GAPS Intro Diet, Day 30 (including Dr visit and GAPS pizza)

This morning I juiced my half dozen carrots, which made just over half a cup of juice–enough to drink out of a small goblet and feel elegant rather than silly. Then I expended nervous energy on tidying up a bit, drinking a pot of ginger tea and getting all my papers in order for my doctor appointment until it was time to go. And THEN I realized that once again I’d forgotten to get the car key from Colton on a morning when I needed the car. Thankfully I’d built extra time into my plan, Colton met me halfway to the office with the key, and I still arrived at the doctor’s office ten minutes early.

Not much was determined at this visit, except that I think Dr Knight and I are going to get along just fine. All my tests came back normal, including one that tests for certain immune system cells being suppressed by chronic Lyme, which probably means most of my issues are with co-infections at this point (or that GAPS helped a LOT in the first couple weeks, I guess). Dr Knight was, unsurprisingly, not familiar with GAPS but seemed very interested in looking into it, and in favor of the general principles.

I’m going back tomorrow for a thyroid test and a couple other hormone tests, and so hopefully I’ll get some more information about treatment in another couple of weeks.

The appointment ran longer than I thought, so once again I skipped breakfast, and in fact, barely got home in time to fix lunch (leftover pork steak and green beans). I tried to be good and eat some beef broth with lunch, but I don’t know if it’s the Kroger soup bones, freezer taste, or just the fact that my taste buds have acclimated to chicken broth, but I really was not enjoying the broth…

After lunch I headed out for some long overdue summer clothes shopping at Salvation Army, which took most of the rest of the afternoon.

For supper, I modified this recipe (2 cups sunflower seed flour, 1/3 cup squash, 2 tsp ghee, 1 tsp salt) to make a pizza crust. I made the closest approximation I could to my famous pizza sauce using fresh garlic and the fresh herbs I had on hand, and cooked up a pound of ground turkey with ghee, herbs, garlic and onion to go on top. (Yes, I put about a pound of ground turkey on one pizza. I think I was hungry while I was cooking…)

I wasn’t sure how it was going to be with no cheese, so I strained some whey out of my yogurt to make something between greek yogurt and yogurt cheese and salted it to eat with the pizza. The salted yogurt cheese was quite good, but I think in the end the pizza stood on it’s own, clearly cheeseless, but very flavorful in it’s own right. But next time I’ll use parchment paper so we can eat the pizza in slices instead of crumbs…

Then after supper.. stewed apples! I’d cooked them up yesterday from apples I had in the freezer, adding the recommended spoonful of ghee. At the time of cooking them it was very hard not to just take a bite, but after resisting then, today was so busy I hardly thought about them until after supper. In the end, I think they would have been a bit better warm, and some part of my brain analyzed that they were a touch watery and would have benefited from some cinnamon, but it was still very good to be eating fruit again.

Also, fruit means… Stage 5! From here all I have left to add is raw vegetables (in a couple stages), more vegetable and then fruit juices, raw apple (and then other raw fruits) and then sweet baked things, using dried fruit as a sweetener. And then I will be done with intro! Well, then I’ll go back and add in eggs in slow stages and see if I can tolerate them now. And then, I’ll slowly add in other ‘full GAPS’ foods (such as cheese… mmm, cheese). I’m looking forward the relative freedom of being on full GAPS, and to possibly eating eggs again soon. I’m definitely making deviled eggs as soon as possible.

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GAPS Intro Diet, Day 29

Over four weeks on the GAPS diet, approaching a full month, and I think it’s been a good thing. Tomorrow morning I meet with Dr Knight for the first time–I’m hoping she also approves the GAPS diet as (some part of) a good treatment plan. 🙂

This morning was an exhausted morning again. I got up, fixed Colton breakfast, drank my four carrots worth of juice and some leftover ginger tea (that got really strong sitting in the fridge) while he ate, and then I went back to bed. I slept through my breakfast time, so I didn’t eat until lunch. I ate leftover chicken and pea soup that had been in the crockpot too long, but was just fine thinned down with some water. Yes, I also had my requisite olive oil and sauerkraut. And I need to make more sauerkraut soon.

This afternoon I managed to do laundry and wash most of the dishes using the 15 minute timer system–go down and take care of laundry, rest 15 minutes, wash dishes 15 minutes, rest 15 minutes, repeat. And during the rest times, I even managed to catch up on some e-mail and computer tasks.

I had a brief round of stomach pains this afternoon (three brief but noticeable stabs of pain within a two minute time period), but not obviously connected to anything I ate, in fact, shortly after realizing I was hungry and forgetting to do anything about it, so unless it’s repeated I’m assuming it was some random thing and not food related.

