plan I really did, it had such a bitter fake aftertaste and I couldn’t stand it.
Even the good (expensive) stuff that people promise is better, such as Sweet Leaf Stevia left my teas wanting the real thing.
The plan recommends NuNaturals Pure Stevia Extract. Rumor has it that this particular brand of stevia extract has been reformulated and taste different, buyer beware. I can wholeheartedly recommend Trader Joe’s Stevia Extract & NOW brand Stevia Extract, BUT use 1 full tablespoon instead of 1/2 tablespoon for the amount below.
Just make sure you buy the PURE Stevia Extract powder that has no fillers or added ingredients. It is super sweet and you just need a half a pinch to sweeten up a cup of plain yogurt.
But even when I put NuNatural’s powdered stevia in my food, it was gross. I was so disappointed and figured I’d just have to learn to do without sweets.
Thank God for smart ladies who figured out you can make a Stevia Sweet Juice Concentrate (SJC)!!! (I’m sorry, I can’t remember who but it was someone from the Facebook Group)
Never heard of Sweet Juice Concentrate?
I hadn’t either. But it’s basically a simple syrup that has “fermented” and the bitterness is gone. I’m telling you, this is THE way to use stevia and it tastes so close to sugar you may not even be able to tell the difference. My kids don’t even notice.
Below is how I make my Stevia SJC. I use this in coffee, tea, plain Greek yogurt, smoothies, pretty much in everything I need to sweeten. The only foods I’ve found that are not Stevia SJC-friendly are grain-free baked goods or homemade sugar-free skinny chocolate. In those instances, I use Truvia or Xylitol.
The instructions are so quick, you might miss them…
Stevia SJC (Sweet Juice Concentrate)
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1/2 Tbsp Pure Stevia Extract
Pour pure stevia extract into a jar (I use a mason jar which holds the perfect amount of liquid), add water to jar and mix. Let the jar sit for 48 hours on your countertop. After 48 hours, cover jar with lid. This can be stored in your refrigerator or you can leave it on your counter, depending on how fast you use it. I’ve had mine sit out for a week with no ill effects.
The amount of SJC you need depends really on your preference. Start with little and work up is my approach because too much SJC can be overwhelming.
Also, I was completely out of SJC and about 36 hours into the fermentation of a new jar. I tried my batch at that point and it just didn’t taste right. I don’t understand the need for 48 hours but can attest to the necessity of the fermentation time.
Initially it is a little cloudy but it ends up being completely clear by the time your Stevia SJC is ready to use.
That’s it. Talk about easy!!
Back to Trim Healthy Mama
I’ve been tracking on Trim Healthy Mama for a few months now and I’m so happy with the results I’ve gotten. Now mind you, I’ve not been super strict, lost some weight, gained muscle (& weight) but today I’m 10 lbs lighter and my clothes are much looser. All the while I haven’t felt deprived or starved.
I’ll post my before and after once I get to my goal weight (which I’m sure is just around the corner).
One thing I will tell you, without the Stevia, I think I would have given up on the eating plan completely. I have a chronic sweet tooth and that’s always been my downfall as far as eating plans.
When I first started THM, I had headaches and was light-headed and woozy. That lasted about a week and then I finally adjusted to life without loads of carbs and sugar.
Now you may be wondering what this Trim Healthy Mama plan is about. Friends of mine have done amazing reviews of the book, like Gwen & Melissa. I’m not going to even try hold a candle to the wind (check our their detailed reviews – they are great writers and do an awesome job of explaining), but I will tell you that this way of eating is revolutionary.
In case you don’t head over to Gwen or Melissa’s blogs, here’s my quick take on the plan. As short and sweet as I can make it…
* Protein is at the heart of every meal.
* Bye bye sugar.
Meals Fall into 4 Basic Categories:
- Eat fats but with low carbs and a protein – can be higher in fat. (S – for Satisfying)
- Eat carbs with low fats with lean protein. (E – for Energizing)
- Eat low carbs and low fats with lean protein. (FP – for Fuel Pull)
- Meals that are not so strict (Crossovers – for when you are at your goal weight)
BUT you should REALLY read Gwen’s and Melissa’s reviews, join the Facebook Group, and buy the book. The learning curve can be a bit overwhelming but it’s worth overcoming.
But whether you are doing Trim Healthy Mama or just trying to cut back on sugar, you gotta give the Stevia SJC a try. And if you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!