Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Maker’s Diet: How to Get Started

The Maker’s Diet is a 40-day plan to help reboot your body and make a lifestyle change in your eating habits. If you have read the book, you’ll know there are three phases to the 40-day plan: Phase 1 (restricted diet/cleanse), Phase 2 (less restricted diet/cleanse), Phase 3: how you will be eating for the rest of your life.

If you are healthy person and/or do not feel the need to lose any weight, Jordan Rubin suggests that you can simply start at Phase 3. If, however, you are suffering from an illness or condition and would like to do a cleanse to detoxify your body and/or lose weight, you should start with Phase 1.

If you have decided to start at Phase 1, then you should look at the list of foods at the back The Maker’s Diet that you are to eat during that phase and do your grocery shopping accordingly.

If, however, you would like to start with Phase 3 and simply slowly transition from the way you are currently eating to a Maker’s Diet lifestyle, here is a list of what I consider to be the initial essentials:

Distilled, Pure Water – If you get it at the grocery store, make sure it says distilled somewhere on the label at least. Some companies just label them “pure,” “drinking water” or “spring water." Some of these may be distilled, but not all of them are. So look with a savvy eye at what you're purchasing Better yet, find a pure water store in your area that distills and purifies its water.

Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - I order Wilderness Family's Extra Virginia Traditional Fermented Philippine Coconut Oil in bulk along with a group of friends. We purchase a case of 6 1-gallon buckets. Each is around $50. It lasts a long time, you can use it in all your cooking/baking, and the Wilderness Family brand tastes less "coconuty" than any other brand I've tried. If you're not interested in ordering from Wilderness Family, Nutiva is a decent brand that is cost effective.

Organic Unrefined Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Spectrum or Napa Valley is what I get – it’s unrefined and cold-pressed)

Organic or Free-range, Raw Cow’s Milk Cheese - Horizon now sells raw cow’s milk cheese. Organic Food Depot also offers raw cow's milk cheese - the brand name is Morningland Dairy. However, I purchase raw milk cheese through Quail Cove farms because it is a comparable price to the other brands, but more importantly it tastes so much better! They carry two good brands: Bunker Hill raw milk cheddar and Minerva signature raw white cheddar. Both are delicious.

Raw or Nonhomogenized Whole Cow’s Milk - from organically fed or preferably free-range, pastured cows – If you are hestitant to make the committment to raw milk (necessitating investment in a cow share if you live in Virginia), then your next best option is something like what Yoder Dairies provides. Yoder Dairies is located just off the corner of Princess Ann and Kempsville in Virginia Beach. If you live elsewhere, do a search for a local dairy in your area … make sure the cattle are not given hormones or antibiotics and there are no preservatives or additives in the milk.

Free-range Eggs - I get mine through Quail Cove Farms. They are the least expensive free-range eggs I've yet to find: 2.79 per dozen, and they're large and delicious. Yoder Dairies also carries free-range eggs from time to time. Organic Food Depot also sells local free-range eggs (Wilda's) for about $3.50 per dozen.

Organic Whole Milk Plain Yogurt (for smoothies – go here for a recipe) – Purchase plain, organic whole milk yogurt from pasture-fed cows. Seven Star Dairy is my favorite brand. It is available through Organic Food Depot. I purchase fruit (usually stawberries) seperately (enough for 2 cups), puree them in the blender, adding 2 Tbsp of raw honey and 2 Tbsp of pure maple syrup. I then add this to my plain, organic whole milk yogurt. This recipe makes the most delicious yogurt I've ever had--and without sugar!

