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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! 


A Little Prep (for a long elimination diet!) Goes a Long Way


A Little Prep (for a long elimination diet!) Goes a Long Way

Elimination diets aren't easy. For anyone. I know this. What I didn't realize was how hard it was going to be for me to even begin.

About 3 years ago, we started realizing that our oldest child was having some issues with her skin. At first, it seemed like her skin was "sensitive"-- whatever that means. She would react poorly to different types of soap and she had some really gnarly patches of eczema. As time went on, it seemed we couldn't figure out what her triggers were and it was rather frustrating. Have you been there? Could it be this? Oh it's definitely that! Wow, look! She seems to be clearing up!


I had about had it, and then poop really hit the fan. (Side note: What? Hit the fan?) She had been having this red burn-like rash on her bottom (different than the patches), it would come and go but when it came, it was painful! Our pediatrician assured us it was because she wasn't keeping herself clean and dry and for us to consider helping her wipe after she went to the bathroom. Could this really be the issue? Such an easy fix-- although my heart did sink a bit, as I would have to take back the happy dance I did when I realized I had finally broken free of wiping her butt!

Time went by and I just wasn't convinced.

What we were convinced of was that sugar and highly processed foods made it worse. So we avoided them. Even fruit.

Things would be good. And then the rash would come back. F.

Spring of 2014 rolled around and she got a strange bite on her neck accompanied by a very high fever about two days later. Unsure if it was Lyme or not, our new and very conservative pediatrician apologized to me profusely but said that he would like to put her on 2-3 weeks of antibiotics. I partially knew about the negative effects of antibiotics on our gut, but not to the extent I know now.

And I hate Lyme. So we went for it.

A few days into the prescription, her red rash turned purple. A few more days go by and we let her have a BITE of birthday cake and she turned into a maniac. Screaming in pain that her bottom hurt. Crying. Waking in the night... the whole thing.

What does a mother do when her baby is in pain and there is nothing she can do to help? Google. Ha. No, really. We all do it, don't we? I read and I read and I read. And I ended up...


I started to think back on her life a bit. In her 3 years of living she had antibiotics at birth, she had prophylactic meds for Malaria (for our trip to Haiti) and now another round of antibiotics right around her 3rd birthday. Was this considered a lot? Could the antibiotics be contributing to the problem?

After much prayer and thought and research and frustration, we decided to (randomly, this had not been on our radar) cut out dairy from her diet. To our surprise in 3 months her eczema was completely gone and her rash on her bottom was gone and it didn't come back!               CUE THE CLAPPING!!!!

I was finally able to REST. And she was finally able to eat a damn apple again.

She kept on me though, kept asking when we would try to figure out what was going on. The girl is persistent. So I finally did it. I set a date and I didn't budge on it.

Let me tell you. Prepping for this sucked. Meal planning for this first week had me in tears.

The 4R's stand for Remove, Replace, Reinoculate and Repair. So we planned to remove anything that could trigger inflammation, to replace with healthier choices and a digestive enzyme, to reinoculate with probiotics but then...

DANG, this was EXPENSIVE; so we decided to hold off on the repair for now.

Let's chat a minute about making a shopping list for myself, a husband, a four year old and a two year old when all of our go- to snacks were on the naughty list. And I'm not talking about candy or fruit snacks either, I'm talking about mango and bell peppers! (The top photo isn't accurate, we can't even have freaking bell peppers). Yogurt, cottage cheese... EGGS! Wh

Life was sweet. For awhile. Until she really wanted some yogurt and I really wanted to let her have some.

I wanted to get to the root of the food sensitivity.

Which is what led me to Dr. Aviva Romm's Healthiest Kids University and the Allergy Epidemic. In this course she discusses the root causes of some allergies and even auto-immune diseases and guess what one of them was? Antibiotics, yes, but more specifically, treatment using antibiotics for Group B Strep during birth.


So began our journey with Dr. Aviva's 4R program. Well, in theory anyway. Anything sounds good in theory right? I would set dates to start, and then cancel them. I would think about how to prepare and then not prepare. She and I would talk about it at length and she would get excited at the idea to eat cheese again, possibly-- but then a family party would come up or she would get invited to a friend's birthday or we could go away for the weekend and I would put it off.

Because who the heck can fit an elimination diet like this into their life? Don't get me wrong, we cook the majority of food at home anyway-- we eat well, mostly vegetarian, I pay attention to the dirty dozen, we brew our own Kombucha for goodness sakes! But what if I wanted to quickly grab Chipotle one night? Or go to a friend's home for a meal? What happens then?

It seemed impossible.

Dairy-free. Gluten-free. Sugar-free. Red-meat free. Limited fruit. No nightshades.


What the heck would we eat for breakfast, I want to know??? I can only seem to scrounge up recipes for dinner, but am at a complete loss for breakfast, lunch and snacks.

I plan on having smoothies (which take up all of our fruit choices) for breakfast almost every single morning. For 3 months. Everybody laugh along with me!! Only a crazy person would attempt this with whole family.

Hello, nice to meet you. I'm CRAZY.

When we aren't having smoothies-- well, I guess we can have bananas and almond butter.

Lunch: Rice and carrot sticks? Will my two year old eat a salad?

Snacks: Green beans.

Is that enough? Ha. I'm tired already. That's it folks. That's all I've got.

Wish me luck!