I did promise you monthly updates on how my GAPS journey is going. Here I am, keeping my promise. I confess that I was hoping I’d have more dramatic updates for you if I only did them once a month. Alas, there have been very few changes.
I think the biggest change has been simply that I’m figuring out ways to streamline this whole GAPS process as much as possible. There is an enormous amount of cooking to be done and I spent many weeks feeling like I was drowning in all the food prep. Something must be done in order to continue.
The most helpful thing I’ve been doing is spending one night a week washing and prepping my produce. For me this means washing and drying my herbs and lettuce and putting them into bags with some paper towels to keep them dry. I wash and trim my carrots, celery, and beets that I use for juicing every morning and put them into bags. I peel a hunk of ginger and cut it into chunks (also for the morning juice). I slice some lemons for my tea, and peel garlic for my chicken broth and soups. Some things, like mushrooms and avocados, you really can’t do anything with. But if you take the time to do what you can beforehand, then the actual cooking feels much more approachable.
I tried egg whites again, and the good news is that my reaction was less severe. The bad news is that I still reacted to them. I had really hoped to have egg whites in my diet in time for summer vacation, because scrambled eggs or hard-boiled eggs are both great options for traveling on GAPS. Plus the egg whites will open up a plethora of baked goods to me–also very good for traveling. Alas, I think I will be hauling a cooler full of soup with me to South Dakota.
Also, since my last update, I’ve started mixing up my meals a little bit. I’ve had to remove the raw veggies and even the applesauce. I began to suspect they were causing me some trouble. Here is what a typical daily menu looks like for me:
- When I wake up I have a glass of water with trace minerals added to it, and I take my probiotic and cod liver oil.
- After getting ready for my day, I crank up the juicer. Currently, I’m having one cup of juice per day. I marked the 1 cup line on my juicing bowl so that I can just send veggies through until it reaches the line. Currently I use mostly carrots, but I also add in some combination of celery, apples, beets, lettuce, spinach, ginger, or lemon balm. It’s a little bit different every day.
- Around 9:30 I start getting hungry. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been having homemade chicken sausage, sliced avocado, and a mug of chicken broth for breakfast. If I could have egg whites, I’d add a scrambled egg to this. Or if I could have dairy, I’d add some yogurt.
- For lunch I’ve been having soup. I make a big batch of soup at the beginning of the week, so reheating it is quick and easy and doesn’t require too much preparation. Lunch time in our house is a little crazy, and if I have to think too much about what I’m going to eat, then I just end up not eating. I mix in an egg yolk or two, and the other avocado half.
- Sometimes I get hungry mid-afternoon. I don’t have too many snack options at this point, so I’ll typically have either a mug of broth or a spoonful of coconut butter (more on this wonderful product in a future post!)
- Dinner is some variation of roasted chicken with some type of cooked veggie, which I usually eat after the family meal. I tried for a while to have my dinner ready at the same time as the family’s, but it just wasn’t working. So now I sit down with the family for their dinner, and then eat mine while the Sweetie Pie gets everyone into jammies and reads bedtime stories. It’s not ideal, but it works well enough.
- If I’m hungry before bed, I have a cup of broth or soup or a spoonful of coconut butter.
With each meal I eat a spoonful of sauerkraut. And I generally have some supplements to take with each meal:
- Hydrochloric acid (2 capsules) before meals, to aid in digestion
- Probiotic–full dose in the morning
- Prescription meds for ulcerative colitis
- Trace minerals, added to a cup of water every morning
- 1 spoonful cod liver oil, every morning
- 1 capsule of fish oil before meals
The fish oil is new. I had debated about taking it earlier and had decided I didn’t feel it was necessary in my case. It may not be, but I eventually decided it’s not going to hurt anything, and it may help. So, really, why not?
And my detox routines are still the same:
- (almost) daily detox bath, alternating Epsom salt and baking soda
- daily, fresh-pressed vegetable juice with ginger
And how am I feeling? The good news is that my energy level has recovered to almost pre-GAPS levels, which has made life somewhat easier. I attribute this to the fresh juice, since my energy started increasing as I increased the amount of juice I was having.
Other than that, I’ve simply been feeling discouraged. After about a week of pouting and wanting to quit, I remembered something from my GI doc. Just before starting GAPS, she told me that she suspected I had Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO for short–is this TMI for a food blog??) I looked into it at the time, and reading the list of symptoms was like reading my own symptomatic diary. I was, and am, sure she’s right. I can only attribute me forgetting this conversation with her to my foggy, GAPS-induced, detox stupor. But once I remembered it I went searching for information on GAPS and SIBO. There is not much to be found, but I did find one informative site that I perused extensively. It was there that I read that if one is implementing GAPS to heal and seal one’s gut after a round of antibiotics to treat SIBO (check, and check) then one should not expect to see any improvement in symptoms for 3-6 months. Now on the one hand this was a great, big disappointment to read. Really?? Nothing, for another 1-4 months?? But on the other hand, it was kinda encouraging. It recalibrated my thinking. Instead of being focused on seeing improvement, I’ve set my focus on staying the course for another 4 months.
And even as I type that I get a little panicky thinking about another 4 months of exactly what I’ve been eating for the past 2 months. So while I’m committed to GAPS Through October, there’s a little bit of mourning and sorrow wrapped up in that, too. This GAPS stuff is not for the faint of heart.
Redmond Clay Giveaway
Thanks to everyone who entered last week’s Redmond Clay giveaway! Can you even believe these generous goodie boxes they’re sending out?? Over $100 worth of Redmond Clay products to three lucky people. And the winners are:
Clint will be contacting the winners soon to tell you how to get your goodie box in the mail to you.
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