The Big MAC Diet, Why it will Change YOUR Life and a Thai Recipe!

Oh those golden arches, breakfast all day every day, dollar menu and a scary clown!

What is not to love about all things Mickey D? 

A Big MAC diet - let's learn more! ….drooling, oh yeah baby…duh duh duh da duh I’m lovin’ it!

From the last blog post you learned about the biggest mistake of my life and how it could help you. My reading comprehension error with an antibiotic prescription lead to a serious c diff colitis infection in our 15 year old. Three months later she is still fighting this demon.

Every time we eat we either do something to build our bodies or tear them down. Bite by bite, every day, every meal. We are focusing on doing everything possible to help our daughter heal from the horrible demon inside her.

I haven’t been to a McDonald’s in years so the idea of eating a Big Mac is quite goofy to me. HA! Wrong Big MAC.

This Big MAC diet is actually one that will help your gut heal (a major focus at our house), improve your weight, mood and long-term health. Did you know your gut is linked to so many things?

Big MAC is a term from the book, The Good Gut, by Justin and Erica Sonnenburg. It has been one of my favorite books as I have researched different ideas to help our daughter heal from her intestinal infection.

A MAC is a microbiota accessible carbohydrate. Huh? A carbohydrate that the critters in your gut use for fuel. Giving your gut critters the nutrients they need to thrive will improve your body on so many levels. Duh, duh, duh, duh da….your gut microbiome is lovin’ it!

Think complex carbohydrates: fruit, veggies, legumes and unrefined whole grains. The more diverse your intake, the better it helps the good bacteria in your gut thrive.

These Big MAC’s LOVE fiber and act like a recycling facility, pulling out the good stuff from the goop headed out the back end and it actually improves your health when these critters eat well.

Fiber is not just for binding cholesterol or keeping you for getting plugged up. Fiber fuels those critical microbes in your gut. When they have what they need, they give you what you need.  A happy gut microbiome leads to protection from crud leaking across the gut membrane and into your body. Crud that makes you sick.

Fiber comes from carbohydrates and carbohydrates are not the most popular nutrients of the day. Most foods that come in a package, food handed to you in a paper bag out of a drive through window and almost everything but the outer perimeter of a grocery store is what earned carbohydrates a bad rap.

Heavily processed crap food that tastes delicious, is super cheap and comes in a crinkly wrapper. Those are the carbohydrates that need avoidance.

Fruit, veggies, unrefined whole grains and legumes. EAT these carbohydrates.  Every day, all day to give your gut microbes what they need to thrive and keep you healthy.

This is our favorite new recipe for our big MAC combo meal…it’s SOOOO good!  It’s mild yet flavorful and our pickest picky of all LOVES it! 


  • 1 pound chicken (turkey, tofu, etc), sliced in thin bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 ½ Tbsp grated ginger (I use a microplaner)
  • 3 Tbsp red curry paste (it’s very mild, you don’t need to be afraid and the Thai Kitchen brand is yummy and easy to find at Walmart, Kroger, Target, etc)
  • 3 – 13.5 ounce cans full fat, unsweetened coconut milk (coconut fat is healthy fat)
  • Juice of 1 lime

Optional veggies: diced carrots, diced sweet potato, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, chard, kale…if you love it…add it!

In a medium sauce pan heat oil on medium, cook chicken until cooked completely through. Add diced pepper and onion. Sauté until soft. Add garlic and ginger and cook until its fragrant (a minute or so). Add curry paste and unsweetened coconut milk; stir until curry paste is fully dissolved. Let simmer for 20 minutes or so for the flavors to merry. Add juice of one lime and top with more deliciousness!

Top with chopped dry roasted peanuts, cilantro, mung bean sprouts and a wedge of lime.

Recipe scales easily depending on how big your crew is. This feeds our family of 5 with delicious leftovers.

Eat Big MAC’s all day, every day. Just get them in the produce section of the grocery store!!

Your gut will thank you, I promise!

Brooke, RDN

FAST FOOD for Fall Part 1 of 3

Hey You Guys! (Think Goonies!)

Gotcha!  I have been AWOL for awhile BUT have not fallen off my rocker. This post is no ode to the deliciousness of Chick-Fil-A or McDonald's. We rarely eat at those joints because we hate how we feel after we are done noshing. I would bet you feel the same way but still need something as easy and convenient to turn to during those times you are caught in a meal crisis.

Perhaps you would like something easy, fast, affordable and good for you? We all do! Today I share my secret to keeping my family in as much fast food as they want. The only caveat is that this fast food comes from the freezer not a drive through.

The secret to fast food at our house is no longer a secret.  Cupcake tins, silicone cupcake liners (BPA free of course ;) and a freezer bag hold the key to easy, fast, affordable and good for you.

Make the grub, freeze the grub then enjoy your healthy grub when you are in a pickle. This works well for all sizes of families and even college students. Freezing portions of delicious food keeps it from spoiling, keeps you with good for you options and is super convenient.

Fast Food for fall!

Fast Food for fall!

I’ve been freezing food like this since college. I started with spaghetti sauce and this recipe for Calico Beans was the second one to do the cupcake tin routine. Love that silicone cupcake liners have been invented since then!

This recipe is incredibly flexible. It halves or doubles with no problems. It can be made vegan or carnivore. You can even leave out the sugar (I have done that but didn’t like it as much).

Calico Beans


  • 5-6 strips of pre-cooked bacon- it will crisp up in the pot, don’t microwave it (optional)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 pound hamburger, ground turkey or ground chicken (optional)


  • 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15 oz) cans great white (northern) beans, NOT drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, NOT drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco or Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Water, add enough to bring the liquid level just below the below the top of the beans. Bring to a boil then turn it down to simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours (stir occasionally)…if you have less time to let it simmer it’s fine too. It gets tastier as the flavors all meld together.

We eat with saltines, a string cheese and clementine’s or oranges. The vitamin C from the oranges helps your body absorb the iron from the beans and ground meat too.  Maybe that’s weird but it’s perfectly delicious. The kiddos eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Once it has cooled we scoop the leftovers into the silicone cupcake liners and freeze. Pop them out once they have frozen solid and store in a gallon bag.  FAST FOOD for fall AT YOUR FINGERTIPS!!!

Calico Beans - our fast food!

Calico Beans - our fast food!

Thanks for reading!