Bold Turquoise

Mar 5 2013

I’ve Been Holding Out on You- My Crazy Week of Diet Overhaul

That’s right- there is something I haven’t been telling you. It’s something that I started to really get convicted of around the beginning of the year but just couldn’t bring myself to say anything here because, if I’m being honest, I didn’t want the accountability. Kind of like when I am trying something new and I don’t tell the Bold Husband because I know he’ll expect ย of me- just let me fail in peace, darn it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

But now that I am nearly a week into my little endeavor and have had a small modicum of success (accompanied by massive failure- just keepin’ it real!), I suppose I’ll make a little mention of it- I’m cleaning up our diet.

There! I said it! (ducks and covers head with arms)

My guess is you’re thinking one of a few different things-

“What?! You’re like all crunchy and stuff and you weren’t eating pure granola and coconut oil for three meals a day already?!”

Or, “Yeah, so?”

Or, “Ok, so what exactly do you mean?”

Alright, you’ve pressured me into telling you!! ๐Ÿ˜‰


The Skinny
To start with, I don’t think we eat badly, for the most part. I have made our meals mostly from scratch for, well, most of my married life. I have gotten back in the habit of baking probably about 90% of the bread we consume and have never (and will never) take my children to McDonalds (whether or not other people have is another point entirely- but I haven’t!)

So, what’s to clean up? What’s the problem that is requiring this diet overhaul to which I have alluded?

To start with- Sugar, a nasty little 5 letter word! This is the hardest one for me. I am just plain addicted- there’s no other way to say it. Luckily, though, this is the thing I decided to quit, cold turkey, last week and I actually managed to not consume any refined sugar for 6 days! ….more on that in a minute.

Second- Gluten. I’m a carb junkie, so this is one I really struggle with. I had been looking at the GAPS diet and was just sure that my family needed a total overhaul and that I had practically sold my soul to the devil because we consume so many things made out of flour! It didn’t matter that it was whole wheat flour that I milled myself from organic wheat berries- it was flour and it was evil! Notice I’m speaking in the past tense here- more on this also in just a second!

Third- Probiotics. We just aren’t getting enough of them. All three of the men in my home had issues that had no choice but to be dealt with by antibiotics in the last few months and I know that we just have a household full of big old leaky guts! Bad news all around!

How It All Went Down

So, those were my major realizations- we needed to cut out sugar, rethink gluten and somehow get more probiotics in our systems. I started doing my research, scouring blogs and questioning friends, as any good mama would. I started talking up our big diet changes to the family, promising that as soon as the Valentine’s candy disappeared we were going to be on to new and better things and desperately trying to convince them all that we were going to fall in love with our newly refined pallets!

I cut out sugar for myself and gradually started wittling it away from the rest of them. Then, I started making dinners I had found on traditional and whole foods sites- gluten free and filled with grease! I even downloaded a week-long meal planner that had everything nailed down to a science! We were in this baby!!

However, each meal invariably left the four food-eating members of my family hungry and fighting for bathroom rights!

Last night was the final straw. As we all sat down to the table and helplessly stared into our bowls of greasy, cinnamon-laden chili (we just don’t do cinnamon in savory dishes ’round these parts), I practically broke into tears and exclaimed, “I’m so HUNGRY!!”

To which the Bold Husband replied, “I bet you are! This food sucks!”

Weary… frustrated that in my endeavor to make us all healthier and happier I had actually just left us all feeling angry, deprived, and even resentful, I did what any broken down mama would do- I practically ran to the kitchen, cut off a 1 1/2″ thick slice of bread, slathered it in butter and downed it in five seconds flat! I then chased it with a large piece of See’s English Toffee that was thickly coated in dark chocolate.


It was ugly.

There may have been moaning.

My family looked on in horror.

I slowly turned around to face their wide eyes, and wiping the back of my hand across my mouth I meekly announced, “We may need to rethink our plan here a bit.”


The Bold Husband muttered something under his breath about thanking his higher power because he was going to lose his mind if he was forced to consume one more meal that landed him in the loo for the better part of his evening, and I skulked into the next room with a baby under my arm.

Back to the Drawing Board

So, I did what I generally do when I’m trying to distract myself from my life- I got on Facebook. Well, wouldn’t you know it, one of the main blogs I had taken to following on this whole little journey had just posted about who shouldn’t go on the GAPS diet!

I do believe angels started singing!

She even listed some alternative ways for healing your gut that didn’t involve complete deprivation and overhaul of your current dietary habits if they aren’t too bad to begin with! This was exactly what I needed to hear! So here is the new game plan-

1. Continue to reduce my (and my family’s) refined sugar intake. This means cutting back on sweets in general, but also looking for ways to use alternatives such as honey and maple syrup.

