First off, I’d like to say thank you all so much for bearing with me while we got our feet under us with this new diet. I know I haven’t had a lot of meaty content the last few weeks, but now that I know what I’m doing with this grain-free diet, I’m jumping back in to regular blogging!
This post is going to be huge, because I want all of our results in one post. Please forgive the length.
These last two weeks have shown us some very interesting results. If you haven’t read my posts on what the GAPS diet is and why and how we’re doing it, here are the links to take you to the posts that will fill you in:
As I said, the results have been surprising! Although we are doing GAPS for my husband’s health issues, I decided that the girls and I would jump on to full GAPS and do the diet along with him. Here’s what we’ve seen, so far.
My husband has had what we call a sensitive stomach/digestive tract for a long time. These last several months it started getting quite a bit worse. In the weeks leading up to starting the GAPS diet, he had nausea, indigestion, heartburn and, sometimes, pain. We believe he developed ulcers, which we could sooth somewhat with natural ulcer remedies.
I’m going to interrupt myself here and tell you that the first time I read about the GAPS diet I thought that things would have to be pretty extreme for us to ever consider doing it! Well, seeing my hubby feeling so awful on a daily basis was extreme enough to spur me into taking the plunge. We have not been disappointed! Here’s a rundown of his first two weeks on GAPS.
- Day 1: He was still feeling rotten from the grains he had eaten the day before, so it was hard to attribute anything to GAPS. Strongly craving grains.
- Day 2: He felt absolutely horrible! He was very nauseated and had a hard time eating. Apparently, days two and three can be pretty rough due to die-off of the pathogenic bacteria and yeasts. Strongly craving grains.
- Day 3: Still feeling very nauseated and miserable. I was beginning to wonder if this was a good idea. Strongly craving grains.
- Day 4: No nausea, indigestion, pain, heartburn or anything else!!! This was the first day in many, many weeks that my husband went all day without feeling bad. Yay!
- Day 5: Still doing great! He had progressed to stage 3 of intro and was feeling fine.
- Day 6: Moving on to stage 4 of intro (freshly pressed carrot juice and nut flour “bread”) which went beautifully!
- Day 7: All was well until he tried to move on to stage 5 too quickly (raw veggies). He ate quite a big chunk of a raw carrot in the late afternoon and felt nauseated and had indigestion for the evening.
- Day 8: Woke up feeling fine, again, and went back to stage 4. No problems, at all!
- Day 9: Continued on stage four feeling good.
- Day 10: Tiny bit of raw carrot sat just fine! (I realized that I messed up and he needed to start with the soft parts of raw lettuce and cucumber, so we’ll work on that. Oops!). Applesauce and baked apples (even with the peel) are well-digested! Stage 5 is going well!
- Day 12: Staying on stage 5 and doing great!
- Day 13: Still on stage 5- no problems.
- Day 14: Stage 5- getting ready to properly introduce raw veggies, then we’ll move on to stage 6, which is raw fruit. After he does well with all of that, he’ll be on full GAPS with me and the girls!!
All in all, we’ve both been very surprised at how easy the transition to GAPS has gone! Apart from days 2 and 3, and the carrot incident, he’s felt better than he had felt in months!! By day 4, the cravings for grains let up a ton. Although he would enjoy a piece of bread, he’s not having those powerful bread cravings that he had been dealing with.
As you know, I didn’t have any huge health problems that I was hoping to fix with GAPS. Although I have had countless rounds of antibiotics and some chronic health issues, there really wasn’t a health crisis that I was dealing with. Imagine my surprise when I noticed results that I hadn’t even been looking for!
I have always been extremely sensitive to airborne chemicals. The toxins in perfumes, scented skincare products, smoke, cleaners, air “fresheners” and even new carpet and furniture would give me instant headaches. I had to hold my breath and rush through the perfume departments at the department stores unless I wanted to spend my whole shopping day with a pounding headache.
About a week after starting full GAPS, we were out somewhere and I walked through a cloud of perfume that was hovering in the wake of one of those women who doesn’t realize that just because she can’t smell it anymore doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t. You know the ones. They spritz on more and more throughout the day because their noses get used to it and they think it has faded. For somebody who reacts horribly to the toxins in perfumes, this is not a happy encounter for me. That day, however, nothing happened! For the first time that I can remember, I didn’t get an instant splitting headache!
A few days later, I was forced to walk through a cloud of cigarette smoke. No headache! Normally, this is the worst offender and will leave me with a throbbing pain behind my eyes for hours.