For supper we had pork steaks (why, yes , I did stock up when they were on sale–don’t I always?). I tried marinated them in lemon juice, garlic and ghee, which worked okay… I kind of forgot the substituting ghee for olive oil meant half the marinade would be solid at refrigerator temperatures. Fortunately, the flavor was still excellent, and paired well with yet more green beans sauteed with onions and garlic, and homemade sauerkraut. I’m even starting to get used to having olive oil poured over everything I eat…

Tomorrow I increase my probiotic dose to 2 1/2 capsules, drink the juice of six carrots, and introduce stewed apples.

 

GAPS Intro Diet, Days 26, 27 & 28

Friday at lunch I was running short of leftovers, so I made a redux of the onion, radish green, tomato dish, but with chicken instead of beef. For supper we were attending a get-together and I knew there would be safe meat there, so I brought green beans sauteed with onions and garlic (this may sound familiar to those of you who are regularly following posts–so, yes, it was good enough to repeat). 🙂 I also took homemade sauerkraut, which even a few non-GAPS people ate (always a good sign). And I took bread, but I didn’t eat any of that…

Friday afternoon I had more energy than I’ve had lately, and managed to catch up on all the tidying up I’ve been skipping while I was tired. (Yay!)

I increased my probiotic dose to 2 1/4 capsules–one capsule in the morning, one and quarter more at lunch.

Saturday (while Colton washed *all* the dirty dishes for me) I made more ghee, cooked up some potatoes that had been sitting around to make mashed potatoes for Colton before they went bad (Colton obligingly turned the cooked potatoes into mashed potatoes, since I couldn’t taste them to season them properly), and (*drum roll*) finally made carrot juice!

I really enjoyed the carrot juice, and would gladly drink a whole glass if I weren’t restricted to starting with a few spoonfuls. It was sweet and yummy and first raw vegetable other than avocado (and sauerkraut, which doesn’t really count, taste-wise) I’ve had in a month. I decided the simplest way to increase the juice at this point is by carrot rather than by amount of juice. Saturday I juiced one and half carrots, Sunday I juiced two, and will increase by one or two carrots a day from there.

Though I really enjoyed the flavor, I can see why they say to start slow, as I think just those few spoonfuls of juice kicked into a bit of detox again (slight headache, more tired, and just kind of feeling weird in a way I couldn’t quite define).

Saturday for supper we did hamburgers with sauteed onions again (in case you haven’t noticed, I tend to splurge a bit on Saturday meals–or just eat leftovers 🙂 ). Once, again, hamburger with sauteed onions, lacto fermented ketchup and ginger carrots–double thumbs up.

Sunday breakfast was a bit difficult as we were running short on leftovers, and I’ve generally been eating in the car on the way to church so as not to break the ‘no food until ten’ rule as badly. I ended up with a mishmash of yogurt with coconut oil and honey, leftover squash pancakes with ghee and honey, and avocado with olive oil. In the process of trying to find enough food I ended up with more food than I could eat, but I suppose that’s a better problem to have. 🙂

I also had just a little bit of coffee with honey in it again. The smaller amount didn’t seem to bother my stomach, and was just enough to help me be a bit more focused during church.

Sunday lunch was a soup made of peas, onion and garlic pureed together, then chunks of chicken added.  Not bad, but I’d like to figure out more soups that are low prep, easy to crockpot, and actually really *good*. I’m looking forward to adding in fruits and raw veggies, because that will expand my food choices at least a little on Sundays beyond what I brought. It’s just a bit to complicated at this stage where I’m eating ghee but not butter, and with the ‘only UNheated olive oil’ rule to try to find anything I know I can eat at fellowship meal…

I’ve noticed that I’m stressing a bit less about being social since I started the GAPS diet. At least the last few months before starting the diet it took a lot of mental oomph to go start a conversation, and after any extended social engagement I would come away feeling like I must have said something dumb, even if I couldn’t remember what it was. I had put it down to my usual introvertedness, but comparatively to now, where I’m definitely still dealing with being an introvert, it was much harder to be social. I don’t know if that was a direct effect of something being wrong in my system, or just a symptom of lack of energy, but I like *not* having to deal with it now.

Sunday evening I tried making squash and kohlrabi chips. I made thin slices using the vegetable peeler, mixed them with ghee and salt, and baked them at 250 degrees for, um, a while. (Is ‘until they were done’ specific enough?) They turned out very well, though next time I’d salt them on the cookie sheet instead of in the bowl, for more control over even salting. Colton said they were good, and even somewhat potato chip like. I enjoyed them, and it curbed my popcorn craving, so that was good.

