You are What You Eat: Part 2 of 2

Abby and I with the family

A couple days ago I shared with you part 1 of a story on a Mom with 7 kids who changed her whole families life. I received so many comments and private emails from my subscribers about this story and how it really inspired them to look at what they are feeding their kids.

The second part of the story is about the miracles Kim’s family has seen from getting off of the traditional processed and toxic diet.  When I was in ND with everyone I had a great conversation with her husband who has lost 45 lbs.  He looked awesome and said he loves Tracies webstite, and he is just a sponge for knowledge regarding food.  He has a problem I hope all of you get to at some point.  He needs to GAIN weight, and is currently eating 3000 calories per day, but can’t keep weight on him.  Nice problem to have right 🙂  You can obviously see from his before pic, he wasn’t gifted with great genetics.  He has systematically experimented with HIS body to find the foods that HIS body responds well to, and has his hormones very regulated and is eating only high quality foods that his body can process.  He has found whole grains (a very healthy thing to eat) doesn’t sit well with his body and his back problems come back right away.  I challenge you to do experiments on yourself and track how you feel.  Many people have trouble processing dairy, sugar, and grains.  Try eliminating one of them for a 4-6 week period and see how you feel and then try another one to eliminate.

Kim and her family before changing their diet

Enough rambling, here is the rest of Kim’s story:

“I was just looking out the window at the kids playing in the yard and realizing what a miracle they are.  Our oldest just turned 14, we have twins who are 12, triplets that are 8 and our youngest is 4.  I didn’t think we’d be able to have kids.  I grew up obese, and didn’t have a normal puberty.  In fact, I only had my menstrual cycle one to two times a year.

As a kid, this didn’t bother me so much.  It wasn’t until we decided we wanted a family, that I became concerned.  I made an appointment with an OB-GYN, who immediately referred me to a fertility specialist.  He told me I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  He told me I would never conceive a baby without medical intervention.   He put me on some oral drugs that were supposed to stimulate my body to ovulate, but that was unsuccessful, so we proceeded to take fertility shots. We were lucky to have a single baby, twins and triplets.  All were healthy and we decided six was enough!  We weren’t worried about having any more kids as pregnancy was impossible without medical intervention.  Maybe with the way I was taking care of my body at the time, it was impossible, but my niece had me on an exercise plan to help me lose a lot of pregnancy weight.  I was losing weight and exercising consistently.  To my surprise, my periods started to become more regular.  More surprising than regular periods was a positive pregnancy test when the triplets were three.  We had a healthy baby boy and I had my tubes tied.

Abby and I with Kim on the left and Patty on the right

School starts in a couple of weeks.  Our ADD son is entering the third grade.  He successfully completed the second grade, medication free.  We keep him off of school lunch and gluten.  We do notice that his symptoms return after he’s been to a holiday meal or birthday party, and we suffer for a couple of days to get him back on track.  This proves to us that his diet has a lot to do with his focus and success in school.

I just had all the kids in for their yearly physicals with their pediatrician.  He said “Where’ve you been?”  We hadn’t been in since last fall, aside from some stitches in the knee of one of the boys.  This is completely awesome to me because we have a child with an auto-immune disorder who needs to go to the ER with any fever over 101.  She hadn’t been in to the ER or on antibiotics for a whole year.  What we are saving in doctor bills has easily made our increased grocery budget worth it.  I’m also excited that I am nearing the end of  the year with leftover vacation and sick days.  This is the first time since we had kids that I have not run out before the end of the year.

As I close this, I am waiting for Kevin to come in from mowing the yard.  We live on a farm and it takes close to six hours to mow the whole yard.  Sitting on a lawn mower for six hours was something he could not do last year because of his back.  His backaches are virtually gone.  If asked which one of the changes made the biggest difference in his back, he’d tell you it was the gluten.  Maybe our chiropractor who picked apart our diet wasn’t so crazy after all.”

Question of the Day:  Have you experienced interesting things that have happened when you started to change your eating habits?


  1. Kim,

    How did you get your kids to transition to a healthier diet? My kids just love graham crackers and saltine crackers but I have a suspicion that my youngest is gluten sensitive. I haven’t made a huge effort to test that because I don’t really know how to go about it and still stay sane. Any suggestions?


