Marla Kostis:

After 30 plus years as a vegetarian, I knew that my eating style was no longer working for me. When I heard about Trim Healthy Mama from an online friend in 2013, I took a bold lifestyle leap. I purchased the book, joined the online community, and began following THM principles. I clearly remember my first meal with meat – it was “Sweet-n-Spicy Asian Stir Fry”. Easy and so tasty!

My goal was to lose 30 pounds, which I did over about seven months, and have easily kept off ever since. Although the rest of my family didn’t need to lose weight, they seem to really enjoy almost all the THM meals I have made. Favorites include Pizza Casserole, Waldorf Cottage Cheese Salad, and Eggplant Lasagna. I have purchased each of the additional books as they became available, thus adding to my knowledge of the THM plan and my recipe repertoire.

My family and I travel back and forth regularly between Canada and Mexico, with occasional trips to the US. As such, I have become proficient at sourcing ingredients.

Over the 5 years, I have assisted friends in getting started with THM as well, both in Canada and Mexico. A few times, I have seen my weight begin to creep back up, and I have examined why. Usually, it is because I am neglecting to eat enough vegetables – odd for a former vegetarian! A Fuel Cycle or eating several of my meals over lettuce quickly gets me back on-track.

After 30 plus years as a vegetarian, I predict I will be following THM for at least the next 30 plus years!

What I Offer as a THM Coach:

– Packages for those new to THM, those who want individualized help, or those who are stuck.
– Phone, message, and/or email coaching.
– Ongoing Accountability packages.
– Pantry Makeovers (in person and online).
– Grocery Store Trips in Merida, Mexico.
– An International conference line for world-wide calls.
– An understanding of the unique challenges experienced while following THM outside the US.
– Understanding and support for those transitioning from a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.
– Menu planning tutorials (or complete menus).
– From Food Fear to Food Freedom Coaching… an in-depth examination of what is holding you back and keeping you stuck.

Helpful Tips:

– Keep ingredients for a super-quick meal together in a basket in your pantry for days when time gets away from you! For example, a can of chicken, a can of mixed vegetables and 2 Tablespoons Asian seasoning, or a can of microwaveable quinoa mix, a can of tuna or salmon, a can of Rotel and 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning. (2 cans of each for larger families; you get the idea.)

– Your Instant Pot or slow cooker can keep things warm for you until you are ready to eat! Think chicken breast plus cream cheese plus salsa, or a cheap cut of beef plus plan-friendly BBQ sauce. When ready to eat, serve over lettuce or plan-friendly tortillas. This is a great solution for days when not everyone will be eating at the same time, too!

Below is my go-to, quick, and easy recipe for busy times:

Sauerkraut Toastie Lunch (E)


– 2 slices on-plan sourdough bread (or sprouted or rye bread)
– 2 wedges Light Laughing Cow Cheese
– 1 slice low-fat, plan friendly deli meat of choice (I like Kirkland turkey breast.)
– 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
– 2/3 cup sauerkraut
– 2 Tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped


1. Butter the sourdough slices on one side.
2. Place the deli meat, sauerkraut and cheese onto unbuttered side of bread and sprinkle with chives.
3. Sandwich the bread with buttered side facing out.
4. Heat a non-stick frying pan or a large cast iron skillet until hot.
5. Place the sandwich in the pan and, using a heat proof bowl as a weight, press them down until nicely melted and browned.
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