Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Taking The Plunge: GAPS

Many of you know that we have dealt with food allergies for some time.  While my only food allergy is to MSG (so I do not care if it ever gets reversed, because MSG is an excito-neurotoxin that can harm your brain, is addictive, and causes weight gain and I am glad I have a reason to avoid it that is "acceptable" even to non-health conscious people), my husband is allergic to dairy, coconut, and (as we recently discovered) to almonds; as well as being gluten intolerant.  Our son is allergic to dairy, soy (hooray, but still), corn, peanuts, eggs, coconut, and oranges; as well as appearing to be gluten intolerant.

When it was just dairy and coconut for Jeff, I was more than content to just cook around them.  I mean, 2 allergens does not make for a complicated kitchen routine.  We were already making just about everything from scratch, anyway, so it did not really interrupt our routine much.

Gluten intolerance, though, certainly mixed things up a bit.  We were making everything from soaked or sprouted whole grains and loving it.  While we were fairly low-carb, we did enjoy those carbs coming from whole grain pasta or a nice loaf of homemade whole wheat bread.  Gluten-free living was a definite and drastic switch.

Add to it Joshua's allergy to many of the foods we love (eggs, peanuts, oranges,etc) and this was one overwhelmed mama.  So here I am trying to make us all one meal and not use too many gross substitute foods and keep everyone satisfied.  Overwhelmed.

I had long been hearing of people going through GAPS or the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to reverse their food allergies, but I just figured that it would be too restricted for my husband to enjoy and too restricted to feed my toddler well.  Until suddenly it was not too restricted for Jeff.  He wanted to at least check it out.  So we ordered Gut and Psychology Syndrome off of Amazon (Can you believe they did not have it at our local library, or anywhere in the GA Pines library system?), and we got it yesterday.

While we still have a lot to read about the how's and the why's, we looked at the parameters of the diet.  Guess what we discovered?  It basically included the diet Joshua already eats (meat and veggies); but with the prerequisite that those foods be boiled in the broth.  We can handle that.  Not to mention that the broth is a good source of calcium, something that we have to work at with his dairy allergy.

So, all though the original plan was that Jeff go on GAPS (and I go through the intro phase with him for moral support), we have decided that the whole family is going on GAPS together, starting in March.  The delayed start is to give us the time to prepare, stock up (pun semi-intended) on soup bones from our friends at the farmer's market, join friends for dinner one last time, etc.

Initially I was really intimidated about going on GAPS, but now - while I know it will be a challenge - I am pretty excited about it.  We know it is a long term commitment.  We are talking about 2 years of a diet that takes some major commitment before we will even know if it worked for our food allergies.  But the possibility that we can take these two years and turn it into a lifetime of enjoying a variety of nutritious whole foods, that is pretty incredible.  So we are joining the myriad of real-food bloggers who have already taken the plunge, and we are going GAPS.

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