2. Drink more water- fairly self explanatory. And also do a lite detox using a drop of Lemon Essential oil from Young Living every other day in a glass of water (they are therapeutic grade so they are the only ones I would recommend- if you want more info please email me! Also, if you decide to do this, only use glass or metal to drink from- the oils with “purify” the plastic- aka, eat it away!)

3. Take a good, high quality cod liver oil more regularly. Myself and the boys will probably use the flavored gel kind in smoothies (the boys even eat it by the spoonful) but I will probably have to get it in capsule form for The Bold Husband since he sniffs in out of anything I add it to! ๐Ÿ˜‰

4. Properly prepare our grains in traditional ways. By this I mean that I want to start either soaking, sprouting or using sourdough for any ways which we are currently using flour.

5. Add more probiotics to our diet through both supplements and fermented foods and drinks. Over the next 6 months or so I want to try making countertop yogurt, both milk and water kefir, pickles and kombucha.

All in all, the rest of our diet will probably stay pretty much the same since, as I said, it really wasn’t that bad to begin with. I hope to get back into the swing of having breakfasts and lunches pre-planned and prepared so that we don’t resort to quick items like cereal, but other than that we’ll just keep on plugging away as usual.

So how about you? What does your family eat? Have you tried to make big changes to your diet? Has your family gone along with it? What has been your mot successful change? Please share!

Oh, and there may have been a wee bit of dramatic interpretation here, but not much! ๐Ÿ˜‰


This post is filed under BOLD Lifestyle, the BOLD kitchen and has been tagged with Tags: , , , , , ,

16 thoughts on “I’ve Been Holding Out on You- My Crazy Week of Diet Overhaul

  1. Allison

    Love the post, and I started laughing out loud at the “this food sucks!” ๐Ÿ™‚ oh, I’ve been there! We cut out HFCS and artificial colors a few years ago, and then discovered one member of our family can’t eat GMO soy. Since GMOs aren’t labelled (yet!), this meant pretty much a soy-containing product had to be organic (too $$ for us, usually) or we couldn’t eat it. Thank goodness for Trader Joes! ๐Ÿ˜‰ We’ve talked about cutting out sugar but haven’t taken the leap, and honestly, we probably won’t any time soon. BUT go you! ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking forward to reading about what you guys try!

    1. mackenzie Post author

      Yes, I will definitely be writing more about it. I don’t want to become fanatical but I do have to get this sugar thing under control! Our poor husbands! Unbeknownst to both of them they married crunchy women!! Haha!! We’re good for them!

  2. Nicole

    I am going to work our family toward GAPS eventually so that we can get a hold of our son’s lactose intolerance that came about after a nasty virus and has not left. But, until then we are making water kefir. I make our yogurt. I have been making only Sourdough for about three weeks now, using a sugar free and commercial yeast free starter. And, in hopes that it will help us get our son back on regular milk for the time being, I will be making milk kefir as soon as our grains arrive. I also have ginger bug brewing to make natural ginger ale for myself to get me off of soda. If you want the Sourdough starter recipe, just let me know.

    1. mackenzie Post author

      So encouraging to hear of other mamas working through the same diet changes! I would love your sour dough recipe and is love to hear more about what your doing with your water kefir (how you drink, do you add juice, etc…).

      Thanks for stopping by!


  3. Britni Wood

    I’ve been there hon! We don’t do bread very often…funny that you posted this today because Abe and I decided this morning to cut out bread 100%. We limit sugar and gluten…the plan is to cut back little by little with sugar and gluten until we aren’t eating it at all…I have no idea how long this will take though ๐Ÿ˜‰ We are very much the “3/4 of the dinner plate is veggies and fruit” family. We have friends with an amazing CSA farm that we get our veggies from…and I mean actually going and picking what we want {spring/summer/fall} the kids are drinking goats milk {straight from the farm} and Abe and I are not drinking anything but water…I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful it has been! When it comes to the gluten/sugar free jump, it really helps that I have two really close friends {they are sisters} at church who are 100% gluten and sugar free! I know you! You will make it happen and it will be great! <3

    1. mackenzie Post author

      Wow- good for you Britni! Best of luck in making all of that happen! How cool that you and Abe are in it together!

