Making the Maker’s Diet work

makersdietI mentioned in my Menu Plan Monday post that my husband and I have decided to go back on the Maker’s Diet yet again, right on the tail end of the Candida cleanse that I have been doing. This brought out a few questions about doing the Maker’s Diet, so I thought I would take the opportunity to give a quick review of the book and diet, and how it has worked for us.

If you’ve never read The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin, I highly suggest that you do. It is an excellent book, in which he explains in detail the foods that we should and shouldn’t be eating (and how this goes hand in hand with the Bible’s teaching, especially the Levitical food laws), as well as teaching about our digestive system, traditional diets, herbs, exercise, and more. He tells his own story of how returning to a healthful diet and lifestyle healed him of very advanced Crohn’s disease, among other ailments. The last portion of the book is dedicated to a 3 stage diet, lasting 40 days.

I believe that this will be either the 3rd or 4th time that my husband and I have embarked on this diet (which should tell you that we think it’s great!). I’ll say this upfront- it’s not a particularly fun diet to go on. The first time we did it, I remember that we were both ravenously hungry for the first two weeks. However, I also remember how good we felt as we came to the end of it, and how glad we were that we had done it.

In a nutshell, the diet consists of:

Stage 1- No grains, no fruit (except for some citrus and berries), no beans, no starches (potatoes, corn), no processed foods, few nuts, no sugars, no cow’s dairy (goat’s dairy is ok).
Stage 2- Add back in fruits and beans and more nuts and organic cow’s dairy.
Stage 3- Add back in starches, appropriate sugars (honey, molasses, etc.) and properly prepared grains

Now for a few questions…

I was wondering how it makes you feel to go on a cleanse like this?

Hungry! LOL, I’m mostly just kidding, though not entirely. In the first week or two, I think that most people do feel hungry. Grains, starches and sugars are filling, and without spending an extravagant amount on animal/fish protein, it can be difficult to stay really fully between meals. We do find, though, that this decreases the longer we do it, as our bodies adjust, and adding a few more foods back in for Stage 2 helps a lot.

Aside from that, many people will feel worse when they are doing a cleanse before, and although this can be difficult and discouraging, this is a good sign and it means that you should keep up what you are doing! When your body begins to release toxins, you will feel the effects of those toxins through fatigue, mental cloudiness, crankiness, skin breakouts, digestive issues (gas and bloating), some body odor, etc.

Though not pleasant, this is a necessary season to walk through, and it is usually short lived. Once through this, you will begin to feel wonderful, so much better than you did before. You will have more energy, alertness, ability to concentrate, clearer skin, smoother digestion and elimination, etc.

Do you feel bad when you start eating your regular foods again?

Well, yes and no. Depends what you mean by regular. When I start to eat sugar or processed foods or chemicals again, then yes, I don’t feel well. A cleaned out body reacts to foods that it should not be having, and this is a good and natural response! When we continually abuse our bodies over a long period of time, they begin to go into a state of shock, and stop responding to the abuse.

We might like to think that our bodies are tough, and that we’re healthy enough to handle garbage foods once in a while, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Your body has stopped giving you signals because you ignore them. Cleansing your body and giving it whole, nourishing foods ends that state of shock, and so when you eat poorly, your body says “hey, wait a minute, I was enjoying all that good stuff and this pop/donut/white fluffy bread just doesn’t agree with me!”.

When I go back to eating healthful foods that I temporarily stopped eating for the purposes of greater healing, my body can handle them quite well. It’s still wisdom to ease back into anything that our body isn’t used to having regularly, but I am feeling quite well eating eggs, raw milk, beef, tomatoes, etc. once again!

It must be really hard to have your foods so limited. Do you and your husband get hungry?? And do you stick to it even when your out?

I will definitely say that walking through this type of diet requires extra effort and discipline. We get hungry when we don’t plan adequately for it. However, when I carefully meal plan and shop in accordance with our diet, considering breakfasts, snacks and treats, in addition to regular lunches and dinners, then we are able to do quite well with it. Planning is one of the key elements to making something like this a success!

And yes, we try our hardest to stick with it when we go out. If we are going to be hosted by family, I will be specific about what we can and cannot eat, as they understand it well. If we are going to eat with friends, I will give them basics (no dairy, no sugar, trying to avoid grains), avoiding the more nitpicky specifics, and we will make small compromises. We will also offer to bring something that suits our diet, such as a salad, or veggie dish, etc.

And eating out? Well, we just don’t do it as much. We bring snacks or a bag lunch whenever possible. If we need to, we can eat a hearty salad with meat and skimp on the dressing, or perhaps a vegetable soup, or steak or chicken breast or fish with seasonal veggies.

