GAPS Diet, Day 61

This morning started with carrot lettuce mango juice and hip pain. The hip pain started last night and lasted through to this morning, when I thought I was going to have a miserably unproductive day. I felt okay energy wise, but being in pain (again) was both frustrating and draining.

Thankfully, my hip popped back into place before I really got going on my morning, and has been fine since.

For breakfast I cooked up a little bit of hamburger and  reheated leftover squash fries. Eating them with olive oil wasn’t a problem, but I ate half of it before I added sauerkraut, and then just a forkful.

Lunch was leftover zucchini with tomato soup on top, again with olive oil and a forkful of sauerkraut.

Colton went out to pick up a quart of honey from the farmer’s market over his lunch break, so I had peppermint tea with honey after lunch. Win!

This afternoon I felt better than I had yet this week, and got some tidying up done and a sinkful of dishes washed. Also, maintenance was in and out dealing with a thermostat problem with our oven, finally replacing it with a different stove. The maintenance man commented that I could have milked the broken stove for several days worth of eating out if I’d just waited for the new part instead of trading in stoves.

I didn’t tell him that the day before I’d been in tears when my husband said that we would celebrate my getting off the GAPS diet by ordering pizza. Eating GAPS food isn’t terribly hard right now, just a few minor annoyances, but cooking GAPS food is getting tiresome. I’m trying to plan vacation food that’s fun, not too expensive, easy to fix, and GAPS legal and while I think I may have some ideas that will work out okay, that combination was frustrating to even try to contemplate.

Case in point: taco salad for supper. It turned out way good, and it was worth the work (especially since there were leftovers of most of the food I had to fix for it), but it turned out to be a bit more involved than I’d originally thought.

I made a variation on these grain-free homemade doritos (which turned out so well even Colton liked them). I cooked up meat with mushroom and onion. I shredded lettuce. I made avocado salad dressing (which emulsified so beautifully I’m wondering if there’s a mayo replacement possibility there). I made a variation on our favorite salsa recipe.

By the time I was done, my feet hurt, but I got to snack on cherries while I was cooking. And when I assembled my salad with some parmesan cheese… Not only did it taste wonderful, but it was like eating real, normal food instead of some weird dish I would only eat because I was on the GAPS diet. Taco salad made me very happy.

After supper I almost immediately got hit with a mild detox headache. I’m not sure if that’s because I increased my probiotic today, or some combination of that and lots of (antibacterial) garlic in the meal, or what. (Or maybe I just got my headache as a punishment for skipping sauerkraut with my taco salad. If so, it was still totally worth it.)

This evening I snacked on cherries. Rather a lot of cherries, actually… At this point I’m going to assume that I’m okay with fruit in general, and so I’m planning to have a pineapple banana (coconut milk) smoothie for breakfast tomorrow. (Without sauerkraut. In case you were wondering. This new yogurt aversion my stomach has is quickly getting old…)

And tomorrow afternoon I’m going to try some sharp cheddar. (Yay, cheddar!)

At that point the main things that still need to be introduced to get to full GAPS are just beans (white navy), vinegar, and alcoholic drinks (I’ve had sips here and there even through intro, so that may not need its own introduction day either). That puts me in full GAPS sooner than I’d estimated, so either I’m forgetting something now, or I overestimated to start with. (Technically I would still have to introduce seaweed to be at full GAPS, but while I’m not opposed to eating seaweed, I’m also not going and buying some just so I can introduce it.)

GAPS Diet, Day 60

I survived 60 days on GAPS! I should get a T-shirt or something. On second thought, maybe I don’t want to have to explain GAPS to *everyone* I meet…

This morning I started with carrot lettuce juice, put some salmon chowder, sauerkraut and olive oil in a thermos, and dashed out the door to do my grocery shopping.) Okay, I also snuck a pineapple coconut bite before breakfast…) Salmon chowder with a generous helping of sauerkraut is not the greatest food to try to gulp fast in a parking lot. Just in case you were wondering.

Lunch was julienned sauteed zucchini topped with leftover tomato/pepper soup from last night. Once again, a really good combination, and once again I skipped the sauerkraut. I was going to add ginger carrots, but they tasted so strong I wasn’t sure they were still good, and was not in the mood to experiment with food that might mess with my stomach again.

This afternoon, I finally introduced cherries. I have been inexplicably obsessed with cherries this summer, and since it’s the tail end of the cherry season, and I can eat raw fruit now, and I had a couple extra dollars when I got to Aldi… I don’t know what the deal was with cherries, but I bought them, and they are soooo good. Which is a good thing, because otherwise it would be a letdown after noticing them all summer long.