Raw Honey - Obtaining raw, unfiltered, unheated honey is very important. However, as it is expensive, I have a few suggestions. If you and your family eat honey on toast, in homemade salad dressing or in anything else unheated, use a brand like Really Raw Honey, or something comparable like Honey in the Rough, or Al & Bea's Pure Honey (Elizabeth City, N.C.) Be sure this honey has never been heated and is completely unfiltered. Honey such as this is avaialbe through places like Organic Food Depot, some Vitamin Shoppe stores, and of course through local bee farmers. If your finances do not allow you to use raw unheated honey for cooking/baking, purchase something such as local unfiltered, raw honey (produced by Golden Angels Apiary - available through Organic Food Depot) which has never been heated above 110 degrees. While this is slightly heated honey, it is more cost-effective when baking wherein the honey will be heated anyway. One option for Virginians is Golden Angels Apiary raw, unheated, Tupelo, light and mild in 5 lb jars for around $20.

Sprouted Whole Grain Bread or Whole Grain Spelt, Kamut, or Sourdough Bread – Berlin Bread Factory is a good brand or Food for Life's Ezekiel Bread (although I like it better toasted). If you are like me, you may prefer to make your own bread, which is extremely cost-effective. I purchase organic wheat berries (grain) for anywhere from .52-.71 per pound, depending on brand and if I purchase in bulk. This is extremely inexpensive. I also purchase spelt berries (grain) as well for around $1.09 per pound. I also buy a variety of other grains including Kamut, barley, rye, dry corn, rice, etc. All of these items I get through Quail Cove Farms, which has the best prices on grain in the Hampton Roads area. I sprout the grain, dry it and grind it into flour for baking bread. If you don't wish to sprout your grain, you can also use it for soaked recipes. Sue Gregg's recipe books offer a number of usage options for whole grains using simple, everyday appliances such as a blender and coffee bean mill. If you do not have the time for this, try to stick to Ezekiel bread for the benefits of sprouted grains.

Other Sprouted Grains – hamburgers, burrito/taco shells, hot dog buns, etc. All of sorts of items are available in a sprouted-grain format through companies like Food for Life and Alvarado Street Bakery.

Pure Maple Syrup (organic or natural)—we buy ours at Costco in bulk, not organic but it’s still pure.

Organic Fruits and Veggies – Organic Food Depot carries an enormous selection of competitvely-priced produce. Many of their items are even less expensive than non-organic produce at other grocery stores like Farm Fresh and Harris Teeter, etc. For example, I have purchased organic green peppers for .51 cents each and organic red peppers for $1.51 each at Organic Food Depot. See my blog for the link to what fruits and veggies to buy organic.

Organic or Free-Range Meat - Organic Food Depot sells a wonderful local brand called Gryffon's Aerie. Their beef is the most delicious, free-range beef I've ever eaten. (I also sometimes buy the organic Naturals beef at Harris Teeter because it’s certified.) Another fantastic option is Trader Joe's, which carries a wide selection of free-range meats. (Just make sure the meat you’re getting is antibiotic free, hormone free and preservative/additive free.)

Organic or Free-Range Chicken - I buy chicken through Quail Cove Farms. They sell Amish-raised free-range chicken that is priced so well my friends can't believe it. Harris Teeter also sells organic chicken, but is it far more expensive than Quail Cove Farms.

Celtic Sea Salt - Available at both Heritage Health Food store and Organic Food Depot. Real Kosher Sea Salt via OFD is also a decent option.

Seasonings – Get rid of all seasonings in your cupboard that have sugar in them. Replace them with organic and/or natural seasonings as you can afford. Your seasonings should never say "natural flavorings" on the ingredient label. This could mean they contain MSG. The most cost-effective seasonings that I've found are available through Quail Cove Farms. You can buy them per cup or per pound. Either way, it equals a huge savings!

Organic, Unfiltered Juice - You want to purchase juice as close to raw as possible; not from concentrate. Harris Teeter, Farm Fresh or Organic Food Depot all carry not-from concentrate organic juice. Bionature is a good brand.