Where do you get your recipes?

When I first did the diet, I used several of his recipes at the back of the book, just because I didn’t know what else to make. I know that on his site, you can also pay a membership fee and have access to many more recipes and other resources, forums, etc. Personally, I didn’t see this as being necessary.

I simply make a list of what we can eat, and then start to go through my own list of recipes to come up with ideas. For simple dinners in Stage 1, you can do some sort of protein (red meat, poultry or fish), and a big salad, or perhaps some steamed veggies and baked squash. Egg dishes work, like a goat cheese omelet with veggies. Or vegetable lentil soups. I mostly use my regular recipes, with alterations. I do a lot of substitutions, and just get a bit creative.

Do you follow his recommendations for supplements?  If I remember correctly, it was expensive wasn’t it?

Yes, they are expensive, and no, we don’t really stick with his recommendations. We’ve never done the SBO’s he recommends or used his particular pro-biotic (although we do use one, just a different brand). We’ve never tried Clenzology. We do buy the good coconut oil (but I do that anyways), and we do use Cod Liver Oil (again, not his brand). We sometimes use green foods (spirulina powder or liquid chlorophyll), but not his specific brand.

I hope that is helpful for anyone considering going on this life changing diet! His principles are very much in accord with those found in Nourishing Traditions, and it is a great introduction to these nutritional practices.

If anyone has any other questions about our experience with The Maker’s Diet, I would be happy to answer them! As well, if you’re interested in seeing what we eat, please check out my menu plans, starting with today’s, and for the next several weeks.

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. I just started following the Maker’s Diet a few weeks ago for the first time. I am now on Phase Two, but a little confused. I see that in Phase Two you can had Cow’s Milk cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, whole milk yogurt and sour cream. But it also says to avoid commercial dairy products. So does that mean that I cannot buy the dairy products that are added in Phase Two from the grocery store? And if not how do I get them?
    Thank you, Jessica

  2. Just curious how it can be the “Maker’s” plan not to have fruit or whole grains when that is what we were created to eat.
    Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”
    Genesis 1:28-30

    • Chelsea, the point of this cleanse/diet/food lifestyle is not to keep us from eating fruit or whole grains- the following is an excerpt from the book and while it is a bit long winded, please bear with and it’ll make sense. “After reading through this forty-day program, you will notice that phase one restricts disaccharide-rich carbohydrate foods such as grains, pastas, breads, sugar, potatoes, corn, beans, and legumes. While it is true that the people of the Bible consumed a diet that contained liberal amounts of grain and other carbohydrate foods, they were higher-quality, lesser-processed carbohydrates, therefore much easier to digest. And since they ate smaller quantities of food (some believe as much as six times less food than we do), their typical diet was close to a modern lower-carbohydrate diet.
      Also, these people would have eaten extremely healthy diets since birth, so they weren’t hampered by increased insulin sensitivity, endocrine imbalances (including thyroid problems), infection, inflammation, and digestive problems common to people who have been reared with the standard American diet (SAD). Since phase one is designed to CORRECT these harmful imbalances, it must TEMPORARILY limit even healthy foods such as fruits, whole grains, and honey while allowing for the liberal consumption of protein foods, vegetables, and healthy oils.”
      As you will notice with a little closer look at Stephanie’s original post, the fruit and whole grains are restricted only in the 1st phase (a 2 week period) with the fruits being added back in during the 2nd phase (another 2 weeks) and finally the PROPERLY PREPARED grains being allowed back in during the 3rd phase which lasts as long as you want to continue eating according to the plan.

  3. Hello,
    I stumbled upon this diet just today,but it’s not clear to me what is allowed in stage1 regarding which vegetables are all allowed and I also read somewhere that on stage1 one teaspoon of raw honey is allowed?
    He also writes coconut oil is ok,but I can’t find anything on coconut milk in any of the phases….

    Do you maybe know a list of all the permitted vegetables? and are they permitted unrestricted as in eat to appetite?
    Thanks!:)

    • I just use the book as my resource, so I’m not sure about any other lists. And I believe that coconut milk is fine. It’s an ingredient in one of the Stage 1 recommended recipes, so he must think it’s ok.

      • Thanx:) Unfortunately no coconutmilk for me as I don’t handle high free-fructosefoods well. From what I gathered it’s ok in their diet to eat poultry with skin and fatty fish,nuts and avocado….however a while ago I saw a video by Josh Rubin from East West Healing where he said Candida feeds on PUFA just as well as sugars….
        Any words on that in his book,or is it mainly focused on healing diseases such as Crohn’s and not so much funghi&parasites? (bc most anti-funghi diets also state that one shouldn’t eat any dairy products at all.)

