So far we have been in the Introduction to GAPS, which is a very restricted version on the full GAPS diet aimed at jumpstarting the gut-healing process with extremely digestible and well cooked foods, along with the addition of huge amounts of fats and bone broths. In this period our diet consists mostly of water/broth cooked meats and veggies with lots of fats in soup form. Each week we add a new food - slowly.
(Veggie soup w/ leftover roast duck)
We started by adding:
- lactofermented veggies (real saurkraut, beet kvass, pickles, salsa)
- avacado (not the best results - we'll try again later)
- raw egg yolks in soups
- eggs scrambled in large amounts of fat (we think all the eggs were producing dry skin and itching in Rae & Adam so we'll try adding them again later; I am desparate to be using eggs as they are so nutrtious, cheaper than meat, and great for baking)
- nuts (soaked first and dried in the oven) - we are definitely overdoing these as they seem to be our only allowable snack right now. I think they may reacting to these but plan on keeping them in.
- raw veggies (lettuce, cucumber, carrot, salad so far)
And soon to be added:
- cooked fruits
- raw fruits
- try the eggs again
- try avocado again
- ghee (clarified butter)
- goat yogurt (can't wait!!!!)
- almond butter with carrot sticks
- handful of soaked and dehydrated nuts or seeds
- soft boiled egg (for myself)
- cup/bowl of leftover broth
- leftover sausages (although it is very, very rare that any are leftover as the kids eat like horses right now)
- no fruit yet - not enough gut healing has ocurred yet to try these
- beef jerky (no sugar or additives - got mine from the Leola Amish Market and proceeded to try to burn an eyeball out when I somehow got some of the black pepper in it!)
- either chicken or beef bone broth in large pot (haven't braved the fishy broth yet)
- tons of whatever veggies I have (turnips, cauliflower, brocolli, onion, carrot, spinach, squash, green beans, etc.) chopped into the pot
- some type of meat (sausages, meatballs, beef roast cubed, chicken, duck, ground meat) cooked in pot before veggies go in
- sometimes butternut or acorn squash mashed with coconut oil, smidge of honey, spices
- dose of lactofermented veggie juice
- salad with carrots, cucumber, soaked sunflower seeds, EV olive oil, raw apple cidar vinegar, Herbamare
- roast chicken/duck/beef roast (onion, celery, sea salt, spices)
- veggies (turnips, onions, shrooms are my fave) roasted in seasalt and lard
- squash (if we didn't have it for lunch)
- dose of lactofermented veggie juice
- dose of cod liver oil
(Duck bone broth - beautifully gelatinous!)We are just now starting to step away from the soup, soup, soup stage to roasting and pancooking meats and sauteeing veggies. But every meal still must have a cup of bone broth and lactofermented veggies as well as a ton of fat. I spoon globs of it (tallow, lard, coconut oil but no butter yet) into every bowl/cup of broth for the kids and am trying out things like "fudge" made from coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and almond butter. The kids love the 'zingy' salad and the 'zingy' fermented veggies and only struggle with disliking zucchini and mushrooms so far. And although our guts aren't ready for such things every day, we can still have a GAPS friendly treat for special occasions, such as Reagan's birthday (almond brittle, date rolls, coconut macaroons, coconut cupcakes).
After about 8 weeks, the results are not so easy to quantify. The obvious is that the kids' (R, A, and L)eczema cleared up right away and all the poo (sorry but that's what we watch these days!) in the house except for Lincoln's is normal (this is the first time for this for Adam - ever!). But another observation is that Adam has not caught a single virus since we started! This is the child who has caught every bug that's come around since he was 11 months old! He hasn't missed any school (nor complained about his sausage snacks in the face of Gold*fish) due to illness either. His speech therapist has noticed a major jump in his speech progress as well as his social progress improvement at preschool. Lincoln also seemed to burst forth with speech growth although he is still struggling with constipation (possibly due to leftover issue from his bouts with antibiotics). I felt great for the first 3 weeks but now find myself to be tired and am wondering what's causing that. I lost my last bit of baby weight (9lbs) and leveled out. All the kids are full and satisfied with each meal and I often get a "thumbs up" from Adam (so stinkin' cute when he does that - usually comes with the words "totally awesome!"). Allergy season is starting up and in all of the nice days we've spent outside, we've only had to give Adam allergy eyedrops once. Last year he was living on steroids just to keep his eyes from puffing closed! Of course, I'm hoping that this improvement will continue and get him through the worst of the pollen season yet to come.
(Happy kiddos reading, reading, reading!)We still have a way to go, especially with Adam. I am hoping to see their behaviors even out a little more as they adjust to the higher doses of probiotics ("die-off" of 'bad' bacteria can cause quite some yucky bouts of tantrums!). I am more than ready to start adding some more foods in - especially those eggs! The meat budget is killing me and I can't really use dairy, or eggs, or beans even to set it off. I don't have enough room in both fridges for veggies to stretch 2 weeks and my farm runs have to be frequent also so my errands are increased around here. Add that to the running and financial burden we are feeling from having Jefferson in away school and it's not so easy to make work. Can you say, "Holy pricey grass-fed beef, Batman!" Where's my 99cent box O' macNcheese when I need it - lol!
I am glad however, that the kids and dh love the foods, that we live in Lancaster - a wonderful farmland full of good foods (and whole food eatin' peeps), that we are all feeling better from eating better, and that we aren't spending so much on eating out or snacks. I feel great, even if tired, when I place a good hearty meal in front of the fam that I know is working to heal them instead of harming them. I am thankful that we all enjoy the taste and are full with each meal. There is no more stress from hearing a child tell me their tummy hurts after I feed them something processed!
I'll tell ya - it tastes great around here!! God's leading has been fruitful (as usual)! Recipes and more photos to follow soon....