These are the major things you should start by changing. When my husband and I switched to eating this way, it was very costly at first because I wasn’t sure where to find the things we needed, and we ended up overspending simply from lack of information as to where to purchase things in our area. We do not have a Whole Foods in Hampton Roads, so I went to a lot of small, overprice health food stores in the area at first. When we found the Organic Food Depot and Quail Cove Farms, I was overjoyed. Then when Harris Teeter and Farm Fresh started carrying some organic foods, particularly Harris Teeter’s very reasonably priced ones, it became even easier to shop organically on a budget.

For those of you wanting to start eating according to The Maker’s Diet, don’t be afraid about the money. If you plan your meals and snacks ahead of time, you can shop and eat following The Maker’s Diet with only a small increase in your budget. For example, before switching to this way of eating, I had a budget of $100 per week for food for my husband and me. Now that we are eating The Maker’s Diet way, I spend about $115-125 per week. Overall, that’s only about a maximum one-quarter increase in my budget—-not bad considering how much better we both feel eating this way.

Here are a list of other things to add to your as continue to transition into Phase 3:

Make sure the nuts you buy are raw and organic – commercial nuts absorb a lot of pesticides. Before consuming, be sure to soak raw nuts and seeds in water/salt mixture (brine), then dry them in either a dehydrator at 115 degrees or on your oven's lowest setting (can take up to 9 hours). This is the only healthy way to consume nuts and seeds. (Flax seeds and sesame seeds when consumed in small amounts are the exception).

Switch from chips and processed snacks to some of the snack options I mention on my blogs about where to shop: organic dried fruit (no sugar added)—Harris Teeter and OFD, organic raw nuts (prepared as described above)—Harris Teeter and OFD, baked millet and flaxseed pita chips by Sami’s (via OFD), organic salsa—Harris Teeter and OFD, Lara Bars (via OFD), etc. A lot of these items are also carried at places like Whole Foods. Or you can make your own tortilla chips using natural corn tortillas (containing only corn, lime and water) from Trader Joe's - spread with organic extra virgin coconut oil and broil in the oven, then add sea salt.

Ketchup – switch to fruit-sweetened ketchup in order to avoid the high amount of sugar and high fructose corn syrup in commercial ketchups. Westbrae Fruit Sweetened Ketchup is what I get via Organic Food Depot, but I know that Whole Foods stores carry it also.

Organic Omega-3 Mayonnaise with Flax Oil – this is a product made by Spectrum. Switch to this in order to follow The Maker’s Diet list of healthy oils and fats. It’s delicious. Carried in many health food stores, Organic Food Depot, Whole Foods, etc.

Super Seed fiber powder by Garden of Life – for when or if you decide to go back and do Phase 1 of The Maker’s Diet. This is also good to have on hand for weekly cleansing during a day of fasting, etc.

Primal Defense Ultra by Garden of Life – time-release living soil and probiotic organisms for healthy digestion, I swear by these.

Cod Liver Oil – a very healthy supplement for natural source of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Be sure to purchase a brand that uses only wild cod so that mercury and other toxins are not present (i.e. Olde World Icelandic Cod Liver Oil by Garden of Life, or Cod Liver Oil by Spectrum)

Organic Flax Seed Oil – do not cook with; instead use in homemade salad dressing, smoothies, and other things to give you healthy omega-3 fatty acids and living enzymes.

Kombucha – fermented Chinese tea drink (sweetened with 5% fruit juice) containing enzymes, amino acids, probiotics, antioxidants, etc. It’s a great substitute for soda if you’re used to carbonated drinks. I often drink this instead of juice as well – less calories. Kombuch is extremely healthy for you. The guava flavor is good and so is the mango.


Kim said...

Thanks for putting this list online! I am starting to slowly integrate the things from the list into my diet. I visited Yoder Dairies today and am excited to try out their nonhomogenized milk for breakfast tomorrow.

Jen said...

I love your blog! I just read The Maker's Diet and have already been grinding my own red wheat flour for bread, but had no idea about the importance of sprouting. Will be trying that next!

You mentioned the importance of soaking nuts and seeds. How long do you soak them for? What is the purpose. Our family eats a TON of raw almonds but I never knew they should be soaked first.