Monday, June 4, 2012

GAPS Update - Roller Coaster Ride

So, I ended the last post explaining that I was going to go back on soaked/sprouted grains, and I am starting this one by declaring that I am back off of grains again.  It turns out that most of my GAPS-associated improvements (including the tonsil stones) came back when I started eating soaked grains on a more daily basis.  Well, all except the weight loss.  I did not gain any weight (and did continue to lose a little more) when I was eating grains.  So, it turns out that I DO have difficulty with grains, but who would have thought that my oral health and my cycle were indicators of it?  They are the only symptoms I have ever had, and both are non-existent when I'm grain free.  Still, I am hoping that GAPS dispatches those symptoms for good, and that I can resume eating grains when my body has healed.  After all, I have Italian heritage, and I love Italian food, and I cannot do a lot of that without some wheat once in a while (again, post-GAPS, not during).

Joshua is continuing to do well, and we just took our first vacation while on GAPS.  Now, Dr. Campbell-McBride does recommend grass-fed meats, but they are not a requirement, so I knew that, for the most part, I could eat what our hosts were serving, and pick up whatever other groceries I needed for myself.  But Joshua gets pretty sick with store-bought meat (even organic) if it is not grass-fed, and I knew that grass-fed meat does not really exist in the small town grocery store I would be shopping at.  Also, he still does not drink broth, so we puree his vegetables in it to make sure he is getting enough.  Being that this was supposed to be a  vacation, I did not want to spend the whole week pureeing vegetables.  I pureed his whole week's worth of food, and made up several burgers for him (half pastured ground pork, half grass-fed ground beef), and froze those, as well.  Except for dried fruit and some vegetables, he chowed down on puree and burgers all week long.  Man, he cannot get enough of those burgers, either!  He did really well on vacation, and while he did appear to have one digestive food reaction, we seemed to do very well with avoiding cross-contamination and allergen exposure on this trip.  Just one bout of diarrhea with some rashing that typically indicates a food reaction for him, but it could have just been stress on his system from adjusting to a new place, because it was gone after 2 soiled diapers and happened fairly early on in the week.

I have a batch of sauerkraut nearly done, and we will get a new batch going on Thursday, at which point I am going to put Joshua back on intro and see if we cannot address some of these allergy issues now that we are being mindful of the celiac issues and watching more closely for cross contamination.  I really want to see these food allergies healed for good, so of course we are also covering the re-intro period with lots and lots of prayer.

Jeff is continuing to do well, wowing everyone with the weight he has lost and with his increasing energy, as well. We have not tested any of his food allergies, yet, but I think the first one we will do will be the almond, since it is the least severe reaction.  Of course, we test all of these on the skin first, then by eating the next day if no reaction is present.  He has, however, been able to eat more forms of dairy without any sickness.  When we have used store-bought live kefir or yogurt for our smoothies, he can have them without getting sick at all. Of course, just like the raw milk itself, our raw milk yogurt, sour cream, and kefir are no problem for him.  The only thing left is cheese, since we do not drink pasteurized milk, but of course if he can get to the point of being able to tolerate pasteurized milk, it does make the occasional dinner elsewhere a little easier.  My, I can barely imagine how wonderful it will be to not have to answer the question of "So what can you eat," when a friend wants to have us over for dinner!  If that can happen before we are done with GAPS, all the better!

For now, though, we are all feeling so good that most of the time we are perfectly content with our limited diet.  In all honesty, the only times it ever feels very "limited" are 1) if we forget to snack and let ourselves get too hungry (when we're that hungry we almost always want something sweet and starchy) and 2) when we are going to have food with other people and have to explain what we "can't have."

The hardest thing for me has been all the extra work, and there is certainly extra work.  But I have realized, with my time of rest (a week can do a lot of good) that I have been going about things all wrong, and trying to change the way I operate in order to get more done.  Well, God made me the way I am, with the personality that I have, and I do not have to change who I am to get more done.  It was the attempt to alter myself that was leaving me so exhausted and burned out.  Already three days back into life at home and things are going very well.  I actually had FREE time today (hence this long blog post), and I am getting things done!  A little work has been done in every room of the house, and I am washing diapers, and started off the day cooking breakfast for company.  Pretty amazing what the tiniest shift in perspective can do! 

Very soon I will have even more help in fighting the burnout.  I have been saying for some time that what I need is an "apprentice" of sorts.  Someone who is very interested in learning firsthand all the different "natural living" things we do and would want to learn how to do them by helping me out around the house.  Some of the things I can teach such an apprentice would be fermenting (kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, sour cream, salsa, other fermented veggies), Soaking/sprouting (beans, grains - for farmers market baking, seeds), homemade cleaning agents (dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, floor and bathroom cleaners, household disinfectants), stock-making, cloth diapering, and of course skin care products.  WELL, just such an apprentice has been found.  A new friend of ours from here in town is going to be joining me a couple days a week; and I am so excited!

So that is the update.  Joshua heading back on intro, and I am getting into a pretty regular rhythm with all of this.  And life goes on as "normal."


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  2. So true!
    "My, I can barely imagine how wonderful it will be to not have to answer the question of "So what can you eat," when a friend wants to have us over for dinner!"

    The hardest thing for me about "eating out" whether it be at a friend's home or at a restaurant, is that it is hard to get enough meat. Either we are at a person's house and we know that meat is expensive so we eat less meat then we normally would at home (leaving me feeling hungry.) OR we are at a restaurant and purchasing enough meat is WAY too expensive (leaving me feeling hungry.)
    Feeling hungry is not good ever!
    It seems like I feel best and can concentrate better when eating all day long, and never getting to the point of really feeling hungry. For some reason when that severe hunger comes on, it tends to create a mindless compulsion to eat JUNK. I don't really understand why. But it almost seems to be uncontrollable at that point. So the easiest day for me is if I am able to eat from mid-morning, around 9:30 - 10:00, every couple hours all day long. The more fats that I can eat, the better my ability to concentrate and to make plans. So incorporating good fats into every meal and snack has become a priority for me. I would of never thought that I'd be eating this much fat in my diet and losing weight at the same time. But I am living proof.
    None of this makes sense on the Standard American Diet. Sometimes we have to go against the conventions of society to better ourselves as individuals.