Tag Archives: Food

A Happy Family

If you follow Color Transformed Family on Instagram (which if you don’t you totally should because I post there almost daily) then you know that for the past three months my family has been following the GAPS diet.

I shared some about it in this post…


Our family started a new diet (way of eating) last week. It’s called the GAPS (gut and psychology syndrome) Diet. We are still in the intro stages and for the past six days we have eaten homemade soup for nearly every meal. Today we got to start eating eggs and avocado and tonight we are celebrating with omelettes sans cheese. Let’s just say we’ve all been looking forward to this. So why the diet? Mainly in hopes that improving Judah’s gut health will help his brain to function better. There’s lots out there on the gut and brain being connected. Check it out. It’s not just for him though. This diet may help with anxiety and ADD. Our children have not been diagnosed with ADD but I do have one that struggles with focus and calming down and a husband that has ADD. So needless to say we feel like the whole family might benefit from this diet. #gapsdiet #cleaneating #food #omlette

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and this post.

It’s been three months since we started the GAPS diet. How are things going? Well if you know anything about the GAPS diet you might know that sweet potatoes are not allowed. But if you know anything about feeding a family of five you know that it’s not cheap. So after two months of our grocery bill practically doubling because of the abundance of meat, fruit, and veggies in our diet this month everyone except Judah added sweet potatoes and corn back to the diet. This gives me the freedom for some extra low-cost side options. When I’m cooking I try to stick to the diet guidelines as much as possible but some times we bend the rules a little and just cover it in prayer. For instance, I am not buying organic “everything”! No telling what that would do to the budget. I am buying good quality meat and washing my fruits and veggies with my Thieves Soak. We are currently in the process of really upping Judah’s (and our) fermented food intake. For the most part that consists of pickles, saurkraut, and homemade kefer. Judah (and me) are drinking homemade bone broth to help restore the gut wall to it’s intended glory. He loves it! Which is kind of funny because he’s never cared for milk or juice. I’m trying to figure out a way to sneak that in the girls’ diet. The girls. I’ll just have to share all about them and their view of the diet in another post because I could go on and on. So are we seeing results with Judah? Honestly, we will never know because we don’t know what his progress would have been like without the diet. What I do know is that he is continuing to learn and make progress in his therapy goals. I know he grins and has much more facial expression that he did a few months ago. I know that eating well won’t hurt him. Judah has so many good things helping him. He is prayed for and loved, is eating a healthy diet, has a regimen of essential oils, vitamins, and probiotics, and is blessed with amazing therapists and teachers. And most of all I know he has an amazing God who is using all of this for His glory! #gapsdiet #overcomingobstacles #learningwithjudah #cleaneating #food #health #yleo

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What I haven’t really talked about yet is how Noah and Esther are handling it. The two siblings who have given up a whole host of foods for no other reason in their mind except to support their brother on this health journey.

So hows it going?

They Love It

These girls are champs and have completely overhauled their diet with very minimal complaining.  One of the biggest helps for them is that I bought a GAPS diet cookbook that is filled with recipes for delicious meals and treats. They enjoy flipping through it and planning when we should try new recipes out and deciding what treats we should have for special occasions. Noah even claims that she never wants the diet to end because the food is so good.

Neither of my girls have ever been extremely picky but we feel like they have become even less picky while on the diet.  I think part of is that they know they either eat what is in front of them or don’t eat at all.  And it’s not like we are forcing them to eat food they dislike nine times out of ten they end up liking whatever they were skeptical about.  Except for butternut squash and chicken broth.  They both agree that they do not like either one of those.

Stronger Than Us

Michael Luke and I are always telling people that the girls are stronger on this diet than we are.  They have turned down so much that is not allowed on the GAPS diet.  From birthday cake to fried chicken to fruit punch these girls have held strong.

So much so that when ML and I went to a wedding last month we felt guilty for even thinking about cheating on a piece of wedding cake.  We just couldn’t when our girls had gone without so much with hardly a complaint.

We try not to make it to hard on them.  Our go to treat when we are out and about around others is a Larabar.  With many of their bars containing six ingredients or less but tasting like sweet indulgence like Key Lime Pie or Apple Pie it really hits the sweet spot.

Our other favorite treat we use to compensate missing out on sweets is Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I use the recipe on the back of Bob’s Red Mills Almond Flour sack and substitute the molasses for honey to cut down on costs.  I use Lily’s Dark Chocolate Baking Chips which are sweetened with stevia instead of sugar. Not sure if that is completely legal but it’s close enough.   These cookies are so good.  On mother’s day my entire extended family was raving about them… especially after I added a few drops of Young Living Orange Essential Oil.

Counting Down

The biggest motivation for the girls is that they know this diet is only temporary.  They totally have the mindset of “I can do anything for little while.”  We have a pretty big family vacation planned in October and I have promised the girls that during the vacation the diet is off.  Every time they turn down something they do it  knowing that come October they may get another opportunity to eat it.  Donuts, ice cream, pasta, and dim sum we are coming for you!

