Getting back on track

Cherries in bowl
For those who have read of my struggle with eating well these days, you may also remember that I mentioned doing a bit of a cleanse/sugar fast with my family when our students leave. Well, they're leaving next Monday, so it's time to start gearing up to do just that!

Why are we doing this?

For the past 6 weeks we've  had ESL homestay students with us. Though we enjoy having our students for the most part, these particular two sets of students we've taken have been the most challenging we've ever had, food-wise. They particularly have not liked Canadian food, and have made somewhat of a fuss about it.

Actually, to say they don't like Canadian food isn't entirely accurate. They don't like my bean soups or salmon skewer's or green salads, etc. They dislike all that I make that is good and nourishing, and the only Western food they want to eat is packaged, sugary and chemical-laden. With the first set of students, I tried to fight through it a bit, doing mostly my regular fare, just toned down a bit, and buying a few junkier things for their lunches to make them happy.

With this current set of younger girls, every dinner became a nightmare, and so I have resorted to having an unhappy amount of junk in my home, serving Korean or Asian styled foods more often (sometimes this is fine, other times it is not), and just overall compromising quite a bit. Yes, I suppose I could have put up more of a fight, encouraged them to try more Canadian food, etc. but I am weary from fighting about food all summer long and quite frankly, I just wanted everyone to eat and leave the issue alone.

Needless to say, my family has been consuming much food that I would not normally allow anywhere near us, including far too much sugar, and we have not been able to properly eat our usual diet full of vegetables and alternative grains and many varied nutrients. I feel that a strict diet will help to combat any rising Candida (as we've been feeding it through our unfortunate choices), and just to help repair and strengthen our bodies again (I've been feeling on the verge of sickness this last week, my daughter has complained of an owie tummy, etc.).

The Plan

We will do a 3 week special diet, due to the fact that we only have a 3 1/2 week window between our students and our trip to Arizona. Though we will be buying and cooking as much of our own food as possible on that trip, I know that we will naturally eat out a fair bit as well. Continuing on with the diet during that time won't be feasible or pleasant to attempt, so we will probably go back on this diet again briefly when we return.

Week 1

The Maker's Diet– Phase 1, but with one moderation. We will continue to use cow's dairy (rather than only goat's and sheep's dairy, as is recommended). I can't just turn off my cow share for a week, and my husband really dislikes anything else.

Basically, this week will include: free range poultry, grass fed meats, free range eggs (except for me), most fish (we don't eat shellfish ever), raw dairy products, most vegetables (minus potatoes and corn), lentils, almonds and seeds, simple and natural spices and seasonings (sea salt, apple cider vinegar, etc.), berries and citrus (minus oranges), and either water, herbal tea, or fermented beverages (kefir, kombucha, etc.).

Week 2

Maker's Diet- Phase 2. We're going through the diet twice as fast as you normally would. Week 2 allows us to add back in sweet potatoes, yams and corn, a few types of beans and nuts (all soaked), most fruits, some raw honey.

Week 3

Maker's Diet- Phase 3. Lastly, we will return to eating the rest of the beans and legumes, nut butters, dried fruit and the last of the very sweet tropical fruits, and whole grains (if properly soaked or sprouted). As well, we will continue to stay off of wheat for this extra week, as we are all sensitive to it, and will also try our hardest to avoid it even in Arizona.

Although my husband and I will be following this strictly, our children will not be. They will not be allowed to eat anything with sugar or preservatives, coloring, etc. (as unfortunately our daughter has been fed some of these things by our students). They will mostly go along with what we are eating, but will stay on properly prepared grains the entire time, as well as fruits.

As well, because I'm still nursing a few times a day, I cannot be too hard core about this. I will not be taking any supplements to help detox (though my husband will be). If I am getting too hungry or my milk is running low, I will have to beef up what I am eating (hee, hee, no pun intended), and possibly add back in a small amount of sprouted and soaked grains or some nuts, etc. Fortunately, though, it is completely possible to get all of the nutrients and calories I need on this diet, I just need to plan carefully for meals and snacks to do it.

For more info on doing the Maker's Diet, which we have done many times over the past few years, see this post I wrote back in the spring.

What do you do when you've been eating poorly for a season? Do you do something like this, or do you just jump right back into a more regular, healthy diet? Has anyone else used the Maker's Diet, and what did you think of it?

