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healing the gut

One Family Member Down: Weeks 5-7


One Family Member Down: Weeks 5-7

First one down.

First one down.

It was getting too easy. Something wasn't right. Well, for starters, Mike was back at work and that meant...we lost him. There was just no way I was going to be able to prep enough food that he could eat (while driving) from 8am- sometimes 8pm!  It just wasn't happening. So he took one of the team (insert sarcasm) and went off diet when he was at work. At home, he still followed the diet, mostly for Judah's sake. Unless she was sleeping-- because then I would catch him sneaking candy ;)

Now, I only had to focus on planning breakfast, lunch and snacks for the kids and me. We were finding this particularly easy given our new go to: Quesadillas . Slowly, I realized that I wasn't quite off the hook. We had fallen into a routine of eating these EASY and TASTY but PROCESSED tortillas every. single. day. And we weren't eating nearly as many vegetables.

I wish I could say that I snapped us out of it and made delicious fresh, eat the rainbow type lunches for the rest of our diet, but I didn't.

The quesadillas were too convenient. And good. And FILLING. 

At the week 5 mark, I finally sat down for long enough to figure out what supplements we would add to Judah's diet. I knew we would do a multivitamin that contained zinc and was hoping to get her started on L-Glutamine to help repair her gut lining. To my surprise, L-glutamine is not appropriate for children under six years old. So we started her on a Rainbow Light vitamin to start. I chose Rainbow Light for a few reasons: price, food-based, contained zinc and also contained prebiotics and digestive enzymes. 

Our choice for Judah's multivitamin.

Our choice for Judah's multivitamin.

Here are a few more happenings from week 5:

  • PUMPKIN. We went pumpkin picking! We brought the pumpkins home and gutted them for seeds, made our own pumpkin puree and from that we made pumpkin muffins and pumpkin chia seed pudding as two more breakfast options!
  • We made the very best CHICKEN WINGS! Oh my goodness gracious, they were spectacular. Middle Eastern flavored chicken wings from Paleo Diet Basics.  Only thing is, we quickly realized how turmeric stains EVERYTHING. And stains and little kids do not mix well. 
  • Granola! Yum. A long time favorite recipe changed a bit to accommodate our diet. Granola on coconut cream with berries? All kinds of YES.
  • Meal planning was easy! The kids seem to have favorites by this point which makes planning simple. Well, at least every other week :) 
Our pumpkin adventure! Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin chia seed pudding and...

Our pumpkin adventure! Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin chia seed pudding and...

During week 6 I was tired. I attended a really long birth and really long births mean extra planning on my part for when I leave my kids. I dream of the day I can leave them with the sitter or drop them to their grandparents and say "Whatever you are eating, they can eat!" 


  • Meal planning was hard because I was tired.
  • We had friends over for dinner for the first time since we started this and it was a success! They brought a salad and I made roasted chicken, root vegetables, rice and butternut squash bisque! It feels good to eat with friends, again.
  • We modified an old favorite this week from the Minimalist Baker! We nixed the tahini sauce (because of the sugar) and instead added on a mixture of sauteed onions, black beans, garlic powder, oregano and apple cider vinegar.  Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowls.
  • Judah started with a yeastlike rash that she had before which was extremely frustrating. We decided to cut out all fruit except berries and see what happens. She is such a good sport and amazes me everyday. Not one complaint. 
  • I, on the other hand was considering modifying my diet to include eggs and tomatoes. I didn't even care about the sugar anymore! All I wanted was eggs florentine! 

Gwenyth Paltrow SAVED my week 7. As I was on the verge of tears trying to plan meals for the week, I happened upon some of her recipes from her cookbook "It's All Good."  So many to choose from! We chose to try  lamb for the first time!  We didn't like it (lamb, that is) but that's besides the point. We also discovered millet, too. How wonderful it was to eat NEW things. 

  • Frustrated by Judah's rash that kept appearing every few days, I decided to hit up the Healthiest Kid's Forum and while waiting for a response I decided to keep a food log.
  • Mike and I had a wedding to go to this week and we did NOT stick to the diet. It was very nice to eat cheese and crackers. I will say that. And I loved being able to stalk the appetizer trays during cocktail hour. Literally stalk them. But the next day, I was feeling all sorts of sniffly and headachy. Just no fun and so interesting that my body reacted that way.
Pumpkin muffins! 

Pumpkin muffins! 

We are pressing on! Well, three of us are. This is certainly not easy but it's getting better. I've learned so much already. Judah's rash has made me want to throw in the towel many times but I'm learning to be patient, to not jump to conclusions and to persevere. 

Until next time! 


Week One: Learning a new normal + some of our favorite recipes


Week One: Learning a new normal + some of our favorite recipes

I would say on a scale of one to ten, this week ranked as a five. It wasn't awesome, it definitely could have been better, but it wasn't terrible either. Maybe very typical of learning a new normal. As my body craved brie and crackers and dark chocolate, my mind kept thinking "Only X more days, no, shoot. 3 more months!" With that kind of thinking it was easy to feel discouraged. Early on I realized what a job food does on the mind. I couldn't think in terms of time, I had to think in terms of what was normal for our family right. now.

The first challenge was breakfast. We can't have eggs. We can't have toast. We can only have limited fruit: a choice of 1 cup of berries and 1 apple, 1 banana or 2 kiwis. So what do we do for breakfast?? This was the first question I asked on Dr. Aviva's Healthiest Kids forum. The answers I got were exactly what I was dreading. 