Overall, despite needing extra sleep every  night/morning, my energy levels seem to be better than normal, food is (mostly) good and even fun, and I definitely think that the GAPS diet is improving my health. I’ll be curious to see ho wmuch better I feel eventually when I’m past all the detox stages…

 

 

GAPS Intro Diet, Day 25

Last night I discovered that GAPS bread is actually good with a little bit of honey, which brings out the nutty flavor. Still just ‘nice’ and not amazing like some of the meat and vegetables sauteed in ghee meals we’ve had… 🙂 Though, I am looking forward to using the bread recipe as a base for baking some sweet things when I get to that stage.

I’m ready to start juicing as soon as I can work out the practical details of borrowing the juicer. Juicing is the last step in Stage 4! I’m really looking forward to Stage 5 and getting to eat cooked apples. I miss fruit.

For supper today I sauteed three onions, a handful of radish greens, garlic and half a tomato in some ghee with about a pound of ground beef. Once again, it was a winner of a recipe that even Colton thought was really good.

Oddly, I’ve accidentally been moving toward two meals a day instead of three. I’m not supposed to eat breakfast until ten, and depending on the morning I end up eating around 10:30 and not being hungry for lunch, or napping until eleven and just waiting until lunchtime to eat. Occasionally I’ll need a snack (half an avocado usually does it) in the afternoon, but sometimes I don’t even need that.

I remembered to take my fermented cod liver oil this morning (it’s about time I remembered again…), and got the leftover roast chicken carcasse in the crockpot for making stock, so I got (most of) my stock for the day in too. I’m at about a tablespoon of olive oil over every meal, which seems to be as much or more than my food can absorb, so I think I’ll stop there instead of increasing to the upper limit of two tablespoons. I’m continuing my probiotic foods with every meal, rotating through my various options as I get bored with one. (The beet kvass juice had a much more intense flavor today, very sour, so perhaps it was only bland because we tried it too early.) My dose of two probiotic capsules seems to be fine (perhaps minor detox symptoms and tiredness, but no more than I’ve had anyway). Perhaps splitting the dose makes the increase easier. Regardless, I’m going to bump it up to 2 1/4 capsules tomorrow and see how that goes…

Working Hard at Resting

I have deliberately put my body into a state where it’s using most of it’s energy to heal broken cells. It’s attacking toxins it’s been ignoring for a while, rebuilding leaky parts of the intestinal wall, and generally tidying up.

Meanwhile, out here in a world my cells don’t even know exists, continues the normal barrage of birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and lots and lots of dirty dishes.

I have to keep reminding myself that I’m tired now so that later I will be less broken and have a normal level of energy most of the time instead of rarely. That it’s a good thing that all my energy is going to healing. That I’m not being lazy.

I have to prioritize my days so that the most vital tasks get done. Sometimes that doesn’t include the pile of dirty dishes spilling off the counter. I haven’t dusted since I started the GAPS diet, and I don’t think I’ve vacuumed either (though Toby vacuumed for me last week).  In fact, the first priority is often food, and replenishing the supply of nutrients needed to keep my body hard at work rebuilding cells (from the outside working to rebuild cells sometimes looks a lot like napping).

I had envisioned GAPS diet as a quiet time of less energy and therefore more time for reflection, spending time in Scripture and quiet, creative projects. Instead it often feels busier as I take the list of everything that has to get done in the next couple of days and decide which of those ‘have-tos’ aren’t going to happen, and then work through the rest in short bursts through the day.

Practically speaking, I’ve spent a lot of my life learning how to get things done. I’m naturally stubborn, but I had to learn to translate that into following through on tasks I started. I have a tendency to avoid projects that have gotten complicated, instead of dealing with them, untangling the knot of ‘project’ into strands that can be dealt with one at a time, and moving on. I’ve had to learn to look at the big picture instead of painstakingly rearranging the knickknacks on a shelf while the rest of the room is in chaos.

And now I’m once again having to balance that with something else I learned slowly: the fate of the world doesn’t rest on my shoulders. I don’t have to do everything, or do it perfectly, to be faithfully fulfilling my calling at this moment. Sometimes God says it’s time step back and rest and heal.

So I nap in the mornings, and listen to some Scripture on mp3 while I take my detox bath, and eat my breakfast with more attention than normal as I try to include all the necessary nutritious food, and don’t even start to tackle the Gordian Knot of Necessary until after lunch. And then I face it, untangle it, and discard strands I want to think are still necessary, and get to work on what I *can* do.

And sometimes I daydream about being Lyme-free and having enough energy to breeze through my daily chores, knock out a project or two, and still have enough energy to go hiking in the evening. Someday…

 

GAPS Intro Diet, Days 23 & 24

Yesterday was Colton’s birthday, which probably deserves it’s own blog post, but may or may not get it. I increased my probiotic to two capsules, but split them between lunch and supper, so I didn’t get much, if any, die off effect. Also, we went frisbee golfing which was fun, and judging by how sore I am today, very good exercise.

