Our Main focus was to eliminate SUGAR. Then processed foods. All grains. And dairy.
1. There is LOTS of prep work. I would say at least a good 20+ hours. Now I am a slow learner and I don't have a lot of ample time so this is one of the biggest hurdles for us as a family. Also we went to 4 grocery stores... Trader Joes, Costco, ALDI and your regular grocery store. My reasoning:
- ALDI - to cut cost. They had organic fruit sticks that I knew my kids would need in their lunch box. They also had portable meats and plenty of trail mix options.
- Costco - best produce and organic meat.
- Trader Joes - plantain chips and applegate sausage and hotdogs. Again our biggest weakness is convenience, so I needed to have portable food at all time.
- Regular grocery store - Larabars.
2. You also have to prepare your children. I spent two days talking to them about it. Warning them. There will be no goldfish. There will be no dessert. There will be no milk. FOR SIX WEEKS. I also provided a nice incentive at the end of the six weeks... because even as an adult this is not easy.
3. It's all about research. This is equally hard because the first three days are a lot of trial and error.
- I still have yet to find a good breakfast and dinner they all like
- My kids still won't eat eggs
- They are tired of smoothies
4. Small steps
The first three days my kids consumed a lot of bananas and apples and peanut butter. Progress over perfection. They are no longer asking for goldfish, a granola bar, cereal or yogurt. Instead they ate a lot of fruit (blueberries, apples, bananas, raspberries, grapes, raisins) and by mid-afternoon they start eating a cucumbers and red peppers. By day 2 they started eating deli meat and organic pepperoni. And by day 3 they started eating celery, cauliflower rice and sweet potatoes.
5. Increased endurance, happy moods and sleep is better.
Now that I am on the fourth day and I have received multiple positive reports from teachers and caretakers regarding the behavior of my children I am convinced some of them might have food allergies. We will see.
And I noticed little improvements regarding my endurance. Typically by 8pm I am exhausted and can't do anything more. But with this diet I recognized I was cleaning and organizing at 9pm both nights. Also, my husband has been traveling for work and when I am left alone with all 6 ultimately there ends up being an angry communication from me. But I have NOT done it this time. I have also lost 5lbs, but I am not doing this diet for weight loss. And I imagine a lot of the weight loss was water.
6. You need full-on support.
- I had to email all the teachers and caretakers about what we were doing.
- It is a full-on family affair. My husband helps with shopping and my mother-in-law helps with cooking.
- My 5-year old was on blue (good behavior) and he was not allowed candy, so they gave him a sticker.
- Another child had a birthday celebration in the classroom. The teacher sent me a note to make me aware that they were eating goldfish. So I packed a special treat... and by special treat I mean an organic strawberry fruit strip and a banana.
6. It is expensive.
But so is a $1500 root canal on a 7-year old.
7. Understand your why.
We had to do this.. because we were informed by many specialists that we needed to cut the sugar and white flour from our children's diets to determine allergies, trigger foods, improve behavioral issues and eliminate dental problem areas.
If anyone has some excellent family friendly recipes please share with the group in the comments section.
Thank you all for your support!