What We’ve Learned

Before the diet I was most nervous about giving up sugar.  Mainly because I wasn’t sure what would be left to eat after removing sugar and grains from our diets.  I have a sweet tooth and while I knew sugar was affecting my kids behavior and immune systems I still struggled with completely giving it up.

We’ve learned is that we really don’t miss it and life does indeed go on when you pass up a slice of birthday cake.  So after we return from vacation in October everyone except Judah will start to add foods back into the diet but sugar is one thing we don’t plan to add back.  There will be exception like birthdays where we splurge and enjoy one of our favorite Chloe Coscarelli cakes but sugar will no longer be a permanent staple in our diet.

We’ve also learned that this diet isn’t nearly as hard or scary as we initially thought it would be. We’ve all found our groove now and still have favorite recipes and things like Taco Tuesday that we get to enjoy.

Our family has and always be a family that enjoys food and this diet enables us to discover lots of new ways to enjoy foods… and that makes us happy.

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Pinning and Dining: Vegetarian Taco Soup

I love soup! Creamy soup, spicy soup, meaty soup… they are all good.  Eating soup is the perfect way to sneak in some extra vegetables to your diet.  Another plus is that when you are only feeding a family of 2.5 a batch of soup will last for several meals.  Score!  Less cooking for the wifey.

A couple of weeks ago the cool mornings had finally gotten to me and I decided it was time to fix some soup… taco soup.  I would eat it year round but ML prefers cooler weather for steamy hot liquid to be rushing through his body.  Normally, I use the same meaty recipe I grew up eating but this time I decided to try something a little different.  Vegetarian Taco Soup.


It was amazing and knocked the meatier soup off of the podium as one of our top five fave soups.  At first I wondered if sans meat it would be enough to fill us up but it is chocked full of beans and vegetables that will satisfy your tummy.  Even Noah was a huge fan of it, eating so much that her nose began to run and needed frequent water breaks.

I found the original recipe here but made a few modifications to mine.  Below is what I ended up with:

Vegetarian Taco Soup

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
1 (15 ounce) can navy beans
1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas
1 (15 ounce) can green beans
2 (15 ounce) cans corn
1 small onion, chopped
1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel Tomatoes
2 cups water
1 recipe homemade taco seasoning mix
3 tablespoons homemade ranch dressing mix

Making your own seasoning mixes is quick, easy, and affordable.  Your probably already have all the spices needed on hand.  It’s the migraine free way to go.

1. Drain and rinse first five ingredients.

2. Pour into large pot.

3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

4. Let simmer 30 minutes and then enjoy!

For some extra yumminess I served it with tortilla chips, shredded Mexican cheese, and sour cream.

This recipe is super easy and chocked full of flavor.  It’s perfect for busy weeknights or having friends over to watch the big game.  Or in our case… having enough food to last us four nights.

What about you?  Have you swapped any of your favorite meaty soup recipes for something meatless?  What are your favorite sides to serve with soup?  For me it’s gotta be Jiffy cornbread.  I love the sweetness! And for the bonus, what’s your favorite soup?

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Pinning and Dining: A New Series

To commemorate Summertime and the love of quick, easy, and delicious meals (or desserts).  I thought I would share some great finds I have found on Pinterest.

Source: food.com via Krystle on Pinterest


This recipe claims to taste just like a Wendy’s frosty and it does not disappoint. ML and I for the most part gave up fast food almost two years ago.  Before that Wendy’s chicken nuggets and frosties were a road trip staple for us.  Let’s just say we still long for a frosty almost every time we pass a Wendy’s. So when I saw this pinned on Pinterest I just had to give it a try.  We prepared it for a pot luck dinner party and everyone loved it.  To give it a healthy touch we used chocolate almond milk, and Whole Food’s version of cool whip.  The change in ingredients worked fine and did not alter the taste.  This has definitely become an ice cream favorite for us.


This pasta recipe I pinned from Ashley my friend over at Attempts at Domestication.  She shared this easy go to pasta recipe a few months ago and I just had to try it for ML.  He loved it and I did too because I already had all the ingredients on hand.  Using tomatoes, frozen vegetables, some spices, and a little left over wine this recipe leaves you with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the night.

Source: tastykitchen.com via Krystle on Pinterest

This is a fabulous cheesy chicken and rice bake.  I tweaked it a little by doubling the black beans and eliminating the chicken for a vegetarian alternative.  We love black beans, corn, and cilantro.  This recipe has them all and is packed full of flavor.  Who doesn’t love a one stop casserole dish for the Summer?  Pair this with some salad and you have a complete meal!

Sharing all these recipes has gotten me hungry and ready to cook.  I guess that’s a good thing for ML!  I love trying new recipes.  This post begins a new series I am starting titled “Pinning and Dining”.  I hope to share more wonderful recipes I have found or have pinned to Pinterest.  As well as give you real life pictures and comments on how it actually turns out.  I am sure ML will fully support this new series on the blog.

Have you found any new Summer recipes that your family loves?  Do you share our love of frosties?  Does your family have a theme night for dinner on certain nights of the week? (Italian, Mexican, comfort food)  I have thought about implementing this once Noah gets older.

Interested in more great recipes I have found on Pinterest?  See here, here, and here.

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