My stomach felt great right after eating the cherries, but started twinging slightly after I tasted supper. Since supper consisted of chicken, onion, garlic, mushroom and butter, (with olive oil and sauerkraut) I can’t imagine why that would have made my stomach twinge, but the cherries don’t quite make sense as a cause either. I’ll guess I’ll just keep going and see what happens….

GAPS Diet, Days 58-59

Tuesday I had to go pick up our new printer from Best Buy. I have love-hate relationship with the ship-to-store system, but I do get to print coupons again, and no longer have to deal with the obnoxious Lexmark. Hopefully Brother turns out to be less obnoxious than Lexmark…

Anyway, on Tuesday morning I had carrot juice with the juice from my last piece of apple. For breakfast (a bit late, because it was after my errand) I had leftover salmon chowder with yogurt. Lunch was more of the same. I began to suspect that the yogurt was hurting my stomach, but didn’t want to admit to this being a possibility.

Supper was really amazing sauteed julienned (also known as ‘matchstick size strips of’) zucchini with a tomato and beef sauce (Colton ate his sauce with spaghetti). I drizzled it with olive oil and added parmesan cheese and yogurt on top and greatly enjoyed it. Also, my stomach was sore all evening.

Eating a raisin coconut bite actually seemed to make it feel a little bit better-coconut seems to be soothing for my stomach.

Wednesday I stopped eating yogurt and deliberately stepped up my use of parmesan cheese to test which was making my stomach hurt. My stomach did much better all day, with only slight residual soreness, so, though I don’t understand it, I’m off yogurt for now. On the other hand, parmesan cheese is a-ok! This bodes well for introducing cheddar soon!

Wednesday morning was carrot juice. Breakfast was leftover cauliflower soup. Sauerkraut on cauliflower soup is interesting. Not bad or anything, but not exactly a four star chef combination.

Lunch was leftover salmon chowder with more sauerkraut. The sauerkraut sat great on my stomach, but it was a little weird to eat it on everything all day long. On the plus side, I got to eat parmesan on everything all day long too.

Wednesday afternoon I had Moriah and Toby and Elsie over helping me out with stuff, so laundry got folded and a lot of dishes got done even though I was still feeling pretty tired.

Supper was roasted red pepper and tomato soup, which was good (and very garlicy), but the red pepper got overwhelmed, by the tomato, so it’s probably not worth repeating. I think I actually skipped probiotic food with this meal, because I was tired of sauerkraut.

After supper I finished off my raisin coconut bites and decided I was getting tired of raisins. My sweetener options are very limited at this point, since we’re out of honey again, and have no gaps-legal dried fruit besides raisins.

I revisited my theory that any fruit that I’ve introduced in juice form should also be fine to eat raw (since I was fine with raw apple, so the fibrousness of raw fruit should be fine…). This seemed to hold true with a few bites of mango on Saturday morning, so we opened a #10 can of pineapple we’d been given a couple weeks ago. (No ingredients except pineapple and pineapple juice, so we’re good there.)

I chopped the pineapple chunks even smaller and mixed them with coconut butter and a bit of shredded coconut, rolled the mixture into balls and put it in the fridge. After chilling, they were softer than the raisin version, but pretty good–almost reminiscent of creamy fruit salad I’ve had. Definitely a nice change for a sweet snack.

The good news for the past few days is that butter and cheese (so far) seem to be perfectly fine, and coconut is even soothing to my stomach. Also, I seem to be up to three fruits I can eat raw now. (Pretty soon I’ll just assume that I’m okay with all fruit, even if I haven’t specifically tried it yet.) I’ve been slowly phasing in dried spices with no apparent problem. I’ve been consistent with my thyroid medicine and my olive oil, pretty good with my chicken stock, and okay with my probiotic foods. I’m still at 3 1/2 capsules of probiotic, but probably ready to increase soon.

The bad news is that inexplicably yogurt now seems to bother my stomach. I’m not sure what’s going on there, as it seemed to be fine before (as long as it was properly made)…


GAPS Diet, Days 55-57

I got carried away by my new food options and planned a somewhat elaborate meal for Saturday breakfast/brunch: turkey ‘sausage’ patties, kohlrabi hashbrowns, coconut pancakes, and to top it off, coffee (with coconut milk!). Everything turned out fine, and was enjoyable, but without using eggs the hashbrowns would not stay in patties, so we cooked them loose, and coconut pancakes did not hold together, and were more like a sweet hashbrown in appearance and combobulation.

Oh, and I did get my juice in while we were cooking breakfast: carrot mango juice.

My yogurt from the new starter looked like an alien brain, so I didn’t eat it. We found out that the milk had gone bad since the day before, so perhaps that accounts for it. (Also my tiny tastes of yogurt starter and milk could account for my stomach the weirdness the day before in that case.)

Midafternoon I ‘snacked’ on leftover stuffed pepper (with olive oil and chicken stock and beet kvass, I think).