Since then, I have encountered cleaners, scented hand soap, air fresheners and more perfume and smoke. The only time I got a headache was after using a scented hand soap while I was out. Rather than an instant reaction, though, it took over twenty minutes for the headache to start and instead of lingering for hours, it went away shortly after I was able to wash my hands with unscented soap!
Today was the ultimate test. It’s fall time in the craft stores, which means bins and bins of those cinnamon scented pine-cones all over the stores! I have always dreaded shopping in the same building as those things! Let me just clarify that high-quality, pure cinnamon essential oil does NOT cause headaches for me. That’s not what they use on those pine-cones. They use cheapo toxic junk that has always caused instant headaches for me. Today I spent quite awhile at the craft store, surrounded by bins of scented pine-cones that seemed to be strategically placed to torment those of us with chemical sensitivity no matter where we try to hide! NO HEADACHE!!! That doesn’t mean that I will buy a bag of them (I think I’ll make my own, in fact!), but it was so wonderful to be able to enjoy shopping without my head throbbing!
I know that some of you are curious about doing GAPS while breastfeeding. Here’s what I have found. My milk supply really does seem to dip more on GAPS in the afternoon (a little afternoon dip is normal for most women), then go back up in the evening. My baby is 11 months and is eating quite a few solids. She also sleeps through the night (8PM to 8AM). If I just nurse her during her waking hours, she doesn’t get quite enough milk and is cranky and restless. Instead of waking her for late-night feedings, like I used to, I’ve started pumping just before bed and then bottle-feeding her the milk the next evening. That way, she’s not having her sleep interrupted, but she is getting the extra milk to fill her tummy for the night.
Also, I am working hard to get plenty of good fat, protein and carbs throughout the day. I’ve noticed that on days I have a smoothie (milk/yogurt, banana, peanut butter, honey and coconut flakes) my milk supply doesn’t dip as much in the afternoon. I’m also working hard to stay hydrated, which is always important while nursing.
Our four-year-old, Pumpkin (blogging name), is also doing full GAPS. I’ve noticed the past several months that she seems to crave bread more than anything else, so I though this might be good for her. She seemed to have the cravings and she asked for bread a few times those first several days, but since then she’s not been very concerned about it. Pumpkin really doesn’t like the texture of soup, so I’ll be working around that. She will drink broth, but not pureed soup or any soups/stews/chowders. The one thing she did love from that category was the chili with beef liver! Who knew??
During the first five days, she had two bad nightmares, which I believe was from detox/die-off. I can’t remember the last time she had a nightmare, then she suddenly had two within a couple of days of starting GAPS. Since then, she’s been sleeping fine, although I’ve noticed she’s having a growing spurt.
Our eleven-month-old is loving GAPS! She can eat a lot of what we eat (meat, egg yolk, veggies, yogurt, fruit) and is very vocal about getting a taste. Nothing else to report in baby-land!
So, there you have it! Our first two weeks of GAPS is over and we hope that my hubby will soon be on full GAPS. To be honest, we’re actually surprised by how much we like GAPS! I realize that many people have to stay on intro for a lot longer than my hubby and that would make it more challenging, but we’re pretty content. Going from real food to GAPS wasn’t all that big of a leap once we got past the bread cravings. We’ve tried out the squash/nut butter pancakes (love!) and some coconut flour “cornbread” (double love!) and we really aren’t feeling deprived. Although we have every hope and intention of getting my hubby back to eating properly prepared grains and starches, if this diet was the only way to keep him from feeling miserable, we’d stay on it! As it is, he seems to be making excellent progress and I’m thinking that sour dough bread will be in our future.
Do you have a GAPS experience to share? Any questions for me about GAPS?
- Growing Home: Teach Me Tuesday
- Like a Mustard Seed: Living Green Tuesday
- Mercy INK: Heart&Home
- Simply Better: Tuesday Tips
- Cornerstone Confession: Titus 2 Tuesday
- Women Living Well
- Whole Lifestyle Nutrition: Whole Foods Wednesday
- Frugally Sustainable: Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways
- Anne-Marie Cane: Wheat-Free Wednesday
- Deep Roots at Home: Encourage One Another
- Little Natural Cottage: Natural Living Link-up
- Our Simple Country Life: Hearts4Home
- A Delightful Home: Your Green Resource
- Jenni Mullinix: Thrive@Home
- Weekend Whatever