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  1. I was actually going to start a modified makers diet myself tomorrow after I’m able to get out and grocery shop. I myself have let the nutrition slide here in my own home as I grew weary of being in the kitchen all day with trying to preserve for the winter. We’ve been eating way to much refined sugar and not properly prepared grains. I’m tired, ache-y, and itchy from excema. And it all has to do with my diet.

    I’ve never made it through the entire makers diet cleanse and would like to try and make it last 40 days, but each time I get so tired of making 2 dinners (my hubby won’t do it, his job is to physical and he can’t take cutting out grains) or missing out on what I make for everyone else. Although I do like to do a short cleanse (a few days to a week) when getting back on track.

    I do plan on cutting out white sugar (except from the kombucha) and any white flour. I also need to find a soaked bread recipe (for just one loaf) that I like. Happen to have one? 🙂

  2. I, too, am going to begin a fast. I will start mine next Monday. I’m doing a pre fast this week getting my body ready by slowly weaning off my sweet tea and junk foods. Next week I’m going to do the Blessed Herbs cleanse.
    I hope you have a wonderful week!
    Mrs. Farrah Ginter

  3. I haven’t done the Maker’s Diet, but have heard good things!

    We just got back from two weeks of vacationing (including visiting with my in-laws who are, shall we say, less than healthy eaters with lots of preservative-full, low-fat, processed, nitrate/nitrite-full, corn syrup loaded food) and with two weeks of vacation eating in my belly, (and the pounds to match) we too are recuperating with a new diet!

    I’m also still nursing a few times a day so we’re keeping things healthy and with plenty of food and nothing drastic, but we are doing the “Eat Fat, Lose Fat” plan from the authors of Nourishing Traditions. I do best on low(er) carb and so does my hubby so we are eating lots of fresh meat, fish and shellfish, free-range poultry and eggs, tons of veggies, coconut oil and cod liver oil supplements, raw milk daily, some fruits, minimal grains, etc. Lots of green smoothies to recuperate with the occasional oatmeal for breakfast for variety!

    Best of luck and I hope that you feel better!


  4. I am in a similar position. I don’t have picky people in my home, but I haven’t been eating well for a few weeks for a variety of reasons (though I’ve been religiously avoiding gluten). I have had several birthday dinners, gone over to others’ homes for special occasions, and eaten out with visiting friends. Not only have I eaten way too much sugar and pasteurized dairy, I’ve eaten way too much, period. Yes, a cleanse is in the plans. My body is literally crying out for it. My husband and I both feel it. I’ve done cleanses very similar to the Maker’s Diet before, and I’ve felt really well. In fact, I start feeling worse as soon as I add back starches and grains. I’m beginning to think that my body doesn’t handle even properly soaked and prepared gluten-free grains very well. My digestion and energy levels really suffer. (And I have zero candida, btw) This is frustrating because grains are frugal.

    On a side note, I did the Master Cleanse a few months ago and was pretty pleased. I didn’t feel hungry at all. I’m not sure if I’ll do it again, though. I’m leaning more toward a short, low-sugar vegetable juice fast.

  5. When we have been eating too much junk and start to feel gross, we tend to just go right back to our healthier eating choices. That’s for most of the family. I tend to fast a little bit, though it hasn’t been deliberate. I just find that my appetite goes down after overindulging, and I stick to water and very little food for a day or two before I go back to eating as we normally do.

  6. I did a 3 week Daniel Fast earlier this year and felt fabulous. I think I will use this in the future to help me get back on track even if I’m not doing it for spiritual reasons.

    I have never actually followed the Maker’s Diet although I do reference the book quite frequently and include many of the principles in how we eat.

    Good luck getting back on the wagon. I can so relate to your earlier post too about how hard it is to say “no” when it’s in the house.

  7. Stephanie, I did the Maker’s Diet back in May. It was great, and I felt wonderful after the initial starvation stage. 🙂 I was grocery shopping today and thinking about getting back on that diet next week. The one problem I have with it is that you lose weight with it. While that’s not a problem for me, my husband really can’t afford to lose any weight. Any ideas on how I can modify it so it’s effective on him but doesn’t make him lose a bunch of weight? Any help would be awesome because I’m tired of feeling icky!

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