For supper we cooked up ground beef with mushrooms and a bit of onion and garlic. Colton ate his with noodles, and I ate mine with, of course, sauerkraut and olive oil. We’d used up the last of ghee on breakfast, so I introduced butter to cook the meat in. (I’d been planning to introduce it the next morning anyway, and that evening was about 48 hours after introducing coconut.)

For a bedtime snack we polished off the last of the raisin cake. (I need to make more… That stuff is good, and really nice to have around for a snack.)

Sunday morning I had carrot juice and took some ColdCalm because I woke up feeling, well, like I was coming down with a cold. (I looked at the ingredients the next day and realized it had lactose in it. Oops.) I also had some coffee with coconut milk and honey.

Sunday breakfast was leftover turkey sausage patty and kohlrabi hashbrowns, with sauerkraut.

Lunch was cauliflower soup (along the lines of mashed potato soup, with chicken stock, coconut milk, onion and garlic). And this week there were *two* other things at the fellowship I could eat. Squash, with my newly introduced butter, and chicken legs with just tomato sauce and honey (they did also have garlic powder and onion powder, but the dehydrated spices seemed like a small risk at this point.)

In the afternoon I had a sip of lemon liqueur, which I *think* was GAPS legal, though technically alcohol should probably have been introduced on it’s own day like any other new food.

Supper was more cauliflower soup. (Thankfully the soup turned out well this week, and I actually enjoyed eating it twice.)

I had a bedtime snack of raw apple.

This morning I woke up with a definite cold, not bad, but annoying, and making me distinctly unenergetic. My stomach felt just a bit heavy yesterday evening through this morning, but I figure if I can eat everything I ate yesterday without any actual pains or upset stomach, that’s probably a good sign.

I had carrot juice this morning, after a morning nap, and decided to scrap my plans for being energetic and productive today. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be feeling better…

Lunch was leftover cauliflower soup (with olive oil and beet kvass for me).

This afternoon I tried a new recipe (using raisins in place of dates): I didn’t feel like washing my blender when it probably wouldn’t process raisins well anyway, so I just chopped the raisins as finely as I could, and eyeballed measurements to mix it with coconut shreds and homemade coconut butter. They’d probably be better with blended dates instead of chopped raisins, but I liked them, and they made a good snack.

For supper I made salmon chowder. Sadly, I had to leave out the bacon to make it GAPS legal, but it was still amazingly good. I introduced parmesan cheese sprinkled over the soup, and the whole thing was even better with some yogurt swirled in. I like good food!



Of Canned Salmon

Who knew a can of salmon could hold so many memories? I don’t remember the can clearly enough to know if Aldi has changed the label in past 12 years. It’s not until I open it that the smell, the feel and especially the bones, remind me that I’ve done this many times before.

My mother decided we should eat more fish, because it had good fats in it. On a limited food budget, and with my father not liking fish, this meant canned salmon.

Once a month at Aldi we added four cans of salmon to our shopping cart, one for each week.

Once a week we would open a can of salmon. We always crushed the bones into the meat of the fish. They had calcium, my mother said. They were good for you. I’d pop a couple of vertabrae into my mouth as I crushed the bones, trying to decide if I like the strange soft-crunchy and slightly gritty texture or not. I never quite decided, but I never missed a chance to eat a few.

And then, we turned them into salmon patties. I didn’t know you could do anything else with canned salmon.

Who knew years later I would stand in my own kitchen many miles away, open an Aldi can of salmon and crush the bones as I drop the salmon into a sunshiny pot of chowder? (Who knew that I could possibly add a handful of the despised mushrooms to my already near-sacrilegious chowder?) And who knew that canned salmon was a reliable and unchanging presence in a world that never stays the same for long?

GAPS Diet, Day 54

The last few mornings my stomach has felt a bit weird at the beginning of the day. Not quite upset, usually, just like it would have rather stayed in bed, thank you very much, though it’s glad I’m at least not trying to feed it yet. Ginger or peppermint tea seems to reconcile it to progressing with the day. It may have something to do with taking my thyroid medicine first thing in the morning…

Today I had carrot apple juice and launched (slowly) right into getting things done for the day. Thanks to Whitney, I’m trying out a new yogurt starter, which is still in experimental stages. I cultured the yogurt starter Wednesday to Thursday, and started the first batch of yogurt this morning. Hopefully, if I did everything right, the yogurt will be ready to test tomorrow morning. I also did some more tidying up (twice in one week–how exciting!) and washed a few dishes.

Breakfast was cold leftover chicken, reheated roasted carrots, and chicken stock. I intended to drink beet kvass with lunch to cover the probiotics for both meals, but after breakfast my stomach started feeling very full and heavy and not quite right with the world. It didn’t seem at all like a food reaction–for one thing, everything I’d just eaten were foods I’d already eaten before with no problem–and almost felt more like the first stage of coming down with a cold or flu.

