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Trim Healthy Mama

Best-selling cookbook authors and founders of Trim Healthy Mama open their first Nashville storefront.

Written By:  Megan O’Neill

Photographers:  Amy Miller

In eight short months, more than one million listeners have tuned in to The Poddy, a weekly podcast by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett, the faith-based, high-energy sisters and founders of Trim Healthy Mama. With their quirky exchanges and upbeat New Zealand-meets-Australian accents, it’s not hard to see how the former Christian recording artists have built an ever-growing following of women around the world.

Trim Healthy Mama is a self-published New York Times, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon best-selling cookbook. But what began as a cookbook has become a lifestyle for so many, including the hundreds of thousands of women who encourage and support one another through their weight loss, health, cooking, and spiritual journeys via Facebook and blogs—one Facebook group has more than 465,000 active members who comment and post transformation stories, struggles, and advice.

The Trim Healthy Mama story is one of diet fatigue. Ten years ago, Allison and Barrett, who settled down with their husbands in Nashville, were raw foodists; they were vegetarians, vegans, carb-cutters, and fat-cutters. And they’d become weary of one more diet trend.

The sisters, who have 18 children between the two of them, were also moms seeking an effective and sustainable way to eat that didn’t include binging or purging.

“Not to get overly super-spiritual, but we just went back to the Bible,” Allison says. “We discovered that all the food groups were in there, and we had been taking them out.”

Rather than removing food groups from their diets, they learned how the body uses them. It took five years, but the duo perfected a healthy lifestyle manual that focuses on three macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbs for satisfaction, energy, and weight loss. It focuses on unprocessed food and low-glycemic eating—anything that won’t spike your blood sugar. And, most of all, it focuses on food freedom, the piece that truly resonates with their followers.

“We’re not doctors and we’re not professionals—we’re just moms at home,” Pearl says. “We call ourselves home-perts rather than experts because we’re going through the same things these women are going through. We know what it’s like to have to feed a family and to have to have to do it on a budget, to not feel like you're deprived to want your chocolate.”

Sidestepping the marketing that’s traditional within the health industry, the Trim Healthy Mama brand found success purely through organic growth: word of mouth and a strong Facebook presence among followers who have embraced the family-friendly program. In the five years since the launch of their first cookbook, the duo debuted their second title, Trim Healthy Table, with 300 additional recipes.

And listening to the needs and wants of their loyal “Mamas,” they launched Trim Healthy Naturals, a collection of natural food and body products, including lip balms, lotions, cooking essentials, and one of the purest Stevia sweeteners on the market. In October, after outgrowing offices in Hickman County, Trim Healthy Mama opened its first storefront and distribution center off Harding Place.

“We know what it’s like to feel imprisoned with unsustainable approaches to diet,” Allison says. “Where you’re up at 5 a.m., juicing carrots, and your husband is unhappy because you’re feeding him bird seed, and all your children want to do is run away to the neighbors to get something good.”

Trim Healthy Mama, 5006 Harding Pl; trimhealthymama.com

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