Beginner Must have items

When I started THM, I was a tad overwhelmed. I was pretty sure THM was the new diet for me but I didn't want all the special ingredients. Here is my list of basic ingredients that can help you start THM,  the easy and sane way! I will put them in different categories because you may not need what I needed at the time. Remember every location will have different items for sale. If you read and participate in the boards, keep in mind that not everyone can get baobab powder on the shelves.

First, you will want to figure out your basic proteins. You have the choices between lean protein and fatty proteins. Your lean proteins will fit in your E meals. If you choose a fatty meal, that means you want an S meal. If you want a carb in your meal, you will want a lean protein.

Here are some ideas for you:
Sausage/smoked sausages/lil weenies
Ground beef (note, you can rinse it hot for an E)
Ground turkey (96% fat free for E)
Eggwhites (for e meals and some baking)

Remember, things like deli meat and cured items are naturally cured in sugar. I believe when you get these items, look for under 2 gram of carbs. Watch beef jerky! I don't really look at the deli meats (unless it is like honey ham) or sausage. Beef jerky always gets me!

Pizza sauce that (no added sugar)
Pasta sauce (no added sugar)
Mayo (yes, you can get regular mayo/whatever you can afford)

Coconut oil
Red palm oil (or not. It took me months to try this one)
These are a bit extra and not needed for basic plan uses:
Avocado oil (I actually only bought this a few months ago but I have used it for NSI carnitas)
Toasted sesame oil (For Chicken fried double rice in THT)

Drink additives:
Oolong tea (I get mine at Kroger or amazon)
Apple Cider Vinegar with mother (but you never need to drink a GGMS)
Cottage Cheese (I mostly use this in shakes when I make one)

0% plain greek, you can use full fat but for my budget, 0% with mixins works with me.
000 yogurt is on plan if you are in the USA. It's pricey and gives some people stomach issues
Lifeway Kefir (double fermented makes a FP) or make your own with 1% or less milk
Unsweetened almond milk or whatever lower fat alternative that you prefer (cashew, whatever). Oat milk would be an E from what I gather
Dairy:Half and Half (for coffee)
Coconut milk from can (for some recipes)
Cream (coffee or some recipes)
Cream cheese
Nutpods are on plan but I rarely use them

Sugar replacement:
Pure stevia, You may need to search around for the best pure stevia. Personally, THM is the best.
Stevia squirts.
Aldi's green stevia packets are on plan but not the bag.
 I prefer the walmart version that is like 3 dollars.
You have to watch the brands and ingredients. The baking blends are cut with sugar. Or sugar by another name. Yes, the Splenda naturals is on plan.

Spices I use a lot:Pink/mineral salt (By the way, this helps stevia so much!)
onion powder
garlic powder
minced garlic
Black pepper
Butt rub (it's sugar free)

Sweets:Unsweetened cocoa powder
Lily's chocolate and/or chips but really in the beginning I cut up 85% dark for chips (I can only get Lily's at Kroger and chips at a health food store).
Dark chocolate 85%

While you are in the baking aisle, look for some almond flour, coconut flour, ground flax seeds (golden may be harder to find) to make S desserts. Another item that is in the baking aisle is xanthan gum. It is on the top or bottom shelves. I couldn't find it the first 8 months. This will thicken stuff but it's not as boosting to weight loss as gluccie.

Personal choice items:
Reddi whip fat free
Dreamfields noodles
Low carb wraps
You can also make chips with low carb wraps or Joseph's wraps.
Laughing cow cheese wedges

Coconut oil spray

Brown rice (Aldi's has brown basamati and I have found Jasmine in my walmart at times)
Wasa crackers (I can only find multigrain in my stores locally)
Sprouted bread or true sourdough (hard to find in stores). It is getting harder and harder for some people to find these.  Pepperidge is in the bread aisle but Ezekiel is usually in the freezer section. Ezekiel does have a sprouted english muffin.
Beans are great for E meals
Some walmarts may not stock wasa or sprouted bread. ***

Okra (this is in some shakes)
seasoning blend
Fruits and veggies you can eat.

You never have to eat a veggie you don't like. I only started eating avos a month ago because of pregnancy. You will want to watch the starchier veggies and stick them in E meals. Veggies make THM shine. Lots of recipes use yellow squash, zucchini, seasoning/mirepoix blend, cauliflower, and okra.
Frozen and/or fresh berries

These may not be found in your area. I can find them in my area. So this is the not so special but might be special for you:
Matcha powder (I used to find it at Kroger)
Nutritional yeast (at my Kroger)

These are not important for your journey but could help. Also harder to find according to my fellow THM friends:
Collagen peptides  (walmart and not at all of them!)
MCT oil (walmart or Kroger)
On plan protein flavored powder (only at Kroger in my area)

Would you like some ideas for a week of THM meals?