Dinner for breakfast. Leftovers for breakfast. Pumpkin pudding...sweet potatoes...


The first morning Simon woke up and immediately went to the fridge. He does this every morning, looking for an apple. He may do this because it's really the only snack he can get for himself while everyone else is still in bed-- but I like to think he eats an apple every morning because when I was pregnant with him, Mike would toss me an apple before he went to work. If I didn't eat before I got out of bed in the morning, I would pass out and an apple was the easiest fix.

Moving on... I had decided when I was prepping for the journey that we would have to eat smaller portions of fruit so that we didn't run out of snack choices before the days end. Limiting fruit is very challenging for us. I offered Simon a half of an apple (which miraculously, he seemed to be ok with) and then I proceeded to make the grossest smoothie ever. I don't even remember what I tried to put in it. I've blocked it out. Sorry. 

In hindsight, we should have stayed home this first day to get a handle on things. But alas, we went out for the morning. I packed what I thought would be enough snacks-- but I was dead wrong. Limited kiwi sent the kids into a maniac whirlwind. 

Lunch was next. I had planned Meghan Telpner's Heck No Mayo Salmon Salad with quinoa, over a bed of spinach. Hummus and a choice of carrots or cucumber. For me, I skipped the salmon but I had everything else. I am not a seafood person. At. All. 

This seemed to go over well except Judah was not pleased by the lack of mayo in the salmon salad. 

Dinner was, well, dinner was DELICIOUS. Here is what we made:

Roasted chicken and vegetables over brown rice! Sounds so simple doesn't it? It was easy to make, tasty, clean, filling, and made great leftovers. After a full day of hunger pangs we were all incredibly thankful for this meal.

Roasted chicken

Roasted chicken

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
Serves 4 (roughly)

1 Whole Chicken
1 Lemon
1 Head of Garlic
Dry Mustard
Garlic Powder
Olive Oil
3 Sweet Potatoes, chopped
4 Carrots, chopped
1 Head of Broccoli, chopped
1 Red Onion, cut into wedges

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. While the oven is preheating, prepare the chicken and chop all vegetables. Taking into account how long the individual vegetable takes to cook through, the vegetables should be roughly the same size.
  3. To prepare the chicken start by taking out any giblets and filling the chicken with lemon wedges and garlic cloves. You may want to truss the chicken too, but I didn't. 
  4. In a small bowl mix together a few glugs of olive oil, some mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. The amount is different every time I make this. You will have to adjust to your liking-- but my advice is to go a bit heavier on the spices then you think you should.
  5. Once everything is mixed cover the chicken with the mixture. Make sure to cover the whole thing and even a bit inside the opening of the cave. Cave, yes. I don't like to use actual body part terms because well, I get too grossed out. 
  6. Place the chicken in a roasting pan along with all of the vegetables. Sprinkle a bit of seasoning on the vegetables and stick in the preheated oven.
  7. After 15 minutes turn the heat down to 350 degrees F and roast for 20 minutes per pound.
  8. Serve over brown rice. 

Despite the wonderful meal, the evening brought some irritable feelings effecting all of us, but by the next morning we were back at it. Mike was off to work and the kids and I discussed how the day before went for us. We openly expressed how hard it was and how we were sad and frustrated at times. I asked them if they wanted to continue on (mostly Judah) and they said yes. In that moment, I was so proud of their determination and I already felt better about Day #2-- we had learned so much the previous day. I decided on something different for breakfast, set specific snack times to avoid the constant asking for food (and the possibility of running out!) and I spent the morning making large batches of our new staples.

For breakfast we each had banana boats and a half of an apple. The kids LOVED the banana boats! Morning snack consisted of black olives, almonds and a choice of carrots or celery. For lunch we had leftovers of the salmon salad over quinoa with a side of black beans and sweet potato. Afternoon snack was a 1/2 cup of frozen berries and for dinner I served leftovers of the yummy chicken (with absolutely no complaints)!

Banana Boats with almond butter, hemp seed and coconut flakes.

Banana Boats with almond butter, hemp seed and coconut flakes.

Banana Boats

Ingredients (Serves 1)

Half of a banana
Almond butter; unsweetened (we used chunky)
Ground flax seed, hemp seed, chia seed --whatever you prefer
Unsweetened coconut flakes

  1. Slice the banana lengthwise.
  2. Smooth on some almond butter, sprinkle some flax, coconut flakes and pecans.
  3. Eat!


  • Making a shopping list takes a massive amount of time. I need to plan ahead for this.
  • Pasta is my BEST FRIEND. We found a brown rice and quinoa pasta at Trader Joe's that is not only delicious but meets the criteria for our diet. Although processed foods are frowned upon, the pasta has saved my sanity for when I need to make something fast, or when we have nothing left and shopping is not an option. Hallelujah! 
  • Making large batches of things like quinoa, brown rice and sweet potatoes is a GAME CHANGER.
  • Setting snack times and sticking by them is super important for all of us. The kids are crazy if I don't do this and that makes ME crazy. It was interesting to see how much eating we all do out of boredom, having set snack times has pushed us past that into CREATIVITY.
  • Oh, and Mike and the kids are sick. Interestingly enough this is often a sign that the body is detoxing! Yahoo!
  • AND!! We got our apartment! Looks like PVD doula is moving back to PVD! 
  • Husband says that he's "not hungry, he's just not satisfied." Our addiction to flour and sugar is really coming out, eeek!  But, we survived the first week and we are mostly smiling. This is good.

We can do this!