  4. Misti

    I love it! I have had all the same thoughts and have tried many different things too. I watched a show on Netflix called ‘Vegucated’, and I was HORRIFIED. I announced to Andrew that we all are officially strict vegans. I have watched all the other docs too, and so I know the info [over and over] and have had the convictions for awhile. I had the question in my head the other day, “would it really be any cheaper to make my own GF bread?” I have officially replaced all cooking oils with straight coconut oil. The only ground beef we use in the house is deer meat that my husband drags in from my dads property. And I’ve put the kids [and myself] on fish oil. So some of it is going well, but this house is still loaded with convenience food. Cherrios, goldfish crackers, oreo cookies, JIF peanut butter, instant potatoes, steambag vegetables, blah, blah, blah. I want these things out, but it will take some work and added expense to meal plan for the replacements, {in which Ive never been very good at meal planning anyway!} Baby steps. Like you, I have started with myself; cutting out sugar, bread, and any processed foods I eat all day long that at 2pm make me feel ~miserable~. I bought all organic fruits and veggies, and have been drinking smoothies every morning for breakfast and lunch. Kale, spinach, romaine, oranges, bananas, pears, apples, strawberries, coconut milk, chia seeds. I have felt alot better. Quit coffee (so far), and the afternoon blahs have vanished. Good for me. But what about them? What about dinner? My family hasnt care for the weird menus in the past, they are truly a meatloaf, chili dog, McDonalds [I know!] type of peoples, and to put them on egg whites and bean sprouts diet would probably bring on unwanted hostility. So Ive been praying for wisdom. I want change, but beyond my smoothies, Im lost. Ill be watching for you Kenz! I need some direction and ideas. I love that alot of us out there want the same things for our fams, so we can encourage/share with eachother. Thanks for the post.

    1. mackenzie Post author

      It sounds like you have already taken huge steps Misti! Go you! I will be sure to post what we try and give the skinny on what does and doesn’t work!

  5. Carrie

    Have you looked into Sue Gregg’s whole foods? She has a very balanced approach and uses the grain soaking method. Plus, homemade sourdough practically breaks down all gluten. It used to be the way all bread was made until commercial yeast hit the market. Makes you wonder if it is the cause of the sky rocketing gluten intolerance. I have a gluten sensitivity and so does Carson. I was reluctant because it felt like the new “fad” which the only changes we make in our family are ones we can keep. Your experience sounds all to familiar ๐Ÿ˜‰ My hubby said many times, “what is this!?” However, Carson presented with allergy shiners and complained almost daily of his tummy. It became no longer a fad to us but a reality. I then learned my gluten intolerance was the cause of all my fertility issues. i presently do not have time to make scratch sourdough or maybe I’m just intimidated so we do buy gluten free products but I make oatmeal waffles that are devine. We just had to find our balance as I’m sure you will in time!

    1. mackenzie Post author

      Yes! I’ve been reading about sour dough and really want to try it! I think your right and conventional yeast, combined with no longer traditionally soaking grains, could have LOTS to do with gluten allergies! I have only looked at Sue Greg but always wanted her cookbooks. I think I have a sample of one- I should break it out and give it a thorough read!

      Oh, and FYI- we’re sick again! As of next week we will be off co-op for a month though, so it should be easier to plan things! I’ll email you when we are feeling up to par again.

      1. Carrie

        Let me know when you’re feeling better for sure, bummer you’re sick! Would love to still get together. I hope you keep up with some nutrition posts! My family needs to start eating better as well, mostly at home, and it was encouraging hearing about your experience!

  6. Sara H

    Funny. We went cold turkey on eating out/eating lots of processed foods in Jan. It was good. Had a bad spell about mid-month. But we started to feel lots better. Now we do go out a bit on a rare occasion, or in case of emergency. You’ll get there. It just takes a while.

    1. mackenzie Post author

      Yeah, I really don’t feel like we’re far from where I want to be eating-wise, it’s just the last hurdles that seem hard to fully plunge into! Thanks for reading and for retweeting!

  7. Lauren

    Huh. I think we are soul sisters. I wish we lived close! Your family sounds like mine. Your husband sounds like mine. I’ve been trying to do much the same as you have. SO MUCH INFO. So little time. This has been very helpful, encouraging. Can we talk some more?!?! I am so torn about the whole wheat thing and it;s actual unhealthiness. I have the book for learning sourdough, just starting to get my feet wet on sprouting grains (and soaking nuts!!!) and trying to decide if we get our own grain mill and where/what kind of grains to buy, cutting back on sugar (woo hoo!) going more on proteins, digging the cod liver oil (expect it makes Eliana’s poops stink ๐Ÿ˜€ lol)…I’m going in circles! But you have helped, really you have :0) I’m cheering for you!

    1. mackenzie Post author

      Thank you! I could use all the cheering I can get!! And I would LOVE to chat more! I’ll be sure to keep posting about our journey but I would love to get to know you better! It has been so fun following your family on Instagram! Where DO you live?

      1. Lauren

        I’m near Toronto, Ontario! Jodi should do a YLEO downline get together ;0) E-mail good? Or phone even…whatever, I just need to sorta get my head around all this stuff more!


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