Oatmeal/overnight oats (when I worked, I lived on overnight oats)-. Remember oats are an e fuel. So you have up to 1 tsp/5 grams of fat allowed. Don't forget your creamer fats when having an e meal. So for me, the first six months, most my breakfasts were: oatmeal in the instant pot (vanilla, oats, pumpkin and applesauce with a spritz of eggwhites for added protein). I would cut a half of banana on top. I would use pyure on top. Some people will do a touch of butter but remember to count that fat! If you need a XO, add an egg or sausage. Or way more butter which would be a great easy burning XO

2-3 Eggs with okra, cooked with coconut oil spray or in butter/coconut oil. If you need a bit more add egg white to your eggs or a sausage. You won't want to make it so protein heavy every day. If you have an airfryer, you can throw the okra in the AF and boom. While you cook the eggs, the okra is cooking but okra sauteed in coconut oil seems to take forever for me on the stove.

Here are some web links:
Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
French Toast for one
Stuffed french toast
I started most of my THM journey doing mostly E meals in the morning. Add more fats if you need a XO if you are EBF/pregnant or maintaining.

Deli meat sandwich with lots of veggies. You will want sourdough or sprouted bread. You won't want to use cheese here unless you use a laughing cow cheese wedge. You can use up to 1 tsp of mayo for added fats. Other condiments are much more free like mustard. You can pile on some things like spinach. Lots of veggies on the side of your deli meat sandwich. Watch the carbs in the deli meat.
If you need a XO, add sliced cheese or mayo. Whatever your hearts desires!

Egg drop soup. This is what I find super simple. Cook up some broth with toasted seasame oil and green peppers. Drop some eggs while you whisk them quick after it boils. I really don't have a crazy recipe for it. This would be an S. Add a carb if you need a XO

Leftovers. I did this before I followed THM. Leftovers to work the next day. Weeeee!

Cream of mushroom soup - I scaled this down once for a single serving.

Simple dinners:
Steak and veggies. You can make an easy mac and cheese recipe if you want. Or a cheesy side.

Porkchops and veggies. We don't bread porkchops here but you can bread with pork rinds and egg wash.

Pork steak and veggies.

Fryer chicken cooked in a slow cooker/instantpot. You can line the bottom with potatoes for XO or those that need XOs. I really don't do anything crazy with this one. I just toss it in. I think recipes I used to follow had you throw a lemon or whatever inside. Veggies as a side.

Pulled pork with veggies/on a salad. I usually pull mine out before putting sugar bbq sauce on theirs. Or they will mix it in by the bowl.

Sour cream beef enchiladas
Mommy's meatloaf
Dirt E Rice
Lentil Soup for the Soul
Black bean quesadillas

Have you noticed I started this journey mostly using THM bloggers awhile I read through the book and waited for Trim Healthy table?

I don't have a high powdered blender. So I don't use a lot of shakes. I also like to eat my food

When I am out, I eat some of these meat packs or protein packs that don't have fruits in them (JJ's protein packs and kroger brand protein packs by the cheese).  Cheese and meat and add a veggie if you can.

PB and celery. Remember that apples and PB would be a XO.

Yogurt is an easy and cheap snack. Add in mix ins like nuts or seeds that can make it an S. You can add in fruit to make it an E.

You can make THM as simple or as hard as you want it. This is why I pretty much rotate through 2 basic breakfasts, 2 basic lunches (when I don't have leftovers), and stuff. Before you go grocery shopping, figure out a few meals that you want to eat this week!

I hope this helps. I also have a video on beginner items.


If you ever want to learn more about THM, the books are an absolute must to understand the entire program. I first checked the books out of the library and bought the Table book. I searched youtube for real testimonies on the plan.   They own all the rights to these funny letters and sayings! I am absolutely not a THM coach. I am just a mom that wants to help others! I am absolutely not the best THMer.

Don't forget that I am teaching two classes at Playthink Fest this year!

Click these affiliate links to help out my channel and my family!
Save money with Ibotta:

Try out iTrackbites on droid or iPhone:

Try out Suzanne Bowen Fitness today. Great deal for streaming:

See my daily meals on IG: