Today is the fourth morning of GAPS (re)introduction. It is certainly going way better than the first time around. Way better. Now I know why some people recommend doing full GAPS to get the hang of it, and then dropping into Intro.
Day 1 was a bit ouchy. I sat around and wondered: “Was it the histamines or glutamates in the broth? Histamines or too much probiotic source in my sauerkraut? Was it the eggs I ate the day before? Was it just low-grade “sugar withdrawal”? ” It is only a huge guessing game until a pattern can finally be elicited, and thus why modern medicine hates to mess with food. Here’s a pill. Move on.
Why is it going better? 1) I do not have so many cravings. 2) I know what to expect and cook. 3) It is not such a “mystical” experience this time around. My mindset is more pragmatic, more like , “Okay. I’m eating boiled meats and veggies for a while, plus I’m remembering to take a warm bath and relax.” None of these thoughts about “kill the bad bacteria” and “detox baths for your system.” Just plain and simple boiled meats, veggies, and broths because my GI tract has worked hard for 38 years, and for a month, I’m going to take it easy on it.
What did I forget from the last time I did it?
1) How good the sense of smell is out in public, say at Qdoba or the grocery store. 2) How much cooking is required and that none of it is fast! This means lots more time in the kitchen cooking and cleaning.
What is difficult?
Making discrepant meals for myself and my family. It is double the cooking, but only for a little while! And if they do eat MY food, then I have to cook that much more. I am happy they eat my soups, but dog gone it, they wouldn’t have eaten them if I cooked it for them for supper. A very strong reminder that “monkey see, monkey do.” My kids will eat what I eat if they see me eating it, and I don’t fuss at them. They seem to want to eat even more if I am protective of my food!
How am I physically?
Day one I had a headache and tiredness all day plus some dry eyes and stuffy nose. (The day before I had eaten some eggs, and I had really tanked up on almond butter, honey, and raisins the night before in preparation for re-intro.) Day 2 I felt pretty normal. Day 3 I felt what I like to call “my normal,” and how I’d like to feel most days. No headaches, no fatigue until the end of the day when I’d been cooking and cleaning and playing with the kids so hard, no dry eyes, and no stuffy nose. Day 4 is this morning, and I feel where I want to be. My GI tract didn’t move without magnesium, so I’m back on board with that. Bloating is slowly diminishing, but increases with things like beets and onions, suggesting FODMAPS intolerance.
What helps me?
- Drinking warm tea. (On my first intro, I had to have a teaspoon of honey in my tea or else I would have lost it. I haven’t needed that.)
- A warm evening bath with Epsom salts, baking soda, and essential oil.
- Gentle exercise.
- Keeping busy, especially outside.
- Having reached Day 3/Day 4 and feeling how clear my head feels without any headache or swooshiness with movement.
- Eating diverse kinds of vegetables and meats.
- Focusing on all the symptoms that have resolved since one year ago.
- Thinking about my pancreatitis patients who I kept on “gut rest” and IV fluids for several days until their GI tracts recovered.
- And lastly, when all that doesn’t work, my childish imagination is allowed to work, and I pretend I’m a Pioneer or a peasant in Europe’s early days and all I have is vegetables and meat. They would have been grateful for it, and so should I.
- Relaxing on what the rest of the family eats. The last time, I endeavored to have the kids and husband eat what I ate. Not this time.
What foods am I eating?
I have gone through pots of boiled carrots, beets, Swiss chard, butternut squash, and zucchini. Plus, I have goose broth, chicken broth, and beef broth. I have had crock-pot pork, crock-pot chicken (which hasn’t seemed to cause any symptoms yet), boiled ground beef, boiled meatballs, boiled shrimp, and boiled sea scallops . I have mixed them together in all kinds of combinations. For better or for worse. I add a little pressed garlic and some sauerkraut or pickle juice.
What kitchen gadgets really help Stage 1?
My garlic press. My fine mesh strainer for broths. My wide mouth funnel or pouring broth into jars to refrigerate. My zucchini spiral noodle maker was a treat, too–but not all that “helpful” like the other tools.
What’s my favorite Stage 1 recipe?
Mostly I just mix and match, but one I really liked was 1/2 quart of chicken broth, 1 small yellow onion, 3/4 cup zucchini spirals, 1 cup of small shrimp, and 6 sea scallops.
What supplements am I taking?
I take fish oil, FCLO, vitamin B12, Saccharomyces boulardii, and digestive enzymes. Not all the time. Sometimes I swear those digestive enzymes cause more bloating in me, so I skip them some meals and observe. The last couple of days, the thought of FCLO has repulsed me, so I am skipping it a few days. I have tried dozens of probiotics, and I’m just finishing up a bottle of Saccharomyces. I had skipped magnesium since starting, optimistic, but “Natural Calm” is still necessary for my GI tract.
Do I look forward to stage 2?
Not really. All I can do is add in egg yolk. I can’t do the dairy or ghee she recommends, and I don’t have access to any good fish to do any fermented fish. But today, since my symptoms have all resolved (except constipation), I’m going to move on to stage 2. It is raw egg yolk. Medical doctors tell you NOT to eat raw egg yolk. There really is a risk of Salmonella.
No. I don’t have any of that. This is just my story. You must not use this in any way, shape, or form as medical advice. I don’t want you to do the GAPS diet. I don’t want you to take the supplements I take. It is only my story. I am not a GAPS provider and only know what I gleaned from the related books and the internet. That is not somebody you want to trust! LOL! I’m interested to see if GAPS can help my GI tract move forward and help me eat certain foods again that I now know give me headaches and other symptoms. I am patient; I cannot expect a lifelong problem to turn around in 365 days. GAPS is NOT intended to last for more than 2-3 years, at most. So, for me, it is worth a try.
Posts in the Draft Bin:
Coconut Ice Cream
More of My Metametrix