Kitchen Chat/Feingold Diet Intro

Awesome. That pretty much sums up the kitchen chat I hosted in my home today. We chatted about real food and the Feingold Program specifically. I talked way too much {and still feel like I barely scratched the surface!}, but the women who came were AMAZING! It was a PRIVILEGE to have them in my home!

{We gathered around my kitchen to chat about real food.}

The stories of why they came inspired and encouraged me. I wish you could've been with us today! It's just amazing to stand with a a great group of women and realize we are not alone!

Back to food!  We grabbed a cup of ginger peach tea or cinnamon coffee and a piece of the best cinnamon bread {selected because every ingredient is recognizable and stuff you'd have in your own kitchen...meaning all natural and you could bake it yourself if you were so inclined, which I'm not!}.

{Pure ingredients; divine taste!}

Then I started talking...for a solid hour. Poor things! Those precious women must've felt like they were drinking from a fire hydrant! I opened with a few more details about our story then introduced the Feingold Program...why we do it, how we got started, how we succeeded and how we've branched out into all kinds of delicious foods.

The Feingold Association sent me some very helpful handouts {including the Pure Facts newsletter featuring our family's story}.

Oh, and see the cookies on the counter? I'm thrilled to report that the natural version of Thin Mints {called Fudge Mint Cookies by Back to Nature} are AWESOME...especially when frozen! The ingredients in the natural version aren't quite as pure and clean as I'd like them to be, but WAY better than partially hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavor!

Natural vs. Artificial.
{Fudge Mint Cookies vs. Thin Mints}

My girls think it's crazy that it says "artificial flavor" on the Thin Mint box and people still buy them by the millions! Label reading has become second nature to me. The more you do it, the faster and more natural you become at it. And lucky for you, it's becoming more and more en vogue!

The Feingold Association also sent some fabulous handwriting and coloring samples from real kids. Take a look at what happens when kids are eating well vs. when they aren't:

{My youngest used to color everything just like the
sample on the left. Angry, irritable coloring!}

{This is for real...I've seen it with my oldest.}

{Isn't it amazing how differently a child writes when
their body is calm and not under food stress?}

If reading our story or seeing some of these images gives you the sense you should give Feingold a try, I recommend ordering this packet...or this one if you'd like to add "Why Can't My Child Behave?" {You can read the first part of the book here.}

Once you order the Feingold materials,
here are my recommended next steps:

1. Let the whole family know you're going to try a food experiment for a month. {You need at least 4 weeks to create a clean slate. Feingold calls this "Stage One."} I chose to call it a "food experiment" instead of a diet {and my children were the little scientists who recorded notes in a journal}. Whatever you do, don't tell your kids you're doing this because something is wrong with them and you're trying to fix it. An easy thing to say is, "I think we'll all feel better if we eat real food!" There's a lot of food dye buzz in the media. Tell them it's gotten your attention and that you're excited about it! And sweetly ask your husband to support you...for at least a month. Send them to my blog if you have to!

2. Clean out your pantry and fridge. You can save some things in a big plastic bin and reintroduce them one at a time during Stage Two, but if it's full of artificial crap {sorry, that's what it is!}, do yourself a favor and throw it away. I know it feels like throwing money away, but when you see the change in your children, it will be worth it!

3. Make a fun poster to hang in your pantry. List the items you'll need to avoid during Stage One and draw or print a picture beside each one. If your kids are crafty, let them make the poster.

4. Dive into your Feingold Food List.  Highlight the foods you recognize or that sound good to you. If your children are old enough, let them highlight things that sound exciting to them! {The Food List comes with your intro packet. Every food item has been reviewed and researched. The food companies who aren't willing to give full disclosure about what's in their food or who don't want to fill out forms aren't listed.}

5. Make a shopping list. I think the key is to buy as many replacements as you can so that your child doesn't feel like they are giving up and losing everything {there are natural or Feingold accepted replacements for almost everything these days}. And you don't have to shop at Whole Foods. There are tons of approved foods available in regular grocery stores.