  2. Melissa: We just decided that we are the parents and they are the kids. We buy the groceries! They will get hungry enough to eat what you offer. We tried purchasing both of those items as organic, 100% whole wheat, but in the end they are both highly processed, and graham crackers are full of sugar.

    We just started slow, like a couple items at a time. I just quit buying it, told the kids we didn’t have any when they asked, and offered them something else. Decide ahead of time what you will allow them to have and buy that, so you’re prepared when they come and ask. I’m not going to pretend it was easy. They were mad sometimes!

    I also won’t pretend we are perfect. We try to follow an 80/20 rule. I think if we tried to go all 100% strict, we’d have more problems. We all have cheat meals now and then, just so we get right back on track.

    Good luck!

  3. This approach may be well worth trying for those of us who struggle, even though we do most things right.

    I am working toward my BS in Nutrition Health and Wellness (a past professor shared Dustin with us!). We are taught the food guide pyramid and most papers require that we use that as a main source for our writings. I have adopted a lot of the Pyramid into how I feed my family and figured that my emotional eating (I am a military wife and mother) and bad back were my *excuses* for never feeling or looking the way I would like.

    Coincidently (or perhaps not) within the last 2 weeks I have heard the same message from 2 different trusted sources, Dustin and on of my professors.

    I have a professor this term who is also a Naturopathic Physician. Last week he talked about an elimination diet. He mentioned that a lot of *our* problems could be either food allergy or sensitivity. He suggested that we try to eliminate wheat, dairy, eggs, corn and OJ for 3 weeks and see if there were any changes. He mentioned that wheat can cause inflammation (back and joint pain) and I recently read an article that said dairy can be linked to acne.

    He said that people who adopt this manner of eating will often lose excess weight easily even with added calories from foods like higher fat meats and nut butters.

    In this week’s lecture he talked about interval or burst training and the science behind it. Basically he said that our bodies respond better to this kind of aerobic activity because humans are designed this way; think chasing down dinner or running from a predator.

    I am feeling a slight release of guilt this Friday morning. I often cannot workout because of back pain, and my diet of Pyramid recommended whole grains doesn’t leave me feeling very energized or in control. I am more than motivated to give this a try!

  4. We’ve been gluten and cassien free for about 4 weeks now. Luckily non of us have celiac disease, but my husband was just diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. After doing much research I realized it would not only help with his inflammation, but has been a miracle to my migraines as well! It’s been a slow process of eating gluten free and I suggest going slow. There are a few gluten free goodies I buy for my kids at silly yak and so far it is going over well. Next, we start traditional milk, I’m sure well see more results! My 4-year-old boy has healthier energy now, not so cranky, or distracted.
    Love to hear more on food sensitivites!

  5. What is the reasoning behind switching from lower fat milk to whole milk. Would this be recommended for people with cholesterol problems? I know my teenage son would love going back to whole milk. We give the kids 2 % while my husband I drink 1 %. We both have borderline high cholesterol levels.

  6. Kevin learned that most of our skin problems begin in the gut, so Tara, I would bet you would get relief of acne by changing the diet.

    Karen, we drink our milk “whole” as in “farm fresh”.

  7. So the milk is not pasteurized or homogenized? Where do you find that? I’m not sure milk can be legally sold that way in WI.

  8. Kim
    Can you give me any names of books or resources you used to go gluten free?

  9. Kelly and others–

    My son was gluten-free and dairy-free for years. He can now eat limited quantities of those foods and feel fine. I have lots of recipes and resources on gluten-free eating, if that would be useful. Feel free to contact me directly It can be done– in fact, it’s much easier these days than it used to be! Good luck–

  10. We are just starting to make changes to our childrens (3) diets. I read all labels and do not purchase items made with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and color. The most dramatic change I’ve seen in the last two months is with soda (I had stopped drinking it last January but still bought it for the kids). I had recently bought it as a special treat for a day at the beach. Well, it was no treat at all. They all got wild, silly crazy, and could not controll their behavior. I think we’ll stick to water and tea!
    Thanks for the great info on grains and gluten.

  11. Kelly, I asked Kevin what he read when he was researching gluten-free. He thinks he found most his information on that on “underground”.

  12. Kathleen Larsen says

    Years ago I stopped eating “white” flour (i.e. any flour that wasn’t “100% whole wheat). It was hard because I just love pretzels! But I did it. Not only did my legs become smaller, but I became SO much less “jumpy.” And I have SO much energy too.

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