    • Dutchie, here is a pdf of the restricted and permitted foods during the phases, hope this helps. http://wortsfamilies.com/downloads/Maker's%20Diet.pdf

  4. I have been looking at this for awhile, I am getting my brothers to go on it with me to help with the accountability, we are also going to include juicing in between some of the meals to keep from being hungry, do you think this will help??

  5. I just started this diet after reading the book twice. I have Crohn’s disease so I am hoping that it will help with my symptoms but I am wondering if it is common to lose weight on this diet as I am hoping to lose weight along with decreasing symptoms. If

    • I also have Chron’s disease and my wife and I started this diet after a very difficult 2011. My chron’s flaired up in February, and by June I was in really bad shape, my intestine ruptured and I ended up losing about 6″ of intestine. It’s been a long road recovering, but I am doing a lot better now. We started this way of eating (I hate to call it a diet), while I was sick and I just couldn’t stick to it. After I got through everything we started looking at this again and it has been going great. I highly reccomend following his reccomendations, and reading the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Both have a lot of great information. Good luck with this, it not easy, but it has helped to keep me off all medications, and I feel better than I every did before.

  6. Does anyone have a recommendation for a sprout grower and yogurt maker.

  7. I have read the Maker’s Diet and desire to begin the cleanse with my entire family. I would like to know if anyone knows of a great treatment plan for Candida. I live in Belgium and am not fluent in French to use a local doctor. Wanting to go natural and cleanse along with my daughters who seem to have struggles with Candidia. Blessings.

  8. I am just beginning the Maker’s Diet. I am also worried about it being expensive. I had been given the Nourishing Traditions some time ago but never followed through. I think a person has to be ready for a change. I am now! I was excited to find that Jordan Rubin (Author of The Maker’s Diet) was starting a new endeavor also. You can find out more information on this website:
    http://bit.ly/organictoyourdoor

    I think with effort and God’s help I will be able to get healthy!
    Lyn

  9. I just started this diet last week and already I’m proclaiming that my gut has been cured!! I’ve lived with chronic diarrhea, bloating, gas, and other disgustingness for years and years – since elementary school. I was diagnosed (and then told it was a misdiagnosis) twice with Celiac Disease. I am allergic to all dairy and eggs. Still, while carefully avoiding all those things I was still getting tummy aches constantly. I was about to give up and at least eat the “good stuff” since I was going to get sick anyway, but last week I decided to also take out all forms of sugar and yeast. I feel SOOOO much better this week. This diet is really hard though and I am hungry between meals – I’m looking forward to adding back fruit again. Anyway, I’m a believer!

  10. Stephanie says:

    I just wanted to let everyone know that this diet/life-change is the best life-style change that you chould possiably choose. I have done the 40 day cleanse and I have been living on the change for about a year. I never really looked fat because I have always been the type to hold my weight very well but I lost 40 lbs. on this diet and am still loosing. I feel great and my family and I look and feel so much better. I would suggest not only this advise from our maker but every word of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Please if you are over wieght and un-healthy do this for your temple it is what God intended for us all to be healthy.

  11. Can you post several frugal Maker’s Diet recipes? We had to stop a few months ago due to needing to cut back on spending. I really want to go back,… can you offer some frugal recipes/tips/ideas on how to do the Maker’s Diet on a small budget?
    THANKS!!!!!!!

  12. Thanks so much for posting this. I have read through The Maker’s Diet twice and added certain elements of it into my cooking/our eating habits.

  13. Thanks to Andrea for mentioning how the original plan included perfect soil and growing conditions. I hadn’t thought of that, and it’s worth thinking on for a bit. I still see supplements as a bit too expensive to justify using in our family at this point.

    I checked out the book at the library, and I’ve been reading and making notes for the past two days. There are several things that I agree with the author on, one being the use of antibacterial everything and the almost phobic fear of germs in North America. One thing that still kind of bugs me, though, is that his good points are followed by how his products are things you need. He does, however, give you some alternative ideas if you can’t afford them or don’t want them, so that redeems him a bit! ;)

  14. You and your husband are so brave! My husband was on the Maker’s Diet when we first got married. I tried to cook and follow the diet as best I could, but it was a struggle! We still make many eating decisions based on Maker’s Diet but find it is too strict for our lifestyle. My husband often works on the road for 16 + hours/ day and he found eating meals on the road difficult especially when he hadn’t planned on eating lunch and dinner away from home. (ie, not packing enough food for the day and ending up eating out instead) Some day the Maker’s Diet might be more workable for us, but in the mean time we just try to make as many health decisions as we can.