6. Buy fun treats...even things you don't usually allow. I didn't allow much sugar in the house pre-Feingold. {I thought sugar was our primary problem. Not that it's super good for you, but I was wrong.} So when we started Feingold, I didn't just take away and replace, I added things. Ice cream, popsicles, cookies...my girls were thrilled with the options! Sometimes I even gave them an extra treat after a birthday party or school party just to thank them for sticking with our food experiment! And if they miss out on something {because I didn't know a treat would be served}, they get to come home and have a double portion! {I'm not advocating a daily sugar overdose. We eat sugar on "S Days." Saturdays, Sundays and Special Occasions!}

7. Let teachers and caregivers know. You need cooperation from everyone. Many teachers have never heard of the Feingold Diet, but they are starting to hear the buzz about food dye. And when they see the change in your child, they'll want to know more! You don't have to give them every detail upfront, but ask for their support. At school, at church, on playdates, etc., my rule is: if it doesn't come from home, don't eat it. That's really the only way to get a clean slate that first month.

There's lots more I could share, but it's date night time {every Wednesday night...so good for our marriage}. I'll be back with part deux soon!

Coming up next: a peek inside my refrigerator and pantry PLUS how to handle birthday parties, holidays, grandparents, etc. If I have the time and my kids are willing, I'd love to video their thoughts and advice. {Now that I'm all fancy and know how to post a video to my blog!}

So how do you feel? Inspired and ready to eat well or overwhelmed and drowning in information? Send your thoughts and questions my way...or just leave a comment below!

Happy Eating, Sweet Friends!

P.S. Speaking of food, my garden is suffering in this sudden blast of Houston heat! And I had my first pest invasion. Aphids covered the radish leaves...gross! My solution: dig out the entire plant. I know there's a better way, but I'm new at this and didn't have a backup plan. I'm learning as I go!

P.P.S. Hallie has been so encouraged by your sweet comments about her singing and guitar playing {here}. Thank you for making her smile!


  1. Hi Linsey --
    Thank you for giving us this information. It is something I am very interested in and serious about for my family : )
    We are not able to purchase the Feingold plans yet, however I was wondering if you knew of any books that I could get at the library, etc. that would cover any of the food information that is covered in the Feingold materials?
    We would love to move in this direction soon!
    Tammy : )

  2. Thank you!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You share with grace and style! I'm so blessed by the information . . . I'm tickled with the 'new' kids I've discovered in my very own home!

  3. Thanks for all the information. I try to buy organic. We also have two organic vegetable gardens. We live in Louisiana and it is dry and hot. I release about 3,000-5,000 ladybugs twice a year. Ladybugs love aphids. I actually release the ladybugs in my rose gardens too! I hope this helps!!

  4. Great post, very interested. I'm in Houston too and would love to see your grocery list. What products do you buy from Whole Foods? I do want to try eliminating foods w/ dyes from my kids diet, just don't know what to replace them with?

  5. It has been tough keeping everything watered here in Houston. I lost my cilantro last week... As for the bugs, try putting a couple of squirts of dish soap in a spray bottle and fill with water. This is what I do for my roses and herbs.

  6. This is really interesting. I'll have to tell my husband about it! He's super healthy and fit- wish I was better about it ;)

  7. Ladybugs do eat aphids! You can even buy a batch of them at some gardening centers.

    I'm intrigued by your experience with Feingold. Is there any way to follow it and not eat meat or dairy? My kids are already vegan.

  8. Patti - Absolutely. There all kinds of ways to "make it your own" when it comes to Feingold. The first four weeks don't require you to eat certain things so much as it requires you to eliminate certain things (so that you can start with a clean slate). This gives you a great baseline so that both you and your kids can assess when there's a reaction...sometimes mild and sometimes super obvious. Best wishes!

  9. I keep reading more and more of your posts on this...I read the syptoms list on their webpage and it described my eight year olds behavior to a tee...can't wait to read more!


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