It did pass after couple hours of not eating, and since it felt completely normal again I decided to proceed with using coconut. If it continues to happen I’ll try backing off the coconut to see what happens, but I suspect it was just a weird, one-time happening.

This afternoon I finished reading a very strange book by Louisa May Alcott (apparently written in her early starving writer stage, and oddly unlike her later books…mostly). In other exciting news, maintenance came and fixed our tub so it drains again! Yay!

In more GAPS relevant news, I made coconut milk today. I discovered that while 2 cups of coconut and 6 cups of hot water ‘fits’ in my blender it doesn’t *fit* in my blender. Not once you turn on the blender anyway. I did my coconut milk in two batches. Then I turned the leftover coconut shreds into coconut flour.

The coconut milk is not extremely impressive straight as a milk substitute, but I am thrilled to have a milk substitute to put in my coffee and recipes now. In a pinch, I’d even drink it plain too.

After my stomach returned to normal, I got really hungry and snacked on a bowl of applesauce.

I did a bit of other food prep, roasting red peppers for a soup next week and making supper. I stuffed red peppers with a mixture of hamburger, garlic, onion, mushroom, some zucchini I had already sliced in my fridge from another meal, and the tops of the red peppers I cut off. For a side, I made squash fries again, but in the skillet this time. I actually found it a lot easier to just dump the fries in the skillet with some ghee and stir occasionally than to carefully arrange the fries on a cookie sheet and take up my entire oven for an hour. They came out a bit softer (less crispy), but I think it’s worth the tradeoff.

After supper Colton washed the rest of the dishes for me. (We have counter by the sink. Did you know that was there?) I grated kohlrabi with plans of making a GAPS version of kohlrabi hash browns for breakfast tomorrow. (As far as I can tell this is the only kohrabi hashbrown recipe that exists anywhere, as a google turns up about a thousand websites that all have the exact same recipe.)

And now that the chores are done and blog post is written, it’s time for the weekend…

GAPS Diet, Day 53

Attentive readers may notice that I have removed the word ‘intro’ from the title of this post. I introduced the last food from the intro diet two days ago, with no ill effects, and I’m ready to start introducing foods from the full GAPS diet. In other words: PARTY!!!
Related to this, I’m curious how many people are still interested in daily updates on GAPS diet progress, even post-intro.
This morning I skipped juicing for the first time since introducing juice. It just didn’t fit into my morning, at least, not at the speed I was moving at. I spent a chunk of my morning doing mending while listening to a piano lesson in progress, and then picked up my library card so if I wanted to, I could check materials out of the very conveniently located, but inconveniently structured Peoria Heights library. (Short check-out intervals and no renewals is a bad combination…)
Breakfast and lunch didn’t really end up being seperate meals by the time I got home. Over the course of about an hour I ate some of both kinds of leftover zucchini casserole, sauteed onion, chicken stock, sauerkraut and some olive oil.
This afternoon I had to run some errands: Colton has suddenly had a bad hay-fever flare up, and since this doesn’t often happen we had no allergy medication in the house.
After errands in both the morning and the afternoon, I spent the rest of the afternoon crashing, watching an episode of Chopped and eating leftover chicken legs and apple.
Then I made coconut butter. You know, out of coconut. That stuff I couldn’t eat on the intro diet, but I can now. (Well, I can try introducing it anyway… we’ll see how it goes.)
My blender doesn’t do well with very thick, sticky liquids. For instance it does fine making nut flour, but making nut butter is almost not worth it as the blades just throw the food against the side of the jar….and…it…stays…there….
Coconut butter was a similar experience, though it turned out well in the end. My coconut shreds quickly turned to coconut flour, then slightly sticky coconut flour, then stuck to the sides of the blender. After several rounds of turning off the blender and pushing down the coconut substance, it suddenly turned to a liquid and blended away merrily. I snuck several little tastes along the way, and while I don’t quite see it as the most amazing substance on earth, as it’s been proclaimed on blogs I’ve seen, I am looking forward to trying it out in some recipes, and probably on some scookies too.
Supper was leftover chicken legs, chopped up and sauteed with some mushrooms. Colton ate his on a tortilla with cheese. I ate mine on a lettuce leaf with olive oil. I drank beet kvass and chicken stock with my meal, so I got in two full cups of chicken stock today! Also, I guess technically if I’m done with intro, I can go down to one cup of chicken stock per day instead of one per meal. I’ll probably try to keep high stock consumption for now though, especially since I’ve been skimping on it recently.

I nibbled on some red pepper crackers (it has been suggested they should be renamed ‘junk food nuggets’), and then had a bedtime snack of scookie with coconut butter. I approve.