In the evening I tried making and eating some GAPS bread (made from the same ingredients as the pancakes–squash and sunflower seed butter–but with the addition of a bit of ghee). It wasn’t bad, but it never quite seemed to get a bread like consistency, and was not particularly exciting.

My stomach did feel heavy and uncomfortable after eating the bread, but I suspect that has more to do with also eating pancakes immediately after the bread, than an actual bad reaction to the bread.

Today I have been super sore from frisbee, to the extent where it’s hard to move around and do anything. However, after my now usual morning nap, I had enough energy to *start* to catch up on all the tasks I’ve been behind on. Plus, Moriah and Toby came over this afternoon and washed a ton of dishes and husked some corn (because I thought, hey, I can’t get my normal chores done, I should buy a bushel of corn to process since it’s cheap!) which was a huge help. Now my fridge is more or less cleaned out, and the pyrex containers are washed, my next batch of sunflower seeds has been soaked and dehydrated, I made the last of our milk into cheese before it went bad and completed my co-op order for this month. Now I just need to fold laundry, finish washing the dishes, clean the bathroom, tidy and vacuum the rest of the house, process the other 2/3 bushel of corn, plan a few birthday presents and finish knitting a square for a blanket for Ron Paul (yeah…) and I think I’ll be all caught up on my necessary projects.

For supper today I made a mixture of sauteed (in ghee) radishes, onion and garlic with strips of pork steak. This was supplemented with bread and butter for non-GAPS eaters, and I ate mine with olive oil (I’m up to two spoonfuls with most meals–I still don’t remember to eat it with every meal) and sauerkraut (I’m up to roughly a third to a half a cup of probiotic food per meal). It was quite enjoyable, even though I don’t normally like radishes, so I think the  theory holds true that sauteeing anything in butter with garlic makes it good.

GAPS Intro Diet, Days 20, 21 & 22

I started feeling a little bit better over the weekend, but I still skipped blogging, and really, just about everything else I could to try to rest up.

Saturday for breakfast I made crepes for Colton and sunbutter pancakes for me, so we got to a Saturday pancake breakfast again. Yay! (Saturday we also saw The Dark Knight Rises. I will give no spoilers except to say that it really is that good.)

Sunday I gave into the ‘coffee sure sounds good’ urge (which is to say Colton knows me really well and made coffee for me) and had a travel mug full of coffee with honey in it. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the coffee without milk, as I’ve previously been die hard about milk going in all hot beverages. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure the coffee bothered my stomach, because it was sore by the end of the day, and it really doesn’t seem like either the lightly roasted veggies in my soup or the lack of probiotic foods in a couple of meals should have caused that reaction. It may just be from having a whole big mug of coffee instead of building up slowly, but either way, I’ll go back to avoiding coffee for now.

Today I got up to start Colton’s breakfast and see him off to work, and then went back to bed for a total of twelve hours sleep between last night and this morning. (I deliberately rearranged my schedule when I started GAPS so that my chores are in the afternoon and mornings are mostly rest time.) Between the extra sleep and the restful weekend I’m starting to feel normal again. I was able to do a portion of my normal chores and food work today… Laundry is clean (but not folded yet), some of the dirty dishes are washed, sauerkraut safely stashed in the fridge (and crock washed for a new batch), a new batch of yogurt started, a new batch of ghee made, Colton’s hair is cut, and most importantly, everything is ready for Colton’s birthday tomorrow. Obviously, there’s always more to do, but it was a productive day for how I’ve been feeling lately.

To celebrate adding roasted foods to my diet I roasted a whole chicken in the crockpot. I rubbed it with salt, pepper, rosemary and lemon peel, then quartered the lemon and stuffed it inside the chicken. Paired with sauteed garlic green beans and onions it was really good…

I’m still on a one and three-quarter capsule dose of probiotics, but I may increase my dose to two capsules tomorrow. I’ve already been splitting the dose between two meals the last couple of days, and will definitely continue that habit as I increase. I’m starting to have trouble remembering everything that’s supposed to go into a meal (chicken stock, probiotic food and olive oil are to included at every meal now) and I haven’t been getting my stock with every meal. The olive oil seems to be going fine, and I’m up to a spoonful with (almost) every meal now.

I think I’m going to buy (weird, I know) some squash or zucchini soon so I can continue with my pancakes and begin making ‘bread’ (nut flour, squash and ghee) for stage 4. I’m also planning to start juicing this week. I start with carrot juice, and I’ve heard varying reports on the taste, so I’m kind of curious to try it for myself…