I 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.