Friday, March 9, 2012

Little Victories

So, just one day later, I am happy to report that Joshua ate three meals today and one snack, all GAPS-legal foods, though not a lot of variety.  Most of what he ate today was butternut squash (that had been cooked in homemade beef broth) and broccoli (also cooked in the broth).  The squash we actually mashed in broth, and also added some pastured lard, and a bit of honey.  So, he did get some broth and some good fats.  However, he is still not drinking the broth on his own (but I have "dream fed" him a little bit here and there while he was sleeping. We are going to work more on the broth, and continue the (diminishing) juice with (increasing) kombucha.  I am very hopeful.  My child who refused to eat for two days ate every meal today. Praise the Lord!

As for Jeff and I, we are doing pretty well.  While we have had some mild die-off symptoms, it has been a pretty gentle intro for us.  I had a bit of a rough time today with nausea (that seemed to be related to blood sugar).  I have had a hard time getting enough to eat in a day because of course there is not a lot of variety in stage one of intro.  Textures easily put me off, as does too much repetition.  So I have been eating, and not skipping any meals or anything, but maybe not eating as much as I should be.  And I felt it today.  Nausea aside, though, I am feeling pretty good.  A little tired, which is probably also due to not quite getting enough to eat.  But my sinus infection is clearing itself up with no antibiotics (just PRObiotics), and my mental clarity is already improving some.

Jeff has had no problem always keeping a cup of broth nearby, and eating several bowls of soup per meal.  He has a man's appetite, which maybe supersedes the issues of repetition that I struggle with.

Tomorrow I am moving into stage two of the intro, while Jeff is going to stay on stage one a little longer (as is Joshua, of course).  I am not presently dealing with any digestive issues and my die-off seems to be slacking off, so I'm going for the extra nutrients and a little variety.  I will start by adding an egg yolk to my breakfast soup, and maybe add some ghee to lunch and dinner's soups.  I am not sure if I am brave enough to try the fermented fish recipes yet, but I am working up to it.  With a few more options to get some good nutrition on stage 2, I will not hurry it too much, because I want to take my time on each stage to make sure I am letting the diet do its work.  That is going to be hard, though, because stage 3 of intro is when I can start having the "pancakes" made with almond meal...not to mention ripe mashed avocado.  Those will certainly add some nice variety and substance.

One thing we're trying to do is not eat one kind of stock for too long.  Right now a batch of stock lasts us about two days, and we alternate types of meat.  Tomorrow morning we will be finished with the beef stock, and we will switch to pork (made from uncured ham hocks and neckbones).  With the pork we like to do winter squashes and spinach and other greens.  With the beef we have done a lot of yellow squash and zucchini, broccoli florets, and carrots.  We are making a special trip to a market in Atlanta tomorrow, where we will get some fish for fish stock.  Jeff is working on his Whiz-Bang Chicken Plucker, and after that is finished we will have some chickens to add to the mix.

Things I am starting to notice already - my skin is getting a more youthful glow again already, and that makes me happy.  I have heard from some others that the ample supply of collagen in the broths would have that effect, as well as possibly healing things like stretch marks and that lovely "extra skin" from pregnancy from the inside out.  These are not the reason I am doing GAPS, but hey - what a perk!!  I have not seen any effect yet on stretch marks, but seriously I will just be content when people go back to guessing way too young for my age.

Some of the less positive things:

I really miss bread.  Jeff, who has been bread free for much longer, does not seem to empathize with me much in this craving.  I went from regular (soaked or sprouted) bread eating to none at all far too quickly!

The grocery store.  Oh my word.  We needed to stop in and get a few things we did not expect to run out of, produce wise.  Let me just tell you that going through a grocery store when you are in the first week of GAPS intro is basically pure torture.  Shiny pictures of processed junk that I otherwise do not have nearly so hard a time turning down turn me into a drooling mess.  And there is chocolate around every corner!  We do not really shop in actual grocery stores very much, and maybe some good planning would have prevented this trip.  So, if you are starting on GAPS and you have good farms/farmers markets where you can get what you need, avoid the grocery store until you get that gut flora in check.  Yeast totally exacerbates carb cravings.  Kick the yeast, and THEN go to the grocery store.  (On a totally Trekie side note that will make my father and my friend Monique very proud:  Jeff and I have had several conversations about how yeast (and bacterial overgrowth, too) are basically The Borg.  Think about it, they take over, they speak in the royal plural, and they are very difficult to refuse.  "Resistance is futile. Chocolate can be assimilated.")

There are ups and downs, and we have experienced many in just the short time we have been doing this.  But even with the downs, I whole-heartedly recommend GAPS to anyone who is dealing with children with multiple allergies (or if you have multiple allergies), signs of digestive distress, or even just mild indications that your gut flora might be off.  It is not easy, but it is worth it.

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