    Good luck!
    Jeannie

  15. In response to Susan’s question about the need for supplements (my opinion): As believers we need to remember that the earth (including our food sources) started out as a perfect source of nutrition for us but, as with all creation, was cursed and is becoming exponentially worse. God’s initial plan was for our food to provide enough nutrients, but that is no longer the case. I believe one example from The Maker’s Diet is where oranges from different locations were tested for Vitamin C – some had none! Supplements aren’t any good for people who eat poorly – but they are helpful to ‘supplement’ a healthy diet and maximize it’s positive effect on our body. Again – this is just an opinion.
    Thanks for the great post! Maybe when we get our allergies figured out, we can try to follow this diet (I loved the book!).
    Andrea

  16. Thanks for taking my comment in the spirit in which it was intended! I’m looking forward to what you have to say about supplements.

  17. Stephanie-

    Thanks for the info. I should’ve looked more for the previous post. I’ll stick to waiting until I’m done nursing. Thanks for the help!

    Linds

  18. Linds, I actually don’t think cleansing while nursing is a great idea and it can be harmful. The reason is was appropriate for me was that my baby was receiving toxins and developing food sensitivities as a result of my high Candida levels. My naturopath felt that it was more beneficial to deal with it (knowing he would receive toxins in the process) than to allow it to continue (as he would continue to receive toxins over the long haul, and develop worse sensitivities).

    The only way that I would recommend doing it is with an experienced naturopath or nutritionist who specialize in these types of diets, and who are able to do the testing to make sure that it is actually a serious enough issue to warrant dealing with while nursing (I was tested, and my level was found to be high enough that my naturopath was concerned).

    The post that I wrote about cleansing while nursing is here:
    http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2008/02/qa-on-a-cleanse.html

  19. Susan, thank you for the excellent comment. I actually agree with you very strongly, although I do have reasons for taking certain supplements, especially for a short season. I would love to answer this comment more fully in a post, as this is actually a topic that I am passionate about, and a question that is very worth asking, in my opinion!

  20. I’ve seen so many diets like this one that severely restrict certain types of foods, and one hallmark I’ve noticed is that they require a person to take dietary supplements. Without meaning to sound nit-picky, and surely not to bash you or anyone who follows such a diet, I’m wondering why the supplements, if this is God’s original intention for our diets? My reasoning is along the lines of thinking He would supply every nutrient we needed through our food, if this were the only way we should eat.

    Having said that, I probably should be taking supplements, because I don’t eat even close to this healthily! I’ve enjoyed reading about your diet, and have considered making a few changes to ours. Thanks!

    • @Susan, The supplements are because our food supply system is so very different than it should be, it is damaged. So the supplements replace what we are not getting that should be in the food we eat. I did the diet w/o most of the supplements and it worked for me. I did not have any chronic issues just looking to lose some weight and be healthy. The only one I did was the Perfect food one.

  21. This looks like it might be a great option for me. I’ve had chronic hives for several years, and they finally went away once I started a gluten free diet. But they’ve returned again, so I think it’s time to get rid of the toxins and see if that helps my hyper-sensitive system! Thanks for the info!

  22. Thanks for this info. I’m going to check out the book from the library and read it.

    I believe in one of your posts about your candida diet you spoke on that it is not harmful when you are breastfeeding. What are your thoughts on this one while you are nursing?

    I have a 5 month old, I don’t know if I will do this diet or not and if I do it won’t be for several months probably. However, I’m hoping to nurse her ’til well after she is one and didn’t know if I should wait until after she’s done nursing to do something like this.
    Linds

  23. Thanks so much for posting this. I have read through The Maker’s Diet twice and added certain elements of it into my cooking/our eating habits. It always seemed just too expensive and too limiting for me to pursue it any farther though. But you have made it sound so doable. Again, thank you for all the information. Have a great week.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The Great Physician's Rx for Children's Health by Jordan Rubin. I have previously read and enjoyed The Maker's Diet (it was quite influential for me in my real food journey, actually). I knew that he would have [...]

  2. [...] I first became interested in nutrition about 7 or 8 years ago. Raw diets, vegetarian diets, the Maker's Diet, the Nourishing Traditions/Weston Price diet (our usual diet, which I often write about), gluten [...]

  3. [...] It's time to share a few favorite recipes and recent finds with you once again! Here are some that we are either really enjoying these days, or that I'm dying to have again once we're finished with our grain/sugar/starch free diet (the Maker's Diet): [...]

  4. [...] I don't usually, I've also been adding in a breakfast plan this month. We are currently on the Maker's Diet yet again, and I find that the way to survive on special/restrictive diets is to plan, plan, and [...]